“Retail availability of the iPhone 7 — particularly the jumbo-sized iPhone 7 Plus — remains in short supply just a week before Black Friday, a new survey has found, suggesting Apple is still struggling to satisfy consumer demand for its latest-generation handset,” Neil Hughes reports for AppleInsider.

“Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray polled 134 U.S. Apple stores and found that just 47 percent of iPhone 7 models were in stock. While the 4.7-inch iPhone 7 has 91 percent availability, just 3 percent of 5.5-inch iPhone 7 Plus models were available in stores,” Hughes reports. “Supplies are even more constrained in China, where iPhone availability is just 16 percent — a slight improvement from 12 percent a month ago. There, Piper Jaffray has been tracking online stock from carrier China Unicom.”

“In contrast, by this point a year ago, the iPhone 6s had reached 100 percent availability at Apple’s retail stores,” Hughes reports. “As a result, Munster believes it is now unlikely that Apple will reach supply-demand equilibrium by the end of the December quarter, which includes the lucrative holiday shopping season.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, at least it’s nice to be able to sell as many iPhones as you can make. It’d be even better if Apple had enough product on hand to be able to sell as many as they possibly could, but that simply doesn’t seem to be within Apple’s capabilities. The company is almost always woefully underprepared at launch (see all iPhones, almost every iPad, Apple Pencils, AirPods, etc., etc., etc.). Yes, Apple rarely has inventory problems, but the cost of leaving sales on the table is the great unknown.

Think of sales in carrier stores, Best Buy, etc. How many average smartphone buyers would have purchased and iPhone 7/Plus if they’d been in stock, so they could have the product in hand immediately, but instead settled for a Samsung (explosive choice) or some other fragmandroid iPhone knockoff instead? Yes, those of us in the know will wait for real iPhones. The average Joe and Jane, who are the majority of smartphone buyers, most certainly will not.

Android phone assemblers must love Apple’s “Operations Genius.” That’s likely how they generate a good number of sales.