Are Apple’s iPhone Supply Worries History?

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) seems to have finally fixed its iPhone 5 supply issues, as the new smartphone is now readily available at the company’s U.S. retail stores for the first time since its launch in September. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster reached that conclusion after conducting a poll of 20 U.S. Apple Stores, Apple Insider said.

What Led to Munster’s Conclusions About Availability?

“We believe the iPhone 5 has finally reached a point where consumers can walk into an Apple Store and walk out with a phone,” Munster wrote in a note to investors on Thursday.

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In the 20 stores polled, the analyst found that the iPhone 5 on Verizon (NYSE:VZ) — the model that was said to be in the shortest supply — was back in ample quantities. Verizon and both its main U.S. rivals, Sprint (NYSE:S) and AT&T (NYSE:T), showed more than 90 percent availability. The company’s online store displays an expected shipping time of one week, down from recent estimates of two weeks and between two and three weeks earlier this month.

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Munster’s findings led him to reiterate his estimate of 45 million iPhone unit shipments for the quarter, but he warned that there may not be a significant upside as supply had only just begun meeting demand. In any case, with the holiday shopping season on in full swing, the news comes at the right time for Apple, which is expecting big things from this quarter. Its first fiscal quarter has always been a key one for the company, and this positive development will ease some investor concerns about sales figures come January.

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