Pre-orders for the Apple Inc's sub-premium iPhone 5C have been modest and available inventory levels for the handset and its co-launched premium model the 5S have been disappointing, Reuters reported.
An insider at a US wireless carrier described interest in Apple's budget 5C handset as "not overwhelming".
Four US carriers - AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile - will form the main route to market for the new handsets. The 5S is available for as little as $199 with a contract, while the cheaper 5C will go for $99. Both phones will be available in several territories from Friday, although the UAE will not be among them.
Critics of the budget model have focused on its unsubsidised price tag, reportedly over $500 in the US and over $700 in China, the very market Apple needs to crack in order to shoulder its way towards smartphone rival Samsung Electronics.