According to report on ITWeb, customers have experienced delays and non-delivery of the device that went on sale in SA on 14 December 2012.
There were queues of up to 100 people for the device on launch day, with several stores have to admit that they had fewer than 20 in stock.
Core Group, local distributors for Apple devices, said that there was an increased demand for the sixth generation of the device, but could not provide accurate figures.
"iStore has seen unprecedented demand for iPhone 5 since launch, both in terms of customers purchasing for cash as well as on cellular contracts. iStore has seen far better availability of the product compared to previous launches and we expect to have good availability going forward," Core told News24.
News24 users also commented on the availability of the iPhone.
"Apple/Core Dropped the ball again here in SA, stores only get there stock next week now, making Vodacom look bad as they where expecting there stock this week. Instead of stores receiving 100's of phones apple are delivering 10's..." (sic) wrote a user called RyanCraigWilson on the launch date.
Another user hinted that the delay was a deliberate business strategy.
"Stores with heaps of stock doesn't make headline and doesn't make the people want it more. All of the people reading about iPhones being sold out in a few hours make for good headlines thus Apple looks good, which they are!! You don't hear about Samsung being sold out in mere hours and people queuing for hours, and being on waiting lists for weeks to get it," wrote lindi.retief.
Vodacom said that the new iPhone was largely successful, despite some hiccups.
"The new iPhone 5 has been a big hit with our customers over the holiday season. We've largely been able to keep up with demand, although some specific models, particularly the higher capacity ones, have been harder to come by. But we’re expecting more stock to arrive in the next few weeks," Nomsa Thusi, executive head of Media - Products and Services at Vodacom told News24.