updated 10:17 am EDT, Tue September 24, 2013
Limited retail supply may be to blame
Apple has pulled the Personal Pickup option from web and app-based orders for the iPhone 5s, shoppers point out. The option appeared just yesterday, making it unusual that Apple would rescind it so quickly. Personal Pickup lets people buy a device online, but then claim it at a local Apple Store.
The change is unexplained, but likely related to low stocks of the 5s. If retail units are claimed by online shoppers, that can potentially leave few if any units left for walk-in customers. It remains difficult in some places to buy a 5s on-demand, particularly if it's not a 16GB space gray model.