Apple’s iPhone shortage due to supply issues or prepping for new model?

“Recent shortages of iPhones at Apple stores and long order times through Apple’s online store have industry analysts debating about whether the company is trying to clear inventory and shelf space in advance of releasing the next version of the iPhone,” Rex Crum reports for MarketWatch.

“Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray said that a random sample of 20 Apple retail stores across the United States found no availability of iPhones, while lead times remained at between five and seven days for ordering the devices from Apple’s online store. Munster outlined two likely reasons for the iPhone being out of stock at the Apple stores: A new version of the iPhone is coming earlier than expected [80% chance], or there are production and manufacturing issues that are preventing Apple from keeping its stores supplied with iPhones [20% chance],” Crum reports.

“American Technology Research analyst Shaw Wu concurred with some of Munster’s thoughts about Apple gearing up for a 3G iPhone release. He said checks with supply-chain sources suggest that the iPhone will go through a product transition during June and July, which is earlier than his prior forecasts for a 3G release later in the year,” Crum reports.

“Wu also said he believes Apple has stepped up the timetable for a 3G iPhone, because ‘iPhone inventory levels appear fairly lean, which is consistent with Apple tendency to wind down inventory ahead of an update.’ He holds a buy rating on Apple’s stock and said that he remains ‘confident” the company will reach its goal of selling 10 million iPhones this year,'” Crum reports.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Bill C.” for the heads up.]

17 Comments

  1. No one is giving any credence to Apple simply running lean inventory levels, with consumer demand for iPhone hitting a strong uptick in the last month, causing a temporary shortage.

    Why this can’t be possible, but rumored manufacturing issues, or some magical 3G iPhone can be simply makes no sense.

    Include an obvious 3rd possibility, or don’t talk about anything. Spin reigns…

  2. The new 3G iPhones already arrived three days ago. We just haven’t noticed them yet, because they’re in a special RDF shielding, which will be suddenly removed at the most dramatic time possible for maximum effect.

  3. Here in the UK the Apple store still says Ready to ship within 24 hrs.

    I have no idea of 2G figures sold here in the UK but I for one, and I know of a lot of friends who are waiting for a 3G model to arrive. My current device supports 3.5G which is fast.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if a 3G iPhone wasn’t released in the UK first, but I feel this won’t be until at least September at the earliest.

  4. This is a fun mystery. So many are waiting for 3G. 2G supply is short. Apple has a pattern of drying up inventory prior to a new product announcement. They don’t usually run short of inventory otherwise. I think they have cut production back. Maybe to ramp up for the new phone. But, when will it appear? Will it be very soon or does it take a while to do this? It is possible to leave most aspects of the phone the same and simply use a different chip? In this case it could be very soon.

  5. I suspect Apple has pushed up the release of a 3G iPhone simply because the demand for it in international markets seems to be large.

    Perception often equals (or replaces) reality.

    If people believe 3G is that much faster than EDGE and they’re holding off on buying an iPhone until a 3G is available, then Apple is smart to push up a release date.

  6. inventory is low because demand is low. apple is trying to cut their losses. they don’t care if they miss the random sale of one or two units? steve ballmer knew what he was talking about. the iphone is the most expensive phone on the market – ever, and it doesn’t have a keyboard which makes it not a very good email device. now, it may sell well or not – what’s the expression, “let’s see how the competition goes”…?

    (for all of those who insist that ZuneTang is an apple-hater, this has been a sarcastic post)

  7. Wow, just got back from the Natick MA Apple store and during the ten minutes I was their saw four iPhones purchased. The concierge said that they only had a few 8gb phones left and was unsure when they would be getting more. So much for slow sales.

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