updated 12:30 pm EDT, Sat May 10, 2008
iPhone Gone in US and UK
Apple has quietly updated its online Apple Store in both the US and the UK to stop orders of the iPhone, marking the first time the company has ceased orders altogether since the iPhone's launch last year. Both 8GB and 16GB versions are listed as "currently unavailable" and are not given estimates for when they should return to the ordering system.
The void in Apple's stock follows a period of steadily deepening supply issues both online and at retail, with the US web store regularly listing a delay of five to seven business days for all new orders and both American and British physical outlets reporting frequent, though not always sustained, shortages of the devices at their stores in recent weeks. O2 in Britain had once reported an excess supply but has since reported that a promotional price cut has quickly drained inventory, including the non-discounted 16GB model.
Multiple analysts have labeled the international shortages as evidence of the build-up to a 3G iPhone launch caused by Apple ramping down production for current models as it transitions to manufacturing the phone's more advanced replacement.