updated 10:45 pm EDT, Tue July 8, 2008
iPhone shortages expected
Carriers around the world are expecting shortages of Apple's iPhone, with saying they will be sold out in "minutes" and others indicating that the crunch could last for weeks. In a cautionary message to potential iPhone buyers, Britain's O2 says a rush of customers, ordering as many 13,000 per second, brought down its online orders for iPhone 3G: "We just weren't prepared for this unprecedented level of demand," the company said in a memo. "No website is." The British carrier, however, said that stock is limited due to the simultaneous launch of the iPhone in 22-nations -- and while Apple's head of retail Ron Johnson has tried to allay concerns -- especially in the US, where inventory is expected to be greater -- O2 believes that Apple retail locations will absorb most of the iPhone 3G inventory and that only a "small proportion" of its interested 200,000 customers would be able to get one at launch.
A "few dozen" iPhones are expected at each O2 or Carphone Warehouse location on July 11th, with new shipments coming once a week for sometime thereafter.
Meanwhile, Australian and New Zealand carriers are saying that they could be sold out "within minutes."
Telstra Vodaphone and Optus will get less than 80,000 iPhones to sell between them and are expecting to post sold out signs "within minutes of the new phones going on sale," according to a new report. "There is not enough to go round and each carrier could have less than 25,000 units for sale on July 11th," one carrier told Smarthouse.
Another Vodaphone executive, who preferred to be anonymous, said that it "will have next to nothing in allocation" and that what limited inventory it will have "will be snapped up within minutes."
In the US, both Apple and AT&T have posted details for customers on what to bring with them.