updated 03:45 pm EDT, Thu July 24, 2008
AT&T, O2 iPhone deliveries
AT&T can now offer a specific timeframe for the availability of iPhone 3Gs, the company has announced -- although it may be out of the carrier's hands as Apple struggles to provide enough inventory for the popular device. The US partner carrier notes that due to demand, "many" people have been buying iPhone 3Gs through its direct fulfillment (raincheck) program, in which customers pay in advance and are told they can pick up a phone after it arrives. At present, the company says, these people are receiving their iPhones an average of 13 or 14 days after their order.
This timing is not guaranteed however, and is said to be tightly associated with the particular capacity and color a person chooses. 16GB models have traditionally been harder to find that the cheaper 8GB ones, and white 16GB phones have typically been even rarer due to greater production of black.
AT&T has meanwhile posted an order status page, which lets people track how close they are to actually receiving an iPhone. The device has been in almost continuous short supply in the US since its July 11th launch, a fact which has compounded the level of consumer anger triggered by serious activation problems.
UK carrier O2 has also posted an update on iPhone 3G availability. The company says that it is out of stock online, but still has some in stores scattered around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. A list of stores is being updated daily. Unusually, 8GB phones are said to be in "very limited" quantity, but stock of all versions is expected to increase dramatically as of July 25th.