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O2 runs dry of iPhone 3GS stock

updated 10:55 am EDT, Thu October 1, 2009

Part of continuing global trend

O2's UK division has temporarily run out of the iPhone 3GS, according to the Telegraph. Both the 16 and 32GB models are no longer available from the company's online store, and most physical outlets are said to have been without phones for two weeks. Supplies of the 32GB model were only depleted on or after September 28th.

An O2 spokesman attributes the shortage to "extremely high levels of demand," such that resupplies can quickly disappear. Indeed the company has experienced more than one sellout since the 3GS launch, in spite of promises from Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer that the company would work to address continuing supply problems around the world. Staff from a London O2 store say that the carrier should have more iPhones at retail by the end of this week, or possibly the beginning of the next.

The shortages may raise questions about plans for even more iPhone carriers in the UK, in the form of Orange this year and Vodafone in 2010. A research director at Forrester Research suggests, however, that Apple will probably expand its supply chain to cope. "I don't think it would expand if it couldn't meet consumer demand, as that would lead to extreme consumer dissatisfaction -- which compared to its peers, Apple is usually good at avoiding," says Mark Mulligan.

by MacNN Staff





  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This demand is nothing short of

    INCREDIBLE. Can demand be that high that Foxconn can't keep up production rates? At one point they were supposedly producing a rate to meet 14 to 15 million iPhones for 2008 down from 18 million. This was undoubtedly before China Unicom's demand and probably before the App Store became a super-sensation. Foxconn at one point was churning out 800,000 iPhones a week (3.2 million iPhones a month). Can demand really exceed that level?

    I'm willing to bet Apple sells at least 8 million iPhones this quarter ending Oct. 19th even with shortages. I can only imagine that the next quarter, their normally best holiday quarter, Apple will sell even more. I wonder how the iPod Touches are moving. It's going to be hard for Foxconn to keep cranking those babies out since I think they were working above 100% production rates. My two hopes now are that the Chinese love and can afford the iPhone and that the Apple tablet becomes a runaway success.

    The speculation that if the iPhone is released from its carrier exclusivity and sales could double is just making me start to shake. That's an awful lot of revenue.

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