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AT&T also running dry of iPhones, offering refurbs

post #1 of 21
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With a little over three weeks to go before Apple's annual developers conference -- the same forum used to introduce the iPhone 3G last year -- AT&T is reportedly running out of current models and won't be restocking. (Updated with AT&T's official stance)

"I just got off the phone with AT&T regarding the death of my wife's iPhone and the customer service rep informed me they are no longer selling new iPhone 3G," said one subscriber familiar with the situation. "They have refurbs for sale."

Ask why there were no more iPhone 3Gs available, the representative for the exclusive U.S. carrier told the subscriber, who dialed 611 from his other AT&T handset, that he wasn't privy to details. The representative added, however, that he was told not to expect any additional stock of iPhone 3Gs.

(What's not clear is whether AT&T is holding back some remaining stock of new iPhone 3Gs for new customers who want to join the carrier's network for the first time.)

It's no secret that Apple is drawing down iPhone inventories ahead of third-generation hardware that is now increasingly looking as if it will be introduced on June 8th during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference, with availability likely to follow a few weeks later.

A little over a week ago, Apple made a move to clear some of its own iPhone 3G inventory by opening up sales of the handset to its online store customers, something it hasn't done since phasing out the original iPhone last spring. Meanwhile, it was reported just this week that one of the company's distributors in Australia has just a "few" weeks of inventory left and that the 16GB model has been officially discontinued.

Similar iPhone shortages cropped up last year in the weeks and months leading up to the introduction of the iPhone 3G.

Update: AT&T spokesman Brad Mays denies any shortage and claims that sales representatives provided "incorrect information," but doesn't elaborate further.
post #2 of 21
Umm... duh?
post #3 of 21
WWDC is just over two weeks away, not three. 17 days, actually... not that I'm counting :-\\
post #4 of 21
Seems to me like there selling like hot-cakes.
post #5 of 21
Yeah, I can't wait to see what Munster (http://daringfireball.net/linked/200...et-iphone-apis) has to say after they give a release date and details of the 3rd gen iPhone in a couple weeks.
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post #6 of 21
What was the 'drought time' [out of stock] last year?

Wasn't it in the region of 8 -12 weeks? Trimming it down to less than two weeks suggests so very accurate forecasting in the markets being mentioned.

Mind you, in 2008 the down turn wasn't visible. If we were in a more buoyant market perhaps the drought would have been more similar to last year!
post #7 of 21
Get ready! Time of "Long Queues" is round the corner!
Its will be even more appealing in Pre's presence!
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post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by striker_kk View Post

Get ready! Time of "Long Queues" is round the corner!
Its will be even more appealing in Pre's presence!

Last year with the 3G iPhone, AT&T stores cited a 2-3 week delay, but Apple Stores had them in stock most of the time. You just had to fill out Apple's "reservation" form and you could usually pick one up the next day.

Of course, I don't know if it will be similar with the 3G -> G3 transition this time.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

Umm... duh?

The real shocker would be if Apple said, "We're making too much money, so we're going to discontinue the iPhone outright."
post #10 of 21
There is no drought. Our local store has them and you can order them online, too.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by awmawm View Post

There is no drought. Our local store has them and you can order them online, too.

But that's not as exciting a story, so .... (sweeps under rug)...

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post #12 of 21
If Apple actually has new iPhones ready to sell on opening day of the keynote, I guess running out about now would make sense.

But I thought most folks figured the new phone would be announced but not ready for release till early July, in which case running out now would be crazy.
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post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

If Apple actually has new iPhones ready to sell on opening day of the keynote, I guess running out about now would make sense.

But I thought most folks figured the new phone would be announced but not ready for release till early July, in which case running out now would be crazy.

I hope its the day of the keynote, but I think that it would be pretty impossible for Apple to get 5 million(?) iPhones to 91 countries in Apple and carrier stores for sale that day while keeping it secret. Its too high-profile and Apple has gotten too big to pull those stunts with many of their items. Apple is better offer controlling the release hype and letting people plan for it, especially if means changing carriers. Plus, the device usually sells first starting from the release day from the International Date Line.
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post #14 of 21
If everyone is running out I would hope they'd release it somewhere near WWDC. I still think it will not be released at WWDC, but a couple of weeks afterwards. Or if its released, they won't ship until the end of the month.
post #15 of 21
Right, so we better hope that the idea that iPhones are in short supply now is at least a little exaggerated, because Apple doesn't really need to go a month or two without being able to sell phones.

Of course, the thinking might be that few people are going to buy a current iPhone anyway, with the new model generally understood to be just around the corner, but I wouldn't think that good inventory management means going completely dry six weeks or so before you can replenish the channel.

I dunno. Maybe they reckon it builds "pent up demand", or something.
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post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

If Apple actually has new iPhones ready to sell on opening day of the keynote, I guess running out about now would make sense.
.

You think?
Why wouldn't they? Even if by the end of June?
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Right, so we better hope that the idea that iPhones are in short supply now is at least a little exaggerated, because Apple doesn't really need to go a month or two without being able to sell phones.

Well, that's what Apple did last year. They ran out long before WWDC, and then the 3G wasn't available for another month. Hopefully, they learned from that and did a better forecast this year.

From an AAPL stockholder point of view, I'm hoping for iPhone release in June, as Apple has not been recording any iPhone sales as revenue since iPhone 3.0 was announced in March, and won't until iPhone 3.0 is released (which will be around the same time as the new iPhone is available). If it's released in June, then all that revenue gets recorded in this quarter, otherwise, it's delayed into next quarter. Given the stupidity of analysts, they'll overlook this, and Apple's revenue and income will fall way short of their estimates, and AAPL gets whacked hard. (The only silver lining here is that the deferred revenue from the last two years will show up as revenue and offset this somewhat.)
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post #18 of 21
um...Can a new iPhone even realistically ship before the 3.0 software is ready? Seems like that has a few (<2) months beta testing to go?
post #19 of 21
I could see the well running dry on the current model around the middle of June and the new model being released the first week of July. A three week drought doesn't seem unreasonable, particularly since sales of the old model are likely already tapering off.

But if they're already running out and the new model doesn't appear to mid to late July, that just seems like too long a time to go without product to sell.
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post #20 of 21
The 16gb has been EOLed up here in Canada too. I hope when the new one comes out fido doesn't dick me around about letting me buy it so I can give my current 8gb to my gf.
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post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by markb View Post

um...Can a new iPhone even realistically ship before the 3.0 software is ready? Seems like that has a few (<2) months beta testing to go?

Sure it can. Last year I expect Apple to release the iPhone 3G with OS X v2.0 before they released it for the original iPhone, but they released it at the same time, along with MobileMe and the App Store. All those combined caused a lot of problems and made Apple look bad. We still hear about how MobileMe doesnt work despite working great for nearly a year now.

Since that launch Apple has staggered most of their released very well. The first two iPhone releases really only differentiated in capacity offerings, case design and radio types. All the major components were mostly the same so releasing v2.0 for both devices did make sense. This time around the iPhone will have a lot of new HW components that would make a staggered release of OS X v3.0 more likely since the external betas used by developers will test the same for low level code like they did last year.
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