5/13/08
9:19 am

iPhone Out Of Stock? What is Apple Up To?

Most of the news in the Apple world in the last few days has been about the iPhone being out of stock both online and in Apple stores. The general wisdom points to this being an indicator of a new iPhone model coming out soon. For weeks now, there have been rumors that a new iPhone model will be released at the WWDC on June 9.
But there could be other explanations as well. This could simply be a manufacturing oversight on Apple’s part. They simply ran out of iPhones. Or, it could be a planned shortage, designed to boost demand. Sort of like the strategy everyone believes that Nintendo uses, controlling the supply of the Wii.
Or it could be something in the middle. It could be that a new iPhone model is coming out, but that it isn’t a 3G iPhone, but simply one with more memory.
It does seem to be a bit early for Apple to run out of stock if they don’t plan on releasing another iPhone until June 9. Some are speculating that a new iPhone is coming out but that it will actually come out before June 9, perhaps even in the next week or so.
None of this really fits into an obvious pattern that Apple has followed before. So perhaps, later this week, the iPhones will reappear in Apple stores with no explanation. We will never know the cause of the shortage.
But if that were true, why would Apple list the iPhone as being out of stock? Instead they would list the iPhone as simply shipping in 2-3 weeks or something like that. Then they would fill orders as they received more stock.
It does seem a bit early for Apple to come out with a completely new hardware for the iPhone. A release on June 9, would mean a second generation of hardware in less than a year. Plus, the main new feature rumored to be in the second-generation iPhone is the ability to communicate with faster 3G networks. But the reason this wasn’t in the original iPhone was because there was no low-power chip available to communicate with 3G networks. I would have thought that we would have heard rumors of a chip manufacturer delivering a new low powered 3G chip to Apple before this happened.
Adding to all this is the fact that Apple seems ready to roll out iPhones in some new countries. If the original iPhone is truly at the end of its life, then they surely won’t use that in these new markets. Which means a second-generation iPhone must be just around the corner.
I’m going to go out on limb and say that the iPhone shortage is caused by all the factors above. On the one hand, Apple didn’t make enough first-generation iPhones. But, they don’t mind a shortage as it will increase demand. This also prevents people from buying old iPhones just when a new iPhone is about to come out, which could lead to returns and exchanges.

Comments: One Response to “iPhone Out Of Stock? What is Apple Up To?”

    7/1/08 @ 7:30 am

    My husband bought me the iPhone in middle of May 2008 and now 3-4 weeks later we find out there is a new iPhone coming out. I got myself on the list to get the 3G iPhone. Do you think it is worth exchanging? He paid four hundred dollars or so and now this new one is 199.00. They said they got me in under buyer remorse and I can exchange it on July 11. I sure hope they give me the balance of the money also with this. What do you think??

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