Turns out the iPhone shortage isn’t limited to New York Apple stores: Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster called 20 Apple (AAPL) stores nationwide today — and all of them were sold out of iPhones. In a note, Munster says the lead time for iPhones on Apple.com is still “5-7 days.”
What does this mean? Munster floats two potential explanations: He thinks there’s a 20% chance that Apple is having production/manufacturing issues with its phone.
More likely, he says: There’s an 80% chance that Apple will launch a new phone sooner than expected. Don’t expect anything revolutionary, he notes — probably the same $400 iPhone with a faster, “3G” Internet connection. “We do not expect a radical form factor change and see the new version as looking similar to the existing iPhone.”
Possible? Sure. We’re not well versed in the FCC’s rules, but we were under the impression that Apple would have to get separate approval for its 3G iPhone than it has for its existing model. And the FCC hasn’t approved any Apple phones lately. Most reports peg a May or June launch for a 3G iPhone. (Apple’s iPhone software update is scheduled for June, which seems a smart time to update the hardware, too.)
Update: A tipster says: A source at one of the NYC stores says resellers are buying as many iPhones as they can get their hands on, which is causing some of the shortages. Makes sense, given the crappy dollar and high demand in China for unlocked iPhones.
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