IPhone 3G in Short Supply in Many Apple Stores

If you still haven't grabbed yourself an iPhone 3G, you may be in for a hard time, depending on where in the U.S. you're looking. Fortune's Apple 2.0 blog reports that former PR man Jim Neal took the time to check Apple's iPhone availability checker for every single retail store in the United States.

According to Mr. Neal's results, 117 Apple Stores are completely out of stock on all models of the iPhone 3G. Only 27 stores had all three models, leaving 44 stores with some models left (take your chances). But that also means that fully 21 states are totally bereft of any and all iPhones, unless you are prepared to mug someone (disclaimer: iPhone Central does not advise engaging in criminal activities. Even to get an iPhone. Even if you really want one.).

So if you live in Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Tennessee (sorry, Tennessee), Utah, Washington, or Wisconsin, you're going to have to wait until your ship comes in. That being the ship full of iPhones that is no doubt somewhere in the Pacific Ocean at this very moment. Which, come to think of it, sounds like the beginning of a bad Steven Seagal movie--wait, is "bad Steven Seagal movie" redundant?

We also note with interest that of the top ten most populous states in the country, only one--Michigan--is on that list, leading us to believe that Apple is apportioning its iPhone stock. And in case you're thinking of trying to sneak over to an AT&T Store, don't bother: a company spokesperson told Forbes that their stores were pretty much entirely sold out on day one, which jibes with what I was hearing when I was in line.

Of course, since Apple's page recommends checking the availability of iPhones after 9PM the night before, we may have to revise stock estimates this evening. Maybe Jim can do that for us. If he's not too busy checking all 700 channels of his cable to see if there's anything on worth watching.

But here's what worries me the most about this story: my dad. No, he's probably not going to get an iPhone. But he's thinking about retiring sometime in the near future, and I'd really like him to find a hobby that doesn't involve scanning through 188 different web pages to find out whether there are any iPhones in stock. Suggestions?

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