O2 has dismissed suggestions that it is on a collision course with Apple over stock shortages of the in-demand 3G iPhone.
Apple stores have a seemingly abundant supply of the device, while O2 and Carphone Warehouse appear to have been left in the cold, after suffering a lengthy wait to be supplied with a second batch.
When Mobile revealed before the launch (Mobile, 4 July) that 3G iPhone stock would be in short supply, a high-ranking O2 source admitted that the operator was surprised at the early global release date.
The source said that O2 had been put on the back foot by Apple’s plan.
The latest developments are unlikely to have improved the relationship between the two companies.
Apple staff told Mobile that the store would not run out of stock on the 8GB or 16GB 3G iPhone at any point, even though there was still more than a two-and-a-half hour queuing time in the Regent Street store some five days after the device was released.
An O2 spokesperson denied that the issue had caused resentment between the companies. He said: ‘Apple can’t do upgrades in their store, so that’s one of the reasons we have sold out more quickly. Every O2 store in the country had stock.
‘We were expecting a huge demand and we’re confident that we will fulfil demand by the end of the summer.’
However, the problems of low stock, and both O2 and Apple’s system hitches, haven’t failed to dampen demand for the 3G iPhone.
The device has so far lived up to the hype in terms of consumer demand; with Apple claiming to have sold over one million 3G iPhones in just three days after the device was launched.
This compares favourably with the original version of the device, which took 74 days to sell one million handsets, according to Apple.