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Lines still long for iPhone 3G and could be for 2-4 more weeks

by Joel Evans
Today marks one week since the iPhone 3G went on sale. I waited in line but at least there was a 16GB black iPhone 3G at the end of it. We’re now receiving reports of continued long lines, and at the end of those lines people are either being turned away because of a store closing for the night, or because of stock issues. In some cases people are being left with only an 8GB black or a 16GB white.

As of mid-afternoon yesterday, MacLife was reporting upwards of a two hour wait outside some Apple stores. As for AT&T, most of the stores are out of stock and probably will be for a while.

Apple has a supply checking tool available after 9:00 p.m. each night, which as of this writing was showing a bunch of places out of stock. Not surprisingly though, NYC was going strong with supply so expect really long lines in NYC tomorrow.

According to TUAW, Wednesday night only 17 stores worldwide had the black 16GB version available. As of Thursday night, it does look like Apple restocked a bunch of their larger stores, so make sure to check the tool before you decide which store to line up in front of.

Will these supply issues continue? Gene Munster, an analyst at Peiper Jaffray & Co., thinks so. Not only that but he believes that early demand was more than Apple had expected and the shortage will continue for another two to four weeks.

When I went to buy my 16GB Black, I paused for a moment and thought about buying two (requiring a family plan) at which point the Apple employee brought over a second 16GB Black for me. If only I had pulled the trigger. :-)

I’ve been following the twitter activity around the iPhone 3G and it’s pretty impressive to see the overwhelmingly positive response it’s receiving, even from people who have had numerous crashes (myself included) because of either buggy 2.0 software or buggy applications from the App Store.

I’m sure eventually the hype will die down and the supply will be replenished. I’m not sure which will happen first, though.

Read more about the supply issues and lines at MacLife and TUAW.

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