News of the tightening of the iPhone 3GS’ supply are emerging ahead of the strongly rumored iPhone 4S/5 launch, today.
The iPhone 3GS was launched in mid-2009, being marketed as a faster version of the iPhone 3G. It is now more than 2 years old meaning that it is about time for it to retire from retail stores, receive an extra year of software support from Apple and then finally be left alone altogether like the iPhone 2G and 3G.
The news comes from 9to5Mac which received a tip from a person at a store of wireless carrier Orange UK in London which states that “the iPhone 3GS is currently unavailable, we’ll keep you updated”.
9to5Mac cites several “reliable sources” which reportedly state that the iPhone 3GS is disappearing from stock databases with very little expected supply for the coming weeks.
We have heard from reliable sources at a major European iPhone carrier that stock of the iPhone 3GS is unusually low, with little stock coming through for the next few weeks. An accurate source at a major U.S. based iPhone reseller also reported to us that stock of the iPhone 3GS is significantly lower than usual. In addition, this source says, similarly to what our European carriers sources reported, that no iPhone 3GS shipments are coming through to several districts in the United States. On top of all of this, an accurate source with a hand in Apple’s global channel shipping operations reports that shipments of the 3GS are rapidly decreasing with a little amount of units remaining in the channel.
Such kind of tightened shipments only take place when Apple has something new to introduce and if we put two and two together, we’ll find that there is a very high chance of this being done in preparation for the launch of the next-generation iPhone.
Apple is expected to either start selling the 3GS for free with a contract or completely do away with it to make room for the rumored iPhone 4S which will be a cheaper, low-end smartphone targeted at folks who can’t afford expensive phone. This rumor is supported by Apple COO Tim Cook himself who has categorically stated that Apple doesn’t want their iPhone to be for the rich and wealthy only.
If Apple does actually announce the low-end iPhone 4S with the high-end iPhone 5, it will make for a great lineup that will help Apple continue its domination in the smartphone market.