High demand for iPhone 3G S exceeds limited pre-order supply

San Francisco (CA) – AT&T and Best Buy have reportedly exhausted their pre-order allotments of the i-Phone 3G S. The long-awaited phone is expected to be available in stores on Friday, June 19.  However, pre-orders placed after June 13 could take up to two weeks to arrive at their destination.

Although Apple experienced an inventory shortage after launching the iPhone 3G in 2008, Technology Business Research analyst Ezra Gottheil doubts that Club Cupertino will face similar problems with the 3G S.  

“I wouldn’t expect the kind of inventory problems Apple had last year,” Gottheil told ComputerWorld. According to Gottheil, the 3G S is unlikely to match the sales figures of the original 3G. Indeed, Apple claimed to have sold one million units over a three-day period following the July launch of the shiny device.   

The iPhone 3G S is priced at $200 for a 16GB model and $300 for the 32GB version. The 3G S – which offers improved performance along with longer battery life – supports OpenGL ES 2.0 and utilizes 7.2 Mbps HSDPA to achieve faster networking speeds.

As TG Daily previously reported, Apple may have “accidentally” obscured the true cost of its iPhone 3G S, as the above-mentioned price points are applicable only to new and qualifying customers. Indeed, current iPhone 3G owners will be forced to cough up $600 for a new 16GB 3G S and $700 for the 32GB model.

Although alternative upgrade pricing is reportedly available at $399 and $499, AT&T can be expected to charge a $175 fee for the cancellation of active iPhone contracts. The company has also stipulated a 90 day waiting period before the initiation of a new contract.

In addition, MMS support will be available only in late summer, while 3G S owners will have to wait until the latter part of 2009 for tethering abilities. Similarly, the iPhone 3G S is capable of reaching speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps, but the required HSDPA technology will only be fully available in 2011.