As previously mentioned, US Apple Store's have been surprisingly (or suspiciously) out of iPhone stock lately.
Some have speculated that this is due to the immanent release of a 3G iPhone, others have cited atypical supply chain management issues, component shortages, or shipping problems.
In a long post based on info from an anonymous source nom-de-tip'd, Tantrum, Roughly Drafted brings a third option to the table: Pirates. (JAR!)
“Demand for iPhones outside the United States, particularly in emerging markets, is out of control and has reached the point where it has started to impact Apple’s normalized supply chain projections,” Tantrum wrote. “It’s okay to have a delta of, say, 100,000 units or so per year between actual and forecast. International demand is driving that delta upwards of 1 million. That’s a whole different ball game for component sourcing, quality control and production ramp-up and some things are starting to come unstuck, even for a finely managed company like Apple.”
Tantrum mentions 5 specific reasons for the increased international demand:
Ease of jailbreak/unlock with new GUI-based solution. Organizations specializing in getting iPhones into Eastern Europe and Asia. Spread of Wi-Fi and EDGE being "good enough" in most countries. GSM compatibility. Low price (due to weak American dollar and high local smartphone costs).
There's much more in the original post, so be sure to check it out. Could the pirates (JAR!) be sucking the US channels dry? Or is this just another crazy theory in face of the impending 3G monster birthing any minute now? What do you think?