Apple has issued a statement to several media outlets, including TechCrunch, on the extremely limited availability of iPhone 7 Plus, and of Jet Black in all models, at launch this Friday:
That's a stark contrast to previous years where it always seemed like Apple held some stock back from the pre-orders to ensure availability at retail. It does follow a pattern, however, of Apple de-emphasizing in-store launch in favor of the online pre-orders.
The huge lineups were great publicity for Apple and demonstrable signs of the popularity of iPhone, but they weren't a great experience for customers who had to get in line days early at times, or risk sellouts and settle for a model that wasn't exactly what they'd wanted.
Carriers and big boxes may or may not have any iPhones 7 Plus or any iPhones 7 in Jet Black, but it doesn't seem likely, and even if they do, they'll probably be extremely scarce.
Either way, if you want Jet Black or an iPhone 7 Plus for certain, you'll need to order online ASAP to get in the queue. If you want an iPhone 7 in silver, gold, rose gold, or matte black, you can still try and line up super early, or likewise order online ASAP.
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Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.