Early demand for the new Apple iPhone 3G S has been huge, with O2 and Carphone Warehouse high street and online stores running out of stock.
Staff at both retailers claim handsets sales on contract have been “phenomenal”, exceeding previous iPhone sales. Many staff have turned customers away as they await new stock deliveries.
All O2 stores and many Carphone Warehouse stores in London are currently out of stock of the iPhone 3G S handset.
O2 and Carphone Warehouse online stores have also seen stock run dry, with O2 currently informing customers both the 32GB and 16GB versions of the device in black and white are currently unavailable.
The Carphone Warehouse website makes a similar statement, offering customers the ability to pre order the 16GB version in either colour, although the 32GB is still currently available.
Stores are expected to receive new stock before the weekend.
A number of O2 staff claimed on the day it was launched, many stores had sold more than 100 devices, with the majority selling out completely by the weekend.
Staff are having to continually request emergency orders to continuously replenish stock, or search for stock in other stores to perform a stock transfer to maintain sales.
One O2 staffer said: “Every store is out of stock. Demand doesn’t seem to slow down, as soon as we get them in they seem to go in an instant, and when we do get stock, other stores are calling us to see if we can send it to them to sell.”
A Carphone staffer said: “Sales have been constant; it’s by far the most popular handset we sell right now. The discount we offer using trade in has helped us though.”
Carphone Warehouse chief Andrew Harrison said: “The launch has gone incredibly well for us with sales of the iPhone 3GS surpassing even our expectations.
“We received 18,000 pre-registration enquiries for the handset, which is the best response of any handset we have had. Stores across the country opened from 7.30am onwards and we’ve seen streams of customers through our doors.”
An O2 spokesperson said: “Sales have been fantastic. We sold 50 per cent more on the opening day than we did at launch last year.”