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Shortage story just keeps on morphing



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When Gene Munster said the current iPhone shortage was the prelude to a new product release, the blogsphere erupted with peels of joy—here's a man who knows what we want.

A mere 24 hours later and the collective wisdom has turned against any such rosy speculation.

RBC Capital's Mike Abramsky (Barron's) has added his own twist to the evolving story of why US Apple Stores can't keep the iPhone in stock—Apple's not making enough because it underestimated demand.

“Rather than from component shortages [Ed—Bernstein Research] or ahead of a 3G launch, Apple may have under-estimated post-holiday demand on expectations of a [calendar] Q1 sales slowdown, which never materialized,” says Abramsky. “Apple and investors have struggled to forecast iPhone demand, including the impact of unlocked phones and seasonality.”

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And, here's where a thread from the recent past can be drawn in bolster Abramsky's argument. Back in early February, there were contradictory reports coming out of Taiwan saying that iPhone orders were holding steading, experiencing volatility and / or had been cut.

For their part, the lads at iPod Observer think that the US dollar's low value is a contributing factor, as well (ie gray marketers are buying "cheap" US iPhones and selling them overseas).

Taken altogether—bad forecasting, high demand, rabid gray market—and we've got reasonable explanation...

What's your take?

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