I just love that planned obsolescence … and inventory reductions!

iPhone sold out online

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) — Apple Inc. said Monday its online stores in the U.S. and U.K. are sold out of the iPhone, a sign supplies are being winnowed ahead of the launch of the device’s next generation featuring faster Internet surfing speeds.

The iPhone is out of stock online, but brick-and-mortar stores run by Apple and AT&T might still have units.

The Cupertino-based company confirmed that the iPhone is out of stock online, but added that brick-and-mortar stores run by Apple and iPhone carriers including AT&T Inc. might still have units available.

Apple spokeswoman Natalie Kerris declined to comment on reasons for the shortage and on Apple’s plans for an update to the device, which is widely expected to be unveiled in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The paucity of iPhones for sale in some markets comes as Apple is hustling to meet its goal of selling 10 million of the hybrid iPod-cell phone-Internet surfing gadgets by the end of 2008. So far, Apple has sold 5.4 million iPhones, according to the latest data as of the end of March.

One way Apple’s expanding the iPhone’s reach is by inking deals with wireless carriers around the world, even breaking with its pattern of requiring exclusivity to sell in a certain country.

Yeah … I’m an Apple/Mac/iPod geek … but far from being an early adopter, I tend to wait until at least the second generation of a product comes out before buying.

My first computer was an Apple ][+ … my first Mac was the 512K (rather than the original 128K) FatMac … my first iMac was a mid-generation “flavor” … my first iPod was a 3rd gen, and my first Nano was a 2nd gen … and my current MacBook is a late 2007 model.

I’ve been wanting an iPhone since they were first introduced, but as always I know that there will be more features on the 2nd generation. The current inventory reduction (and corresponding “shortages”) will only serve to increase demand in advance of the introduction of the 2nd generation iPhone later this summer.

And at that point, it’ll be time to jump the Verizon ship and head over to AT&T and get me some iPhone action, baby. While I’m tempted to say I can’t wait, obviously I can, since I have to this point … so suffice it to say that I am giddy with anticipation.