The iPhone 4 madness may have not crested yet.
With online orders suspended by AT&T and Apple boasting that it sold more than 600,000 in less than 24 hours last week, you don't have to be a soothsayer to say that the iPhone 4 is in short-shorter-shortest supply.
So how do you -- procrastinator that you are, or just unlucky when the ordering system collapsed last week -- score a new iPhone on Thursday?
With difficulty, it seems.
But you do have options.
Where can I get an iPhone 4? Looks like your best bet is an Apple retail store.
Apple doesn't disclose the quantity of inventory on hand, and what with the pre-order sell-out and then the ensuing delivery date push-back for online order -- Apple now says it won't ship new orders until July 14 -- they may be in short supply Thursday.
What about AT&T? Won't its stores have them on hand? Nope.
Tuesday, the U.S. carrier said it would not have any iPhone 4s for sale to walk-in customers on Thursday.
"AT&T plans to have iPhone 4 inventory -- available on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last -- on June 29 in its retail locations, at www.att.com, and in business sales channels," the company said in a statement .
Looks like AT&T used its allocation to fulfill the pre-orders that swamped its systems June 17 , and which forced it to suspend all online orders later that day.
Okay, I'm heading to Best Buy or Wal-Mart or Radio Shack ... there's no nearby Apple store. All we can say is, "Best of luck."
From all reports, Apple's stiffed its retail partners. Best Buy's customer forum, for example, is thick with reports from those claiming to be in-the-know that the electronics discounter will have a very small supply of iPhone 4s to sell Thursday. Ditto for Wal-Mart.
Radio Shack looks even gloomier. "In some cases, stores that took requests will not receive the iPhone 4 on June 24," Radio Shack announced Tuesday on its Facebook page . "We are sorry for any confusion and disappointment regarding this and will share future availability as soon as we have more information."
The retailer can't even promise that those who pre-ordered an iPhone 4 last week at a store that will have a supply will actually get theirs Thursday. Although Radio Shack doesn't come right out and say it straight, it won't be selling to walk-in customers this week. "Beginning June 22, stores will contact customers from their request list and schedule appointments for customers to come in Thursday, purchase units and activate service. Sales are by appointment only," read the Facebook post.