Masses gather for iPhone 4 launch
The latest iPhone's launch day has attracted the usual round-the-block lines in each of the five markets involved, but due to supply issues many were, and will be, turned away disappointed.
In Japan, the first country to open its doors, exclusive iPhone carrier Softbank sold out of the device at its flagship store by early afternoon.
Hundreds of consumers also flocked to UK Apple stores for the local launch. But many are likely to miss out, as they too face shortages within hours of the device going on sale.
O2 has already warned it will prioritize sales of the device to its existing customers, indicating it expects demand to far outstrip supply.
The iPhone 4 also attracted queues for its launches in France and Germany, and is already attracting large lines in the US.
Yet even in the vital US market, supply is expected to be tight. While the iPhone 4 will go on sale through Apple stores, exclusive US carrier AT&T does not intend to start selling non-preorders through its network of stores until next week.
Apple may also be scuppered by slightly longer-term supply issues arising from a potential screen shortage, an analyst warned this week.