iPhone in stores in two weeks, but 'in limited quantities', AT&T staff tell analyst

apple_iphone_phone_iconMany stores operated by AT&T, the exclusive carrier for Apple's iPhone mobile phone, will have only a handful of phones in stock initially, according to analysts who surveyed AT&T staff. Stores revealed that they expect to have the first iPhones on their shelves on June 15 (Update: Apple says June 29, see below).

“Most stores only expect to have a few iPhones on hand initially,” said Matthew Kather of WR Hambrecht & Co in a research briefing yesterday. There were few exceptions amongst the retail stores Kather surveyed, although staff at one store told him they expected to have 40, he said.

While Apple earlier announced it expects to ship the iPhone in “late June”, some retail stores predicted they will have it as early as June 15, Kather said. Other stores do not expect to get the phone until one week after that date. If the iPhone does hit store shelves by June 15, this would require a shipping date at least several days earlier than implied by Apple in its most recent 10-Q financial filing.

apple iphone image on wooden surfaceStrong Demand

  “Pent-up demand at Cingular stores appears very strong, with about 15 to 20 percent of the stores we contacted keeping a waiting list for customers interested to purchase it,” he reported.

Apple will also sell the iPhone through its own store network, and it will be sold online by both Apple and AT&T. AT&T has recently rebranded its Cingular network as AT&T Wireless.

Two months ago, a report from Prudential Equity Group Analyst Jesse Tortora claimed that Apple was hoping to sell “a majority” of iPhones through its own stores. Tortora cited unamed Apple executives as the source of his information, according to AppleInsider

Kather predicts that further new products from Apple will continue to drive growth this year and next. He speculates that Apple CEO Steve Jobs may reveal new details of iPhone software in his keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 11.

Update June 3: In advertising released today, Apple has announced June 29 as its launch date for the iPhone, strongly suggesting that the earlier dates given by AT&T staff are incorrect - or that although the phone may be in stock on those earlier dates, it will not be on sale.

Can i buy one in canada if i don't use cingular?

I would like to know if I'm am using alliant service, if i can use the i phones still??

if I buy the iphone can I use it before it arrives at Mexico?

I know that the iphone will arrive in Mexico in the Christmas dates, but if I go to the United States and I buy it can i used it in my country or foreing countries or only i'll able to listen music and watch videos