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Wednesday, March 07, 2007, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Briefly: Apple product shortages, iPhone receipt, store closing

Reports from overseas claim that several Mac and iPod products are becoming scarce ahead of potential refreshes. Meanwhile, iPhone references are cropping up on the receipts of Cingular store customers. And a high-traffic Apple store will be closing later this month for some remodeling.

Product shortages in the UK

Macworld UK is reporting that supplies of certain Apple products appear restricted overseas but will ship in quantity within weeks. The publication speculates that the pattern of drought may be indicative of significant product launches in the near term.

Some specific products affected by the backlog include "all models of Mac mini, the entry-level combo drive iMac, the mid-range MacBook Pro, entry-level and black MacBooks, all models of iPod nano, and the iPod HiFi."

Macworld UK expects that new product launches could arrive by month's end. However, it should be noted that supplies of Apple products in Europe have historically run dry in advance of those in the United States.

On a related note, AppleInsider has been told to look out for new product announcements during the first half of April.

iPhone listed on Cingular receipt

Over in Redmond, Wash., a Cingular customer who traded in his Sprint BlackBerry 8703e for a Cingular BlackBerry Pearl was startled to find a reference to Apple's unreleased iPhone device on his receipt.

"In plain view is the string 'iPhone for DEREK PUNSALAN' above the 2 yr. service agreement discount," he wrote in a blog posting. "Cingular, I didn’t order an iPhone, but are you hinting [with this glitch] at a $150 discount for 2 yr. service agreements already?"

A second recent Cingular convert claims to have noticed the same reference on his receipt after making the switch from T-Mobile in early anticipation of the iPhone.

Cingular

A Cingular Wireless receipt printed at a Redmond, Wash. Cingular Store.

"I have the same thing at the bottom of my receipt," he wrote. "I told the sales rep my intentions in the store so I just thought that she annotated on the receipt that I was interested in getting an iPhone when it comes out for CRM purposes or something."

High volume Apple store closing for renovations

Meanwhile, a tipster notes that the Apple Store Fashion Valley in San Diego, Calif. will be closing for approximately three weeks in the middle of March for remodeling.

As the tipster notes, the store is often ranked among the top 10 Apple retail stores in sales volume. Therefore, it would seem unlikely that the Cupertino-based company would plan any hefty product launches around the same time.

According to the same tipster, the store will open in limited fashion after the three-week partial renovation, then close down once again six weeks later for a final round of renovations (which will also last three weeks).