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Thursday, June 07, 2007, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple building stockpile of 3 million iPhones for launch?

Apple, historically under-stocked and overwhelmed when it comes to high-profile product launches, may have a surprise up its sleeve come June 29th — the day it plans to revolutionize the cell phone industry.

If sources cozying up to BusinessWeek's Peter Burrows are earnest, there are about 3 million reasons to believe that every iPhone line waiter will walk away from an AT&T or Apple retail store later this month clenching what they came for.

"Still, Apple will need to execute flawlessly. In units built and shipped, the iPhone launch will dwarf anything Apple has attempted," Burrows wrote. "It plans to have 3 million iPhones ready for sale on June 29, two sources say."

As the report notes, the iPod wasn't an immediate hit when it first came to market back in 2001. Although the iconic digital music players have now sold in excess of 100 million, Apple had years to ramp up production.

"Jobs did so expertly, often creating a sense of scarcity by running slightly short of demand," Burrows implies. "With all the buildup over the iPhone, pumping up demand will be the least of his concerns."

The BusinessWeek reporter suggests the Apple co-founder, having driven demand to ridiculous levels, is now poised to cash in on all the hoopla with a blockbuster day-one.

Of course, that would mean that manufacturing ramp has been in full swing for some time and that those analyst reports of "less than 40" iPhones per AT&T store were based on cleverly-crafted misinformation.