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Best Buy issues memo warning of iPhone constraints

Best Buy over the weekend became the latest Apple partner to warn staffers of dwindling iPhone supply that could leave some of its stores without product to sell for a few weeks later this month.

In a memo from its corporate division, the Richfield, Minnesota-based specialty electronics retailer told mobile sales employees that the iPhone 3G is now in constraint, noting that inventory of the touch-screen handsets will be light over the coming weeks and that some locations are likely to run out all together.

The advisory is similar to one issued roughly a week ago by Brightpoint, an Australian distributor supplying Vodafone Australia and others in the region with iPhone 3Gs.

"We have just been notified that the following devices are End Of Life and that there is only a few weeks stock available from Brightpoint," the carrier said in reference to the 16GB iPhone 3G. "This is an opportunity to take advantage of these devices whilst they're still available."

Meanwhile, at least one Australian wireless provider just this past weekend is reported to have finalized agreements with Apple to carry its 2009 iPhone offerings. As part of the deal, carrier representatives were asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement and told the new devices would be unveiled next week at Apple's annual developers conference.

Progress made during the ongoing iPhone 3.0 beta test and subsequent tips from those close to the iPhone maker's Apple Care customer support groups suggest it will take roughly three to four weeks following next Monday's introductions before consumers will be able to purchase the new iPhones.

Last year, Apple introduced the iPhone 3G at the start of its 2008 developers conference on June 9th and announced availability would follow on July 11th. During the four weeks in between, supply of original iPhones were close to non-existant.