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Friday, December 10, 2010, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

$50 sale leaves Radio Shack with nationwide shortage of Apple's iPhone

Just days after Radio Shack began a promotion offering $50 off the iPhone, and before the sale was set to expire, many of the U.S. retail chain's stores are sold out of their entire stock of phones.

AppleInsider contacted a number of Radio Shack stores on Friday, and all but one, spoken to in Tennessee, indicated they are completely sold out of the iPhone 4. And even that one store only has the 32GB model available in limited quantities.

Another store in North Carolina indicated that the "entire region" of stores was completely out of stock of the iPhone 4. Another store indicated that customers can still buy the handset online and obtain the $50 rebate, and the phone ships in an estimated two days.

AppleInsider made the calls after it received word that the company had essentially run out of iPhones on a company-wide basis. A request for information from Radio Shack's corporate public relations department was not returned.

Radio Shack has seen tremendous demand since it launched a promotion on Sunday slashing $50 off the price of all iPhone models with a two-year AT&T contract. The retail chain is also offering a 16GB iPhone 4 for just $25 with the trade-in of an iPhone 3GS.

The promotion is set to run through Saturday, Dec. 11, but those who waited on the deal may be forced to order their iPhone online, as most Radio Shack stores are completely out of stock. As a major retailer with more than 4,600 storefronts worldwide, Radio Shack is a significant partner of Apple and iPhone seller.

Also Friday, another retailer, Best Buy, ran a major promotion with Apple's handset, offering a free iPhone 3GS to customers who agreed to a new two-year contract. The 8GB iPhone 3Gs regularly sells for $99 with a contract.