iPhone supplies dip, increase; AT&T hoarding phones?

Apple has begun restocking iPhones at its retail stores nationwide, following yesterday’s near sell-out of the device. Apple’s iPhone availability page showed sell outs at all but two of the company’s 164 retail stores yesterday, but today that figure has rebounded, with 44% of the stores reporting stock. The restocking, however, seems centered more on the East Coast and Midwest — stores on the West Coast remain sold out, from Washington to California.

Many stores appear to be releasing their new inventory around noon, as several iLounge editors have succeeded at finding iPhones around noon at stores that were sold out in the morning.

Another iLounge editor had a surprising visit to an AT&T store, which may indicate unfair practices by the cellular giant. Our editor went in to see if they had any iPhones in stock, or had received a new shipment — to which an AT&T sales clerk responded with a resounding “no.” After taking our editor’s number in an effort to “call him when they come in,” the clerk noticed that he was a potential new customer, and proceeded to bring out two new 8GB iPhones, phones that he previously said were unavailable.

The clerk then explained that the store was reserving iPhones for new customers only — the store in question had received around 20 units earlier in the day. It is unclear whether this practice is widespread throughout AT&T retail stores.