There *Really* Is a Coast-to-Coast iPhone Shortage

Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster told his investment banking clients today that there were 20 stores across the nation were out of iPhones. So we at the GigaOM offices decided to call as many Apple stores as we could, from Hawaii to Chestnut Hill to San Francisco (all randomly selected), and the answer was the same: Sorry, we are out of iPhones.

Does this mean that there is a legitimate shortage or is a new iPhone in the offering? Piper’s Munster says a 3G version of the device for $400 is possible candidate. I wouldn’t be surprised by a new device, possibly a 3G version, being announced tomorrow.

It surely will draw attention away from the CTIA Show and all that handsets that are being launched in Las Vegas this week. It would be a Machiavellian move by Steve Jobs and Apple to shift attention away from the competitors. Stacey, who is at CTIA, tells us that touch screens are the new black when it comes to mobile handsets.