iPhone fans in the U.K. are not the only ones that are experiencing a severe lack of iPhone stock. It is starting to affect people all over now, with stores in New York, and the online Apple store, also reporting being out of stock. This image is the status over at the Apple Store online. It is not known when, or if, the iPhone is going to be back in stock.
As you are no doubt aware, the rumor for Apple allowing the shelves to clear of the current iPhone, could be to allow the upcoming 3G iteration to have all the room it needs. This makes sense, as then carriers and the Apple store will have the newest iPhone to sell, and that one only. The rumored announcement date for the 3G iPhone is at WWDC, with the actual launch rumored to be sometime near the end of June.
WWDC is still about a month away though, so this seems like it is pretty early. Perhaps Apple did not intend for the stock to run out this quickly? Apple has given no word on what is going on with these shortages, and most likely only they know. Apple could also be attempting to keep the peace with customers. If they buy an iPhone now, and the new one comes out, they are not going to be happy. Apple has already made them mad once, with the price cuts. iPhone early adopters were angered to the point that Apple had to provide a $100 gift card to all of them. It seems Apple would not care for a repeat performance.