The decision by O2 and Carphone Warehouse to lop £100 off the price of a new 8GB iPhone last week appears to have paid dividends with both companies reported to be sold out of the discounted model within a few days of the announcement.

According to Mobile Today, stores in Newcastle, Birmingham and London say they have sold out of the device entirely, with an employee from Carphone Warehouse claiming sales had "doubled" since the announcement.

Still out of stock

According to the same report, O2 stores were expecting additional deliveries over the weekend. However, a quick ring around from the TechRadar offices appeared to suggest otherwise with O2 stores on Oxford Street telling us they were still out of stock.

But while the £100 discount has had an undoubtedly positive effect on sales of 8GB, sales of the 16GB model remain sluggish. As The Times reports, vendors are expecting to lose significant amounts of money on unsold stock, especially as potential customers hold back in anticipation of the launch of a 3G model.

Discount

It seems the only way out of this scenario is for O2 and the Carphone Warehouse to eventually offer a discount on the current 16GB version. But of course, this will have the effect of a double-edged sword, in that it will signal even more clearly the 3G model’s imminent arrival.

It’s a tricky call for Apple and its UK partners to make. Then again, there must surely be some people for whom 3G isn’t the be-all and end-all.