iPhone 4: Only 16,000 handsets delivered to UK for launch?

We're hearing reports from reliable sources that Apple has delivered a mere 16,000 iPhone 4 handsets to the UK in time for the launch on 24 June.

It was originally expected that there would be over 50,000 units in stores. However, massive stock shortages have trimmed that number down considerably, causing many loyal fans to miss out (even after queueing long hours). It also seems that we're not the only ones to hear this.

On Twitter, one posting states: "Apple promised 60,000 iPhones to England for launch day. They apparently delivered 16,000. Good luck people queuing for one today!!"

The same person continues: "A colleague was told that by a customer service rep at Carphone Warehouse".

That may go some way to explain why O2 is already running out of stock and some branches of Carphone Warehouse and Phones 4U haven't had their deliveries at all.

Keep up with Pocket-lint's iPhone 4 coverage via its dedicated microsite.