Both TUAW and MacRumors report tonight several Apple retail store locations in the United States are running / have run out of stock for AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme stations, as well as Time Capsule units. Both reports indicate how some stores have completely run out of Time Capsule and AirPort Express / Extreme without getting any new shipments, with other locations lacking only AirPort Express stations. TUAW also hints at a store getting a notice to send all available units back.
A reader let us know that all of the Apple Stores in his area are out of AirPort Express models, and one of our sources confirmed the Apple Store in his area is out of stock on not just the Express, but the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule as well. Another source says supplies at one store are not constrained and never have been, but the store “may have” received a notice to send its AirPort device inventory back.
Supply constraints ahead of the WWDC may hint at upcoming refreshes to the various lines being announced next week, though several reports claimed the Developers Conference would be software focused with no hardware announcements. As the Apple online store still reports 24 hours shipments for AirPort devices and the family was last updated almost two years ago, Apple might as well simply take the store down sometime next week and release the new product without an on-stage announcement. Some are already speculating Apple could deploy its own home-based networking solution to interact with iCloud much like devices like the Pogoplug already allow you to access locally stored media from a remote device, though the solution sounds unlikely as it appears Apple is shooting for an all-remote, cloud-based service with streaming and storage on the company’s servers. However, the AirPort Extreme station could use an update to bring an additional USB port or more integration with iOS devices – these are some features AirPort Extreme users (including me) have been asking and wondering about a lot lately.