Apple has been emailing its Genius Bars to warn them that iPhone 3GS stock is running low ahead of its iPhone 5 announcement later this month. It has advised employees to perform display repairs on broken devices — rather than simply replacing them, and to discuss the “advantages of buying a new iPhone.”
9to5Mac has obtained a copy of the email, pictured above, that was sent out to Genius Bars this weekend.
Because of the time it takes to change an iPhone’s display, Apple usually replaces the device itself when you take it into the Genius Bar with a display fault. That’s no longer the case with the iPhone 3GS. The Cupertino company is now trying to conserve its limited iPhone 3GS stock, and so replacement units are a last resort.
Genius Bars that must replace iPhone 3GS units are advised to give customers an iPhone 4 instead — if they have no iPhone 3GS units left.
This suggests that the iPhone 3GS will finally be discontinued when the iPhone 5 is released this September. The handset is more than three years old now, and over the years it has become Apple’s ‘budget’ smartphone. However, the 8GB iPhone 4 is expected to take its place when the sixth-generation handset makes its debut.
The iPhone 3GS will be supported by Apple’s upcoming iOS 6 firmware, however.