A tipster has got in touch to tell us he recently tried to buy a black iPhone 7 Plus, but to no avail. Says our tipster:

“Off to Bondi Junction in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and Apple, Myer, David Jones, Harvey Norman and JB Hi Fi — and not a 7 plus in black or jet black to be had. Three weeks said Apple, five weeks said JB Hi Fi, a chuckle at Myer, a shake of the head at David Jones, and at Harvey Norman a smart young chap who explained that Apple had supplied a few to vendors when the phone launched a month or so ago, and then a drought. He said the dry was a deliberate ploy by Apple to build up a backlog of demand for a strong Christmas selling period. There were plenty of rose gold models (which no one wants to buy in Australia), but the black models are impossible to get. And by the way, the Apple Australia website said the ordinary 7 model shipped in two to three weeks, but the 7 Plus in black shipped in six to eight weeks.”

Apple in fact reports its September quarter (its final for its financial year) Wednesday morning, our time (and Friday morning it has a big Mac product launch, just in time for Christmas). Everyone is expecting the first fall in iPhone sales volume in the fourth quarter (the company warned of this in its third quarter report). Is Apple really holding back the black iPhone 7 Plus? Incidentally, US analysts reckon that’s the one with the highest profit margin. Make of that what you will.