My colleague Ron Miller makes some excellent points about the iPhone shortage in the US in his blog entry. If this were any other company we would indeed be taking them to task.

Hang on though, let's think a minute: everyone's talking about a hardware shortage, the iPhones aren't in stock yet so it's a bad thing, yes?

Well, yes, but that's only part of the story. A hardware shortage can be rectified over time. In the longer term a few people hanging around waiting for their phones a couple of days is an inconvenience, nothing more.

For me what was much more interesting was the MobileMe website on Friday and Saturday. Mobileme is Apple's new software environment that allows you to have all of your diary, contacts and mails online and which pushes them to your Mac and your iPhone. Sounds good, no?

Well, yes and no. The system was supposed to start up on Friday. It sprung to life briefly then failed - it wasn't running during the day on Saturday in the UK either. I logged on again this morning and it had limped into life but the contacts are reluctant to synch with my iMac running MS Entourage - in fact none of the contacts I've entered on the website have appeared on my Mac or my iPhone yet.

A product shortage is one thing. The company that boasts that the thing about its software is 'it just works' finding that its new and revolutionary method of working not only under-delivers but does so late begins to sound more serious.