Australian site MacTalk posted a notice a couple weeks ago from Vodafone Australia and its iPhone supplier, Brightpoint, saying that the 16GB iPhone was being discontinued (declared "end of life," in retail speak)--a move that was hardly surprising, given the rumours flying about imminent new models. Now, MacTalk has received a cease-and-desist order about the story, mere days ahead of the Apple keynote in San Francisco.
A takedown of this sort would seem to at least tacitly confirm the original story, and reinforce the expectation of new iPhones. MacTalk proprietor Anthony Agius said on Twitter, "I can't say who the C&D is from, but if you go through the MacTalk blog, you might notice a missing post regarding an iPhone rumour." While the post in question has been removed from the site, it's still accessible in Google's cache.
Of course, the takedown request could have come from any of the three companies involved, all of whom have a vested interest in trying to protect internal communications from leaks as well as avoiding potential loss of sales. In this instance, though, it's a case of too little, too late.
Given that MacTalk is a popular site among Apple's Australian customer base, it seems rather strange that it took two weeks before the order was received, by which point the story had already spread throughout the internet and been picked up by various blogs and other publications. The damage, it would seem, has already been done.
As it stands, it seems more and more likely Apple will announce, if not release, a new class of iPhones at WWDC on Monday's Keynote alongside iPhone OS 3.0.