Wasn't Ampere delayed though? So why rush if you've already set a delay and are still ahead of the competition?
When was Ampere supposed to launch?
If nvidia didn't just plain and simple screwed up, then the only alternative is that they deliberately stifled supply, just to float that £699 number out there long enough until AMD shows up, then they'll drop the £899 cards. I could believe that, and I'm inclined to do so when they could have released these cards for £899 or more and sold exactly as many. I do find it hard to believe nvidia weren't prepared, given they set their own release date with no competition in sight and somehow didn't know the market demand.
I think the 3080 'regular' will be mostly mythical. It'll exist, and stick around, just to mark that £699 price point.
The only way to know how much nvidia screwed up is to know how many cards were available for sale on Sep 17th. I don't think anyone knows that except nvidia.