My Dad has a hard time understanding pre-ordering a device or waiting in line on launch day. “Just wait a week and you can walk into the store and get one in five minutes,” he says. Well, recent trends with Apple product launches tells another story. It’s now been over a month since the iPhone 4S went on sale in the US, and it’s still difficult to find one.
Potential 4S customers are reportedly facing at least a two-week wait for Apple’s latest toy, and that’s if they’re lucky! Sprint customers have the shortest wait time, up to 14 days. AT&T subscribers aren’t so lucky – their average wait time is 21 days. Similarly, Verizon Wireless customers must sit tight for three weeks before their orders are filled.
Despite rumors earlier this month claiming that iPhone 4S sales had been slower than expected, it seems Apple simply can’t create the things fast enough. According to Brenda Raney, a VZW spokeswoman, ““Not only was the iPhone 4S popular when it was introduced, but the popularity continues to build. We don’t want to keep our customers waiting for their purchases.” But wait they must.
Now, my family is on an AT&T family plan (I know, I know…). My sister went to our local Apple store looking to upgrade from her 3GS to the 4S a few days ago, but she left empty handed after employees informed her that they were totally out of the model she was looking for (white, 16 gig). In the end, she ended up ordering direct from Apple’s online store and has now joined the countless other excited customers engaged in the waiting game.
What’s more, it seems she isn’t alone. A recent Deutsche Bank survey revealed that, out of 30 Apple retail stores, a whopping 85 to 90 percent of them reported daily sell-outs of the 4S.
So what’s the deal here? Why is Apple having so much trouble meeting consumer demand? Tim Cook went on record saying that he believes the 4S will set a new record for iPhones in the current holiday quarter, which is great for Apple, but bad for us. It seems that a combination of higher-than-ever domestic demand coupled with Apple’s fastest world-wide rollout ever has resulted in serious inventory issues.
Let’s just hope Apple sorts everything out ASAP, because with the holiday shopping season just around the corner, this shortage could result in a lottt of unhappy customers.
Have you guys experienced any of these issues, either in Apple stores or carrier stores? Let me know your inventory woes in the comments section below or on twitter.