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Blockbuster iPhone 3GS sales resulting in constrained inventories

post #1 of 36
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After selling 5.2 million iPhones in fiscal Q3, including a million units that sold in the first three days, Apple has announced being "unable to make enough 3GSs to meet demand."

Voracious demand for the latest iPhone has helped restrict it to 18 launch countries out of the 80 where Apple currently sells iPhones. With demand for the new iPhone 3GS far outpacing supply, Apple COO Tim Cook admitted today that limited stock could briefly delay the planned launch of the new iPhone in more countries overseas. Cook said Apple expects to have the iPhone 3GS available in most nations where the iPhone 3G is currently available by the end of the September quarter.

Cook said channel iPhone inventory was flat sequentially in comparison with the last quarter and that the "channel is not loaded." He admitted that with demand for the iPhone 3GS currently very high, it's possible that some overseas launches could be delayed. "In terms of affecting the country rollout, I believe the vast majority of the countries that we are selling the 3G in we will be selling the 3GS I think by the end of the fiscal quarter," he said. "It may move a date by a few weeks here or there."

The company also hopes to continue to expand its reach. "The world has more than 80 countries," Cook said. During a question and answer session, Cook was asked about Apple's plans to enter China with the iPhone. "Nothing to add today specifically," Cook answered, "other than it continues to be a priority project and we hope to be there within a year."

Cook also said wireless carriers worldwide are thrilled by the lower churn rate the iPhone delivers, helping them to retain loyal customers. Asked about other products Apple might tie to providers' wireless contracts, such as notebook and netbook sales, Cook said the company was currently focused on working with carriers on the iPhone and had nothing else to announce.

Speaking of AT&T specifically, Cook said Apple has an excellent relationship with the mobile provider and is very happy with it. When asked about phone sales being constrained by AT&T's network capacity, Cook deferred the question to AT&T itself, but noted that providers were making more investments in their networks to meet consumer demand.

Cook also said that Apple had initially studied the wireless market and determined that "what we could do really well is build hardware" with features that were "revolutionary," leaving the service side to companies with more skills in networks. "that's their business and they're quite good at it," Cook said.

Asked if the $99 iPhone 3G was a major contributor to new sales or more of a loss leader to bring customers to the new iPhone 3GS, Cook said it was still early to tell how popular the new lower priced model would be, as many of the early waves of buyers were upgrades who were more likely to pick the new phone.

Cook also called iPhone 3.0 the "world's most advanced mobile platform" and noted the 65,000 library of iPhone apps had reached a 1.5 billion milestone of downloads, drawing comparisons with the one to two thousand apps available for RIM Blackberry and Nokia phones, or the 5,000 apps advertised for the Android platform.
post #2 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

After selling 5.2 million iPhones in fiscal Q3, including a million units that sold in the first three days, Apple has announced being "unable to make enough 3GSs to meet demand."

5.2 Million 3Gs? or all together? the 1 million mark was just 3Gs....
post #3 of 36
(misleading title) Blockbuster sells the iPhone?
post #4 of 36
AS I stated before, the iPhone 3Gs became the first full-featured iPhone that many of us newbies were waiting for and comes a decent price. I couldn't be happier with my purchase. Next quarter's iPhone sales figures will be amazing!
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

(misleading title) Blockbuster sells the iPhone?

Fooled me too.
post #6 of 36
Vacationing in China... For what it's worth to anyone who doesn't know... I am watching BBC World here and they just said how the iPhone will be available on Unicom in October, a special limited version (probably sans Wi-Fi since I heard the Chinese Government does not want wi-fi on the iPhone).

They said even though China Mobile is the biggest, being on Unicom can be good competition against China Mobile.

Also said the iPhone is not doing well in India, because many Indians prefer pre-paid phones and will take time for the iPhone to grow in sales there and Apple likely learned many things from the failure there.
post #7 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

Vacationing in China... For what it's worth to anyone who doesn't know... I am watching BBC World here and they just said how the iPhone will be available on Unicom in October, a special limited version (probably sans Wi-Fi since I heard the Chinese Government does not want wi-fi on the iPhone).

They said even though China Mobile is the biggest, being on Unicom can be good competition against China Mobile.

Also said the iPhone is not doing well in India, because many Indians prefer pre-paid phones and will take time for the iPhone to grow in sales there and Apple likely learned many things from the failure there.

I do not think the Chinese government will be able to prevent folks from buying unlocked phones with WiFi in HK and selling them in the mainland... which may be happening anyway. The bureaucrats are in denial about the march of technology.

Anyway, Apple needs to upgrade the iPod Touch to have WiFi-N, hi quality camera with zoom, flash, plus a camera in the front for video conferencing. Add a microphone for VoIP and GPS... plus "free" text messenging. This way, people can ditch the digital cameras, camcorder, GPS and upgrade from the current dated iPod.

Uncle Sammy needs to figure a way for the Chinese people to get access to uncensored news... but setting up proxies, encrypted sites, etc. Time to bring these regimes down from within.
post #8 of 36
The store I work in Australia has a list of people waiting for iPhone 3GS's, the stock we got sold out on the first day.

All four companies that sell iPhones here have "Currently out of stock" notices and are taking registrations of interest.

Meanwhile as we rely on commissions to put food on our tables we are offering HTC Magics, Blackberry Storms and Nokia N97's as alternatives, available NOW.

Hopefully Apple will be able to address this issue or they will lose sales.
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post #9 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

The store I work in Australia has a list of people waiting for iPhone 3GS's, the stock we got sold out on the first day.

All four companies that sell iPhones here have "Currently out of stock" notices and are taking registrations of interest.

Meanwhile as we rely on commissions to put food on our tables we are offering HTC Magics, Blackberry Storms and Nokia N97's as alternatives, available NOW.

Hopefully Apple will be able to address this issue or they will lose sales.

Well people can decide to patiently wait now for an iPhone or they can be patient with the sub standard OSs on other phones. :-P

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post #10 of 36
...and bosses have expectations of meeting sales targets!

Guess who wins out?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateKylie View Post

Well people can decide to patiently wait now for an iPhone or they can be patient with the sub standard OSs on other phones. :-P
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post #11 of 36
If only 18 countries contributed to this number of iPhone 3G S sales, what will happen if 80 countries get to sell it? And when China is added, iPhone sales will be explosive.

Every cellphone company should be scared.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by mesomorphicman View Post

Also said the iPhone is not doing well in India, because many Indians prefer pre-paid phones and will take time for the iPhone to grow in sales there and Apple likely learned many things from the failure there.

The issue in India is also the fact that the handset is ridiculously highly priced by the local carrier (Airtel?), on top of which, there's no 3G of any consequence anywhere, and broad availability of wifi - even at home - is still evolving.

Obviously people don't think it's a decent deal there.
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

...and bosses have expectations of meeting sales targets!

Guess who wins out?

Food on the table!
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

The store I work in Australia has a list of people waiting for iPhone 3GS's, the stock we got sold out on the first day.

All four companies that sell iPhones here have "Currently out of stock" notices and are taking registrations of interest.

Meanwhile as we rely on commissions to put food on our tables we are offering HTC Magics, Blackberry Storms and Nokia N97's as alternatives, available NOW.

Hopefully Apple will be able to address this issue or they will lose sales.

They screwed us over in Canada too.

All the fido stores (even the big ones) got exactly 30 units on the first day. They have had maybe two or three units each in the last month. I've been waiting for over a month on a list just to get one.

Ironically, (stupidly?) the Apple store downtown has lots, but they won't sell them to you unless you are a new customer with fido or Rogers. All of us that are already 3G owners have to wait.

And wait, and wait...

Someone should get fired for how they've handled the inventory on this release. This is something Apple is famous for doing better than any other company, but the 3GS release is *not* good at all in this respect.
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post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The issue in India is also the fact that the handset is ridiculously highly priced by the local carrier (Airtel?), on top of which, there's no 3G of any consequence anywhere, and broad availability of wifi - even at home - is still evolving.

Obviously people don't think it's a decent deal there.

What would sell in India would be the original GSM phone - unlocked - at reasonable prices. The predominant tech is GSM plus CDMA coverage as well. I would say $300-400 unsubsidized price, for what is old tech now.
post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

...and bosses have expectations of meeting sales targets!

Guess who wins out?

Request your boss get fired by corporate and offer to take his job but on the condition the projections for Apple products get drastically changed never to see this problem happen in the future.
post #17 of 36
I haven't seen any shortages in the UK. Everyone I know who wanted one has got one without any problem.

I assume Apple over-estimated demand in the UK and that O2's ridiculous pricing is putting people off. I can't wait for the other carriers to carry it so that there's a bit of competition.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by hill60 View Post

...and bosses have expectations of meeting sales targets!

Guess who wins out?


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post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

They screwed us over in Canada too.

All the fido stores (even the big ones) got exactly 30 units on the first day. They have had maybe two or three units each in the last month. I've been waiting for over a month on a list just to get one.

Ironically, (stupidly?) the Apple store downtown has lots, but they won't sell them to you unless you are a new customer with fido or Rogers. All of us that are already 3G owners have to wait.

And wait, and wait...

Someone should get fired for how they've handled the inventory on this release. This is something Apple is famous for doing better than any other company, but the 3GS release is *not* good at all in this respect.

Sure. Just like GM and Chrysler; make sure you have a car on the lot for everybody who can drive.
post #20 of 36
Not really. The price for a 8GB model is Rs. 31k (~$650) and 36k for the 16GB model (~$750) for the phone across both carriers, Airtel and Vodafone. It is roughly the same as the original unlocked iphone. However, the phone that you get is locked to the network you choose between Airtel and Vodafone, who offer it. Additionally, you get 500MB limit for 1 year and a variety of data plans following that first year.

3G is available with the state data service providers in select areas only. Wi-Fi at home is not there yet...

Its not a decent deal becoz it forces ppl to go into post-paid contracts as opposed to pre-paid contracts. Our ARPU is really low and the money for carriers is made through additional services that are priced quite high. With data charges for connecting, downloading (and using) apps, there is no incentive for the user to switch to a phone in a region that doesnt need such high-end hardware.

Apple wont get a niche area of the market like in other countries in India. It will be Nokia simply becoz of its well-known name and their cheap phones. Our market is fragmented and different than markets such as the US where you get the phone with a contract. You dont see that here.

Additionally, I have talked to sellers here and unofficially, they believe that only 15,000 sets must have been sold nationwide. That is a ridiculously low number which I cant believe. But then it might be true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

The issue in India is also the fact that the handset is ridiculously highly priced by the local carrier (Airtel?), on top of which, there's no 3G of any consequence anywhere, and broad availability of wifi - even at home - is still evolving.

Obviously people don't think it's a decent deal there.
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post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galley View Post

(misleading title) Blockbuster sells the iPhone?

I can see that as a legitimate confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post

Anyway, Apple needs to upgrade the iPod Touch to have WiFi-N, hi quality camera with zoom, flash, plus a camera in the front for video conferencing. Add a microphone for VoIP and GPS... plus "free" text messenging. This way, people can ditch the digital cameras, camcorder, GPS and upgrade from the current dated iPod.

That's quite a laundry list. It will happen, it will just be slow in coming.

Just about every computer has a camera in it how. How many people video conference? It seems like a BS technology where people say it's important but nobody actually uses it when they have the opportunity.

Quote:
Uncle Sammy needs to figure a way for the Chinese people to get access to uncensored news... but setting up proxies, encrypted sites, etc. Time to bring these regimes down from within.

I'm not sure how that would work given the culture. Besides, I really don't think outside governments should be doing that, that would reduce the apparent legitimacy and cause unforseen complications. It really has to be "grass-roots" or else it's not going to stick.
post #22 of 36
I think that Apple's doing a wonderful job. Keep it there!
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

They screwed us over in Canada too.

All the fido stores (even the big ones) got exactly 30 units on the first day. They have had maybe two or three units each in the last month. I've been waiting for over a month on a list just to get one.

Ironically, (stupidly?) the Apple store downtown has lots, but they won't sell them to you unless you are a new customer with fido or Rogers. All of us that are already 3G owners have to wait.

And wait, and wait...

Someone should get fired for how they've handled the inventory on this release. This is something Apple is famous for doing better than any other company, but the 3GS release is *not* good at all in this respect.

To think I thought that the iphone 3GS launch was the best iPhone launch to date.
post #24 of 36
Yes I jumped aboard with the 3GS as well - 32 gigs of RAM is finally enough to hold a full TV season, a film or two plus enough music to last a business trip, AND Safari is now just about as fast as on a MacBook via WiFi. This thing's a beast.

The next point release of iPhone OS just needs to address battery life (profiles would be good, kicking in location services or 3G only when needed - for example, switch off 3G when WiFi is available automatically).

Nice phone...

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post #25 of 36
Any word on the latest round of iPhone killers?
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post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Voyer View Post

Any word on the latest round of iPhone killers?

Oh no. They were all killed by the 3GS. Apparently they were too slow to catch up with it.
post #27 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

I haven't seen any shortages in the UK. Everyone I know who wanted one has got one without any problem.

I assume Apple over-estimated demand in the UK and that O2's ridiculous pricing is putting people off. I can't wait for the other carriers to carry it so that there's a bit of competition.

Very true, the demand for the 3GS seems to be below expectations in these parts, and I attribute much of that to the high price O2 has set - particularly on the Pay/Go tariff which is infinitely more popular over here than in, say, America. Certainly, I anticipate no significant problems getting a hold of mine on Friday.

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post #28 of 36
The 16GB 3GS sold by Telenor here is priced exactly the same as the 16GB 3G, while the 32GB is about $165 higher. It doesn't seem so bad though I am not sure how it fare with offerings from the other countries. Their stock is so constrained that it's availability is unconfirmed until pretty much next month.
post #29 of 36
Demand in the UK seems to have increased this week. O2 and Carphone Warehouse haven't got any - online for sure and apparently almost definitely instore. Apple seems to have stock both in the Retail Stores and Online, but Online is reporting 5 Business Day shipping waits (Although anecdotally is still actually deliverign next day - your mileage therefore may vary) and the Retail Stores still seem to expect demand to outstrip supply, necessitating checking stock the night before you buy and arriving as early as possible.

Once again, this is a recent development, stocks seemed fairly healthy even at the start of this week.

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post #30 of 36
Wait... Blockbuster is selling the iPhone now? \
post #31 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I can see that as a legitimate confusion.



That's quite a laundry list. It will happen, it will just be slow in coming.

Just about every computer has a camera in it how. How many people video conference? It seems like a BS technology where people say it's important but nobody actually uses it when they have the opportunity.



I'm not sure how that would work given the culture. Besides, I really don't think outside governments should be doing that, that would reduce the apparent legitimacy and cause unforseen complications. It really has to be "grass-roots" or else it's not going to stick.

+1. Look at now. Now when there's video recording, some people say they do not need it and it is a "minor" feature. Before that with the 3G, everyone was complaining about lack of video recording. Video conferencing is so last year and really quite unnecessary IMO.
post #32 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmz View Post

Wait... Blockbuster is selling the iPhone now? \

Maybe...
post #33 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by UltimateKylie View Post

Well people can decide to patiently wait now for an iPhone or they can be patient with the sub standard OSs on other phones. :-P

Yup. I bet people will do the former.
post #34 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Yes I jumped aboard with the 3GS as well - 32 gigs of RAM is finally enough to hold a full TV season, a film or two plus enough music to last a business trip, AND Safari is now just about as fast as on a MacBook via WiFi. This thing's a beast.

The next point release of iPhone OS just needs to address battery life (profiles would be good, kicking in location services or 3G only when needed - for example, switch off 3G when WiFi is available automatically).

Nice phone...

+1. I love my 3GS, but I'm 100% sure the 4th gen iPhone will be way better. Apple's iPhone ad-> The new iPhone 3GS, the best and fastest iPhone YET.
post #35 of 36
Well I don't know about anyone elses's mileage, but I got a hold of my hite 32GB iPhone 3GS today. Seems like Rgent Street is the best bet in the UK.

PS: Best phone ever.

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post #36 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

Well I don't know about anyone elses's mileage, but I got a hold of my hite 32GB iPhone 3GS today. Seems like Rgent Street is the best bet in the UK.

PS: Best phone ever.

Nice! Same phone as me! White 32GB 3GS FTW!
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