Originally Posted by Dave Marsh
I agree. I suspect the earlier reports of problems ramping up to production volumes had more than a kernel of truth, and Apple simply refused to delay and face the bad press. Thus, Apple didn't have nearly the volumes available needed for the rush.
Even if they had delayed or had more out in the field there would likely still be problems cause they could guess how many of each sku every store needed. Thats why this whole first come thing sucks.
What they should do, in my opinion, is to require a reservation. No more walk ins at launch time.
Let folks start signing up like a week out. Give them a limited time of like 24 hours to edit their reservation. after that if they want to change it's cancel and go to the end of the list.
Give all the stores a deadline to set their schedules. Then have a program that conservatively calculates how many whatevers can be sold by that many staff in the time the store is open, calculating in breaks etc. They already have systems for the genius bar etc so that could probably be modified for this special sales queue. Maybe calculate it cutting off the last hour to cover overflow if a few take a little longer.
Then like 3 days before launch, the system counts off that number of units, polls that number off the top of the list, ships the appropriate numbers of boxes to have the needed units on hand with say a box of each for dead on arrival swaps (assuming they ship like 5 or 10 to a master box). The customers in question are sent a pick up email for launch day. If they don't show they have to start over. if they decide they want a different one, they start over.
Each day the system does it again, still like a couple of days out so folks can make plans. Then no more folks pissed that they stood in line all day for nothing. No more pissed off malls etc about the crowds and the noise. When the bulk of the demand is over then they could go to walk ins or reserves that would queue up right away if there is stock or hold for the next shipment, but still you would get an email saying you definitely have one waiting and until when