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Apple rethinks inventory management for iPad 2

post #1 of 91
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Apple has changed its inventory management policy for iPad 2 deliveries, having its retail stores hold on to new shipments until the next day in an effort to ease the sales process for both customers and employees, AppleInsider has learned.

A person familiar with Apple's retail operations informed AppleInsider this week that the new shipment of iPad 2 stock sold by some stores on Tuesday was actually delivered on Monday. Apple is said to have elected to hold the inventory for a next-day sale to grant its inventory control specialists the time to "calmly and accurately" process new shipments.

It was suggested that the change could be a "lesson learned" following the launch of major in-demand products in 2010: the iPhone 4 and first-generation iPad. For those launches, Apple's reservation system was said to have been plagued by a myriad of problems, including technical glitches that caused reservations to disappear, and resellers attempting to "game" the system.

Apple's previous strategy was to get products from the pallet to the shelf as fast as possible. But that approach was said to have caused "utter havoc" for Apple's retail employees, and led to inventory inaccuracies.

While some retail employees may have said to customers that this Tuesday's relatively small new stock of iPad 2 units was delivered that same morning, that information was characterized to AppleInsider as a "little white lie" told to "avert the wrath of customers."

For its part, Apple has made no official statements at the corporate level regarding a timetable for new iPad shipments. This week, the company simply said that customer interest in its second-generation tablet has been "amazing" and that it is "working hard" to meet demand.

iPad 2 line Wednesday at Apple's Fifth Avenue store. Photos from reader Ric S.

Separately, AppleInsider has also learned that Apple also made tweaks to its online ordering system in order to prevent onlookers from projecting the number of iPad 2 orders placed through its Web store. Last year, for the first-generation iPad launch, enthusiastic users at the Investor Village AAPL Sanity Board compared order numbers and cracked Apple's code to calculate total sales.

In response, a person familiar with Apple's ordering systems explained that the company changed its Web order number generating method to a random number. Now, online order numbers have no relation to how many units have been sold.

An iPad 2 line this week at The Mall at Millennia in Orlando, Fla. Photo from reader Chris S.

For more on the iPad 2 launch, see AppleInsider's extensive coverage:

Sellout of latest iPad 2 shipment raises questions about Apple's international launch

Overwhelming iPad 2 demand continues, Apple's online orders now ship in 4-5 weeks

Some Apple stores plan to open early Tuesday for iPad 2 sales

'Amazing' demand for iPad 2 seen as 'insurmountable lead' for Apple
post #2 of 91
apple should require a credit card and refuse to sell more than one or two ipads per card per month
post #3 of 91
I was thinking about going this morning to try and get one, but after seeing the pictures of the huge crowds of people standing in line with their umbrellas, I'm glad that I didn't bother.

And Apple is still plagued by scalpers, and they should do something about that. Their current system and way of doing things is crap.
post #4 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

apple should require a credit card and refuse to sell more than one or two ipads per card per month

Nah, won't work.

I can generate disposable card numbers at will using Bank of America's (formerly MBNA) ShopSafe.

Besides, I have four physical credit cards (I never keep a balance) and one debit card. I could still walk into bricks-and-mortar retail stores and buy ten under your policy.

That said, I have placed an order for only one iPad 2.
post #5 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Nah, won't work.

It would work better than cash. It would be much harder for the organized, group buying of iPads, where a whole bunch of people are in line, buying up iPads with somebody else's cash and being directed by a sleazy ring leader.
post #6 of 91
What are the silver balls?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #7 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

apple should require a credit card and refuse to sell more than one or two ipads per card per month

That got in PR trouble for 'requiring' credit cards before. They ended up giving the woman on the news story a free iPad. They probably won't go there again.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #8 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

And Apple is still plagued by scalpers, and they should do something about that. Their current system and way of doing things is crap.

Like it or not, those scalpers are doing nothing illegal and are paying for those iPads.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Nah, won't work.

I can generate disposable card numbers at will using Bank of America's (formerly MBNA) ShopSafe.

Besides, I have four physical credit cards (I never keep a balance) and one debit card. I could still walk into bricks-and-mortar retail stores and buy ten under your policy.

That said, I have placed an order for only one iPad 2.

unless the scalpers in line have multiple credit cards it will keep them in check. as it is now they can buy all the ones they want
post #10 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That got in PR trouble for 'requiring' credit cards before. They ended up giving the woman on the news story a free iPad. They probably won't go there again.

Yeah, I remember that news story. I still think that they should do it again. If somebody doesn't have a credit card in this day and age, then too bad for them. What's the point of even being on the internet if you don't have a credit card? Is that woman going to run to the news again because she wasn't able to order from Amazon with cash?

At the very least, they can have a credit card only policy for the first month or two.
post #11 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Like it or not, those scalpers are doing nothing illegal and are paying for those iPads.

They're violating the TOA, by purchasing multiple times. Why bother to have a 2 iPad limit, if it's not going to be enforced? There was even some Russian guy who came back multiple times wearing a disguise.
post #12 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Yeah, I remember that news story. I still think that they should do it again. If somebody doesn't have a credit card in this day and age, then too bad for them. What's the point of even being on the internet if you don't have a credit card? Is that woman going to run to the news again because she wasn't able to order from Amazon with cash?

At the very least, they can have a credit card only policy for the first month or two.

I have credit cards and choose to use them very sparingly, preferring cash for many or most transactions. Agreed that online purchases obviously require this (mostly). But maybe you should pause before you assume that everyone ought to have one and ought to use it.

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #13 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

unless the scalpers in line have multiple credit cards it will keep them in check. as it is now they can buy all the ones they want

The main ring leader, the guy with the money, might have multiple cards, but the stooges standing in line working for them don't. The stooges aren't going to buy iPads on their own card, if they even have a card. It would cut down the scalping significantly.
post #14 of 91
How many of Apple Insider's "A person familiar with Apple's..." turned out to be reliable?

Apple Insider's "insider sources" have the same, if not worse batting average, as Gene Munster.

To suggest that the "largest tech company" is only starting to learn the basics of proper product processing only last year is utter nonsense and ridiculous. Even the smallet brick and mortar bookstores won't place their books on-shelf until properly recorded.


CGC
post #15 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post

I have credit cards and choose to use them very sparingly, preferring cash for many or most transactions. Agreed that online purchases obviously require this (mostly). But maybe you should pause before you assume that everyone ought to have one and ought to use it.

It doesn't have to be a credit card, a debit card works just as good. I don't buy stuff on credit, I use my debit cards.
post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It doesn't have to be a credit card, a debit card works just as good. I don't buy stuff on credit, I use my debit cards.

I have one of those too. Sometimes it's about privacy.

P.S. Debit cards may be getting set up for some serious spending limits (e.g., $50 or $100 per transaction.)

The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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The state is nothing more than a criminal gang writ large.

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post #17 of 91
My wonderful wife went to the mall and stood in line before the 9:00am opening not knowing if iPads would be available or not. Luckily there were some so we got one. It is not the exact one we wanted, but due to not knowing what each shipment holds we took our second choice.

Anyway, it would be nice if Apple would keep an online inventory by store of what is available. Then only people who are interested in those models would have to play the arrive early and wait and see game.

I order from numerous online retailers who also have brick-and-mortar stores. When you select an item they tell you how many are available in the stores' stock. This would not only work for the iPad, but for every product they sell.
post #18 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It doesn't have to be a credit card, a debit card works just as good. I don't buy stuff on credit, I use my debit cards.

Has previously debated in court, it is illegal to refuse cash in a store.
post #19 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimSteele View Post

Anyway, it would be nice if Apple would keep an online inventory by store of what is available. Then only people who are interested in those models would have to play the arrive early and wait and see game.

They do that for the iPhone, I wonder why they dont for the iPad.
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #20 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It doesn't have to be a credit card, a debit card works just as good. I don't buy stuff on credit, I use my debit cards.

Debit card issuers typically do not have good extended warranty programs, nor do they have the same commitment to merchant/fraud dispute resolution.

Since I pay off my credit cards and don't carry a balance, it's like I'm using a debit card, but I'm getting a hell of a lot more benefits than using a debit card (which I have but never use).

Especially for a pricier purchase like an iPad, using a good credit card is far better than any other purchase method. Why pay for AppleCare when you can get similar extended warranty protection for free?
post #21 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Has previously debated in court, it is illegal to refuse cash in a store.

This is just plain false. The only law in the US is that the store must accept payment in US dollars, but doesn't specify whether the payment must be in bills, change, credit, debit, etc.
post #22 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by herbapou View Post

Has previously debated in court, it is illegal to refuse cash in a store.

I didn't know that. Maybe I should bring my huge collection of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters to pay for my iPad when I finally go to get one, just to be a pain.
post #23 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

It doesn't have to be a credit card, a debit card works just as good. I don't buy stuff on credit, I use my debit cards.

Wait until the banks start capping the debit card purchase limits to either 50 or 100 bucks. This should go into affect by some banks in July.
post #24 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Yeah, I remember that news story. I still think that they should do it again. If somebody doesn't have a credit card in this day and age, then too bad for them. What's the point of even being on the internet if you don't have a credit card? Is that woman going to run to the news again because she wasn't able to order from Amazon with cash?

At the very least, they can have a credit card only policy for the first month or two.

Umm, you can pay with cash on Amazon. They partner with Coinstar, Western Union, Touch-n-Pay, and several others (http://www.amazon.com/b?ie=UTF8&node=682500011). Oh, and of course you can just go to Target and buy an Amazon gift card with the money in your pocket, or link to your bank account.

I'm sure you have a point in your head somewhere, but the fact is you can survive online in a cash-only manner.
post #25 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post

Debit card issuers typically do not have good extended warranty programs, nor do they have the same commitment to merchant/fraud dispute resolution.

Yes, that I agree with. Credit cards do offer better protection, in the case that something goes wrong.
post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

Wait until the banks start capping the debit card purchase limits to either 50 or 100 bucks. This should go into affect by some banks in July.

Really? That sounds insane. I order stuff online all of the time with my debit card, and most of those purchases cost more than $100. If that new rule is true, then surely there has to be a way to get it increased.
post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

What are the silver balls?

?

5 chars
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #28 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by triggs View Post

I'm sure you have a point in your head somewhere, but the fact is you can survive online in a cash-only manner.

Maybe somebody can survive online with cash only, but it sounds extremely inconvenient. And don't those third party services cost extra money to use?

Only poor people and people who live in the ghetto use cash only, in my opinion.
post #29 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

They're violating the TOA, by purchasing multiple times.

That so-called TOA is per order, I believe, not per person.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #30 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

There was even some Russian guy who came back multiple times wearing a disguise.

I'm sorry, but that is funny
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #31 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by uguysrnuts View Post

?

Images with story - look at them. It's like a game of Where's Waldo? (Where's Wally)
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #32 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post

o suggest that the "largest tech company" is only starting to learn the basics of proper product processing only last year is utter nonsense and ridiculous. Even the smallet brick and mortar bookstores won't place their books on-shelf until properly recorded.

True, but to be fair Apple is operating at a different volume than any other company in the world right now.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #33 of 91
Quote:
...characterized to AppleInsider as a "little white lie" told to "avert the wrath of customers."

Oh great, now the trolls will add this to 'the iPod won't do video' thing to paint Apple as congenital liars.
post #34 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That so-called TOA is per order, I believe, not per person.

Maybe, Apple doesn't seem to care too much about it apparently.

It seems like you are trying to defend people who are gaming the system.

Let's say I won the lotto and I'm filthy rich by the time the iPad3 comes out, I should hire 1000 people to stand in line for days and buy out the entire stock of a few Apple stores, and then go on to make a nice profit from that. That would be no different than what the current scalpers are doing, and I assume that you would be defending my actions then right?
post #35 of 91
Just to help folks potentially find their new iPad2 I wanted to share my tale...

Last Friday evening I stood in line for a few hours at one of the Apple stores in San Antonio, Texas hoping to get a chance to purchase a new iPad2. Unfortunately the store sold out about 50 people in front of me! I mentioned to my wife that other retailers (e.g. Target, Best Buy and Walmart) also could have received shipments of the new tablet but I really wanted to purchase the device from the Apple store (for the experience). Actually, even though I stood in line for several hours the folks at the Apple store were wonderful and tried very hard to keep us informed of their inventory (and also they provided Cokes, Tea and water to help us survive the event!).

I had journeyed to San Antonio to purchase the device because the only place I could potentially purchase the iPad2 closer to home was from a Wal-mart (because of the small town that I actually live in). My wife suggested several times that I should call the Wal-mart to see if they had any of the devices available. I continued to reply that there was no way that our small town Wal-mart would have the device when the big city Apple store had run completely out!

I finally gave in and called them, the reply..."Oh sure we've got a bunch of those in all of the configurations and both colors!"... "Yeah, we got'm all yesterday"...

So, 15 minutes later I had driven to Wal-mart, purchased my iPad 2 (no line at all) and was walking out to the most dangerous place in my small town (the Wal-Mart parking lot) and headed home!

So the message to my story is: Try all of the stores in your town and even some of the ones in nearby small towns and who knows, you might find one!

Oh and yeah, she was right again!!!

post #36 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Maybe somebody can survive online with cash only, but it sounds extremely inconvenient. And don't those third party services cost extra money to use?

Only poor people and people who live in the ghetto use cash only, in my opinion.

Your opinion is wrong. I am not poor and do not live in the ghetto and I use cash. Many small business owners whose business is primarily cash based, use cash.
post #37 of 91
How about being able to purchase via iTunes? It would be offered on a country by country basis to sync with the planned launch.

Also, prioritize sale according to how long a user has been in the iTunes ecosystem. To prevent possible privacy violation, it would only be based on months, not individual users. Older users get priority, but only if they act fast, otherwise, the next in queue gets a shot until inventory runs out.

This would be in addition to online and retail offerings.

The current system shafts the legitimate user base big time.
Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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Originally Posted by Granmastak: Labor unions managed to kill manufacturing a long time ago with their unreasonable demands. Now the people they were trying to protect, are out of a job.
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post #38 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

That got in PR trouble for 'requiring' credit cards before. They ended up giving the woman on the news story a free iPad. They probably won't go there again.

Thats interesting, when i got my ipad2 at the verizon store, I noticed they had a cash machine in there. But people were lining up to take cash out. Thought, thats kind of odd(I had never noticed), I guess its common.

BTW, off topic, but I hope I don't regret getting a verizon ipad2 - 1) they made me sign up for at least one months data use(can cancel at any time, but still). 2) - they will only keep your registation valid for 6 months without use. If you don't have a valid registration - you have to re-register all over again. Their contract terms are 'unclear' if they will charge a fee when doing so.

My intent was to only activiate on trips etc which is not very often, might have been a mistake.
Please excuse the rant.
Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side, kid.
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post #39 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoodlesNoodlemann View Post

Your opinion is wrong. I am not poor and do not live in the ghetto and I use cash. Many small business owners whose business is primarily cash based, use cash.

I'm about to head out to my local deli soon and grab a few things. I'll be paying with cash.

I'm talking about people who don't have any credit cards or debit cards, people who don't even have a bank account and who have to pay every single purchase with cash.

I'm sure you have a credit card/debit card and bank account right? In that case, I wasn't referring to you.
post #40 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoodlesNoodlemann View Post

Your opinion is wrong. I am not poor and do not live in the ghetto and I use cash. Many small business owners whose business is primarily cash based, use cash.

Agreed. Given their druthers, Apple would undoubtedly prefer to receive cash payments, as the transaction costs are much lower. Don't forget that roughly between 2% and 3% of the CC sale goes to the processor. There's also the relatively small risk of credit card fraud as well. If someone buys an iPad on a stolen card, there's little Apple can do to prevent the loss if they didn't catch it at the point of sale.
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