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iPhone 4S demand persists as about 85% of Apple stores see daily stock-outs

post #1 of 88
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Consumer interest in the iPhone 4S has not waned since the handset went on sale last month, as one new analysis has found most Apple stores run out of stock on a daily basis.

Chris Whitmore with Deutsche Bank issued a note to investors on Monday in which he revealed that a poll of about 30 retail stores revealed Apple is experiencing daily stock-outs of the iPhone 4S at most of them. He said that between 85 percent and 90 percent of stores polled continue to run out of inventory.

"Apple employees are directing customers to make an online appointment (first come first serve) for next day pickup at nearby Apple retail stores as stocks appear to be refreshed daily at most locations," Whitmore said.

In-store Apple representatives reportedly advised that customers should log on to Apple's website between 9 p.m. and 12 p.m. to make an appointment for next-day pickup. A number of stores indicated that most of the iPhone 4S units sold are via a reservation, leaving very little stock for customers who simply show up at a store.

As Apple works to keep up with demand at its retail stores, the company is still advertising a wait time of one to two weeks for new iPhone 4S orders placed on its online storefront, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Inventory checks with carriers AT&T, Sprint and Verizon found that supply of the iPhone 4S was "more sporadic." Most stores Whitmore contacted indicated that shipments were infrequent, and there was no indication as to when Apple would send more units.



Whitmore believes strong demand for the iPhone 4S both in America and abroad shows that supply remains the only factor in determining how many handsets Apple will sell this quarter. He has forecast sales of 28 million iPhones during the holidays, but admitted that number appears "increasingly conservative."

The iPhone 4S has been the fastest rollout ever for an iPhone model, with Apple selling its new handset in seven countries at launch, quickly followed by 22 new countries on Oct. 28. Whitmore said his research has found that the iPhone 4S is selling strongly in the international countries where it recently debuted.
post #2 of 88
The stock outs world wide aren't going to go anywhere soon, not if Apple's release schedule for other countries goes as planned.

Going to be some high numbers on the next fiscal report.
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post #3 of 88
The 4S is great and Siri is a phenomenal game changing feature!

However, the battery and 3G connection is flawed. I hope it's not a hardware issue and they can fix it with a software update.
post #4 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

The 4S is great and Siri is a phenomenal game changing feature!

However, the battery and 3G connection is flawed. I hope it's not a hardware issue and they can fix it with a software update.

I have no problems with 3G connection on the iPhone 4S, but the battery drains a little faster then the iPhone 4.
post #5 of 88
I just ordered a 4S from the Apple site and it was shipped two days later. I ordered it on the 3rd, and it looks like it'll get here tomorrow.

Stores that carry for the 4S in my area (metro Detroit) are wiped out and don't expect stock for 2-6 weeks.

If you want one, buy it from Apple.
post #6 of 88
As long as Apple is selling every iOS device it can make why all the hand wringing and fretting over what the "competition" is doing? iPhone market share is growing, not shrinking, in the face of the Android crap-phone "juggernaut." The "Android is winning" argument doesn't seem to fit. Just today HTC found out it took a hit over the release of the iPhone 4S in October. I'd like to see some sales figures comparing premium Android phones with the iPhone.

I don't hate Google or Android. I just think they are basically irrelevant to Apple's success or failure.
post #7 of 88
I ordered 9 of them for my team, and have waited for three weeks so far, and I've still not got an ETA. I'm happy to wait, but it does seem they are prioritizing people ordering one or two over bulk orders (these are for everyone in my team).

9 more customers down for Blackberry.
post #8 of 88
Apple is doomed. It's just another iPhone 4. We waited fifteen months for the same product.

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post #9 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

As long as Apple is selling every iOS device it can make why all the hand wringing and fretting over what the "competition" is doing? iPhone market share is growing, not shrinking, in the face of the Android crap-phone "juggernaut." The "Android is winning" argument doesn't seem to fit. Just today HTC found out it took a hit over the release of the iPhone 4S in October. I'd like to see some sales figures comparing premium Android phones with the iPhone.

I don't hate Google or Android. I just think they are basically irrelevant to Apple's success or failure.

really, the comparisons are unfair, but are great for the media to use.

How many companies make an android handset? Many. And with many versions of the OS. (there was a great chart wired-I think- posted regarding the fragmentation of andrioid versions and how some phones are sold with an already outdated OS).

There's only one iPhone maker combating all of these android makers and holding up quite well.

It's an artificial comparison, as if one car company makes a singular popular car and the sales figures get compared to every other car/company who make several popular cars--of course the other companies will have higher sales numbers, but does it mean anything?
post #10 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple is doomed. It's just another iPhone 4. We waited fifteen months for the same product.

/sarcasm?
post #11 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by justlikeglass View Post

It's an artificial comparison, as if one car company makes a singular popular car and the sales figures get compared to every other car/company who make several popular cars--of course the other companies will have higher sales numbers, but does it mean anything?

Wait, Mercedes doesn't sell more cars than BMW, Audi, Toyota (and Lexus), Honda (and Acura), Nissan (and Infiniti), Hyundai, Kia, and GM combined? What?! Mercedes is DOOMED!!!!!

</s>
post #12 of 88
At the NYC Fifth Ave store, there is a big problem with the Chinese. There are dozens and dozens of them buying 2 at a time to resell in China. Surely, most of them work for a limited number of agents who are doing the overseas trading. The store does nothing to prevent these "scalpers" from taking most of the supply. It really sucks.
post #13 of 88
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Originally Posted by justlikeglass View Post

/sarcasm?

Ah, you're new.

Yes, yes it is.

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post #14 of 88
I am super curious to see how many iPhones (of all models) are sold this quarter. There are several forces converging that could result in a very big number:

1. pent-up demand due to the later-than-usual introduction of the 4S
2. the widest array of price options ever available for the iPhone, including the "free with contract" 3GS.
3. the fastest ramp-up of a new model (due in part to maintaining the same form factor and screen as the last model)
4. the widest distribution network to date (including the three largest carriers in the US)
5. the collapse of RIM

Might we see Apple hit 40 million?
post #15 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

1. pent-up demand due to the later-than-usual introduction of the 4S
2. the widest array of price options ever available for the iPhone, including the "free with contract" 3GS.
3. the fastest ramp-up of a new model (due in part to maintaining the same form factor and screen as the last model)
4. the widest distribution network to date (including the three largest carriers in the US)
5. the collapse of RIM

1. Yep.
2. I guess.
3. Sure.
4. Oh, is it?
5. Wait, when did that happen? I mean, I believe it'll happen easily before the end of next year; complete bankruptcy, all products gone, but have we heard that?

And

6. Siri.

People love it.

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post #16 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

At the NYC Fifth Ave store, there is a big problem with the Chinese. There are dozens and dozens of them buying 2 at a time to resell in China. Surely, most of them work for a limited number of agents who are doing the overseas trading. The store does nothing to prevent these "scalpers" from taking most of the supply. It really sucks.

1) Curious how Apple Store employees could handle this? Turn them away because they are Chinese? Have two lines, one for Asians, one for non-Asians? If they are limiting them to two units so to me that sounds like they are doing what they legally can, unlike in China where they didn't have limits initially.

2) I was told that you couldn't buy the iPhone at sticker price yet aren't all these buyers signing up with a carrier's two year contract at this point or is NYC allowing buyers to get off contract iPhone pricing?
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post #17 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

At the NYC Fifth Ave store, there is a big problem with the Chinese. There are dozens and dozens of them buying 2 at a time to resell in China. Surely, most of them work for a limited number of agents who are doing the overseas trading. The store does nothing to prevent these "scalpers" from taking most of the supply. It really sucks.

Why is that a problem? Do they have less right to buy a phone than you do?
post #18 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I am super curious to see how many iPhones (of all models) are sold this quarter. There are several forces converging that could result in a very big number:

1. pent-up demand due to the later-than-usual introduction of the 4S
2. the widest array of price options ever available for the iPhone, including the "free with contract" 3GS.
3. the fastest ramp-up of a new model (due in part to maintaining the same form factor and screen as the last model)
4. the widest distribution network to date (including the three largest carriers in the US)
5. the collapse of RIM

Might we see Apple hit 40 million?

Plus, it is the holiday season.

Hitting 40MM would be pretty amazing. If iPad sales came in at 20MM, there is some possibility of hitting $50 billion in revenues for the quarter. It would be somewhere north of $13/share net income. Pretty wild. I would expect an event like this would re-set the stock price north of $500

Either way, it is great to see the strong demand.

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post #19 of 88
If memory serves, the lineups for iP4 lasted for weeks after launch (here's a photo 3 weeks after: http://bit.ly/up7iDI). With a greater pent-up demand and with the calendar moving to the holiday season, it would be a surprise not to see sellouts lasting till December.

What I have noticed is more iPhone 4Ses (or iPhone 4s?) in the wild. On subways, in the streets, in Starbucks, they seem to have more than doubled in the last few weeks. Judging from the fact that many units are *naked*, I am guessing they are new IP4Ses.
post #20 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by lav1daloca View Post

The 4S is great and Siri is a phenomenal game changing feature!

However, the battery and 3G connection is flawed. I hope it's not a hardware issue and they can fix it with a software update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eacumm View Post

I have no problems with 3G connection on the iPhone 4S, but the battery drains a little faster then the iPhone 4.

I hear (and read) that the battery problem is common. Strangely, I am seeing better battery life on my iP4S. So are my kids.
post #21 of 88
A badly worded article in that it makes it sound like a daily 'Oliver Twist' ritual.
post #22 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple is doomed. It's just another iPhone 4. We waited fifteen months for the same product.

So you buy a phone because they change the outside appearance and not for the changes inside.
post #23 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by eacumm View Post

So you buy a phone because they changer the outside appearance and not for the changes inside.

Maybe I should become an Android troll

Apparently I'm good at this.

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post #24 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Apple is doomed. It's just another iPhone 4. We waited fifteen months for the same product.

Oh yeah, and don't forget battery-gate! Doomed, indeed.

post #25 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

At the NYC Fifth Ave store, there is a big problem with the Chinese. There are dozens and dozens of them buying 2 at a time to resell in China. Surely, most of them work for a limited number of agents who are doing the overseas trading. The store does nothing to prevent these "scalpers" from taking most of the supply. It really sucks.

Wonder why they don't buy Droid phones and ship them to China ...
post #26 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

As long as Apple is selling every iOS device it can make why all the hand wringing and fretting over what the "competition" is doing?.

I don't think that APPLE is doing any fretting over anyone other than the issues of IP. It's all the blogs and the analysts doing the worrying about the other boys. Apple is just trying to keep the demand happy as quickly and orderly as they can
post #27 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

At the NYC Fifth Ave store, there is a big problem with the Chinese. There are dozens and dozens of them buying 2 at a time to resell in China. Surely, most of them work for a limited number of agents who are doing the overseas trading. The store does nothing to prevent these "scalpers" from taking most of the supply. It really sucks.

There is little they can do. If they turn away folks based on them being Asian they will be sued for being racist. If they say no cash sales, they will get sued for something or at least get hella bad PR like what happened when they tried that tact to stop iPad resellers and that welfare lady with no credit card told her local news station she was turned away.

I suppose they could go back to no full price sales in store and force everyone to use online and track some kind of address, name, credit card deal (no gift cards allowed of course) but that risks a privacy or some other lawsuit.

and so on.
post #28 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

2) I was told that you couldn't buy the iPhone at sticker price yet aren't all these buyers signing up with a carrier's two year contract at this point or is NYC allowing buyers to get off contract iPhone pricing?

You can buy full price as a gift or whatever but they aren't advertising that it is unlocked at this point. But it has been shown that it is. That's probably what these folks are doing.
post #29 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

I ordered 9 of them for my team, and have waited for three weeks so far, and I've still not got an ETA. I'm happy to wait, but it does seem they are prioritizing people ordering one or two over bulk orders (these are for everyone in my team).

9 more customers down for Blackberry.

No, I ordered one 2.5 weeks ago with a 3-week ETA. Still "in progress".
post #30 of 88
Apple is putting constraints on the supply channel so that it appears that there is high demand.

</s>
na na na na na...
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na na na na na...
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post #31 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by rhyde View Post

No, I ordered one 2.5 weeks ago with a 3-week ETA. Still "in progress".

For which carrier? and from where? My apple.com order shipped in two days, despite the indication of 1-2 week delays.
post #32 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

. . . I don't hate Google or Android. I just think they are basically irrelevant to Apple's success or failure.

Exactly, krupp. Apple, you, I and most users understand this. Sadly, the Droid guys think this is some sort of competition.

Envy only darkens the souls of the discontent.

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

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When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

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post #33 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by justlikeglass View Post

/sarcasm?

"Here’s to the Crazy One” was the give away if you don’t know the members.

When I find time to rewrite the laws of Physics, there'll Finally be some changes made round here!

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post #34 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by justlikeglass View Post

For which carrier? and from where? My apple.com order shipped in two days, despite the indication of 1-2 week delays.


Yokay, so for which carrier, and from where did you order your's?
post #35 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

At the NYC Fifth Ave store, there is a big problem with the Chinese. There are dozens and dozens of them buying 2 at a time to resell in China. Surely, most of them work for a limited number of agents who are doing the overseas trading. The store does nothing to prevent these "scalpers" from taking most of the supply. It really sucks.

Wow! This seems like a particularly rascist comment - last time I checked, the primary function of retailers in NYC was to sell products to any customer with money. That's how 'sales' are achieved.


Edited by HKLofu - 7/31/12 at 9:57am
post #36 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by HKLofu View Post

the primary function of retailers in NYC

The primary function of the entire United States of America is to be a place where that sort of nonsense doesn't happen at all.

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post #37 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Why is that a problem? Do they have less right to buy a phone than you do?

Yes, they do have less of a right if they are scalping them.
post #38 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfella View Post

Yokay, so for which carrier, and from where did you order your's?

I suppose I could have mentioned that...

I ordered it from Apple.com for ATT. The 64GB black 4S, if further specifics are desired.
post #39 of 88
I have a hard time believing these stock shortages. Everywhere I've gone, there's plenty of stock. It's a lot easier to find in stock than the 4 was, that's for sure.
post #40 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by rgh71 View Post

Yes, they do have less of a right if they are scalping them.

I think I'll go buy an iPhone 4S right now and sell it for exactly the same price as I bought it JUST to make you mad.

I own something, I can do whatever I want with it.

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