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Claims of weakening demand for Apple's iPhone 4S disputed

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
A Taiwanese newspaper made waves on Wednesday by claiming that Apple has reduced orders for the iPhone 4S, but a trio of separate reports specifically dispute the rumor.

Taiwan's Commercial Times cited unnamed sources in reporting that Apple has cut orders for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 leading into the fourth quarter of calendar 2011. The report claimed that sales for the iPhone 4S in particular have not been as strong as Apple anticipated, prompting the company to reduce shipments by 10 percent to 15 percent.

But that report was quickly disputed Wednesday morning by analyst Maynard Um with UBS Investment Research, who said the claims are entirely "without merit." He cited his own sources who said that the iPhone 4S continues to see strong demand as it continues its rapid expansion to new countries around the world.

In addition, Um said that various Apple suppliers indicated they have seen strength going into the holiday buying season, which also contradicts any claims of weakening demand. He said that if Apple were to be reducing orders for any product, it could be the iPad, though he shared no evidence of Apple reducing orders for its touchscreen tablet.

Separately, analyst Mike Abramsky with RBC Capital Markets also pounced on the report out of Taiwan, noting that it's at odds with the strong sell-through the iPhone 4S has seen thus far at multiple carriers in countries around the world.

"One explanation is that the reduced orders (if true) may be related more to AAPL pulling back its typical over-ordering of components... to secure availability, particularly for this high profile launch during the holidays, rather than slowing sellthrough vs street expectations," Abramsky wrote in a note to investors.

He noted that online availability of the iPhone 4S remains at shipping times of one to two weeks. He also said checks conducted on Nov. 4 showed the iPhone 4S is the top smartphone at all major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon and Sprint.

Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray also chimed in Wednesday morning, calling any talk of reduced iPhone 4S orders from Apple "off base." He remains confident in his forecast of 26 million iPhone sales for the quarter, and 112.5 million in calendar year 2012, both of which would be new records for Apple.

Munster and his team polled 30 Apple retail stores this Monday, and 17 of them, or 57 percent, indicated they were completely sold out of iPhone 4S units. Of the remaining 13 stores that had stock, none of them had availability of all of the different models.

"Given the stock outages at U.S. Apple stores nearly one month after the launch, we believe it is unlikely that Apple would cut production, when it clearly cannot build iPhones fast enough to meet demand," Munster said.



The claims by the Commercial Times are especially surprising because the iPhone 4S has already gotten off to a record setting start. Sales of Apple's latest smartphone topped four million in its first weekend alone, and during his company's quarterly earnings conference call last month, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said he's confident that a new record for iPhones will be set in the current holiday quarter.

Since then, strong sales have been a continued storyline for the iPhone 4S, with one report earlier this week indicating that 85 percent of Apple's retail stores are seeing daily stock-outs of the company's flagship smartphone. International interest has been strong as well, as preorders in Hong Kong sold out in just 10 minutes last week, while South Korean carriers sold 200,000 units in the first day of preorders.
post #2 of 43
Commercial Times' track record is pretty lousy. My favorite is their insistence that Apple was going to produce a netbook in 2009. Not only did they make that prediction, but they claimed that Wintek would do the assembly and that the panels had already been ordered. Probably using the same unnamed sources.
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post #3 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Commercial Times' track record is pretty lousy. My favorite is their insistence that Apple was going to produce a netbook in 2009. Not only did they make that prediction, but they claimed that Wintek would do the assembly and that the panels had already been ordered. Probably using the same unnamed sources.

Quoting Commercial Times (Taiwan) is like quoting Paul Thurrott or Rob Enderle on Apple products.

That being said, IF there is any reason for a reduction in component supply purchasing it is probably due to re-sourcing or updating to newer/different components, say like a shift from hard drives to SSDs for example.
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post #4 of 43
Anecdotally that hasn't been my experience. On top of that it goes against past iPhone trends without showing any signs to suggest such a change in interest.
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post #5 of 43
Nothing more than market manipulation here, IMHO. Rumors, rumors, and more rumors: the easiest way to drive AAPL (or any other equity) down.
post #6 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

Commercial Times' track record is pretty lousy. My favorite is their insistence that Apple was going to produce a netbook in 2009. Not only did they make that prediction, but they claimed that Wintek would do the assembly and that the panels had already been ordered. Probably using the same unnamed sources.

Sounds about right.

The only reason they might have reduced orders slightly (but likely more like 5-10% at some factories) is because they need to use some production lines to gear up for the iPad 3 if it is going to come out in the first half of Q2. But I suspect they aren't and never were. I think part of the whole thing with moving the iPhone to the beginning of Q1 was to get the iPhone kicking off the fiscal year and to get the rollouts closer together to try to reduce resellers from pulling their stunts of buying to ship overseas because X isn't getting it for 3 months.

Now that the iPhone is top of Q1, the iPad will likely be more like the end of Q2 to top of Q3 so there's no need to bother with stock pilling now, wait until January and start that. This info is likely totally wrong or it is old info based on old trends that aren't being applied this time. Or they just read it wrong. Perhaps the whole thing was that after they get past the launch rush they would reduce the lines as demand slowed by 10-15% (which hasn't been triggered yet). Whatever it is, I don't trust them to have sources reliable enough to take it as they say it.
post #7 of 43
Gene's projection of 26 million phones for the quarter seems too conservative. Given the demand and the rollout across so many countries, I have to believe Apple will be able to sell at least 10 million a month. I would not be shocked if they hit 35 million

Keep in mind all the 3GS and 4 sales. New loverly price points are going to suck the air out of the room for the Android pieces of shit

Apple is doing a great job with this launch. Congrats to the team

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post #8 of 43
Ok, which is it?
One one hand Apple gets criticized when it doesn't ramp up 100% for big rollouts (like the IP4s), with claims that they want to give the illusion of high demand with lines.
On the other, if they do ramp up big time (as they obviously did this time) and then adjust as the initial surge passes, the mills crank out garbage like this saying that 'demand is down'.

Give me a break.
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Ok, which is it?
One one hand Apple gets criticized when it doesn't ramp up 100% for big rollouts (like the IP4s), with claims that they want to give the illusion of high demand with lines.
On the other, if they do ramp up big time (as they obviously did this time) and then adjust as the initial surge passes, the mills crank out garbage like this saying that 'demand is down'.

Give me a break.

You're starting to get the idea.

Pick any random idea. If Apple does that, they're wrong. If they don't do it, they're also wrong.

It saves the analysts from having to think. They simply say "Apple is wrong" and that's their story for the day.
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post #10 of 43
Whether this rumour is true or not, the iPhone 4S remains a fairly minor upgrade and demand is likely to recede in 2012, certainly in established Western markets, without price initiatives that tempt customers to switch. IPhone growth is likely to be driven by Apple entering new markets.

A lot of existing iPhone users, myself included, have bought every single model. Each successive one was a quantum leap above the previous version making the decision to upgrade almost a no-brainer. There comes a point, however, when even the most die-hard fan has to ask do i really need to get a new phone every year?

I will be interested to see what % of existing iPhone 4 users upgrade to the iPhone 4S. I for one will not be. I just didn't see the increase in performance as being significant enough to justify it, especially given the cost. Had it been the much rumoured, slimmer lighter iPhone 5 with a larger screen and longer battery life, then I would already have bought one.
post #11 of 43
I just received my iPhone 4S 64GB in 3 business days from Hong Kong! I think demand must be light, but Apple hasn't adjusted estimated shipping times (as stated when I ordered on apple.com they were 1-2 weeks).

Ordered on Friday 11/4, the phone shipped from Hong Kong on Sunday 11/6 and I received it yesterday, Tuesday 11/8. Wow!!
post #12 of 43
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post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Each successive one was a quantum leap above the previous version making the decision to upgrade almost a no-brainer..

First, I disagree with many of your points, including your insistence that it is a given that sales will slow because the 4S is a minor upgrade. These are personal opinions, not facts, so your prognostication is just your personal viewpoint.

Second, it is not true that each iPhone was a quantum leap. Consider the 3GS, for example. Same form factor, just faster with a few more hardware features LIKE: video, better camera, etc. Sounds a bit familiar, eh? Kinda like the difference between 4 and 4S.

So, did the 3G to 3GS transition result in 'slowing sales'. Did consumers reject it because it wasn't a 'quantum leap'? No - quite the opposite. In fact, the 3GS is still a good seller, despite the fact that it is now over two years old.
post #14 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A Taiwanese newspaper made waves on Wednesday by claiming that Apple has reduced orders for the iPhone 4S, but a trio of separate reports specifically dispute the rumor.

Taiwan's Commercial Times cited unnamed sources in reporting that Apple has cut orders for the iPhone 4S and iPad 2 leading into the fourth quarter of calendar 2011. The report claimed that sales for the iPhone 4S in particular have not been as strong as Apple anticipated, prompting the company to reduce shipments by 10 percent to 15 percent.

The unnamed sources work for HTC, Google, and Microsoft.
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Each successive one was a quantum leap above the previous version making the decision to upgrade almost a no-brainer.

iPhone 1 to iPhone 3G - Introduced a plastic back instead of metal, 3g connectivity, A-GPS and a slight processor bump

iPhone 3G to iPhone 3Gs - Introduced much faster speeds and a better camera, 2 x faster 7.2 mbps 3g internet connection

iPhone 3Gs to iPhone 4 - Hardware re-design, retina display, better camera, much faster

iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S - Antenna redesign, better camera, much faster, siri, 2 x faster 14.4 mbps 3g internet connection

Some perspective
post #16 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by jhende7 View Post

iPhone 1 to iPhone 3G - Introduced a plastic back instead of metal, 3g connectivity, A-GPS and a slight processor bump

iPhone 3G to iPhone 3Gs - Introduced much faster speeds and a better camera, 2 x faster 7.2 mbps 3g internet connection

iPhone 3Gs to iPhone 4 - Hardware re-design, retina display, better camera, much faster

iPhone 4 to iPhone 4S - Antenna redesign, better camera, much faster, siri, 2 x faster 14.4 mbps 3g internet connection

Some perspective

I'm confused... your post seems to make his point.
post #17 of 43
I hope all the irrational AAPL owners who think the world is out to get them make a note of this. I'd love to know of another company that has analysts falling over themselves to refute negative rumors about a company. It doesn't happen.
post #18 of 43
I was in Home Depot last weekend and saw this stylish woman with a potted plant in her shopping basket. She stopped a passing sales person to ask if he knew the proper care for the plant. He replied, No, but you could look it up on your iPhone in a couple seconds. She said I guess I can do that and whipped out her iPhone and started inputing her search. I was curious how the sales person just summed her up and assumed she had an iPhone or was he speaking in general terms as in "look it up on your smart phone". It is just easier to say iPhone rather than smartphone. Is the term iPhone becoming the generic form of the device such as Xerox means a photo copy?

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post #19 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

I could see a slowdown, however I do not look at it as a change in interest. I think alot of people look for physical changes and the 4s looks the same as the iPhone 4. Siri being the feature most will notice but I am not sure that is enough to get them to upgrade.

I didn't pre order my 4s, about a week later I went to the Apple Store, stood in line with about 12 other people and got three for my family.

That tells me either one of two things, either the demand isn't has high or more likely Apple this time around did a good job of making enough iPhone to keep up with demand.

One thing I don't see reported that much is the camera on the 4s is amazing. I really like iOS5.

Look at the 3GS numbers over the 3G. An exterior change surely help create interest as we all like new gadgets but the numbers speak for themselves.

Now look at the record breaking first weekend sales, records with ore-orders, the number of initial countries and rollout speed of new countries. I think Apple has really stepped up their ability to keep up with a massive demand.

It's not perfect in the sense there are people having to wait, but considering the growth of this market and the record breaking number of units they will sell of one model phone this quarter I don't see how it's anything short of impressive.

PS: You get AppleCare+? I think it's worth the price. If they give you replacements in a sealed box I may even purposely break mine in a year so I sell an unopened 4S on Craig's List. That ought to be worth $49.
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post #20 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I was in Home Depot last weekend and saw this stylish woman with a potted plant in her shopping basket. She stopped a passing sales person to ask if he knew the proper care for the plant. He replied, No, but you could look it up on your iPhone in a couple seconds. She said I guess I can do that and whipped out her iPhone and started inputing her search. I was curious how the sales person just summed her up and assumed she had an iPhone or was he speaking in general terms as in "look it up on your smart phone". It is just easier to say iPhone rather than smartphone. Is the term iPhone becoming the generic form of the device such as Xerox means a photo copy?

We've been calling PMPs iPod for years. Though that is a different scenario since only 10% of phones in the US are iPhones.

It has been pointed out to me by non-iPhone users that iPhone users are much like BB users in that they tend to refer to their phone by name. That makes me this the sales person also likely had an iPhone.
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post #21 of 43
I ordered a 32GB black 4s on Nov 1st, and it hasn't shipped yet. There's no way Apple is cutting back when they can't meet current demand.
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpoge View Post

I ordered a 32GB black 4s on Nov 1st, and it hasn't shipped yet. There's no way Apple is cutting back when they can't meet current demand.

I am waiting for Best Buy to get them in stock - or maybe they have and they are just not using the web site to report inventory.

Say what you will about Best Buy - but it is the only place that I can spend $400 on an Apple product and not pay interest for 18 months.
post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrpoge View Post

I ordered a 32GB black 4s on Nov 1st, and it hasn't shipped yet. There's no way Apple is cutting back when they can't meet current demand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

I am waiting for Best Buy to get them in stock - or maybe they have and they are just not using the web site to report inventory.

Say what you will about Best Buy - but it is the only place that I can spend $400 on an Apple product and not pay interest for 18 months.

You guys might want to try getting them directly from an Apple Store by walking in or reserving in a store as a pre-order at 9pm on any given day.
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post #24 of 43
This story perfectly illustrates how important it is to take everything you read, including AppleInsider, with a grain of salt. Believe none of it until it can be verified by at least several different sources.
post #25 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

You guys might want to try getting them directly from an Apple Store by walking in or reserving in a store as a pre-order at 9pm on any given day.

I already have an iPhone 4 - and I am eligible for an early upgrade discount - so for me - it is less about getting it as soon as physically possible versus being able to buy it with the credit terms that are most favorable to me.

Though I wish I could just pay cash for everything I buy and avoid interest charges that way - such is not the case for now (at least until the convertible is paid off).
post #26 of 43
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post #27 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by extremeskater View Post

I did get Applecare + on all three phones and it is certainly worth the money seeing I have a 16 year old daughter, also a wife that is a teacher and the kids want to play with Siri on her phone. The funny thing is if student gets a question correct while she is teaching the reward is they get to ask Siri a question...lol.

With 3 in the household you get the benefit of playing musical chairs with the distribution to keep the person most likely to break their 4S with the one that has been replaced the least under warranty. Your daughter can break her 4S six times in 2 years assuming the other two don't suffer.
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post #28 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

. Is the term iPhone becoming the generic form of the device such as Xerox means a photo copy?

It already has. iPad even more.
post #29 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

It already has. iPad even more.

iPad and iPod I can see because they dominate the market by unit share, but the iPhone has never done that and likely never will come closet. But maybe dominating mindshare is another way for these associations to happen.
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post #30 of 43
iPhone
Samsung 32-bit RISC ARM 1176JZ(F)-S v1.0 620 MHz underclocked to 412 MHz
128 MB eDRAM
4 GB, 8 GB or 16 GB flash memory
Fixed-focus 2.0 megapixel camera
3.5 inch (9 cm) 320×480-pixel resolution at 163 ppi 18-bit (262,144-color) LCD
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850 900 1800 1900 MHz)
Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
Bluetooth 2.0
USB 2.0/Dock connector
Visual Voicemail, multi-touch gestures, HTML email, Safari web browser, threaded text messaging, and YouTube

iPhone 3G
CPU\tSamsung 32-bit RISC ARM 1176JZ(F)-S v1.0 620 MHz underclocked to 412 MHz
PowerVR MBX Lite 3D GPU
128 MB eDRAM
8 GB or 16 GB flash memory
Fixed-focus 2.0 megapixel camera
3.5 inch (9 cm) 320-by-480-pixel resolution at 163 ppi 18-bit (262,144-color) LCD
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850 900 1800 1900 MHz)
Tri-band UMTS/HSDPA 3.6 (850 1900 2100 MHz)
Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
USB 2.0/Dock connector
Assisted GPS and turn-by-turn navigation with Maps
iPhone OS 2.0 introduced App Store, 3rd party applications, Microsoft Exchange mail support, push e-mail, and scientific calculator

iPhone 3GS
Samsung S5PC100 ARM Cortex-A8 from 833 MHz underclocked to 600 MHz
PowerVR SGX535 GPU
256 MB eDRAM
8 GB, 16 GB or 32 GB flash memory
3 megapixel camera with tap-to-focus and video recording at 480p
3.5 inch (9 cm) 320-by-480-pixel resolution at 163 pip 24-bit (16.76 million colors) LCD
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850 900 1800 1900 MHz)
Tri-band UMTS/HSDPA (850 1900 2100 MHz)
Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
USB 2.0/Dock connector
Magnetometer (digital compass), Voice Control
iPhone OS 3.0 introduced Accessibility features (VoiceOver, Color Inversion, and Text Zoom), Compass, Voice Control

iPhone 4
Apple A4 (ARM Cortex-A8) from 1 GHz underclocked to 800 MHz
Apple A4 PowerVR SGX 535 GPU
512 MB eDRAM
16 GB or 32 GB flash memory
3.5 inches (89 mm) diagonal 1.5:1 aspect ratio widescreen LED backlit IPS TFT LCD Retina display (640×960 resolution at 326 ppi (0.61 MP) with 800:1 contrast ratio (typical) 500 cd/m2 max brightness (typical) and Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front and back glass
Rear Camera: 5 MP back-side illuminated sensor with HD video (720p) at 30 frame/s and 5× digital zoom and LED flash
Front Camera[/I][/B]: 0.3 MP (VGA) SD video recording (480p) at 30 frame/s
Photo and video geotagging
3-axis gyroscope complements the 3-axis accelerometer for 6-axis motion sensing
Dual microphone (for ambient noise canceling)
Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) (2.4 GHz only)
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
GSM model: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (800 850 900 1800 1900 MHz)
Quad-band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (800 850 900 1900 2100 MHz) (800 MHz not yet announced as supported by Apple)
CDMA model: Dual-band CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A (800 1900 MHz)
iOS 4 (now decoupled from iPhone releases) includes: AirPrint, FaceTime, Folders, Game Center, High Dynamic Range imaging, iBooks, iTunes Home Sharing, Multi-tasking, Nitro JavaScript engine in Safari, Notifications, Personal Hotspot, Ping


iPhone 4S
Dual-core Apple A5 (ARM Cortex-A9) from 1 GHz underclocked to 800 MHz
Dual-core Apple A5 (PowerVR SGX 543MP2)
512 MB DDR2 (1066 Mbit/s) RAM
16 GB, 32 GB, and 64 GB
3.5 inches (89 mm) diagonal 1.5:1 aspect ratio widescreen LED backlit IPS TFT LCD Retina display (640×960 resolution at 326 ppi (0.61 MP)) with 800:1 contrast ratio (typical) 500 cd/m2 max. brightness (typical) and Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating on front and back glass
Rear Camera: 8 MP back-side illuminated sensor featuring IR filter, Aperture f/2.4 and 5 element lens as well as Image signal processor, Facial recognition with HD video (1080p) at 30 frame/sImage stabilization
Front Camera: 0.9 MP VGA with 30 FPS (720p)
Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n) (2.4 GHz only)
Bluetooth 4.0
"World Phone"
Combined GSM/CDMA antenna: Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (800 850 900 1800 1900 MHz)
Quad-band UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA (800 850 900 1900 2100 MHz)
Dual-band CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A (800 1900 MHz)
GLONASS signal reception in addition to GPS signal reception
Siri speech recognition with natural language processing
iOS 5 includes: AirPlay, Camera Improvements (auto enhance, crop and rotate, red eye fix), Emoji Keyboard, iCloud, iMessage, Notification Center, Newstand, Reader, Reading List, Reminders, Twitter Integration
post #31 of 43
Short and distort!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

I think I missed that link.

URL?

being sarcastic...obviously how would htc, google, and MS know about anything about apple shipments.
post #33 of 43
One of Apple's key marketing techniques has long been to create the illusion of shortage (and "news" stories of panic buying) by ensuring that they supply less to the market than the current level of demand.

The story that Apple has cut orders seems entirely credible to me.
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fandroid View Post

One of Apple's key marketing techniques has long been to create the illusion of shortage (and "news" stories of panic buying) by ensuring that they supply less to the market than the current level of demand.

The story that Apple has cut orders seems entirely credible to me.

This is nonsense believed by idiots. Apple will get hammered in the market at the next financial call if the fail to meet targets.
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post #35 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fandroid View Post

One of Apple's key marketing techniques has long been to create the illusion of shortage (and "news" stories of panic buying) by ensuring that they supply less to the market than the current level of demand.

The story that Apple has cut orders seems entirely credible to me.

This is the dumbest marketing logic i've seen. So artificially restrict supply so that many people can not get the product so these people could go to competitor's product. I'm glad you're not running a company. I could have sworn businesses would rather sell more products to more people to actually make money.
post #36 of 43
There is no stock in any O2 store in the UK. Demand is off the wall.
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post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by asdasd View Post

There is no stock in any O2 store in the UK. Demand is off the wall.

True, i have bookmarked thier stock checking website and check it every day but not all have any stocks. In the end, I ordered one from Apple online store SIM Free a week ago with delivery expected between 11-18 Nov but the order status have not change since I made my order which could mean it is not yet built. I bought a White 16GB 4S. And O2 even only sell them to their existing customers. They were the sole network at the start do basically more old subscribers that needing an upgrade than the other 3 major networks. Demand is indeed high.
post #38 of 43
To all the people going off topic talking about whether the iPhone 4S was a big enough upgrade; Lets just put it this way, if the 4S was given a new form factor no one would be bitching. Which shows how superficial people can be. Instead of buying iPhones to show off that you have the newest phone, buy it because of all the simplicity, functionality, apps, speed, etc etc.
post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporate View Post

... if the 4S was given a new form factor no one would be bitching.

Are you kidding?! Perfection just increases the bitch level.
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post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailpipe View Post

Whether this rumour is true or not, the iPhone 4S remains a fairly minor upgrade and demand is likely to recede in 2012, certainly in established Western markets, without price initiatives that tempt customers to switch. IPhone growth is likely to be driven by Apple entering new markets.

A lot of existing iPhone users, myself included, have bought every single model. Each successive one was a quantum leap above the previous version making the decision to upgrade almost a no-brainer. There comes a point, however, when even the most die-hard fan has to ask do i really need to get a new phone every year?

I will be interested to see what % of existing iPhone 4 users upgrade to the iPhone 4S. I for one will not be. I just didn't see the increase in performance as being significant enough to justify it, especially given the cost. Had it been the much rumoured, slimmer lighter iPhone 5 with a larger screen and longer battery life, then I would already have bought one.

Yep, that pretty much describes me. I bought every iPhone since the original at or near launch, except the 4S. This latest phone is excellent, no doubt, but I have to stop and think if it's necessary to upgrade every year.

I see it as basically getting Siri (which is cool) and a better camera (which I don't need). But I also look at Siri as more of an artificial restriction than a true 4S feature. I think the 4 can handle it, but Apple dangles Siri using this restriction to drive 4S sales, which I think is a great strategy, but I find it hard to justify shelling out money and extending my contract for another 2 years to be allowed to use it.
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