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Hong Kong iPhone 4S launch sells out after thousands line up

post #1 of 29
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Apple's flagship retail store in Hong Kong reportedly sold out of iPhone 4S units by lunchtime after Friday's launch of the popular smartphone attracted a crowd of more than 3,000 people.

Despite clashes between customers and professional queuers earlier in the week, Friday's 7 a.m. launch at the IFC Apple Store ran "rather smoothly," according to Twitter user PenguinSix.

Police had broken up a crowd of 400 to 500 people in line for Apple's new handset on Wednesday night after scalpers allegedly threatened customers. On Thursday, a mix of security officials, Apple employes and police officers worked to create holding pens for queuers. According to M.I.C. Gadget, 50 pens were set up with 25 people in each one.

Behind the 1,250 people waiting in pens, more than 2,000 people waited in an unofficial line, the report noted.

PenguinSix reported that the official Apple Store had sold out of the smartphones "at lunch time," though some nearby carrier stores requiring contracts for purchases were said to still have stock.



Hong Kong is experiencing significant pent up demand for the iPhone 4S, as preorders for the device sold out in 10 minutes, according to one analyst.

A number of the iPhone 4S purchases are presumably bound for mainland China, where the device has yet to launch. According to some reports, queuers can make as much as HK$1,000 ($129) off of each iPhone by selling the handsets to gray market resellers in Hong Kong and the mainland. For the Friday's launch, Apple capped individual purchases at five iPhone 4S units, enough for some scalpers to make as much as a month's salary for their time in line.



The IFC Apple Store opened in September to large crowds as the company's first official retail location in the city. The iPhone maker's focus on Greater China has already begun to pay off, as sales in the region reached a record $4.5 billion last quarter.

The China progress has been amazing, said CEO Tim Cook, adding the area shows enormous opportunity for the company.

Apple is also set to launch the iPhone 4S in South Korea, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, El Salvador, Greece, Guatemala, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Panama, Poland, Portugal, and Romania on Friday.
post #2 of 29
Glad to see Apple products are big in Asia. Maybe the stock can readjust up tomorrow with this news.


PS: That's the first time I've ever seen the word queuers. I don't see anything wrong with the intransitive verb and included in SOWPODS for both Scrabbler and Words with Friends, so I like it.
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post #3 of 29
Seems like a strong launch, but I'm waiting for the news out of Bulgarian. If that one doesn't go off successfully I may just do myself in...
post #4 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by hankx32 View Post

Seems like a strong launch, but I'm waiting for the news out of Bulgarian. If that one doesn't go off successfully I may just do myself in...

Amazingly even in the socioeconomically weak countries of central/eastern Europe people still drop money on cell phones. I was in Bulgaria for 2 months in 2001 and the place for the most part was only technologically advanced to the level of 1960's America. Most people lived in tiny apartments and had no cars, but even then everyone had a cell phone (greater penetration than in the USA at the time). The cell phone was the one status symbol that they were willing to splurge on. So, I imagine that considering their size and average income iPhone 4s sales will be just fine in Bulgaria, Albania, Montenegro, etc.
post #5 of 29
So why Apple cut supply?
iPhone 4s not released where I live yet, I had to pay $1200 to get one , I know it's stupid
but I don't think it will be cheaper when it come officially.
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post #6 of 29
On release, Apple should only sell phones on contract in HK to eliminate the scalpers.
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post #7 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceltic View Post

So why Apple cut supply?

Rumors are not always correct.

It doesn't really seem believable that apple would change production plans without first seeing demand from china.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Glad to see Apple products are big in Asia. Maybe the stock can readjust up tomorrow with this news.

Whomever investigates stock manipulation in the US needs to investigate these short and distorts of Apple stock ASAP.

Who can you report this stuff to?
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 29
Apple could sell 40 million iPhones this quarter. If they can make enough.

The next earnings report is going to be fascinating. With potential softness of the iPad if you believe the buzz. That appears to be the risk at this point. I wonder if it will be a repeat of the 4S launch, where folks starting waiting in mass for the next version

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post #10 of 29
The worldwide rollout is still not over. The following two quarters should be great for Apple.

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post #11 of 29
What was that post recently ...? Oh yes, something about Apple's iPhone 4s losing it's initial appeal ...
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post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Oak View Post

Apple could sell 40 million iPhones this quarter. If they can make enough.

The next earnings report is going to be fascinating. With potential softness of the iPad if you believe the buzz. That appears to be the risk at this point. I wonder if it will be a repeat of the 4S launch, where folks starting waiting in mass for the next version

The specualtion numbers game is always fun, my version of the Kentucky Derby . Especially when the run of successes by the amateur pundits ended recently. They may start to be slighly more cautious.

Regarding the iPad 2 sales, it's funny really, dropping slightly from almost 100% saturation is seen as softening.
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post #13 of 29
I really wonder if this strategy of undersupply is going to backfire on Apple.

Thousands of potential customers are being turned away. This might make some more eager to get an iPhone, but it may also discourage many from buying Apple products.

Then again, Apple knows a whole lot more about branding and marketing than I do. So far, they have gotten HUGE amounts of press with their undersupply strategy. Likely they know what they are doing.
post #14 of 29
I find that ConradJoe makes more sense if you lock your iPad screen and turn it upside down, then read it with slight punctuation changes:

"Apple on backfire! . . . wonder I?"

Might work better in a mirror, too.

Anyway, back to his old MO after taking a few days off.
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

I find that ConradJoe makes more sense if you lock your iPad screen and turn it upside down, then read it with slight punctuation changes:

"Apple on backfire! . . . wonder I?"

Might work better in a mirror, too.

Anyway, back to his old MO after taking a few days off.

So far I haven't put Comrade on ignore... I keep him around for the humour factor.

I commented sarcastically the other day about Apple choking off supply to create demand... it's funny to see that line being used seriously.
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post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flaneur View Post

I find that ConradJoe makes more sense if you lock your iPad screen and turn it upside down, then read it with slight punctuation changes:

"Apple on backfire! . . . wonder I?"

Might work better in a mirror, too.

Anyway, back to his old MO after taking a few days off.

Yesterday he made some good posts that furthered the conversation nicely. But now with a comments about Apple having a strategy of undersupplying to create a artificial demand is just tinfoil hate crap I see it was just a fluke.
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post #17 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

But now with a comments about Apple having a strategy of undersupplying to create a artificial demand is just tinfoil hate crap I see it was just a fluke.

It might be that Apple makes the same damn mistake. Every. Single. Time.

It may be that Apple has no frigging clue how many pieces they might sell in these markets.


Me, I think Apple knows what it is doing. I don't believe that they make the same mistake over and over and over and over. I don't believe that they are so incapable of judging demand, output and launch dates that they blow it, totally, every friggin time.


You are free to think otherwise.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

It might be that Apple makes the same damn mistake. Every. Single. Time.

It may be that Apple has no frigging clue how many pieces they might sell in these markets.


Me, I think Apple knows what it is doing. I don't believe that they make the same mistake over and over and over and over. I don't believe that they are so incapable of judging demand, output and launch dates that they blow it, totally, every friggin time.


You are free to think otherwise.

So the only scenarios your brain can come up with are…
  1. Apple is incompetant.
  2. Apple is evil, selling less product than they possibily could to generate artifical demand.

The problem with your 2nd scenario is that they already have the hype. They dominate the mindshare. There is no financial gain for them to not sell as many units as possible.

Try this sane idea for size: Apple is a finite company in a finite world sourcing as many components as possible to be built in finite plants around the world and despite all these efforts to grow at excessive rates their demand is still outstripping their ability to bring products to market.

Hey, but if you want to keep claiming Apple is incompetent go right ahead. Yeah, you said "you think apple knows what its doing" but you suggest they aren't selling as many units as they could which means they are acting incompetently.
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post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

So the only scenarios your brain can come up with are…
  1. Apple is incompetant.
  2. Apple is evil, selling less product than they possibily could to generate artifical demand.

The problem with your 2nd scenario is that they already have the hype. They dominate the mindshare. There is no financial gain for them to not sell as many units as possible.

Try this sane idea for size: Apple is a finite company in a finite world sourcing as many components as possible to be built in finite plants around the world and despite all these efforts to grow at excessive rates their demand is still outstripping their ability to bring products to market.

Hey, but if you want to keep claiming Apple is incompetent go right ahead.

Despite supply constraints, Apple is fully in charge of release dates and markets entered.

I do not believe for a second that they are incompetent. I'm pretty sure I've said that many times. Neither do I believe that they are evil, whatever that is supposed to mean.
post #20 of 29
Hey CJ,

I would guess that there aren't enough factories set up to supply what Apple needs to meet demand. Why would you guess otherwise?

In order to counter the received opinion that my "guess" represents -- responsibly, in a serious international forum -- I would think the burden would be on you to show in detail where the (deliberate) choke points are in the supply chain. Otherwise it's just UGLY FUD on your part.

Edit: ably and more fully anticipated by solipsism. Joe, you have waded into some deep bullrushes this time, and I don't see much hope for your "argument."
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Despite supply constraints, Apple is fully in charge of release dates and markets entered.

I do not believe for a second that they are incompetent. I'm pretty sure I've said that many times. Neither do I believe that they are evil, whatever that is supposed to mean.

So enlighten us as to what Apple could do to sell all units they can make and get them to everyone in every country immediately upon selling them. Only sell to the US for a year until everyone who wants one has one while having 150M units pre-made just to be safe? Then send the 4S to another country, like the UK, or 6 months until they all have one? Then keep up that pattern for 150 years until all countries have the 4S and then start again? I don't think so!

How about… You take the number of pre-produced units you have made, compare that with the number of units you can make in a day, then figure out how many people buy iPhones per day per country using past statistics and future projections to determine how many you'll need for a solid roll out that will benefit the most number of people at any one time. It's almost like there are some economic principles that go along with maximizing your sales to the benefit of your bottom line. Guess what: Purposely not selling items that are already in high demand is not going to increase your bottom line.
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post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post


I do not believe for a second that they are incompetent. I'm pretty sure I've said that many times. Neither do I believe that they are evil, whatever that is supposed to mean.

Most people would agree that artificially constraining supply for PR or price-manipulation purposes is evil.

They would also agree that falsely accusing a person or a company of doing evil is itself evil.

Where do you come down in this dilemma you've made for yourself?
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

How about… You take the number of pre-produced units you have made, compare that with the number of units you can make in a day, then figure out how many people buy iPhones per day per country using past statistics and future projections to determine how many you'll need for a solid roll out that will benefit the most number of people at any one time.

Yes. But why has recent experience not evidenced that strategy?

The Hong Kong rollout seems like none of those strategies were used. Or, if the strategies were used successfully, a plan was in place to say "No" to everybody after the first ten minutes worth of phone callers, and the first couple of hours of people in line.

You may think that this phenomenon happened due to gross misestimations of supply and demand; I have my doubts.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Yes. But why has recent experience not evidenced that strategy?

Psst: suggestion for you. Show where there is a surplus!
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Yes. But why has recent experience not evidenced that strategy?

Opening extra plants to produce enough stock for roll out and then closing the plants for a year is not sound business strategy.

Remember the word, "finite".
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post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by island hermit View Post

So far I haven't put Comrade on ignore... I keep him around for the humour factor.

I commented sarcastically the other day about Apple choking off supply to create demand... it's funny to see that line being used seriously.

Aha, you've been reverse-plonked. And the Internet knows nothing about "finite," so a single reverse plonk can go a long way.
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

PS: That's the first time I've ever seen the word queuers. I don't see anything wrong with the intransitive verb and included in SOWPODS for both Scrabbler and Words with Friends, so I like it.

Thanks for that sol, another word learned.

Cmd-Ctrl-D:
SOWPODS
SOWPODS is the word list used in tournament Scrabble in most countries except the USA, Thailand and Canada. The term SOWPODS is derived from the anagram of the two acronyms OSPD and OSW, these being the original two official dictionaries used in various parts of the world at the time. Although the two source dictionaries have now changed their respective titles the term SOWPODS is still used by tournament players to refer to the combination of the two sources. There has not been any actual hard-copy list produced called SOWPODS, although the current Collins Scrabble Words, or CSW, is in effect the full SOWPODS list by a different name.
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post #28 of 29
Let's get something straight about this story:

Hong Kong did not sell out of the iPhone 4S on November 11th. Hong Kong sold out of all the iPhone 4ses available for November 11th on November 11th. There were more available on Nov 12th, Nov 13th, and every day, based on a limited number both through the Apple Online Store through in-store reservation for pickup, and through online purchase. There are plenty of iPhone 4ses available every day through carriers. I think anyone in Hong Kong who wants an iPhone 4s for their own use can get one within 2 days.
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

Let's get something straight about this story:

Thank you, always good to have a little reality added to the discussion!
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