Originally posted by vinea
[B]Or the mini?
Who said Apple depended on an event to build anticipation? Just that a large event can help a product launch make a splash. That Apple seems to time product launches around key Mac events builds anticipation for new product just like major conferences/events in every industry (like say CES and CEDIA for home entertainment product launches).
If Apple is going to wait for, or arrange,events to release their products, then they become dependant upon them to do do, because their potential customers are forced to wait as well.
I'm not saying that they should never release a product at an industry event. I'm saying that they shouldn't arrange their own little events, like the last two, which went off poorly. That's very different. And, of course, there is the dev conf, and the Jan Macworld. New products are expected then as well.
But, let's say that Apple has a newly upgraded iPod model. Shouldn't they release it as soon as it is ready? Yes!
And, do they really need a special press event to unveil it? No!
Apple used to have four computer upgrade schedules during the year, when cpu's were still being speeded up on a regular basic, in the '90's, and through 2000.
Nerw machines were intro'd during Jan Macworld, the biggest one.
Then in Aprili, aroundbouts, there would be a speed bump, with other upgrades as well, such as memory, HD's, graphics card, etc.
Then in the July Macworld, other new machines would be intro'd, with the first machins getting another speed bump.
In Sept, all machines would get another speed bump.
In Jan. the cycle would start over again.
But the April and Sept speed bumps would never get more than a press release. That's as it should be.
New monitors, scanners, printers, would usually be released during the year, with, again, press releases. The magazines would be given pre-production models of ALL of Apple's new devices to test, and to prepare stories on for the release date. Ofter, they were allowed to write stories on those same un-released products before they came out.
Apple used to come to my Mac User Group, here in NYC, several times a year to show us new products before they were released.
Things were much more restricted when Jobs was running Apple back when, and after he came back.
There's no evidence that these restrictions and press events have helped sales at all. In fact, After Jobs came back, sales plummeted. It's really only recently that things have gotten so much better, and it's the products that are responsible for that, not these press events. He did the same thing before sales went up.
No matter what you do folks will criticize you.
For example you are criticizing Apple for both holding off product launches (to "wait" for an event) and launching too quickly (before there is sufficient inventory in the channel) in the same post.
You may want to think I'm saying both things, but I'm clearly not. What I've been saying, is that Apple should release them when ready, not before, and not after. That was pretty clear.
I hardly think many folks are going to decide that they will buy a PC because the Mac they want is in so much demand that the lead times are too high.[/QUOTE]
You're wrong about that too. People, and companies, especially companies, have failed to Buy Apple's products because they are are on a schedule, and Apple is well behind on delivery. Apple has even acknowledged that in the past. This was a major problem for them for a long time.
Mostly, people who buy machines are not "fans", who will put up with a lot. They walk into a store, and if what they want isn't there, they will buy something else. Once Apple loses a potential customer, it's difficult to get them back.
But true. Some number of InFocus (INFS) projectors were rumored to have ended up in a landfill because they overestimated demand and they didn't want to cannibalize sales of their new projector lines by putting the older model into the B stock channel.
In any case they did have to write down $15M worth of inventory in '03 and a similar amount in '02.
Then of course, there's the classic Atari story where they buried 14 truckloads of cartridges (after running over them with a bull dozer) in the desert.
That's not to say that you don't want sufficient inventory to capitalize on a hot launch but it seems to be the lesser of two potential mistakes.
Apple dumped a million computers into the ocean in 1996, after Spindler screwed up during the holiday buying season in 1995, and came out with older 68040 machines, when people wanted the new PPC models. That is what started Apple's major slide.
But, you can't point to a few screw-ups. They're meaningless. If more are produced, in the beginning, they will be sold through next month, while production is cut back a bit to accommodate it. If the product is a good one, it will sell well. If not, then production levels aren't at fault, the conception of the product is.