Apple's Verizon iPhone 4 launch deemed a 'yawner' due to strong preorders

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The lack of sprawling lines in stores for the launch of the iPhone 4 on Verizon this week shouldn't be a major concern to investors, one Wall Street analyst believes.



Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities admitted in a note to investors on Friday that trips to various Apple and Verizon stores in Manhattan for Thursday's launch day confirmed reports that lines were modest, or in some cases nonexistant. White said the retail launch was "a bit of a yawner" likely to due to strong pre-orders placed online, allowing customers to stay at work or at home and out of the cold weather.



"Although Manhattan clearly does not represent all of America, we believe this provides general color on demand trends," White said. "The lack of positive surprise on day one could provide an excuse for the stock to take a breather after a strong run after the past several weeks, however, we remain aggressive buyers of Apple on any weakness as we believe the company's portfolio has never been better positioned to capitalize on consumer trends."



White noted that Apple and Verizon sold out on initial preorders for existing customers in less than 24 hours. He has estimated that between the initial preorder and general online preorders that began on Wednesday, between 700,000 and a million units may have been sold.



"Given the extra cold weather this season, some consumers may have opted to wait to purchase a Verizon iPhone 4 or will simply order online," he said. "Finally, the App Stores seem to be less involved in this process versus the Verizon stores, and one worker indicated that some consumers were not even aware that the Verizon iPhone 4 was available at the Apple stores."



White expects that Verizon will activate 13.2 million iPhones in its first 12 months after the February launch, or 11.7 million iPhones in the remaining months of calendar year 2011. He cautioned, however, that those numbers "could prove conservative."



White also believes that Apple has more announcements planned for its CDMA iPhone 4 recently launched on the Verizon network, with China Telecom a likely candidate for a partnership.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 36
    I might become a analyst, because you don't seem to have to know all that much about the subject you release notes on.



    The type of person that 'waits' in lines for an iPhone, is also the same person who already:



    1) Owns an iPhone and is still under a contract with ATT and has an ETF

    2) Was a long term Verizon hold out, who ordered online and was pacing waiting for FedEx on Monday.

    3) Knows very well that iPhone 5 is due in June/July and if they are going to go whole hog and pay an ETF wants the 'newest' iPhone.



    No wonder Wall Street had such issues in recent years, look whose 'insight' is calling the shots.



    (sigh)
  • Reply 2 of 36
    Apple/AT&T also had online preorders....and orders online during the kickoff. Yet, there were still longs lines outside of every store. Once the numbers come in, we will know how successful this was.
  • Reply 3 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doubleusn View Post


    I might become a analyst, because you don't seem to have to know all that much about the subject you release notes on.



    The type of person that 'waits' in lines for an iPhone, is also the same person who already:



    1) Owns an iPhone and is still under a contract with ATT and has an ETF

    2) Was a long term Verizon hold out, who ordered online and was pacing waiting for FedEx on Monday.

    3) Knows very well that iPhone 5 is due in June/July and if they are going to go whole hog and pay an ETF wants the 'newest' iPhone.



    No wonder Wall Street had such issues in recent years, look whose 'insight' is calling the shots.



    (sigh)



    So very true
  • Reply 4 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    Apple/AT&T also had online preorders....and orders online during the kickoff. Yet, there were still longs lines outside of every store. Once the numbers come in, we will know how successful this was.



    Not really, AT&T and Apple servers got hammered so bad that people couldn't even place orders, Apple and AT&T had to pull the plug early I remember. Verizon pre orders went smoothly and they was no need to get in line in 20 degrees weather I think.
  • Reply 5 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fraklinc View Post


    Not really, AT&T and Apple servers got hammered so bad that people couldn't even place orders, Apple and AT&T had to pull the plug early I remember. Verizon pre orders went smoothly and they was no need to get in line in 20 degrees weather I think.



    If I recall, demand was so high the servers were slow. However, within a few hours, Apple and AT&T said that they had sold out in record time.
  • Reply 6 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doubleusn View Post


    I might become a analyst, because you don't seem to have to know all that much about the subject you release notes on.



    The type of person that 'waits' in lines for an iPhone, is also the same person who already:



    1) Owns an iPhone and is still under a contract with ATT and has an ETF

    2) Was a long term Verizon hold out, who ordered online and was pacing waiting for FedEx on Monday.

    3) Knows very well that iPhone 5 is due in June/July and if they are going to go whole hog and pay an ETF wants the 'newest' iPhone.



    No wonder Wall Street had such issues in recent years, look whose 'insight' is calling the shots.



    (sigh)



    Don't forget also that indirects like

    1. Bestbuy, wal-mart are selling these on day one.

    2. the phones been out already what 7 months.

    I've heard also frankly the opposite...we will see the numbers soon.
  • Reply 7 of 36
    Many Verizon customers have already discovered that Android devices provide a very similar user experience to the iPhone, and without the walled-garden aspect of Apple's app-store. Why would anyone expect them to be clamoring for a fundamentally similar replacement device? The gap is just not as large as it was when the iPhone first came out and the wow factor was gigantic.
  • Reply 8 of 36
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    White said the retail launch was "a bit of a yawner" like to due to strong pre-orders placed online



    let's make a deal: if you proof-read your blog entries then i'll read them.



    350 words and you can't go through them to be sure they're all in the right order?



    don't quit your day job.
  • Reply 9 of 36
    A yawner because you don't give people enough credit. Why run out to stand in below freezing temps when you can order online or wait four or five months for the iphone5? If Verizon customers have waited years for the iphone, they can wait a few months for the latest version that doesn't have a faulty antenna.
  • Reply 10 of 36
    At what point can a new product be successful even if there is not a line around the block? Is it a failure when Dial comes out with a new soap fragerance or Johnson & Johnson comes out with a new flavor of Children's Tylonel if there aren't long lines at the CVS Pharmacy?
  • Reply 11 of 36
    If the AT&T launches of iPhone models taught us anything, it was to avoid the long lines and preorder if you wanted an iPhone on day one and did not want to hear "backorder" after waiting 2 hours to get to the front of the line. A few years ago, I waited in line for the 3G model and after 90 minutes, the store announced it was sold out. I was close to the front of the line. They had no idea when a new shipment would arrive, they said. I left after another 30 minutes of standing there. But amazingly, the line had doubled in length since I arrived. As I walked away, I passed a UPS delivery guy pushing a dolly full of shipping boxes heading in the opposite direction... Heading towards the... Suddenly the line of people at the Apple Store started cheering. Oh shit! FML. After that, I vowed two things: I would skip the 3G model to "punish" Apple for not making it easier to buy an iPhone (back then, they did not sell them online to prevent people from not activating them on AT&T), and I would do whatever it took to avoid waiting in line at an Apple Store. Lines are the antithesis of good customer service. I mean, if Apple is going to make long lines an annual event, they should take a lesson from Disneyland about line management and let people reserve a spot in line.
  • Reply 12 of 36
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doubleusn View Post


    3) Knows very well that iPhone 5 is due in June/July and if they are going to go whole hog and pay an ETF wants the 'newest' iPhone.



    This seems like the most likely explanation to me, or at least worth a mention by the analyst.
  • Reply 13 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Given the extra cold weather this season, some consumers may have opted to wait to purchase a Verizon iPhone 4 or will simply order online," he said. "Finally, the App Stores seem to be less involved in this process versus the Verizon stores, and one worker indicated that some consumers were not even aware that the Verizon iPhone 4 was available at the Apple stores."



    How does this explain the lack of lines in sunny northern California?
  • Reply 14 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post


    Many Verizon customers have already discovered that Android devices provide a very similar user experience to the iPhone, and without the walled-garden aspect of Apple's app-store. Why would anyone expect them to be clamoring for a fundamentally similar replacement device? The gap is just not as large as it was when the iPhone first came out and the wow factor was gigantic.



    Is that why Verizon shut off pre-orders for existing Verizon customers 17 hours after starting them?
  • Reply 15 of 36
    They type of people who wait in line are also the type of people who aren't going to buy an 8 month old phone because they own it already or have another smartphone on the carrier of their choosing.



    Expect the iPhone 5 launch to be much more impressive than previous years however.
  • Reply 16 of 36
    Here's a damn good laugh for everyone:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUaFywhywjA



    And no, not like a laugh as in "look how bad Apple is" just a laugh as in, look how awkward this was...
  • Reply 17 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macinthe408 View Post


    How does this explain the lack of lines in sunny northern California?



    Everyone went to the beach instead.
  • Reply 18 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by xSamplex View Post


    Many Verizon customers have already discovered that Android devices provide a very similar user experience to the iPhone, and without the walled-garden aspect of Apple's app-store. Why would anyone expect them to be clamoring for a fundamentally similar replacement device? The gap is just not as large as it was when the iPhone first came out and the wow factor was gigantic.



    I had a Motorola Droid X and while I agree that it is a good OS, in my opinion it is not anywhere near as good as iOS. I pre-ordered my iPhone 4 and received it this past Monday. I would never use Android if given a choice.
  • Reply 19 of 36
    Where are the Android lines? Never have been, never will be. Generic commodity phones don't generate the excitement and publicity of an Apple launch. Sorry Droid chauvinists.
  • Reply 20 of 36
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by msuberly View Post


    At what point can a new product be successful even if there is not a line around the block? Is it a failure when Dial comes out with a new soap fragerance or Johnson & Johnson comes out with a new flavor of Children's Tylonel if there aren't long lines at the CVS Pharmacy?



    When this is a tech item that is revamped every year and models are deemed obsolete/mid-cycle at the 6 month point: yes.
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