Apple rethinks inventory management for iPad 2

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014
Apple has changed its inventory management policy for iPad 2 deliveries, having its retail stores hold on to new shipments until the next day in an effort to ease the sales process for both customers and employees, AppleInsider has learned.



A person familiar with Apple's retail operations informed AppleInsider this week that the new shipment of iPad 2 stock sold by some stores on Tuesday was actually delivered on Monday. Apple is said to have elected to hold the inventory for a next-day sale to grant its inventory control specialists the time to "calmly and accurately" process new shipments.



It was suggested that the change could be a "lesson learned" following the launch of major in-demand products in 2010: the iPhone 4 and first-generation iPad. For those launches, Apple's reservation system was said to have been plagued by a myriad of problems, including technical glitches that caused reservations to disappear, and resellers attempting to "game" the system.



Apple's previous strategy was to get products from the pallet to the shelf as fast as possible. But that approach was said to have caused "utter havoc" for Apple's retail employees, and led to inventory inaccuracies.



While some retail employees may have said to customers that this Tuesday's relatively small new stock of iPad 2 units was delivered that same morning, that information was characterized to AppleInsider as a "little white lie" told to "avert the wrath of customers."



For its part, Apple has made no official statements at the corporate level regarding a timetable for new iPad shipments. This week, the company simply said that customer interest in its second-generation tablet has been "amazing" and that it is "working hard" to meet demand.



iPad 2 line Wednesday at Apple's Fifth Avenue store. Photos from reader Ric S.



Separately, AppleInsider has also learned that Apple also made tweaks to its online ordering system in order to prevent onlookers from projecting the number of iPad 2 orders placed through its Web store. Last year, for the first-generation iPad launch, enthusiastic users at the Investor Village AAPL Sanity Board compared order numbers and cracked Apple's code to calculate total sales.



In response, a person familiar with Apple's ordering systems explained that the company changed its Web order number generating method to a random number. Now, online order numbers have no relation to how many units have been sold.



An iPad 2 line this week at The Mall at Millennia in Orlando, Fla. Photo from reader Chris S.



For more on the iPad 2 launch, see AppleInsider's extensive coverage:



Sellout of latest iPad 2 shipment raises questions about Apple's international launch



Overwhelming iPad 2 demand continues, Apple's online orders now ship in 4-5 weeks



Some Apple stores plan to open early Tuesday for iPad 2 sales



'Amazing' demand for iPad 2 seen as 'insurmountable lead' for Apple



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 91
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    apple should require a credit card and refuse to sell more than one or two ipads per card per month
  • Reply 2 of 91
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    I was thinking about going this morning to try and get one, but after seeing the pictures of the huge crowds of people standing in line with their umbrellas, I'm glad that I didn't bother.



    And Apple is still plagued by scalpers, and they should do something about that. Their current system and way of doing things is crap.
  • Reply 3 of 91
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    apple should require a credit card and refuse to sell more than one or two ipads per card per month



    Nah, won't work.



    I can generate disposable card numbers at will using Bank of America's (formerly MBNA) ShopSafe.



    Besides, I have four physical credit cards (I never keep a balance) and one debit card. I could still walk into bricks-and-mortar retail stores and buy ten under your policy.



    That said, I have placed an order for only one iPad 2.
  • Reply 4 of 91
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    Nah, won't work.



    It would work better than cash. It would be much harder for the organized, group buying of iPads, where a whole bunch of people are in line, buying up iPads with somebody else's cash and being directed by a sleazy ring leader.
  • Reply 5 of 91
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    What are the silver balls?
  • Reply 6 of 91
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    apple should require a credit card and refuse to sell more than one or two ipads per card per month



    That got in PR trouble for 'requiring' credit cards before. They ended up giving the woman on the news story a free iPad. They probably won't go there again.
  • Reply 7 of 91
    irelandireland Posts: 17,751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    And Apple is still plagued by scalpers, and they should do something about that. Their current system and way of doing things is crap.



    Like it or not, those scalpers are doing nothing illegal and are paying for those iPads.
  • Reply 8 of 91
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cvaldes1831 View Post


    Nah, won't work.



    I can generate disposable card numbers at will using Bank of America's (formerly MBNA) ShopSafe.



    Besides, I have four physical credit cards (I never keep a balance) and one debit card. I could still walk into bricks-and-mortar retail stores and buy ten under your policy.



    That said, I have placed an order for only one iPad 2.



    unless the scalpers in line have multiple credit cards it will keep them in check. as it is now they can buy all the ones they want
  • Reply 9 of 91
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    That got in PR trouble for 'requiring' credit cards before. They ended up giving the woman on the news story a free iPad. They probably won't go there again.



    Yeah, I remember that news story. I still think that they should do it again. If somebody doesn't have a credit card in this day and age, then too bad for them. What's the point of even being on the internet if you don't have a credit card? Is that woman going to run to the news again because she wasn't able to order from Amazon with cash?



    At the very least, they can have a credit card only policy for the first month or two.
  • Reply 10 of 91
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Like it or not, those scalpers are doing nothing illegal and are paying for those iPads.



    They're violating the TOA, by purchasing multiple times. Why bother to have a 2 iPad limit, if it's not going to be enforced? There was even some Russian guy who came back multiple times wearing a disguise.
  • Reply 11 of 91
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    Yeah, I remember that news story. I still think that they should do it again. If somebody doesn't have a credit card in this day and age, then too bad for them. What's the point of even being on the internet if you don't have a credit card? Is that woman going to run to the news again because she wasn't able to order from Amazon with cash?



    At the very least, they can have a credit card only policy for the first month or two.



    I have credit cards and choose to use them very sparingly, preferring cash for many or most transactions. Agreed that online purchases obviously require this (mostly). But maybe you should pause before you assume that everyone ought to have one and ought to use it.
  • Reply 12 of 91
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    unless the scalpers in line have multiple credit cards it will keep them in check. as it is now they can buy all the ones they want



    The main ring leader, the guy with the money, might have multiple cards, but the stooges standing in line working for them don't. The stooges aren't going to buy iPads on their own card, if they even have a card. It would cut down the scalping significantly.
  • Reply 13 of 91
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    How many of Apple Insider's "A person familiar with Apple's..." turned out to be reliable?



    Apple Insider's "insider sources" have the same, if not worse batting average, as Gene Munster.



    To suggest that the "largest tech company" is only starting to learn the basics of proper product processing only last year is utter nonsense and ridiculous. Even the smallet brick and mortar bookstores won't place their books on-shelf until properly recorded.





    CGC
  • Reply 14 of 91
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MJ1970 View Post


    I have credit cards and choose to use them very sparingly, preferring cash for many or most transactions. Agreed that online purchases obviously require this (mostly). But maybe you should pause before you assume that everyone ought to have one and ought to use it.



    It doesn't have to be a credit card, a debit card works just as good. I don't buy stuff on credit, I use my debit cards.
  • Reply 15 of 91
    mj1970mj1970 Posts: 9,002member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    It doesn't have to be a credit card, a debit card works just as good. I don't buy stuff on credit, I use my debit cards.



    I have one of those too. Sometimes it's about privacy.



    P.S. Debit cards may be getting set up for some serious spending limits (e.g., $50 or $100 per transaction.)
  • Reply 16 of 91
    My wonderful wife went to the mall and stood in line before the 9:00am opening not knowing if iPads would be available or not. Luckily there were some so we got one. It is not the exact one we wanted, but due to not knowing what each shipment holds we took our second choice.



    Anyway, it would be nice if Apple would keep an online inventory by store of what is available. Then only people who are interested in those models would have to play the arrive early and wait and see game.



    I order from numerous online retailers who also have brick-and-mortar stores. When you select an item they tell you how many are available in the stores' stock. This would not only work for the iPad, but for every product they sell.
  • Reply 17 of 91
    herbapouherbapou Posts: 2,227member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    It doesn't have to be a credit card, a debit card works just as good. I don't buy stuff on credit, I use my debit cards.



    Has previously debated in court, it is illegal to refuse cash in a store.
  • Reply 18 of 91
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TimSteele View Post


    Anyway, it would be nice if Apple would keep an online inventory by store of what is available. Then only people who are interested in those models would have to play the arrive early and wait and see game.



    They do that for the iPhone, I wonder why they don?t for the iPad.
  • Reply 19 of 91
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post


    It doesn't have to be a credit card, a debit card works just as good. I don't buy stuff on credit, I use my debit cards.



    Debit card issuers typically do not have good extended warranty programs, nor do they have the same commitment to merchant/fraud dispute resolution.



    Since I pay off my credit cards and don't carry a balance, it's like I'm using a debit card, but I'm getting a hell of a lot more benefits than using a debit card (which I have but never use).



    Especially for a pricier purchase like an iPad, using a good credit card is far better than any other purchase method. Why pay for AppleCare when you can get similar extended warranty protection for free?
  • Reply 20 of 91
    boogabooga Posts: 1,081member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by herbapou View Post


    Has previously debated in court, it is illegal to refuse cash in a store.



    This is just plain false. The only law in the US is that the store must accept payment in US dollars, but doesn't specify whether the payment must be in bills, change, credit, debit, etc.
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