O2 UK warns of weeks-long iPhone 3G shortage ahead

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
In a cautionary message to potential iPhone buyers, Britain's O2 says a rush of customers that brought down its online orders for iPhone 3G is a sign of a looming supply crunch that could last for weeks.



The complete message from O2 Sales Director Stephen Shurrock, obtained by AppleInsider, apologizes for the surge that knocked out its systems for ordering the Apple device and that it was the ratio of demand to actually supply that was to blame.



The company's early registration page wasn't just a notification service but a way passing on demand estimates to Apple, according to Shurrock: the users signed up at the site gave O2 reasons to ask for larger iPhone orders ahead of July 11th. With the number of registrants quickly spiraling out of control, however, it soon became clear that there would be many more orders than iPhones once advance purchases were an option.



"To put it in context we had over 200,000 people expressing interest and only a very small proportion of that number of devices available," he says. "Faced with this dilemma, we made it clear in the communications that to be fair to all customers the orders would be managed on a first come first served basis, as stock was limited. The response was so great that the online store completely sold out of iPhones within just a few hours."



Even with 250 times the performance capacity and backups in place, the online system collapsed after it received as many as 13,000 orders per second. "We just weren’t prepared for this unprecedented level of demand," Shurrock adds. "No website is."



Still, actual in-store supply may raise the most concern for O2 subscribers. Although the July 11th retail debut the next best chance to get an iPhone, each shop will have just a "few dozen" phones and is likely to run out quickly; with new stock coming in only once a week, the UK company isn't certain that it can accommodate everyone on launch.



"We are confident that over time we will start to get sufficient volume to meet demand, but it is likely that stock will be in very short supply for some weeks to come," Shurrock says.



The supply problems online and at retail are largely credited to the 22-nation simultaneous launch of the iPhone, which O2 says will spread stock thin. However, Apple retail head Ron Johnson has tried to allay concerns and says his company's goal is to always have stock -- which O2's Shurrock says will be more prevalent at Apple's own retail locations.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 24
    othelloothello Posts: 1,053member
    interestingly, O2 are not even taking advanced orders at the moment. i tried to buy some iphones on a business tariff and i was told to wait until thursday.
  • Reply 2 of 24
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Anyone who shorted aapl feeling a little twitchy this week??
  • Reply 3 of 24
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    Anyone who shorted aapl feeling a little twitchy this week??



    Buy the rumor, sell the news.



    I'm long Apple stock, but I'd be pretty surprised if it closed Friday higher than it is today.
  • Reply 4 of 24
    walshbjwalshbj Posts: 864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cameronj View Post


    Buy the rumor, sell the news.



    I'm long Apple stock, but I'd be pretty surprised if it closed Friday higher than it is today.



    I'd say you're probably right. The lead up to the next quarterly earnings call will get it back in the $190 range though. July 21.
  • Reply 5 of 24
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Even diverting all the iPhones from Canada won't be able to satisfy

    that much demand, if it is for real.
  • Reply 6 of 24
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Even diverting all the iPhones from Canada won't be able to satisfy

    that much demand, if it is for real.



    The Canadian iPhones won't even make a dent in the global iPhone 3G scene.
  • Reply 7 of 24
    zeasarzeasar Posts: 91member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Even diverting all the iPhones from Canada won't be able to satisfy

    that much demand, if it is for real.



    Nah, Apple is diverting some of the iPhones from UK as well since O2 screwed its customers by holding back on the PAYG option. If O2 was to offer PAYG along with the launch, we could expect a lot more supply from Apple to meet the much higher demand.
  • Reply 8 of 24
    spindriftspindrift Posts: 674member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zeasar View Post


    Nah, Apple is diverting some of the iPhones from UK as well since O2 screwed its customers by holding back on the PAYG option. If O2 was to offer PAYG along with the launch, we could expect a lot more supply from Apple to meet the much higher demand.



    Where did you get that information from?
  • Reply 9 of 24
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Please be informed to all UK customers. PAYG (prepaid) phones will not be available for sale anywhere in the UK on Friday July 11. This has been confirmed by the O2 official website.



    Additionally, if you are queuing up at an Apple Store in the UK, possibly O2/Carphone, you should be prepared to sign a new contract with a credit card, ID, and perhaps even something with your address on it.
  • Reply 10 of 24
    peruchitoperuchito Posts: 36member
    any brits want to buy iphones for us poor canadians?.. actually just tell O2 to come to canada.
  • Reply 11 of 24
    ajpriceajprice Posts: 320member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    you should be prepared to sign a new contract with a credit card, ID, and perhaps even something with your address on it.[/B][/SIZE]



    That is normal for any UK phone contract.
  • Reply 12 of 24
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ajprice View Post


    That is normal for any UK phone contract.



    Ah good. the apple store guy i was speaking to was just a little concerned a lot of people may be expecting just to buy the phone first like the last time and then activate later at home, etc. It seems Apple Store UK retail will be doing in-house activation as well.
  • Reply 13 of 24
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zeasar View Post


    Nah, Apple is diverting some of the iPhones from UK as well since O2 screwed its customers by holding back on the PAYG option. If O2 was to offer PAYG along with the launch, we could expect a lot more supply from Apple to meet the much higher demand.



    "Diverted" is so interesting. I can imagine a big jumbo cargo plane full of iPhones en route to England from Shanghai.



    Halfway over Greenland, Steve pops up on the screen, Mission Impossible style. "Briefing from HQ". Recorded message from Steve Jobs.



    "Boys, I got a course correction for you. Just to be safe, I got a little someone to help make sure them iPhone3Gs are diverted to New York...". "You may know him from that little movie a while back... He's taking a break from fighting terrorists and techno-crazed megalomaniacs on a special personal assignment for me... Stevie J, signing off"



    <snap crackle, sonic BOOOOM!! .ShhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhCrarhrpwhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh>



    "No one in America is going to go without an iPhone 3G. Not on my watch!" F*k those weird speaking people in that England place. These are for MY country or my name ain't Tony Stark!!! Let's go boys!!! Oh, and put aside a white 16gb one for me.







    <snap crackle, casshhshshhshhhhhhhhhh phoooooooooooooooooom sheeeeyyeyeyeyuuuuu>
  • Reply 14 of 24
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    "Diverted" is so interesting. I can imagine a big jumbo cargo plane full of iPhones en route to England from Shanghai.



    Halfway over Greenland, Steve pops up on the screen, Mission Impossible style. "Briefing from HQ". Recorded message from Steve Jobs.



    "Boys, I got a course correction for you. Just to be safe, I got a little someone to help make sure them iPhone3Gs are diverted to New York...". "You may know him from that little movie a while back... He's taking a break from fighting terrorists and techno-crazed megalomaniacs on a special personal assignment for me... Stevie J, signing off"



    <snap crackle, sonic BOOOOM!! .ShhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhCrarhrpwhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh>



    "No one in America is going to go without an iPhone 3G. Not on my watch!" F*k those weird speaking people in that England place. These are for MY country or my name ain't Tony Stark!!! Let's go boys!!! Oh, and put aside a white 16gb one for me.







    <snap crackle, casshhshshhshhhhhhhhhh phoooooooooooooooooom sheeeeyyeyeyeyuuuuu>



    Classic post, infact so funny I signed up to say so! One eight letter word, produced the above fruit that fell on this tread, and a picture to boot, I hope your a high powered high paid creative in one of those big ad agencys, you know the ones with the foxy receptionist behind a big round glass desk........
  • Reply 15 of 24
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by spacedesign911 View Post


    ...you know the ones with the foxy receptionist behind a big round glass desk........



    LOL Thanks. No, my creativity applied to getting paid = fail. I used to do a tiny bit of advertising work long ago. I think the girl you mention above is Shirley. Unfortunately, she's taken.
  • Reply 16 of 24
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Even with 250 times the performance capacity and backups in place, the online system collapsed after it received as many as 13,000 orders per second. "We just weren?t prepared for this unprecedented level of demand," Shurrock adds. "No website is."



    According to my maths that's 48 million iPhone orders per hour!



    Yeah right. That's about the entire adult population of the UK.



    Is this a typo or something??
  • Reply 17 of 24
    shaun, ukshaun, uk Posts: 1,050member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    Please be informed to all UK customers. PAYG (prepaid) phones will not be available for sale anywhere in the UK on Friday July 11. This has been confirmed by the O2 official website.



    Additionally, if you are queuing up at an Apple Store in the UK, possibly O2/Carphone, you should be prepared to sign a new contract with a credit card, ID, and perhaps even something with your address on it.




    I was gutted when O2 announced this as I was intending to buy a PAYG version. Now they say we will have to wait until Christmas time for the PAYG option.
  • Reply 18 of 24
    joedrcjoedrc Posts: 86member
    Went into my local O2 store today. Basically one of the sales assistants told me that you've got a better chance of getting your hands on an iPhone if the O2 or Carphone Warehouse store is located in an enclosed shopping centre, some aren't able to open at the set 8:02am time but will instead open at the regular 9:00am.

    They're in the dark as much we are in terms of whether there'll be the white 16GB version available on Friday.



    Also, I don't know whether this has been mentioned in another thread but, you'll need proof of I.D (Drivers license etc.) And a debit card so they can check you are who you say you are and to set up payments. And if your buying the handset you need to use the same debit card. No instore activation is required which is good!
  • Reply 19 of 24
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Shaun, UK View Post


    According to my maths that's 48 million iPhone orders per hour! Yeah right. That's about the entire adult population of the UK.

    Is this a typo or something??



    Obviously the website was so crap it only handled about a few minutes before it tanked big time.



    Probably started out a few minutes with a few hundred, then another few minutes of a few thousand, another few minutes. Boom! DEAD server.
  • Reply 20 of 24
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JoeDRC View Post


    Went into my local O2 store today. Basically one of the sales assistants told me that you've got a better chance of getting your hands on an iPhone if the O2 or Carphone Warehouse store is located in an enclosed shopping centre, some aren't able to open at the set 8:02am time but will instead open at the regular 9:00am.

    They're in the dark as much we are in terms of whether there'll be the white 16GB version available on Friday.



    Also, I don't know whether this has been mentioned in another thread but, you'll need proof of I.D (Drivers license etc.) And a debit card so they can check you are who you say you are and to set up payments. And if your buying the handset you need to use the same debit card. No instore activation is required which is good!



    Cool thanks for info. This corroborates with Apple Store Regent Street information - see my post above.



    Although, Regent Street staff did not give a specific time yet.
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