$50 sale leaves Radio Shack with nationwide shortage of Apple's iPhone

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Just days after Radio Shack began a promotion offering $50 off the iPhone, and before the sale was set to expire, many of the U.S. retail chain's stores are sold out of their entire stock of phones.



AppleInsider contacted a number of Radio Shack stores on Friday, and all but one, spoken to in Tennessee, indicated they are completely sold out of the iPhone 4. And even that one store only has the 32GB model available in limited quantities.



Another store in North Carolina indicated that the "entire region" of stores was completely out of stock of the iPhone 4. Another store indicated that customers can still buy the handset online and obtain the $50 rebate, and the phone ships in an estimated two days.



AppleInsider made the calls after it received word that the company had essentially run out of iPhones on a company-wide basis. A request for information from Radio Shack's corporate public relations department was not returned.



Radio Shack has seen tremendous demand since it launched a promotion on Sunday slashing $50 off the price of all iPhone models with a two-year AT&T contract. The retail chain is also offering a 16GB iPhone 4 for just $25 with the trade-in of an iPhone 3GS.



The promotion is set to run through Saturday, Dec. 11, but those who waited on the deal may be forced to order their iPhone online, as most Radio Shack stores are completely out of stock. As a major retailer with more than 4,600 storefronts worldwide, Radio Shack is a significant partner of Apple and iPhone seller.



Also Friday, another retailer, Best Buy, ran a major promotion with Apple's handset, offering a free iPhone 3GS to customers who agreed to a new two-year contract. The 8GB iPhone 3Gs regularly sells for $99 with a contract.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 43
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    There is probably a moral to this story



    Update: (I mean iPhones perhaps don't need discounting)
  • Reply 2 of 43
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Didn't see that coming.
  • Reply 3 of 43
    The headline... isn't that a $50 discount instead of sale?
  • Reply 4 of 43
    enohpienohpi Posts: 103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    There is probably a moral to this story







    Apple might make even more money if they use BOGO or free or almost-free pricing strategies?



    Dunno. They have to consider perceptions if they are aiming for long-term outsized margins. If the iPhone is seen as a heavily discounted item, it might reduce profits long-term.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    With monthly bills averaging $80/mo for service, I just don't understand how a $50 discount on the phone itself is the thing that suddenly makes it affordable for some people. Hard to imagine they're thinking it through.
  • Reply 6 of 43
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,293member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by enohpI View Post




    Dunno. They have to consider perceptions if they are aiming for long-term outsized margins. If the iPhone is seen as a heavily discounted item, it might reduce profits long-term.



    Sorry I now see my post was ambiguous. My meaning was the other way around than the way I think you took it. I meant there is no need to discount iPhones.
  • Reply 7 of 43
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    With monthly bills averaging $80/mo for service, I just don't understand how a $50 discount on the phone itself is the thing that suddenly makes it affordable for some people. Hard to imagine they're thinking it through.



    I think you completely miss the fact that this was an amazing walk-in upgrade opportunity for 3G/3GS users who got the new iPhone for as little as $25.



    I'm sure the overwhelming majority of sales that contributed to this sell out were trade-in/upgrades.



    Regardless, anyone who was looking to purchase an iPhone 4 this week would have been foolish to go Apple or AT&T instead with a 25% discount running. Not that hard to figure out.



    People without expensive smartphones didn't just leap out the door at the discovery of this sale.
  • Reply 8 of 43
    brucepbrucep Posts: 2,823member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by quinney View Post


    Didn't see that coming.



    RADIO shack had 5 in stock per store anyway /



    9
  • Reply 9 of 43
    I walked into a few Radio Shack's when the iPod was just starting to roll to see if they had any car chargers.



    "For Apple?" they laughed.



    "You will soon be carrying a lot of Apple products" I replied.



    "Never" they said.



    "You'll see" I said.





    I am a seer, hear me roar.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


    There is probably a moral to this story



    Update: (I mean iPhones perhaps don't need discounting)



    Wouldn't the moral of the story be that if you want to sell a lot of product, lower the price? And didn't they succeed? Surely you don't think they didnt want to see all that product, right?
  • Reply 10 of 43
    Do they still pay taxes on it like if it was $600?
  • Reply 12 of 43
    Went to RadioShack website. No links to buy an iPhone. Called the RadioShack phone sales line. The person there told me that they do not sell iPhones online at all. You have to buy it from a physical store. So I'm not sure what the person in NC was talking about. It appears that there is no way to buy it online and still get the $50 discount.

    Any chance Radio Shack will extend this deal?
  • Reply 13 of 43
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post


    With monthly bills averaging $80/mo for service, I just don't understand how a $50 discount on the phone itself is the thing that suddenly makes it affordable for some people. Hard to imagine they're thinking it through.



    It's doubtful that a significant number of people suddenly felt that they could afford an iPhone due to the $50 off.



    Rather, these were probably people who were planning to buy the iPhone, anyway, and chose Radio Shack to save $50.
  • Reply 14 of 43
    ktappektappe Posts: 769member
    It's TJ Maxx with their 80 iPads all over again. A national chain, wanting cheap headlines and publicity, claims to be selling Apple products for a lower price than anywhere else. But they only order a small amount of the product so they minimize their losses. It gets customers in the store or at least plants the reseller's name in customers' minds, even if they aren't able to buy the product. It's deceptive but effective. Coattailing on Apple's success.
  • Reply 15 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    It's doubtful that a significant number of people suddenly felt that they could afford an iPhone due to the $50 off.



    Rather, these were probably people who were planning to buy the iPhone, anyway, and chose Radio Shack to save $50.



    +1



    Yes. It's not a big discount but it steered customers into the "shack" , it did not make Apple any extra money. If I was buying an iPhone that week I would have gone there.
  • Reply 16 of 43
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,366member
    iPhone 4 with trade in of my old iPhone 3G: $88 out the door with new 24 month agreement that retains my unlimited data plan. It's a nice 16GB machine. They wanted the wall socket plug, and snagged it out of the new box to send with the trade-in. I have one at home that works fine. But this inlcudes a new USB cable and earbuds set.



    I was going to upgrade eventually, and since I was rolling month to month on the old plan anway, I saved $111 plus tax.



    Gave some thought to adding a tether plan for my wifi only iPad, but for my use, I just don't need it. I have wifi practically everywhere I travel, and where I don't iPhone4 will fill in for emergencies. YMMV.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    I was excited by this promotion as a great, inexpensive way to upgrade my wife's iPhone 3G. When I dropped by one of our local Radio Shack stores I was informed that the entire region had sold out in the first several hours of the sale and they weren't going to get any additional inventory until after the sale expired. No rain checks, no apologies, no help. There were three other people who were in the store and another person on the phone all looking for the same deal.



    It seems pretty short sighted for Radio Shack not to have anticipated demand and had more stock available if they really wanted to draw people in and become a viable option to sell wireless products. As it stands now, I have even less of a reason to buy anything from them. The staff I encountered were neither friendly, nor very knowledgeable ? although they did go out of their way to inform me that AppleInsider were liars for suggesting we could get the deal from the online store, even though it was one of their fellow employees who apparently passed on that erroneous information. I suspect Radio Shack may have done more harm to their reputation than good with this poorly planned sale.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by producerdude View Post


    I was excited by this promotion as a great ... No rain checks, no apologies, no help.



    Welcome to rule by corporatocracy.
  • Reply 19 of 43
    enohpienohpi Posts: 103member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    It's doubtful that a significant number of people suddenly felt that they could afford an iPhone due to the $50 off.



    Rather, these were probably people who were planning to buy the iPhone, anyway, and chose Radio Shack to save $50.



    I think that a lot of people go to radio Shack looking to get a cheap phone. They saw the iPhone, it fit the bill, and they went home with it. It is interesting that there is as much price elasticity as this sale seems to indicate.
  • Reply 20 of 43
    Quote:

    Another store in North Carolina indicated that the "entire region" of stores was completely out of stock of the iPhone 4.



    I'm in Raleigh, NC and when I asked several stores how many phones how many they had BEFORE the promotion started, their answer was "none".



    This was an unbelievably poorly managed promotion, even for Radio Shack.
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