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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:41 PM   #1
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How Apple Ships Millions of iPhones for Simultaneous Delivery




Apple's operations department is currently overseeing the shipment of millions of iPhones to nine countries around the world for a launch event on September 20. The iPhone 5c and 5s will go on sale simultaneously in the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore, and the UK.

Bloomberg examined how Apple manages such a rollout and the logistical operation it uses to get the phones where they need to be.

Apple moves finished iPhones from Foxconn and Pegatron factories to shipping companies with a protective security detail. Then they are loaded onto airplanes via "pre-bought airfreight space" including former Russian military transports and, for shipments to the U.S., aboard FedEx Boeing 777 freight planes, like the one pictured above.

Bloomberg says the company makes constant adjustments to iPhone shipments based on real-time product demand. Apple organizes teams from sales, marketing, operations and finance to estimate how many devices will be needed, and millions of phones are shipped to distribution hubs around the world ahead of the public announcement of the launch.
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Before Apple's formal unveiling on stage, iPhones are shipped to distribution centers around the world, including Australia, China, the Czech Republic, Japan, Singapore, the U.K. and the U.S., said one of the people with knowledge of the matter. Security personnel are with the devices every step of the way, from truck depots, airports, customs and storage warehouses until the product is finally unveiled, two people said.

FedEx ships Apple handsets to the U.S. mainly using Boeing 777s, according to Satish Jindel, a logistics-industry consultant and president of SJ Consulting Group. Those planes can make the 15-hour flight from China to the main U.S. hub for freight shipments in Memphis, Tennessee, without refueling, Jindel said. The 777s can carry about 450,000 iPhones and cost about $242,000 to charter, with fuel accounting for more than half the expense.
After the new product launch, Apple continues to "manage the flow of orders from people looking for a specific color [or] memory size". The iPhone 5s will come in 3 colors and 3 capacities, while the 5c has 5 colors and 2 capacities -- not to mention different models for each carrier around the world.
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By monitoring sales from its retail stores, website and third-party resellers, Apple reallocates handsets based on where demand is strongest, one of the people said. iPhones coming off the assembly line in China originally destined for retail stores in Europe could be used to fill a bump in online orders, for instance. The process involves crunching a lot of data.
The iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c will go on sale in 9 countries on September 20. The iPhone 5c will be available for preorder on September 13.

(Image courtesy Flickr/BriYYZ)

Article Link: How Apple Ships Millions of iPhones for Simultaneous Delivery
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:44 PM   #2
DipDog3
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That seems like a lot of work just to keep the phones a secret till the very last second.

Especially when everyone knew all of the details ahead of time.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:46 PM   #3
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Ops is something in which Apple, especially under TC, really excels.

Highly efficient.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:46 PM   #4
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As an aviation aficionado - love the Boeing 777. My favorite airliner. Beautiful, quiet, and efficient.

A beautiful plane to deliver beautiful products
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:46 PM   #5
WatchTheThrone
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This is where Tim Cook shines. Logistics.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DipDog3 View Post
That seems like a lot of work just to keep the phones a secret till the very last second.

Especially when everyone knew all of the details ahead of time.
They would have to do this even if it wasn't a secret.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:49 PM   #7
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2 bucks an iphone is not to bad at all. I mean that is warp speed transport.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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Still iPhone 5C is a rip off.
Thank you for contributing your astute insight into this topic. A class member here.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DipDog3 View Post
That seems like a lot of work just to keep the phones a secret till the very last second.

Especially when everyone knew all of the details ahead of time.
I think its mostly just ensuring no one steals the phones. Not secrecy so much at this point.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:50 PM   #10
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So the iPhone only costs about 54 to ship from China to the U.S.? Not bad.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:51 PM   #11
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"Bloomberg examined how Apple manages such a rollout and the logistical operation it uses to get the phones where they need to be."

Just don't rely on USPS for delivering your packages on time.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:52 PM   #12
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They are gonna need the supply's this time round since china is included in the launch. The first 3 days will sell over 10M iPhones easy
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:52 PM   #13
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Thank you for contributing your astute insight into this topic. A class member here.
It's such an honour. You have no idea how much this mean to me.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:53 PM   #14
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If they saw the plan requirements here in Canada for the iPhones they might have to cut their sales estimates.

The iPhone does better in the US than in Europe, in part because there is little price advantage on plans if you choose a cheaper Android. In Europe, if you want an iPhone, you pay a premium over other devices. In Canada we have now adopted that model, while also going to the US model of higher prices overall for plans. Lose-lose for iPhone users in Canada.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:53 PM   #15
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If you say the average phone has a street price of 600 USD that is $270,000,000 per plane. Wonder who insures that?
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:53 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by sziehr View Post
2 bucks an iphone is not to bad at all. I mean that is warp speed transport.
Better check your math.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:55 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DipDog3 View Post
That seems like a lot of work just to keep the phones a secret till the very last second.

Especially when everyone knew all of the details ahead of time.
The secrecy fuels the fanbase. I think it is very much necessary. . . as I post on a popular website that runs off Mac/Apple rumor stories.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:56 PM   #18
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If you live in Alaska and you order from Apple you most likely know how crazy Fedex Logistics is....

9 or of 10 times I order a Apple product it leaves China lands in Anchorage then leaves Anchorage and goes down to the lower 48 and gets shipped back to Anchorage?!?!

When you check to tracking site and it shows it is only about 4 miles away and the next time you check it is 1000+ miles away.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:56 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Aussi3 View Post
They are gonna need the supply's this time round since china is included in the launch. The first 3 days will sell over 10M iPhones easy
Doesn't take much to ship from China to other regions around China though so that wouldn't be such an issue.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:56 PM   #20
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"Those planes can make the 15-hour flight from China to the main U.S. hub for freight shipments in Memphis, Tennessee, without refueling, Jindel said."

Seriously?
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:57 PM   #21
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Beautiful logistics.

It's amazing how it averages to only $0.54 per iPhone for expedited shipping.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:57 PM   #22
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450,000 phones, assuming they are all base model 5C (unlikely) at a US retail price (off contract) at $549, that is $247,050,000 in product, nearly a quarter billion dollars. Crazy.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:58 PM   #23
newdeal
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So the iPhone only costs about 54 to ship from China to the U.S.? Not bad.
nevermind I better get a calculator myself
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 03:59 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by adambadamh View Post
If you say the average phone has a street price of 600 USD that is $270,000,000 per plane. Wonder who insures that?
I would gather apple has a blanket policy for this.
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Old Sep 11, 2013, 04:00 PM   #25
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"Those planes can make the 15-hour flight from China to the main U.S. hub for freight shipments in Memphis, Tennessee, without refueling, Jindel said."

Seriously?
Maybe the new 777 do but the older fleet lands in Anchorage, Alaska.
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