How Apple Ships Millions of iPhones for Simultaneous Delivery

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    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.

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    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.
    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.
    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
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    DipDog3

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    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors regular

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    #3
    Ops is something in which Apple, especially under TC, really excels.

    Highly efficient.
     
  4. pk7
    macrumors 6502

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    #4
    As an aviation aficionado - love the Boeing 777. My favorite airliner. Beautiful, quiet, and efficient.

    A beautiful plane to deliver beautiful products :D
     
  5. macrumors regular

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    #5
    This is where Tim Cook shines. Logistics.
     
  6. macrumors regular

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    #6
    They would have to do this even if it wasn't a secret.
     
  7. macrumors regular

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    #7
    2 bucks an iphone is not to bad at all. I mean that is warp speed transport.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Nykwil

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    #8
    Thank you for contributing your astute insight into this topic. A class member here.
     
  9. macrumors regular

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    #9
    I think its mostly just ensuring no one steals the phones. Not secrecy so much at this point.
     
  10. macrumors 601

    HiRez

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    #10
    So the iPhone only costs about 54¢ to ship from China to the U.S.? Not bad.
     
  11. macrumors regular

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    #11
    "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. :D
     
  12. macrumors member

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    #12
    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
     
  13. macrumors regular

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    #13
    It's such an honour. You have no idea how much this mean to me.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

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    #14
    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.
     
  15. macrumors member

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    #15
    If you say the average phone has a street price of 600 USD that is $270,000,000 per plane. Wonder who insures that?
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

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    #16
    Better check your math.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    phillipduran

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    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors demi-god

    lostngone

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    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors newbie

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    Aug 28, 2013
    #19
    Doesn't take much to ship from China to other regions around China though so that wouldn't be such an issue.
     
  20. macrumors 65816

    testcard

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    #20
    "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?
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    applesith

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    #21
    Beautiful logistics.

    It's amazing how it averages to only $0.54 per iPhone for expedited shipping.
     
  22. macrumors regular

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    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 68000

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    #23
    nevermind I better get a calculator myself
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    nikhsub1

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    #24
    I would gather apple has a blanket policy for this.
     
  25. macrumors demi-god

    lostngone

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    #25
    Maybe the new 777 do but the older fleet lands in Anchorage, Alaska.
     

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