Dear Apple, this is how you launch a new laptop...

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by johngwheeler, May 5, 2015.

  1. johngwheeler macrumors 6502

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    I come from a land down-under...
    #1
    Well, I finally got bored on the uncertainty surrounding the availability of the rMB, and have just bought a Microsoft Surface 3.

    My purchase experience was exactly as it should be:

    I saw the demo units in a store, well ahead of the official launch date, and was able to have a play, ask questions etc.

    There was a clear path to pre-ordering, if desired.

    I read a number of positive reviews from the likes of Anandtech.

    There seems to be plenty of stock - even before the official launch date which I believe is May 7th.

    I just walked in to my local retailer (JB Hi-Fi here in Australia), had a final test of the demo machine, and bought the unit with the accessories (all available in store). It was all concluded in 10 minutes.

    Sure, the Surface 3 is a considerably less powerful machine than the rMB, and its design isn't as nice, but it's half the price, and entirely adequate as a travel computer.

    It will double up as tablet, on which I can run my desktop apps if necessary, unlike my iPad. Not a great tablet, admittedly,

    I would have easily spent AU$1800 on the base rMB, and given the amount of debate on these forums, might have been tempted to go for 1.3GHz BTO (an eye-watering AU$2,409 with 512GB storage). It was just too much for a tertiary travel computer.

    I'm happy with my purchase, and in particular for the lack of stress in actually buying the thing. Getting hold of an rMB is like watching a shiver of sharks going after a solitary seal.

    Next year, when there is Gen 2 Skylake version of the rMB, I will revisit the rMB.

    I'm hoping that by then Apple will have learned that smooth product launches are a vital part of the customer experience.
     
  2. Cvx5832 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2014
    #2
    I doubt they don't already know that. Apple rolls out a product or two every year and sends out CE surveys very often.

    That said the comparison is unfair. Apples (no pun intended) and oranges. Apple has a global store presence to stock, a pre-order following that puts most religions to shame and don't forget the serial returners that order several variants on launch day so they could choose the "best" one.

    I'm glad you like your Surface. But a MacBook it is not (and vice versa).
     
  3. rahulr macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #3
    Dear Apple, please make sure that you have what I want when I want it and have it for a price I want to pay for it. If you don't I'm going to compare something I really want with something completely different and make sure you know that I understand supply chain logistics and quality control better.

    I mean honestly the vitriol that has been spewed on these forums and the apple watch forums because a product they ordered (haven't been charged for mind you) or one they desire isn't immediately available is hilarious. Do you absolutely NEED the rMB? Did you need one so badly that you went out and spent $600 on something that will fill the void till you get it?

    And how is ordering something and waiting for it to be built, shipped and delivered stressful? You are exactly in the same position now as you were before the product was released.

    I'm all for the constructive posts that call the device out for its various flaws, but making a purchase (full of spite mind you) and saying it is because someone else didn't have what you wanted available is tantamount to my four year old kicking and screaming because she doesn't get ice cream for dessert.
     
  4. johngwheeler thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    I agree! I think the rMB is going to be very popular and it's a fantastic little machine. The "serial returners" as you say, probably skew the real order numbers and adversely affect availability.

    I also think the Surface will do quite well - it's not at all bad for the price. It won't compete with the rMB, as it's not quite the same kind of device - but better for my immediate needs. As Jony Ive would say "it's unapologetically slow..."
     
  5. TripleCore, May 5, 2015
    Last edited: May 5, 2015

    TripleCore macrumors regular

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    Oct 30, 2007
    #5
    That is annoying to see people ordering more than one--I hope that is not the norm as it would affect the rollout. Had they put display models out ahead of release, it may have prevented such a thing. I wonder if the color issue was a problem with the first iMacs as with these new MacBooks.

    I do remember retail store scarcity and long waits with other Mac products but perhaps not this bad yet. However, the new Mac Pro was announced in June 2013 but not available to order until December 19 (long wait there), and then it took until May for the ship times to fall down to 3-5 days! I think the early adopters had to wait a month for their systems. Let's hope the MacBook doesn't get a similar timeline before being in decent stock at stores.

    So these slow ramp ups seem to be matter of course for many Apple products. Could it be from initial low yields? Defective components? Or just bad management?

    I do agree Apple was not well prepared for this launch but it is not something they'd admit publicly. It seemed like they had enough lead time to produce enough unless it was fraught with production problems and they over-promised.
     
  6. mikeray macrumors regular

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    Jan 17, 2006
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    Brooklyn, NY
    #6
    I'm guessing they didn't know what colors would sell the most and they were adjusting production on the fly
     
  7. nalbagli macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2014
    #7
    Even when of course the Surface 3 has different demand than the new Macbook, I do agree with the person who created this thread. I absolutely love Apple and own an iPhone, iPad, Macbook Pro and iPod, but I do think that the commit several errors when launching new products and that is unacceptable for a company like this one. They know beforehand the huge demand they have, and almost every time it's almost impossible to get a product in the first months of the launch.

    With the iPhone 6 I got online when the pre orders started, I could finally process my order like two hours later that the scheduled time!

    With the Watch, same thing tried to buy it, I waited like 30 minutes after scheduled time and then couldn't wait anymore so when I tried next morning it said it would ship on june.

    With the new Macbook we are about a month away from the release date and it is still almost impossible to get one.

    I do think Apple should improve when launching products the constantly fail to meet the demands for their products, and that should not happen, it's true the have enormous demands, but also it's a giant company and makes the buying experience from costumers the first months really unpleasant.

    So I do agree with this thread
     
  8. TripleCore macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #8
    I'm not sure this is the best analogy, but it feels like you go to see a new movie on release day, but then they tell you to sit tight for just a month or two because the film is still being duped and distributed. Some theaters are playing it, but you need to call around because there are no showtimes listed.
     
  9. Elise macrumors 6502

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    Sep 22, 2007
    Location:
    London
    #9
    The Surface is a nice laptop but personally I could never go back to Windows, it's bad enough using them at work.

    Hope you enjoy your new purchase though OP
     
  10. johngwheeler thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    I think you misunderstood my point (or I didn't express it clearly enough). It's true I have got a bit tired of following the rMB stock updates on this site, and it's become a sort of somewhat masochistic pleasure. And no, I don't really need a rMB - I do want it though! I was in the market for something that could replace my iPad 2 for casual use, and double up as a work computer when travelling.

    My point was that Apple has handled customer expectations poorly in my opinion. They've obviously had some production issue, or simply underestimated demand. A lot of people seem to be interested in the rMB, which is good! I too love Apple products.

    Had rMBs been available to demo in Apple and partner stores during the period post announcement and prior to launch, and then been available *in the stores* on April 10th, then everyone would be happy. People should have been able to pre-order in the pre-launch period, or just queue up and walk in to an Apple store in the form of a classic launch.

    Had my local Apple store had them to sell when I tried the machine in mid-April, I would have probably bought one on impulse - I was that impressed!

    But they didn't, so I didn't. And I started wondering whether I really wanted or needed one after all. It turns out I wanted one more than I needed it...so the "magic of the moment" was lost. Apple successfully creates a lot of positive emotion and excitement around it products that creates customer loyalty - but if they fail to deliver, it erodes that loyalty.

    These are "first world problems", to be sure. It's just a bit disappointing.
     
  11. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #11
    I agree with you. Apple seem to be cutting pre-launch manufacturing to an incredibly low level. By the time you can actually get your hands on one, the hype has gone.
     
  12. danielwerner macrumors regular

    danielwerner

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    Oct 27, 2012
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #12
    That's exactly how I feel. I wanted one the most when it was brand new and few had actually tested one. Now most of the states and some in the EU have received theirs. I still have about 2-4 weeks to go. Don't get me wrong, I still want one. But the purchase joy is pretty much gone.

    (I would never get a Windows laptop instead though.)
     
  13. ZipZap macrumors 601

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    Dec 14, 2007
    #13
    But you use windows every day? So you never left.

    I fail to see what so great about OSX I use both. I am still way more productive on Windows.
     
  14. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    Boston
    #14
    I can't put my finger on it, but more and more its harder to buy Apple products near the launch date. Either they're rushing the release date before they've built up enough inventory or its a cost cutting measure.

    One thing is for sure, its seems odd that the sales staff is directing people to order online instead of dealing with them in the store - that seems against customer service to me.

    As for the Surface, that's a nice computer, Windows 8.1 is rock solid and I like what MS is doing with Windows 10, I currently have win10 on my SP3. I like the direction and quality of the tech preview of windows 10.
     
  15. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #15
    Or demand is just really high

    That would be my guess, what with 61 million iphones in a quarter and the only people with an upturn in computer sales, I'd imagine it's a fairly accurate one.
     
  16. Elise macrumors 6502

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    London
    #16
    I'm talking about for my personal use, I put up with Windows at work because that is what they use. So my point still stands I will never use Windows again at home.

    I just prefer OSX as an operating system which is probably not too strange a preference on this forum.
     
  17. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    #17
    Seems like a whole new product introduction plan to me. After watching the MB and Watch, you got to wonder if Apple is going to do this for now on or these were just the only examples.

    I would sure hate them to do this with the next iPhone! Apple needs to wait until they have a good bit of stock before introduction. It makes users more happy:)
     
  18. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #18
    That's what I'm wondering as well. We will have our answer once the new iPhones hit the streets this fall and maybe before that when the 15" rMBPs presumably get refreshed with Broadwell.

    I don't want to jump to conclusions but I don't want a company to make it harder for me to buy their products.
     
  19. johngwheeler thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #19
    Yes, this is my feeling too. Promising something (even if they have "wiggle room" by saying "shipping on April 10"), and then making it difficult for people to satisfy their craving does not help their sales.

    I understand that part of a marketing strategy is creating an air of exclusivity by restricting availability, but for many, the wait just becomes tedious, and the excitement wears off.

    I didn't buy a MS Surface out of spite because I got frustrated with Apple, but more because I had time to think more deeply about what I needed, and decided that a cheaper machine would be alright, and that a second generation rMB might be worth waiting for. If they'd had stock when I actually saw the machine, I might well have bought on impulse. So that's an early sale lost to Apple, even if I buy at a later date.
     
  20. Bonaqua, May 6, 2015
    Last edited: May 6, 2015

    Bonaqua macrumors member

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    #20
    Well, I cant really say I disagree with the critique. I cancelled my order which I presume would otherwise have arrived a few days ago.

    But the bogged up launch wasn't the main reason. I'm just not confident in any gen1 releases from Apple anymore. I have never been happy with any of their gen1 products that I have previously owned and my maxed out RiMac (which I recently sold) was such an utter disappointment that it made me think twice about giving a rushed product another shot.

    Hardware was the one area where I used to feel Apple excelled at while they have been an utter disappointment in software and services in my opinion.

    I tried leaving OSX behind a year or two ago but my reliance on platform exclusive features and iOS integration made me come back. But Yosemite has been such a disaster for my use cases and I have come to replace almost every single one of my workflow tools to ones that are multiplatform -- not out of spite or a conscious intention of easing my ties to the walled garden but rather because Apple's own software and services have fallen so far behind for my own use cases.

    Might give the Surface Pro another shot when the 4th iteration is released. Windows 10 seems to be resolving all the gripes I had with Windows and how it worked on the SP3.
     
  21. rahulr macrumors regular

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    North Carolina
    #21
    I think we all forget that apple is the largest technology company on earth and as such HAS to announce new products and must do so during certain windows. The stock speculation market runs rampant with false information that literally costs Apple billions. When we heard incorrectly that the iPhone 6 manufacturing was being trimmed due to tepid demand, or when speculators looking at retail buys incorrectly said apples growth was stalling, or my favorite when they said that Apple can't innovate anymore.

    So they must appease this group by introducing products despite the actual ability to ship and deliver in the quantities they must.

    That's no excuse since TC is essentially the guru of supply chain mgmt. But I do think Apple has to serve many masters least of which these days are its adoring fan base.

    In any case, I see the OPs points, but the only fault in this case is that Apple demo'd the watch and MB too early. April 10 wasn't an achievable release date, we all see that. The products themselves are incredible (less so the watch) but the expectation and psychological "burden" of waiting has worn on people.

    But again, think of the position Apple has been put in, they now not only have product cycles but they have product announcement cycles. The new iPhone must be announced in September, ready or not to ship, there needs to be a new product announced in the early spring, ready or not, there needs to be a WWDC announcement...etc...etc...etc...
     
  22. Newtons Apple Suspended

    Newtons Apple

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    #22
    Agreed! I am watching with great interest on the Surface Pro 4. If the rumors are even close it is going to be a leap above the SP3.
     
  23. Hankster macrumors 68020

    Hankster

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    #23
    You think a $60 billion dollar company doesn't know how to roll out a product? Have you forgotten the hundreds of millions of iPhones, laptops and tablets they have sold???

    It's very simple. The rMB has production issues. That's it. Also, good luck with the Microsoft operating system. I used to be 100% Microsoft, but their software is so bloated and non-user friendly it's a joke. From your post it seems you just wanted to buy something, so it's just easier for you to purchase a Surface. And that will never be an issue, there will always be stock of devices people don't purchase :D
     
  24. clyde2801 macrumors 601

    clyde2801

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    #24
    Been reading rumors that the surface pro 4 may launch this month.
     
  25. Michael Goff Suspended

    Michael Goff

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    #25
    I doubt it. I'd imagine it'd be released around the time that Windows 10 is released.
     

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