iPad 2 Launch - A Complete CONSUMER Nightmare

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Tones2, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. Tones2, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011

    Tones2 macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Whatever you think about the marketing benefits to Apple, the launch of the iPad 2 from a consumer perspective is just somewhat of a nightmare.

    After generating long product lines and high demand for releases from the last 5 years, you would think that Apple might have learned some lessons and would try to make this process a little bit easier for their loyal paying customers.

    I thought they had this process pretty well down for the iPhone 4 launch. You were able to pre-order and have shipments arrive on the launch day. You were able to reserve a particular phone and even though you still had to wait in line, you were guaranteed a phone when you finally got in the store. They had enough supply to meet most of the demand the first week, even though it was an extremely hot seller. They limited retailers who sold the phone so that inventory could be focused on the Apple stores themselves so they were assured stock. They posted availability per store after the initial release day.

    For some reason, they threw that success right out the window with the iPad 2 launch. They did NOTHING from the iPhone 4 launch that was successful. No preorders. Launch day preorders were at a ridiculous 4 AM time. No reserving phones. They release 18 versions (crazy really) at 6 different retail stores without nearly having enough stock to do so. You were not guaranteed a retailer would even have your particular version even if you were in the first 10 in line the first day (which happened to ME). After launch day there is complete and utter chaos as to what store would have what inventory when - lines form randomly at stores or in the morning without knowledge of what's available where and when. Foreigners are buying up USA inventory faster than probably US people are because they can sell them at huge profits oversees. Lack of supply has caused 4-5 week delays in online orders. It also didn't help that it's still COLD in most Northern states so people are waiting 5+ hours outside in 35 degree weather.

    Whatever you think of Apple, I would think that this process could have been handled much better from a consumer standpoint. Here's my suggestion for next launch.

    1) WAIT on the release until you have enough supply to at least meet the first few days demand for your product. I know that's hard to predict, but this was a big miss by Apple.

    2) Limit sales to ONE device per person, not TWO. I would guess that many of people buying two are either buying them up for the foreign markets or selling the 2nd one for a profit. If you have a friend that wants one, he needs to wait in line just like you. :)

    3) Allow people to RESERVE a product online for first day pickup. There is no down side to this - Apple still gets the line they want and the consumer is guaranteed that the result of their 5 hour wait is an actual product in their hands.

    4) If you want to have 18 versions of your product, stagger the release so that you can ramp up production for them per release date and also more assure that the people who want a particular model have a better chance at getting if it they wait in line. Apple should have waited a month to release the white versions. (BTW - I myself can't see why people want white - there's a reason why all TV bezels are black. Plus it's a putrid yellowish-white).

    5) Limit the number of different retail stores selling it the first few weeks. It probably should have been just the Apple store and maybe Best Buy (for those areas without Apple Store presence). This will put inventory where there is most demand.

    6) And give the consumer INFORMATION about stock levels. Tell people what stock is available where and when. It's 2011, you have the technology!

    Yeah, none of this is really a big deal, but it's still frustrating none the less for a lot of people.

    Tony
     
  2. mcdj macrumors G3

    mcdj

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    #2
    someone should definitey start a thread about this.
     
  3. Tones2 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I assume this is sarcasm ;), but I was just trying to put all of the random complaints that appear in numerous threads into one thread that summarized the issues.

    Just in case SJ reads this forum and takes the advice of one random person he doesn't know. :p

    Tony
     
  4. bowlerman625 macrumors 68020

    bowlerman625

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    Jun 17, 2009
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    Chicago, IL area
    #4
    It is frustrating. Almost a panic mode out there. I'm guilty of that mentality too. Apple does what they want, when they want. Look at all the press it has generated. A pre-sale would have been nice however. Next time, under the same circumstances I'm getting up at the crack of dawn to get my online order in early and avoid the crowd mayhem and all the running around that at first was for naught.
     
  5. jonnyb098 macrumors 68020

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    Michigan
    #5
    Could not agree more

    I could not agree more with the original poster on this thread.

    Apple normally hands out reserve tickets. Why on earth would they not do this for a product that has proved itself over the past 9 months? The only reason I can think of is that they knew they would not meet demand and did not want to take risks with pre-orders. The online launch of 1AM PST proves this. INSANE!

    Apple has lost sight of the whole UNDER PROMISE, OVER DELIVER mantra that they silently live by.

    Also, they are hoarding shipments for next day morning lineups. Why not just sell what you have as people come in? They already proved there is demand for the product. Why the need for more public showings of lines? WE GET IT!

    So what we have here is basically a company that is dangling a piece of bacon over a dog. That is the way customers have been treated who were not fortunate enough to stand in line for the ridiculously timed 5PM launch. You can bet every kid under 21 got an iPad who wanted one :).

    One thing would have solved a lot of upset customers: PRE-ORDERS! Oh wait Best Buy is doing that.....except they only get in about 5 iPads at a time.

    Get with it Apple. You can, and have done much better.
     
  6. advan031 macrumors 6502

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    Aug 16, 2008
    #6
    I think they handled it just fine but maybe because my few is skewed since I got an iPad w/ any issues...haha
     
  7. NoShoreGuy macrumors regular

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    Apr 15, 2010
    #7
    TOTALLY agree with this. I waited in line 4 hours Friday, no luck, waited again 5 hours in line today, no luck.... and in line with me were all these foreigners who were paying college kids to buy as many as they could. It's totally ridiculous. Reserve system should have been done on this.
     
  8. johnc22 macrumors 6502

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    Jul 28, 2010
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    Atlanta
    #8
    Apple can sell their stuff anyway they want. You have the absolute right to express your opinion by not purchasing their products.

    Apple WANTED it to be a complete nightmare with long lines, limited supplies, lots of media coverage, etc, because the iPhone 4 VZW launch fizzled (publicly). I think the limited supplies was a real situation, but by not allowing pre-orders or reservations you can bet the long lines and half-day waits were artificially produced by Apple's decisions.

    Unfortunately for Apple one of the worst humanitarian disasters of this century occurred on the same day as the launch so while they created insane demand, media coverage was limited.

    I went to Best Buy after work at about 5:10pm and scored a 32GB Wifi black without too much trouble, but it was hit or miss because some Best Buys had very limited supplies. The one I went to is remote from the Apple stores in town and so I think they were given a larger allotment.
     
  9. 9OOYO macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    #9

    I would think the reserve system would allow people to actually be more organized in paying others to score them. Apple should reward loyalty more by offering us to be able to order on our accounts (1 per account).

    I bought a Macbook Pro last year with 8GB of RAM - would it kill them to email me a pre-order voucher that is tied to my name only?
     
  10. gdjsnyder macrumors 6502a

    gdjsnyder

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    Swoyersville, PA
    #10
    This could honestly take sometime. Really, it could take months actually. So I don't think it's feasible to do this. It's not like the people who have to wait to get them are going to die without it, people just need to be patient.

    I don't know where you're getting the 90% number from? Everyone in my line (whom I talked to) that was buying two were mostly buying it for a spouse or a loved one. I almost had to buy two, for my boyfriend, but he got off of work and came with me. We also had to use the same credit card. So, that's another thing, if the limit it to one, you will most likely only be allowed to buy one per credit card, but I needed two on one credit card.

    I'm actually glad they didn't offer a reserve. I hate when there are two lines (just my opinion).

    Really? Why should they stagger the release by color? I'm assuming you want black, so that's why you don't care if white gets unreleased. Maybe they should have held back a month of the black one? Since I don't like it, it should be pushed back. No. Apple should have staggered by model. Release WiFi only and 3G in a month or so. That would be the appropriate way to do it.

    Also, please fact check on the white TVs. They do make white TVs, WITH white bezels. Obviously, black is way more popular, but white ones are around.

    Apple needs to keep it's retail partners happy. Denying them a product does not make them happy. So, they just gave them fewer.

    My store gave stock levels to us in line, and I know they continue to update people if they call or go and wait there.
     
  11. jjtrindc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #11
    Now that we are on Day 3 of this, Apple really should stand up and start communicating in an honest, transparent manner. This is basic Public Relations.

    Talk to your customers and equip your associates with information. For those of us who ordered within the first hour, tell us why shipping is so slow and explain the prioritization system for which items are being shipped. Explain the system for getting iPads into your Apple stores and provide a way for customers to know what the inventories are at each store.

    Right now, everyone is reacting to rumors which is sad since Mr. Jobs seems to value the experience with the product above all else.

    Now is the time for Apple to prove themselves.
     
  12. hlr element macrumors member

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    Jan 10, 2009
    #12
    1 per customer would be ridiculous. You say that most may be selling the other but i've read plenty of people here buying for their husband/wife/kids.

    And i mean... if you don't want to wait in these crazy lines, just let everything settle down. I think you'll survive another few days or 2 weeks or so.
     
  13. urkel macrumors 68030

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    Nov 3, 2008
    #13
    The thing that is most frustrating is that they already proved that pre-orders worked last launch. So their omission to do preorders is unexplainable (in terms of consumer benefit. It seems their focus is to market themselves at the expense of fan loyalty so I guess this whole "Experience" thing is something they no longer care about.)
     
  14. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

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    Jan 27, 2007
    #14
    Every time you feel mad about not getting an ipad, turn on CNN.
     
  15. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

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    #15
    No lineups for the Galaxy Tab, probably none for the Xoom either.
     
  16. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #16
    This has as much to do with fanatic buyers as it does with Apple. If people just chilled out, it wouldn't be mass havoc. Why does everyone feel the need to buy an iPad 2 on opening weekend?

    The fact is, getting a new Apple product on launch day has become a challenge or game for many. You plot a strategy, take a day off work, and execute, hoping to come out a winner.

    You don't have to play the game. You can just wait and wander in leisurely to buy one after a month or so.
     
  17. Tones2, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011

    Tones2 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I am patient. But if you don't have enough stock at stores the first day such that the 8th person in line can't get the model he wants at 5:03 PM on Day 1, or you can't do a pre-order, then you don't have enough inventory in the chain to warrant the release. You wait a few weeks until you do.

    Sorry, but those friend / loved ones have to wait in line just like the rest of us. :) It's only fair. They are individuals that get the benefit of getting one without having to wait in line - why should that be given the short supply? And if it's family you already have one in the house, so you can wait on the 2nd. As for foreign sales and other profitiers, I made up the 90%, but certain that number is SIGNIFICANT. I had nothing but foreigners around me wanting to buy 2 of anything that they had. The single credit card is a valid point, but that's gotta be the exception. I assume you can pay cash if you needed to.


    Wow, that's weird. You might be the only one who'd rather stand in line at a specified specific time with the probability of not getting one vs showing up whenever you want on that day with a guarantee TO get one.


    Well, I would not care if they released the black version a month later than the white as long as I was assured that I could actually get the black version the day of release by either a pre-order or reserve system. Now I have to wait the month anyway and at least I don't waste my time with all the frantic waiting in line frenzy. And I can honestly say that I NEVER EVER EVER have seen a flat sceen LCD or Plasma TV that has a white bezel. Never ever. I'll look the next time I go to Best Buy but I'll bet you $100 that don't have even one at the store. They MAY exist, but the ratio has to be 95% black, not the 50 / 50 that Apple is selling.


    This make no one happy. The consumer just gets pissed-off at the store and the store makes very little profit on the handful of sales. Having so many retailer on Day 1 is NEW to Apple - they've not done this before. They just need to wait until they have reasonable supply before or retailers get it, like they've done in the past,


    Well, they may have, but probably not specific models, and certainly not after Day 1, and probably not at all stores. My Best Buy store wouldn't tell us anything whatsover, so it would up people waiting 3+ hours in line with Best Buy even having their model in stock. Ridiculous.

    Tony
     
  18. Dorkington macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 5, 2010
    #18
    To me, this appears to be a rushed launch.

    Only reason I can think of for the no pre-order, low supplies scenario. I'm guessing they wanted to minimize any potential impact that the competition could have via announcements and releases.
     
  19. Surf Monkey macrumors 68030

    Surf Monkey

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    #19
    What "mass havoc?" What I saw was enthusiastic consumers, most of whom left with the product they came to buy.

    Yeah, huge "consumer nightmare." Shame on Apple for selling people a product they want. The nerve.
     
  20. DougFNJ macrumors 6502a

    DougFNJ

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    #20
    Aren't you full of sunshine today? :rolleyes:
     
  21. sportsfrk214 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Apple could have waited another month to release the iPad when their supply would have been larger, but then we'd all be complaining that theyre waiting so long to release it.

    Bottom line is that they wanted this product on the market now. Long lines and long waits drum up press and will ultimately drive up sales. Everyone who wanted an iPad will get one within a month.

    It doesn't seem fair but that's how it is. You claimed Apple should have had a larger supply. The only way they could have achieved that is by delaying the launch. So instead of making everyone wait, a million of the people who want it most now have it, at least 2 million more will have one over the next month, and then in April, when logic dictates you think they should have waited to released it, everyone else will get one.

    So instead of making everyone wait another month, they tried to get as many devices into people's hand now as their supply would allow, admittedly drumming up insane press and interest in the long run.

    Of course I'm probably biased because the iPad launch was as smooth as humanly possible for me. I waited 5 hours in line and got the exact model I wanted without and trouble.
     
  22. Mikee.Nu macrumors member

    Mikee.Nu

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    San Diego
    #22
    People are seriously REALLY ungrateful.

    I don't see this as a problem. I see this as continued evidence of longevity. Honestly, people need to chill out.

    You don't become the "fastest selling" device of all time by being overstocked, plentiful and unsold.

    And to stress the point even more, the iPad is not the only device being manufactured. Millions of other units of all sorts are also being made in China.

    Stop being so greedy and impatient. Before you know it, all will be well again.

    And we don't know the official numbers yet, but why the hell are people getting mad that a company couldn't manufacture and deploy over 500,000 units? That is pretty freakin epic if they managed to at even reach that.

    Steve needs to explain iPads aren't made from magic and don't magically appear in stores for impatient people.
     
  23. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #23
    that's because THEY know how to treat the consumer right!! :rolleyes:
     
  24. Carouser macrumors 65816

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    Feb 1, 2010
    #24
    Here's my suggestion for next launch: stop thinking that Apple has some obligation to people who willingly stand in line for five hours in the cold. Just because you want to have things your way doesn't mean it's Apple's job to take precious care of you.
     
  25. crazycanucks macrumors regular

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    Jun 30, 2010
    #25
    Seems like theonly people complaining are the ones that didnt get the iPad2. I am wondering if the OP got the iPad2 if he would still make the same post?

    I am from canada living in Canada, ordered 2 from the US store, got it shipped to my US work address and they will ship it to me. Both unites and the spart cover are in Ancorage right now, and by next Monday I will have my brand new ipad2 and flip the other one on Craislist so my cost is minimum. I will sell the other one for about $850-900, which someone will buy it here in Canada for. So I only have to fork out $150
     

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