Is Apple going to make us play the "in stock" game with the 3G?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by tuckerstevenson, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. tuckerstevenson macrumors member

    Apr 8, 2010
    Well, Apple has had almost a month now to produce more Wifi and 3G units to try and keep up with demand. I know there are still some supply issues in isolated locations, this could be due to a couple factors, Apple suppressing stock to keep demand high and keep the iPad in the news, or Apple just simply wasn't aware of the actual demand for these units. Either way, I'm wondering if people think that retail store stock will still be as precarious as it is now. Folks have brought up Nintendo as a company that has had constant stock issues, and their Wi is in consistant demand. I feel that Apple won't fall into this, because they are a massive company compared to Nintendo, which in the recent years has done even more to isolate itself from the rest of the gaming industry. I have no doubt that stock in my area will be alright for launch day. But what about afterwards? Will these "in stock" issues be resolved with the availability of Wifi and 3G units? I have to imagine that much sooner than later, the press you get for the demand becomes less useful than someone actually walking into the store and dropping anywhere from 500 (just a 16gig wifi iPad) to 1200 (64gig 3G with multiple accessories) on a new device.
  2. noah82 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 16, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    Um...Apple doesn't make money if they do not have products to sell, so it is in their best interests to produce the units and sell them. They are not artificially restricting supply...they underestimated the demand and are having a hard time keeping up.
  3. chr1s60 macrumors 68000


    Jul 24, 2007
    I'm pretty sure the stock will improve as time goes on. It is still a very new product so there are not as many available units and the demand is still very high. After both models have been introduced and there has been time for all the must have people and early adopters to get theirs, Apple will be able to catch up on production as the number of units being sold slows down some. I am guessing within the next month there should be no problem getting the iPad you are looking for.

    I doubt Apple is holding back units on purpose when it is in their best interest to have them out there selling so more people will buy. Plus they are starting to shift their focus to some of the international releases next so they will need the demand here to be met in order to not have even more availability issues.
  4. antiprotest macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
  5. wombat888 macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2008
    They probably didn't actually underestimate supply. They probably came up with a range of what sales would be, and erred on the conservative side. If they made too many units, that's worse than a short-term supply problem from making too few. Also, they probably had to shift production lines from wifi models to 3g models, at some point.

    They can make a finite number of iPads per day, and they had a finite launch window they wanted to hit. I don't know what the real numbers are, but let's say that they could make 15,000 wifi iPads per day, and zero 3g iPads per day until they were confident of FCC approval. After that approval, they could make 15,000 iPads per day and had to choose how many would be wifi and how many would be 3g. The 3g iPads are not launched yet, so that means they are making fewer wifi iPads in the meantime to ramp up to support the 3g launch date. Maybe they are making 10,000 3g iPads and 5,000 wifi iPads in recent weeks, who knows.

    Remember that Apple does not make many/any of the components itself. They have to deal with vendor supply issues, and the screens in specific are not the most easily sourced components.
  6. ngenerator macrumors 68000


    May 12, 2009
    USG Ishimura
  7. nsorrelle macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2010
    While I don't know if this is the case with Apple, but do you honestly think businesses never use this strategy? It actually has worked very well for many companies who know how to balance it.

    Having a product be relatively rare early on with high demand gets the company a lot of free press. It also makes many people desperate to get a hold of a product, as they fear that if they come across one and do not buy it, they may have lost their chance. This desperation and hunt to find one is viral.
  8. wombat888 macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2008
    In an ideal world, you might want there to be a few shortages to increase interest and coverage, but it's a difficult game to play. If you have severe shortages, you may permanently lose sales because the device is unavailable during the peak of excitement and coverage, and a lot of people who would have impulse-bought one forget about it and move on to the next hot gadget. Nobody controls inventory that precisely to the point that it's slightly hard to get but not too difficult to get. Sometimes it just works out that way.

    I think Apple is going full-bore and making as many of these as they reasonably can. I think it's just that they can only make them so fast, and they wanted to hit specific launch windows (eg by the end of April for 3g).
  9. macpluslaptop macrumors 6502

    Jun 5, 2007
    Or sometimes people give up. I was just about to preorder the 3g, even though it would cost me more (personal circumstances), just to make sure I got one. But then I thought about it and have decided to wait. If I get one, wonderful, but I'll take my chances. So I'm past the impulse purchase stage, and there are other places to put that much money.

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