What's going on with Apple release availability lately?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ilian92, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. ilian92 macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2012
    Is anyone else wondering what's going on with Apple's product releases lately? Over the last couple of years every new product released is backlogged for at least 1-2 months.

    In store availability for the new MacBook Pros is basically non-existent (apart from the model nobody wants), every other configuration is at least a month away without specifically being a "pre-order". Apple Watches both this year and last are nowhere to be found for 2-3 months again - availability on those is still very poor if you have a look.

    iPhones and iPads seem to have the best track record for relatively quick availability, and even so the Plus iPhone and Jet Black models seemed to take ages too, with some still not available.

    I can't be the only one thinking it's not normal to have a consumer product launched and have to wait 4-5 weeks to get one even a month later.
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    There is probably only a limited supply of touch bars for whatever reasons, and they get a lot of orders on those laptops.
  3. theitsage Suspended

    Aug 28, 2005
    I went to a local Apple Store to get a TB3 <-> TB2 Adapter last Saturday and there was none in stock. The people who worked there had no clue what that was. The store had very limited stock of the non-touchbar 13" MBP.

    A Microsoft Store was right across. People were trying out the Surface Studios Microsoft announced a few days prior. The circle knob was available for trial too.
  4. terminator-jq macrumors 6502

    Nov 25, 2012
    Apple has had some pretty rough launches but this one hurts the worst. It's been over a year since the last MacBook Pro launch and now that it's been revealed, it looks like most of us will be waiting until December just to get a basic configuration! Mot to mention the price increase.

    I don't get what their thinking was on this. If it was going to take this long, they should have held the event in early October. At this point, they've missed the back to school sales, it looks like they will miss Black Friday and they may even miss Christmas sales. If Mac sales this quarter are lower than expected, they only have themselves to blame. I'm hoping that the higher than expected level of preorders will force them to bump up manufacturing which should hopefully get some decent stock before the holidays hit.

    As for me. I've never been one who likes to have expensive items shipped. I like the experience of walking into the store and being able to walk out with the item right away. The pay-then-wait method just doesn't sound appealing. I've been checking the store pickup option for the Apple Store and Best Buy every day. Hopefully Apple has set aside a little bit of stock to ship to their retail stores and retail partners.
  5. ilian92 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2012
    Yeah but that seems to be a trend now. Limited supply of touch bars, limited supply of apple watches, limited supply of 12'' Macbooks, limited supply of certain model iPhones.

    It's not necessarily about the retail stores for me, I don't mind the online option, simply the fact that even online you can't get one within the next month. And that's for pretty much every product they've released lately.
  6. theitsage Suspended

    Aug 28, 2005
    You'll have better luck picking one up at Best Buy stores.
  7. robotica macrumors 6502a


    Jul 10, 2007
    So much for Tim Cook being a supply chain wizard... unless they have moved to a complete "just in time" delivery based stock system.
  8. southerndoc macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    You guys really need to hold off until they reduce the prices. Seriously, Apple is making a huge profit on these. They are charging outrageous prices just because they can. The early adopters will always be suckers for higher prices, and that's what Apple is counting on.
  9. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    I think that this is only partially true. The early adopter price is very high also because its new tech that is more costly and risky to produce (e.g. display etc.). The early adopter also help drive the prices down long-term by purchasing this new tech. Personally, I do not mind being an early adopter, I am a tech enthusiast and passionate about tech future.

    But I certainly agree with you that the majority of users should probably wait until the refresh, the MBP is likely to see a healthy price reduction as well as capability increase.
  10. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    They are probably being conservative with their first production runs. You don't make money having a bunch of unsold machines sitting in a warehouse. And since MacBook buyers have only one source, they have no option but to wait for Apple to make them so there is no pressure to have a lot available on launch day.
  11. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 603

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    Low availability creates the illusion that the product is extremely popular, which increases sales. New products (Non-updates) are always in low availability, and has been that for many years at Apple.
  12. Ma2k5 macrumors 68020


    Dec 21, 2012
    Not always, sometimes low availability makes people get another product. For example, if it was available on launch, there is a good chance I would have bought it already, but a 4-5 week waiting time has now meant, I may be swayed into one of the other products.

    A lot of the reasons for low availability is pre-mature launches before production has caught up for expected demand (sometimes no production has occurred yet!)

    A lot of the reasons why people do pre-mature launches is, to let the consumer know "We got this coming", so some may wait for it, as without an announcement, they might have already bought something else. E.g. the Surface Studio isn't out till December, but just because people know it is coming, there will be a proportion of people who would have otherwise bought something else in the interim, if they hadn't known about it's release.

    If this week, Dell Announce a Kabylake quad core with 1050 GTX to be released December/January, I can assure you there are many people who will likely wait for it/cancel their rMBP 2016 orders). I don't know how many, but there will be some.
  13. neteng101 macrumors 65816

    Jan 7, 2009
    I'm going to say they made the product too thin so they're having production/yield issues now.
  14. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2011
    There are very good reasons for this.

    Tim Cook made his professional reputation as being one of the best supply chain people out there. The product rollover at Apple is incredible. I read somewhere they have inventory down to something ridiculously small like 5 days worth of product or something. So we can assume that to have such a tight production-to-delivery schedule, you have to have a bit of lead time to "start the machine" when a new product is rolling out.

    It's also probably likely that the company is just excited to start showing off their new devices before they leak too much. Maybe they could be waiting a couple weeks to do the announcements, but the fans love it, it builds hype, and it lets them get out ahead of all the rumours that will immediately start circulating once mass production begins.

    So you combine those two things and I assume it's very intentional.

    Also: a huge number of these devices are built-to-order, so I'm sure they also wait to see what demand is like across the SKUs before building up inventory stocks.

    But like, are you complaining they don't delay the events? It's a bit of a weird thing to want. To remain in ignorance for 2 extra weeks.
  15. The Mercurian, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016

    The Mercurian macrumors 68000

    Mar 17, 2012
    So - I've been thinking about this a little bit. Interestingly the no touch bar models are available and the touch bar version is not.

    My hunch is that Apple are not sure what take up of the touch bar model will be. I think there is a level of market testing going on here. They have the old model, the new model with no touch bar, the 13" Air all available and the touch bar model only available on a delay. They know they will shift the models without the touch bar - they are less sure they will move touch bar units - so rather than having a warehouse full of them waiting to go they are running more of a just-in-time model.
  16. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
    I agree with and appreciate everything you mention here, but I'd just like to be a stickler and point out that Apple's target channel inventory is 5-7 weeks, not 5 days, and at each earnings call they give an update as to whether they are hitting this or not.
  17. ilian92 thread starter macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2012
    No, not really, since I don't think that would solve the issue anyway. To me it's just strange that you can't even see a touch bar Macbook Pro on display in store one week after the announcement (at least here in Germany). Or that an Apple Watch Series 2 42mm is still very hard to find or takes 3-4 weeks to deliver from the online store. I'm not buying either for the moment (have the first Watch and a laptop is probably a 2017 purchase for me), but I just don't think this is right.

    I don't want to be understood wrongly here, I'm not complaining that I can't have a new toy when I want it. It's more of a general observation that I have. Can understand the argument that they don't want to stock too much without selling it all, but at the same time I find the scale of the delays counterproductive too. We're not talking about a car being built after all.
  18. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    Apple has started announcing before they build up stock. A lot of companies do that, we are just still used to Apple not preannouncing anything since they always used to build up stock first.
  19. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
    The thing is, it's bad for Apple too. They don't want it. The idea that they intentionally hold back supply is ridiculous. They are never going to be in the situation where they have a warehouse full of unsold stock as some people allude to - their inventory turnover is just too quick for all products. They want to get these out the door ASAP.

    I think the scarce launches we've been seeing recently are a byproduct of:
    • Increases in demand
    • A genuine increase in manufacturing difficulty
    • A requirement to stay on schedule from a product release standpoint. In today's competitive market Apple cannot afford to delay product releases due to supply issues and the MacBook Pro was delayed as long as it possibly could be

    If you are keen, it is still possible to get what you want ASAP. The MacBook Pros were shipping in 2-3 weeks for lots of configurations for a good half hour after the store went live. That's a long time in the Apple world.

    Apple Watches were available in the major stores on launch day this time around, so it was possible to get them.

    Most iPhones 7s arrived on launch day, and the rarer models soon trickled through (I got a Jet Black Plus within 12 days of the launch from a third party).

    What I'm saying is that the launch day inventory is probably, on the whole, similar to what it has been in the past. The demand, however, has risen, and this has been exacerbated by the other things I listed above.
  20. tob!, Nov 3, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016

    tob! macrumors regular

    Aug 17, 2011
    I checked a 15" BTO config a couple days ago. It said available for pickup December 2nd. Now its up to December 14th already. At this pace they will be back ordered until mid January by the end of next week.

    Maybe the high prices are aimed to keep demand low for now because they can't make enough of these anyway.
  21. SparkFlash macrumors 6502


    Feb 15, 2013
    My personal opinion, but I feel its done on purpose. It gives off even more of a feel of HUGE demand. They always say part restraint. I don't buy it.
  22. kanyehameha macrumors member


    Mar 15, 2016
    king's landing
    The wait time for these orders is a little ridiculous... My Space Grey 512GB 13in MBP w/touch bar and 16GB RAM upgrade ships on the 10th of Dec and my Jet Black 7 Plus 256GB is apparently going to arrive on the 23rd of Dec even though I ordered it literally the day after preorders began -_- (also, the AirPods is another example of a device with a long waiting period - doubt that many are interested in it though lol)

    My friend has it worse then me though, her Jet Black 7 Plus apparently ships in late-January... I don't know what's going on with Apple lately and their inability to manufacture enough products in a timely fashion. I'm interested to know what's truly causing these delays.
  23. jerryk macrumors 601

    Nov 3, 2011
    SF Bay Area
    You order a jet black iPhone. This was something Apple said in the announcement only a few people would order because they are scratched day one, which implied their production of that color is lower. Opps. That just made more people order it so the queue is long. But, a lot of people are getting them weeks ahead of schedule. If you order Rose Gold you would have had the phone weeks ago or on the 1st day.

    One your Mac you ordered a BTO (customized with more memory and/or storage) model and you are a few days behind the non-BTO models.
  24. dallas112678 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2008
    Is there really any question that Apple is seriously going down hill? They hardly refresh the Mac lines. When they do, they are incredibly UNDERWHELMING, and now they have trouble simply launching their products. How is it they don't have the touch bar model for display at their stores when they announce the thing and start taking orders? Couldn't they simply get that simple aspect ready before filling and shipping orders?

    Can someone please fire Tim Cook?

    I've never been so negative toward Apple as the past week, not even close, but it's undeniable that ever since Steve passed that Apple has been trending down horribly. It's actually sad to see his creation be destroyed.
  25. jclardy macrumors 68040


    Oct 6, 2008
    You forgot the airpods which went from a late october release to an indeterminate release date. Even with iOS they have had issues with iPad Pro's, Apple Pencil and the smart keyboards. Basically the only things that have been in stock at launch recently are standard aluminum finish iPhone's and the 13" non-touchbar rMBP.

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