If you have read my blog, you’ll find quickly I love Apple. I love the product, the culture, and the tools they create. I love the way they design hardware and software together. I love how Apple products outshine others in the marketplace. I’m writing this post on a 13″ MacBook Air with an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse. I’ll upload it via my broadband Internet through an Airport Extreme Base Station. Despite these realities, I’m feeling like I’m beginning to sour on one thing Apple does not do well: Actually provide products at launch.
Recent economic trends have Apple’s earnings down after the launch of the 4S. Some “experts” talk about the Steve Jobs passing as the reason. Others talk about the delay of the 4S. The simple fact remains that Apple stock was down 7% last week for the first time in years [Article].
“The iPhone is where the weakness was and it’s an explainable one. The strong demand for the iPhone 4S set up strong demand for the holiday season.”
from “UPDATE 6-Wait for new iPhone hits Apple Q4“, Reuters
The Big Reveal/Wait
Whenever Apple reveals a new product, it’s a big deal. The iPhone 4 was released followed by months of consumers flocking to Apple stores to wait in lines for the coveted device. The iPad 2 was no exception. When it was released, I found myself traveling to three states over a six-week timeframe getting up in the middle of the night to wait in lines, only to be consistently disappointed. True, I could have ordered it online. However, the backorder on Apple’s Web site was 4-6 weeks. So we’re forced to take our chances combing a Best Buy, Target, or Apple store for the “coveted” device.
Apple knows their devices are coveted. It’s part of their strategy to keep demand up so people are talking about it longer. As the 4S was unveiled last month, I anticipated we would be invited to stand in lines and be a part of news stories around the country at launch day to be some of the first to have the 4S. For me, I’ve already been a part of that rabble – and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. When I see the release of a device from Apple, or anyone for that matter, I want to be able to decide to purchase it – not to be put on back order or be forced to wait in the rain around a corner in downtown Chicago with strangers in hopeful expectation we’ll be some of the few who are chosen. If this blip on the radar is any indication of such a voice, it may be a message Apple needs to hear. Some consumers are bucking the trend of getting lathered up in a frenzy to be the first adopters and simply saying, “Get the product on the shelves or we’ll wait until you actually have it.” Maybe there’s a few things Apple can still learn about retail. It will be interesting to see how Amazon handles the release of the Kindle Fire. Sound like sour grapes? Maybe. Or maybe I can call it “sour apples”.
Oh, and I’m still waiting for my 4S, which has backordered for three weeks now.