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. Â Some “experts” talk about the Steve Jobs passing as the reason. Â Others talk about the delay of the 4S. Â 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. Â The iPhone 4 was released followed by months of consumers flocking to Apple stores to wait in lines for the coveted device. Â The iPad 2 was no exception. Â 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. Â True, I could have ordered it online. Â However, the backorder on Apple’s Web site was 4-6 weeks. Â 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. Â It’s part of their strategy to keep demand up so people are talking about it longer. Â 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. Â For me, I’ve already been a part of that rabble – and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Â 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. Â If this blip on the radar is any indication of such a voice, it may be a message Apple needs to hear. Â 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.” Â Maybe there’s a few things Apple can still learn about retail. Â It will be interesting to see how Amazon handles the release of the Kindle Fire. Â Sound like sour grapes? Â Maybe. Â Or maybe I can call it “sour apples”.
Oh, and I’m still waiting for my 4S, which has backordered for three weeks now.
I agree. It is lame. Planning to drive all the way to South Bend today to get my 4S.
The things we do.
Good luck, Michael.
Did you pre-order? Also, you should check out the Apple trackpad instead of the magic mouse. I have the 4S and the one big downfall so far is the battery life is horrible. Apple is supposedly working on it since most people believe it is a software issue. They had a similar situation with the 3GS when it came out.
I did preorder. I’m endeavoring to get the order expedited this week. I’ve heard of the battery issues. I may have to grab a Morphie Juice Pack. Software update should remedy this. Micki has hers and it’s very nice.
I see this as a difference in perspective. Â What you consider the “negative” points of Apple’s product launches, I see as “Apple getting you to do exactly what they want”. Â Apple has built and entire empire on creating demand for a product. Â The most profitable, upscale companies in the world understand that you should never let supply outpace demand. Â If it does, then your products become commonplace.
Who waits in line salivating for anything commonly found at Wal-Mart? Â No one, because there’s going to be a bazillion of that item coming, with plenty of stock on the shelf. Â
Who waited in lines for Harley-Davidson motorcycles in the 90’s? Â Everyone, because H-D made a conscious decision to deliberately let production leg just slightly behind demand. Â (To add to it, they had their own captive finance arm and were able to artificially inflate the cost and resale of the bikes, but that’s another story…)
People naturally want (covet, lust for) the things they CAN’T have. Â No one lusts for a Chevy Sonic. Â Lots and lots of people lust for Ferraris.
Look at what Apple has gotten you to do – drive to multiple states on the HOPE that you’ll find a product. Â Lust for the product release. Â Carp because you’ve had to wait THREE WEEKS or more (*gasp*) for the next “must-have” product to replace the LAST “must-have” product they made. Â Apple has caused you to actually be angry that you can’t have your desires fulfilled RIGHT NOW the way you want.Â
Apple has created an entire customer culture of ravenous consumption. Â Whatever it makes, it’s relatively assured that people will be lining up and demanding it, simply because it’s made by Apple. Â Sounds to me like they have you right where they want you… why change that strategy?
This isn’t intended to blast you, brother. Â It’s just my outside observation as a non-Apple product owner. Â For all of the things I like about Apple, one thing that I really DON’T like is the way that they incite their customers to give in to the basal, sinful lust for “more more more”. Â You (rightly) used the word “covet”. Â I have to wonder what the ramifications of that are in light of scripture.
Shawn, I hear your heart on it and agree. They have done a great job of holding us hostage. It’s our choice. I just wish they did a little better job.
I set my alarm for 3:01 am so I could pre-order from Verizon the minute they became available. Mine arrived in the mail on launch day (Oct 14?). So, no gripes from me. Battery life has been excellent in my opinion. But maybe I’m not as hard-core a user as some. My last Droid couldn’t make it through a day but I can go probably 30-36 hours with the 4s.