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iPhone 4S Pre-Orders Sell Out 327

Perhaps to no one's surprise, the just-announced iPhone 4S has been been leaping off the shelves ... in advance of it ever hitting shelves at all. In fact, as reported by numerous sources (here's the WSJ's version), the company's pre-launch inventory has all been sold — and they only started taking the orders on Friday.
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iPhone 4S Pre-Orders Sell Out

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  • by asto21 ( 1797450 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @02:29PM (#37655296)
    WTF are you even talking about? iProducts have been selling out for a while now. How is this news?
  • Who is "one one"? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afabbro ( 33948 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @02:40PM (#37655352) Homepage

    Perhaps to one one's surprise

    Slashdot, please get rid of rubbish like 'timothy' and hire editors.

  • Maybe on purpose? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @02:41PM (#37655360) Journal
    Has anyone thought that maybe Apple purposefully restricts inventory at release, thereby driving demand faster to "get in first", and also to build hype about how it sells out? Knowing what is coming, and that you'll sell millions per month after initial release, it shouldn't be such a big logistical issue to make 10 million for initial release, versus 7 million. But then, you lose the power of the marketing line "we've sold out already!" to continue driving demand...
  • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @02:48PM (#37655404) Homepage

    Or maybe is a complicated dance between getting the manufacturer to make x million in a certain time without any significant leakage of the product's specks or design. While Apple kept the idea of a modestly improved iPhone 4 pretty close to the chest (everybody was yapping about the magical iPhone 5 and a 'cheap' iPhone), they can't do it forever. They had to package and ship everything somewhere. They had to organize the event. Maybe they would have liked x + y million but just settled on what they could get.

    Don't forget, these are complex little devices and not all that easy to manufacture in quantity.

    Really no need to get all wrapped up in your tin foil - it works better without all the creases anyway.

  • by drmitch ( 1065012 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @02:50PM (#37655420)
    "has been been"
  • by JustOK ( 667959 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @02:56PM (#37655474) Journal

    well, it is a surprise of sorts that they still haven't figured out how to make enough of them for the launch - being that the launch day is just a day they chose on a calendar at their leisure.

    uh, marketing...if they fulfilled everyone's desire at first, there would be no one left. Leaving some wanting will also tend to increase the number of people wanting it, up to a point

  • by St.Creed ( 853824 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @02:57PM (#37655486)

    Bonus points for ironic use of anonymous cowards anonimity to post this.

  • by Lunix Nutcase ( 1092239 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @02:57PM (#37655490)

    I've spoken to dozens of people in my office and they all say they haven't placed a pre-order and are not interested in the 4S at all.

    Wow...that's like....EVERYONE!

  • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday October 09, 2011 @02:58PM (#37655498) Homepage

    Nah. The fastest way to create artificial demand is to restrict the supply in your initial production run. In turn you're creating an artificial demand, and causing people to think that it's a very desirable product. This is marketing and economics 101 stuff.

  • by Macrat ( 638047 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:02PM (#37655524)
    It's a surprise to all those people who wrote articles saying that few people would by the silly "upgraded" iPhone 4S and would wait for the "revolutionary" iPhone 5.
  • by mrbrown1602 ( 536940 ) <mrbrownNO@SPAMmrbrown.net> on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:05PM (#37655538) Journal

    Or you could manufacture hundreds of thousands, or perhaps even millions of them, ship them to stores, and not sell more than a few hundred or thousand (Samsung? HP?).

  • by aiken_d ( 127097 ) <{brooks} {at} {tangentry.com}> on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:11PM (#37655582) Homepage

    Ah, the old "scarcity conspiracy" theory. It wouldn't be Slashdot without it. It's like the flat-earth version of marketing.

    Apple may know that they are going to sell out, but I guarantee you there is no way in hell that they are better off selling fewer phones than they would be selling more. Maybe someone, somewhere who wouldn't have otherwise bought an iPhone in January will now do so after remembering a shortage and thinking that signals a superior product. But thousands of times more people (which is to say, thousands of people) will go to a store with the intent of buying an iPhone and end up buying something else when their first choice isn't available. And those are customers Apple will lose for at least a year.

    Apple would rather satisfy every drop of demand at launch. Because they've decided to launch knowing they can't doesn't mean they want shortages, it just means they're better off launching today with shortages than in November (or December) with enough stock.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:11PM (#37655584)

    I'm a pleased Nexus S owner myself, but I don't understand all the negativity directed toward the iPhone 4S. It has the same simplicity and UI that people seem to love, along with nifty new software like Siri. People have rarely bought iPhone for its gaudy specs anyway, but even if they did, Apple gave it a good state-of-the-art dual-core processor, good GPU, and 1GB of RAM. Sounds very solid and competitive to me - what's bad about that? They didn't change the exterior or the name? So what?

    The only glaringly obvious omission seems to be sticking with 3G instead of adding LTE or HSPA+ support. But, that's not really unexpected, given Apple's history of waiting for greater adoption of 3G before making the 3G iPhone, and tendency to favor battery life with their engineering decisions.

    So, why so negative? It just sounds like some of the same old "No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." cynicism. It's a good product. It is not a surprise at all that people like it!

  • pundits (Score:5, Insightful)

    by feldsteins ( 313201 ) <scott@noSPam.scottfeldstein.net> on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:13PM (#37655614) Homepage

    Many tech pundits should be surprised. They were so busy writing about what a disappointment iPhone 4S was that they neglected to notice the fact that preorders sold out in one day.

  • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:15PM (#37655622) Homepage

    These people are stupid, and everyone knows it, maybe except themselves. The iPhone is a good platform and people having one generally like sticking with it. There is such a thing as being "good enough".

    My iPhone 3GS is showing signs of fatigue and I'm getting a 4S whenever I'll be able to get my hands on one. Because I like it. Because I like to tinker with stuff and my phone is not one of this stuff - mostly because of a lack of free time.

    So I tinker with my desktop, my servers in my 45U bay in my garage. And I have an iPhone. And I like it. Enough to buy a new one.

  • Re:RIP Steve Jobs (Score:2, Insightful)

    by xstonedogx ( 814876 ) <xstonedogx@gmail.com> on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:19PM (#37655662)

    As if there weren't enough reasons to not watch G4 they added a black band with "SJ" over their logo.

    I'm tired of the pretense. He was a man. He had admirable qualities. He had some not so admirable qualities. He's dead now. You didn't know him. You probably never even met him. He's been dead for days. The time for you to use his death to make yourself look good to others is over. (This is not directed at the parent - I mean the general 'you'.)

    Let him rest. Let his family mourn in peace.

  • by Sebastopol ( 189276 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:29PM (#37655744) Homepage

    "Consumers sour on Apple: Unsuccessful launch leads to glut of 4S supply"

    "Apple i4S a flop"

    "Apple at the end of its line? i4s overstock causes book to bill ratios to drop in Q1'12"

    "Apple has lost its spark: failure to sell out like other products proves i4s is a failure: stock down 20% on concerns of apple's future"

    And so on...

    its a lose lose.

  • by amiga3D ( 567632 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @03:35PM (#37655808)

    This isn't the first time that industry "analysts" talked down an apple product that promptly flew off the shelves. It's pretty obvious that these guys' articles are not consulted by the customers that want these products. I still remember the dozens of articles I read about how the iPad would never sell. The dozens of articles about how zune would crush the iPod, etc., etc., etc. I read industry pundits' articles because I'm curious and like to hear peoples' opinions but I take them all with a full shaker of salt. Most of them don't really have a clue.

  • Re:pundits (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pollardito ( 781263 ) on Sunday October 09, 2011 @05:31PM (#37656514)
    To be fair they wrote their reviews before Steve Jobs died and stirred up a mass hysteria over all things Apple, and definitely before preorders opened. Or are you telling me that you don't think that 10,000 articles about Apple nostalgia wouldn't drive up sales?
  • Well, you're pretty sure of yourself. So please let me know if you ever get a job in operations so I can short your company's stock.

    Sales projections for devices like iPhones tend to spike at the introduction, curve down, then level out. It would be insane to gear up for production at peak demand levels, because some or most of it would be idled as demand dwindles after the big launch. Companies address this by estimating average demand over a 6 or 12 month period, estimating initial demand, starting production early and stockpiling inventory, and then adjusting production volume based on actual demand.

    And I guess you're calling the 7% of for fortune 500 that don't have official iPhone programs the serious ones? The other 465 of them are stupid amateurs who know better?

Loose bits sink chips.