Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 2
I agree that seems likely. But if that's what happened, why didnt they just keep making the older models a bit longer?

Nobody wants to get stuck with 100,000 units of last year's model in the pipeline, so they guess how many they'll need until the new model is ready and then shut down the production lines to retool, source the new parts, etc.

Since they were out of anything to sell for weeks, clearly something happened. Either the new lines took longer to get going, a key part was harder to manufacture in quantity than early test runs indicated, or people started buying more quickly (the opposite of Osbourned) than anticipated. Since nobody asked, and Cook was not forthcoming, I suspect we'll never know.

I have to say it's a bit surprising, given that Cook was in charge of all of this while Jobs was over in dreamland coming up with new stuff; you would think Tim would have had a better handle of it.

That said, let's remember that 1) Apple values secrecy, so it can't just order up 20,000 units of something in secret to be ready to ship two weeks after the product announcement. (And make no mistake, it's the secrecy and "launch" that plays into much of the Apple cache and provides the worldwide bonanza of publicity.)

and 2) the products are rolled out much more quickly in many more markets and in an ever more bewildering assortment of functions (depending on cell carrier technology, for one) abetted by Apple's increasingly complex product line(s). When all they sold was the basic iPhone it was one thing. Now there are 4s, 4Ss, 5s, in Verizon, AT&T, & Sprint configurations, in three memory sizes each, in colors, all in production at the same time...

And iPads big and small, also in various memory configurations and in 4G or not - and with different needs for different countries. They may only have a half dozen products, but they have dozens upon dozens of different models, launch dates to hit in different geographies, and, well, you get the idea.

I don't know if they're doing as reasonable well as might be expected. I just don't know how complicated this is all getting from a production and logistics aspect. Given the number of products Apple refreshed or launched last Fall, they may have bitten off more than they could handle.
Print the post  


What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.