Monday, June 18, 2007

Josh Bancroft at ( thinks the iPhone launch will be a disaster. Warner Crocker ( and others agree. Certainly I think it's possible, but not with the numbers Josh is using.

The iPhone is scheduled to go on sale June 29th at 6pm. That's confirmed. So assuming stores open at 10 am, that's an eight hour window to fill out agreements and sign people up for service before they can put their hands on the device. This scenario is not confirmed, but why else launch at 6pm? If the customers are there, the sales reps will sell them phone service. That's not exactly a farfetched proposition.

The idea of not selling a product as soon as the store opens is unusual for techies. They're used to lining up in the dead of night for game consoles and the like. However, fans of Hurry Potter know how it works; midnight launches have been the norm for the past few books, even though that's well past many kids' bedtime. If kids can wait until midnight for the new Harry Potter book, I would hope adults can wait until 6pm for their iPhones.

Josh also cites the 3 million count being bounced around as the initial stock as a factor since it would be impossible to complete the paperwork for that many. True, but I assumed the 3 million count was to prevent shortages. I don't think anyone expects Apple to sell 30% of their target at launch or even within the first month.

Anyway, assuming the 3 million count is accurate and the salespeople do their jobs, I see this launch moving as smoothly as a Harry Potter book launch, but with adults signing contracts instead of kids playing in costumes. No big deal.

CateGoogles: mobile_tech
Mood = skeptical


iPhone reinvents the product launch... sort of


  1. That could be a possibility, but if that's so, I think a lot of people who show up at 6pm would be p***ed off (including my bro, who's going to try to get one) to find out all the phones were already sold that morning, technically.

    Actually, I've heard that the 6pm selling time was chosen because that's when FedEx or whoever's going to show up at the stores with the stock of iPhones. Supposedly they're not taking any chances with any stores selling stock ahead of time.

    And the AT&T stores will supposedly be closing at 4:30 to get ready for the 6pm sale time. The Apple stores are rumored to be staying open 24 hrs, or until all the iPhone stock is sold, which I'm sure will be way before regular closing hours.

    I don't know how this is really going to come off, but I don't know that it's going to be as catastrophic as Josh predicted, but it probably won't go as smoothly as you predict, either. I guess we'll see...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/18/2007 09:54:00 PM

  2. I don't know if the 3 million count is accurate, but if it is, I don't see how it can sell out. Apple's target is 10 million by the end of next year. 3 million in one day would be a phenomenal success, even if there's mayhem at the stores. There will likely be isolated shortages, but a widespread sell out? Neither I nor Josh see how that's possible.

    That assumes there will be 3 million at launch. If not, then a sell out is certainly possible and chaos could ensue.

    BTW, that rumor of a 6pm delivery is almost certainly false. There is no way to ensure all the delivery trucks in one time zone arrive at their destination at exactly the same time. If the iPhone is to go on sale at 6, it has to be there beforehand. But maybe they'll make a show of the delivery at some Apple Stores at 6pm.

    By Blogger Unknown, at 6/19/2007 06:19:00 AM

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