iPhone makes Apple a coward!

July 11, 2008 · Print This Article

The introduction of the iPhone 3G has made Apple into a coward. I always thought they were confident. Tough. Cool. Afraid of nobody. I guess I’m wrong.

The company that grew big because it wants to be the runner up, the underdog, has showed the world, at least here in the Netherlands, that it is afraid of lack of its own succes. Indeed. The lack of succes. What happend? Let me tell you.

Today, july 11th, the iPhone 3G has been released here in the Netherlands. We never had the iPhone 1.0, so its big news here. Last night, at 0.00 am the coolest device of ‘07 AND ‘08 was officially released in the T-Mobile store in Rotterdam. More then 800 people were there, (I saw them because the event was broadcasted live over the internet) trying to get one of the 500 available phones, sold between 0.00 and 2.00 am.

And for the rest of the country, all other shops where open since 9.30 today. So you’d think you go there around 11.00, choose your model and color, draine your bank account to buy one, and leave. Just like with any other phone. No, no no no! Not at all! The news came that at 2.30 pm, all stores, in all the Netherlands, were sold out. The fact it took 4 hours says more about the speed of labour of T-Mobile employees, then the number itself, leaving a bunch of people dissapointed because they stood to far back in line or couldn’t make it at all (because they had to work for example).

The maximum number of phones a store had, where…. 30(!). Thats right. I talked to an employee of the Apple store in Zoetermeer, and he told me they only had 30 phones, where only 4 where the 16Gb. WTF? First you create a buzz, the size of multi millionairs wedding cake; and then you only supply us with a dozen of donuts?

What happend my dear Apple?  Affraid that if you would supply more, say like 100 per store, you couldn’t say after the first day ”The iPhone 3G is such a success its sold out after one day!”? Because that is the only reason I can think of a supplier would do something like this. To create yet another buzz around the product and saying “See? That’s how populair our product is.”

But it is an act of a coward!

What they should have done? They had to have done the following. Be confident about your (proven) succesfull marketing strategy, that you could create a buzz for 3 days! How they could do that?

Supply 100 phones to the stores. Do the buzz thing like you did today, so all Mac Geeks and iPod lovers would freak out and stand in line this morning. At 4.00 pm, you’d be sold out! But no worries, tomorrow (a saturday - best day of the week for retail) we will have a new ship coming in. At 12.00 am you open your stores again, working your way through the mass of people that were working yesterday, or were no 101 or higher. Bang! You just sold 200 phones per store. And do it again on Sunday if you dare. Do that in all 500 stores that sell the phone, and you’ll sell 150.000 phones in 3 days! Instead of 1.500 you do now, and maybe another 1500 next week. That is 100 times more than you do now! Now those are numbers you can be proud of. So what, you sold 1.500 phones in 4 hours time. Wow. Exciting. Especially when there is a need for another 148.500.

Maybe it’s because Apple knows, that even if you have to wait three weeks for the next delivery of iPhones, they will sell it anyway. But that is  not confidence, that is arrogance. And I always thought that was the difference between the no. 1 and the runner up or the underdog.