Where are all the iPhones?
We’re wondering how many iPhones Apple and its telecom partners actually stocked in the 21 countries where it will be sold first. Are some fans who camped out for the launch waiting in vain?
We’ll soon find out. But this is what we can gather from the UK, expected to be one of the biggest selling markets. Actually it’s a bit worrisome, if, say, you live in London and really, really want an iPhone on Friday.
Apple’s only UK carrier partner, O2, says it will have a very limited supply of the phone — like a few dozen phones per store. O2 has already sold out online.
What’s more, according to telegraph.co.uk, only about 50,000 phones have been shipped to the UK (it’s not clear how they came by the number). But to put this in perspective, O2 said it was getting 13,000 orders a second at a peak time on Monday.
You don’t have to be a math wizard to see that supply wouldn’t keep up with demand for very long under that scenario.
Apple watchers were slow to bet how many devices it has ready. Mark McKechnie, an American Technology Research analyst who covers phone rivals Nokia and Motorola, but not Apple, looked to phone industry trends.
“For an initial phone launch five millon would be extreme for day one. One million would be more in line with a normal handset launch,” he said.
Okay, let’s say one million phones. That would mean a stock of over 47,000 devices on average for each of the launch countres.
It sounds like a lot of phones until you consider this: Apple sold 270,000 of the first and more expensive iPhone in the first few days after its launch last year ONLY in the United States and ONLY with AT&T Inc.
But even if Apple runs out in the first weekend it may not be the end of the world. Only a longer term supply void would cause worries that the company was having production problems.
“If you see any period of time where there is an outage of supply for more than a few days anywhere that would be concerning,” said Pacific Crest’s Andy Hargreaves.
((Photo: Reuters – iPhone fans wait outside Telia store in Stockholm))