Unless you have been living in a cave for the past few days you will have been unable to get away from the hype and excitement surrounding Apple’s iPad 2 launch in the US yesterday. Many bloggers speculated that Apple would fail to cause the same buzz and excitement as they did with the original iPad with many predicting it would flop – of course they were wrong with record queues that dwarfed last years iPad release.
In fact there were a lot of consumers that returned home without an iPad 2 yesterday, not because they weren’t impressed but because stores had simply run out of iPad 2’s to sell! Walt Mossberg, of the WSJ Tweeted: “My local Apple store in the DC burbs still has an iPad 2 line this morning, but just informed people they’re sold out”.
Why is there a shortfall?
There are two trains of thought here both of which are pretty viable. The first relates to a reported shortage of screens and the second an age old tactic of creating an artificial shortfall to keep consumers keen.
At the start of March a report suggested that Apple were struggling to source screens and other components for the iPad 2 and at the time people said it would delay the launch; obviously this didn’t happen but the shortfall could have contributed to the lack of devices in the shops. If this is the case one would argue that Apple has either planned poorly or brought the launch date forward to beat competitors to the punch.
However Apple may have planned this shortfall all along releasing just enough iPad 2’s to create a buzz amongst the tech community, its human nature to want something you can’t have which will result in online sales and iPad 2 waiting lists being far longer than last years. If this is the case then it’s a very clever, yet sneaky, tactic indeed.
Apple could of course be hedging their bets by simply judging initial demand and then fulfilling it over the next couple of weeks.
What can Apple learn from this? Do you think it’s a deliberate ploy, poor planning or are did they hedge their bets?