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Topic # 65216 31-Jul-2010 09:11
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This has been the first time I've paid close attention to an iPhone launch, as its been the first time I've been in the market for one. Were previous iPhone launches this chaotic? I doubt previous launches were so badly handled from a communications perspective (and ranting about that isn't going to get me an iPhone sooner anyway :-)), so I'm more interested in the low stock levels. Is it common for there to be large waits for stock after the initial launch batch have sold out, as is the current situation? 

And if the answer to that last question is "yes", how long was it before other retailers got stock back in? Was it around the same n week window that Apple store customers had to wait, or earlier/later?

One final question. I note today that someone had contacted JB HiFi, and they said that they will only be selling the iPhone on plan. Are there any other brick and mortar retailers that usually offer the iPhone for outright sale, or is the only way this can be done usually via the Apple and Vodafone online stores? Apples press release earlier this week certainly gave the impression that there would be a number of places that it could be purchased outright, but as there were none that this could be done with on launch day, I'm finding it hard to attach any credibility to that press release at all.

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  Reply # 360567 31-Jul-2010 11:02
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IIRC the 3G launch in July 2008 went pretty well. At that time the iPhone 3G was being rolled out in various countries, including the USA, on the exact same date so of course we were the first country in the world where it was released, which drew a fair amount of media attention and some nerds from the US.

The thing I remember being most disappointing about this launch was when Vodafone released their plans for it, and there was a fairly sizeable uproar about how pathetic and expensive they were/are. VF started with a snippet before it was released showing the iPhone was from $199, and everyone was like 'wow this is gonna be awesome!!!', but that was on a $250 per month plan. Mark Rushworth was crucified on Campbell Live about the pricing and made an absolute fool of himself, basically he couldn't give a straight decent answer to anything, the video is still on 3 News' site if you want a laugh.

iPhone 3GS launch was also ok, except they weren't selling them to people on prepay, but then Apple began selling them from their online store (and for $30 less) so that kind of took care of that. Still, hopes were high that Vodafone would listen to their customers and do something about the plans, but of course we know what happened with that.

I think both models sold out pretty quickly from the initial batch, but pretty sure it didn't take too long for stock to start rolling back in again.




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  Reply # 360569 31-Jul-2010 11:06

3GS launch was planned much better. Better communication. Online outright purchases and Saturday delivery.

iPhone 4 has been tarnished by all it's bad publicity and this puts the nail in the coffin for me. I might buy next year's revision if it's worthwhile and they've fixed their problems.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 360571 31-Jul-2010 11:13
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I don't think there has been a previous iPhone launch where they are such insufficient stock levels to meet demand.

While everybody has claimed the NZ launch was a massive failure it's worth noting that stocks of the device where also extremely short in Australia and most stores ran out of stock yesterday - reports have each telco receiving between 12000 and 13000 units with Optus alone having preorders for over 100000 devices. In Singapore you could only get a phone if you had preordered it and supplies and in Hong Kong CSL ran out of stock on Thursday night after stores opened at midnight.

I'm not so sure why so many people have attacked Vodafone for what is obviously a massive issue with Apple simply being unable to supply stock. My understanding is Vodafone received literally several hundred devices rather than the thousands that were expected. Sure their communication sucked but is it really their fault that Apple are promising something they simply can't deliver?




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  Reply # 360574 31-Jul-2010 11:24
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It's not this:

sbiddle:

I'm not so sure why so many people have attacked Vodafone for what is obviously a massive issue with Apple simply being unable to supply stock.



It's this: 

sbiddle: Sure their communication sucked..


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  Reply # 360578 31-Jul-2010 11:31
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According to the trend, vodafone will only allow online purchasing even for on account customers for next years' release. Then comes iPhone 6, where vodafone will need you to beg them to sell one to you.


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  Reply # 360579 31-Jul-2010 11:31
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According to the trend, vodafone will only allow online purchasing even for on account customers for next years' release. Then comes iPhone 6, where vodafone will need you to beg them to sell one to you.


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  Reply # 360585 31-Jul-2010 11:39
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scotteffone: It's not this:

sbiddle:

I'm not so sure why so many people have attacked Vodafone for what is obviously a massive issue with Apple simply being unable to supply stock.



It's this: 

sbiddle: Sure their communication sucked..



+1 Exactly!!

The stock issue (or lack there of) squarely an Apple issue and we would be happy to point the finger at them had Vodafone EVER advised us. This was Vodafone's Launch and Vodafone royally f'd this one up. 

Has there ever been such a major epic fail in product launches, oh wait yes there was a certain Google Phone by a certain Telco.

Hmmmm...Iphone 5 on VNZ...I think writing is on the wall 

bmt

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  Reply # 360586 31-Jul-2010 11:40
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Agree with above, the issue for me isn't that Vodafone had such a tiny amount of phones, but that there was absolutely no communication from them. When they said the launch was off, despite the fact they actually had the phones.. inexplicable. And we are still waiting for the reason behind the whole debacle.

They dropped the ball big time.

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  Reply # 360587 31-Jul-2010 11:46
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camtab:
scotteffone: It's not this:

sbiddle:

I'm not so sure why so many people have attacked Vodafone for what is obviously a massive issue with Apple simply being unable to supply stock.



It's this: 

sbiddle: Sure their communication sucked..



+1 Exactly!!

The stock issue (or lack there of) squarely an Apple issue and we would be happy to point the finger at them had Vodafone EVER advised us. This was Vodafone's Launch and Vodafone royally f'd this one up. 

Has there ever been such a major epic fail in product launches, oh wait yes there was a certain Google Phone by a certain Telco.

Hmmmm...Iphone 5 on VNZ...I think writing is on the wall 


Agreed, they are screwed for iPhone 5.

I personally wouldn't have had an issue if VF had have come out and said, "look we're only getting approximately x amount of units for the country due to the strong worldwide demand". Then at least people know where they stand as individuals, and where NZ stands in terms of supply. Just ANYTHING at all to let people know what was going on.

But they didn't do that, they still haven't done anything to explain what happened, and the head of PR has certainly not done the job they are paid to do. 




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  Reply # 360588 31-Jul-2010 11:46
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PoLiGnAc: According to the trend, vodafone will only allow online purchasing even for on account customers for next years' release. Then comes iPhone 6, where vodafone will need you to beg them to sell one to you.



HAHHA...the trend also suggests that we will be able to pre-register to be told that the Iphone 5 has hit their shelves when the Iphone 6 gets announced by Apple. Getting an email at 1.30pm advising that the Phone went on sale an hour and a half earlier...classic.

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  Reply # 360590 31-Jul-2010 11:47
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sbiddle:
I'm not so sure why so many people have attacked Vodafone for what is obviously a massive issue with Apple simply being unable to supply stock. 


PR communication fiasco
If on the eve of launch they PB had informed that due to supply constraints they would only offer it to New VFNZ customers or if re-signing contract, then a lot of anxious prospective buyers would not have been frustrated in early hours of morning in the cold.

If VFNZ had clearly communicated to their resellers how they would be able to sell, and what time of day they would be able to sell. 

IF Vodafone stores did not give mixed communication.  Eg Some no communication, others had notices in window that it would not be available on 30th July, yet VF later announced it would be available from 12 with little information as to where 

Resellers sitting waiting by the phone for 12pm phonecall to receive instructions on whether they can sell their stock?

Vodafone website with price changes throughout the morning....

I would say that this was the key issue that VF could not get things in place prior to launch date and communicate with their reseller network. 
(Compounded by the short supply to NZ) 

Anyhow, managed to get a 32GB (thanks to PeterW and to Steve at MagnumMac) and have subsequently taken opportunity to reduce my monthly commitment to VF by $80 a month so the phone will be paid for within 10 mths of savings on current plans (should have changed it regardless).  Should i have enough 

 

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  Reply # 360591 31-Jul-2010 11:49
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camtab:Getting an email at 1.30pm advising that the Phone went on sale an hour and a half earlier...classic.

Was brilliant eh?  Maybe they had their clocks on Sydney time 

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  Reply # 360593 31-Jul-2010 11:55
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I got an iPhone 3G the Wednesday after they were released here the previous Friday. It was no great stress at all. Much better than yesterday's fiasco.

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  Reply # 360601 31-Jul-2010 12:15
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corksta: 
Agreed, they are screwed for iPhone 5.

Without the VF global reach, VFNZ possible might never have been given a look-in in the first place.Might not lose it, but exclusivity would be a different situation.


I personally wouldn't have had an issue if VF had have come out and said, "look we're only getting approximately x amount of units for the country due to the strong worldwide demand". Then at least people know where they stand as individuals, and where NZ stands in terms of supply. Just ANYTHING at all to let people know what was going on.

That would be too sensible, and not just informing customers, but informing OWN staff and VF resellers.


But they didn't do that, they still haven't done anything to explain what happened, and the head of PR has certainly not done the job they are paid to do. 

would not like to be in those shoes.



 

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  Reply # 360604 31-Jul-2010 12:20
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corksta: But they didn't do that, they still haven't done anything to explain what happened, and the head of PR has certainly not done the job they are paid to do.?


Hmmm. There are lots of different departments involved. Marketing and PR should be very separate things, with Marketing supporting sales. But it seems everyone outside see the face of PR, which at the end of the day is just the "Brand Manager and Protector" people - not the people who decide what/how/where really.

Aaron Beckman is the current acting Chief Marketing Officer.

No, don't blame Paul on anything. He's just the "face" of the company. And I believe he must have some experiences to tell the grandchildren one day.


EDIT: corrected the CMO holder.




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