Two new iPhones to be announced this month, iPhone 5 may be in short supply

According to 9to5Mac, as has been rumored for a while now, there will be two different iPhone models coming in the early part of next month. The first model will be based on the current iPhone 4 and will be the low-end model (budget or what was previously rumored to be iPhone nano). It will still have the glass front and back panels and is said to be rolling off the production line in huge quantities. What is interesting is that this model will supposedly be offered at an extremely aggressive price point with prepaid and post paid service plans.

The iPhone 5 on the other hand will have a larger screen with a thinner rounder body. It is said to be a sight to behold as it is impossibly light but very solid to hold. The camera will even rival point and shoot cameras and will be a major selling feature of the new model.

Now the bad news, rumors abound that Apple has had a few design and production problems with the iPhone 5; which will result in a slight delay and may affect stock levels right into 2012.

Now as with all of these rumors, take them with a giant size pinch of salt. I remember similar stories about delays to the iPad 2 just before it was announced and they turned out to be false. The only thing I would take from the astonishing amount of rumors that are floating around about the iPhone 5 this week is that this is a sure sign that its launch will be sooner rather than later.

[9to5 Mac]


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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

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Two new iPhones to be announced this month, iPhone 5 may be in short supply


Disagree, many out there still don't have it and are waiting for it to come to their carrier [US & Canada] since it's not available on all of them or there isn't a model that works on their carrier.

I think that they usually announce the keynotes about a week or so before they take place. So having the keynote on early or mid October is still perfectly possible.
If you're referring to the actual release of the phone, who knows, they may be able to release it just a few days after the keynote.

If that mock up in the main picture is the new iPhone 5 then I for one will not be upgrading and will wait for the 6. Front looks good but the back, terrible! Anyway there's no flash so thankfully it won't be like that!!! RT

"Now as with all of these rumors, take them with a giant size pinch of salt" unless it's a non-apple product.

Don't they always shorten the supply to drive up demand? That seems like a normal flow around iPhone/iPad launches.
[serious question, no sarcasm]

No. You've got it backwards. There's no material advantage to purposely constrain supply ("ration") to create an impression of high demand. Absolutely no advantage whatsoever.
The prospective company that does that is insane as they are leaving revenue off the table. If the situation arises that supply is contrained, the company made a mistake by underpredicting demand, released too early, etc.

Everyone messes with the supply curve. It simply seems like Apple chooses, every year, not to provide enough supply. After so many launches of equal/similar/greater sales, why do they keep providing such short supply?
It creates a frenzy over finding one and the illusion that they are a "must-get", IMHO.

U think they can just produce any number? NO, at yhe current rate it is alrd driving the manufacturing workers life to hell...

By no means but they have consistently sold millions at launch and they run out immediately [typically day of]. I understand the biz side of not having a surplus but I believe they could do better with their initial projects/stock.
Consider the thought of an iPhone being available in stores and shipping within 24 hours at launch for the first 30 days. Would you think they weren't selling well because they were readily available? That's what I hear from pundits about other devices.
Conspiracy theory? Absolutely but it doesn't seem very far fetched that they'd limit stock [to reasonable levels] to mitigate surplus and drive up demand.
Just spitballing. ;-)

I don't think Apple is intentionally creating a huge shortfall, but they are clearly choosing to err on the side of too little inventory, rather than too much. Even if you think they would lose some sales, it is still a smarter approach. Think of it this way:

  • If Apple undershoots and run out of stock, the worst they can suffer is a percentage of lost sales -- and even that is questionable; it could accelerate long-term demand and/or result in more other Apple products sold to customers while they are in Apple Stores.
  • If Apple overshoots and end up with a glut of unsold inventory, they not only lose a lot of actual money, their brand and mystique takes a hit, as people wonder why Apple can't sell out anymore, not to mention the hordes of tech press who would pounce with any number of "Has Apple Lost It's Mojo?" type articles. True or not, that would be a big blow.

There is a heckuva lot more downside to producing too much than too little, and Apple is smart to recognize that produce cautiously.

I'm in total agreement with this. The art, it's all some mathemagician voodoo judgement on how well a product will sell, is to sell exactly as much as in inventory and exactly hit the run rate.
One must err on less supply. With Apple's volumes, it's going to be a very expensive mistake if a product bombs, but they have to edge towards the line as close as they can get.

That's my point exactly. They purposefully err "on the side of too little inventory" and [to bring point #1 of yours] it creates a mystique.
If you knew the iPhone would be available on Monday [after a Friday launch], would you stand in line? Nope. The lines = the mystique you mention.
I'm not saying they're dumb or doing anything ill will but they do it for sure [back to my original point].

I don't think it's a premeditated marketing strategy. Apple has to balance release timing, demand, and supply.
The marketing strategy of creating and illusion of scarcity sounds like a losing market strategy to me and anyone who tries it has lost their senses.
You build your brand by building good products at commensurate prices using the most flexible supply chain as possible. You have to balance everything. Employing a marketing strategy of creating an illusion of scarcity erodes the brand.
Ie, you build your brand by putting your good product in people's hands. Those people will then sell your product for you.

Employing a marketing strategy of creating an illusion of scarcity erodes the brand.
Having a good product at a good price trumps all, of course, but, if anything, the evidence suggests some level of scarcity enhances the brand.
In the Consumer Electronics space, the 4 main examples over the past half-decade are the original iPhone, the iPhone 4, the iPad, and the Nintendo Wii. All launched to great fanfare, sold out immediately, and were hard to find for quite some time -- weeks to months afterward. You would be hard pressed to argue that the brand for any of these devices was eroded at all. If anything, the Apple and Nintendo brands both rocketed to unprecedented heights after each launch, and kept climbing at least throughout the second, third, and fourth wave of shipments. Offhand, I cannot think of any example in this space where a brand was actually hurt by selling out at launch, but I would love to hear some counterexamples.

At least one professor at Harvard Business School disagrees with you:
Scarcity can (not always, but can) help the long-term sales not only of the product in short supply, but other products the company sells.

The strategy here is to create an illusion of scarcity, not to purposely constrain your supply.
Moreover, it's at best a short term strategy.
I think most people believe that Apple is truly component constrained and don't really catch up until they have a good idea of the demand so that they can adjust their supply chain to the right capacities.

Yeah. Simple economics here. Ration the supply and it creates a euphoric "I gotta have it now or I can't get one for a while" demand.

Why dont they just hold the release off until they have enough iP5's to sell to everyone, or at least the majority of people. I dont get it. I understand supply and demand, but come on now, Apple has to know this by now, if they release an iPhone 5 in LARGE quantities, they will still sell out! Jeez.
I have been waiting for a new iPhone release because my current iP4 is out of warranty and really screwed up, I need a new phone ASAP, but if its anything like the crazy release of the iPhone 4, I will be pretty upset. I sat in a line from noon to 4pm waiting for an iPhone 4, I think I am going to take the easy route and just order one and have it shipped to me this time.

I noticed on Verizon's website if you do a search for smartphones with the Apple IOS it says showing 8 of 41 smartphones have the Apple IOS but only 6 order options are showing. Has anyone else noticed this yet?

I can replace my iPhone on November 15th. Or I can wait until my two years is up and switch to Sprint. But then I won't have the free AT&T microcell in my house to boost the signal. Decisions, decisions. Do I really need unlimited?

How does that micro-cell work for you? I have no service in my new apartment and AT&T wants me to pay $200 for a cell and pay like $15/month, which I am considering but not sure if its a good idea.

mines working out GREAT, ALL FREE!!! if signed a 1 yr deal, the product was free and no extra fee either

It works great. Always five bars all over my house. If you file some complaints with the iPhone app from AT&T they might give you one. That's how I got mine I'm sure.

Just use the app at the location where the problem is. It will automatically report it. We are talking about the app "Mark the Spot" right? :-)

No Company? You mean like De Beers (diamonds). No they wouldn't hold back supply to create a false sense of value. That would be just wrong.

How right you are. I wonder how many people know the history of how effective the DeBeers marketing scheme has been. Talk about mind control. Diamonds are not rare, nor are they a precious stone. Perfect example of supply and demand. Look at how the marketing for them has evolved.

You are comparing the inherent value of a precious stone that has a finite amount on the planet that has a lifespan of forever with the manufacturing of a gadget with a two, maybe three year lifespan?
The value of a diamond is such precisely because it is rare. The more rare it is. The higher Da Beers can charge fir each diamond it sells. No matter how rare an iPhone is, Apple still sells it for the same price. It's not like they cost $1000 on launch week but $10 six months later.
Nice try but not even close.

Yeah, I think they'd do better just making it available. They'll still sell out but not on day 1 [which brings all the hoopla about it being a major success again].

Bring it to Sprint, Apple. The Gingerbread update on my EVO made the thing unstable. Google had my attention until then, but now, that pretty girl in the corner with the Apple logo is smiling at me and I'm getting interested in her. LOL!!!