Apple iPhone 5 Release: Must be smoother

Now that the release of the Apple iPad 2 has come and gone a lot of attention is now on the upcoming iPhone 5. There are some lessons that Apple could learn from the iPad 2 launch though, to ensure that the big release of the next-generation iPhone (expected in June) goes more smoothly.

We noted for example how only hours after the online orders opened (there was no pre-order facility), the shipping time had already been pushed back from 2 to 3 days to 2 to 3 weeks. It quickly became evident therefore that stocks of the iPad 2 were severely lacking and this became further evident as many retail outlets ran out of stock too quickly, leaving some who had waited hours, without their iPad 2 to take home. Although many people were pleased that when the iPad 2 was announced the release came only a week later, with hindsight it may have been better to have delayed the release for a few more weeks until the inventory was more able to cope.

Sam Oliver over on Apple Insider informs us that by Saturday, people placing online orders will now have to wait for up to a month to get their hands on the iPad 2. We feel these sort of delays make it appear to many that Apple have simply released the product without thought for the many who won’t be able to obtain it straightaway. Although many people actually enjoy the experience of standing in line for hours on an Apple launch day, it’s too much to expect people will still do this if they then can’t purchase what they want. If the lines then get shorter for these big releases, no matter what the facts, there will undoubtedly be reports that the product isn’t so successful and that’s something that Apple should want to avoid.

Also after the fiasco surrounding the White iPhone 4 that has still never appeared though was originally announced, Apple must improve on this next time around. All color options and all models must be available and ready at the time of the iPhone 5 release to avoid a repeat white iPhone saga.

Over on Beatweek a good point is made about having an iPhone 5 that will be compatible with both carriers, (a dual-switch baseband chip iPhone has been rumored before), to avoid the confusion of various models for various carriers. The article points out that when iPad 2 stocks ran so low even on the first day, that Apple employees were trying to push consumers into buying the iPad 2 for a different carrier than that which they asked for. This is pretty daft as most people known which carrier they are using and won’t buy a different model for a different carrier just to get their hands on the latest device.

These are just a few of the lessons that Apple should heed in order to ensure that the release of the iPhone 5 goes more smoothly than that of the iPad 2. Apple customers may have a lot of patience but even Apple fanboys’ patience could eventually run dry if Apple doesn’t improve its release service. Next time around, we’d like plenty of stock, for all versions in all colors, retail outlet lines dealt with more quickly and a pre-ordering facility. Is that too much to ask Apple?

What are your thoughts on this and do you have any other ideas for how a product release could be handled more smoothly by Apple next time around? Maybe you experienced problems obtaining an iPad 2 and don’t want a repeat performance? Let us know with your comments please.

  • Pimmy

    I totally agree about having the available  stock from the get go. I mean I live in S.E Asia and we don’t get the new releases till a few months later (which is bad enough) but to have it run out within the first day or two is just abit crap really. Im on my 3GS was hoping to upgrade to 4 but the stock kept running out on all networks and the delay in restocking meant I just gave up. Unless I get up at 3am and line up for my iPhone 5 I may have to wait till 2012 to get my hands on it. Apple knows (99.9%) that their iPads and iPhones will sell out like hot cakes. History has proven this for the last few years, why not just make large numbers and keep stock shortage to a minimum!!!