The latest Apple earnings call gave subtle hints about challenges on supply for Apple products this year.
Supply chain challenges are nothing new to any global industry, including Apple. The idea is to make sure that you are able to get what you need in time to bring your products out to your market. But the global pandemic made that a lot harder than it already is.
In fact, it was one of the factors why Apple launched the iPhone 12 a bit late last year. It was released in October 2020. Prior to this, iPhone launches were done in September (starting with the iPhone 5 in 2012).
From a marketing standpoint, this is perfect timing for back-to-school in September and holiday shopping from Thanksgiving to New Year.
What does this mean for iPhone 13 launch?
Supply constraints affected almost everybody when the health crisis gripped the whole world. And it still ripples out to several industries up until now especially with evolving virus variants posing new and immediate threats. This forces suppliers to balance their workforce considering their safety above all else.
Apple did not disclose how hard their supply chain was hit but simply referred to it as “constraints.” So this can mean anything from a late release, like the iPhone 12. Or it can be a limited quantity of products to be sold globally. Whichever of the two, this means you would have to wait a little bit longer to get your hands on the latest iPhone model.
Is it a marketing ploy by Apple?
There is always the possibility that brands create scarcity to drum up interest and drive up demand. Do you remember how Gmail started when it was an “invite-only” email platform? And have you tried buying a Hermès bag? They have a long waiting list and it takes months to get a bag. And Apple is believed to effectively use this tactic to its advantage.
Even before the release, there will be drops of hints on tech upgrades that would excite and keep consumers guessing. As the launch date gets closer, more and more hints become available. By this time, speculations are already fueling the desire to get the new product. Telling people about the scarcity of units is the final piece in that strategy.
At this point, pre-orders are already through the roof. A lot of people already paid for the units even before it has officially launched. Apple has indeed made great use of this tactic especially with their iPhones
What to expect now?
Now that Apple CEO Tim Cook and even CFO Luca Maestri already dropping hints of “constraints” in supply for September release, people are divided if it is another tactic to drum up interest for the iPhone 13. This is because the health crisis did impact almost all industries around the world.
What is certain is that the iPhone 13 will come (if it will be named iPhone 13). The only hanging question is that if it will meet the September release and if there will be enough stocks to meet global demand.
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