Monday, October 10, 2011

Customer's disappointed with iPhone 4S? Not so much.

Apple's iPhone 4S breaks early order record; Mon Oct 10, 2011

More than a million people placed early orders on Friday for Apple Inc's latest iPhone, the last product the company debuted before the death of its co-founder Steve Jobs. 
Orders for the iPhone 4S, which will appear on store shelves this Friday, surpassed Apple's previous one-day record of 600,000 sales for the iPhone 4, pushing the company's shares up 5 percent to close at $388.81 on the Nasdaq stock market. 
The new phone disappointed some fans,,,
Apparently, it didn't disappoint very many customers.
...when Apple introduced it last week, but it is proving to be a bigger draw because more telephone companies are carrying it and it will appear in more countries, analysts said.
Or, it would have still sold 1 million units even if it had only been sold in the U.S.
Another big factor may be Jobs. Massive outpourings of grief and sympathy over his death last Wednesday at the age of 56, along with testaments to his genius and status as a visionary business leader in the media and by Apple products users online may have spurred sales.
Or, it would have sold 1 million units anyway.
"Many potential Apple customers, who have been on the fences before, will probably now want to (buy) it," said Steven Osinski, marketing professor at San Diego State University. 
Or. there weren't as many customers on the fence as you thought.
"It's no different than when John Lennon was assassinated, sales of Beatles records shot up for a little while."
Actually, it's very different. The Beatles hadn't put out an album in over a decade before John Lennon's death. Apple announced the iPhone 4S on the Tuesday before Jobs' death. People aren't buying the iPhone 4 because Jobs died. They are buying it because they want to own the iPhone 4S.
The initial skepticism from fans on the iPhone 4S was overridden by their desire to honor Jobs, said Barbara Sullivan, Managing Partner of Sullivan, a branding and marketing agency.
Who was initially skeptical again? The customers who bought 1 million pre-order units or just the pundits?
"It had everything people wanted. The market was disappointed, but the customers looked past the headline to see the content of the device itself," said Hudson Square analyst Daniel Ernst.
Spot on. There's a disconnect between what the people want and what the market thinks the people want.
Analyst Colin Gillis said Apple still has a long way to go to meet Wall Street's sales expectations.
"It's not the first million. We know there's a large loyal base of users."
Lord, I'm so sick of this argument. Apple's only sells well because it has a large loyal base of users? But last quarter, the then 12 month old iPhone 4 went from 8.4 million units in the previous June quarter to 20.3 million units - a year-over-year growth of 142%. You can't get 142% growth from Apple's "large loyal base of users". Growth like that comes from people who have never previously purchased an iPhone - and possibly have never previously purchased an Apple product - before.
They need to sell more than 20 million of these in this quarter to hit estimates," said Gillis. "Apple needs to break records to hit expectations."
So let's get this straight. The iPhone 4S "underwhelms" but it must break records to meet expectations? I'd say that those are some pretty unrealistic expectations...except for the fact that Apple is going to, once again, smash them.

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