Should Apple promote its new products when they obviously can’t ship them?

“If you have an Apple ID, you probably get emails from the company touting new products,” Kirk McElhearn writes for Kirkville. “I’ve gotten several about the Apple Watch, and I got one today about the new MacBook.”

“I clicked the Buy Now link in the email, and selected a configuration, only to see this on the Apple website: ‘Available to ship: 4-6 weeks,'” McElhearn writes. “It doesn’t seem very productive to tell people to ‘Buy Now’ when you can’t get a product for four to six weeks (plus delivery time; so, in reality, about five to seven weeks).”

“I think Apple should either wait to promote products they can’t ship, or be more explicit in their emails,” McElhearn writes. “It’s not a positive experience for users, and merely reinforces the image of Apple as an elitist brand. If you can’t ship, you shouldn’t taunt people.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Hey Tim and Co., what’s the point of having “the best product pipeline in 25 years” if it takes you 25 years to fill it?

Real artists ship. – Steve Jobs

63 Comments

      1. Do you have an Apple Watch? Normally people who down grade other products want one, no money, or they bought something else they do not like (android)

      2. As someone who has been using it for about a week, you clearly don’t know wtf your talking about. It’s incredibly helpful for me allowing me to see notifications, monitor my blood sugar and track fitness all from the watch. It’s great.

    1. As a related aside: I used to pester Apple about the fact that their security update documents were NEVER available online at the time of the release of the security update software. It took the a few YEARS to fix that oddity. Now everything is in sync.

      From what I can tell, it’s a lack of direct communication and coordination between different parts of the company. This is VERY common in what we now call ‘enterprise’ businesses. OMG did I get sick of it at Kodak. We even had a case where two guys created separate Mac and Windows versions of Kodak’s ‘Shoebox’ software, and the two database systems were incompatible. No export from one and import into the other. That was insane. What was SUPREMELY insane was that these two programmers worked across the aisle from one another, and they couldn’t be bothered to sync their database formats. That’s when you want to KILL.

    1. Received both products before the original delivery date. I personally haven’t spoke to anyone who hasn’t got their watch or laptop on time. Based of course off the date that was given when they ordered it.

      OK MDN folks, who hasn’t received their watch or laptop yet. I am curious to know.

    2. The short answer to the Headline is: Yes.

      Apple IS shipping. They do not have them in stock to buy off the shelf, and there is a wait time to receive one’s purchase. But of course they should still promote the product. Evidence points to the discovery of bad taptic engines that cut their supply, so planned manufacturing has a choke point. Better that than getting a watch with bad taptics.

  1. I’d love to get an Apple Watch – but I’d like to get it right now, not in six weeks. Heck, I wanted to get one the day it was released but I knew that wasn’t happening. It makes you wonder how many sales they’re losing by not having physical product to sell this very moment. I’m sure they’ll get it sorted out but maybe keep things under wraps a bit longer until they can get the shelves fully stocked for sale?

    1. If you want it that badly you should have been up at midnight pacific time on April 10th like the rest of us. If you had been, you would be receiving it today.

        1. I ordered my wife’s watch at 0545EST on April 10th. Originally, it stated a June ship date. Then on Thursday morning, 23 April 2015, I received an email stating my watch had shipped and I would receive it tomorrow (24 April 2015).

          At 1435hrs EST on Friday, 24 April 2015, my wife had her watch on her wrist. I have not seen her wear a watch in 15 years, and now she has not taken it off during waking hours.

      1. Logic fail.

        Even if everyone had stayed up and ordered their watches within 1 nanosecond of it becoming available, that wouldn’t have created a single additional watch or increased the number of delivered watches at any point in time.

        1. Reading comprehension fail.

          I said HE should have been up at midnight pacific if he wants it as badly as he claims to. If he had, he would already have his by now.

      1. A nice chunk of the ‘hype’ sales are probably lost. For example, I would think they are ‘losing’ the sales of those that are in the gray area of ‘would have bought it if I could have it in my hands within (x) days’ where ‘x’ is <= 3.. 😛 So those potential owners would simply convince themselves they don't really need one or postpone it and never getting around to actually getting one till the next version (maybe).

  2. Apple should do whatever it wants if their customers tolerate it. In my business, I gauge one squeaky wheel as a minimum of 10 that feel the same way and say nothing. Often times these others vote with their feet and take their wallets with them. So I take customer feedback seriously.

    I know that if I was the commander of Apple stores, I would whine, bitch, and complain if I didn’t have demo product for people to play with on preorder launch day. If the product lives up to the hype, have it in the store “when the hype is ripe”. The professional reviewers like MDM will rip you apart anyway if the product is no good.

  3. Yes, MDN, Apple’s difficulty in immediately filling all orders of this one totally new product completely invalidates the entire product line. We should all buy Dell’s and Galaxy’s.

    Any excess inventory would have been declared by MDN as the most embarrassing debacle worthy of ending Tim Cook’s position. 4 to 6 weeks of lead time on orders renders everything pointless.

    Really? Such a fine distinction between two such extremes? How do you propose Apple predict and prepare for a new product (the only (very) remotely comparable products would indicate very small demand) and get the answer so right it would fall well clear of either extreme? Say 1 to 3 weeks shipping. That’s one hell of a small target to hit.

    1. I heartily agree. This is a new product. People have been working their asses off for years to get it out the door. You can’t create new things without encountering some issues along the way.

    2. MDN sometimes veers towards a more extreme or elitist viewpoint. I try to ignore those and enjoy the funny Takes.

      Everyone thinks that they can do better. But, until someone actually does better than Apple, especially over an extended period, I am not worried. Very few people who want an Apple Watch are going to buy an alternative product or change their minds because of a four to six week wait.

      All of this whining and instant gratification nonsense is ridiculous. The Apple Watch was just a rumor not so long ago. Now, people are pitching fits because they cannot walk in and buy one today.

      When people talk about progress, they are almost always talking about technologies and construction. Unfortunately, the key area in which progress is stagnant is human nature. As a whole, we remain incredibly arrogant, greedy, belligerent, and prone to criminal acts if there is a good chance of getting away with them. It is truly sad…

  4. I ordered the Watch on pre-launch day and it’s on the truck for delivery today. That’s one-and-a-half weeks from launch date to the day I should have it on my wrist, even though my delivery time said “4-6 weeks” up until yesterday. I think production is ramping up just fine but Apple is continuing to under-promise and over-deliver.

    Customers are delighted if promised 4-6 weeks turns out to be 1.5 weeks. Customers are pissed if promised 1.5 weeks turns out to be 2 weeks. Pretty simple.

      1. Let us know when you get yours. I ordered the same, but could not get the server to respond until 00:07, so mine is due in June.

        I have not heard of anyone receiving a Space Black Stainless Link yet. Also, I called all the stores in Colorado for try on availability last Friday, and none have that model available for try-ons. Seems something is amiss with the Black Stainless – but I hope not.

        1. Delivery was scheduled for 12 o’clock, yet,’here I sit at 5:13 still waiting, but less patiently than before. I have a personal guarantee that it will be delivered today before 7 PM .

          1. 6 PM the parcel arrived. Previously these parcels required a 12 o’clock delivery, that was changed and discretion was given to the drivers, hence the delay.

            I will be off to Apple Store tomorrow to get this thing properly set up and be on my way.

            Here’s to all of you who are still waiting ……

    1. I had trouble ordering my AppleWatch as soon as server was activated on East Coast at 3:03am & had the SSW watch favorite on App Store ready for buy, but when ready to buy, Apple kept asking for security code which I kept re-entering. After 7 failed attempts I looked over information and noticed when I switch Amex cards, Apple kept the previous expiration date of other Amex card. I finally got approved at 3:09am and was promised a shipping date of May 13-24. I received it on launch day April 24! So I was happy. Unfortunately, this happened during pre-order for my iPhone 6+.

    2. Our 42mm SS w/Black Sport Band is out for delivery as I type this. My 42mm SS w/link bracelet is still in Processing mode. Both orders were confirmed at 00:07 on April 10th, with shipping range of May 13-27.

      So, Sport Band model is arriving more than a week earlier than earliest promised date. The link bracelet model is the one I haven’t heard anyone acknowledge receipt of yet, so something’s clearly up with those link bracelets.

    1. There was a time when Jobs released a product and wowed the audience by saying the product is available today — and it was!

      Those were good days at Apple, 5+ years ago. Cook hasn’t ever delivered a product on time in enough quantity to even come close to satisfying demand — and updates to each product line come so infrequently that the pent-up demand is huge.

      Apple TV anyone?

      Displays?

      iPods?

      current tech 4″ iPhone?

      real Mac Pro with internal expansion?

      1. I don’t think Apple was working at the same scale now as it was then, or working under the same level of scrutiny. Pretty much everything Apple is doing these days is setting records; it’s unrealistic to expect this to happen without some hiccups.

        1. You’re absolutely right. Apple has practically unlimited resources to update designs and ship products today. Jobs resurrected Apple on a very tight budget.

        2. Quite true, in the past they started with a smaller number of countries for the initial rollout which helped keep delivery times to a minimum.. Seems to me they have simply over extended themselves.

  5. Maybe it’s my age, but anticipation is part of the process. When you get mad at Apple due to a perceived slight at waiting your turn, its your problem, not Apple’s.

    1. Does anyone else remember the photo from the 80’s showing Steve Jobs sitting in front of a warehouse of computers that didn’t ship? He had over estimated demand. The article also announced his departure from Apple. We now know that there was more than that involved in his departure, but the business world accepted overstock as a legitimate reason for dismissal. Apple creates desire for something they’ve never done before, how the heck do you accurately estimate production for that?

  6. Thank you!!! I can’t tell you how it burns my hide that I ordered the watch @ 12:13 (when it went live on the site) and I can’t get the darn thing until 4 weeks, at minimum, after it was supposed to ship. And then I have to see all these celebrities sporting their watches and have to sit through tons of commercials. This is a big “fail” on Apple’s part.

      1. Not a troll at all. I’m a huge Apple fan, own stock in the company for about 20 years, and have an opinion. Not everything Apple does is perfect. I’m not “upset” just frustrated that there is a lot of hype and commercials about a product that they didn’t produce in sufficient quantities. I ordered it 13 minutes after it went on sale and it was already “sold out” by that point. That is not managing a product launch well at all!!

        1. You knew how long it might take when you ordered your Apple Watch. Now you are irritated because some celebrities (and developers) got theirs first? How is that different from any other major launch of a highly desirable product?

          Have you ever waited in line for a Nintendo Wii? A Cabbage Patch Kid? A Sony PS4? Or ? Then you make it into the store, only to find out that it is sold out. Welcome to the life of the average Joe/Joanna who has neither the wealth or the status to force life to adapt to our desires.

          Focus on the anticipation of receiving your Apple Watch and the joy that you will have unboxing it and learning how to integrate it into your life. Don’t dwell on the negatives.

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