“Shares of Apple were slightly higher in early-afternoon trading today, as the tech giant offers gift cards for certain products, including the iPhone, iPads, Apple Watch Series 1, Macs or Apple TV, rather than discounts for Black Friday.,” Natalie Walters repots for TheStreet.

“Recode senior retail editor Lauren Goode said on CNBC’s ‘Squawk Alley”‘ on Friday morning… [that] these gift cards can help Apple move products off the shelves,” Walters reports. “The gift cards will also help encourage customers to come into the stores as they consider buying a product or products that they were previously hesitant about purchasing due to price, Goode said.”

“While Apple is trying to push products off the shelves, it has still not released its bluetooth headphones called Air Pods that were due out at the end of October,” Walters reports. “They are to be paired with the iPhone 7, which is the first model missing a headphone jack, Goode noted. The company is ‘missing out’ because bluetooth headphones have been on the upward trend even before the new iPhones came out and is a ‘hot gadget’ this season.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Unfortunately, this is certainly not a new issue with Apple.

As we wrote a year ago:

Sometimes Apple, the world’s most profitable and most valuable company, still operates as if they only have five guys from NeXT working around the clock trying to do all the work on a shoestring budget.

Can’t manage to have a compatible Remote app or Apple Music-capable Siri for the Apple TV launch… Can’t have enough Pencils and Keyboards for the iPad Pro launch. Seriously? Can’t have any stock on hand for two months after the so-called the Apple Watch launch date. Can’t update their professional Mac for nearly two years and counting?

Why are these amateurish mistakes and lapses happening with startling regularity? You know, besides mismanagement?

Oh, you say, but Apple is making tons of money! Why, yes, they certainly are!

Listen, let’s be honest, Steve Ballmer could’ve generated the same kind of money “running” Apple Inc. given the massive momentum Steve Jobs handed over at his death. Sometimes, in fact, it looks like Steve Ballmer is running Apple. Although, no, it doesn’t really, because even Ballmer would have updated the Mac Pro by now, made sure he had enough Apple Watches ready so as not to pretty much totally kill launch momentum, and also had enough Pencils and Keyboards on hand for the iPad Pro launch. Of course, Ballmer would have never had the handle on the big picture that Tim Cook has – our issues with launches under Cook have to do solely with launch supplies and software polish.

We’re coming up on two years now (this December 19th) since the Mac Pro debuted with no updates which, along with the rest of the string of snafus (going back to John Browett, Apple Maps, no iMacs for Christmas 2012, no iPad 2 units for launch, etc.), is what understandably prompts this sort of “joke” and “failure” talk and the feeling that Apple is a bit sloppy in recent years.

We hold Apple to a high standard and we expect the company to execute better than they have of late. (read more) — MacDailyNews, November 27, 2015