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iPhone 4, still signals of quantities below demand

Rumors about iPhone 4 quantities below demand continue to bounce from country to country and the rumors materialize in very concrete signals. After the USA, where AT&T and Apple have closed reservations in their stores in recent days and where Cupertino sets the shipment of orders to July 14, and after the United Kingdom and France that move the shipment, respectively, on July 14 and 2 July, even in Japan the taps close: no more reservations for Softbank's customers. But the news of a thirsty market in the face of a source that seems rather parched does not stop there; O2, Apple's historic partner for the United Kingdom, takes the situation even more head-on and explicitly lets know that the stocks available at launch will be few and for this reason it will privilege its old customers.

The situation, as we have already mentioned, is increasingly worrying even from our observatory. The question that we asked ourselves a few days ago and that now everyone is asking the question: if countries that have had the privilege of having iPhones first already today, they are increasingly moving deliveries, which will happen to customers of countries, like Italy, that were destined to have it in the second half of July? Could the situation already experienced with iPad repeat itself when deliveries outside the US were delayed by over a month?

The answer is not easy to give. The first impression that the risk is very high, almost a certainty. But in elaborating a hypothesis we must also take into consideration the fact that contrary to what happened with iPad, Apple has competitors on the market and, above all, that for some countries in July the deadline beyond which for many customers the contracts will expire biennial with mobile operators.

In our opinion, the latter aspect was a fundamental element in the development of the "two-phase" iPhone launch plan: first the USA, Germany, Japan, France and the United Kingdom and then a whole series of other countries. In the awareness of not being able to have enough iPhones at the same time for all the countries where it is for sale, Apple has played on the almost certainty that customers in some countries, not being able to free themselves from their contracts except, as soon as possible, from the July 17 onwards, they would have waited anyway. The impossibility of serving as promised, for lack of iPhones, customers from countries such as Italy, Australia, Switzerland, Canada, Nordic countries, would lead to the implosion of the strategic castle built by Apple: no iPhone by the end of July means iPhone in August or perhaps in September, or two months of a hole from the end of the contracts or two good months for Apple's competitors to catch customers in free exit and without a product with the Apple to buy; perhaps it would not be a disaster for the accounts of Cupertino but certainly the synonym of an avoidable loss of a few hundred thousand, perhaps tens of thousands, of customers.

In the face of all this, the hypothesis on a booking date for iPhone 4 seems solid, if only by July 17 (Tuesday 13?). To move could be, if anything, the delivery date of the first iPhone (Thursday 29 July?) Equally likely, the quantity available in the first days or in the first weeks will be very small. In short, we could experience the same situation as the launch of the iPhone 3G and then of the iPhone 3GS when, despite a formal availability, most stores only had a few units.