In which our author eats crow…

by Doc Coleman - Nifty Tech Editor on June 16, 2010 · 3 comments

in Editorial, Feedback, Poll

I was wrong.

In a BIG way. A little right, too, but mostly wrong.

In yesterday’s editorial, and in the comments, I took the stance that despite the high demand for the new iPhone 4 it was unlikely that the pre-order inventory would be exhausted on the first day.

BOY, was I wrong.

Demand for the new iPhone was so strong that, despite the problems that plagued Apple and AT&T’s systems from the high volume of orders, Apple and AT&T ran through their inventory of pre-order phones in less than a day. AT&T ran through their allotment very early in the day. Other resellers such as Best Buy and Radio Shack (now just “The Shack”) exhausted their allotment within hours after they started taking pre-orders. And last night on the US Apple Store, the availability for the iPhone 4 quietly ticked over from “Delivered on June 24th” to “Ships on July 2nd”.

Orion commented on yesterday’s iPhone 4 Preorder Madness editorial that, the the new phones “are also not in infinite supply” as a rationale for the massive drive by customers to put in their pre-orders. While this is correct, we should also remember that the window for acquiring an iPhone 4 is roughly 11 months long, and the penalty for waiting to long to get one is the opportunity to order an iPhone 5. So, I was right in that there really isn’t a great need to scramble to get your hands on a new iPhone. They’ll be around for a while, and most of us already have perfectly serviceable phones to use in the meantime. I mean, we got this far, didn’t we?

But I clearly didn’t understand how strongly the desire for the new phone ran. For those, like myself, who didn’t get a pre-order in, we now have the choice of standing in line at the Apple Store on June 24th in the hopes of being early enough in line to get one of the units set aside for walk-in customers on the release date, or place your order now for the July 2nd ship date and expect to see your new phone the following week, or just wait until the rush dies down and the phones are plentiful and easy to find.

I have to wonder what feature has made the iPhone 4 so irresistible to so many. Is this just the mass of iPhone and iPhone 3G users whose commitments have expired looking to get their hands on a phone that can take full advantage of iOS 4? Or new users who have been waiting for multi-tasking before buying in? Is it Facetime that has tipped the scales for users new and old who now have to have the ability to place video calls? The new Retina Display? The LED Flash? The ability to take and edit video right on your phone? Or the combination of all of these?

I guess June is going to have a second poll so I can find out.

I hope everyone got their pre-orders in.  And next week, when you get your hands on the new phone, let me know what you think.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Doc Coleman June 16, 2010 at 3:01 PM

Just one of those days, it seems. New poll is up, so be sure and vote on both of them… once you can. Looks like Google's polling tool is down. Hopefully they will get it working soon. If not, you can still speak your mind in the comments.

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Orion June 18, 2010 at 3:17 AM

Knock, Knock. 🙂 Remember me?Speaking for this house, there is no one feature of the iPhone 4 that makes it "so irresistible". It's the overall ease of use compared the current device (Samsung Blackjack). One clever thing Apple has done with the iPhone 4 is to make it's best feature FaceTime require two devices.

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Doc Coleman June 18, 2010 at 4:03 AM

Welcome back, Orion!I would think that overall ease of use would apply to older iPhones as well. The 3GS is still available. But the 4 is the phone in demand. I guess that does make a case for there not being any one feature favoring the iPhone 4, but the combination and integration of features. But different things will be important to different people.You do make an interesting point about FaceTime. It does require two devices. And right now that means two iPhone 4s. But Apple has made Facetime an open standard, so it is only a matter of time before other phones come out that are Facetime compatible. Of course, until then, it is all Apple's ballgame.

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