The worst fears of Apple well-wishers have been confirmed as the initial rush for the new iPhone 6 series has led to the shipment delay of the larger 6 Plus model. While the pre-order rush should bode well for Apple in terms of the sales forecast, the bigger issue at hand is having enough units to sell in countries where the phablet phenomenon is well and truly settled in.
According to a Reuters report, Customers may have to wait three to four weeks to get their hands on Apple Inc’s iPhone 6 Plus, after a record number of orders for the company’s latest smartphones strained available supply. The report adds, while the larger 5.5-inch “Plus” models now display a wait time of up to a month, the 4.7-inch version remains available for delivery on 19 September, Apple’s website showed.
Verizon Wireless, AT&T, and Sprint Corp, also showed shipment delays of up to six weeks on their respective websites. Apple said the pace of orders has so far outstripped any of its previous iPhones. Two of the biggest such markets, China and India, have been left in dodgy territory by Apple in terms of the iPhone 6.
While a release date for China has not been revealed, in India, the company’s website has removed the earlier launch date of October 17. The change was reflected a day before the iPhone 6 series went on pre-order in the US.
These sort of delays are not new when it comes to Apple and the iPhone, and has been seen every time there’s a major redesign for the iPhone. The latest iPhones of course have become a problem due to the larger screens, which some analysts had anticipated way before the actual launch. Now, the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus models in the US display a wait time of up to a month, with the 4.7-inch version available for delivery.
While we expect the shortage to be taken care of by Apple within the next few weeks as all supply chain players align themselves for the major push later in the holiday season, this delay, albeit short, plays directly into the hands of Samsung, the company’s biggest rival in the US and the world smartphone market. Samsung released three new phones in anticipation of the new iPhones, in the form of the premium Galaxy Alpha, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge.
The Galaxy Alpha nearly mirrors the specs of the iPhone 6, while the Note 4 sizes up well against the iPhone 6 Plus, which is the first phablet from Apple.
The Galaxy Alpha which has already released in some markets has been welcome with glowing reviews about its metal design, functionality and fears about its battery life have been put to rest by test numbers, so it’s shaping up to a great Android alternative to the iPhone 6.
Meanwhile the Galaxy Note 4 is yet to launch and will likely make an appearance in India early next month in keeping with the Indian holiday season launches.
The current delay with the iPhone 6 Plus gives Samsung a lot of leeway to play around with the pricing and launch offers of the Note 4 series to sweeten the deal for potential consumers. As it is the high-end smartphone segment has hit the ceiling in terms of growth potential and is largely considered a saturated segment.
With Samsung being able to ship Note 4 in large numbers, Apple loses out on potential buyers in the high-end segment.
This is especially true for those buyers currently on the fence as to which platform to go for. Both Android and iOS are equally capable OSes which have a great selection of apps and games, and their unique set of advantages, so for those on-the-fence buyers, the Note 4 might well be coming at the right time.
While Apple’s hopes of stealing some Android users away also receives a dent with news of the phablet’s delayed production. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that some sheen from Apple’s big launch has been robbed by the delay. It remains to be seen whether the company’s rivals can capitalise on this.