We’ve become familiar, over the years, with the annoying process of ordering a new iPhone. If you wanted to get a new phone on the first day, you used to have to place an order in the first few minutes after it became available. This year, it was midnight Pacific time, on Saturday. So if you were in New York, you had to order at 3 AM; here in the UK, orders began at 8 AM.
I wasn’t in a hurry; I actually hadn’t planned to order a new iPhone, since I really like the smaller form factor of the iPhone 5s. But I changed my mind, partly because my phone is two years old and is missing several important features, and partly so I can hand down my iPhone 5s to my partner, so she finally has one.
When I woke up Saturday morning and checked my twitter feed, I saw the usual comments about problems ordering the iPhone. Apple’s website went down, and many people had difficulty ordering the phone. But there were far fewer people complaining about the order process taking too long, or not working together. Eventually, these complaints faded away as my satisfied American friends went back to sleep, happy that they would have a new iPhone in two weeks.
I was surprised to find that, at around 4 PM Saturday afternoon, or eight hours after the iPhone went on sale, it was still possible to order one for first-day delivery. In fact, it is now Monday morning, over 48 hours since the iPhone went on sale, and it is still possible to order certain models and have them delivered on September 25, the first day. (The rose gold model is the exception for the 6s, but it seems that the 6s Plus is sold out everywhere.)
I’ve always felt that this order process was not up to the quality of Apple’s products. Having to get up, for some, in the middle of the night, having to reload webpages over and over, finding that the order process failed and having to start over, these things are just wrong.
With the current iPhone launch, it seems that Apple may have increased the number of units available, instead of creating artificial constraints (given how many iPhones Apple sells, it’s hard to think that these limited stocks at launch are an accident). The other possibility, of course, is that there is lower demand for the new iPhone. To be fair, in spite of Apple’s hubristic marketing, there is little new with this device, aside from 3-D Touch, Live Photos, and a better camera (every iPhone has a better camera than the previous model…).
If all this is because Apple has made more iPhones available, then I say “finally.” I, and many of my colleagues, have often felt that Apple has been restricting quantities of product launches in order to make them more scarce, more desirable. If, on the other hand, this availability is due to low demand, then that’s another story altogether.
In any case, if you still want a new iPhone 6s without waiting, now’s your chance.
Update: According to MacRumors, Apple has said that this weekend’s pre-orders are the highest ever for a launch weekend. So Apple has clearly made a lot more iPhones, and has perhaps realized that the customer experience wasn’t good enough in the past.