The iPhone 5: Another winner, or hampered by short supply?

RetailWire panelists weighed in a few days after the launch of the iPhone 5, especially to discuss the limited supply offered to Apple’s retail partners. My take:

My neighborhood Best Buy store has no idea when it will be receiving more supplies of the iPhone 5 and I’m not sure whether it received any in the first place. (On the other hand, my college-age daughter stood in line for 10 minutes at her local Apple Store on Friday and bought her new phone.) The “short supply” tactic seems to work every time for Apple by whipping demand into a frenzy — but, curiously, some of the evidence suggests that sales were not quite as high as expected. Hard to tell whether this is an outcome of how Apple seems to treat its retail partners or whether they were truly caught flat-footed by demand. And it will also be interesting to see whether the “Google Maps” backlash (and Apple apology) has any long-term effect on unit sales in the coming months.


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