The iPhone 5 launched across South Africa on the 14 December with many people eager to get their hands on the new device. Information was difficult to come by in the days leading up to the launch, which frustrated people who wanted to make a decision based on price. Many people upgraded on Vodacom but once they saw the price of CellC they experienced some buyers remorse.
iStore's all over South Africa opened their doors at 7am to long ques of people but no iPhone's. iStore's only had stock on 8ta iPhone's and they sold within minutes. The next round was at 9am when service providers opened their doors to the public. The situation didn't get any better. Of the four stores we spoke to, one didn't receive any stock, the second only got 2, the third got 7 and the fourth got 12. That is under 30 iPhone 5's (including iStore) in one shopping centre.
The situation was even worse for some who were looking for a 32GB or 64GB model. No stores had either option. The only model that was available was the Black 16GB model.
The question is what went wrong and who is to blame?
It is hard to point fingers here as there are many players involved.
- Apple has been suffering from a short supply of iPhone 5's worldwide. In order to meet their goal of making this the fastest roll out they shortchanged everyone! Apple was determined to release the iPhone before the end of the year. Well done Apple you met your goal but irritated your customers.
- Cellphone Networks or as they are sometimes called "communication networks." Someone really needs to teach these companies how to communicate. People were left without a clue as to what was going on just hours before launch. If Apple didn't give you enough stock and you can't deliver, communicate that to people. Tell them you only have 8 iPhone's and they are going to the people who pre-ordered first! SIMPLE.
- Core Group. The Core Group are Apple's distrubutors in South Africa. They have nothing to do with bringing the iPhone to South Africa however. It is the only product they don't import. Who knows why on earth they decide to open their stores so early without any stock. That is just plain madness!
At the end of the day all this hype is what really causes the problem. It doesn't really matter if your get your iPhone today, next week or a month later. Your turn will come, just be patient.