Should Apple be concerned about a global manufacturing slowdown? How would iPhone 14 delay effect on the way you buy phones?
Read till the end.
I was considering purchasing the aged iPhone XR lately; while selecting between a new iPhone 14; and spending a small amount of money on one of the greatest iPhones I’ve ever tried – although years ago.
I opted against it; primarily because I’m wrapping up a longer-term review of the iPhone 13 Pro Max; and am forward to see what the iPhone 14 Max has in store.
Then, to my dismay, I read of probable delays to Apple’s 2022 phone lineup, particularly the new Max (opens in new tab). But then I started to question if such a slowness was truly a negative thing.
After all, Apple’s iPhone XR was substantially delayed, yet it sold well over time, so if there are snags this year, it’s not necessarily a negative for the company.
Let’s take a step back; Since last year, reports have claimed that Apple might struggle to provide its new iPhone 14 series on schedule. Especially after a Covid epidemic in Shanghai forced several of Apple’s phone makers, such as Pegatron, to temporarily cease production.
This would clearly have a knock-on impact for those looking for a large supply of new iPhones on launch day; the odds of that happening are smaller if they can’t be manufactured quickly right now.
Is this, however, a terrible thing? Consider the iPhone 13, which was released last year. Despite the fact; that the iPhone line-up for 2021 didn’t reach full capacity until February 2022 due to the rippling effects of Covid and the chip shortage; it was one of the best-selling iPhone lines of all time.
How is that possible when production isn’t running at full capacity? Even months after debut, in December 2021, several iPhone models were still difficult to come by, with the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max sometimes unavailable for in-store pickup and subject to lengthy shipping periods.
While I’m sure Apple wasn’t intentionally restricting availability; the hysteria that ensues when something looks to be out of stock can be seen in the reaction to the absence of PS5 refill.
I still nod approvingly when I hear of someone getting a PS5; it’s as if they’ve conquered a difficult mountain or won the lottery, although in truth, stock is more available these days.
The psychology of the empty shelf is widely understood. According to a research from the University of Alberta; buyers would naturally respond to empty shelves with greater mania than when there is plenty of stock:
“A shortage of stock for typical goods might signal to customers that a business isn’t well-managed since supplies were not appropriately purchased.”
“However, for newer items, stores can use it as a message: it’s not that they didn’t order enough; it’s possible that the product was just selling so fast; that nobody could anticipate it; so buy it while you can,” said Paul Messinger; a professor at the University of Alberta’s School of Business; whose research looked at the sale of a variety of items including ski passes and wine.
The illusion of lust
If Apple does experience a supply shortfall when the iPhone 14 comes, it will almost certainly cause the stock to sell out faster, creating a feeling of urgency among people who were considering getting one but weren’t sure.
The study also reveals why the iPhone 13 was such a hit, despite not being miles ahead of prior versions in terms of performance:
“Sold-out items give customers a sense of urgency; they believe that if one thing sells out, the next one may as well,” Messinger noted.
That’s also a strong selling point for Apple. According to rumors; the new iPhone 14 Max is in danger of not being fully available at launch. Which would benefit consumers in two ways: while some would wait for the intriguing new model (which would be cheaper but lower on power than the Pro Max, but would still have the larger screen and battery), others would be so caught up in the excitement of “new phone day” that they’d choose one of the available models.
The sales of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models suddenly make a lot more sense when something similar happens. After all, now could be the best moment to buy a used iPhone XR.