Last Years iPad Launch vs This Years iPad Launch
Some of the tech media has been getting itself worked up into a frenzy with the news that the launch of the new iPad may not be as successful as last years because of the launch day reaction at Apple stores. They are getting this impression from smaller lines, more stock availability and a generally lower "noise" than last year. Heres why that is…
Last year the iPad went on sale at 5pm. I joined the queue outside the Apple store in Glasgow at approx 8am and was the 4th person in the line. I stayed the 4th person until 8:30 and by 10am the queue was only 20 people long. By the time the store closed at 3pm and the staff started handed out reservation cards the queue was 500 long. Everyone in the queue got the model they wanted and there was still stock left of every model when the store closed that evening.
Contrast that with todays queues, most people will be at work and the ones who weren't will still have been queuing up. 8am came, the doors opened and people bought iPads. People will have still been buying iPads since 8am but instead of going to the back of the line like they did last year they would have just walked in and bought one and left.
So just because there isn't as much of a presence outside Apple stores this year does not mean the launch was any less successful than last years. Apple has obviously learned from its supply issues in the past and has managed them better this year. The take away from this is that or the most part, people who want to buy iPads today can buy one without the need to join a queue and wait until an arbitrary time. Apples queues and supply issues have come under fire a lot in the last year or so and it makes sense that they would work to resolve these
I'll leave you with this…There was no queues for iPhone 4S's within a few hours of launch in october and there was certainly no queues for iPad 2's last quarter either, but that didn't stop both of those products selling in astronomical volume.