i-want: Apple plays hard to get

By Keri Algar

SYDNEY, NSW: Running out of stock appears to be the only ‘problem’ with last week’s launch of the iphone 4.

Stores across Australia sold out of the iphone 4 on day one – keeping the sense of urgency high and consumers on their toes for new stock to arrive.

JB Hi-Fi CEO, Terry Smart, said sales had been “fantastic,” but broken up due to stock running out.

“We got an allocation last Friday and we sold that allocation by about 3pm that day. We’re not expecting another allocation until potentially tomorrow [Friday],” Smart told Current.com.au.

This is not bad for business however, according to Smart, who said that Apple customers are particular about wanting a specific product. Scarcity works well in persuasion.

“They are prepared to wait, to hunt a retailer down.”

“Bear in mind it’s the new technology people are after. These are more than just phones, these are fashion statements and people are prepared to wait to get them.”

“With things like the iphone and ipad there isn’t necessarily an alternative, those customers want that particular product, they’re not just looking for a phone or a computer, as such.”

Overseas user complaints have not washed upon Australian shores as Apple continues to provide customers with a free bumper case to avoid a loss of signal.

Smart said he had not encountered the signal issues phone users overseas had complained about.

“I’m not aware of anyone coming back with any issues. I’d suggest that the market is fairly well educated on what the problems are.”

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