updated 04:15 pm EDT, Wed June 13, 2007
iPhone Two Month Shortage
Apple will likely have to deal with serious supply issues for the first four to eight weeks of the iPhone launch, Dr. Simon Croom of the Supply Chain Management Institute has told ZDNet. The group's director indicates that the global nature of Apple's supply chain will cause the extra strain as the company tries to ensure enough stock for the entire US, slowing down its ability to deliver new units. The situation may be compounded further by a possible spike in returns and problems supporting the device, as both Apple and AT&T will likely have to iron out any initial bugs in the handset and its service.
"Undoubtedly there will be shortages, service issues and challenges for call centers," Croom says. "Pressure will also be felt for AT&T in terms of sales support – in particular trade ins, impact on the sales of other phones and customer’s expectations from a ‘revolutionary’ new product."
Although Apple has so far declined to name its component makers, multiple sources have indicated that at least some of its iPhone assembly will take place in Taiwan and may involve parts delivered from Japan and Korea. The company has also attempted to control the quality of iPhone sales by limiting at least early sales to first-party Apple and AT&T stores.