Another piece of the Barclays Research bonanza from the day has to do with the AirPods, the wireless earbuds that Apple allowed customers to pre-order for $159 and then stalled on delivering because the company decided that it couldn’t release it until the product was ripe and ready.
At this point from announcement, the delay has raised concerns and requests for pre-order cancellations — and thus, Apple gets to be educated on how diminishing returns actually come about. One retail worker claimed that his store was expecting a shipment of AirPods late next week.
Barclays researchers claim that it is far from the case. They note that factories won’t begin churning them out until December — late into the holiday retail rat race and certainly out of range for the typical shopping binge period of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The first lot is estimated to range between 10 million and 15 million units. That could leave Apple catching up to demand as it has been with its iPhone 7 Plus models this year.
In fact, channel inventory has proved difficult for Apple to manage — if not procure — for the past year as the company has tried to pull batch discounts and manufacturer competition to its favor in getting a good price on its components and assembly. Its failure to keep product flowing has left customers waiting for their products week after week — shipping wait times on the iPhone 7 Plus are still at three to four weeks at this stage.
But who knows if exclusivity and prestige may keep Infinite Loop in consumers’ favor. And we’ll have to see if what information the investment firm has is good info.