Two weeks ago Friday, I was sitting up in bed at 2:50 AM waiting on the flood gates to open. The iPhone 6 pre-orders were about to begin and I needed to make sure I ordered an iPhone 6 Plus before the dreaded backorder prompt appeared.
Turns out, I was pretty lucky. After refreshing the Apple Store webpage at least four hundred times, I grabbed my iPad mini and opened up the Apple Store app. I added a 64GB Space Gray iPhone 6 Plus to my cart and finally checked out around 3:40 AM. According to Twitter at the time, I was one of the very first to complete an order. My friend Jason Cipriani completed his order just minutes before me, but our own Michael Fisher and Jaime Rivera were up several more hours, waiting on their orders to go through.
Each year it gets worse. Apple has a way of manufacturing hype and blowing the doors off its sales records each and every year. It claims to have reached over 4 million pre-orders in the first 24 hours, and its opening weekend sales hit an all-time high: over 10 million units sold, not including China.
This year, Apple faced a perfect storm for all-time high demand. It finally released two things consumers have been begging for since 2010: a bigger iPhone and third-party APIs for sharing and keyboards in iOS.
But there was a problem. Apple underestimated the demand for its biggest iPhone ever.
You might assume demand for the smaller, 4.7-inch iPhone 6 is much higher than that of the 6 Plus. You’d be wrong, according to a survey by RBC Capital Markets. Of 6,000 people looking to buy one of the new iPhones, it found 49 percent wanted the larger model. And Adam Levy of The Motley Fool explains, “Usage data from Mixpanel shows that there about five times as many iPhone 6 models out in the wild compared with the 6 Plus.”
There was nearly equal demand for both models, yet the iPhone 6 was more readily available.
If you went out to buy an iPhone 6 Plus on launch day, you were probably turned away empty-handed, as many retailers sold through their stock in the very early morning hours. And if you want to buy one today, you’re looking at a three- to four-week wait.
Initially, we heard rumors that Apple might not be launching the iPhone 6 Plus alongside the iPhone 6, that the larger model would come later – maybe the following month with the rumored new iPads.
Obviously, that didn’t happen. But maybe it should have. Maybe Apple should have waited another month to make its shiny, new, oversized iPhone available.
What say you, folks? Was Apple a little trigger happy with its largest iPhone 6 model? Should it have waited a few more weeks to release it? Let us know what you think in our poll and in the comments below!