iPhone SE flies off the shelves, yet production is “slowed?”

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by,

Suzanne Coleman

I decided that I wanted to buy the iPhone SE, so I went to the store to check it out and make sure it offered the features that I wanted.  While its camera isn’t very good and the 4K video looks ok, on a tiny screen, it did have dictation capabilities  which I think will be great for writing my books more efficiently (though Apple gets to screen everything you say, wonder what the fine print is on that??  NSA….).

I asked the store representative if they had any of the rose gold (I call it pink) 64 G in the store and she said they were sold out.  They’ve been mostly sold out for weeks.

Hmm…

If this is the case, then why are news outlets reporting a pull back on production of the iPhone?  Is this information accurate?  It seems to have been, in the past, when similar reports were released in the US.  This report was very vague though.  There were no indications of which phone/s’ production was/were slowed.  Maybe they slowed production of only certain models, like the iPhone 6.  Apple is expected to release the new iPhone 7 this year, so it would make sense if they decreased production of last year’s model, no well-managed company (not that they are…) would want to have tons of unsold overstock.

I asked the store’s staff how could I find out when they have the phones back in stock.  They told me that I could use http://www.apple.com to select the phone I want, and then I should hit “check availability” to see if the store has it.  So when I went home I tried this.

On Saturday, a couple of days later, most of the stores in my search results (about 15 stores) had the phone.  But the next day, all of the stores in my area were sold out.  I repeated this search over the next 10 days or so and none of the stores seemed to receive a new shipment (poor management…).

This is “vaguely” familiar, Apple not fulfilling customer demand.  Now as a stock-holder (not sure for how long that will continue), I have a problem with that.  You can’t bring in income if you don’t have the product available.  Apple has had so many issues with this over the past decade or so, yet management is the same as far as I can tell.  There is clearly demand for the phones, but there are no phones to fulfill that demand.  Why?

Then we hear that they are slowing production.  If that applies to SE, are they saying they made a mistake in selling this phone?  Do they want to pull back on it for some reason?  I don’t know.

I finally decided to order one for delivery, it “only” takes 3-4 weeks, though the website said 2-3, the dates were 3-4, another oddity.  So here I sit, iPhone-less for now.  Typing this article with my own two hands.  The old-fashioned way.  Man are they tired.

Why do I mention all of this?  As a shareholder the stock has performed poorly over the last year.  This company makes billions in profit annually (well, quarterly) yet investors are losing money.  Something needs to change, and as an analyst, I see the issue being at the top.  Management isn’t making the best decisions when it comes to production, sales and distribution.  There are also innovation lags compared to the competitors.

Maybe those nay-sayers were right, in fact they were, the stock was $135 and now it’s around $105.  That my friends, is not how you want to invest your money.  Waiting for a turn-around may be a long wait.  Maybe it’s time to take the losses and invest in another business…

 

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