As we reach the end of the workday, hordes of iPhone hopefuls are likely getting ready to pack it in and head to their local retailer in an effort to score a shiny new iPhone 4S. As popular as the device has been around the country however, stock-outs are a definite possibility. After all, Sprint and AT&T have both announced record sales and the day isn’t even over. According to an email from a RadioShack spokesperson, The Shack might just be your best bet. “iPhone 4s enthusiasts who are still looking to get their device late this afternoon or over the weekend will find them at their nearby RadioShack,” the company said in the emailed statement. “RadioShack has the iPhone 4S available in 3,000 stores nationwide, and available through its ‘Direct2U’ program in all stores nationwide — customers can buy iPhone 4S at any RadioShack location and have it shipped directly to their homes. Availability of specific configurations (carrier, white vs. black, 16GB vs. 32GB) may vary somewhat across locations. It’s recommended customers call their local store for information.”
A new image suggesting Apple will soon launch an “iPhone 4S” was revealed on Thursday. 9to5Mac published a photo from Apple’s internal inventory that clearly shows the iPhone 4S moniker and suggests the 16GB iPhone 4S model number is “MD239.” Oddly, the new device is also codenamed “N94” which was previously thought to have been reserved for the iPhone 5. 9to5Mac also said it also confirmed the phone in the system packs a dual-core A5 processor. On Wednesday we reported on a different internal inventory leak that suggested Apple will release two new 8GB iPhone models, one black and one white, in addition to a white iPod touch. While most reports have suggested Apple will reveal a thinner, lighter, aluminum unibody iPhone 5 alongside a cheaper iPhone 4S model, perhaps Apple will instead introduce an iPhone 4S and an 8GB iPhone 4. More →
SKUs for a revised iPhone 4, believed to be the iPhone 4S, and new iPod touch SKUs have surfaced in Apple’s inventory system, 9to5Mac reported on Wednesday. The iPhone 4 SKUs reinforce rumors that Apple will introduce a watered-down version of the device, perhaps with just 8GB of memory, as the budget-friendly “iPhone 4S.” The listings also lend credence to early analyst reports that suggested Apple will not make any hardware changes to the iPod touch. Apple may instead only introduce a white version of the popular media player. According to 9to5Mac, Apple lists a new “N90A” codename in its system, which likely represents a small upgrade from the original iPhone 4 (the N90). The two SKUs for the phone may represent white and black 8GB models. The iPhone 5 has not yet popped up in the inventory, it seems. Additionally, 9to5Mac reported Apple is now listing three new iPod touch models with the codename “N81A.” The SKUs are expected to represent white versions of the current 8GB, 32GB and 64GB models. Apple will unveil its latest iPhone devices, and likely the white iPod touch, during its press conference on October 4th. BGR will be reporting all of the Apple news as it breaks. More →
Hewlett-Packard’s component suppliers are none too happy right now according to a report from DigiTimes. Following the company’s decision to discontinue all webOS device efforts, which ostensibly kills off the platform itself, HP’s component suppliers in the East are now sitting on a pile of TouchPad parts that had reportedly been on order for the company’s second webOS tablet, the 7-inch HP TouchPad Go. Citing anonymous sources from HP’s supply chain, DigiTimes says there are apparently enough parts in inventory across HP’s various suppliers to assemble 100,000 7-inch TouchPads, which were originally set to go into production later this quarter. Of course DigiTimes does say that HP is currently negotiating with its suppliers to determine an appropriate solution, and it is beyond unlikely that the company would leave its partners sitting on a mountain of parts; whether or not HP spins off its PC business, it will need to continue working with these companies in some capacity moving forward. HP confirmed when it buried the TouchPad that clearing out unsold stock will cost the company more than $100 million. Add to that the R&D costs and inevitable expense from these unused TouchPad Go parts, and this is turning out to be quite an expensive mistake for the Palo Alto-based tech giant. More →
While Apple’s iPad continues on its warpath, other tablet makers are not finding it quite as easy to offload their Android and Windows slates — which is understandable, considering they’re doing it wrong. While Apple managed to ship 9.25 million iPads last quarter and some retailers are still having trouble keeping inventory in stock, other consumer tablet vendors are reportedly having a difficult time pushing their wares past retail channels and into the hands of end users. Even the success stories among tablet vendors are exhibiting less-than-stellar sell-through, with companies like ASUS, creator of the popular Eee Pad Transformer, said to have left nearly 30% of the 700,000 tablets it shipped between May and July on store shelves. As a result, tablet vendors like Samsung, Motorola and HP will be forced to lower their prices in an effort to bolster weak sales, DigiTimes reports. HP has already offered two limited-time sales on its TouchPad tablet since it launched just last month, and now the company has permanently shaved $100 from its tablet’s price tag. Motorola also recently lowered the price of its XOOM tablet, leaving the 32GB model priced evenly with Apple’s 16GB iPad. DigiTimes says its sources are anticipating two more waves of tablet price cuts this year, one in September and another approaching the holiday season. More →
It looks like we may finally see Apple unveil its mid-2011 MacBook Air models some time this week. Best Buy has stopped shipping all MacBook Air notebooks as of this past weekend. The online retailer is still taking orders, however, which indicates that Apple will likely not adjust pricing when it issues its refreshed models. Of note, unless Apple introduced an entirely new model at a much lower price point, this puts earlier rumored sales targets of 8 million units well out of reach. Several sellers on the Amazon.com website are showing low inventory or stockouts as well, further supporting the notion that Apple has stopped refreshing distributor inventory as it prepares to begin shipping updated MacBook Air models. Apple’s mid-2011 MacBook Airs are expected to feature Intel’s new Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O ports, among other changes. More →
Last week T-Mobile said that the high demand for the G2x had resulted in “inventory constraints,”and that it was working with LG to get the device back on shelves as quickly as possible. As a result of those constraints, however, the carrier has increased the price of the G2x to $249.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate —a $50 boost from its debut price of $199. Hopefully T-Mobile drops the cost back down after LG increases its production volume, but the carrier has given no indication that will be the case. More →
Earlier this week TmoNews suggested that T-Mobile may have started to pull the G2x from store shelves due to performance issues. T-Mobile confirmed with BGR on Wednesday that the unit was simply missing from shelves due to “high demand” and “inventory constraints.” However, PCMag is now reporting that T-Mobile may also be working on a software fix for some G2x after some customers have reported random restarts and shutdowns. “Customer satisfaction for the G2x has been high,” T-Mobile said. “As with any new device, a small percentage of customers have commented about possible improvements and we are working with LG to deliver a software update, which we expect to offer some performance issues.” T-Mobile may issue this fix at the same time it rolls out its planned Android Gingerbread update, which the carrier announced will occur sometime before summer. More →
After hearing some reports that the T-Mobile LG G2x was being pulled possibly for defects, we reached out to T-Mobile for comment. According to T-Mobile, that’s not the reason the phone has been so hard to find. Instead, the G2x has been so popular that there have been inventory constraints. Here’s the full statement we received from T-Mobile:
The T-Mobile G2x with Google has been a highly popular device with both customers and employees since its launch last month, and high demand has resulted in inventory constraints, which we are working with LG to address.
After spending some time with the T-Mobile G2x, we didn’t find any manufacturing defects or issues with the handset.
We’d already heard mumblings that the white iPhone 4 would launch on the 27th, and now leaked photos of Best Buy’s internal stocking systems are solidifying those rumors. While the above screenshot only says “AT&T hardware,” 9to5 Mac suggests that Verizon Wireless’ CDMA version of the phone will also be available on the same day. Store are already stocking the devices for Wednesday’s launch, but there could be as few as ten 16GB and 32GB models per Best Buy location. Additionally, it’s being reported elsewhere that Apple stores have received promotional materials featuring the white iPhone 4, and should be receiving stock starting tomorrow. Hit the jump for another inventory shot. More →
Reports of an iPad 2 sales freeze that may have gotten Best Buy in hot water with Apple emerged Thursday night, and the possible explanation given by someone claiming to work for Best Buy was odd at best. The anonymous whistleblower claimed that the retailer was holding iPad 2 inventory after having met its sales quota for the day. BGR has independently confirmed that retail employees of at least two Best Buy stores were told by managers not to sell iPad 2 inventory on Thursday afternoon. We have also obtained an internal communication delivered to all retail employees at a California Best Buy location on Thursday. The communication, which is claimed by our source to have been delivered by Best Buy management via SMS, instructs employees to hold all iPad inventory except for pre-orders. The message goes on to direct employees to misinform customers who inquire about the iPad 2, which could also be part of the reason the retailer is in hot water with Apple.
NewsFlash: ipads cannot be sold according to BBY. All ipads except for preorders MUST be held until further notice. Cant tell customers were holding them either
No explanation was offered to Best Buy employees by management, and employees in two different Best Buy locations stated that their Apple reps did not answer calls seeking clarification. Best Buy did not immediately respond to BGR’s request for comment.
UPDATE: Best Buy provided the following statement to BGR via email: “Best Buy continues to receive iPad 2 inventory from Apple on a regular basis. As we’ve said previously, we are fulfilling customer reservations first. Our stores have been asked to temporarily hold non-reserved iPad 2 inventory for an upcoming promotion. This is a customary practice for us when there are supply constraints. Best Buy enjoys a great partnership with Apple, and we’re delighted by customer response to iPad 2.” Best Buy did not address claims that retail staff is being instructed by management to misinform customers.
As the iPad 2 continues to float in and out of stock at Apple Stores and third-party retailer locations across the country, retailers are also running low on stock of the original iPad. Now discounted by as much as $300, Apple’s original iPad models became available at reduced prices when the new iPad 2 was released. Apple’s online store has now completely run out of the 16GB Wi-Fi model of the original iPad and stock of other models, including refurbished models, is believed to be extremely low. Retail partners that had remaining inventory when the new models launched are also beginning to sell out — AT&T, for example, has sold out of both the 16GB and 32GB version of the iPad Wi-Fi + 3G, with only the 64GB version remaining. Users interested in Apple’s iOS tablets who are willing to forgo the new design, the speed boost and the low-resolution cameras likely don’t have much time left to save up to $300 compared to newer iPad 2 models.
As we confirmed yesterday, Apple’s iPad 2 went on sale in 500 RadioShack locations across the country on Tuesday. Considering the tablet’s limited supply among Apple Store locations and other third-party retailers, however, we wondered how much inventory Apple might be willing to spare for the various RadioShack locations set to offer the device this morning. BGR has confirmed that several RadioShack locations in the New York metropolitan area received single-digit shipments, and every store we spoke to this morning was sold out. More interesting than the low-volume sellouts, perhaps, is the claim by a BGR tipster that the store he visited refused to sell the iPad 2 unless customers also agreed to purchase AppleCare protection plans and an iPad 2 cases along with their tablets. RadioShack salespeople at the New York City location he visited stated that the store was required to sell AppleCare and a case with each iPad 2 for today only. Despite a customer’s position in line, he or she was allegedly not permitted to purchase an iPad without the pricey add-ons.
UPDATE: We have confirmed that it is not RadioShack’s policy to require the purchase of AppleCare or any accessories such as cases with the purchase of an iPad 2. More →