Friday, September 14, 2012

Part of the Crowd

So this morning at about 6 AM I got online to order my new phone.  Evidently the preorder activity was pretty healthy.  Business Insider suggested that preorders might be as high as 1.3 million initially - which is a 30% pop from the 4S phone.  A projection on the first couple of days might be as high as 5 million phones.   An analyst for Asymco thinks the number might be as high as 6 million.  (220,000 per day per country) The Chicago Tribune estimated that the first quarter sales could be 33 million.  At 11:30 last night, when I got done walking the dog, I checked the Apple site and it said we are updating our site (normal procedure).  At 6 AM this morning I got on again and found that the wait time for delivery is now 2 weeks.   That means the original pre-orders sold out some time before I got on.   CNET says the preorder numbers got done in less than an hour.   Both Sprint and AT&T's site went down for a period of time when they were jammed.  European sites (Deutsche Telcom's Tmobile and Orange) also crashed.

Interestingly, again according to CNET, buyers who used their phones or iPads to purchase were able to get through immediately at midnight Pacific Time.   That may be a statement about the web versus the mobile web or it may simply be a wry comment from the Apple people about how much importance one should attach to the IOS. (Which by the way comes available next Wednesday).

Even former Enron consultant Paul Krugman wants to get into the fray.  Krugman tries to argue that  this is a Keynesian stimulus.   How pathetic.   He suggests that the increased demand for the phone will pump up the GDP a bit (some estimates suggest it might be as much as half a point).  OK that is right but it was not done because of QE3 or any other government inducement.   Second, he suggests that Keynes argued for the importance "use, decay and obsolescence" helps to contribute to growth.  Demand comes when people decide they want or need a new phone.   Keynes did say that but he was channeling Joseph Schumpeter who argued for the forces of "creative destruction."   The problem with Krugman's idiotic argument is that a) Apple has grown because it makes products that people want to buy not because of some government inducement or subsidy and b) he ignores the effects of the fiscal cliff (the uncertainty caused by the end of year changes in the tax code that need to be corrected) and wants us to rush forward with tax and regulatory policies and profligate spending that will ultimately diminish the ability of smart entrepreneurs to encourage us to upgrade our phones.   In Krugman's world we'd have a lot more Chevy Volts  (Note in 2012 the number of Volts sold = 12,000) the overpriced and subsidized Trabant of our time.  (Second note - the total sales of the Volt were exceeded by the iPhone 5 less than 30 seconds after it went on sale.)

1 comment:

Garry Ladouceur said...

if you had waited until november 24, you could have got the same phone for 100 bucks less, unless you are rich. i am going to wait until november 27th. i just bought the ipad. i now have to switch everything to mac so this old laptop, an acer is due to be in the christmas present list for my kids.