Apple Halts In-Store Pickup Option for iPhone 5s Orders in Online Store

Tuesday September 24, 2013 9:35 AM PDT by Eric Slivka
Yesterday, Apple began offering in-store pickup for online orders of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c, giving users the ability to check availability at their local Apple retail stores and place orders for immediate pickup at the stores.

But just 24 hours later, Apple has already removed the in-store pickup option for iPhone 5s orders, leaving shoppers with the options of placing online orders for delivery in October or visiting their local retail stores on their own to check on availability. In-store pickup of online orders remains available for iPhone 5c models.

iphone_5s_store_pickup_halted
The reason for the quick backtracking on the iPhone 5s in-store pickup option is unknown, although the company continues to experience very tight supplies, particularly of silver and gold models. With some Apple retail stores still experiencing daily lines of customers hoping to purchase from new iPhone 5s shipments arriving at the stores and even having to turn away customers, the company may simply have found that availability of in-store pickup is not yet broad enough to warrant offering the service for the iPhone 5s.

(Thanks, José!)

Related roundup: iPhone 6

Top Rated Comments

(View all)

Posted: 15 months ago
I wonder if this is at all related to my in-store pickup experience yesterday.

Now that Apple has the trade-in program for new iPhone purchases it gets tricky when you want to do this with an online order with in-store pickup. I ordered mine online, with the intention of trading in my iPhone 4, and apparently there is no way to do the trade it in if you have already ordered the phone and have the trade in value go towards the purchase of the new iPhone.

Yes, they could have returned the phone in-store and re-purchase the phone on the spot, but if you are upgrading because you are eligible to upgrade, when you return the phone you may not immediately be eligible for an upgrade at that time. There was some 24 to 48 wait period for the AT&T system to reset my eligibility after the return.

At the very least, Apple needs to add a checkbox or something when you are ordering online and picking up in-store and you want to trade your phone in.

Overall, the experience took over an hour to pickup the phone that I had already ordered online.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

Apple really dropped the ball on this one horribly. I realize that many new iPhone 5S have been sold and it is hard to come up with a suitable number but knowing that this phone will be sold for sometime they should have stocked and or ordered a lot more then what they did. This is truly unacceptable! It would have been better to hold off until they knew they had an adequate supply to sell to their customers.


They can only build so many of them each day.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

Like I said, then they should have waited on the release date, there really is no excuse.


Apple wanted to sell good number of phones in current quarter which is ending on 9/30
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

Like I said, then they should have waited on the release date, there really is no excuse.


What difference does it make, either everybody has to wait, or some people have to wait.

Also the retail stores can only sell so many in a day, releasing a supply that would totally fill the demand would cause utter chaos...

----------

And double production.


And be stuck making twice as many phones as they can sell come December.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

I would think that people ordering online could potentially reserve the last phone that a person in store was in the process of purchasing themselves. With the supplies so constrained, there is too much latency between when you purchase online / in store and their inventory system reduces the quantity by 1.


The inventory available for personal pickup is handled differently than inventory available for sale in store. It is possible for a computer to be "sold out" inside the store with one sitting in the back waiting to be ordered online. Similarly, it is possible for the online system to list a product as unavailable, even though there might be several in the back of the store available to walk in customers
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

FWIW, I checked out the Apple Store this morning and, of course, there was still a long line of people waiting outside for iPhones. I can't help but wonder if Apple will give these "dedicated" people priority over those who simply walk to the front of the line and walk out with an iPhone.


I'm beginning to think Apple does give a...... about their customers. Their arrogance is that they'll always be someone else to purchase the item.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

I never thought about adding in the quarter. I was also wondering why they didn't wait. Trying to get the analysts to think Apple isn't falling into the gutters.


That argument only makes sense if this is new behavior for Apple. It isn't. This ties in with Apple's whole approach to product launches they've done for over a decade. Before the iPod even. Mitigate the downward effect an announcement has on a quarter's sales by launching in the same quarter if at all possible. Only pre-announce if sales are already crap (MacPro), or you are going to hurt competitors more than yourself (iPhone 2G announce).

And if you want to launch in time for holiday, you need to do it in Sept/Oct. More time for the iPhone gives Apple a chance to flush peak demand out and build up stock before November. The iPad will need to be out next month if they want it available for Holiday.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

Like I said, then they should have waited on the release date, there really is no excuse.

I't's an interesting problem. Which is worse: postponing the release date until they have so many phones sitting around doing nothing that they cannot possibly sell out, by which time *nobody* gets one and some people lose interest (and, meanwhile, while people aren't buying the current model because they know it's about to be replaced), or to go ahead and start selling when they have a few million ready to go and fill other orders as fast as they can make them?

The inventory available for personal pickup is handled differently than inventory available for sale in store. It is possible for a computer to be "sold out" inside the store with one sitting in the back waiting to be ordered online. Similarly, it is possible for the online system to list a product as unavailable, even though there might be several in the back of the store available to walk in customers

Now that's interesting. If so, it would make sense not to offer that service for items where supply is this constricted, because it further divides what little inventory exists.

This is incorrect. It was explained to us last night when we ran to get 32 gig silvers we saw online. The online order and in store orders are pulled from the same stock. They have people in the back room who are constantly pulling for online orders or pulling phones for the people on the floor selling. Our sales representative was not the one who got the phone from stock. He used his iPhone sales point to tell them what he needed in back and they brought it out.

In other words people online can get to the end of an order only to find out it's gone before the order is finished. There's a bunch of posts in the forum about this. And is likely the real reason they decided to take 5S out of the system.

Oddly enough, even though this is the opposite, it makes even more sense as a reason to stop.

Apple wanted to sell good number of phones in current quarter which is ending on 9/30

If you want to go with the "deliberate shortage" theory, it *would* make a kind of sense to have only the number of phones you need to sell this quarter to look good available, and let the rest count for the next one. I'm certainly not saying that's their goal, especially given that next quarter includes Christmas anyway so it hardly needs the extra boost, but it's a rational possibility.

I personally don't think the 5C is a bad phone or an ugly phone or anything. However, I think the price gap is just not wide enough.

Same here. Had the 32 GB 5C been 500-550, I'd have got it. But if the phone's going to be 650 anyway…

Of course if you were smart you'd just order with your Apple app while in line and walk right in…

I always feel guilty doing that sort of thing. Not ordering online while staining in line, but ordering a replacement from the device it's replacing. Yes, I know that's irrational.

They allowed two phones per customer and many then went on eBay.

Many people do, in fact, have more than one phone on an account. What would you have them do? The limit of two should cut down significantly on reselling while only inconveniencing those legitimate customers who want to upgrade three or more.

If stock was so limited, why did they not restrict the supplies to online or pre-order only saving people time and money travelling to stores? I suspect publicity at the consumer's expense.

Chances are they *can't* do that to their carriers, and it would be foolish to do it to their own physical stores. Besides, some people prefer to buy in person, even if it means waiting… and, as for certain movie openings, some apparently enjoy the wait itself as a sort of event.

Their online store says October - not two weeks or four weeks so we have no idea whether this means their estimating a few weeks or they're going to push it right through to the end of the month (6 weeks from ordering).

Which is a better, when you cannot have both: accuracy or precision?

They allow US customers to pay and collect which means they get to bump the queue. Good for some, bad for others (and I would certainly try this if it was available in the UK). They then withdraw with no explanation.

Do I understand correctly that you are complaining BOTH that they offered this service AND that they no longer do?

If stocks were so limited, they should have launched in less countries rather than spread stock so thin across the world.

Somehow I doubt you'd feel that way if your country was one of those cut.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 15 months ago

Look, if Apple manufactured 100,000 iPhones a day for the last three months, they sold them all opening weekend. What would you have them do to satisfy demand, bend the laws of physics?


I don't expect them to bend the laws of physics. I understand that there isn't enough stock to satisfy demand but I'd expect them to communicate better about it.

[LIST]
[*]They allowed people to queue outside their stores at launch even when they knew there was not enough stock to serve one hundred people at some stores. Some stores received less than 200 phones yet no advice not to queue or that stock was limited so people waited for nothing. A wasted journey.
[*]They allowed two phones per customer and many then went on eBay. I can't say what I want to say but at one store I went to the queue was clearly full of opportunists.
[*]The Apple website suggests go to store and get the iPhone on a first come first served basis but some stores have not received any stock since the launch. A wasted journey.
[*]The stores won't tell you when stock will be in because they don't know. If you call in advance to check before travelling, the demand is so high you wait 20-30 minutes to be told that there is no stock. If there was, it would be gone by the time you reached the store.
[*]If stock was so limited, why did they not restrict the supplies to online or pre-order only saving people time and money travelling to stores? I suspect publicity at the consumer's expense.
[*]Their online store says October - not two weeks or four weeks so we have no idea whether this means their estimating a few weeks or they're going to push it right through to the end of the month (6 weeks from ordering).
[*]They allow US customers to pay and collect which means they get to bump the queue. Good for some, bad for others (and I would certainly try this if it was available in the UK). They then withdraw with no explanation.
[*]They haven't offered the online reservation like previous years which would at least reduce unnecessary journeys and queuing for some.
[*]If stocks were so limited, they should have launched in less countries rather than spread stock so thin across the world.
[/LIST]

So what I'd expect is better communication, fairer and simpler purchasing. Personally, I think they should've delayed launch until they were ready to offer a decent supply, preventing the chaos and disappointment that currently exists. However, I suspect being a publicly listed company, they needed to satisfy their shareholders but announcing sales in this quarter.
Rating: 1 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]