Supply Chain Matters has queued-up a series of follow-up postings related to previous supply chain related commentaries we have featured on this blog related to important supply chain and B2B/B2C network fulfillment capabilities.
The following six updates provide updated developments.
We begin with Apple and another iteration of the high expectations being placed on its supply chain during the release and subsequent on-sale availability of the two new of iPhone 6 models.
We, along with other business and social media outlets called attention to the problematic last minute postponement of the scheduled release and availability of these new models across China. There was widespread speculation as to the cause of and potential length of the delay. Despite this situation, Apple had a rather successful first weekend of shipments. However, arch competitor Samsung countered with a quick maneuver in offering its new Galaxy Note 4 smartphone initially within China before other countries.
Today, various published reports now indicate that China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has indeed granted the iPhone 6 models their network access permit.
The latest from Apple is that pre-orders for the new models will begin on October 10 and the phones will be made available by all three state-run mobile carriers. However, these state-run carriers have reduced the subsidies for high-end smartphones such as the iPhone 6, which implies that the higher-end iPhone will retail for 6088 yuan ($990).
According to a published Bloomberg report, the approval process included scrutiny on potential leaks of personal data, with Apple having to take measures in the new release of iOS 8 to eliminate risks from three background diagnostic tools. Apple reportedly continues to provide specific comment related to specific changes having to be made in the OS to satisfy Chinese regulators.
This latest development places Apple’s channel plans for China back on-track, albeit with a month’s delay in planned product availability. Apple supply chain planners will be adjusting inventory movement plans once again. While all of this is occurring, a robust grey market of product demand has been underway to get the new iPhone models into the hands of eager Chinese consumers who can afford them. That should ease in the coming weeks.