The iPhone 4S is already a success after more than a week of sales, Apple sold 1 million units on the first pre-order day and a total of over 4 million units during the opening weekend. Apple has already updated its how to buy iPhone 4S page to show a temporary change in iPhone 4S sales policy and Apple will sell the handset by reservation-only to customers walking in its retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. Purchasing the iPhone 4S online is also a possibility but interested customers will have to wait 1-2 weeks for their unit to be shipped and those of you that want to get their hands on the handset immediately should head to the closest retail store instead……………
Apple said Monday that customers looking to purchase a new iPhone 4S from its US or Canadian based retail outlets will first be asked to make a reservation online and it suggesting that record-setting sales of the device coupled with an upcoming international expansion are straining availability. Apple has updated its how to buy page for the iPhone 4S to note that Apple retail stores in the United States and Canada are now selling the device on a reservation-only basis, customers can check back online after 9 p.m. where they can attempt to make a reservation for pick up the following day. Customers can check stock availability at each store before they make a reservation and must select which carrier, color, and capacity they require. MacRumors spoke to a representative at one Apple retail store who noted that that location continues to sell the iPhone 4S to walk-in customers, but that supplies are evaporating and Apple seems to be pushing customers toward the reservation channel in order to minimize lines and disappointed customers. Apple retail stores would refuse to sell unreserved iPhone 4S stocks to walk-in customers and it will take reservations for both on-contract and SIM-free iPhone 4S models after 9:00 PM, but only on-contract phones will be offered on a walk-in basis in those countries.
iPhone 4S is available in store by reservation only. Reserve yours after 9:00 p.m. tonight for pickup tomorrow. When you come in, you’ll choose a carrier and plan, and we’ll get your iPhone up and running before you leave the store.
Apple‘s in-store reservation requirement is nothing new and underwent significant re-engineering alongside the release of the second-gen iPad. As AppleInsider exclusively reported, the back-of-the-house process actually sees Apple retail stores work a day behind its inventory:
A person familiar with Apple’s retail operations informed AppleInsider this week that the new shipment of iPad 2 stock sold by some stores on Tuesday was actually delivered on Monday. Apple is said to have elected to hold the inventory for a next-day sale to grant its inventory control specialists the time to “calmly and accurately” process new shipments.
It was suggested that the change could be a “lesson learned” following the launch of major in-demand products in 2010: the iPhone 4 and first-generation iPad. For those launches, Apple’s reservation system was said to have been plagued by a myriad of problems, including technical glitches that caused reservations to disappear, and resellers attempting to “game” the system.
Apple’s previous strategy was to get products from the pallet to the shelf as fast as possible. But that approach was said to have caused “utter havoc” for Apple’s retail employees, and led to inventory inaccuracies.