Supply, Regulatory Delays Plague International iPhone 4 Arrivals
Who didn't see this one coming?
Apple recently announced that the iPhone 4 would reach a wide array of new countries before the end of this month. Beginning this Friday, July 30th, customers can purchase the popular 4th gen Apple smartphone in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Apple is making the device available for purchase through Apple's retail and online stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
Today, however, as chronicled by the AFP, supply and regulatory problems have caused more than just a few bumps in the road for Apple's aggressive international marketing push. According to those in the know on iPhone 4 inventories, the countries about to begin selling the iPhone 4 will have such limited inventories that they are bound to sell out almost immediately after the product goes on sale with no clue as to how long it will take for supply to keep pace with demand.
In addition to widely anticipated supply shortages, one South Korean distributor is "struggling to stop customers defecting to rival smartphones after a delay in its local release." Regulatory barriers have long been a problem for Apple with regard to getting its products released in a timely fashion in South Korea. When it comes to the iPhone 4, the situation likely won't prove much different. Apple's local spokesman Steve Park tells the AFP that: "Our customers have made the iPhone the top selling smartphone in Korea and we are working very hard to bring them iPhone 4 as soon as possible."
For the time being, in the absence of the iPhone 4, many fear a substantial loss in business to rival smartphones that are already very popular in the region, particularly Samsung's Galaxy S. "Many customers who have been weighing which smartphones they should buy are turning to Samsung's Galaxy S as the release of iPhone 4 is being delayed," said John Park of Daishin Securities.