The Apple iPad Air 2 and the mini 3 were recently announced last month. Both these products are found to be having short lead times. Across countries such as Canada, USA, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, France, UK and Germany, the lead time for the iPad Air 2 is of 1-3 business days whereas for the mini 3, it is a total of 24 hours. Over a year ago, the iPad Air had lead times of 5-7 working days after a week of their availability. The Retina mini too had lead times ranging between 5-7 and 5-10 working days a year ago. The two options to suggest this could be that either the company had manufactured a number of units for the first day of sales or the demand did not rise for the product.
Out of the 15 Apple websites of various countries were checked, it was found that for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, lead times did not change. For the iPhone 6, lead times are around 7 to 10 working days whereas for the 6 Plus, the lead time is 3-4 weeks. On the Verizon website, the lead time for the iPhone 6 had four different models, each having similar or shorter lead times than one week ago and with three of them being even longer. The iPhone 6 Plus lead times had 6 models with lead times shorter than a week ago with one model having longer lead times.
On the AT&T website, lead times for both the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus remained the same. The model for the iPhone 6 with 16 GB had a lead time of one to two weeks’ worth of working days; the 64 GB model had lead times of 21-28 working days and the 128 GB had the shortest lead time of all with 3-5 business days. The iPhone 6 Plus had 28-35 working days lead time for all three of its models i.e. the 16 GB, 64 GB and the 128 GB models.
iPhone 6 lead times for spring have increased with 64 GB models going from 2-4 weeks of lead time to 4-6 weeks of lead time. 2 out of the 3 128 GB models have also experienced the same. The iPhone 6 Plus models had their lead times shortened to 2-4 weeks for the 2/3 64 GB models.
The longest lead times are found to be associated with the 64 GB models on the websites of AT&T, Verizon and Vodafone. This indicates that these have the highest demand. With the configurations for the iPhone 6 being more than $100 in comparison to other iPhones, and with the 64 GB memory upgrade costing $100 over the $200 charged previously, customers are preferring to opt for upgrading their phones rather than sticking with their 16 GB models. This has also caused the average selling price of the iPhone to reach $603 this past September. With Apple and its suppliers continuing to increase production, the average selling price for the upcoming December quarter should increase once again.
Lead time is very important for every business and should be as short as possible. No customer would like to wait long periods of time to get their hands on any product that they may have purchased. The same applies for Apple iPhones. With the demand being so high for these phones and with their popularity constantly on the rise with newer models being released, every buyer wishes to own the phone as soon as it is released; not having to wait a number of weeks after placing their order to get their hands on the product. All customers want their products delivered to them as soon as possible which is why Apple and other companies need to keep the lead time for their products short. Not only would this keep customers satisfied but it would prevent the company from getting an image of one which does not give out its products on time. Every business needs to be efficient in terms of its production and sales and if they are unable to match with the demand, the demand is eventually likely to decrease. Thus to avoid this issue, shorter lead times should be the goal.