With demand outstripping supply, Apple rations products worldwide

Only 2 iPhones, 4 iPad Pros, 5 MacBook Airs, 5 Minis per customer.

From MacRumors: “Apple Sets Purchase Limits on New iPad Pro, New MacBook Air, and iPhones

Apple this week set purchase limits on its newly updated iPad Pro and MacBook Air models, its entire range of iPhone models, and the Mac mini on its online store in the United States and Canada, Europe, Asia, and several other regions.

The new MacBook Air and the Mac mini are limited to five orders per customer, for example, while the new iPad Pro is limited to two 11-inch models and two 12.9-inch models per customer. There is also a limit of two iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus models per customer.

Apple commonly places purchase limits on products in some Asian countries to combat the gray market, such as the AirPods Pro, but these expanded restrictions could be an effort to balance supply and demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

My take: Kinks in the supply chain persist.

UPDATE: A reader writes to tell me my take is “absolutely wrong”:

This is to counter the gray market, Phil.

I agree; this is to keep the gray market in check. I had assumed that the gray market arose in response to some kind of shortage, but I could be wrong. Gene Muster reported Wednesday that delivery times for some iPhones and AirPods have shortened. He can’t say for sure, but he suspects it’s supply that has improved rather than demand that has weakened.

11 Comments

  1. Bruce Oran said:
    As an emergency physician dealing with this too close, I can say we are rationing everything! Even an intact supply chain is of little value when there is no distribution at the receiving end. For many young physicians, this will be a defining moment in their career, just as the early days of AIDS was for my generation. This very much has a similar feel within the hospital. Unlike my defining moment, we now have amazing technology (mostly from Apple) that has enabled us to try to flatten this curve. We are using telemedical technology that has its origins in Facetime. Prior to the crisis, only a handful of people were taking advantage of this, yesterday we had over 800 call in. Staggering! People are evaluated, reassured and triaged from afar.
    Apple being the innovative company that they are will learn from this and develop newer and better ways of building their products! If I had extra cash lying around, I would be a buyer at this point!

    8
    March 19, 2020
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    These limits seem high to me, or is my perception distorted having never bought in the “depressed” quantities.

    0
    March 19, 2020
    • Matthias Neeracher said:
      Yeah, the limits seem more designed to *encourage* hoarders. ”Sorry. Only 3 Lamborghinis a month per customer.”

      1
      March 19, 2020
      • Aaron Belich said:
        Not really.

        With the extended return periods due to store closures previously announced, I presume resellers were flocking to take advantage of the extended period – allowing them a longer window to push their wares on third party sites and platforms in the event of a true shortage in channel inventory.

        0
        March 19, 2020
  3. Dan Scropos said:
    This is free genius marketing, nothing more.

    0
    March 19, 2020
  4. Gianfranco Pedron said:
    AAPL @ -$40.87 (-16.7%) after hours??? on Yahoo Finance

    What happened??

    Just checked back and its at -$0.51 (-0.21%).

    Almost everybody else was up today, AAPL finished down.

    0
    March 19, 2020
    • Gianfranco Pedron said:
      NASDAQ site shows AAPL peaking briefly at $292.65 @ 05:07:50 PM

      Interesting, the NASDAQ site doesn’t have a record of the momentary dip.

      0
      March 19, 2020
    • Gianfranco Pedron said:
      OK. Found some more info on the NASDAQ site:

      That looks somewhat unusual to me.

      After-Hours Volume 969,595
      After-Hours High $320.03 (18:03:41)
      After-Hours Low $203.91 (17:43:43

      1
      March 19, 2020
      • Gregg Thurman said:
        After hours and pre-market can be good indicators of what’s to come, unless we’re in a period of high volatility.

        1
        March 19, 2020
        • George Ewonus said:
          Volatility? From $203.91 to $320.03? Off the charts!

          2
          March 19, 2020

Leave a Reply