iPhone 5 South Africa Launch A Fail?

The iPhone 5 launched across South Africa on the 14 December with many people eager to get their hands on the new device. Information was difficult to come by in the days leading up to the launch, which frustrated people who wanted to make a decision based on price. Many people upgraded on Vodacom but once they saw the price of CellC they experienced some buyers remorse.

iStore’s all over South Africa opened their doors at 7am to long ques of people but no iPhone’s. iStore’s only had stock on 8ta iPhone’s and they sold within minutes. The next round was at 9am when service providers opened their doors to the public. The situation didn’t get any better. Of the four stores we spoke to, one didn’t receive any stock, the second only got 2, the third got 7 and the fourth got 12. That is under 30 iPhone 5’s (including iStore) in one shopping centre.

The situation was even worse for some who were looking for a 32GB or 64GB model. No stores had either option. The only model that was available was the Black 16GB model.

The question is what went wrong and who is to blame?

It is hard to point fingers here as there are many players involved.

 

  1. Apple has been suffering from a short supply of iPhone 5’s worldwide. In order to meet their goal of making this the fastest roll out they shortchanged everyone! Apple was determined to release the iPhone before the end of the year. Well done Apple you met your goal but irritated your customers.
  2. Cellphone Networks or as they are sometimes called “communication networks.” Someone really needs to teach these companies how to communicate. People were left without a clue as to what was going on just hours before launch. If Apple didn’t give you enough stock and you can’t deliver, communicate that to people. Tell them you only have 8 iPhone’s and they are going to the people who pre-ordered first! SIMPLE.
  3. Core Group. The Core Group are Apple’s distrubutors in South Africa. They have nothing to do with bringing the iPhone to South Africa however. It is the only product they don’t import. Who knows why on earth they decide to open their stores so early without any stock. That is just plain madness!

 

At the end of the day all this hype is what really causes the problem. It doesn’t really matter if your get your iPhone today, next week or a month later. Your turn will come, just be patient.

29 thoughts on “iPhone 5 South Africa Launch A Fail?

  • December 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm
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    Thanks for this post. I whole heartily agree, the communication with the public regarding this release was dreadful. Yesterday evening I spoke to iStore Centurion who assured me that they would be getting stock of the 32GB iphone, and low and behold, at 6:30 we were informed that there were only 16GB phones available after already standing in the queue for upwards of an hour. I don't care if the supplier didn't come through, the buck ultimately stops with the retailer, this being iStore.

    Another example of their inadequacy is that they said they had no idea regarding pricing and that their system would be updated at exactly 7:00, on arriving home (after leaving the queue), the pricing was plainly visible on iStore's website (before 7:00). This is just another example about how clueless the staff were.

    Another thing that I feel is worth mentioning is that given the stock situation, which they were undoubtedly aware of, there was no contingency plan set in place. The staff still have no idea when stock will arrive, and instead of placing the people that queued up on LAUNCH day on a waiting list (that actually means something) we are still left guessing and encouraged to keep calling to find out regarding stock. This is absolutely disgraceful, the onus should be on the store and not the customer. This is not why I "bought" into Apple's product line, I've had enough and will be taking my business to elsewhere…

    End of rant.

  • December 14, 2012 at 2:24 pm
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    Thanks for this post. I whole heartily agree, the communication with the public regarding this release was dreadful. Yesterday evening I spoke to iStore Centurion who assured me that they would be getting stock of the 32GB iphone, and low and behold, at 6:30 we were informed that there were only 16GB phones available after already standing in the queue for upwards of an hour. I don't care if the supplier didn't come through, the buck ultimately stops with the retailer, this being iStore.

    Another example of their inadequacy is that they said they had no idea regarding pricing and that their system would be updated at exactly 7:00, on arriving home (after leaving the queue), the pricing was plainly visible on iStore's website (before 7:00). This is just another example about how clueless the staff were.

    Another thing that I feel is worth mentioning is that given the stock situation, which they were undoubtedly aware of, there was no contingency plan set in place. The staff still have no idea when stock will arrive, and instead of placing the people that queued up on LAUNCH day on a waiting list (that actually means something) we are still left guessing and encouraged to keep calling to find out regarding stock. This is absolutely disgraceful, the onus should be on the store and not the customer. This is not why I "bought" into Apple's product line, I've had enough and will be taking my business to elsewhere…

    End of rant.

  • December 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm
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    Not to ruin anyones day but I just got a black 32g from a vodacom store in durban. Apparently they even had a 64g in stock. There seemed to be a lot going around in our sleepy town of Durban. Good luck hunting!!!

  • December 14, 2012 at 5:38 pm
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    Not to ruin anyones day but I just got a black 32g from a vodacom store in durban. Apparently they even had a 64g in stock. There seemed to be a lot going around in our sleepy town of Durban. Good luck hunting!!!

  • December 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm
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    I fully agree with Wayne on this issue, this was a massive failure on what was the supposed to be a huge day for apple fans in SA. I have been following the i phone 5 since rumors started and made sure that my name was on every cellphone networks pre order page and was phoning i stores every day to get more info about the launch and what we could get where. What also irritated me was the fact that you could not phone any of the stores directly and always get to someone in a call centre that doesnt really know what is going on in the differnt shops.

    Apple mustbtake responsibility for this pathetic so called launch, it is after all their product that gets distributed to the cellular networks. The poor service and uninformed staff and sales persons didnt help the cause either.

    I have been planning this day as the day that i would convert to mac totally, i was on my way to get a macbook pro, the new i phone and apple tv when I had to turn around because there was no more stock. Its fine in saying that we will eventually get it, but fact is I followed all the given paths like I was told to and here I still sit with empty hands and that is bitterly disapointing.

    I dearly hope that this blunder will be fixed before Christmas and new stock arrives soon because once again I could not get a sure answer as towhen new stock will arrive.

  • December 14, 2012 at 6:50 pm
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    I fully agree with Wayne on this issue, this was a massive failure on what was the supposed to be a huge day for apple fans in SA. I have been following the i phone 5 since rumors started and made sure that my name was on every cellphone networks pre order page and was phoning i stores every day to get more info about the launch and what we could get where. What also irritated me was the fact that you could not phone any of the stores directly and always get to someone in a call centre that doesnt really know what is going on in the differnt shops.

    Apple mustbtake responsibility for this pathetic so called launch, it is after all their product that gets distributed to the cellular networks. The poor service and uninformed staff and sales persons didnt help the cause either.

    I have been planning this day as the day that i would convert to mac totally, i was on my way to get a macbook pro, the new i phone and apple tv when I had to turn around because there was no more stock. Its fine in saying that we will eventually get it, but fact is I followed all the given paths like I was told to and here I still sit with empty hands and that is bitterly disapointing.

    I dearly hope that this blunder will be fixed before Christmas and new stock arrives soon because once again I could not get a sure answer as towhen new stock will arrive.

  • December 14, 2012 at 8:35 pm
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    Why experience buyers remorse?? Just phone Vodacom and say, cancel my order thanks.

  • December 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm
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    Got my iPhone 5 and it's awesome

  • December 15, 2012 at 6:20 am
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    epic fail for the iPhone5 launch in south africa… we know how to mess things up with cell phone mafia ruling who gets what…. THIS IS SICK
    they all are in cahoots….

  • December 15, 2012 at 6:20 am
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    epic fail for the iPhone5 launch in south africa… we know how to mess things up with cell phone mafia ruling who gets what…. THIS IS SICK
    they all are in cahoots….

  • December 15, 2012 at 6:26 am
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    I had a similar experience when I got my iPhone 4, 2 years ago. I wanted the 32GB but the call centre would only provide a 16GB. I've been a bit put out about how Vodacom ripped me off because not even a month later they were offering 64GB phones for only slightly more than what I was paying for the 16GB. This time round, with the 5 release, the call centre agent from Vodacom had the audacity to tell me that the sales strategy from VC was to move all the 16GB stock first because it was more profitable for the network. I sent a complaint regarding VC via Hello Peter and received a response from some management lady named Kirsty and she "ASSURED" me that the 64GB phones were being distributed with the all the other models. I have that as her response to the Hello Peter complaint. Even the Vodacom twitter feed had been reassuring me and others that all the phone models would be in the Vodacom stores on the 14th.

    I can understand that there may have been some logistics issues in the distribution of the 5 but why make promises that you can't keep? Why don't the networks just tell the public that they will *start* distributing the phones from the 14th. And then set the expectation that it might take 2 weeks for you to get your phone. But if you tell me that I WILL have a 64GB phone on the 14th, then I rightfully expect to have one and if I don't then its your fault.

    I'm still pretty annoyed with the situation I was forced into back in 2010 when I got the 4. I ended with a model of iPhone I really didn't want cos it was just not sufficient storage space for me (I have a lot of books, music and audiobooks). This time round I vowed not to get something I didn't want. I'll ait for my 5 64GB no matter how long it takes. This 'ol 4 is still cranking along happilly and I'd still take my 4 over that plastic galaxy crap any day!

    Look, It comes down to communication, as this article states. Us Apple fans have a propensity to be a bit irate when we don't get our gear. But that's nothing new. Vodacom knows the deal by now – set the expectation cos thats all you can control. You can't change an Apple fan's attitude!

    Hopefully Cape Town will be rocking with some 64GB iPhone 5 models sooner rather than later!

  • December 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm
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    Vodacom delivered miy Black 64GB iPhone 5 the Thursday before the launch. It was pre-ordered 2 weeks prior to that. No problems.

  • December 16, 2012 at 4:56 pm
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    Vodacom delivered miy Black 64GB iPhone 5 the Thursday before the launch. It was pre-ordered 2 weeks prior to that. No problems.

  • December 17, 2012 at 8:19 am
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    Bullshit Ismail. Stop trolling on here.

  • December 17, 2012 at 8:19 am
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    Bullshit Ismail. Stop trolling on here.

  • December 17, 2012 at 10:58 am
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    Got my iPhone 5 64 gb white from I store on Saturday after the launch. (Prepaid). Just walked into store without preorder and walked out with one. Interestingly I was @ incredible at they only have 16gb for 9.5k. Anyhow I'm loving new done. Looks good in white.

  • December 17, 2012 at 10:58 am
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    Got my iPhone 5 64 gb white from I store on Saturday after the launch. (Prepaid). Just walked into store without preorder and walked out with one. Interestingly I was @ incredible at they only have 16gb for 9.5k. Anyhow I'm loving new done. Looks good in white.

  • December 17, 2012 at 11:58 am
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    Bad bad. Service! I have been reading these posts from the original release. Really only thing I would like to ask is for the guy who wrote, to be patient doesn't matter if you get it today or next week, listen it like giving a child a present and saying he can't play with it, to the point that I am now even considering one of the Samsung offers…

  • December 17, 2012 at 11:58 am
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    Bad bad. Service! I have been reading these posts from the original release. Really only thing I would like to ask is for the guy who wrote, to be patient doesn't matter if you get it today or next week, listen it like giving a child a present and saying he can't play with it, to the point that I am now even considering one of the Samsung offers…

  • December 18, 2012 at 9:39 am
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    Have called myisore, nashua mobile, cell c, vodacome and mtn and can't find anyone how have an iPhone5. Nashua was the best "We can have store in Feb". Why is there no stock in SA?

  • December 18, 2012 at 9:39 am
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    Have called myisore, nashua mobile, cell c, vodacome and mtn and can't find anyone how have an iPhone5. Nashua was the best "We can have store in Feb". Why is there no stock in SA?

  • December 18, 2012 at 7:03 pm
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    Pre-ordered online with Vodacom and have still received nothing….

  • December 20, 2012 at 6:49 am
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    I have ranted to Vodacom about this too.
    They are not giving any clear answers – you can't track your order and they don't know when stock will arrive!

    Disappointing!

  • December 20, 2012 at 6:49 am
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    I have ranted to Vodacom about this too.
    They are not giving any clear answers – you can't track your order and they don't know when stock will arrive!

    Disappointing!

  • December 21, 2012 at 10:51 am
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    Where are you guys looking for your iphone5's? because in Johannesburg almost every store has got one, the only difficulty is perhaps having only 16GB and 32GB. However this is prepaid, on contract you have to wait they said which is weird.
    Anyway i got my 64GB with ease, and Happy Festives to you all.

  • January 18, 2013 at 9:20 am
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    This is ridiculous. I listed my name for an iPhone 5 in October as my contract was due to expire end of December. To date no stock. Might I add that all my additional accessories ordered from Amazon in December have arrived but still no sight of the phone. Shame on you Apple and MTN

  • January 31, 2013 at 5:16 am
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    Are there still stock shortages? Nashua says it might take another week for the 16gb.

  • January 31, 2013 at 5:16 am
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    Are there still stock shortages? Nashua says it might take another week for the 16gb.

  • February 4, 2013 at 12:29 pm
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    Just contacted cellc on their CellC direct number – pathetic to say the least. They don't know when the stock for IPhone 5 16 GB will arrive, they don't know if they have stock and if they do where it is?? But CellC direct has stock but it can only be delivered in 4 weeks, come on surely courier takes 1 to 2 days or alternatively you are lying about having the stock.

    Think the cellphone companies are just making their money from sending customers on the round about to phone in and charge them for it. What a useless bunch!! Why can't anyone say I have a phone, or this store has a phone, and why can the cellphone companies advertise this and not have anything on hand?

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