Will The Pope’s Visit Delay Your iPhone Delivery?

23 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple aims to connect with you.

The so-called “cool” pope has done an extremely uncool thing this week and timed his first-ever visit to New York with the launch of Apple’s newest phone, which is now delayed.The flamboyant Legere broke the news shortly before unveiling a promotional offer whereby iPhone owners can trade up to an iPhone 6S at T-Mobile on opening day—Friday, Sept. 25—for as little as $5 per month. The monstrous traffic congestion caused by the arrival of Pope Francis is expected to be so bad that UPS and Apple are already warning customers against the worst: missing the promised Friday arrival date of our new aluminum and glass idols.

But for some devotees of the Church of Cupertino, this weekend’s Papal visit to the East Coast could bring some devastating news: Your new iPhone might take a few extra days to get to you. Sales of the new phones begin at 8 a.m. local time in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK and the US Apple says it will have product in stock for walk-in sales, and is advising customers to come early. The United States Postal Service is expecting major mail delivery delays starting in and around the Philadelphia area this Friday, according to the USPS website.

Deliveries of Apple’s new phones are likely to be held up for many in America because the Pope’s security arrangements are going to clog up the streets, stopping deliveries getting through to people in Washington DC, New York City and Philadelphia. By offering for the first time monthly installment payments on direct sales and a new lease option for US customers, Apple is moving to help break the stranglehold of mobile carriers as it launches its new iPhones on Friday.

This move to disrupt the free flow of American commerce is consistent with the Pope’s anti-consumerism stance, but will do nothing to curb the number of young Americans disaffected by Catholicism and unable to find meaning in this shitty world. The programme comes with US carriers largely moving away from the model in which the smartphone is offered at a subsidised price in exchange for a two-year contract, unlike most markets around the world where consumers pay upfront for a device.

This means the price of the iPhone – $650 and up – is no longer hidden in monthly service fees, creating a challenge for the maker of the high-end smartphone. In Washington and New York, the USPS says that “only minimal/limited delays to deliveries and collections in the immediate areas of events are expected,” but that is subject to change as the event nears. The bold move by Apple, which begins selling its new iPhone 6S and 6S Plus on Friday, gives the company a new connection with customers, while allowing an easier switch of carriers. “Apple is trying to have a more direct relationship with its customers, it always has,” said Avi Greengart, who follows mobile technology for the research firm Current Analysis. The much anticipated—and for some, dreaded—papal visit is happening in Philadelphia amidst unprecedented security precautions, including the shutdown of large swaths of the city, much of its mass transit system and many of the main bridges and highways in and out of the city. The new model creates challenges for wireless carriers, which until recently have been able to maintain their customer base by reserving the top-selling phones for contracts. “They obviously will be coming to an Apple store, they won’t go to a carrier store where they might be enticed to buying a Samsung or something else,” he said.

Walter Piecyk at BTIG Research said big carriers like AT&T and Verizon “could face pressure to further enhance their programmes if they don’t want to risk losing even more control of the customer to Apple”. Piecyk said more than two-thirds of iPhone sales in the US market currently come through carriers or third-party retailers and that “shifting that traffic to Apple Stores can help drive greater retail store traffic leading to higher accessory sales to Apple.” Some analysts say Apple’s moves may boost sales by shortening the upgrade cycle – allowing customers to get a new iPhone each year on relatively easy terms. The programme “helps bolster share gains, increase customer stickiness to Apple and enable a more competitive pricing environment for iPhones”, said Amit Daryanani at RBC Capital Markets. Bob O’Donnell of the research and consulting group Technalysis said Apple is seeking to spark new sales in a global smartphone market that is close to saturation, and that a better customer relationship can boost sales of other products and services. “And no carrier wants to be in a position where they have too much inventory.

But some say it could be part of a future plan for the California giant. “A few years ago that might sound crazy to think possible but with the ongoing change in network architecture it now at least seems plausible,” Piecyk said in a research note. “On Apple’s end, it can already make phones with soft SIMs that can switch between carriers, they have storefronts and online that can deal with customers and more than 100 million Americans are already using their iPhone.” Has a comment offended you?

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