iPad

Apple Having Major Supply Issues: New iMac’s and iPad Mini’s Won’t Ship In Time For Holidays

Four days ago I bought one of the new 21″ Apple iMac’s in the store and when I tried to purchase another today, they were all sold out. None of the Apple stores around me have them in stock and each store said they did not know exactly when they would get them back in, with one employee saying it would be “at least a few weeks”. My local Apple store said they didn’t get very many in to begin with and while they didn’t give me an exact number they did say they received “less than 50″.

Trying to buy one via Apple.com and the wait is 10 business days before it ships. When I called Apple, they said it takes 7 business days to be delivered after it ships. So if it takes a total of 17 business days to get delivered, the delivery date would be December 27th. And that’s if they ship on time, which the person I spoke to at Apple saying that was a “best case scenario”. Trying to get one of the new iPad mini’s is no better with the shipping time being 14 business days. So that puts the iPad mini delivery date at January 2nd. And if you want the new 27″ iMac, realistically that’s not going to get delivered until the end of January.

I know Apple has acknowledged that they are having some supply chain problems, but one had to imagine this is really going to impact their sales during the holidays. No one wants to get someone a gift that won’t show up until weeks after the holiday.

Apple’s Live Webcast Fails, Akamai’s HLS Stream Dies

Apple’s live webcast of the launch of their new iPad mini was a failure today after multiple users, including myself, had problems getting the stream to start or staying connected to the stream once it began. I tried the stream in the Safari browser at 1pm ET and got the spinning wheel with the player trying to load, but it took till 1:14pm for the stream to work. Once it did load, it worked for a few minutes before I lost all audio. When the audio came back, the video looked bad with lots of pixelation and twice the video re-wound and went back to a point in the stream it had already played. At 1:26pm, the stream died for me completely and I could not get it back.

Akamai was delivering the live stream for Apple and clearly had problems. While I hear from customers all the time that Akamai’s HLS delivery is often not reliable, I’ve now experienced it for myself. While I only tested it on Safari, other viewers I was live chatting with during the event also experienced problems on the iPhones and Apple TV. Looking at Akamai’s chart at 1:43pm ET that shows the number of real-time connections to their network for live and on-demand videos showed 943,000 concurrent live video streams, for all of their customers combined. And their 24-hour peak was 1.3M. So either Akamai was not counting Apple’s live stream numbers in their chart, or it shows just how few people were able to get the live stream as Apple’s webcast alone should be in the multiple millions of concurrent connections.

As an industry, we’ve been streaming live events since 1996. This technology has been around for 16 years now and there is no excuse whatsoever for a live webcast not to work. Yet this is the same technology that Akamai and others keep talking about that is supposed to rival broadcast TV in terms of quality and reach? I don’t think so.