The US launch of Windows Phone is just days away but from all indications the demand will be higher than the supply. Just look at the Best Buy presales of the Surround that were fulfilled shortly after going live. And as much advertising as there is on TV, a look at AT&T’s website doesn’t list November 8 – it’s merely “coming soon”. My gut is that this is because despite what MS was hoping for, the initial launch is going to be tempered because of a lack of stock. The Samsung’s Super AMOLED is hard enough for them to produce in mass quantities but let’s just look at what happened in Europe. At launch we know that a lot of people were disappointed that they were unable to find any phones in stores. In fact, carrier Orange is reported to have given 20-pound vouchers for customers when they were unable to fill pre-orders. In the US there aren’t pre-orders available and it may just be that the supplies are low enough that they are afraid that they can’t even fill a fixed number of pre-order sales. Obviously I’m speculating here but I think what we’re seeing is a supply problem (it could be that demand was overly high but from all accounts supply seems desperately low). The moral of all of this: If you want to get a phone on November 8 get there early or make a friend in AT&T now who will hold one on the side for you (if you’re a new plan you’re gold to them).

Does this shortage hurt or help MS? In the long run I presume it’s fairly neutral but I don’t think we’re going to see anything like the iPad launch with huge supplies but even larger demand. I think we see high demand and very high interest (with people wanting to see the thing first before they commit to it for 2 years) but a lot of us who are committed are going to have to wait…and we will.

7 COMMENTS

  1. With the choices that customers have now my guess is it hurts. No one wants to wait for what they want. I can see the casual customer saying “oh you have none in stock? That’s ok I’ll just go with X”. I also believe there is a shortage and have from the start. My great glass hope is the Dell Venue pro and it still doesn’t have a solid home.

  2. It may be part of the spin. If stores get 5 handsets and most sell out, that can be turned into a positive story. But if they all get 500 and only sell a third of that on launch day, the feedback is dissapointing.

  3. Oh nuts. I forgot that only the Focus is available on Monday. carpcarpcarpcarp… I’ll go look at it. I was really leaning Surround. carpcarpcarp. I wanted to avoid Best Buy.

  4. @DavidK ooooh it changed. Oh good. My ride’s not feeling good, but I was hoping for a stop on the way home… Doubt they have the sets yet though. :(

  5. We did stop by. They’re saying they’ll have all 3. Not like I’m even thinking about the LG, but they actually seemed to know something about what they’re selling. 9am Monday is opening time. Plenty of time to take hubby to jurry duty, drop kid at school, and even snag breakfast!

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