Sunday, July 13, 2008

Why is Apple hiding app download and iPhone availability numbers?

Apple's customer service is pretty incredible in my opinion. When I stood out in line for the first iPhone launch, Apple employees would come provide individuals with water bottles, sunscreen, and most importantly assure customers there were enough units in stock as soon as they got in line. 

On the opposite side of the spectrum, you have folks like BestBuy, Target, etc that have people camp out for long periods of time and only notify customers units of a hot product such as the Wii or PS3 are not available once the last purchase is made. It is a real pain in the ass, but customers still deal with it since they have nowhere else to go. 

Apple's kept a website up and running which let's people know availability of iPhones for the following day. However, why don't they just update the site with the number of units available and update it hourly rather than 9 pm everyday. This would help customers make decisions during the day rather than calling the Apple Store and being on hold all the time. Of course, Apple may not want to disclose how many phones they are truly selling but there are a bunch of bean counters on Wall Street doing pretty rigorous analysis anyways. 

The second thing that is interesting was on Thursday you were able to see how many times each app was downloaded when you clicked on the details of the apps. However, on Friday all apps show 0 downloads. Again Apple may be hiding this information to hide how much revenue they are generating off of the applications that are not free, but at least show the information for the free apps. This is just interesting information and provides a level of transparency on Appe's popular app ratings. Most of the major platforms in the market today (i.e. facebook) provide information on how often an app is used. There does not seem a good reason for Apple to hide that information for the free apps. 

Anyhow, these are minor things in the grand scheme of things but everyone always expects more from Apple and I am one of those people. 

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