Sunday, October 16, 2011

iPhone 5: Why manufacturers of covers were planted

Some were disappointed by the announcement of the iPhone 4S: they expected a thinner iPhone 5, with a larger screen and a teardrop design. This design has been mentioned for the first time last April on the site This is my next, the team formed by Engadget resigned, And was taken by the manufacturers of bags China, again, again and again . Following the announcement of a new iPhone without new design is the cold shower for manufacturers, distributors, and all those who believed, including journalists.
To better understand the causes of this failure in the clear, we contacted a distributor in China (Wagner), and several props and market players in Europe, as well as smaller players such as auto-entrepreneurs French (who wished to remain anonymous. 

All of the terms of production: the iPhone accessories market is extremely competitive, especially in the field of accessories white label. In this case, the major European channels and accessories are competing manufacturers and subcontractors to obtain products at the lowest price possible and as quickly as possible. Any information is vital for manufacturers and distributors, who use a network of sources among subcontractors Apple ... and the press.

The first tangible rumors around the iPhone 5 are born with a ticket Joshua Topolsky This is my next on April 22, 2011. The former editor of Engadget has traditionally been pretty well informed: he was the first to get a picture of iPad, iPhone 4, and obtain information about the new Apple TV. His history proves, however, that obtains scoops safer in other manufacturers Apple: we're still waiting for the iPad 2 Retina Display announced that he had. It describes, from several sources, an iPhone finest, recalling the iPod touch, with a larger screen, a button combined with a touch area, a profile teardrop. 

A few weeks later, the renowned Wall Street Journal gears. While the WSJ is traditionally filled directly by Apple, so hardly anyone dares to doubt that the iPhone will be a 5 "iPhone very different." Especially in the meantime, the first covers for the new iPhone coming to China ... and they seem to confirm this design.The sources of these manufacturers and distributors? The largest, most established, best-connected, have obtained their network plans. These plans, which describe the iPhone 5 from every angle, must be a reference for the design of the molds necessary to manufacture the bags. This is an employee of a subcontractor working for a U.S. prop working with Apple who sold to the highest bidder - without specifying whether he had obtained the plan of Apple's imagination, or work the American journalistic sources.

The smaller manufacturers and distributors, who have no network of information, are indeed the risk to consider that the major sites and Western newspapers have good information, and work directly with these rumors. The risk, understandably, is not only that they are wrong, but that the press believes that manufacturers confirm the rumor ... so they only follow.This is valid both for small than for large manufacturers and retailers, who report the same problem all the communication from Apple. Unlike the others, the Cupertino company is not working in harmony with its partners. It does not send prototypes or designs to manufacturers of accessories (while others do) and it does operators in the confidence that if it is absolutely necessary (we are still waiting the iPad with a webcam iPhone and the end of October 2011 more promised by Stephane Richard, CEO of Orange). As information is the key to success to reach the market before the other, manufacturers run the risk of being wrong ... to perhaps be right.This strategy has often worked: the plans for the iPad 2 flowing so to speak freely, we could see early on the covers revealing thinner design than the previous generation. It is risky: the covers for iPod touch 3G were performed with the prototypes with a webcam. 

 At the last moment Apple decided to remove it: Some covers are parties to the pestle.A model presented iPad 2 weeks before its official announcementAll these risks are calculated: the pressure of western retail chains is such that the orders are taken well in advance, and must be respected. The U.S. web sites are generally well informed, some web sites in Hong Kong working in the same factories that Apple, and the largest distributors and contractors can check their own information with dollars for plans and prototypes of Apple with partners - such as Foxconn, which has never lost a prototype, but has already sold.The initial bet is small enough: a mold samples to cost a few hundred dollars for the manufacture of hundreds of covers. It is sufficient for very small structures do business with a small company in Europe with little financial risk: the order is paid in full at the start of China without delay to 90 days for example.  

Some self-and French entrepreneurs have ordered a few hundred to several thousand covers for a ridiculous price ... but now find themselves with a few thousand euros of debt, and not get over maybe not.The largest can afford a gamble a bit more engaging, with acrylic molds worth several thousand dollars, and production as requested by the European partners. If the rumor is confirmed, jackpot: adjustments can be made to the second round. Thus we saw a lot of accessories available for iPad 2 upon its release, but they did not take into account the system of automatic standby based on magnets. And for good reason: if everyone had almost the plans, the Smart Cover, it was the best kept secret.A few weeks later, the time to add the item and bring the ship to China, everyone miraculously took into account the magnets of the iPad 2. 

 If the rumor is false, so be it: the less organized, more players, more fragile, these are at risk. Others may hope to erase their losses with their other ranges: a distributor located in China told us about a quarter of a million, a German importer estimates its losses at half a million euros.5 with the iPhone as we know, the rumor proved false - or at least fake the moment. How to explain this crash in order? Information Topolsky and the WSJ could be part of a controlled leak, and the chain rested on it: like a house of cards, everything collapses. Apple has played here on the weaknesses of the system to preserve the secrecy of its products, even if it seems surprising that it puts at risk and its ecosystem of partners. Perhaps the contrary, all information was true, but we're talking about a product that is still at the prototype stage, which will not come before 2012, if ever.
All this we will know perhaps, therefore, never. What is known, however, is that this system is extremely fragile. The scenario of the iPhone 5 is a nightmare scenario for the rickety pyramid of Chinese manufacturers, who often navigate by sight. Should they complain against Apple? Certainly not: this failure is primarily theirs, and that of a system between China and Europe-United States, which considers the accessories for a product should be on the shelves no matter what day of the release of the said product- even if it means conducting a war of information to carry out this task.  

But this war would not occur if like others, Apple was associated more with some carefully selected partners. The economy of the rumor, however, would fail to withstand long and flare, resulting in perhaps a greater number of leaks, Apple undesirable.It is understood, this circle is vicious, even toxic. But Apple needs this ecosystem, and needs to keep in the shade. And this ecosystem can not move from Apple, whose products are a guarantee of success. This is the dark side of the economy of the rumor ...

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