This is something that won’t happen very much on this blog but I’m going to merge my other hobby, technology and reference a bit of Apple-centric news as it relates to beer. Yesterday, Apple released the Retina iPad mini. It was announced last month but went on sale silently. There was no press release and I knew about it moments after it went on sale as well as a few million other nerds who keep on top of this stuff. The delivery times were within 1-3 days and everyone on top of it got theirs. John Gruber linking to Ed Dale:
By soft releasing the iPad Mini Retina, Apple achieved three crucial things.
- Apple’s biggest fans got theirs first. Who knew about this first? The people who follow the Apple blogs and digerati. Judging by Twitter, this worked perfectly.
- The grey market queueing for the iPad Mini Retina was going to be immense. By going online the incredibly poor optics (the front of Apple lines, which attracts a lot of media, was full of people who were not fans but paid to be there) are mitigated.
- The last thing Apple wants is hundreds of customers turning up everyday to be dissappointed in a store which is meant to be a happy place — Apple does not want their stores to be associated with disappointment and frustration!
Bingo. It sucks that the new retina iPad Mini is severely supply-constrained, but given that it is constrained, the best way to put it on sale is quietly. They’re going to sell them as fast as they can make them for the foreseeable future, no use queueing people up to be disappointed.
More and more breweries should do this. The locals get their pick, the brewery doesn’t deal with constraints,etc. The only problem I do see is that the truck chasers / cubicle Internet surfers will still know about every rare beer release and hire mules, ISO and buy the bottles online. The market is still strained where every special release is a circus. That issue won’t go away any time soon but silent releases can mitigate a lot of the Hell for consumers and brewers.