iDay draws in i-crowds

iDay draws in i-crowds

Apple's retail chain blew up its i-balloons, rolled out the i-carpet and welcomed its i-customers last Saturday during what has become one of the biggest days on the Apple calendar.

The majority of retail stores contacted by ARN last week reported a successful day on the sales front, despite short supply of Apple's new iBook.

Mitch Bailey, sales consultant at Mac's Place in Chatswood, described the day as a success, reporting at least 15 people were in the store at one time, a figure much higher than usual. "We had a huge day, the store was packed," he said.

Bailey reports the while the iBook drew some interest, attention gravitated towards the iMac DV demonstrations.

According to Bailey, consumers were clearly attracted to its home video editing capabilities.

He said the store sold around six units on the day, and took over 15 orders. Bailey highlighted the stock shortage issue as an inhibitor to further sales.

"The iMacs themselves were a bit short," he said.

According to Vince Yau, store manager at George Street Apple Centre, iDay was better at generating recognition for the products than achieving massive sales.

"There was a lot of recognition for Apple products," he said. "The Apple staff who came out to visit the store were fantastic."

The biggest draw-card at George Street was the iMac DV Special Edition, Yau said, while the iBook didn't move as quickly as expected.

"The iBook is not that good because of the price," he said.

At $3195, Yau claims it is a little too high for most consumers. "A lot of people look at it as a toy," he said.

Mark Bender, general manager of the national Mac's Place chain, however, disagreed with Yau's concerns, stating that his stores made combined sales of $100,000.

"We had a fantastic day around the country," he said. "It's a bit of a poor excuse [for other Apple Centres] to say we didn't have enough stock."

Bender said he sold out of iBooks and generated plenty of orders for the DV range. "This is the problem with a lot of the other dealers," he said. "They think everything is too expensive so they discount it. "I would strongly disagree with the comment that the iBooks are too dear." According to Bender, the products will sell based on technical merit rather than price.

Apple's corporate affairs manager, Myrna Van Pelt, said the company received positive feedback from the stores and that Apple is working to resolve the product shortage. "We are trying to meet the backlog," she said. Van Pelt was unable to provide specific reasons for the problems.

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