Weaving together my earlier pieces on the new iPad 3 (here) and how to stay on top of your transportation spend (here and here) -- particularly small parcels -- I can give a quick report on my new Apple TV, which arrived this morning.
From a Spend Matters perspective, the most interesting detail was the fact that it arrived a day prior to announced market availability. Since I happened to be home, I shouldn't complain when the FedEx truck pulls up a day early to drop off the goodies -- however, since Apple requires signatures on all deliveries of substance, this could easily have become a negative customer experience since FedEx arrived unannounced.
This is either a sign that Apple can't control their shipping vendor's performance -- or -- they decided to deliver a day early to free up capacity for tomorrow's iPad 3 deliveries. If the latter, it's still not a good sign for Apple since their marketing and customer support departments clearly missed the memo about this change. I did not receive an email telling me of the change, which would have helped ensure my being there to take delivery. As I wrote in the previous article, we're not quite at "insanely great" yet.
Enough about Apple's internal issues with the left hand not knowing what the right hand does -- here's the good stuff. The TV boasts:
- Exceptional packaging creating a nice un-packaging experience -- good job by Apple's packaging design department -- and the product itself is about the size of a hockey puck
- Easy setup, as expected, a few minutes entering WiFi passwords and you're done
- Major video and sound quality improvement. I just looked at a few trailers and previews in 1080 high definition -- a big step up from the earlier product
- The only glitch so far is that the unit completely fails to find any online radio stations -- ironic since it can stream 1080 hidef without a glitch. But basic internet radio fails. The knife juggler who cuts his finger while making a sandwich...
Deducing internal Apple issues from basic logistics experiences might seem speculative to some, so insights from those with direct access to the behind-the-curtain aspects of Apple would be interesting. Especially since Apple otherwise is held up as a shining icon of supply chain greatness, with 2011 awards by ISM, Gartner/AMR and others. Here at Spend Matters, even though we use Apple products extensively, we have taken a more nuanced approach to our Apple analysis -- see previous coverage here and here.