Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Jason Snell for Macworld

The secret to Apple’s success isn’t demand, it’s supply

I tried to buy a HomeKit lock this week. I couldn’t.

The Schlage Encode Plus got good reviews when it was released back in March. It supports Apple’s Home Key feature, which uses the same NFC technology used by Apple Pay to let you tap your Apple Watch or iPhone on its keypad to unlock it.

It’s out of stock. Just like they were back in March, and every time I’ve looked in the intervening time. It turns out that owing to supply-chain issues and chip shortages, Schlage was only able to make a small number available at launch, and they all sold out immediately. Schlage says more will be available shortly, and in fact, I’ve gotten reports that some of them turned up briefly on various home-improvement sites before being sold out again, presumably purchased by people who will mark them up and re-sell them elsewhere.

And I had the thought that I always have when I have money in my pocket and am ready to buy a tech product: How is it that Apple, the makers of perhaps the most popular consumer technology product in the world, can announce a new iPhone, take orders, and then provide customers with a pretty good idea of when that iPhone will arrive? And how is it that so many other companies just can’t?

Continue reading on Macworld ↦

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