In years and decades past, holiday shoppers have been willing to push each other, fight each other, even trample each other to get coveted Christmas presents like the Cabbage Patch Kids, Tickle Me Elmo and more recently, Guitar Hero games.
But could a grown-up toy — the smartphone — be joining the ranks of these infamous playthings?
According to Acer, surging demand and insufficient supply may place smartphones amongst the most difficult to obtain gifts this holiday season. From The Vancouver Sun:
A surge in demand for the latest smartphones has taken the industry by surprise and left it facing a shortage in the key end-of-year holiday sales season, a chief of Acer’s cellphone unit said.
“The industry as a whole is struggling with supply. It is a bit of a scramble,” Aymar de Lencquesaing told Reuters in an interview on Thursday.
Research firms have ramped up forecasts for 2010 smartphone sales and now expect the market to double from a year ago.
The fast sales growth is causing shortages of components, with manufacturers scrambling for parts such as phone screens.
For some phone manufacturers, lack of supply isn’t just business as usual, it’s how they do business. How many times have you seen people lined up outside an Apple store, hoping that there maybe, just might be, perhaps, a few iPhone 4s left to buy? It’s the one of the oldest tricks in the book to keep consumer interest high. But most companies don’t work like that, and I’m sure they’ll see this lack of supply as an opportunity lost.
As for shoppers… just remember, you don’t want to end up in the six o’clock news when your local shopping mall turns into a scene of anarchy. So please, remember: it’s just a phone. No need for fistfights at the mall this holiday season.