Monday, August 16, 2010

New iPhone: Direct to Me from China

If the above screenshot is accurate, then Apple has shipped me the new iPhone 4 directly from China, via FedEx.

My initial thought was that it would be cheaper and easier for Apple to ship a bunch of iPhones together in one box from China to somewhere in the U.S. and then have someone (or some machine) dismantle the box and mail the phones within domestically, instead of paying international shipping for each phone.

However, because Apple isn't doing it that way, I have to assume that its approach is cheaper.

I find that odd.

Perhaps the per-phone domestic shipping price is not much lower than the equivalent international shipping price? Perhaps U.S. labor is astronomically more expensive than Chinese labor? Or perhaps this is a stopgap solution, as Apple is trying to fill a huge backlog of iPhone orders (I waited three weeks for mine)?