Tim Cook Stumbles at His Specialty, Shipping Apple Products on Time (WSJ)

Of the three major new products since Mr. Cook became chief executive in 2011, both AirPods earbuds in 2016 and last year’s HomePod speaker missed Apple’s publicly projected shipping dates. The Apple Watch, promised for early 2015, arrived late that April with lengthy wait times for delivery. Apple also was delayed in supplying the Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard, two critical accessories for its iPad Pro. The delays have contributed to much longer waits between Apple announcing a product and shipping it: an average of 23 days for new and updated products over the past six years, compared with the 11-day average over the six years prior.

Longer lead times between announcement and product release have the potential to hurt Apple on multiple fronts. Delays give rivals time to react, something the company tried to prevent in the past by keeping lead times short. They can stoke customer disappointment and have cost Apple sales.

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