So, you went ahead and pre-ordered the Samsung Chromebook Plus and, expecting February 12th availability (since it had previously been announced as shipping on the 12th), you may be a bit let down today when your shiny new Chromebook isn’t on its way to you.
To be honest, all of us here at Chrome Unboxed really hoped that Samsung would be fully ready for this launch, ready to ship out lots of new Chromebooks today.
So far, not so good.
One of the largest retailers kinda came through. Amazon did ship some units (we are clearly Amazon Affiliates, so we know some of the orders through our site shipped out Sunday as promised), but only a fraction of all the orders.
Looking around at other retailers, the situation is a bit worse. Stores like B&H, Adorama, and Abt are still in pre-order status. Best Buy has stock, but it is limited.
We are headed over to our local Best Buy where I ordered one for local pickup today. All the stores in a 100 mile radius show very limited availability. Less than 3 units per store.
So, What Is Going On?
We’ve reached out to some of our contacts and will update as we get details, but one of two scenarios is likely playing out.
Version 1 is underestimated orders. Perhaps, with the sluggish sales pace of most consumer-focused Chromebooks in the past, Samsung wasn’t fully sure there would be this much demand. Other than online media, the exposure of this device has been limited so far.
That scenario seems a bit odd, however, as 2 of the 5 major retailers aren’t simply out of stock, but still in pre-order status. This causes me to think they haven’t received any stock yet. Or they could be simply labeling it as pre-order still. Hard to tell.
Additionally, Samsung did quite a bit of promotion for this device and we’ve talked about their focus on getting the word out on this device upon its release. I seriously doubt they simply underestimated.
Version 2 is Samsung is simply behind schedule getting the initial batch of devices to retailers or retailers are slow in getting their inventory sorted. Arguably, the 2 largest retailers (Best Buy and Amazon) got units first and the next tier will get theirs soon (B&H, Adorama, and Abt).
Again, just a theory, but the fact that on day one we have out-of-stock, pre-order, and fully-available status all in play between 5 retailers seems a bit odd.
Of all Chromebook manufacturers, Samsung clearly has the largest manufacturing scale and should be in a position to adjust and adjust quickly.
Between the on-stage presentation at CES, a full-blown review unit workshop, clear pre-sale dates, and vast online reach thus far, I can’t imagine Samsung isn’t ready to respond to whatever could be ailing them in the supply chain.
Hopefully we are right and hopefully those of you anxiously waiting for your new Chromebook won’t have to wait much longer.
As we learn more, we’ll keep you updated.