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Apple inventory update: iMacs, iPods in strong demand

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Data reveal strong demand for Apple's iMac G5 and iPod products as the holiday shopping season kicks off.

PowerBooks and eMacs are approaching the end of their life cycle, recent Apple inventory data has revealed. Stock of both product-lines remains high, while demand for the computers almost ceases to exist. Both products are likely to see refreshes in early 2005, sources said.

Meanwhile, demand for Apple's new iMac G5 and iBook G4 is far exceeding the available supply of units. However, the demand for iBooks pales in comparison to the demand for iMacs by an approximate 1 to 5 ratio.

With the exception of the dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5, Apple has successfully leveled supply and demand for its Power Mac G5 line of computers. The company's Cinema Display LCD flat-screens are also approaching an demand/supply equilibrium.

Moving on to music players, source data shows that iPod minis remain very popular as 2004 comes to a close. Demand for all 5 models is strong, led by sales of the silver and blue-colored players. Strong demand for pink, gold, and green models follows, respectively.

And while Apple's white 20GB iPods have been met by a supply/demand balance, company's black and red U2 iPod is slightly more popular and harder to come by. The remainder of Apple's iPod offerings, including the iPod photo, are in high demand, currently exceeding the available supply, sources said.

Today (Nov. 26) Apple is offering over $100 off select iMac G5 models and over $20 off all iPod models and select accessories.
post #2 of 15
While supply and demand are fairly well in balance going into the holiday buying season the next 2 - 3 weeks can see significant changes in this balance. I believe that, especially in the 2 weeks before Christmas, some of the better selling products like the iPods will be very hard to find in the US and even more difficult to find overseas. Supplies of the 20" iMac will probably be limited to direct purchases from Apple in the near future and, if it's a BTO, then delivery may well be after Christmas.
Ken
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Ken
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post #3 of 15
I went to the Apple Store at the South Park mall the other day and they didn't have any iPod minis in stock. I went there today and they had more than 50 of them, and that was near the end of the day!

There were a LOT of people in the store, all smiling and playing with the gadgets and stuff.

I predict that this is going to be a great year for Apple.

Go Apple!

-Steven
post #4 of 15
"PowerBooks and eMacs are approaching the end of their life cycle, recent Apple inventory data has revealed. Stock of both product-lines remains high, while demand for the computers almost ceases to exist. Both products are likely to see refreshes in early 2005, sources said."

So, um, why don't they drop prices on the PowerBooks then?
post #5 of 15
Excellent point. I wonder why they don't drop prices dramatically on older hardware... that would raise their marketshare dramatically, one would think.

OTOH, I guess it makes sense NOT to lower the prices of old product in order to preserve sales of the new product. Imagine if Apple announces a G5 PowerBook in January and they lower the prices of their existing G4 PowerBook line for the Nov-Dec shopping season. They flood the market with G4 PowerBooks, then announce a G5 PowerBook -- which nobody buys because they just bought G4 PowerBooks.

I think Apple's whole sales and marketing process is flawed, though. They really need to take a look at what the car manufacturers are doing.

The car manufacturers have been doing what you and I propose for decades. Lower the cost of the existing inventory in order to beef up their marketshare (and clear the dealer lots) and then release the new stuff for people who decided to wait and then charge a premium for it.

For example, the year before they release the new stuff, they show exactly what they'll be releasing (exciting new Ford Mustang for 2005, for instance)... so if people are really interested in the new Ford Mustang GT, they'll wait, and not buy the older model. But with Apple's shrowd of secrecy regarding new products, they can't do this -- therefore their marketshare (and our wallets) suffer.
post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by SHatfield

For example, the year before they release the new stuff, they show exactly what they'll be releasing (exciting new Ford Mustang for 2005, for instance)... so if people are really interested in the new Ford Mustang GT, they'll wait, and not buy the older model. But with Apple's shrowd of secrecy regarding new products, they can't do this -- therefore their marketshare (and our wallets) suffer.

hrm, i'd love to know what will be released a year in advance but i don't think it will happen. this would probably kill sales 3 or 4 months before the new hardware is released. so apple would sell a lot right after the product release and then almost nothing until the next revision.
it seems to me that apple does not want the customer to know when new stuff comes out for several reasons. apple likes the hype/surprise that macworlds create (and we do too, don't we?). people would complain a lot more if products were officially announced and then delayed (whatever the reasons may be). ...
imho, the technology found in pcs/macs evolves pretty fast (faster than cars), so quite often plans have to change and it would be wrong to deliver what sounded good some time ago.
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion
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Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion
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post #7 of 15
Apple isn't selling cars so you're comparing "Apples to oranges" as the saying goes. Industries have different parameters on how products are sold.

To digress, my local Apple Store has hundreds of iPods on display in their boxes... all varieties. Mini's on one side of the store, regulars - from 20GB to photo versions on the other. They were getting low on U2 iPods but expected a shipment next week. Down the street at the mall, Sharper Image had two "iPods sold here" signs on each window.

4 million sold this quarter? If Apple can deliver more units it could surpass that figure.
Things Ain't What They Seem!
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Things Ain't What They Seem!
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post #8 of 15
Friend of mine and I made a road trip to Buffalo's Apple Store in the Walden Galleria mall to take advantage of the Black Friday discounts.

I watched him buy his first Mac, and he admits it all started when he bought an iPod six months ago...
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by SHatfield
OTOH, I guess it makes sense NOT to lower the prices of old product in order to preserve sales of the new product. Imagine if Apple announces a G5 PowerBook in January and they lower the prices of their existing G4 PowerBook line for the Nov-Dec shopping season. They flood the market with G4 PowerBooks, then announce a G5 PowerBook -- which nobody buys because they just bought G4 PowerBooks.

This is only true if you drop prices and keep manufacturing the product. Yes, you could sell more and flood the market this way, but Apple never seems to have much trouble in managing to rid the last of their products before intoductions. If anything, they do too good of a job when the new product fails to show.

In other words, if you stop production then you need to clear the shelves. That means those powerbooks will be sold no matter what. The question is how much you get for them.
post #10 of 15
Glad I got my iPod Photo BEFORE Thanksgiving, online sales or not!

I love mine, but it IS the top-end and not needed by most people. I wasn't sure if it would be a big seller, or just a mildly successful flagship and attention-getter. Seems like it's either a big seller or Apple didn't make many.
post #11 of 15
I'm no where near an Apple Store so I ordered my daughter an iPod mini from the web site. Ordered on Friday and it was shipped today. For now inventory levels look pretty good - we'll see how they are 2 weeks before Christmas!

In terms of announcing future products, Apple did get burned a "little" with the "3 gigs in a year" - even though all internal indicators pointed to it. The delay with the G5 iMac was another ooops. Apple is simply too much on the leading edge to let anything out these days. For the best solid information we have to look as what IBM says they are doing in the development area and project (too optimistically in most cases) about future products.
Ken
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Ken
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post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by r3dx0r
hrm, i'd love to know what will be released a year in advance but i don't think it will happen. this would probably kill sales 3 or 4 months before the new hardware is released. so apple would sell a lot right after the product release and then almost nothing until the next revision.
it seems to me that apple does not want the customer to know when new stuff comes out for several reasons. apple likes the hype/surprise that macworlds create (and we do too, don't we?). people would complain a lot more if products were officially announced and then delayed (whatever the reasons may be). ...

Considering that Apple can't even deliver new products when they want to, or even when they announce them, and that they always get slammed when they pre-announce stuff that won't be released for a couple of months, I would think Apple announcing anything that isn't ready to go is just plain stupid.

Well, some examples:
(1) Even though Apple didn't announce it, everyone expected a PMac speed bump last January. Then Feb, March, April, May, June. And by the time June came around, it wasn't just an upgrade anymore, they were expecting 3GHz, as Apple 'promised' the year before.

But due to production issues with IBM and the G5 chip (something I still feel they're having issues with, considering the delays it takes to get a top-o-the-line system), the PMac wasn't released until June, and only topped out at 2.5GHz.

(2) Apple plans new iMac for June, but due to IBM's issues (and/or Apple's own issues), can't release it until September. But since internally they already shut down production of the previous model, basically they were screwed without an iMac product. Luckily it didn't happen during the critical back-to-school buying season (oh, wait, it did, damn!) They had to pre-announce the new one because they had no old product left (they wouldn't have done this otherwise) and had to explain themselves. Pre-announcing worked here, but only because they didn't hurt existing sales.

(3) iPod mini. Announced in January. Got slammed for being too expensive (gee, what a shock, Apple selling stuff for a price higher than the so-called experts on these and other boards think they should go for!). Then got slammed because they couldn't make enough (component supply problems, reportedly).

(4) 30" display. Pre-announced two months in advance. Gets slammed for not being available NOW! Then gets slammed because it requires a special video card to run it, then gets slammed because said required card is delayed. And delayed. And delayed again.

My point is that pre-announcing is a dangerous game. Sometimes it works. But most times it doesn't. Esp. in the tech sector, where so much is outsourced that any delay in any component blows up the whole scehdule. And then gets your customers really pissed.
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer

(3) iPod mini. Announced in January. Got slammed for being too expensive (gee, what a shock, Apple selling stuff for a price higher than the so-called experts on these and other boards think they should go for!). Then got slammed because they couldn't make enough (component supply problems, reportedly).


The only issue with the iPod mini was even buying every hard drive Toshiba could make (10K/Month?) wasn't enough to satisfy demand. In response, Toshiba pushed forward plant construction target dates to feed demand.

So this isn't an issue like IBM's G5 mishaps. Toshiba's factory was working with good efficiency, it's just that Apple's product was so popular that they couldn't keep up.

I think Steve's infamous "3GHz in a year!" fiasco will keep Apple from announcing future product roadmaps, just to keep from being embarrassed by the press.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Stock of both product-lines remains high, while demand for the computers almost ceases to exist.

I would be curious to see the actual data that supports a statement like this.

And Apple should really start offering eMacs at ridiculously low prices to attract more people to the platform. People always ask me for computer buying assistance and most of them are stuck on the price point.

But, truth be told, Apple is doing really well right now so they probably don't need to worry about marketshare on their computer line.

(Personally, while I hate the power consumption and radiation output of a CRT monitor, I still think it's easier to view and scales well to different resolutions.)
post #15 of 15
Here's another tidbit - again from AppleInsider no less.

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=760

And I quote:

Quote:
Instead of making its debut in the latter half of 2004, the eMac G5 was reportedly placed on hold, while eMac G4 production was restarted in order to keep up with demand.


So which is it? One article says no demand for eMacs, the other article says they are going back into production to keep up with demand.
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