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iPod nano sales off to slow start

post #1 of 150
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First week sales of Apple's new shockingly thin iPod nano have fallen short of expectations, with most Apple retail stores having sold only one-fourth of their initial inventory of the players, AppleInsider has learned

A couple of Apple retail stores in California, which last week received over 1400 iPod nanos, said they sold only a couple of hundred units by Saturday. This despite favorable reviews from both analysts and the media.

"Our checks indicate good, but not great initial sales of iPod nano," said Shaw Wu, an analyst for American Technology Research. "This may be surprising given the consensus view from both the investment community and technology reviewers that the iPod nano would be a big success."

According to the analyst, many Apple stores who were contacted reported selling only 200-500 of their initial 1800-2500 iPod nano allocation. Additionally, Wu confirms earlier reports that the black iPod nano is greatly outselling the white models.

"[The] black-colored ones are outselling the white ones by a great deal," Wu wrote in a research note released to clients on Tuesday. "5 to 1 and in some cases as high as 8 to 1." Coincidentally, these sales ratios completely contrast Apple's initial production ratios of the nano, which reports suggest were 1 black nano for every 5 to 8 white nanos.

AppleInsider's own checks reveal that at least two other retail locations had sold out of the 4GB black model, but retained stock of all other models.

At the same time that sales of the nano appear to be lacking, demand for the now discontinued iPod mini continues to be strong, according to Wu. He notes that the price cuts applied to the mini just prior to the release of the nano have since been retracted.

"We believe iPod nano is a great product and evolutionary step combining the best elements of iPod shuffle, iPod mini, and iPod photo, but we believe Apple may need to make some changes to ensure its success as a high-volume product," Wu added.

The analyst speculates that the iPod maker may need to slash the price of the nano by $50 if sales continue to under-impress.
post #2 of 150
They should've released 4 and 6 gig models.
post #3 of 150
Just goes to show that the analysts hardly ever get it right. Remember when the original mini came out, it got panned by the pundits as being too expensive for the storage capacity and then proceeded to become the most popular ipod model in the lineup.
post #4 of 150
I went in to the Apple store and handled them myself (both colors). I can't put my finger on the reason why, but I just didn't want to buy. Strange...

I think the difference betwen this and the normal iPod is that the nano reminds you of something else. It doesn't matter what (hifi remote? pcmcia card?), the point is that by virtue of not reminding you of something else, the original iPod was unique. But this does remind you of something else.

It's just a thing, not a unique thing. Maybe... that's not the whole story either, still trying to figure out why I didn't want to buy.
post #5 of 150
Well, it hasn't even been out a week yet so I guess we'll see if it picks up. It's top selling at Apples online store and quickly moving up the charts on Amazon.com.
"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." -George Washington Carver
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"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." -George Washington Carver
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post #6 of 150
yeah,,,i dont know. I know there really wasnt room for an additional ipod but I wish they wouldnt have replaced the minis....My wife loves her blue mini and my sister desperately wanted a pink one for her birthday coming up...I told her to wait cuz i thought she might be able to get a pink one with a color screen. Well now she might not even be able to get a pink one at all! For me I have a 40 gig that is full and cant imagine only having 4gigs.....unless it was my second ipod. But I dont really need that. And can say with certainty that the women in my life really liked the minis A LOT more than the nanos. Or so they say. I think they just liked the colors it came in. All though they have not seen the nanos in person.

I also feel like I would lose or break the nano. \
-Adam
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-Adam
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post #7 of 150
I had expected this.
You get less storage space for the same price as the Mini, and you also get a smaller product (that argument is purely psychologically)

Also perhaps the fact that it doesn't support Firewire might turn down a few customers...
post #8 of 150
Quote:
Originally posted by afalkner
yeah,,,i dont know. I know there really wasnt room for an additional ipod but I wish they wouldnt have replaced the minis....My wife loves her blue mini and my sister desperately wanted a pink one for her birthday coming up...I told her to wait cuz i thought she might be able to get a pink one with a color screen. Well now she might not even be able to get a pink one at all! For me I have a 40 gig that is full and cant imagine only having 4gigs.....unless it was my second ipod. But I dont really need that. And can say with certainty that the women in my life really liked the minis A LOT more than the nanos. Or so they say. I think they just liked the colors it came in. All though they have not seen the nanos in person.

I also feel like I would lose or break the nano. \

I must say it does LOOK like it could be easily broken but it irks me when people say things like that. Just like when that one analyst said the iMac G5 LOOKS like you could just touch it and it would fall over. That's a negative review but it wasn't true. Just becuase you think somthing will happen doesn't mean it will. The nano was tested for durability and was very very durable. Now, the losing thing, that's another story.
"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." -George Washington Carver
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"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world." -George Washington Carver
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post #9 of 150
It's possible that black is just far more popular than white, and so people are waiting until there are more black ones so they can get one. It's also possible, however, that there are many people who are upset about the loss of the mini.
post #10 of 150
It could simply be a matter of not enough black Nanos to go around.

If Apple's production ratio favoured the white Nano, and demand is for the black one, supply may be the issue of lower than expected sales.

Hindsight is 20/20 (we all know from the original iPod), but a $50 drop would probably have gone a long way in guaranteeing a successful launch.
post #11 of 150
I think afalkner hit the nail on the head. We learned from the mini that price isn't an issue (or shouldn't be - chances are, if it is, you have bigger priorities than an iPod!), many people owned a 4gig Mini not a 6gig mini and sleeker is always better ("Hooray, an iPod I can slip into my purse.")

What the Nano doesn't have is color selection. It may have a color screen, but it still doesn't come in color - and rubber/silicon skins are not the answer. I tried one of these recently and it felt gross to touch my iPod (plus the iSkin I tried left some nasty marks on my iPod).

If production costs are the issue, maybe Apple should develop a faceplate system for iPods. A potential problem is that doing so would add to the bulk of the device, but color, it seems, matters more than size.
post #12 of 150
I dont put a lot of faith in this story. I was in Indy this weekend and the store there was selling very quicky, lots of floor traffic,etc. Then Sunday we came home to Columbus and hit the Apple store here. Black 4 GIG Nano's were sold out. I heard a store associate say they sold out of those in a few hours on Friday. Again, floor traffic was very heavy, the store was packed.
post #13 of 150
I was going to buy an iPod mini if they were going color screen, that was one of the reason why I was waiting, anyway, I already have an iPod mini (4GB) but when I saw the nano I was a click away from ordering it from Amazon since I don´t live in USA I can´t buy from the Apple Store, I though it will be an iPod color but smaller, but it is not... I want the TV output and not all my macs has USB 2 and neither I can use the camara adapter, so for me I will still using my mini and wait for a slimmer regular next version of the iPod color.
It´s a shame they will not sell the mini anymore, there is a lot of accesories for it, and the size form factor/HD is really great. This is the kind of move that Apple loves to do and now they risk more of what the need to risk.
If the coustumer wants the ipod mini as it is (and the sales charts show you that) don´t touch it, just add a new product to the mix, you dont need to replace it.
It´s like Adobe stop selling Photoshop and start selling a combo of Photoshop Elements with Acrobat!!!!!
post #14 of 150
Hmmm, I don't know, I find this report overblown as well.

If anything, it sounds like Apple misjudged the appeal of the black Nanos more than anything else. Which can be fixed fairly quickly.

The change must be a little disorientating for consumers at first, but once people see and handle them... I just don't see how these aren't going be a big hit.

p.s. Note that iPod Nanos are (of course) now the top sellers at the online Apple Store.
post #15 of 150
No way will Apple drop the price very soon - they have more costs in the nano than the mini from what I have read.

I'm not worried about sales, especially with the holiday buying season very close. I'm actually more concerned with what Apple is going to do with their Macs for the rest of the year.
Ken
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Ken
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post #16 of 150
Apple still makes Macs?
-Adam
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-Adam
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post #17 of 150
Quote:
Originally posted by afalkner
Apple still makes Macs?

Sadly, for a generation of kids, Apple is only about iPods.
post #18 of 150
Quote:
Originally posted by ascii
I went in to the Apple store and handled them myself (both colors). I can't put my finger on the reason why, but I just didn't want to buy. Strange...

Question. Did you have the money to buy an iPod nano? If not, that could be the reason why you didn't get one. I'll leave you to think about it for a bit.
post #19 of 150
Quote:
Originally posted by afalkner

I also feel like I would lose or break the nano. \

Lose it maybe. Break it? Not likely

http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/nano.ars/3
post #20 of 150
Thats sweet! I take it back....i would not worry about breaking it anymore although when i was writing that...i was thinking of having it in the small pocket and sitting down with it...resulting in it bending. But since I havent actually held one in person I was making assumptions. Thanks for clearing that up for me.
-Adam
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-Adam
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post #21 of 150
Good to see Chicken Little isn't dead

"Poor sales" or "great sales but starting slower than expected" or simply "people waiting because black is sold out?"

Reminds me of the people who said the 60 GB iPod was a flop because it sold fewer than the 20
post #22 of 150
Something missing from all this analysis is that, for the first time in my own memory, Apple actually had impressive stock of a new product from day one. When, when has that ever happened before? Remember those long waiting lines for the mini when it was released?

If sales seem slow because of inventory, it's even more anomalous that there's actually product to sell.
post #23 of 150
I think it's a combination of the few things touched on already: greater demand for the black one than expected, no other colours and smaller capacity than people expect.

I get the feeling that despite being the iPod 'signature colour', as Jobs puts it, white iPods are a bit dated now. It was cool when you were the only one in your train carriage with white headphones, but now every other person has them. White is no longer cool.

There are also the other factors that many people now have an ipod and aren't going to readily shell out for another one on a whim.

I think the nano will become a huge seller given that it ticks most of the boxes when considering what people's ideal mp3 player should be, but I don't believe it is quite the impulse buy that the mini (and in particular the pink one) was. The mini came out just when the general public woke up to digital music. The success was as much a matter of timing as anything else.

It's only the geeks that truly appreciate the significance of flash memory over microdrive technology. Given the experiences that many of the early professional photographers had with the early 1GB microdrives (complete data loss and failures etc) I always felt that using microdrives in the mini was a class action lawsuit waiting to happen. Fortunately I've not heard of widespread drive failures (yet). I'm glad that the nano has gone flash, though.

When 4GB flash RAM chips become available I think we will quickly see 4, 6 and 8GB nanos and sales will really take off, but those chips are not quite at the mass market stage. Next nano revision, perhaps?

In the meantime I do believe that Apple should do a line of candy pink nanos (and ibooks for that matter) as they would sell like hot cakes.
post #24 of 150
im not sure size (GB) is the issue.

I saw a report saying that the average iPod owner has something like 350 songs on it... which is moooooore than enough for a 2GB Nano to handle.

Ya know, it could also be that he market is freakin' saturated of iPods....

Or, people are already thinking of X-Mas before they have to make any kind of new gift/present or whatever.

If Nano doesnt pick up, I wouldnt be surprised if Apple would accelerate the release of the Video iPod for XMas season.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #25 of 150
Hey, maybe that's why they think they're slow. Apple has supplied their stores with so much, that they're not selling out. And most analysts have come to EXPECT Apple selling out of a good product as the norm.

As for the mini, me (being a guy) have never understood why people buy the mini. It's hardly smaller than the iPod, and for 50 dollars more, you get well over twice as much capacity. I can't believe people are making so much fuss over color, give me a break.

I also like the white more than the black. And I'll take a nano over a mini in a second, it DOES have less capacity, but the flash drive benefits make it worthwhile. Especcially when you read how much flash memory costs, and how good of a deal Apple is offering it. ALSO, with my 40GB photo, I can't transfer files from mac to pc because its a hard drive. If I had a flash drive, that wouldn't be the case

EDIT: But I'm not buying because I already have a photo. But I'm much closer to buying a second iPod than I ever have been before. Let's wait and see what happens when the commercial rolls out. This new commercial actually says more than previous ipod commercials. What does a dancing silhoette (sic) tell you about iPod?
post #26 of 150
As predicted, one thing is missing: Colors.
"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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"There's no bigot like a religious bigot and there's no religion more fanatical than that espoused by Macintosh zealots." ~Martin Veitch, IT Week [31-01-2003]
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post #27 of 150
yeah. I guess I see it both ways. But cant help but wonder the reaction if they had released them in 4 colors..

White, Black, Purple and Navy or Dark Green or Red or or or or......
-Adam
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-Adam
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post #28 of 150
I've been waiting since day one for a 4GB black nano. I knew this would be the most popular version by far, and could've gotten a white one on day one, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to wait a week or two for the coolest of the cool.

As for the minis, they're all still available...see Amazon. I know some people are upset that they're discountinued, but this just means you can buy one now for less...what, were you wanting to buy one 1-2 years from now?

I think another major factor is that it took forever for them to get on display. My local Apple store just had them on display yesterday. Prior to that, they were selling them out of the back room only...not even the boxes were on the shelves.

Another way to look at this, is to say this could be the *fastest* selling iPod model ever because people were buying them the day they were announced with lots of inventory (just not enough of the right versions).

It would probably also help if Amazon had them in stock instead of listing all the nanos as pre-order.
post #29 of 150
Please people. It's September. Let's see. the price of gas is crazy. Everyone is going back to school. And oh ya half of America is under water or affected by the sinking of New Orleans and area. This is the perfect time to buy an MP3 player. Not. Wait till the holiday sales start coming in. The back to school sucking up money alone is enough to not have a product launch.
All these people talking about capacity and whatnot just have agendas of their own. Hey why not be the first to write an iPod failure piece.
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post #30 of 150
Yeah, I agree that this isn't the best time for buying high end electronics - it is for buying good enough to give to the kid going to school (ie iPod mini) electronics.

Why discontinue a great device like the mini?!?!?!? I know all you marketing subgeniuses think you need a svelt product line, but ah... no, you don't.

Keep the iPod mini and other devices as is or move to color screens and keep the Nano as the must have thing for corporate and geek types. We DO have consumer and pro computer lines, why not keep the same for iPods? This would then give Apple different market segments for experimenting with video and other communications/pda functionalities.

ProPod Nano, engraved with your corporate logo.
iPod Mini with pink fuzzy teddybear accessories.

The time for the iPod division to diversify as a real seperate department is NOW.
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post #31 of 150
It's way to early make this sort of claim.
I work at Circuit City on the east coast, and we don't even have the nanos in the store yet. We won't even see them in the store until monday (9/19).
Sure, they've been at the apple store for a week now, but most people shop at retail stores.
So, give it a while!
It will be big. Especially for the holidays.
post #32 of 150
Just a few points to concur with what is said.

We went to the Bluewater store (UK) on Sunday and they were sold out of black 4GB nanos, plenty of whites and black 2GBs though.

My bro, who is a general purpose buyer of electronics, was in the iPod mini market, but when I showed him this he liked it. He also wanted the black one, however he went for the 4GB white nano instead.

To stop scratches we went halves on some iPod socks, which as I mentioned on another thread *just* fit the nano. But hey, now we both have colours.


* Just an aside, the reaction I got from my mates when I turned up at the pub with my iPod in my orange sock was bizarre; they thought it was cool. In fact no-one there disapproved of it, and a lot of amazed smiles at the Apple logo etc...
Daniel Tull
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Daniel Tull
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post #33 of 150
Quote:
Originally posted by satchmo
Sadly, for a generation of kids, Apple is only about iPods.

"Mommy, I wanna go to the iPod store!"
post #34 of 150
really easy ways to make the ipod nano sell

1. more colors!
2. advertising!
3. $50 price slash within 4 months.

three really easy, possible things apple could do.

at this point though, the biggest problem is that nobody knows about the ipod nano. it was announced at some obscure conference. sales will pick up when apple actually lets the public know through magazine and TV ads.
post #35 of 150
After reading that previous report in AppleInsider, I highly doubt a price slash would be feasible. They're already making less than they did on the mini. But I think the sheer volume of sales they're expecting will make up for that
post #36 of 150
Here's another vote for the analyst being clueless.

He simply doesn't have enough sales data or any inkling of what apple's expectations actually were.

I'm quick to point out when I think apple has misread the market. However, this has never seemed the case with iPods. If anything, apple has repeatedly demonstrated that they "get" this market while others don't.

HD availability was the biggest production hold-up for previous iPods. However, the flash memory market is quite mature. I'm sure apple can get their hands on more flash based memory than they could possibly use. They aren't planning on changing models soon... so there is absolutely no reason not to ensure initial demand is met.

They allegedly only sold 15% (complete guess) of their entire stock in one weekend? The sky is falling.

I predict that nano sales will easily eclipse all previous iPod sales.
post #37 of 150
No FireWire?

NO sale...

PERIOD
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post #38 of 150
Quote:
Originally posted by macslut
I know some people are upset that they're discountinued, but this just means you can buy one now for less...what, were you wanting to buy one 1-2 years from now?

No, because they could have announced new minis with color screens and 8GB or 10GB hard drives.

Steve Jobs even admited the minis were their best selling iPods and that replacing them with the nano was a huge risk. It's not exactly logical to kill off your best selling product. There really was no reason to do so.

     197619842014  

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     197619842014  

     Where were you when the hammer flew?  

 

MacBook Pro Retina, 13", 2.5 GHz, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD

iPhone 5s • iPad mini Retina • Chromebook Pixel • Nexus 7

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post #39 of 150
Windows/USB2 syncs iPods faster than OSX/firewire. (Sorry, don't recall the link)


I say this despite being a Mac user and prefering firewire on a technical level.

Far more people lack firewire than lack USB. In the real world, USB is perfect for this device even if a handful of firewire fundamentalists claim that it is a deal breaker.
post #40 of 150
I agree that lack of colors are a problem, but disagree that price is. Going back to Palm days, we know that people will buy a hot consumer electronics item as long as it's "cool" and costs less than $300. The hurricane and gas expenses probably contributed a lot to all sorts of retail problems this week.

The comment about it "feeling like a remote" is interesting. I would think an effect like that would also affect the Shuffle, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

The stupid dock adapter that doesn't adapt to anything probably makes people feel less warm and fuzzy about their purchase, but at that point they've already bought. No firewire barely matters to the vast majority of iPod buyers, who mostly use Windows.

In the end, I think it really comes down to people not liking the look and feel of the white Nano, and Apple overproducing it.
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