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Demand for Apple's new iPod shuffle outstripping supply

post #1 of 89
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Apple Computer's second-generation iPod shuffle is in extremely high demand this month with sales tracking in excess of 5 million for the quarter, AppleInsider has been told.

People familiar with the matter say Apple executives are thrilled with the strong response to the diminutive 1GB flash-based digital music player, which recently eclipsed the iPod nano by rising to the forefront of the company's top seller list.

The entry-level player is selling out at some resellers faster than Apple can provide fresh stock and, come the close of the holiday shopping season, could account for as many as 6 to 8 million unit sales, those same people claim.

During an interview last week, Apple vice president of worldwide sales, Phil Schiller, similarly characterized early reaction to the new shuffle as "tremendous" and "phenomenal." While Schiller's comments were the first from the Cupertino, Calif.-based company in relation to sales of the player, some industry watchers on Wall Street seem to have received a heads up.

Shaw Wu, an analyst at American Technology Research, had previously observed strong sales both from first- and third-party retailers and speculated that the player could become the unexpected bestseller of Apple's entire iPod repertoire. Even earlier, Needham and Co.'s Charles Wolf had mentioned that he had been hearing the new shuffle could be "huge." Already, it has emerged as the top-selling item at both the American and Canadian online Apple Stores, followed by its counterparts the iPod nano and fifth-generation video iPod.

Checks with both Apple and big-box retailers have verified that demand for the newest iPod is quickly outstripping supply. While select online stores such as Best Buy and MacMall (which is also offering a free FM tuner with purchase) continue to show immediate availability, many are facing extended lead times or even total unavailability as they struggle to cope with the unexpected popularity of the device.

As of late Friday afternoon, the internet's largest retailer Amazon.com was devoid of stock in its warehouses and only shipping the player through affilliate Blue Proton, which maintains supply but is subsequently charging a premium price of $109 -- a full $30 above the official $79 list price. Crutchfield and other electronics stores also reflect recently drained inventory. Hardest hit is Target, which estimates a minimum two-week delay for new orders.

The online Apple Store itself is showing indications of a gradually building strain on inventory. European customers hoping to buy the iPod shuffle directly from Apple can face as much as a five-day interval between placing an order and receiving the shipping notice. Other iPods ship within 24 hours, Apple says. The normally well-supplied American and Canadian sites themselves face unusual delays, with orders in either country requiring one to two business days' lead time.

Black Friday and the coinciding Apple promotions are likely to compound the situation; as the peak day of Christmas shopping, the day after Thanksgiving will almost certainly see a dramatic spike in iPod shuffle sales as customers are drawn in by discounts on related products. However, due to its existing popularity, Apple is unlikely to discount the player for the 24-hour sale.
post #2 of 89
Melbourne, Australia city centre - David Jones and Myer, other Apple resellers in city and greater metro area I can access... Shuffles in stock. Any of you out there around the world can't wait for your Shuffle? I can get one for you and send it over. You pay all costs, including a US$20 commission for me
post #3 of 89
PS. The current generation of iPod Video, what are the major differences between it and the previous-generation of iPod Video? [I will research this, please hold... but feel free to chime in]...
post #4 of 89
Today, I ordered two from my local Apple products store..... (I figured I might as well give a local retailer come business since Apple does not offer education discounts on the Shuffle).

The owner told me that the twenty Suffles that he received last week were all "signed up for" and gone. He is expecting more middle of this week -- I got in line.

So, it sounds like there is some truth to this story, at least from my (limited) geographic perspective.

\
post #5 of 89
I was in one of my two local Apple Stores two days ago and they had plenty of Shuffles in stock. According to the clerk I talked to the real story is the (RED) iPods. He said they can't keep them on the shelves. In fact, he had to go open a new shipment in the back when I asked him for one.
post #6 of 89
I just walked in and bought one, If you live on long island The Smithaven mall had plenty of them. Plus im loving the shuffle its great for the gym.
post #7 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram

So, it sounds like there is some truth to this story, at least from my (limited) geographic perspective.

There's a lot of truth to the story. The shuffle is going to be HUGE. It may be 50% of all iPod sales by total unit number sold.
post #8 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu

... the real story is the (RED) iPods. He said they can't keep them on the shelves.

Ordered two of those too, today (this time, from the Apple Store). Engraved. ( It's the holiday season, and my family has high expectations since I am the "Mac guy" -- I get stuck with all the iPod-related purchases around here).

Apple claims it'll ship between Nov 21 and 23, and that it should get to me in about a week after that. I hope so.
post #9 of 89
This is wonderful news. What sort of profit is Apple making on these?
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post #10 of 89
not surprise.
The small factor is a huge advantage for the shuffle. It's absolutely perfect if you use it for workout.
My only problem is that the earphones are not great specially when you sweat too much. If it gets on the phones, see you later, the sound gets horrible.
Does anybody recommend good in-canal earphones for workouts?
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MacPro 12 core
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PowerBook G4 550, MacBook Pro 2.2
Ipod 1G and 5G, Shuffle 2G, iPhone 3G
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post #11 of 89
I ordered a shuffle just this last Tuesday from the online Apple Store (with engraving) and received it Thursday.
post #12 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman

PS. The current generation of iPod Video, what are the major differences between it and the previous-generation of iPod Video? [I will research this, please hold... but feel free to chime in]...

Data capacity on the large one, brighter screen and battery life. I think part of the new search feature is not on the old 5G.

Come to think of it, I haven't seen the new shuffle in person yet.
post #13 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

Data capacity on the large one, brighter screen and battery life. I think part of the new search feature is not on the old 5G.

Come to think of it, I haven't seen the new shuffle in person yet.

Yeah, you're right. The other difference is the ability to play the iPod Games.
post #14 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu

Yeah, you're right. The other difference is the ability to play the iPod Games.

My 5G iPod plays the games just fine.
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post #15 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdcfsu

Yeah, you're right. The other difference is the ability to play the iPod Games.

As far as I know, both versions can play the games. The game section in the iTunes store says they only work on iPod (with video), their parentheses, not mine. It makes no distinction between the two versions of the 5th generation iPod.

At least they did back-port some of the search feature, the backlight dimming helps too, the screen is a lot brighter than I need it to be. I wish the 1G nano had backlight dimming.
post #16 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiopollution

My 5G iPod plays the games just fine.

My bad, I thought the games were only for the 5.5 revision. I stand corrected.
post #17 of 89
Only difference is the brighter screen and better battery life. The firmware update gave the 5G ipod the capability to play games and the scrolling letter feature, as well as the ability to adjust brightness of the screen.
post #18 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacSuperiority

Only difference is the brighter screen and better battery life. The firmware update gave the 5G ipod the capability to play games and the scrolling letter feature, as well as the ability to adjust brightness of the screen.

There really is a new search feature where you can click in a few letters and it will return a list of matches. They didn't put it on the original 5G.

To see it demonstrated go here and click "Search" that's to the left of the iPod:

http://www.apple.com/ipod/features.html
post #19 of 89
Whoops forgot a bout that one.
post #20 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

Data capacity on the large one, brighter screen and battery life. I think part of the new search feature is not on the old 5G....

Can teh old 5G handle the new funky Games you can buy off the iTunes Store?
Edit: Okay, answered above, didn't see it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

Come to think of it, I haven't seen the new shuffle in person yet.

You should. Get a feel of it as well. Nothing like playing with it in person. Puts a lot of the discussions we've had here in perspective. Particularly the OMFG THE CLIP BROKE !!!111!!!! (of which I'm not saying is not a valid defect)............
post #21 of 89
Looking at the Amazon.com page, its very interesting how exactly 18% the people who view the iPod shuffle page ultimately end up buying another of three other iPod models listed (two nanos, one video) and that is distributed exactly as 6% to each.
post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Looking at the Amazon.com page, its very interesting how exactly 18% the people who view the iPod shuffle page ultimately end up buying another of three other iPod models listed (two nanos, one video) and that is distributed exactly as 6% to each.

Bingo Bango Upsell!! iPod Shuffle is a big upsell get-in-the-door thing... Perfect for, hey, cheap, then you look at other iPods and are like, well, just a little more, just a little more....... Suddenly you've got an iPod Video 80GB and bought Cars, Monsters,Inc and the 2 Pirates movies. Before you even look at the TV shows.... And you're like WTF????!!! I just wanted a friggin' Shuffle!!!!
post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman

Bingo Bango Upsell!! iPod Shuffle is a big upsell get-in-the-door thing... Perfect for, hey, cheap, then you look at other iPods and are like, well, just a little more, just a little more....... Suddenly you've got an iPod Video 80GB and bought Cars, Monsters,Inc and the 2 Pirates movies. Before you even look at the TV shows.... And you're like WTF????!!! I just wanted a friggin' Shuffle!!!!

Well, I was thinking more in the terms of consumer patterns and purchase predictability. Could Apple have based it's prices, features, etc. of it's other models knowing thing you could at most, convert 6% to each of the other models? That would be a very interesting marketing tactic.
post #24 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by icfireball

Well, I was thinking more in the terms of consumer patterns and purchase predictability. Could Apple have based it's prices, features, etc. of it's other models knowing thing you could at most, convert 6% to each of the other models? That would be a very interesting marketing tactic.

I don't think any company is that good. Also you're looking only at Amazon.com stats. Data on the US and global "conversion" to other models would be very hard to get even for Apple themselves.

Apple certainly have a range in mind of the upsell probability, but yes pricing, features, the Word of Jobs are all a complex solution they've come up with to support the brand, sell iPods like mad, and at the end of the day, maintain profit margins, meet demands, and maintain the large infrastructure needed to support all these customers and their needs (iTunes Store, support calls, reseller stocking, Apple Stores, supply chain management, etc.).

What has made Apple so impressive this decade is that they've been able to manage all of that including as you suggest, highly targeted product development and marketing, while still having "The BIG Vision" on what is happening. It's funny, you can spend almost a decade in the wilderness, come back and develop this MASSIVE previously-unimagined revenue stream that is iPod + iTunes. If not for the iPod phenomenon, we wouldn't have Intel Macs (so fast, if at all), and a great new Leopard 10.5 operating system around the corner.

And doing all this with the stock climbing overall, and regular returns of quarterly profits, including a new all-time high profits, unit number sales for Oct-Dec 2006.
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider

Apple Computer's second-generation iPod shuffle is in extremely high demand this month with sales tracking in excess of 5 million for the quarter,

Interesting.

In 1972, approximately 1 and a half million at $3.95 Pet Rocks were sold in the last four months of that year. In 1982 Coleco began mass producing Cabbage Patch dolls and by the end of 1983 approximately 3 million were sold at about $40 a piece. Both are considered marketing phenomenons and religiously dissected in every major university school of business. No doubt, the Shuffle will now move to the top of the curriculum.
post #26 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core

Interesting.... In 1972, approximately 1 and a half million at $3.95 Pet Rocks were sold in the last four months of that year. In 1982 Coleco began mass producing Cabbage Patch dolls and by the end of 1983 approximately 3 million were sold at about $40 a piece. Both are considered marketing phenomenons and religiously dissected in every major university school of business. No doubt, the Shuffle will now move to the top of the curriculum.

Especially since most people starting out at business school now have no idea what the heck you are talking about except the word "Shuffle"

Let's say kids starting out at college are around what, 20? That means they were born in 1986. Damn, I'm getting old. I was born in 1978. What about the trolls with the purple hair? Was that an early 90s thing?
post #27 of 89
I'm an 86er, I know nothing of pet rocks, cabbage patch kids were offered but never crazy, someone gave me an angel troll doll once but i drew on it with marker and threw it away when I was like 5.
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post #28 of 89
Pet Rocks

I love it.

[edit]
And a virtual osX version is also available
[/edit]
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post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by gugy

not surprise.
The small factor is a huge advantage for the shuffle. It's absolutely perfect if you use it for workout.
My only problem is that the earphones are not great specially when you sweat too much. If it gets on the phones, see you later, the sound gets horrible.
Does anybody recommend good in-canal earphones for workouts?


I use Etymotic 6isolator. I love them.
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post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman

Especially since most people starting out at business school now have no idea what the heck you are talking about except the word "Shuffle"

Let's say kids starting out at college are around what, 20? That means they were born in 1986. Damn, I'm getting old. I was born in 1978. What about the trolls with the purple hair? Was that an early 90s thing?

In the US, people typically go to b-school after a few years of post-undergrad work experience. The average age is in the upper twenties.

It is therefore likely that they owned cabbage-patch dolls (but not pet rocks, tho).
post #31 of 89
the price point was indeed very efective. 79 dollars dose not seem like a very large amount of money. the shuffle is thus more likely to be an impulse item which will help boost sail. the apple store says that the wait is 1-2 buisness days. that doesn't sound overwhelmed to me
post #32 of 89
Wait, you mean to tell me that the cheapest product is also the highest volume product? That makes no sense at all!
post #33 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunilraman

Especially since most people starting out at business school now have no idea what the heck you are talking about except the word "Shuffle"

Let's say kids starting out at college are around what, 20? That means they were born in 1986. Damn, I'm getting old. I was born in 1978. What about the trolls with the purple hair? Was that an early 90s thing?

If you asked the average American who won the Battle of the Bulge, most would probably say Weight Watchers. Even a lot of freshman entering West Point may not even know what century it was fought in. But let me tell you that before graduation, they wil all know what food group is most associated with this event…as every business major will know the phenomonen of the Pet Rock and the Cabbage Patch Doll.
post #34 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by natan

the price point was indeed very efective. 79 dollars dose not seem like a very large amount of money. the shuffle is thus more likely to be an impulse item which will help boost sail. the apple store says that the wait is 1-2 buisness days. that doesn't sound overwhelmed to me

It is if you have thousands of customers driving to their closest Apple store expecting it, of all places, to be there.
post #35 of 89
oneof52,

so do I. The 6i Isolators are worth the extra money.
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post #36 of 89
I think the little troll dolls were big in the late 60's and very early 70's - then faded and had another huge burst something in the mid-late 1980's. Hopefully they are dead forever.

A lot of people are quick to call the ipod & now the shuffle a fad. A fad is something that bursts on the scene and a year or less is almost forgotten - the ipod is not a fad. The ipod competitors want to label it as such because that excuses their poor job of competing. If I worked for the competition, I wouldn't admit the ipod is the best seller because of world class hardware, world class software and best in class design because then you would have to answer why you as the competitor cannot come up with such a system ... it's much easier to blame the MARKETING or that it's a fad - both things OUT OF YOUR CONTROL ... "Those crazy kids, first the baggy pants thing and now this ipod, it's just a phase ..."

Or the marketing - actually Apple spends relatively little for a product that is a $6-8 billion behemouth - Apple does get hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars worth of free PR everytime someone says podcast, or merely if people are walking down the street with white earbuds ...

But the truth is when you create a breakout great new product, people want to talk and show it off - but that's IMPOSSIBLE to replicate so of course, you just blame it as a fad or marketing - much easier to go into work the next morning instead of explaining why you need a new R&D, product development, engineering, sales AND marketing team.

The truth is that while we are quasi-dismissive of the walkman now as child's technology - every generation, there is a game changer and the ipod is it but unlike the walkman where a coule dozen competitors and eventually gundreds of competitors could replicate everything about the quality and technology other than the name by Sony - the ipod pretty stands alone. It's like the guy who invented the stirups so you could ride a horse at full speed (the Mongols in case you're curious) while everyone else would fall off after a certain speed.

So, while some people are loath to give Apple any credit - they, like the guy who looked at his horse, his feet and his leather belt ... Apple looked at 10 things strewn on the table ... and changed the world AGAIN.

Every company in the world that sells a consumer product for more than $19.99 would gladly sell 60+ million of ANYTHING (this year or 80+ million by 2007) - let alone something that still probably averages about $150-$200 in revenue divided by sales. Add in accessories, the itunes cards ... the ipod is like the PS2 except you don't need $5 billion dollars every 4 years to come up with a new generation and a new chip fab.
post #37 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by oneof52

I use Etymotic 6isolator. I love them.


cool, I'll check them out. I think they are very expensive. I was wondering for something more in the $40 to $60 range. Just in case if goes bad is not a huge loss.
The key thing for workout is make sure the in-cal earphones are all sealed so the sweat doesn't cripple in the phone so it damage them.

Thanks for the reply!
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post #38 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbelkin

Or the marketing - actually Apple spends relatively little for a product that is a $6-8 billion behemouth -

But they actually do spend a lot of money, relatively speaking. Considering the airtime cost, the ad with Jeff Goldblum dancing is probably a lot more than any of the competitors spent. Apple spends a lot on print ads too. The dancing silhouette TV ads are pretty common too, and all adds up to actually spending money on marketing. I don't think any competitor has ever bothered to do more than a fraction of a percent of that.

Quote:
Apple does get hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars worth of free PR everytime someone says podcast, or merely if people are walking down the street with white earbuds ...

The value of a mention is a stretch. Billions? No, not even on a broadcast news show or as a plant on a sitcom. An average sitcom episode might cost a million or so to make, so millions on a single mention is a stretch too. I wouldn't even put a dollar's worth on one person walking down the street, and I think in an ad, the value of a single impression is less than that. I've always thought of those earbuds as a request for a mugging anyways, because that tells people what you have.
post #39 of 89
What is it with Apple? Seriously. What's the problem with them? They make brilliant hardware and then get all shocked when it sells.

And it's not like this is an uncommon event. Every single time they release a new product (at least in the last year or two) the get all shocked that it's sold well. And they can't meet demand. Every single God damned time.

I'm really over this company to be honest. I love their hardware and their software and most of their other products, but what's the friggin' point if they're never in stock?

Yeah, I know that they could care less what I think. If this happened every now and then or far less often then I could understand it, but it happens all the time.

How retarded are the frigtards at Apple fullfilment anyway?

And that's my 3.5c worth.
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post #40 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by deckard

What is it with Apple? Seriously. What's the problem with them? They make brilliant hardware and then get all shocked when it sells.

And it's not like this is an uncommon event. Every single time they release a new product (at least in the last year or two) the get all shocked that it's sold well. And they can't meet demand. Every single God damned time.

I'm really over this company to be honest. I love their hardware and their software and most of their other products, but what's the friggin' point if they're never in stock?

Yeah, I know that they could care less what I think. If this happened every now and then or far less often then I could understand it, but it happens all the time.

How retarded are the frigtards at Apple fullfilment anyway?

And that's my 3.5c worth.

That's probably all you are worth.
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