Microsoft may have thrown Apple an iPod nano headache

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple is notifying some of its customers this week that it will be unable to meet quoted delivery times for its new 16GB iPod nanos, fueling rumors that the company was forced to make a last minute change to the product line, possibly at the hands of rival Microsoft.



In an email to customers Thursday, the Cupertino-based company informed online shoppers in the UK that delivery of 16GB iPod nanos originally slated to arrive between September 17th and 22nd won't ship until the 25th. They're now scheduled to land on customers' doorsteps "on or before" September 29th.



"Please note that these dates are estimated lead-times only. Once your order has dispatched, you will receive a Dispatch Notification email, which will provide you with detailed delivery information," Apple wrote. "Your business is very important to us, and we apologise for any inconvenience that this change may cause."



In the same email, Apple contends that demand for the new iPod nano "has been higher than anticipated" and that it's shipping units "as quickly as possible, but cannot meet the dispatch" dates originally quoted.



That said, there's been an increasing amount of evidence to suggest that 16GB models remain unavailable simply because Apple's original plans for the fourth-generation iPod nano leading up to last Tuesday's event called for only 4GB and 8GB configurations.



As such, it's likely manufacturing ramp of the 16GB models didn't begin until just recently because Foxconn, Apple's iPod manufacturing partner in the East, was busy pumping out 4GB and 8GB models instead. Though unannounced last Tuesday, those 4GB models mysteriously began cropping up at European retailers earlier this week.



On Wednesday, the German blog Cyberbloc quite confidently claimed that that it was told the 4GB models were the result of a production fault that stemmed from Apple's initial intention of marketing only 4GB and 8GB models.



The official response from Apple was on the matter was that it decided to produce a "limited number of 4GB iPod nanos for some international markets." The statement suggests the 4GB models were the afterthought as opposed to the 16GB model, but doesn't explain a motive, why availability of the 4GB models will soon cease, or why they're priced relatively close to the 8GB model.



Separately, AppleInsider has learned that some Apple retail stores actually received marketing material last week for the fourth-generation nanos listing only 4GB and 8GB models, which they were then asked to return. Those materials were said to have priced the players in line with the third-generation nanos -- $149 for a 4GB model and $199 for the 8GB.



This has led some industry watchers to question whether it was Microsoft, for once, who caught its longtime rival to south off-guard and possibly pressed its margins in the process. On Monday September 8th, just one day before Apple chief executive Steve Jobs announced the fourth-generation iPod nano, reports surfaced on Microsoft's plans to introduce an 8GB Zune at $149 and a 16GB Zune at $200 around the same time.



Jobs isn't one to let himself be shown up on capacity claims.



"Both of these are shipping out of our factories. The 8-gig should be in stock the next few days," he said while announcing the new nanos last Tuesday. "The 16-gigs, uhh, hopefully this weekend. Early next week at the latest."







Both of Microsoft's new Zunes contain Wi-Fi functionality and other features absent from the new nanos. Meanwhile, Apple's online store in the US currently lists immediate availability of the 8GB nanos, but a 2 to 4 day wait for the 16GB models. Apple retail stores contacted by AppleInsider said they just began receiving 16GB nanos today, but only in a few colors.



If industry speculation is accurate, and AppleInsider believes the evidence supports the case, then Apple's rumored last-minute switch-up may have saved the company same face.



Even given the higher capacity nanos, the Associated Press on Thursday ran a joint review of the new Microsoft and Apple players, noting that updates to both lines have made the buying decision a difficult one.



"The Zune has a long way to go to become a threat to the iPod," wrote the news agency's Rachel Metz. "But it is getting closer."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 85
    ytvytv Posts: 109member
    Competition FTW !!!
  • Reply 2 of 85
    If this is true, Microsoft should be kicking itself, and probably will have a corporate policy against leaks, similar to Apple's.
  • Reply 3 of 85
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by johnqh View Post


    If this is true, Microsoft should be kicking itself, and probably will have a corporate policy against leaks, similar to Apple's.



    Yup, sucks for them. For once, they would have had an advantage over the iPod nano in pricing/capacity. However, it wouldn't have helped them one bit. SanDisk players have been cheaper on a per GB basis than iPod nanos for years and they still can't touch Apple's dominance.



    But the bigger question remains, why the hell did Apple think they could get away with a simple exterior update while not boosting the capacity of the drives from a year ago and not changing prices (if the rumors are true)? Do they think we're that stupid?



    At least they cut prices on the iPod touch despite the lack of storage capacity updates...
  • Reply 4 of 85
    ytvytv Posts: 109member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post




    But the bigger question remains, why the hell did Apple think they could get away with a simple exterior update while not boosting the capacity of the drives from a year ago and not changing prices (if the rumors are true)? Do they think we're that stupid?





    They have been getting a way with it for years with the computers and monitors.
  • Reply 5 of 85
    ivladivlad Posts: 739member
    Finally Microsoft is pushing Apple towards competition. It's a good start. Means Apple is gonna fight back with cool new stuff.
  • Reply 6 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by YTV View Post


    Competition FTW !!!



    Is only fair if the opponent doesn't have a monopoly that guarantees profits quarter after quarter. It helps fund money losing products till that product catches up and wins.
  • Reply 7 of 85
    Quote:

    "The Zune has a long way to go to become a threat to the iPod," wrote the news agency's Rachel Metz. "But it is getting closer."





    I can walk to the end of my driveway and be closer to Dublin, but it doesn't mean much.
  • Reply 8 of 85
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by YTV View Post


    Competition FTW !!!



    If this is true, it is proof that Apple doesn't have an iPod monopoly. Majority, sure, but not a a control of the supply or trade.
  • Reply 9 of 85
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iVlad View Post


    Finally Microsoft is pushing Apple towards competition. It's a good start. Means Apple is gonna fight back with cool new stuff.



    Exactly, now maybe pressure from Microsoft can force Apple to implement wireless sync for the iPod touch and iPhone -- it can't be that hard to implement. I mean, the iPod touch/iPhone can already access your library wirelessly with the Remote.app.



    That's one of the features that I miss from the Zune 30 that I had before upgrading to a 32GB iPod touch. Since my Zune stayed in my car most of the time hooked up with a car power adapter, my Zune would wirelessly sync while it was in my garage automatically without having to even take it out of my car.
  • Reply 10 of 85
    My red 16gb nano arrived today! The last day they had in their "window". They fedex expressed it to me to get it here on time when I didn't express order it. Thanks Apple, great job getting it here on time!
  • Reply 11 of 85
    If this is true, I'm quite frankly amazed at the speed of Apple's turn-around. JIT sure has its benefits.
  • Reply 12 of 85
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    I can walk to the end of my driveway and be closer to Dublin, but it doesn't mean much.



    I like this analogy very much.
  • Reply 13 of 85
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by walshbj View Post


    I can walk to the end of my driveway and be closer to Dublin, but it doesn't mean much.



    If we're talking about a Zune 8/16 compared to an iPod touch, then I'd agree with you. But if we're simply talking strictly music/video players like the Zune 8/16 and iPod nano range, I don't see how the Zune is that far off.



    The machine is built to play music and video -- there's not much you could possibly do to **** that up. The Zune has WiFi, wireless sync, wireless access to the Zune Marketplace, ZunePass subscription downloads, FM tagging, etc.



    It seems like a decent alternative.
  • Reply 14 of 85
    These things are selling like hot cakes, just look at Amazon.com top selling MP3s, from #1 to 30 there's nothing but new ipods and best buy is almost the same way
  • Reply 15 of 85
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    It seems like a decent alternative.



    Sure... It works perfect with every computer in my house... oh wait.



    Dublin is closer.
  • Reply 16 of 85
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,562member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by gar View Post


    Sure... It works perfect with every computer in my house... oh wait.



    Dublin is closer.



    It works on 90% of computers out there That being said, I understand your point.
  • Reply 17 of 85
    "began cropped up" ????



    Seriously?



    You not only wrote that, but you then highlighted it and made a link out of it without even noticing what a horrible mangled attempt at the English language it is?



    It's wrong in several ways, it's not like it's just a simple spelling mistake.
  • Reply 18 of 85
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    If we're talking about a Zune 8/16 compared to an iPod touch, then I'd agree with you. But if we're simply talking strictly music/video players like the Zune 8/16 and iPod nano range, I don't see how the Zune is that far off.



    The machine is built to play music and video -- there's not much you could possibly do to **** that up. The Zune has WiFi, wireless sync, wireless access to the Zune Marketplace, ZunePass subscription downloads, FM tagging, etc.



    It seems like a decent alternative.





    Agreed. I would much rather have the flash based zune. I suppose the iPod touch is better but it's way too big and way too expensive. I am getting a zune soon I am tired of my iPod and iTunes. My dad has a zune and I love it. I do have an iPhone though. I just wish it had better 3g reception.
  • Reply 19 of 85
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    I got my 16GB Black yesterday
  • Reply 20 of 85
    I'm really glad they have an 8 and 16gb version. I mean if you have a lot of video files, photo's 4 and 8 just don't cut it anymore. 8 maybe but definitely not 4. When they first introduced the iPhone it was only 4 and 8. I won't buy an iPhone till it has at least 32gb.
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