Apple: "Up to four-week wait for iPod Shuffle"

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. MacBytes macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003
  2. Littleodie914 macrumors 68000


    Jun 9, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Guess that's not too bad... Better than months... But what I don't really understand is why Apple doesn't predict these sorts of things. The shortages and delays seem to be happening too frequently.
  3. 24C macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2004
    Agreed, everytime there is a new launch,they just can't get their act together...must be the "we're better than Dell distribution model" :D

    I better check my Apple Store account, but I bet you US folks get them first, and leave us poor sops having to buy them off eBay.
  4. micvog macrumors 6502


    Sep 10, 2003
    If you believe the rumors, AsusTek has been making 400,000-500,000 per month since early/mid December which means that Apple has probably sold nearly 1,000,000 Shuffles since their introduction (assuming production started 4-5 weeks ago and adding the 3-4 week leadtime being quoted by Apple). I am not sure what you can expect Apple to do differently... introduce products that most people don't want to buy?
  5. asif786 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2004
    London, UK.
    I heard millions of these things have been stockpiled in some factory. Every time a batch reaches a store, they get snapped up in hours.

    Apple has a big hit on their hands - they cant do anything about the fact that they cant be manufactured quick enough - apart from bring in another factory, so it seems as though this will happen sooner or later..

    oh, and btw - 3-400,000 seems a bit low to me. With ipods selling at 1million/month, they should have at least 2-3m a month being produced.
  6. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    i ain't very good in business, so maybe someone can tell me about this.

    which is "better" business-wise? having too much stock or not enough stock?
  7. clayj macrumors 604


    Jan 14, 2005
    visiting from downstream
    Common sense would say that it's better to not have enough stock... you can always make more if you need to. If you have too much, then you've tied up money in goods that may not sell.

    I call this the Outback model... they never build enough Outback restaurants in an area to serve the demand. As a result, there's almost always a line to be seated... but that means that the restaurant runs closer to 100% of its capacity. Better to have one restaurant that's always busy than two or three that are not.

    Now, if you're so far under stock that people are having to wait months, then you (like a restaurant) will lose customers who aren't willing to wait. The trick is to find the optimal level of stock vs. wait times and negative press.
  8. stcanard macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2003
    In this case, and in the iPod Mini case, I think we're on the "they're buying them faster than we can build them" model, which I think is the best of the 3 :D
  9. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Demand for a new iPod--a worldwide phenomenon, and a new category of iPod too boot--is not THAT easy to predict. There aren't formulas that give that answer precisely ahead of time.

    The question is... did Apple make very few of these, and that's why the delay? Or did they make a TON and STILL sold out? If the latter, that's a nice problem to have! If the former, then it's an old Apple problem repeated.

    (Although that's often NOT Apple's fault--if IBM can't make enough G5s for PowerMacs, or the worldwide supply of compact HDs isn't enough to build the iPod Minis, then that's that. Apple and their customers just have to wait it out. Delay the announcement? That doesn't really help anyone--no more products reach people by doing that. Apple could do that just to reduce the "buzz" about backorders... but that buzz is probably more good than bad anyway. It makes people order sooner--the "while supplies last" principle.)

    It's also easy to overlook the many times when Apple ships a new product on time and has no significant delay. It has happened many times--most of the time, I'd bet. Those times just aren't newsworthy!

    (And some even go as far as to say that when Apple DOES meet demand, it means the product is a failure :rolleyes: There were some iPod Photo articles that said, in essence... no backorder delay, therefore this product is a bomb! Hmmm.... And in fact, there WAS a delay on the Photos at Thanksgiving time--I remember just beating the rush!)
  10. 24C macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2004
    Fair point, I hope they can't make them fast enough to meet consumer demand, rather than an OEM parts supply problem. Another reason why they can't hold large stocks before launch, might be, it can't be kept a secret for long enough.
  11. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Just goes to show the weak journalism used in this article. Instead of trying to uncover the reason for the delay, it's just reported and left to the reader's imagination as to why. Instead of this being considered a "journalistic" piece, it should just be considered "relaying some facts".
  12. dashiel macrumors 6502a

    Nov 12, 2003
    *if* the rumors are true and apple did indeed have a stockpile of ~1,000,000 units and sold them out in a week, well that's just plain nuts! based on that conjecture there are some interesting comparisons you can make.

    apple will have sold approximately the same number of ipod shuffles in one week as they sold iTMS songs in its first week!

    if apple sold 4.5 million ipods last quarter that's about 333,000 a week. now i'm sure as christmas approached that number probably accelerated and maybe even got close to a million. so for apple to get probably their best weeks ipod sales in history in january is great!

    apple in one week now has an additional 3-5% market share of all MP3 players ever sold.

    compared to 2004 unit sales, it looks like apple already has about 1/3 of the flash player sales!


    as far as i'm concerned, even apple's rosiest forecasting couldn't anticipate getting total of 3-5% of the total MP3 market in its first week. i mean dell, napster and gateway would have killed to have their player hit a 5% market share last year. apple gets it in a week.

    this, again if the speculation is true, is simply a stunning.
  13. Knox Administrator


    Staff Member

    Jul 1, 2002
    I agree with you that a million is probably pushing it, but it does remind me of a little cheat Nokia did with their N-Gage combo phone/handheld gaming device. They claimed that 400,000 had been sold worldwide in 2 weeks, but actual sales to customers were tiny. The conclusion was that the 400k sales included those sent to dealers/resellers as stock (maybe to last a month in advance) and which hadn't yet been sold as such.

    Maybe a million shuffles have been allocated, but not necessarily sold, to customers & resellers already - I can see the big resellers putting in pretty sizable orders - so any new orders are in the queue.
  14. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Sounds like another case of the Phantom Zero.... maybe Apple stockpiled 100,000, not 1,000,000.
  15. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    So what else is new with Apple's supply projections?

    Seems like a marketing gimmick, its starting to get annoying. :rolleyes:

    You introduce a product and want to get market share, and your desktop and music player lines have a waiting period.

    Someone needs to get fired and hire someone capable of doing the job. ;) :)
  16. balconycollapse macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    Ames, IA
    I wonder if...

    Considering the shuffle low starts at 99 bucks. I wonder if sometime in the future if they build too many they may start giving them away with every mini mac purchase or something crazy like that. Afterall that's one way to insure people stick with the iPod/iTunes model.
  17. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    Good idea. Apple gave away iPod Minis (well, practically) for a while to students buying laptops. Once they catch up with Shuffle demand, giving those away as incentives on Macs is a no-brainer. I bet they will have deals like that.
  18. 24C macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2004
    Good idea, but outside Apple, my 2¢, they could be used as 'corporate giveaways', like put your logo here...plenty of white space to put something on. You could also use them bundled with a software package, that was preloaded onto a sweetener!
  19. dashiel macrumors 6502a

    Nov 12, 2003
    an interesting reuters article today.

    25 million flash players sold last year and they expect 35 million to be sold this year. assuming once again apple really did stockpile ~1 million shuffles and they're already sold out that means before the first month of 2005 is over, apple already has a 3% share of 2005 sales.

    creative and samsung, together only had 13% of 2004 sales. i'm terrible at math, but i believe that to attain 13% of 2004 sales, it means creative and samsung would have to sell ~250,000 units a month each (half what apple's manufacturer is supposed to be making for apple). what's crazy about this shortage is apple was confident enough in their estimates to think they could immediately take the top position in flash players doubling the market share of the current number one. even more nuts, they were wrong. even if the shuffle sales plummet 75% from first week sales they will still be the market leader by a merry mile.

    again pure speculation based on rumor, but, if it's true apple just knocked one so far out of the park it's not even funny.
  20. ThePreacherMan macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2004
    Southern Arizona
    People, get a Life and know the business!!!

    Apple probably built only million not knowing for sure how well they would go over (Good business sense) and now has to play catch-up with the retail market (Nice problem to have). What if they had built a million and only half sold in the first year? Who would look like the goat then? Either way people always find reason to criticise others. I ordered mine the first day and hope to see it soon but if it takes longe I still look forward to having this little gem for work outs, running and biking!!!

    GO APPLE!!!

    Now that preaches! :)

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