Apple's product shortage problem!

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by BLINK, Feb 13, 2005.

  1. BLINK macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2004
    So it has been the case within the past year that Apple has been short some products. During xmas, there were not enough iPods to go around and now the Shuffles and Mac Minis are hard to find (or were hard to find). People have needed to wait months in waiting lists to receive their computer products. My question is, why doesn't Apple just build another factory to make iPods in or another factory to make computers in? Why wouldn't they hold off on one retail store for a while and build another factory?
  2. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a


    Dec 11, 2004
    Apple doesn't make iPods or computers themselves - they subcontract. Building a new factory is a massive financial undertaking and not a decision to be taken lightly. They need to increase their forecasting for new units sold, particularly at busy times ie. Christmas, when new products are releasead. I don't see how upgrading their forecasts would hurt them too much - a fair bit of unsold stock, which hits their balance sheet but it might solve a few problems.
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Actually Apple had a better supply of iPods this year, than they did last year.

    As for the MacMini and iPod Shuffle, they can only premake so many and warehouse them before selling them. Also, they order production based on how many they think they might sell. If they order too many, they lose money.

    Sometimes on new machines there's an initail flurry of orders that will get taken care of by the planned production pace and sometimes Apple needs to increase production.

    The Mac Mini was wildly more popular than they even thought it would be. And so was the iPod shuffle. I think Apple did rather well to responding to the inital demands even i fthe delay did build up for a bit. They delay is shrinking now.
  4. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    We won't really know what is going on until some sales reports come in, or the next earnings report. Maybe they actually made a ton of Shuffles and Mac Minis and are still sold out (that would be great!), maybe they had supply chain issues and were not able to make as many as they wanted (bad), maybe they underforecasted (also bad), or maybe its a combination of all of these factors.

    In a perfect world there would be just enough available, but if the problem is that the sales have exceeded Apple's already high expectations, then that's a good problem.

    Opening another store has no impact on manufacturing more hardware, they're totally separate divisions at Apple. Of course as a whole, Apple has a certain operating budget, but in the case of the Mini and Shuffle I think it has more to do with the general difficulties of ramping up manufacturing than anything else. It's easy to say "Build more factories!", but it's another to try to successfully forecast and do these things, 18-24 months in advance of the lauches.
  5. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    The iPod shuffle and the Mac mini both ship in 2-3 weeks from That's much better than the problems with the iPod mini or the PowerMac G5. Sounds like Apple's improving its ship times.
  6. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    1) Apple is not in the business of building (or owning) factories.

    2) The cost of opening a retail store is nowhere near the cost of building a factory.

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