updated 12:15 pm EST, Wed December 3, 2008
Widespread iPod shortage?
iPods are becoming increasingly difficult to find in the wake of last week's Black Friday sales, says Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu. Immediately following the sales, the only vendor to report any shortages was Amazon, which lengthened its lead times to 11 days for the 8GB iPod touch, and three to five weeks for the 16GB player. The company's situation has since been made even worse however, with 8GB lead times matching those of the 16GB model, making it virtually impossible to buy an 8GB player in time for Christmas.
Shortages are further said to be expanding, going beyond the Touch and Amazon to include small-scale depletions of Touches, Nanos and Shuffles at outlets like Best Buy, Crutchfield, Target and Walmart. Wu contends that the sell-outs are unexpected in light of the ongoing recession, but may be attributable to a reasonable average selling price and matching public interest. Kaufman is holding to a prediction of 21 million in iPod shipments for the December quarter, which would be a rise of 90 percent over the September quarter, but a drop of 5 percent from the December 2007 quarter.