iPod Shortage: Just a Marketing Ploy?
Friday, December 5, 2008; 12:19 AM
Every holiday season, one item becomes the hottest in the world, everybody needs it, and nobody can get it. This season, that item may be the iPod. According to financial analyst Shaw Wu of the Kaufman Brothers, we are facing an iPod shortage of iPhone proportions.
Wu checked his retail sources and found that Amazon.com, Best Buy, Target, and Wal-Mart have all been experiencing shortages of the popular iPod Touch, Nano, and Shuffle models. Wait times for certain models on Amazon range from three weeks to two months.
It's a selective dearth, though. You can't buy the bright green 1GB iPod Shuffle on Amazon without waiting a month or two, but if you can bear the pain of a bright blue one, it'll arrive in a matter of days. Similarly, while the 8GB and 16GB iPod Touch models take a while to ship, the 32GB model is stocked and ready to go. The Apple Store doesn't seem to be lacking any models at this time.
The iPod Touch shortage should not come as a surprise. Black Friday sales showed that it's a serious contender in the retail game and at the top of many people's lists. So is the Nano. But the Shuffle? Could this one analyst's discovery -- now spread all over the Internet -- be an intentional plant in order to feed the consumer fire? What better way to move product than to claim that supply has lowered and raise demand?
Even if the supposed iPod famine isn't a marketing ploy, the news has certainly spread throughout the right quadrants, so now you can expect some degree of iPod shopping frenzy.