A SEVERE shortage of Apple’s iPod is frustrating resellers as they struggle to meet consumer demand this Christmas.
“The queue is getting longer and longer so the message to consumers is buy now and don’t delay,” says Steve Ford, general manager Renaissance Apple division.
Ford says supplies for the video-capable 30GB and 60GB iPods are good but admits his company is desperately trying to fulfil demand for the iPod nano.
“We’re fighting as hard as we can. I’m expecting some product to come through in the next week but I can’t make any promises after that.”
New Zealand stock is supplied from Australia — also facing a drastic shortage.
Ford says Apple didn’t give resellers any prior warning when launching its newest iPod range in October and that has contributed to the shortage.
“The main factor is this huge demand. Last quarter Apple sold three times as many iPods as it did during Christmas 2004,” he says.
And although Ford is issuing no apologies for the situation he does thank the channel for an outstanding year.
But the news doesn’t help John Zheng, purchaser at PB Technologies, satisfy his customers.
“We have a lot of inquiries but can’t get hold of any stock. All Renaissance will tell me is that the queue is very long and I’m on the waiting list,” he says.
Although Zheng purchases through the official channel he admits he is tempted to parallel-import stock rather than lose customers.
“Even if the stock arrives two days before Christmas what am I going to do with it? I don’t understand Apple, it’s always difficult to get stock and we don’t make that much money on an iPod.”
While it is rumoured that Parallel Imported has good supplies the company didn’t want to comment to Reseller News.
Jason Bell, general manager merchandise Noel Leeming Group, says MP3 players are once again the hot ticket this Christmas — especially iPods.
“We’re struggling to get stock along with everyone else. The orders are coming in but they are few and far between,” he says.
Set to benefit from the shortage is rival MP3 maker Creative.
Victor Ho, Morning Star group product manager, says Creative is benefiting from the situation to a certain degree. “No doubt about it, this is going to be an MP3 Christmas. The real growth started about six months ago and we have absolutely no stock issues,” he says.
Nick Angelucci, Creative marketing manager, says his company planned and estimated the market size in Australasia for what will be its biggest Christmas yet.
“Creative’s microdrive players are doing extremely well and that’s in direct competition with Apple’s new models,” he says.