iPod Shuffle Shortage Continues. Toshiba Can't Meet iPod Memory Demand

By Richard Menta 2/21/05

This evening I drove to the mall at Short Hills in New Jersey and stopped by the Apple store. My purpose there was to pick up an iPod Shuffle unit for review. The store was packed with President Day shoppers and it took me a little while before I got the attention of a sales girl.

I asked her for the iPod Shuffle, but I could see by her facial reaction something was wrong. She then sheepishly pulled an already torn open Shuffle package from a mobile rack behind her and showed it to me.

Richard Menta

"We just sold out again" she told me. "I am afraid all I have left is this player that was returned".

It wouldn't be fair of me to review a returned unit, so I asked her when they expected the next shipment. She told me that she doesn't know as the Shuffle has been coming in erratically. What does come isn't enough to stay in stock long either.

Having no choice I left the store and gave a quick call to the iPod store in Menlo Park New Jersey. They too sold out of their latest shipment.

"Well", I said to myself. "Steve Jobs has to be happy his new player is outstripping supply". It looks like this dearth of iPod Shuffle units is going to last even longer. When I got home I was greeted with more news.

Toshiba, who supply Apple with the iPod Shuffle's flash memory, announced that they are struggling to meet the demand for the unit.

"When it comes to the supply-demand balance we are currently unable to satisfy all customer demands." Toshiba VP Masashi Muromachi told Macworld. "Demand created by this new machine is so vast that our current capacity can in no way meet their needs."

I knew I should have picked up the iPod Shuffle when it first appeared in stores, but I didn't have the time to begin the review then. Oh well, I guess I have to wait it out like all the other Shuffle fans.

Not that they need my review anyway. It seems they have already made their decision, with their wallets.


The iPod Shuffle is available on Amazon

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