Recent iPod Shuffle Shortages Due to Supplier Changes, Not Imminent Discontinuation
Earlier this week, it was observed that Apple's retail stores were running short of iPod shuffle units, leading to speculation about whether the shortages were just a temporary blip in Apple's supply chain management or if they were a sign of an impending discontinuation of the diminutive music player. The iPod shuffle's only updates since September 2010 have been occasional changes to color options, opening the door to questions and speculation about the device's fate.
According to Billboard, however, the iPod shuffle shortages are indeed just a temporary issue related to component supplies.
Rather than being discontinued, however, sources with knowledge of the situation tell Billboard that Apple is actually going thorough component supplier changes that have interrupted production of the Shuffle.
Apple declined to comment.
Supplies of the iPod shuffle remain tight, with Apple's online stores generally quoting shipping estimates of 7-10 business days for all colors. Some of the company's retail stores do have stock of some colors, but many others show the device as unavailable with Apple offering to have units shipped to the stores for customer pickup.
As the iPod market has declined with customers opting to use smartphones for their music needs, Apple's investments in the family have declined and product cycles have lengthened. As a result, it is unclear what Apple's longer-term plans are for the future of the iPod, particularly the iPod shuffle and iPod nano that are more limited in their capabilities than the iOS-based iPod touch.