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.

ipod_shuffle_lineup
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.

Top Rated Comments

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76 months ago
I'm glad, I still think there is a market for a iPod Shuffle/Nano device.

I don't want to use my iPhone 6 when running or working out. And sometimes it's nice to just have a simple music device.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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76 months ago
I love my Shuffle, but it hurts my brain that Apple get away with charging the same price, several years later, for a 2GB player.


At least throw us a bone, and stick 4GB in for the same price you cheeky so-and-sos.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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76 months ago
thank god i almost had a heart attack.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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76 months ago
Maybe it is because I lived through the 80's and the era of the Sony Walkman (the higher end ones costing over $200 back then!) that I still think an iPod Shuffle is absolutely awesome.

Two days worth of continuous digital music (no tape hiss, wow/flutter, nor skipping like a CD player) 10-12 hours of battery life, no moving parts, a housing strong enough to throw like a Chinese throwing star into the nearest gypsum wall and still not affect playback, and in a form factor that is smaller than a book of matches--all for $49?

Sure, smartphones can handle the job with ease now, but sometimes you DON'T want to be tethered to a phone when working out.

The only improvement or innovation that should be made with Shuffles, as mentioned in earlier posts, is doubling the storage every 18 months or so, in deference to Moore's Law. Beyond that it is pretty much perfect, IMHO.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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76 months ago
Minor aesthetic griping about shuffles and similarly colorful iPods: the button labels are gray instead of matching the device color. I don't know why, but that always irked me. Here's a completely necessary comparison GIF depicting my preference:

Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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76 months ago

If only this had had a radio. Still a great product for running.

Yeah, this is still my go to device for running.

Physical buttons that require no looking still have a place in this world. Which is probably why the older gen Nanos were and still are popular with athletes.

And, yes, wish they threw in a tiny fm receiver.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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