Analyst: iPod shortage spreading

Amazon.com is reporting longer-than-usual shipping times for iPod orders, and now big-box retailers like Best Buy are also seeing iPod shortages, according to Kaufman Bros.

Tom Krazit Former Staff writer, CNET News
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Apple could be running into iPod shortages this holiday season, according to one analyst. Apple

An iPod shortage at Amazon.com appears to have spread to other distribution channels, according to an analyst.

Shaw Wu of Kaufman Bros. reports that after checking in with his retail sources, he believes that Apple is experiencing an iPod shortage as holiday demand proves stronger than the company may have anticipated. Retailers such as Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target are now reporting iPod shortages after Amazon.com extended the lead times for its iPods following Black Friday, he wrote in a research note distributed Wednesday.

It had been unclear whether the public was responding to Apple's latest crop of iPods, despite the usual saturation advertising for the iPod Nano and iPod Touch. With the stock market in the tank and people worried about their jobs,it didn't appear that this would be the best holiday season for iPod sales.

Wu believes that consumers are indeed making hard choices about what they buy this holiday season, but thinks that the iPod benefits from "strong consumer understanding of the value it provides" when push comes to shove.

Other Apple analysts had predicted the company would sell just 18 million to 19 million iPods this holiday season, but Wu is a little more optimistic, with a forecast of 21 million units. During last year's holiday season, Apple sold 22 million iPods.