It seems like the world is stuck in a permanent iPod fever. First everyone couldn’t get enough of the iPod Mini at Christmas time. Then after the holiday shopping season calmed down, iPod demand seemed to get back to normal. But not for long. The iPod Shuffle was announced and we started all over again.
Myself, like plenty of other people I’m sure, ordered the iPod Shuffle the day it was announced in January. It was a pre-order, but I had a gift certificate for Amazon that I wanted to use. Plus, Apple said they had already produced enough to satisfy initial demand… or so they thought. The iPod Shuffle proved to be a little popular than they first predicted and once again, only a month after Christmas, there’s an iPod shortage.
I’m trying to be patient. I keep checking my online order status. The current ship date is estimated around March 19th. Great, two months later I might get to see my first generation iPod Shuffle. I contacted Amazon about canceling the order and getting a refund for my gift certificate. Apparently that’s a little too difficult for them to coordinate. After getting the run-around by Amazon’s customer service department, I decided just to be patient and wait. I hope there’s not another iPod announcement before my Shuffle shows up.
In the meantime, I continue to be tortured by everyone else’s iPod fever. The iPod Shuffle is selling like hotcakes. This past Saturday I visited the Apple Store in Short Hills, NJ. Store employees couldn’t bring carts full of the iPod Shuffle to the check-out counter fast enough. People walked into the store and got right in line. I just watched while quietly regretting placing the pre-order in the first place. Sometimes gift certificates can be more of a pain than they are worth.
The fever for an iPod Shuffle 1st generation can probably be understood at an Apple Store, but the craze has expanded to other retailers as well. People like me who pre-ordered the Shuffle the day it was announced are probably still waiting. If you are thinking about ordering an iPod Shuffle, don’t. Just go buy it at your local Apple Store if they have any in stock (I suggest calling them first). Every other retailer is sold out of the iPod shuffle including Amazon. This is what it says on Amazon’s iPod Shuffle page: “In stock soon. Order now to get in line. First come, first served.” I ordered mine 10 minutes after Steve Jobs got off stage. You would think I’d be somewhere in front of the line. Guess not.
Apparently the only people able to get their hands on iPods are the dorks up in Redmond at Microsoft HQ. A report on Wired.com by Cult of Mac reporter Leander Kahney, details the popularity of the iPod with Microsoft employees and how upper management at Redmond keeps trying to discourage their use. It’s estimated that about 80% of the 25,000 Microsoft employees in Redmond, Washington have iPods.
“About 80 percent of Microsoft employees who have a portable music player have an iPod,” said one source, a high-level manager who asked to remain anonymous. “It’s pretty staggering.
So concerned is management, owning an iPod at Microsoft is beginning to become impolitic, the manager said. Employees are hiding their iPods by swapping the telltale white headphones for a less conspicuous pair.”
Maybe Microsoft will all together ban the iPod and help relieve some of the market demand. I’d like to get my Shuffle in the mail before Spring if possible.