“It could be deja vu all over again for Apple Computer Inc. Just one week after launching the tiny iPod Shuffle, a lightweight and much cheaper model of its market-leading digital music player, customers face a wait of two to four weeks before their order is shipped, according to the company’s Web site on Tuesday,” Reuters reports.

“The backlog of orders comes not quite a year after the introduction of the iPod mini sparked a six-week wait when ordered online,” Reuters reports. “There is a two- to three-week wait for the $99 iPod Shuffle, which holds about 120 songs, while customers face a wait of three to four weeks for the $149 model, which has double the capacity, according to the Apple Web site.” Full article here.

According to a November 12, 2004 report from AppleInsider, “RUMOR: Apple to start making flash-based iPod stockpiles for January debut,” Apple was rumored to be building a stock-pile of approximately 2 million iPod shuffle units before the product began shipping world-wide after a Macworld Expo debut. We can only wonder if Apple had 2 million units on hand by the time Steve Jobs unveiled it. If so, “Wow!” Regardless, if for the publicity that is sure to be generated by this shortage alone, Creative, iRiver, and the rest of the also-rans are seriously hating life right now.

MacDailyNews Take: More popular than Apple thought? It’s almost, we say almost, beyond reason (well, maybe not so unreasonable, if Apple sold 2 million iPod shuffles in a week) that Cupertino could’ve underestimated demand for the iPod shuffle, but Apple does have its voluminous [pun intended] history of supply problems. Anecdotal evidence from retailers suggests that people are buying multiple iPod shuffles at one time – have they bled the initial run dry already? Not bad for a “fad and a one-product wonder,” as Dell CEO Kevin Rollins was quoted yesterday to describe Apple’s iPod line. It seems that Rollins offered no catchy descriptions for the Dell DJ line.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Tech columnist Wendland: ‘Apple’s new iPod Shuffle to be the next must-have product’ – January 18, 2005
iRiver CEO on Apple iPod shuffle: ‘It will be very difficult for users to find their favorite songs’ – January 17, 2005
Dismissive Dell CEO not impressed with Apple Mac mini, calls iPod a ‘one-product wonder’ and a ‘fad’ – January 17, 2005
Apple VP: Apple received more prerelease orders for iPod shuffle in Japan than for iPod mini debut – January 14, 2005
Creative CEO: Apple iPod shuffle ‘a big let-down, worse than the cheapest Chinese player’ – January 12, 2005
Walt Mossberg tests Apple’s new iPod shuffle and concludes that ‘the iPod juggernaut will roll on’ – January 12, 2005
Analyst: Mac Mini and iPod Shuffle are big winners for Apple – January 11, 2005
Apple introduces iPod shuffle, first iPod under US$100 – January 11, 2005
RUMOR: Apple to start making flash-based iPod stockpiles for January debut – November 12, 2004