Analyst: initial demand for ‘Mac mini’ and ‘iPod shuffle’ have exceeded Apple’s expectations

“Already struck with iPod fever, Apple may now be suffering from some Mac mini mania. Not that the company necessarily minds,” Troy Wolverton reports for TheStreet.com.

“Only two of Apple’s 98 U.S. retail stores had the new cut-price Macintosh computer in stock in recent days, according to Gene Munster, a financial analyst with Piper Jaffray. Combined, those two stores had just three Mac minis in stock, Munster said. Meanwhile, the average waiting list for a Mac mini at Apple’s stores has 18 people on it,” Wolverton reports. “‘The majority of stores have no idea when they will receive product,’ Munster said in a report issued on Monday. ‘We believe initial demand for the Mac mini and the iPod shuffle has exceeded what Apple had been expecting.'”

Full article here.

19 Comments

  1. CHA CHING CHA CHING!!! I wonder if not having enough stock for the initial demand helps or hurts Apple. Seems like a nice problem to have, but at the same time customers are frustrated. Oh well, the important thing is that interest is high.

  2. Nothing new. Apple really does need to do something about their supply chain problems. So do you think that this hurts Apple as people get frustrated with waiting and move onto something else or does it help them by the press making it look like they are selling more than they are increasind demand due to the “me too” mentality?

  3. “the average waiting list for a Mac mini at Apple’s stores has 18 people on it,”

    18 x how many apple stores = not very many.

    Now if the waiting list was 18,000 I would be impressed.
    But 18? That´s about how many Dell computers sells every second.

  4. I agree with Wate ing Lyst.

    Suppose they expect to sell about 100,000 of the minis each month. Then a shortage of 1800 is less than 2%. If that’s the only evidence of a shortage, then I’d call that pretty accurate planning on Apple’s part. And a small enough problem that it should get fixed pretty easily.

  5. I agree about the waiting list thing not being too impressive, but what percentage of customers put themselves on waiting lists? Wouldn’t you just order one online somewhere, or just check back? What does ‘on a waiting list’ mean? Did the customer say something like “call me when they come in”? I’d say he/she has not decided to get one just yet, but would like to see one before deciding. I think that if you’ve made up your mind, you place an order, not get on the list. I don’t think I would read too much into the data they are using to make these statements.

    But that’s just my take.

  6. What you’re forgetting is that those numbers are at Apple retail store locations only. That doesn’t count the backlog of orders thru Apple’s website and other major retailers like Amazon. Regardless, the mini is popular as hell and no amount of poo-pooing on the numbers changes that fact.

  7. “Now if the waiting list was 18,000 I would be impressed.”

    (100,000 units/month) / (4 weeks/month) * (3 to 4 weeks waiting period @ Apple web site) = 75,000 to 100,000 units.

    Even if we assume Apple only divert 10% of units it produce to Apple web site sales, the waiting list will be 7,500 units (3 weeks wait) or 10,000 units (4 weeks wait) for Apple web site.

    Mac connections has 1-2 weeks.
    Mac mall has 3-4 weeks.
    Amazon.com first come first served.

    Based on these numbers, I think waiting list of 18,000 is possible, if not more.

  8. Apple computers represent 7 out of the top ten sellers on Amazon’s top seller list for computers right now. The two mini models come in at #9 and #10. The 12″ iBook has been hoering at #1 for weeks. So, the mini may be selling well, but that scrapy little 12″ iBook is still the top dog….at least with Amazon’s customers.

  9. Apple always gets hit with a backorder on a new product. The main problem is that initial demand is far greater than factory capacity. If they didn’t make products that people loved so much they would have a normal selling rate. The worst offenders, of course, are current Mac lovers. How many have ordered a mini or shuffle?

  10. The thing is we do have some unconfirmed intelligence that suggests what Apple have sold already.

    One of the Asian publications recently published what it claimed were Apple’s “demands” on its Taiwanese/Chinese assembly contractors, and – from what I remember – the only conclusion is that Apple are already well over 100,000 units in on both minis and shuffles (in only three weeks).

    If that kind of performance continues for the standard trading year, and then grows by 50-100% for the holiday quarter, Apple is looking at around 1.5 million mini units alone, worth around $825 million. Add in a couple of million shuffles, and that’s around $1 billion out of a probable $12-$15 billion.

  11. In a way this is normal Apple backlog and in a way its not. Yes, it often happens, but this is usually because they will or are about to go into production. Apple cranked up mini and shuffle production in December, they had stock piles ready to go and STILL got creamed at the register.

    Cool + Cheap = Scarce

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