Delays, Delays

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Date: Friday, August 27th, 2004, 06:53
Category: Opinion

The perpetual iPod Mini wait list. Missing iMac. G5 servers. G5 desktops. The new fourth generation iPod — things look good for now, but who knows how many HP can move come September?

The perpetual iPod Mini wait list. Is this bad for Apple? Yes and no. Was it a mistake on Apple’s part? Not really.
It’s the drive that drives the shortage and what can Apple do about that? Many reviewers were expecting a lower price or larger storage capacity and predicted it wouldn’t sell. Obviously Apple’s gamble paid off. Until more production capacity comes on line, there will be a waiting list. The price Apple is paying for these drives is probably as low as possible, considering that the price of the Mini was less than the list price of a 4GB Microdrive when it was introduced. There is a certain cachet that comes with a waiting list for a hot product, so this is probably the best that could have been done.
Airport Express. Here is a sweet product that had a lot of demand. Directly shipping by air from Asia to individual customers has got to be an expensive way to fulfill pre-orders, but the product was delivered.
iMac. Clearly a mistake in planning, probably based on G5 chip yield projections from IBM. This hurts Apple. They still need a consumer desktop computer even though laptops continue to cut into that market.
G5 servers. The delay between the desktop G5 and the G5 server took momentum away from server sales. Arguably the fastest growing and most compelling Apple product after the iPod.
G5 desktops. Ouch! Great machines with great performance and not enough chips. These are the customers that Apple must satisfy.
The new fourth generation iPod. Things look good for now, but who knows how many HP can move come September? I would hate to see yet another Apple product shortage.

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