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Apple Dropped the Ball on the iPod Shuffle

Posted: January 20th, 2005 | Author: | Filed under: Apple | 16 Comments »

On Monday after work I headed over to my local CompUSA to look for a new CPU fan for one of my boxes. After finding what I was looking for, I did the customary sweep around the store. CompUSA tends to be a bit behind the curve when it comes to new Apple products, so after a quick glance at the Aplle corner I moved on.

I passed by the mp3 player section and was shocked when I walked around the corner and saw three little green boxes on the shelf.

CompUSA had the iPod Shuffle in stock! That was quick. They didn’t have a display for it, but if you knew what an iPod shuffle was, there were three of them sitting on the shelf.

That’s what bothered me so much when I found myself in the Apple Store at Tysons Corner, Virginia yesterday. I was expecting to see a small display of iPod Shuffle’s even if they didn’t have any in stock. I also expected to see a Mac mini or two on display, even though they won’t be available for purchase until Saturday.

But they had neither.

How long has it been since Steve’s keynote? Nine, ten days? There’s just no excuse for the Apple Store to still have “give an iPod” plastered all over the store. The holidays are over. Steve has made a pretty big bet that the Shuffle and the mini are going to be the next Big Things. Where would you expect to find that Apple product that was announced last week that will be out next week? The Apple Store, right? I mean isn’t that the whole point of having Apple stores? A sort of exclusivity and one stop shopping that you can’t find anywhere else.

In that case, Apple has dropped the ball completely.


Of all the places on the planet I expected to be able to play with an iPod shuffle this week, I thought it would be the Apple Store. If I wanted to pick one up, the first place I would check would be an Apple Store.

But aparently I was wrong.

16 Comments on “Apple Dropped the Ball on the iPod Shuffle”

  1. 1 Brian Graf said at 7:55 am on January 20th, 2005:

    The story at the Apple store here in Cleveland is much the same. None of the new stuff in stock. They had one iPod Shuffle that one employee (who was busy selling someone an iBook) was carrying in his pocket. That’s it. No display. No literature. Nothing.

    Very disappointing.

  2. 2 Zach Paine said at 9:54 am on January 20th, 2005:

    It would seem that if the local Apple Store was sold out of shuffles, then it is indeed the place to get them.

    I walked over to my local store a mere two days after stevenote and they had a whole bunch of 512mb shuffles at POS ( they were sold out of the 1gb ).

    My experience has been however, that while Apple as a company maintains a pretty high standard of excellence from store-to-store, they are not all created equal. Some have better managers, better staff, or frankly just get the cool stuff before the rest of the stores.

  3. 3 Matt Croydon said at 10:41 am on January 20th, 2005:


    Yeah I wouldn’t have been suprised if this were a tiny apple store in the middle of nowhere, but the Tysons store was in the first batch of openings IIRC. I suppose that if they had them at the counter and they’re gone then that’ okay, but it’s the freaking apple store, keep a few for people to play with and be psyched about.

    I’m sure that tomorrow or saturday they’ll probably change the layout to welcome in the mini, and hopefully the shuffle in the process.

    You’re also right about the consistancy of Apple Store employees. Most are awesome, but not everyone is as good as you might expect.

  4. 4 Mauro Botelho said at 12:33 pm on January 20th, 2005:

    I understand your frustration from a consumer point of view, but sending a lot of marketing material ahead of the announcement would create a huge potential leak.

    I think the stuff is in the mail 🙂

  5. 5 The Mediaburn Radio Weblog said at 2:14 pm on January 23rd, 2005: Where On the Shelf?
    Apple Dropped the Ball on the iPod Shuffle .

  6. 6 Alexander said at 3:35 pm on January 27th, 2005:

    Interestingly enough, the Apple Store in San Francisco has tons of Shuffles, on display, but I don’t know about the stock of the product. I will find that out today.

  7. 7 joe said at 12:23 pm on January 28th, 2005:

    QQ more n00b

  8. 8 smershad said at 8:54 pm on February 2nd, 2005:

    micro center has them in stock

  9. 9 Apple Dropped the Ball on the iPod Shuffle said at 9:20 pm on June 8th, 2005: Apple Dropped the Ball on the iPod Shuffle
    Apple Dropped the Ball…

  10. 10 Tore Strim said at 3:21 am on June 26th, 2005: Portable MP3 Players For Sale

    Apple Dropped the Ball…

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    Apple Dropped the Ball…

  12. 12 Sarah Schroeder said at 7:14 pm on July 17th, 2005: Jennifer Love Hewitt

    Apple Dropped the Ball…

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  14. 14 Jennifer Hawkins Thong said at 10:08 pm on June 16th, 2007:

    Jennifer Hawkins Thong…

    I Googled for something completely different, but found your page…and have to say thanks. nice read….

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    portable display…

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