Apple has made some moves that make it look like it might be preparing to stop selling the iPod Shuffle, as supplies of the device are starting to run low.
9to5Mac is reporting that supplies of the cheap iPod are “dwindling,” a sign that Apple has plans for the product.
Apple has reportedly warned its retail employees that the iPod Shuffle will be in short supply for a while, giving no date when it will come back in stock.
The Shuffle is the cheapest iPod available and one of Apple’s cheapest device products.
Anyone ordering the iPod Shuffle online is informed that it could take up to 10 business days for the device to be delivered. That’s a long time for Apple products. As 9to5Mac points out, other iPod models usually take 24 hours to ship.
Dwindling supplies of an Apple device can mean one of two things: Either a new version is about to come out, or Apple is going to kill off the product entirely.
Stocks of the 13-inch MacBook Air ran low in the month before Apple unveiled a new version of the laptop at its WWDC conference in June 2013.
In June 2011 Apple began limiting the supply of the original MacBook laptop. That wasn’t because a refresh was on the way, instead it killed off the product line in favour of the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops.
It wouldn’t be surprising if Apple stops selling the iPod Shuffle. When the online Apple Store returned after the company’s September 2014 unveiling of the Apple Watch, the iPod Classic was nowhere to be seen.
Speaking in an interview after the iPod Classic was discontinued, Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed that the company didn’t even want to end the sale of the device, explaining that it was removed because of a lack of parts:
We couldn’t get the parts anymore, not anywhere on Earth. It wasn’t a matter of me swinging the ax, saying ‘what can I kill today?’ … The engineering work was massive, and the number of people who wanted it very small. I felt there were reasonable alternatives.
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