iPod shuffle stocks are dwindling

Apple iPod Shuffle

Apple fans looking for the diminutive 2 GB iPod shuffle (US$49.00) may have to wait a while to get one, as stocks at both the online Apple Store and brick-and-mortar Apple retail outlets are running low. Currently the online store is showing a 7 to 10 day wait prior to shipment, and searching personal pickup availability -- usually a good indicator of stock on hand at local Apple Stores -- shows "ships to store" as the status for many of those stores.

So what's the cause of the shortage? There are several possibilities. First, it could be that Apple has decided to drop the iPod shuffle entirely from its product line. That's not entirely out of the question; the company killed the iPod Classic last September with nary a word from Cupertino. Next, Apple might be in the process of transitioning to a new manufacturing partner in order to reduce the cost of what has to be a fairly low-margin product, in which case the shortage could be temporary. Or perhaps Apple is considering replacing the existing iPod shuffle with a newer model with more capacity and/or Bluetooth.

The iPod shuffle has always been a popular model for running and working out, as the .44 ounce (12.5 gram) device is easy to clip onto a collar or waistband. But the current model seems a bit dated in an Apple world where more and more devices are going wireless.

What are your thoughts on the fate of the iPod shuffle? Let us know in the comments.