Analyst warning: iPod shortage hits Apple

Apple may face an iPod shortage this season, warns Kaufman analyst Shaw Wu in a note to clients released last night.

Wu warns of “stronger than expected” demand for the new range of iPods, observing Apple may have made a more conservative than required estimate of iPod sales during the quarter.

The analyst thinks Apple’s iPod has captured mind-share in the consumer markets, generating, “strong consumer understanding of the value it provides.”

Retailers including Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Target are apparently seeing shortages in iPod stock, following last week’s news that Amazon had been forced to extend its delivery waiting times in order to cope with a shortage of physical product.

“Frankly, we find these sell-outs on iPods surprising given how difficult the macroeconomic environment is, putting a crimp on consumer spending,” Wu wrote.

This stronger-than-anticipated demand may also mean Apple will shift near 21 million iPods this Christmas quarter, as opposed to expectations among analysts of 18 million to 19 million sales.

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