Piper Jaffray: New Apple Products in High Demand, Low Supply

Demand is high and stock is low of Appleis Mac mini personal computer and iPod shuffle digital media device with Apple retail stores expecting limited stock of both new products during the next two weeks, a spot check by Piper Jaffray & Co. analyst Gene Munster has revealed.

Only three of 98 Apple retail stores had the Mac mini in stock, Mr. Munster reported in a research note sent to clients earlier this week, with the average waiting list at most stores numbering 18 people. No retail stores had the iPod shuffle in stock, with the average waiting list numbering 120 individuals.

"The majority of stores have no idea when they will receive product," he wrote. "Those stores that do have an indication of when they will receive product suggested that limited quantities of the Mac mini and iPod shuffle will be in stock within 2 weeks."

Apple retail stores expected better availability arriving around the end of February, Mr. Munster wrote.

Most stores also are advising customers to order the products from Appleis online store, which quotes estimated ship times of 3 to 4 weeks, rather than adding their name to a waiting list.

"More importantly, based on our survey of the waiting list sizes, we believe initial demand for the Mac mini and iPod shuffle has exceeded what Apple had been expecting," Mr. Munster wrote.

Apple is currently rated as "outperform" by Mr. Munster with a price target of US$100.