Well, we're back; basically we spent all of last Thanksgiving Thursday split between the baffling ordeal of food preparation and the wanton consumption of twice our weight in Tofurky, Katie's famous mashed potatoes, three kinds of stuffing, and two pies-- after which we caught the last two hours of the Buffy marathon and then collapsed into a profound food coma. We just woke up about twenty minutes ago. Yes, here at the AtAT studios, we do Thanksgiving right, thank you very much.
The only drawback to our "let's gain all of our holiday pounds in a single meal and then hibernate for four days" strategy is that we miss the so-called "Busiest Shopping Day of the Year"-- which actually isn't the busiest shopping day of the year, but hey, why split hairs? Anyway, while we were sleeping off enough carbohydrates to throw the average rhino into insulin shock, most happy consumers were off at the malls, clawing at one another for that last light-up nose hair trimmer that would be so perfect for Uncle Harvey. And Mac fans were no different, giving Apple's twenty-two retail stores (including the four brand new ones in San Diego, Buffalo, Santa Clara, and Miami) a decent workout, if frazzled reports from the trenches can be believed.
Of course, the hot stocking stuffer among Macophiles this year is the iPod, $399 price tag notwithstanding; it's expensive, sure, but all that really means is that people are buying them as presents for themselves instead of for their loved ones. After all, Uncle Harvey's great and everything, but he's not $399 great, and besides, if he doesn't trim those nose hairs soon, someone's going to get impaled before January's out. So cash-flush Mac fans are conscientiously doing their part for public safety: it's the nose-trimmer for Harv, while the iPod becomes the newest resident of HandsOffItsMineville. Whatever. Whether for themselves or for others, based on the anecdotal evidence flooding our inbox three shopping days after we slipped into unconsciousness, shoppers are buying iPods, and plenty of them. We're no longer much concerned with the possibility of the iPod turning into a sales debacle à la the Cube.
We're still numberless, but those "in the know" hint that while things have calmed down a little since the November 10th launch date (when stores were selling 45-60 per day), iPods are still moving like a rambunctious three-year-old after a quadruple espresso. However, we've got some good news and some bad news. The bad news is that, iPodically speaking, Apple's retail stores are still "drastically missing sales expectations," as we mentioned last week. The good news is that we've finally heard what those expectations are, and they're the product of a brain that's either on fire or on drugs (or, most likely, both). Get this: each Apple retail store is supposed to sell twenty iPods an hour. That's one every three minutes, for the mathematically challenged-- also known as roughly $90,000 for a typical eleven-hour holiday season workday. That's just iPods, mind you. Aggressive goals are nice and all, but hooooo-eee, who spiked the eggnog over at One Infinite Loop?