So while not terribly much Macwise is happening on this side of the planet, it sounds like there's a serious problem plaguing the good people Down Under. Right now the newswires are rife with harrowing descriptions of a shortage so crippling, so absolutely devastating that it threatens to decimate the population of Australia unless relief can soon be found. No, it's not a famine, nor a drought (at least, not in the traditional sense); they've got plenty of food, water, medicine, and every other basic need to sustain human life-- except for one. It turns out that the Australians are dangerously short on iPods. Let the philosophical implications fly, because frankly, we can't see how a just and loving supreme being could ever let something like this happen.

ARN has the ugly details; apparently resellers haven't had a reasonable supply of iPods for six weeks, and some larger dealers are "averaging a hundred calls a day" from consumers jonesing for their elusive fix. Resellers describe the situation as "disheartening" and "dire," and report backorders in the dozens. "We've been flabbergasted by demand," noted one dealer, just prior to gnawing off his own left arm in desperation. We at AtAT did a little digging and discovered that, shockingly enough, there are no emergency relief organizations that are equipped to provide iPods in the case of such a drought. The closest thing out there so far is a Red Cross pilot program that provides Creative Nomad Jukeboxes to the stricken, but in the case of an iPod shortage, putting it into play would most likely just cause a spike in the national suicide rate.

Australian resellers point the finger at Apple, hinting that it's playing the old game of hoarding its scarcest gear for its own direct sales outlet, but we're not at all sure that that's what we're seeing here; while estimated shipping times for iPods at the U.S. Apple Store are listed as either "1-3 bus. days" or "3-5 bus. days" (depending on model), all iPods at the Australian Apple Store carry a lead time of "2-3 weeks." Sounds to us like the Apple Store Australia is feeling the pinch just like everybody else. (By the way, for some interesting insight into cultural differences, compare the Top Ten lists at both stores; whereas the U.S. store includes the iPod, the iSight, the 12-inch PowerBook, the 17-inch iMac, and the top-of-the-line Power Mac G5, the Australian equivalent is dominated by QuickTime software components, blank DVDs, a USB cable, and a floppy drive. Make of that what you will.)

Some desperate Australians have taken to getting iPods via eBay, often paying more than the retail price-- but with demand that far outstripping supply, you know there won't be iPods on eBay for long. Here's hoping that Apple gets its distribution problem hammered out soon, before Australian tunesters with taste are forced to choose between life with a lesser product or the sweet, sweet release that only death may bring. Seriously, it's a tough choice-- especially for them. After all, you can't spell "antipodean" without "iPod." (Or "ant" or "ean," but that's a little beside the point.)

SceneLink (4118)
And Now For A Word From Our Sponsors

From the writer/creator of AtAT, a Pandemic Dad Joke taken WAYYYYYY too far


The above scene was taken from the 8/4/03 episode:

August 4, 2003: The AtAT staff learns once and for all just how amazingly nifty iChat AV can be. Meanwhile, Australia suffers a devastating iPod shortage, and Apple has a chance to be the "official" means by which college students get their music-- and with any luck, it'll find a way to sell a slew of Macs, too...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4117: A Retail Family Reunion (8/4/03)   Wow, things sure are quiet in the Mac realm today, aren't they? Almost... deceptively quiet. It's as if big, invisible gears are turning just beneath the surface of the everyday world, changing the very universe as they rumble ever onward in their inexorable revolutions, undetectable by the same mere mortals who will be forever affected by their progress...

  • 4119: Compromise In Higher Ed (8/4/03)   Now that Dell has sucked away its lead (largely through some really sleazy selling tactics that we may go into at another time), just what hope does Apple have to get back into the education game?...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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Like K-pop, but only know the popular stuff? Expand your horizons! Prim M recommends underrated K-pop tunes based on YOUR taste!

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