Apple iPod Nano sales 'slow' - analyst

MP3 player 'selling well', claims another

Updated Apple is not selling as many iPod Nanos as it expected, a market watcher has claimed.

According to American Technology Research (ATR) analyst Shaw Wu, sales of the skinny Flash-based player have been "good but not great", basing that claim on checks made with Apple retail outlets.

In a research note to ATR clients, given a wider circulation by AppleInsider, Wu said "a couple" of Apple stores in California were sent 1,400 Nanos each, but by Saturday, 10 September, they had sold only "a couple of hundred units".

According to the analyst, many Apple stores approached by ATR said they had sold only 200-500 out of the 1,800-2,500 Nanos sent to them.

We'd note that Apple CEO Steve Jobs only unveiled the Nano the previous Wednesday, and stocks of the player weren't expected to go on sale until this past weekend.

In the UK, anecdotal evidence suggests brisk interest in the Nano, and we can at least confirm part of what Wu has claimed: that the black Nano is generating much higher demand than the white version.

AppleInsider's own checks, the site said, indicate the 4GB model is the focus of demand, giving weight to our belief that the 1,000-song capacity is the sweet spot for mainstream music player buyers. There may be more capacious devices out there, but the majority of consumers simply don't have music collections large enough to warrant the higher price tag.

"We believe iPod nano is a great product and evolutionary step combining the best elements of iPod Shuffle, iPod Mini and iPod Photo, but we believe Apple may need to make some changes to ensure its success as a high-volume product," Wu added, noting that demand remains strong for the now defunct iPod Mini - sufficient it seems to force prices back up after they were discounted by retailers keen to clear out their stocks of the player.

ATR's comments come in marked contrast o those of fellow market watcher Piper Jaffray, which this week claimed the Nano is "selling well".

PJ said: "No store that we checked with had black 4GB Nanos in stock." However, we'd note that isn't inconsistent with claims that 2GB units and white Nanos aren't attracting buyers. ®

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