Shipping times for Time Capsules are increasing steadily across regional online Apple stores in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, France and other territories. While the 3TB version of Time Capsule is in stock at certain online Apple Stores, most now list the wireless backup appliance with up to one to three weeks delivery time. Meanwhile, 2TB Time Capsules in some stores take one to two weeks. Over at Amazon (temporarily out of stock) and Best Buy (sold out) things are not looking peachy either.
This is similar to the AppleTV shortages we noted over the weekend but may not be for the same reason.
Time Capsule constrains could be linked to the Thai floods that have led to global shortages of hard drives and subsequent jacked prices by as much as 28 percent. A disruption in the hard drive supply already affected the 27-inch iMac. That, plus the fact that other AirPort-branded products stay in stock only reinforce the notion that constrained supplies of Apple’s Time Capsule is likely caused by global hard drive shortages.
According to an unnamed tip that 9to5Mac received this morning, several Apple outlets in Australia no longer have Time Capsules in stock:
I live in Melbourne Australia. I went to one of the three Apple Stores here to purchase Apple’s Time Machine. Usually there is always stock, but I went to all three stores and I was told by employees that they were “Sold Out”. So I told my brother who lives in Sydney to purchase me one, we went to 5 Apple Stores there and all employees told him they were “Sold Out”.
Time Capsule supply woes are probably not linked to an upgrade, as the product is not due for a refresh. Apple last updated Time Capsule and other AirPort products in summer 2011 by bumping up storage offerings from the earlier 1TB/2TB flavors to the new 2TB/3TB offerings. Additionally, the fifth-generation Time Capsule now sports a stronger range and better data throughout due to a new Broadcom BCM4331 based Wi-Fi stack. Speaking to analysts on an earnings call last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that hard drive prices went up during the holiday quarter as a result of the flooding in Thailand, and he said the company expects prices to continue increasing throughout the current quarter.
Hard Drive shortages are letting up, however. So, it is not exactly certain that the Thai flooding is causing these shortages/outages.
- Apple updates AirPort Base Station and Time Capsule Firmware, new iOS-like Airport Utility (9to5mac.com)
- NPD: Apple grabs almost a fifth of all holiday consumer electronics, Apple Stores second only to Best Buy and Walmart in revenue (9to5mac.com)
- Global hard drive shortage affects BTO 2TB iMac: Shipping times slip to 5-7 weeks (9to5mac.com)
- Ron Johnson: Retailing is hard, but Steve told me to trust my intuition and do the right thing (9to5mac.com)