If you’re trying to buy Apple’s cheapest iPod, the $49 screen-less Shuffle, you may be in for a difficult shopping trip. According to multiple sources, supplies of the iPod Shuffle are dwindling across Apple’s physical retail and online channels. In fact, Apple has warned its retail employees that Shuffle supplies will be short for an unspecified period of time and that customers seeking to buy a Shuffle via a retail store should be directed to Apple’s online store…

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But that, too, might not be so helpful. According to Apple’s official online store, the iPod shuffle ships in “7-10 business days,” which is far longer than the 24 hours quoted for the two remaining iPod lines, the Touch and the Nano. This uncommon shipping time (for an older product) exists for all available colors. The current generation iPod shuffle was introduced in 2010, but it has seen a couple of color refreshes over the past couple of years.

It is unclear what this nearly-unprecendented supply shortage means for the iPod Shuffle. The most likely possibility is that this shortage represents a temporary lack of components and that Shuffle production will pick up full speed in the near future. It is also plausible that Apple could be preparing to discontinue the iPod shuffle given that it axed the iPod Classic just last year. iPod sales have fallen dramatically since the advent of both the iPhone and iPad.

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