Apple product that lived its entire life without once being in stock

Great observation from Benjamin Mayo:

A simple, but profound observation. To a business like Apple’s, inventory is the enemy. Inventory is sunk cost with the possibility of zero revenue in return. Yes, the AirPods did spend brief moments in stock, but this is as close to zero moments on the shelf as Apple products get.

Do the AirPods represent the future of Apple’s inventory management? Interesting.



  • FWIW, I saw 2 pair of AirPods in stock and on the shelf at a local Apple Store last week, and the following day, a coworker went it and they still had 2 pair on the shelf, and brought out 4 more while he was there.

    Maybe still back ordered online, but stores are finally normalizing stock, it would seem.

  • Fake news. 🙂 I bought them on launch when they were in stock. They were listed in stock for several minutes.

  • Alex Hon

    I think the current 1 or 2-week lead time for AirPods suggests Apple is still unable to keep up with demand, meaning they could have sold even more with unlimited supply. Therefore Apple is not completely “there” yet, but very close!

  • Caleb Hightower

    Extreme Supply Chain Management, now playing at your local Apple Store.

  • i got a pair online at launch but delivered a couple weeks, then got a pair on foot in my store the day after christmas.