A shortage of iPod minis is inevitable this Christmas according to a number of UK retailers.

The Times reports that few retailers are confident that they will have enough to meet demand this festive season.

Dixons expects that it will be unable to satisfy demand – it sold out of its entire stock of iPod minis within hours of delivery to its Oxford Street store.

An HMV spokesman said: "It would appear that it is simply a question of Apple proving unable to meet all of the broad range of demand that exists for the product, particularly outside the USA. We are reordering on a regular basis, but to date, only about 10 per cent of our orders are being fulfilled."

A PC World salesman had "not even seen" an iPod mini since the launch. At one PC World branch, managers have taken down the iPod mini display as they do not expect to be able to meet demand.

Retailers are claiming Apple is starving Europe of iPod mini's to satisfy demand in the US, according to the report.

Apple says it is unable to meet demand due to the worldwide shortage in iPod hard disks, according to the report.