Apple's £179 iPod mini launches internationally on June 24, and global demand for the product is "unprecedented," the company has confirmed.

The sheer demand for the product has caused some readers to report longer-than-anticipated waits for their new music players.

Some resellers are also reportedly facing constrained or later than hoped-for supplies of the product (some quoting up to an eight week 'lead-in' for the product. Not all Macworld readers who have ordered iPods are affected, according to Forum postings in which some readers report their minis to be "on the way".

In response, Apple Europe spokesmen pointed to recent comments from the company's executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations Tim Cook.

"Demand will outstrip supply," Cook warned during last week's financial results announcement. Apple appears set to emulate the US success of the iPod mini abroad. "Demand for the mini is extremely strong," the company said.

Originally announced at Macworld Expo, San Francisco in January, Apple experienced huge demand for the product across the US on launch, selling almost 100,000 units in just two weeks.


US retailers were astonished. Jack Wahrman, senior merchandising manager at New York's J&R Music World, told USA Today: "I've never seen a product line sell like this. The iPod is a phenomenon".

Such success drove Apple marketing vice president Greg Joswiak to say: "We're asking people to be patient with us. We're making and shipping them as fast as we can".

This runaway success meant Apple was consuming "just about all the 4GB 1-inch Microdrives Hitachi manufacture," Joswiak told the Financial Times. The company was later forced to delay shipping the in-demand products until July 24 internationally.

Greg Joswiak, Apple's vice president of hardware product marketing told MacCentral at the time: "The iPod mini has been an even bigger hit than we had guessed it would be".

In practice this means that in the US when retailers, resellers and even Apple's own retail outlets have received new stock, they have sold out within days – or sometimes hours.

The product's scarcity could be part of its appeal, Envisioneering research director Richard Doherty said: "It's the element of unobtanium – when you have identified it and coveted it and want it, but no one seems to have it," he quippped.

Recent data from the NPD Group tracking the period between January and May showed Apple's three previous-generation iPods and the iPod mini as being the four best-selling digital-music players in the US.