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Harvey Norman has complained to Apple that they have not been allocated enough iPod stock to meet the expected Xmas rush.

MP3 players are shaping up as the hot product for Christmas. Top of the list is the Apple iPod Nano and the recently launched Video iPod. Despite a “heated” discussion with Apple Retailer Harvey Norman  has warned supplies of Apple iPods may run low as December 25 approaches and a number of merchants may sell out.

Sales figures recently released show that MP3 player sales are up nearly 300 per cent on the same time last year, with more than 1 million expected to be sold this year. “We have good stock, but if someone is wanting to buy one for a Christmas present I would buy it now if you don’t want to miss out,” said Rutland Smith, Harvey Norman’s general manager of computers and communications is reported to have said. Another senior Harvey Norman Executive said “We were told we would get more stock than we have and management have complained bitterly as the Apple iPods will be a big seller this Xmas. To say that Harvey’s is pissed off is an understatement” they said.Rob Small Marketing Manager of Apple said “Yes we have had discussions with Harvey Norman over iPod stock but our policy is not to comment on issues with resellers. Apple is manufacturing as many as we can and demand is very high”

GfK Marketing Services said 286,000 MP3 players, including iPods, were sold in the first nine months of 2004. In the first nine months of this year 793,000 have been sold and the figure is expected to rise significantly by the end of the year. iPod sales have been boosted by the launch in Australia of Apple’s online music store iTunes.

Other products in demand are expected to include the Sony PlayStation Portable.Group general manager for marketing and operations at David Jones, Damien Eales, agreed iPods and PlayStations would be hot items for Christmas.

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