Should we put the iPod Touch on a milk carton here in Portugal?

Last week I mused (yet again) about availability of Apple hardware here in Portugal, and besides contemplating the apparent contradiction between the newly announced deal with Vobis and the current theory regarding the local distributor’s apparent lack of will to actually sell Macs, I mentioned that I keep getting e-mail from people venting about their inability to buy MacBooks just about anywhere.

Guess what – the mails just keep coming in. I’ve now gotten e-mail from roughly twenty people around Lisbon, Oporto and Faro (all of which are well-served by either Vobis or FNAC, as well as other retailers), and all of them tell mostly the same story:

  • There are no recent MacBooks on sale (and often all that there is on display is an old iMac or even a PowerBook). Or the low-end models, which inevitably get left behind.
  • When pressed, staff merely says they’ll arrive “soon” (in one instance, for nearly a couple of months now)
  • Specialty stores have recent display models and will take orders, but are telling people that it may take up to two months to get new inventory. That’s about as good as Christmas. You all know what happens to any sort of shipping around Christmas, right?
  • The only Apple hardware on display are, inevitably, iPods (mostly new nanos and Shuffles, and the odd Apple TV (which, amazingly, is actually on sale here).

The iPod Touch, however, is another matter. It is the only member of the new iPod lineup that people are actively looking for, and yet, nearly two months after its launch, it has apparently never reached Portuguese shores, even despite being proeminently featured on TV – I myself asked about it this afternoon in FNAC Chiado and El Corte Inglés, and both attendants at either place explicitly said they never got stock.

So I’m guessing that they’re hidden safely away with all the other hardware that has yet to make it here – and that, again, people who buy Macs here in Portugal near an operating system launch date will be left out in the cold.

Leopard may get here in one way or another, but I’m betting that there will be a big, laggy trail of missing spots.

No, upgrade coupons and all the other niceties US buyers have never made it here, either.

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