Before buying it, I was sure that if I ever wrote anything about the iPod Nano it would be to bitch about Apple. Again.
Well, I'm pleased to say that I'm not going to do that, though strictly speaking I'm not (yet) impressed with the Nano. The Nano is a gift for my son, but that's not impressive either. What is impressive is the supply chain I just watched from the comfort of my house.
I placed the order (after going to every retailer who might carry the device, other than the Apple Store where I won't shop on principle) on Sunday afternoon. Why I didn't just go online escapes me, something about having a few hours to kill while another son was at a birthday party.
But the point is that it came with free engraving and free shipping and the cost was identical online as it was in every store that might have been selling it had they had any inventory (though I doubt they would have had free engraving.) Why they didn't have inventory I can't really say, though I have to expect that this would present a huge opportunity for competitors but alas, once you've started buying your music from Apple you are kind of stuck with their devices, DRM schema, etc.
Anyway, I got an email from Apple with a link to track the order. It (presumably) rolled off the assembly line in Shenzen on Monday morning and was engraved. It was transferred to UPS that day and got on a plane bound for Louisville Kentucky by Monday evening. It was on a truck Tuesday and at my front door on Wednesday afternoon. That is cool.
Given what I've read, you know that UPS is doing a lot more than just the transporting, I wonder if they're doing any of the manufacturing and I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear that they're even doing the engraving.