Stateside, people familiar with the inventory management systems of mass merchandizer Target say all current iPod models have recently seen their status shift from "Active" to "Discontinued" when scanned with handheld PDA scanners used by employees.
Those handhelds, however, aren't capable of displaying set dates for new planogram refreshes, as that information is said to be available only through the retailer's web-based intranet systems.
Separately, big-box retailer Argos in the UK is preparing to clear out its remaining iPod inventory in anticipation of new models in the coming weeks. A person familiar with the plans says the company recently took receipt of new point-of-sale displays promoting "price cuts" that should hit the retail floor during the last week of August or first week of September.
The displays include a "giant wall graphic" which is the "biggest poster" displayed by the retailer, that person said.
These initial signs of inventory ramp down come amid calls from some of the more prominent Wall Street analysts regarding the steps that will be necessary for Apple to maintain its current momentum in the digital media player business.