What is this? As this is written (August 12, 2007) the SonyStyle website shows the A100 body-only configuration as “out of stock.” You can buy either of the Alpha kits with lenses, but the $699 body only package is not available.
This could mean almost anything. Maybe Sony had an influx of orders for the A100 body and decided to fill them before re-stocking their own online store. Or maybe the kits that include lenses are selling more briskly then anticipated, so Sony opted to divert all their new bodies to the packages that include lenses. Or maybe someone in the production department was asleep at the wheel and forgot to place a standing order for body only packages and they ran out.
I honestly don’t know. Maybe this happens all the time at SonyStyle, I am not in the habit of checking availability at the Sony site, so this could simply be a common just-in-time production scheme.
Is Sony trying to play Apple’s game?
On the other hand, I’ve already compared Sony’s secrecy over their future dSLRs to Apples Inc.’s extreme cloaking of their future products. Apple users have to read tea-leaves, put their ear against a railroad track and consult the magic-8 ball just to have any clue about Apple’s next plans. One sure-fire indication that Apple is brewing up something in the near future is that various products become out-of-stock at the Apple store. When they are ready to release some new exciting product, Apple will often allow the older products to become depleted, rather than building up a stockpile of merchandise that won’t sell as well when the new stuff appears.
Could Sony be playing this game with the A100? Although I haven’t seen sales figures, it seems likely that sales of the A100 have fallen flat recently. Not because of lack of demand — just the opposite.
New Sony dSLRs are coming…Soon?
Everyone knows the new Sony dSLRs are coming — we just don’t know when or at what price or what the feature set will be. So many would-be A100 buyers are holding-off to see what Sony will offer next. In such a climate, how could Sony’s own website run out of stock on their premier digital camera?
Could Sony have ramped-up production of the new Advanced Amateur or Flagship models, causing stocks of the A100 to run dry? Does this mean Sony will at long last make an announcement and start shipping one of the new cameras?
Expect the A100 to remain in production
This doesn’t mean the A100 is about to be replaced. Both of the new models we know about appear to be a couple steps above the A100. If they were to totally stop production of the A100 that would leave a huge gap in their product line as they would have nothing to complete with against the inexpensive low-end dSLRS from other manufacturers.
So unless Sony is secretly planning a third new model to compete ln the starter dSLR segment, they will need the A100 to have a semi-complete model lineup for the immediate future.
So maybe that out-of-stock message means just that, that SonyStyle is just temporarily out of stock on the A100. On the other hand, it doesn’t take much imagination to conjure up a situation where Sony needs to temporarily stop production of the A100 to divert employees, parts and manufacturing facilities to assemble the first batch of the all new cameras. Once they have a solid stockpile of the new units. they can then resume production of the A100.
Maybe. With my ear against the track, I predict we are very close. Very close indeed. Maybe…