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2TB hard drive shortage hits Apple's BTO iMacs with 5-7 week wait

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Build-to-order iMacs with 2-terabyte hard drives now have an estimated shipping time of 5 to 7 weeks, in what is potentially the first sign of Apple being hit by a lingering global hard drive shortage.

A reader contacted AppleInsider on Friday to note that the estimated shipping times for custom iMacs went up dramatically from their previous time of 1 to 3 days. The shipping estimates apply in the U.S. as well as internationally.

The unusual wait time for an iMac equipped with a 2TB hard drive comes as flooding in Thailand has caused major problems for the hard drive supply chain. About 14,000 factories have shut down with more than 600,000 people put out of work, affecting hard drive makers Western Digital and Seagate.

So far, orders for build-to-order iMacs with hard drive capacities under 2TB are unaffected, showing normal shipping times of 3 to 5 days. In addition, all solid-state hard drives are also unaffected, and the lengthy 5 to 7 week wait only applies to iMacs with a 2TB serial ATA drive.

High-capacity 2TB drives are only available from Apple in the company's iMac and Mac Pro desktops. For customers looking to buy the far-less-popular Mac Pro, build-to-order configurations featuring 2TB hard drives are currently unaffected.

In fact, a user can place an order with a whopping four 2TB drives in all four of the Mac Pro's hard drive bays, and Apple still estimates the machine will ship in three to five business days.

During his company's quarterly earnings conference call in October, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook was asked about flooding in Thailand and how any supply chain disruption might affect the company's production of Macs. Cook noted that Apple's thoughts are with the people who lost their lives and property as a result of the devastating floods.

As for the affect on Mac shipments, Cook admitted that Thailand supplies a "significant portion" of the total worldwide supply of hard drives. He noted that numerous factories were not operable and the timeline for those factories to return to work was unknown.

"It is something I'm concerned about," Cook said. "We do expect -- I'm virtually certain there will be an overall industry shortage of disk drives as a result of the disaster. How it affects Apple, I'm not sure."



For now, there is no evidence of the industry-wide hard drive shortage affecting Apple's other products outside of the iMac, and in particular its popular MacBook line of notebooks. Notebooks take the lion's share of Apple's Mac shipments, accounting for 74 percent of Apple's computer sales last quarter.

But Apple executives noted that while desktops are an increasingly small proportion of its overall sales, the company still had a record quarter for the total number of desktops sold. Of the record 4.89 million Macs sold in Apple's last quarter, desktop sales were represented primarily by the company's all-in-one iMac.
post #2 of 41
Waiting for ConradJoe to claim this is an Apple conspiracy to increase iMac demand.

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post #3 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



In fact, a user can place an order with a whopping four 2TB drives in all four of the Mac Pro's hard drive bays, and Apple still estimates the machine will ship in three to five business days.


Given this fact, it is hard for me to accept that Apple is having difficulty obtaining drives, unless the Mac Pro assembly lines hav e different stock sources than the iMac lines. And even if that were true, why wouldn't Apple ship drives to the iMac facility?

Dunno. Drive shortages don't seem to be a likely cause for the iMac delays.
post #4 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Waiting for ConradJoe to claim this is an Apple conspiracy to increase iMac demand.

Don't hold your breath.

IMO, Apple is one of the corporations least likely to conspire with anybody. I've never said differently.
post #5 of 41
Are they basically saying that Apple with that huge cash reserve won't be able to obtain 2TB hard drives from any manufacturer and that Apple will be hit the hardest from drive shortages? They figure that no company would actually go out of their way to accommodate Apple if Apple threw a pile of money on the table in a weakened economy. If Apple can't manage that much, they really are wasting that $82 billion in reserve cash.
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Given this fact, it is hard for me to accept that Apple is having difficulty obtaining drives, unless the Mac Pro assembly lines hav e different stock sources than the iMac lines. And even if that were true, why wouldn't Apple ship drives to the iMac facility?

Dunno. Drive shortages don't seem to be a likely cause for the iMac delays.

It's one of scale.

Apple likely sells 10x the amount of HDD for iMacs versus the Mac Pro so there needs to be less drives on hand to satiate Mac Pro demand.
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post #7 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

It's one of scale.

Apple likely sells 10x the amount of HDD for iMacs versus the Mac Pro so there needs to be less drives on hand to satiate Mac Pro demand.

In addition, if you had a limited supply of 2 TB drives would you use them on a $2,000 computer or a $4-8,000 computer? Which one gets you more revenue?
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post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

It's one of scale.

Apple likely sells 10x the amount of HDD for iMacs versus the Mac Pro so there needs to be less drives on hand to satiate Mac Pro demand.

Likely you are right. I was thinking about that after I posted.

If the Mac Pro shop has sufficient drives for expected Mac Pro sales, that really doesn't do much for the iMac. They could clean out the supply for the Mac Pro, and still not make a dent in the iMac shortage. My guess is that Mac Pros are on such a tenuous track that they don't want to screw anything up worse, especially given that it would not really benefit iMac sales in any appreciable manner.

Transshipping drives from the Mac Pro facility to the iMac facility might just result in both having shortages, with no real upside.
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Are they basically saying that Apple with that huge cash reserve won't be able to obtain 2TB hard drives from any manufacturer and that Apple will be hit the hardest from drive shortages? They figure that no company would actually go out of their way to accommodate Apple if Apple threw a pile of money on the table in a weakened economy. If Apple can't manage that much, they really are wasting that $82 billion in reserve cash.

We're not talking about merely giving upfront payments for component makers to invest, we're talking about dealing with a natural disaster here. This takes time, but I guarantee you that a company with cash reserves can get more stock and sooner than one without. How many 2TB drives can others get in the same time frame? How much longer do they have to wait for the same number of units? How much more are others having to pay because they can't invest in rebuilding the factories? These questions and a lot more *need to be taken into account.

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post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post

In addition, if you had a limited supply of 2 TB drives would you use them on a $2,000 computer or a $4-8,000 computer? Which one gets you more revenue?

I was going to say but note more of the differences in markets for each machine type.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Waiting for ConradJoe to claim this is an Apple conspiracy to increase iMac demand.

This is an AI conspiracy to get ConradJoe to post more.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Given this fact, it is hard for me to accept that Apple is having difficulty obtaining drives, unless the Mac Pro assembly lines hav e different stock sources than the iMac lines. And even if that were true, why wouldn't Apple ship drives to the iMac facility?

Maybe because they are currently trying to move existing Mac Pro stock before a refresh and don't want to risk delaying those orders and getting stuck with old inventory?

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post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

It's one of scale.

Apple likely sells 10x the amount of HDD for iMacs versus the Mac Pro so there needs to be less drives on hand to satiate Mac Pro demand.

I think it's more 100x times because the iMac is much more popular and Mac Pro users can easily replace the drives themselves and tend to buy their drives elsewhere.

It's also somehow an admission to pro users that are willing to spent up to >10000 $ and sign a support contract. These contracts force Apple to reserve a guaranteed amount of replacement drives. The Mac Pro therefore has a much better demand to stock ratio.
Selling the stock to iMac buyers wouldn't have a massive effect on availability.
So why not fulfill the demand of the pros with contract when it would not have a significant effect on iMac buyers?

BTW: I ordered the top of the line iMac with SSD and 1 TB drive planning to add a Thunderbold Raid if my server is running out of space.
post #14 of 41
This whole HDD price increase has sure made SSDs much more appealing!

Maybe this is what is needed to push the price of SSDs down close to that of HDDs. I need a new HDD for my iMac and now I'm going to by a smaller SSD for the boot drive and use the old drive (plus another old drive) for the external permanent storage. What I was going to do was just buy a 2TB HDD and replace the whole thing, not now!.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by krreagan View Post

This whole HDD price increase has sure made SSDs much more appealing!

Maybe this is what is needed to push the price of SSDs down close to that of HDDs.

You've got it backwards. SSDs aren't coming down to the HDDs' prices. HDD prices are going up.
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post #16 of 41
Only iMacs are affected for now, because even Apple has difficulty servicing them--limited supply of suction cups.
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by krreagan View Post

This whole HDD price increase has sure made SSDs much more appealing!

Maybe this is what is needed to push the price of SSDs down close to that of HDDs. I need a new HDD for my iMac and now I'm going to by a smaller SSD for the boot drive and use the old drive (plus another old drive) for the external permanent storage. What I was going to do was just buy a 2TB HDD and replace the whole thing, not now!.

Someone needs a less in supply and demand......

If HD's are less available, that would have no impact on SSD prices. Unless, that is, more people order SSDs instead of HDs - in which case greater demand for the SSDs would drive prices UP, not down (although most people aren't going to replace a 2 GB HD with an SSD. Maybe a 1 TB hard drive, but not SSD).

The thing that will most help SSD pricing is the glut of RAM capacity. If suppliers are able to convert from making DRAM to SSDs, then prices will eventually come down.
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post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Waiting for ConradJoe to claim this is an Apple conspiracy to increase iMac demand.

Uh-oh. He'd better add Apple to his enemies list

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post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Waiting for ConradJoe to claim this is an Apple conspiracy to increase iMac demand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheShepherd View Post

This is an AI conspiracy to get ConradJoe to post more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Uh-oh. He'd better add Apple to his enemies list

Is this reverse trolling, or just plain trolling?
post #20 of 41
On Newegg, a 2 TB Seagate Drive (green) is $255.

It wasn't that long ago that those drives were under $100.

As soon as I read about the hard drive shortage some weeks ago, I scrambled and got myself some extra terrabytes while they were still cheap and available. Some people said that the hard drive shortage from the floods is overblown, but with huge delays on the iMac, it's looking quite real.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Is this reverse trolling, or just plain trolling?

It is called "giving props".


post #22 of 41
Apples Drive have the Apple logo on them. We in the old mac users from before OS X called the apple logo on the drive as the drive being blessed. I would think that Apple has to wait for the drive manufacturer to build a drive and bless it with the logo to make it an official Apple drive. Wether it has an Apple rom on the drive is highly unlikely.
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post #23 of 41
In July, I bought a Promise Pegasus 12 TB RAID (6x2 TB Drives) from the Apple Online store for $1,999,

\t
Quote:
PROMISE PEGASUS R6 12TB-CAF
1
$1,999.00
Ships: Aug 8
Delivers Aug 15 by Standard Shipping
Part Number: H5187VC/A

Today, that same device is $2,499 in the Apple Online Store -- an increase of 25%.

Promise Pegasus 12TB (6x2TB) R6 RAID System
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post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Given this fact, it is hard for me to accept that Apple is having difficulty obtaining drives, unless the Mac Pro assembly lines hav e different stock sources than the iMac lines. And even if that were true, why wouldn't Apple ship drives to the iMac facility?

Dunno. Drive shortages don't seem to be a likely cause for the iMac delays.

Could be that the Pro drives are higher end than the iMac line, and that thus Apple has a different contract with that supplier that guarantees it better access.

All I know is when I look on Newegg at the HD prices, I go "OMG"
post #25 of 41
Well, that is bollocks!!!

Play, Amazon, PC World and Argos have all doubled their 1TB drive prices, at the beginning of the year I could buy a 1TB WD or Seagate drive for £47, now they are £110????
post #26 of 41
I didn't know so many HDs were made in Thailand. I thought it was Japan and South Korea. Good luck to the Thai people, I hope they get over their flooding soon.
post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

Good luck to the Vietnamese, I hope they get over their flooding soon.

You mean the Thai, right? I think Siamese is still acceptable in some regards.

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post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You mean the Thai, right? I think Siamese is still acceptable in some regards.

Ooops... edited.
post #29 of 41
I waited 8 weeks to get my 20MB HyperDrive in my Fat Mac - that was back when Apple sold 30,000 Macs per quarter.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Given this fact, it is hard for me to accept that Apple is having difficulty obtaining drives, unless the Mac Pro assembly lines hav e different stock sources than the iMac lines. And even if that were true, why wouldn't Apple ship drives to the iMac facility?

Dunno. Drive shortages don't seem to be a likely cause for the iMac delays.

That's not looking at it correctly.

The iMac's use 3.5" WD Caviar Blue(7200RPM), the Time Capsules use Caviar Green(not 7200RPM), the Macbook Pro's use Seagate 2.5" drives (Momentus 5400), the Macmini's can use 7200 or 5400 Segate, Samsung or Western Digital 2.5" drives

So only the iMac's and MacPro's use 3.5" drives, but the Mac Pro's might be RAID/Enterprise models if they are consistent with the use of workstation/server parts.

Someone with a real Mac Pro could verify, as iFixit doesn't have any Mac Pro's.


As for sourcing parts, Apple has the option of SSD's if there was really a critical shortage of Hard drives, so I don't think Apple is going to go "oh noes, no more hard drives." In fact it would be perfectly within their line of thinking to just go standard on SSD's and make the spinning drives secondary options.
post #31 of 41
Please remember that the drives in the current generation of iMacs are custom units. Apple decided to get "too cute" with their engineering. Rather than using older methods, Apple switched to having the system use the drive internal drive temp sensor via custom firmware connecting to the system via a special SATA cable. This effectively made iMac drives Apple only and not user upgradable--IMHO, both are bad things for users. PowerMacs can use any old drive on the market. Just try walking into a store to buy a drive that will work in your new iMac.
So, I suspect that the Apple suppliers for these custom units of 2 TB size were all in the area of Thailand affected. They now have a shortage on their hands, and it has been made more acute by engineering decisions that are elegant but user unfriendly. I personally hope that their engineers can find a way to undo this proprietary drive firmware nonsense.
post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarenDino View Post

Well, that is bollocks!!!

Play, Amazon, PC World and Argos have all doubled their 1TB drive prices, at the beginning of the year I could buy a 1TB WD or Seagate drive for £47, now they are £110????

That's what happens when something is in short supply.
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post #33 of 41
Lol, I was on gizmodo and thought it said 57 weeks. I was like, where did this upsurge in popularity come from!
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

I didn't know so many HDs were made in Thailand. I thought it was Japan and South Korea. Good luck to the Thai people, I hope they get over their flooding soon.

It's not just the drives. Certain components for virtually all drives are made in Thailand.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by drwam View Post

Please remember that the drives in the current generation of iMacs are custom units. Apple decided to get "too cute" with their engineering. Rather than using older methods, Apple switched to having the system use the drive internal drive temp sensor via custom firmware connecting to the system via a special SATA cable. This effectively made iMac drives Apple only and not user upgradable--IMHO, both are bad things for users. PowerMacs can use any old drive on the market. Just try walking into a store to buy a drive that will work in your new iMac.
So, I suspect that the Apple suppliers for these custom units of 2 TB size were all in the area of Thailand affected. They now have a shortage on their hands, and it has been made more acute by engineering decisions that are elegant but user unfriendly. I personally hope that their engineers can find a way to undo this proprietary drive firmware nonsense.

Given that 2 TB drives from all sources have skyrocketed in price (see some of the examples above), your theory doesn't seem to apply.
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post #36 of 41
I bought my iMac on Black Friday with the 2 TB drive in it. Good timing. It just arrived two days ago.

I thought free shipping and $101 off was the best part, but this certainly is good news. Whew!
post #37 of 41
2 TB hard drive is not exactly the most popular custom configuration for the average customer. Hopefully this shortage will be over soon even though it does not affect the majority of Imac users.
post #38 of 41
I wonder what data centers use for their drives. Though that might still be a relatively low number of drives. Only 500x2TB drives per Petabyte. Apple surely sells more 500 2TB Time Capsules in a week. That's only 26,000 a year and they showing 1-2 business days (though those were probably packaged months ago).

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post #39 of 41
.

Some might maybe need a 2TB

¿ If they have some BIG ASS Single Files ?

But since 'Shit Happens'

Rather have 4 x 500GB

Eggs in one basket, etc etc




.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by BC Kelly View Post

.

Some might maybe need a 2TB

¿ If they have some BIG ASS Single Files ?

But since 'Shit Happens'

Rather have 4 x 500GB

Eggs in one basket, etc etc

Don't forget cables. Lots and lots of cables.
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