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Apple's super-slim iMacs remain in short supply months following their introduction

post #1 of 101
Thread Starter 
More than a month after the launch of the new iMac, Apple still cannot provide adequate supply of its redesigned desktop, as resellers remain completely barren.

iMac


Apple's online store was updated on Monday to reflect shipping times of between three and four weeks for new orders of its redesigned 27-inch iMacs. Previously, orders were advertised to ship "in January" ??a change that was made last month to let customers know their orders would not ship before Christmas.

With three-and-a-half weeks left in the month of January, the change in estimated shipping times may not represent an outright delay, but the continued wait is yet another sign that Apple is unable to produce enough iMac units to meet customer demand.

AppleInsider can also confirm that Apple's reseller channel is completely out of 21.5-inch iMac units. The 21.5-inch model is advertised at Apple's online store to ship in 7 to 10 business days, while resellers are feeling the squeeze as Apple struggles to meet its own demand.



The 21.5-inch iMac became available in late November, while the 27-inch version saw limited availability in mid-December. Estimated shipping times through Apple's online store quickly slipped after sales began.

In fact, iMac inventory has been in short supply at resellers since September, as Apple began to draw down production ahead of its update. Some major resellers had completely run out of stock of the iMac months before the new models debuted.

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook signaled in October that his company would face a "significant shortage" of iMacs in the December quarter. And analyst Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities said in August that the new screen lamination process used in building the new iMacs is particularly difficult with the larger 27-inch model.

iMac


The redesigned iMac has an aluminum frame that's 5-millimeters thick at its edge, and also features a reengineered display which reduces reflections by 75 percent. It also features new quad-core Intel Ivy Bridge processors, and Nvidia GeForce graphics processors with up to a 60 percent boost in performance.

Last week, Apple began offering its new hybrid Fusion Drive on entry-level 21.5-inch iMac orders. Previously, that option was limited to the 27-inch model and high-end versions of the 21.5-inch model.
post #2 of 101

They are amazing machines.

post #3 of 101
Sounds like Apple cuts its safety net inventory too drastically year after year on new products to save supply chain costs. They've been doing this long enough to where it is now a cost savings strategy, and not a by product of huge consumer demand. For a long time Apple enthusiast, its gotten to a point of aggravation. I won't be upgrading to the new iMac due to the lack of an optical drive. That savings is not passed to the consumer, but to the bottom line, as the consumer must go out and buy one in addition, as a $60-$100 add on. The tarnish is starting to wear a bit on Apple. I hope that they have something mind blowing in the pipeline for 2013-2014, or its going to be a long bus ride to $300. Only a cable channel revolution similar to what Apple did with the music industry will do. But its a much harder nut to crack, so I won't be holding my breath. I bought in at $44 a few years back, and sold at $612. Nice ride, but I won't be getting back in anytime soon until they pull the curtain back for the final time.
post #4 of 101
Resellers are out of supply but what about Apple. Are they out of stock, what are wait times on new units

And why the waits. Is it because half the parts are crap and are rejected. Is it because they are taking extra time putting these together because they aren't as easy to fix so they want to avoid DOA units. Is it the hand calibrating of the screens.

Is not impossible to believe that Apple could be taking more care with this units or that the first 9 of every 10 is going to their own channels.

Articles like this that fail to give a rounded view are just hit fodder and stock games. Call me paranoid but it feels like either someone is trying to make money by lowering the price to buy cheaper or they are jealous that Apple was still succeeding and are trying to 'bring it down to size'

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post #5 of 101
The three apple stores I went to in the UK didn't have either model in display - london's covent garden had the old models, Bath had the old ones, and the third I can't remember where it was - but it was out. That as people were soon Christmas shopping

William
iMac 21.5" Late 2012, iPad 3 (Works fine for films), iPhone 5 (6 on order)

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William
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post #6 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmvsm View Post

Sounds like Apple cuts its safety net inventory too drastically year after year on new products to save supply chain costs. They've been doing this long enough to where it is now a cost savings strategy, and not a by product of huge consumer demand. For a long time Apple enthusiast, its gotten to a point of aggravation. I won't be upgrading to the new iMac due to the lack of an optical drive. That savings is not passed to the consumer, but to the bottom line, as the consumer must go out and buy one in addition, as a $60-$100 add on. The tarnish is starting to wear a bit on Apple. I hope that they have something mind blowing in the pipeline for 2013-2014, or its going to be a long bus ride to $300. Only a cable channel revolution similar to what Apple did with the music industry will do. But its a much harder nut to crack, so I won't be holding my breath. I bought in at $44 a few years back, and sold at $612. Nice ride, but I won't be getting back in anytime soon until they pull the curtain back for the final time.

You =/= all users.

 

Then, even a well informed monkey would do a better work than you.

post #7 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

They are amazing machines.

 

 

Performance wise I agree. I, however, think Apple made a few questionable design decisions here. Unlike a notebook, tablet, or phone, a desktop doesn't benefit from being horribly thin. The last iMac design was fine. There has been some stories popping up how this new Mac doesn't allow for some things like being wall mounted, which was possible with previous models. 

post #8 of 101
Why do people keep complaining about optical drives. It's dying media. And if someone really needs one that badly you can get them quit cheap.
post #9 of 101
Quote:
Performance wise I agree. I, however, think Apple made a few questionable design decisions here. Unlike a notebook, tablet, or phone, a desktop doesn't benefit from being horribly thin. The last iMac design was fine. There has been some stories popping up how this new Mac doesn't allow for some things like being wall mounted, which was possible with previous models.

 

Well, I've got my 2007 iMac next to my new 27'' new iMac.

 

The difference is quite amazing. You simply cannot compare these 2 machines. It's another league...

post #10 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post


Performance wise I agree. I, however, think Apple made a few questionable design decisions here. Unlike a notebook, tablet, or phone, a desktop doesn't benefit from being horribly thin. The last iMac design was fine. There has been some stories popping up how this new Mac doesn't allow for some things like being wall mounted, which was possible with previous models. 
I know Phil Schiller made a big deal about how thin the display was, but I have a hard time believing the primary objective when designing the new iMac was getting a 5mm edge. I think that was a byproduct of other considerations. I think Apple sees optical drives as old technology trending out of product lines. They wanted a display that was less reflective (this has been a complaint with customers for a long time). I think those were the top considerations and the byproduct (which Apple sees as a benefit) is a thinner and lighter product.
post #11 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Why do people keep complaining about optical drives. It's dying media. And if someone really needs one that badly you can get them quit cheap.

I haven't used an optical in several years other than to install Snow Leopard on some client's Macs prior to upgrading to Lion or now Mountain Lion over the net.

Today a client just asked something I haven't heard for several years ... "Could you put all those pictures on a CD disk for me to watch on TV?".

I was stopped in my tracks ... I put HD on YouTube for people all the time and I did used to make DVDs in the pre HD days. I never went Blu-ray as I found internet delivery was great ... I realized this person wouldn't even understand the difference between SD and HD or that their TV being a 60" wide screen would not exactly make CD look good lol. What to do ???
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post #12 of 101
Originally Posted by cmvsm View Post
I won't be upgrading to the new iMac due to the lack of an optical drive.

 

Stopped reading. You're a fringe.


…the consumer must…

 

Humor.


…a $60-$100 add on.

 

$30 at max.


 The tarnish is starting to wear a bit on Apple.

 

Could it be, perhaps, that APPLE IS DOOMED?


…its going to be a long bus ride to $300.

 

Hi, slapppy.

post #13 of 101

I've ordered and canceled twice now, the first time ordering a top of the line 21" (then deciding I could make my own Fusion drive cheaper), then I ordered a base model just before Apple added the ability to include Fusion on the base version.  So I canceled that order too.  I'll pull the trigger on the base with Fusion shortly, hoping they'll actually get it produced and delivered in the 3 week timeframe they're now showing.

 

Just the fact that Apple stores have, maybe, one or two of the new iMacs on display tells me they haven't gotten their supply chain issues resolved yet.  They could be selling better than expected, coupled with the fact that they're not getting the yields they expected, or it could be just related to yields in their supply chain, which is what I assume the issue is.  If Apple's partner resellers had stock to sell, plus their own stores, then maybe I'd believe it was related to demand, but that just isn't the case right now.

post #14 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I haven't used an optical in several years other than to install Snow Leopard on some client's Macs prior to upgrading to Lion or now Mountain Lion over the net.
Today a client just asked something I haven't heard for several years ... "Could you put all those pictures on a CD disk for me to watch on TV?".
I was stopped in my tracks ... I put HD on YouTube for people all the time and I did used to make DVDs in the pre HD days. I never went Blu-ray as I found internet delivery was great ... I realized this person wouldn't even understand the difference between SD and HD or that their TV being a 60" wide screen would not exactly make CD look good lol. What to do ???

put it on a usb thumb drive.

post #15 of 101

I'll say... I've been waiting for the status on my 27" to change from "Processing Items".

post #16 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Performance wise I agree. I, however, think Apple made a few questionable design decisions here. Unlike a notebook, tablet, or phone, a desktop doesn't benefit from being horribly thin. The last iMac design was fine. There has been some stories popping up how this new Mac doesn't allow for some things like being wall mounted, which was possible with previous models. 

You want to hang your iMac on the wall? Really? It's work of art for sure, but I can't really see a reason to hang it on the wall. It looks prettier standing on a desk or table. Even the old version - the ports were on the back, including the power chord. 

 

A desktop benefits from being thin because it makes it more beautiful and everything benefits from being more beautiful. I can't really see where they can go from here. (I am actually beginning to think we are moving towards an iMac that can be pivoted down to horizontal position with a touch screen. - Yes, TS, I'm beginning to lean your way - If that is where the iMac is going then thin is definitely better)

post #17 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by justamacguy View Post

New Apple slogans:
The new iMac... so thin we can't even make them. So we limited the production.
The new iMac... we really didn't know you would buy this. So we limited the production.
The new iMac... nobody does real work on a computer any more. You have an iPad. So we limited the production.
Please Apple... get back to useful hardware. Not only can too thin be unhealthy for people, the same goes for computers.
How exactly is this not useful hardware? We have no idea what is causing the production delays. To assume it's because the iMacs are too thin is absurd.
post #18 of 101

If they are so hard to make then perhaps it would be better for Apple to design them to be easier to make and you know, less thin.  No one cares about the thinness of a desktop computer.

 

How about some useful things that the thinness doesn't allow, like:

 

1) SD slot where is it accessible, like on the side?

2) An accessible USB3 slot on the side for temporary media or an external DVD/Bluray drive as they so happily removed it from the device.

3) A VESA mount on the back for those that need it.

4) User accessible hard drive slot, along with the RAM access, afterall, hard drives do fail....

post #19 of 101
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
You want to hang your iMac on the wall? Really? It's work of art for sure, but I can't really see a reason to hang it on the wall.

 

VESA mounting. People have been doing it since Apple offered it. I've seen some nice, simple setups with the old-style Cinema Displays (and iMacs, and new ones) done up like that. It saves the foot's desk space.

 

1000


(I am actually beginning to think we are moving towards an iMac that can be pivoted down to horizontal position with a touch screen. - Yes, TS, I'm beginning to lean your way - If that is where the iMac is going then thin is definitely better)

 

1000

post #20 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

put it on a usb thumb drive.

Except that the customer asked for a CD so they could play it on their TV. Not very many TVs or DVD players have USB ports.

Still, the solution is almost that simple - an external CD drive for the few people who might need it.
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post #21 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

put it on a usb thumb drive.

 

Thumb drives are substantially more expensive than optical media, which are cheap enough that you can just give them away. I can understand Apple wanting to eliminate something that most people so rarely use, but, although they look cool, there isn't much in the way of real benefit to the user that required making the iMacs as thin as they are. The weight reduction does probably help Apple's margins in regard to materials and shipping, but, you buy an AIO at least in part because you want it AIO, and I think Apple was about 2 years premature on dropping the optical drives on these machines, especially considering that the MBPs (non-Retina) still have them.

 

If I were in the market for a new iMac, it wouldn't stop me (it would be crazy to let it stop you), but I would be a little annoyed to have to connect an external optical drive. Even though I don't use it that much, I still need it. I'd probably get over it, though.

post #22 of 101
Originally Posted by jragosta View Post
Not very many TVs or DVD players have USB ports.

 

… You're kidding.

post #23 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

VESA mounting. People have been doing it since Apple offered it. I've seen some nice, simple setups with the old-style Cinema Displays (and iMacs, and new ones) done up like that. It saves the foot's desk space.

 

The other advantage is that a VESA mount allows you to use the iMac in portrait. I know a lot of lawyers who mount their iMac (and second screen) this way.

post #24 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

VESA mounting. People have been doing it since Apple offered it. I've seen some nice, simple setups with the old-style Cinema Displays (and iMacs, and new ones) done up like that. It saves the foot's desk space.

 

I guess... But it seems like a lot of extra work for little reward. But why can't the new iMac be hung if one uses a specialized bracket like that. It's hardly flush against the wall.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

1000

It gets worse - I can see a day when tablets get bigger and laptops disappear. (Yes, I know) I can see a day when (most) laptops are tablets with a keyboard stand - possibly with track pad or even mouse optionally attached.

 

It was this image in relation to an article about the development of processors which made it click

 

post #25 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

Why do people keep complaining about optical drives. It's dying media. And if someone really needs one that badly you can get them quit cheap.

 

For us old timers it's deja vu all over again. The critics said the same things about the floppy disk. You can still get a USB floppy disk drive if you really need one but I suspect the market is not very big. In my opinion, after the DVD drive comes the disappearance of the hard drive. The OS will boot from RAM or the cloud, data will be stored in the cloud, and hard drives will be used mainly for back up or not at all. Technology marches on. In 1982 I bought a 300 baud analog modem for my Apple II+ and thought I was on the cutting edge... for about a month.

 

And for what it's worth, My wife and I have not rented or purchased a physical DVD disc since the ATV came out. My Blu-Ray player hasn't been turned on in over three years now.

post #26 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by pedromartins View Post

You =/= all users.

 

Then, even a well informed monkey would do a better work than you.

 

Well, there are indeed some think that by repeating falsehoods and F.U.D that it will rub off on the masses. Ever since the death of you-know-who we have been hearing about how Apple is on a slow train to oblivion. Even though Apple is still rated at the top of customer satisfaction surveys we constantly hear about how it has all gone to hell and a hand basket. For some reason, since the day it was founded, there  are those who simply can't accept the fact of its existence and pray for its demise daily. Go figure.

post #27 of 101
Originally Posted by paxman View Post
But why can't the new iMac be hung if one uses a specialized bracket like that. It's hardly flush against the wall.

 

It just can't use the old one; the one designed for all previous models. Something about how the stand was changed in the newest design or something. Oh, and how you'd have to take it apart completely to swap that out.

post #28 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

$30 at max.

 

So, further to the ongoing discussion of whether or not some Apple upgrades/add-ons are "overpriced" compared to third-party solutions:

 

The OP cited a price range of $60-100. You're saying this one for $30 is more than adequate. If $30 is the "max" one should be paying for an optical drive, how do we rationalize Apple's own version costing more than TWO-AND-A-HALF TIMES as much?!

 

Thankfully optical drives are an area in which the user still has a third-party alternative, but I think this pretty effectively illustrates the point that Apple is positively GOUGING us on extras.

post #29 of 101
Months? Didn't the 21.5" iMac launch on November 30th? Doesn't that make it just 40 days ago and less than a month since the 27" iMac was available?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBell View Post

Performance wise I agree. I, however, think Apple made a few questionable design decisions here. Unlike a notebook, tablet, or phone, a desktop doesn't benefit from being horribly thin. The last iMac design was fine. There has been some stories popping up how this new Mac doesn't allow for some things like being wall mounted, which was possible with previous models. 

Sure there are benefits. You're only looking at common benefits for the user. Think of benefits from Apple's perspective. It's much lighter and has a smaller volume box. This saves plenty on shipping and allows for more to be shipped. It uses less material which saves on aluminium costs.

With the box considerably lighter than before it's easier for more customers to setup the machine. It's possible that the nearly 50% reduction in weight could be the difference as to whether a sale can be made. For all we know Apple Store employees have reported people buying the 21.5" (or no iMac) because they couldn't set it up themselves due to the weight.

Then you have the aesthetics of the device. This is a beautiful machine. I could buy the old style 27" iMac to save money right now but I want this new one. I think my decision has a lot to do with it's look (and because I couldn't find a 2011 iMac with the SSD+HDD on Apple's refurb site.)

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post #30 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

put it on a usb thumb drive.

WINNER

great idea!... all tv sets (at least the new ones) have usb ports, and if they dont the playstation3/xbox does!
post #31 of 101
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

The OP cited a price range of $60-100. You're saying this one for $30 is more than adequate. If $30 is the "max" one should be paying for an optical drive, how do we rationalize Apple's own version costing more than TWO-AND-A-HALF TIMES as much?!


Speed, build quality, design, drive type. There's going to be a difference. If your continued existence on this planet depends so much on uninterrupted access to a frigging optical drive, you'll be buying a multi-hundred dollar professional solution anyway.

post #32 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

 

For us old timers it's deja vu all over again. The critics said the same things about the floppy disk. ...

 

There's a difference though. When Apple removed the floppy disk from their computers, burnable optical media and drives were already relatively ubiquitous, and switching from one to the other wasn't that big a deal in terms of cost, convenience or distributing data on them. Also, floppies were really almost obsolete by then anyway because files and programs had gotten so large that you couldn't really fit much on a floppy, it wasn't really that useful. Also, they didn't really have any other significant uses.

 

With optical media, there are certainly other uses besides data storage, there isn't another cheap physical media already in place to take over their role, and the size of data being shared comfortably fits on a DVD, if not a CD, in most cases. I know the Internet is supposed to replace the optical drive, but the truth is that we aren't quite there, and it just doesn't work with all legacy technology. That's especially a problem when that legacy technology belongs to someone else, but they still expect you to get the data to them.

 

That's why I feel this isn't really analogous to eliminating the floppy drive -- the circumstances just aren't the same -- and Apple pulled the trigger on it, for desktops, at least, a few years too early.

post #33 of 101

It's obvious that there is short supply of them because an update is around the corner.  Retina- finally!  Digitimes said so.

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post #34 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

put it on a usb thumb drive.

Great idea! Next .. put what on the thumb drive? lol Anyone that technologically backward has to running XP! 1frown.gif So how do I explain they watch the content of said thumb drive on their 60" TV in HD?

I have decided to take my iPad and an Apple TV and an AE plus an HDMI cable to their house and show them the 21st Century and see what happens 1wink.gif
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post #35 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

So, further to the ongoing discussion of whether or not some Apple upgrades/add-ons are "overpriced" compared to third-party solutions:

The OP cited a price range of $60-100. You're saying this one for $30 is more than adequate. If $30 is the "max" one should be paying for an optical drive, how do we rationalize Apple's own version costing more than TWO-AND-A-HALF TIMES as much?!

Thankfully optical drives are an area in which the user still has a third-party alternative, but I think this pretty effectively illustrates the point that Apple is positively GOUGING us on extras.

That's your conclusion? You look at a cheap looking tray-loading optical drive and conclude that Apple's slot-loading option is a rip off? Have you considered the components being used or did you make the erroneous assumption that because they do the same thing they are made exactly the same way with exactly the same components? You don't think Apple added quality where the user can't see it? Then check this out: http://www.arcfn.com/2012/05/apple-iphone-charger-teardown-quality.html

So we've gone from "Apple should include an optical drive" to "Apple charges too much for their optical drive." Let's remember that it's an option. You don't have to pay Apple's whopping $79 for one that matches your Apple equipment or has a warranty that is easy to use or potentially will last much longer if you are frequent user. What TS is correct. If you have some odd need where you need to pull it out once a year then there is little reason not to go with the cheapest option.

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post #36 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post


I haven't used an optical in several years other than to install Snow Leopard on some client's Macs prior to upgrading to Lion or now Mountain Lion over the net.
Today a client just asked something I haven't heard for several years ... "Could you put all those pictures on a CD disk for me to watch on TV?".
I was stopped in my tracks ... I put HD on YouTube for people all the time and I did used to make DVDs in the pre HD days. I never went Blu-ray as I found internet delivery was great ... I realized this person wouldn't even understand the difference between SD and HD or that their TV being a 60" wide screen would not exactly make CD look good lol. What to do ???

 

So you've never heard of making a photoshow/slideshow of said pictures and put in on a dvd?

 

Chances are they think CD and DVD are one and the same given they look identical.  A few simple questions would've solved your problem.

post #37 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


Speed, build quality, design, drive type. There's going to be a difference.

 

So, then why did you argue with OP's price range of $60-100? You said $30 max. If that's genuinely all that's required, then all that other stuff you mention above is obfuscation.

 

You can't have it both ways. Either your claim that $30 is the maximum one should spend was stated only to counter the OP's price argument and isn't actually true, or the Apple offering is priced outside realistic boundaries for the application. Which is it?

post #38 of 101

Is it so hard to design a machine which is unique, yet easy to produce in large amounts? Is it so hard to put the iMac internals into a cube whose side is the size of a MacMini? It would be nice looking, small, easy to produce, and provide far better cooling than the iMac. This odd special producing method for the ultra-thin new design is quite absurd, specially if you consider the new iMacs are quite thick in their center... if at least all the iMac was ultra-thin, there would be a reason for this special technique.

 

Please, an small cube shaped Mac. And soon.

post #39 of 101

On the verge of buying one, myself.

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post #40 of 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

So, then why did you argue with OP's price range of $60-100? You said $30 max. If that's genuinely all that's required, then all that other stuff you mention above is obfuscation.

You can't have it both ways. Either your claim that $30 is the maximum one should spend was stated only to counter the OP's price argument and isn't actually true, or the Apple offering is priced outside realistic boundaries for the application. Which is it?

Do you mean superfluous, extraneous or irrelevant when you say obfuscation? Is it superfluous when you take a car to travel 20 meters when you could walk? How about if it's 200 miles away? Is it extraneous to take a plane 11 miles when you could drive? How about 1,100 miles? I think it depends on your usage type.

But you're trying to read too much into his comment. It would have been better worded as "You can get one for as little as $30" but he was responding to a comment that was claiming that $60 was the bare minimum, which simply isn't the case, so his response could be read as him saying that the maximum they'd have to consider paying would be $30.

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