[quote]Originally posted by gordy:
<strong>Low inventory is never a reason for investors to be alarmed. </strong><hr></blockquote>
Err...you should probably steer clear of the stock market with thoughts like that.
If a company's production levels are below what they should be they are making less revenue than they could. If it is just a short term boom in sales then market price will head up. If there is so much as a rumour of production problems though the price will drop and often significantly for the short-term.
Production issues are an indication of some very poor management so don't expect either Quanta or Apple to come out saying "Yes we can't produce computers".
You might see Apple make a statement if this isn't resolved quickly to the effect, "Due to overwhelming demand Apple has signed a contract with Patron X to increase production capacity for the new iMac". No reasons why demand couldn't be met and in fact it looks like sales are just better than expected. Common move although you have to be careful since it can come out in quarterly earnings.
All that said it is hard without inside knowledge to know how true or bleak it is for Apple. Also their sales figures are likely largely based on pre-orders and expected shipments.
Inability to meet production is never good for a company trying to lift marketshare though.
If you are wondering that comes from experience on these matters. I worked as a consultant in that area for quite a substantial time. Ensuring adequate production and logistical solutions and solving issues in that area for companies took up a good part of my life