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Component shortages at root of Intel Mac backlog

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Component shortages are to blame for delays associated with Apple Computer's new line of Intel-based Macintosh computers, AppleInsider has learned.

Introduced in January, Apple's iMac Core Duo and 15-inch MacBook Pro computers are the first from the Cupertino-Calif.-based company to be modeled around Intel's architecture and microprocessors. As a result, both systems were designed to include a number of common third-party components -- a streamlining method often associated with reduced costs and simplified production.

In the first few weeks the computers have been on the market, Apple has been unable to reap the benefits this strategy, however. With sales of the new iMac Core Duo continuing to exceed the company's own internal forecasts, component supplies originally allocated for use in the manufacturing ramp of the 15-inch MacBook Pro notebook are being used to fill a strong and steady stream of iMac orders, people familiar with the company's operations told AppleInsider. As a result, Apple began the MacBook Pro ramp earlier this week with an almost overwhelming amount of pent-up demand, these people say.

In an effort to compensate MacBook Pro pre-order customers for the delays, Apple this week announced that it would begin shipping the notebooks with faster processors than previously announced -- a move that was reportedly planned in advance. However, several customers also saw their estimated ship times for the MacBook Pro extended by a week along with this announcement.

Apple's transition to Macs with Intel processors has been a major concern amongst investors, who've questioned whether the Mac maker will be able to sustain its revenue and unit growth over the next two quarters with a simultaneous drop-off in PowerPC Mac sales and shortage of Intel Macs.

Indeed, documents seen by AppleInsider show that a sample of the company's retail stores in California are off their internal revenue forecast by an average of about 20 percent so far this quarter. However, almost all the locations in the sample remained about 10 percent ahead of internal forecasts for the entire fiscal year.

Whether or not Apple's Intel transition woes will have a material impact on financial results come the close of its second quarter remains up for debate.

"I think it's tooÂ*early to tellÂ*as Apple's quarter ends on March 31,Â*2006, meaning we are only half way there," one Wall Street analyst told AppleInsider. There are about six week's remaining in the quarter in which Apple will be filling backorders for the iMac Core Duo and pushing the MacBook Pro into its retail stores.

One thing is clear, however, and it's that Apple has generated more interest in its computers by adding Intel processors.

Don Mayer, CEO of Small Dog Electronics, an Apple products retailer, told BusinessWeek the Intel-based iMacs are outselling the PowerPC G5 iMacs by five to one.

"As fast as they are coming in, [iMacs with Intel chips] are going out," Mayer said. "There's significantly more demand for the iMac now that it has the Intel processor."

According to one report that surfaced this week, major manufacturing contractors in the Far East expect Apple to sell as many as 10 million Intel-based Mac systems this year, once all the kinks in the transition are ironed out.
post #2 of 17
These shortages are temporary and in my opinion will be ironed out soon so that more models can be released on April 1st. Besides, I think it is better to have shortages than to be sitting on excess inventory that can't sell.
post #3 of 17
Everyboy is waiting for the new Mactels to be announced.. But let's not forget that Apple already has great PowerPC products and need to sell them "of course" without losing that much money ala iMac discounts.. My gues is that the 2nd quarter will be much better that the first, because all of us waiting for the new MacBooks will finally make up our minds about which one to buy, but but, let's not forget that as new Mactels arrive, discounts will come to more PowerPC counterparts and thus selling like crazy until inventories are exausted.. There is also a zillion Mac Savvy that are waiting for Rev.2 of any Mactel out there..

So IMO, I think the 3rd quarter sells are going to be fenomenal & I cannot even forsee the last quarter of 2006.. who knows what Steve & CO. have under their slevees???

This is a great year for Apple, I haven't been around that long but as a relative new macaddict I can tell you that 2006 will be a year to remember in Apple's history.
zenga
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zenga
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post #4 of 17
Yeah, but they're back to that 10 million number again.

Too much of that, and if Apple manages to sell a phenomenal 7.5 million (I hope), the stock will drop because they didn't meet some mythical number.
post #5 of 17
I'm not surprised. The current iMac is, simply put, a fantastic computer. So was the iMac G5 released late last year. I downgraded from a Power Mac to one of these, and I thought it wouldn't be so great, but I am very, very happy.
post #6 of 17
I think the current iMac could be the best computer Apple has ever made. I had the same sentiments as the previous poster. I bought the iMac G5 back in late October and couldn't be happier with it.
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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post #7 of 17
I'm seeing reviews that are saying that it is the first "perfect" computer. I don't know if that's true, but they are interesting comments.
post #8 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Zenga
Everyboy is waiting for the new Mactels to be announced.. But let's not forget that Apple already has great PowerPC products and need to sell them "of course" without losing that much money ala iMac discounts.. My gues is that the 2nd quarter will be much better that the first, because all of us waiting for the new MacBooks will finally make up our minds about which one to buy, but but, let's not forget that as new Mactels arrive, discounts will come to more PowerPC counterparts and thus selling like crazy until inventories are exausted.. There is also a zillion Mac Savvy that are waiting for Rev.2 of any Mactel out there..

So IMO, I think the 3rd quarter sells are going to be fenomenal & I cannot even forsee the last quarter of 2006.. who knows what Steve & CO. have under their slevees???

This is a great year for Apple, I haven't been around that long but as a relative new macaddict I can tell you that 2006 will be a year to remember in Apple's history.

G4 powerbooks will,IMO, be hard to move once macBook pros hit the stores. They will need to be deeply discounted which will in turn require ibooks to be deepy discounted. G5 iMac sales probably not as much affected because the new Core duo iMac performance gap arguably isn't that great. However the new Macbook Pros look like they will humble the old g4 powerbooks.
post #9 of 17
The best computer = iMac G4. Hands down.
"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
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"I reject your reality and substitute it with my own" - President Bush
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post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
The best computer = iMac G4. Hands down.

The swiveling monitor certainly is! But, not for schools, sadly.
post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
not for schools, sadly.

I am thinking that Apple should put a 1.67GHz Core Solo in the iMac with a lesser video card, smaller hard drive, and sell it to education for $899.
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Anders
The best computer = iMac G4. Hands down.

I think so too. If they could re-introduce it.. under a different moniker with a Core Duo and make it easy to install RAM, I would buy one.
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
I am thinking that Apple should put a 1.67GHz Core Solo in the iMac with a lesser video card, smaller hard drive, and sell it to education for $899.

Apple will supply, for educational purposes, a machine without an optical drive. They have been for quite a while.

But, I don't agree with the rest. K-12, which is Apple's core educational user, doesn't upgrade machines for 5 or more years. Smaller drives might be ok, but lesser video cards won't work. Schools are now involved with audio and video on a large scale. Same thing, therefore, with the slower cpu.

I know of many schools that are still using the All-In-One. Check that out. you'll be surprised.

The problem with the iMac G4 was that the monitor would get swung back and forth. It would either hit someone, or break.
post #14 of 17
Every time Apple introduces a new, hot product there is a backorder. Nothing to be surprised about and the only question is how fast it develops. Component shortages are also common when a new product is announced, be it a Mac or an iPod. Everyone wants one ASAP and it takes a while for Apple to get through the initial demand and settle in on a normal sales rate.

On the education side a less expansive iMac might be fine for the upper grades, but the screen is probably too high up for grades K - 6. I can, however, see Apple delivering on a new eMac, but probably not for this year's buying season. The focus on the education side will be for student's heading to university and the iBook's replacement (MacBook and maybe MacBook mini) should be killers.
Ken
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Ken
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post #15 of 17
I thought I'd dredge up this thread for new speculation on why the heck Apple is having such a hard time delivering MacBook Pros. Although some are obviously getting out, by all accounts it's a trickle. There are plenty of reports of folks who ordered right after the keynote - and at all points since - who are still waiting. And no retailer has any firm stock or ship date. If anything, the situation has become murkier over the last two weeks. Contrast with the iMacs and Minis, all of which are in abundant supply at all retailers. So it's not a general Intel-related component shortage. What's going on?

(Yes, I'm anxiously waiting to plunk my money down, but refuse to do so in exchange for an amorphous ship date sometime in May.)

(Yes, Amazon now says "May". Speaking of which, since we're all expecting MacBooks in April/May, can or will Apple intro new laptops before they're solved supply issues on the ones introduced in January? Or we will end up in April with four fabulous models of laptop we can't yet buy?)
post #16 of 17
You know Towel I was thinking the same thing; I'm glad you brought this thread back up. Apple's selling lots of Intel-based iMacs and Mac Mini's, so what's holding up the MacBook Pro's? It doesn't make any kind of sense. Perhaps that thinner Superdrive? Or issues with Magsafe? Those are the only two major components I can think of off the top of my head that are unique to the MacBook Pro. If these supply issues continue, other MacBook announcements might get pushed to sometime in May, if they were indeed ever to happen in March/April originally.
post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally posted by Cory Bauer
You know Towel I was thinking the same thing; I'm glad you brought this thread back up. Apple's selling lots of Intel-based iMacs and Mac Mini's, so what's holding up the MacBook Pro's? It doesn't make any kind of sense. Perhaps that thinner Superdrive? Or issues with Magsafe? Those are the only two major components I can think of off the top of my head that are unique to the MacBook Pro. If these supply issues continue, other MacBook announcements might get pushed to sometime in May, if they were indeed ever to happen in March/April originally.

I don't know what the problem is, but a lot of people are getting them.

I know two people that ordered them early, and got them.

If you read the web sites, people are getting them. I think that there have been a lot of orders, as Jobs said, and there are chip allocations, as it's still early in the ramp up.

The iMac has been allocated first, as that was the first machine out. The Mini has slower chips, and the MBP's were upgraded, which resulted in a boost in orders.
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