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

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 104


    They are amazing machines.

  • Reply 2 of 104
    cmvsmcmvsm Posts: 204member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 104
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    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'
  • Reply 4 of 104
    wdowellwdowell Posts: 213member
    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
  • Reply 5 of 104

    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.

  • Reply 6 of 104
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member

    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. 

  • Reply 7 of 104
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 104
    blitz1blitz1 Posts: 413member

    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...

  • Reply 9 of 104
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    tbell wrote: »

    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.
  • Reply 10 of 104
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,379member
    rogifan wrote: »
    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 ???
  • Reply 11 of 104


    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.

  • Reply 12 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 104


    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.

  • Reply 14 of 104
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,866member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 104
    vqrovqro Posts: 66member


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

  • Reply 16 of 104
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,670member

    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)

  • Reply 17 of 104
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 104


    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....

  • Reply 19 of 104


    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.


     


    image






    (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)




     


    image

  • Reply 20 of 104
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    jungmark wrote: »
    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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