iMac ship times slip again in Europe on supply issues but U.S. retailers shipping all models

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
Estimated shipping times for Apple's thinner iMac continue to slip, as the 27-inch model is now advertised to arrive in Europe in 4 to 6 weeks, while the 21.5-inch model has been delayed to between 3 and 4 weeks.

iMac


The delays apply to both iMac models, as the 21.5-inch variety was previously advertised to ship in 2 to 3 weeks, while the 27-inch model was available in 3 to 4 weeks. News of the delays surfacing in France were first reported on Monday by MacGeneration.

The delays do not yet affect Apple's U.S. online store, though if recent trends are any indication, the new estimated shipping times will be reflected in the company's American store in due time.

Shipping times for the smaller 21.5-inch model also began slipping late last month to between 2 and 3 weeks. The updates to Apple's European online stores on Monday suggest that the company continues to see production problems with its redesigned iMac.

Those problems have persisted since the new iMacs first went on sale in December. In the holiday quarter, Apple's Mac sales dropped 17 percent, a decrease the company attributed to severe constraints on the new, thinner iMacs.

Continued setbacks for the iMac also cast into doubt a recent rumor that claimed Apple's suppliers had solved their production problems. However, some 21.5- and 27-inch iMac units did begin trickling into Apple's reseller channels last week.

That trend has continued in the U.S., as reseller MacConnection reflects availability of all 4 standard retail configurations as of Monday with an instant $20 discount per model. A handful of other custom configurations are also popping in and out of stock at other retailers, as can be seen below in our price guide snippet:

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55
    saareksaarek Posts: 1,068member


    Hmmm, this entire refresh has been badly botched which is such a shame, It's a beautiful machine. Hopefully they will refresh it sometime this year with a retina display so that I can upgrade my 2010 27" iMac.


     


    Of course, if they screw up the refresh dates again a refresh might not be due until mid/end 2014.

  • Reply 2 of 55
    They should have released a spec bump with Ivy Bridge in June last year, then release the slim version with Haswell. Apple has recently lost the "available today" magic of the Steve Jobs era.
  • Reply 3 of 55
    saarek wrote: »
    Hmmm, this entire refresh has been badly botched which is such a shame, It's a beautiful machine. Hopefully they will refresh it sometime this year with a retina display so that I can upgrade my 2010 27" iMac.

    Of course, if they screw up the refresh dates again a refresh might not be due until mid/end 2014.

    Agreed. Apple really needs to do a better job of aligning its product announcements with ability to execute on delivery.
  • Reply 4 of 55
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post





    Agreed. Apple really needs to do a better job of aligning its product announcements with ability to execute on delivery.


    If only the guy in charge was a supply-chain wizard huh?

  • Reply 5 of 55
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,196member
    Two questions
    1. Is the same true of Apple's brick and mortar stores is just online
    2. Is the issue really supply quality or high demand that is exceeding supply such that Apple wants to under promise so they don't get folks griping because they can't deliver when they said.

    These units are by their admission hand calibrated etc so that means they will take a little longer to put together. Was this perhaps the 'production issue' that the analysts were talking about and not some quality control in a part like they wanted it to sound.

    Seems to me that the fact that folks are ordering the iMacs is the key item. If they were such crap no one would be buying them and the online stores etc wouldn't have wait times getting longer and longer.
  • Reply 6 of 55


    They will bump the spec when Haswell released from Intel around June 2013.


     


    Apple needed remodel iMac frame because they had problem with dust sticking issue with screen(27").


    They don't want to easy solution like add some tape around the screen, instead they release new frame.


    So they don't have to recall all iMac they had problem with.

  • Reply 7 of 55
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,196member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post


    . Apple has recently lost the "available today" magic of the Steve Jobs era.


     


    That magic has been gone for a long time. Unless you are willing to wait in line for a week to be sure you get it during the first hour after launch.


     


    Apple stuff is just that wanted, which is not a bad thing.

  • Reply 8 of 55
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,196member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post





    Agreed. Apple really needs to do a better job of aligning its product announcements with ability to execute on delivery.


     


    Warehousing a ton of product is a risk. Security of the details, security of the actual product, risk of over producing a model folks don't want as much as they guessed etc. that's not Apple's style and never has been.


     


    these delays are due to folks buying the product as much as it simply taking longer to produce due to higher quality production techniques. This is not a bad thing. This is not HP producing 5000k units and then losing access to the factories for 6 months before they could make more and taking 10k in 'pre orders', half of which they knew they couldn't deliver any time soon. 


     


    If you think you know how they should do things then by all means go to Cupertino and demand that Tim Cook do things your way because you are so much smarter than he is, than even Steve was. Show him your multibillion dollar, international tech company that is never behind in using the latest and greatest tech, never has supply issues or quality concerns and makes everyone equally happy all the time by giving them exactly what they want, when they want etc. 

  • Reply 9 of 55
    cameronj wrote: »
    If only the guy in charge was a supply-chain wizard huh?

    Perhaps you do know that his title now is CEO, not COO. The former tend to have more on their plate than just the supply chain.
  • Reply 10 of 55
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    charlituna wrote: »
    Two questions
    1. Is the same true of Apple's brick and mortar stores is just online
    2. Is the issue really supply quality or high demand that is exceeding supply such that Apple wants to under promise so they don't get folks griping because they can't deliver when they said.

    These units are by their admission hand calibrated etc so that means they will take a little longer to put together. Was this perhaps the 'production issue' that the analysts were talking about and not some quality control in a part like they wanted it to sound.

    Seems to me that the fact that folks are ordering the iMacs is the key item. If they were such crap no one would be buying them and the online stores etc wouldn't have wait times getting longer and longer.

    1) No, you can find product at B&M stores. Perhaps not the build you want but they do get some supply as you'd expect a B&M store to have.

    2) Pedantically speaking demand is exceeding supply but the question is how the high is the supply. This great new design could have spurred a lot of extra buyers whom were waiting for the refresh or remodel, but I think it's safe to say that supply is woefully below Apple's standards.

    3) Apple is under promised me by only a couple days. Well, they said Feb 8th to 15th and I'm getting it no later than Feb 6th.

    4) They do factory calibrate the displays which will take some extra time but unless we're talking about an excessive number of extra units (which we're not according to the last quarter results) that isn't what is causing the delay. There are two known processes that are distinct to the new iMac: friction-stir welding and full display to glass lamination.

    5) I see people are still on about Apple should have kept the same old design and waited a cycle before making anything but a CPU cycle. I think that's shortsighted. The iMac isn't a huge seller compared to the notebooks so how many users are there really that just have to have a new desktop right away will be put out and disgruntled? Not many; at least not many who are reasonable.

    I think the real question is: What does starting this process in 2012 as opposed to 2013 or 2014 afford Apple? They get a jump on a complex production design that sells a relatively minor number of units compared to their products and get to work out kinks in the system that might be beneficial to potentially moving friction-stir welding, full display to glass lamination, or other techniques to other products faster than they could have otherwise had they put on blinders and kept the iMac design the way it was.

    We need to remember that Apple completely stopped production of the previous iMacs and that Apple has a long history of taking skills mastered in one area and then incorporating them into another. It would be foolish to think Apple has no bigger plan here. I, for one, am quite happy to have waited for my new iMac instead of getting an old one.
  • Reply 11 of 55
    charlituna wrote: »
    Warehousing a ton of product is a risk. Security of the details, security of the actual product, risk of over producing a model folks don't want as much as they guessed etc. that's not Apple's style and never has been.

    these delays are due to folks buying the product as much as it simply taking longer to produce due to higher quality production techniques. This is not a bad thing. This is not HP producing 5000k units and then losing access to the factories for 6 months before they could make more and taking 10k in 'pre orders', half of which they knew they couldn't deliver any time soon. 

    If you think you know how they should do things then by all means go to Cupertino and demand that Tim Cook do things your way because you are so much smarter than he is, than even Steve was. Show him your multibillion dollar, international tech company that is never behind in using the latest and greatest tech, never has supply issues or quality concerns and makes everyone equally happy all the time by giving them exactly what they want, when they want etc. 

    These are all pretty weak arguments you're making. The most cliche-d one being (paraphrasing) 'you think you know better than Apple?' Using that logic, many of the posts here -- including some of yours -- should be thrown out.

    It's like saying, 'you didn't lay the egg, so you can't criticize an omelette'. Silly, in other words.

    Incidentally, it was Apple's CFO Oppenheimer who said there were 700,000 'missing iMacs' in the last quarter.
  • Reply 12 of 55
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,188moderator
    zoffdino wrote:
    Apple has recently lost the "available today" magic of the Steve Jobs era.

    "Real artists ship". I remember the original iPhone being announced in January and shipped in June. There was that whole GHz thing too.

    At this stage, they should be able to handle it better, especially with this volume of shipments. The Retina MBP shipping times were also high for a while:

    http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/13/retina-macbook-pro-shipping-estimates-slip-to-3-4-weeks-as-initial-shipments-begin/

    It must be the displays as that's common to both the iMac and MBP. It could be that they check the display after they glue it in too so if there's a problem they might have a long recycle process.

    It took until the end of August to clear the backlog with the rMBP. If it's the same deal with the iMac, it won't be resolved until the end of this month but the iMac might be worse with the larger display.

    Once they get it fixed, it shouldn't be a problem going forward because there's not much else needing to be improved with the iMac design. They can keep reducing the depth of the machine.
  • Reply 13 of 55
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    [quote name="Marvin" url="/t/155786/imac-ship-times-slip-again-in-europe-on-supply-issues-but-u-s-retailers-shipping-all-models#post_2270812"]
    I remember the original iPhone being announced in January and shipped in June. There was that whole GHz thing too.[/QUOTE]

    1) The original iPhone is a different beast. They did have to submit to the FCC but there was no need for a 6 month wait and the FCC will keep it secret until such time as Apple wishes or until the items goes on sale. We've seen the FCC info appear right after Apple's announcement many, many times. The real reason for the 6 month lead time appears to be for the US due to the subsidization model that holds users in contracts for 2 years. The 6 month lead time was allow up to 25% to not renew their subscriptions right before the iPhone launched.

    2) If by GHz you mean the PPC promises during Steve Jobs era that is a great example of a more egregious issue than today's iMac hiccup. At least the new iMac is shipping.

    [QUOTE]At this stage, they should be able to handle it better, especially with this volume of shipments. […] It must be the displays as that's common to both the iMac and MBP. It could be that they check the display after they glue it in too so if there's a problem they might have a long recycle process.[/QUOTE]

    1) We don't have enough info to know the fault resides.

    2) Are the displays laminated the same way? Does nearly 4x the area affect the curing process or QA check?
  • Reply 14 of 55
    mj webmj web Posts: 918member


    So much for the myth that Tim Cook is a supply chain maven... Has Apple done anything right the last 2 quarters? Everything from its ill advised product dump forward has been a massive FAIL! If CEO Cook can't prove his bone fides in the next 2 quarters he should be dumped as unceremoniously as the iPad Mini, iPad 4, and iMac were all unceremoniously dumped on each other last September. 

  • Reply 15 of 55
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    mj web wrote: »
    So much for the myth that Tim Cook is a supply chain maven... Has Apple done anything right the last 2 quarters? Everything from its ill advised product dump forward has been a massive FAIL! If CEO Cook can't prove his bone fides in the next 2 quarters he should be dumped as unceremoniously as the iPad Mini, iPad 4, and iMac were all unceremoniously dumped on each other last September. 

    1) You're confusing expert with infallible.

    2) You have no idea if there is a supply chain issue with the iMac.

    3) So nothing in the past two quarters was done right? Sent from my iPhone 5.
  • Reply 16 of 55


    Originally Posted by MJ Web View Post

    So much for the myth that Tim Cook is a supply chain maven... Has Apple done anything right the last 2 quarters? Everything from its ill advised product dump forward has been a massive FAIL! If CEO Cook can't prove his bone fides in the next 2 quarters he should be dumped as unceremoniously as the iPad Mini, iPad 4, and iMac were all unceremoniously dumped on each other last September. 


     


    Yep, you sure know what Tim Cook can and can't do, given that he has been running Apple on and off since 2004.

  • Reply 17 of 55
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    mj web wrote: »
    So much for the myth that Tim Cook is a supply chain maven... Has Apple done anything right the last 2 quarters? Everything from its ill advised product dump forward has been a massive FAIL! If CEO Cook can't prove his bone fides in the next 2 quarters he should be dumped as unceremoniously as the iPad Mini, iPad 4, and iMac were all unceremoniously dumped on each other last September. 

    Right. Apple never had a failure under Jobs' leadership. I guess I must have missed the 3 GHz PPC chips since you seem to believe that they actually shipped.

    As for the rest, you don't have any idea what you're talking about. Apple's sales were at record levels last quarter. Profits were also a record. Apple introduced more successful new products in 2012 than perhaps at any time in its history. Not to mention, of course, that Cook was a major part of Apple's previous supply chain success.

    Apparently, you don't have any concept of what it takes to design, build, and ship millions of products with completely novel designs. Apple has done that repeatedly over the past decade - and continues to do so.

    Was the iMac introduction a problem? Sure - but I don't think anyone can attribute it to an issue that Apple could have addressed. For all we know, their supplier promised 20 M screens and just failed to produce. The only major error I see in the iMac introduction is not a supply chain issue at all - it is the decision to stop producing the old ones before the new ones were ready.

    "Apple hasn't done anything right the last 2 quarters" is just pure nonsense. The Mini is off to a great start. the iPhone 5 is the best selling mobile phone in history. Record sales. Record profits. Retina MacBook Pro is probably the best laptop on the market - by a significant margin.

    Just what do you expect? You want them to revolutionize their markets on a weekly basis?
  • Reply 18 of 55
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jragosta wrote: »
    The only major error I see in the iMac introduction is not a supply chain issue at all - it is the decision to stop producing the old ones before the new ones were ready.

    The fact that they did that should tell us there is something unusual afoot. This isn't Tim Cook's first rodeo so why did they change the iMac before Xmas knowing they wouldn't be able to move many units when they could have sold the previous model through Xmas and then done a refresh in January, perhaps even released during CES which would have taken away a lot of focus from that event? The only reasonable answer is they had to stop the current iMac production and the most likely answer is they needed to stop it in order to begin the new models so even if they waited through the Holidays all they would have done is pushed back the new iMac manufacturing a quarter.
  • Reply 19 of 55
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member


    Bloomberg had video up last week with some analyst saying Tim Cook needs to put Jony Ive on a leash and reign him in when his designs get to crazy.  I don't doubt that Ive has a lot of power at Apple but if his team comes up with a design that engineering and operations says will be too difficult to mass produce do we really think he has the power to say 'I don't care figure out a way to do it' and Tim Cook doesn't step in or basically says what ever Jony says goes?  I don't buy it.

  • Reply 20 of 55
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post



    They should have released a spec bump with Ivy Bridge in June last year, then release the slim version with Haswell. Apple has recently lost the "available today" magic of the Steve Jobs era.


    This was what I expected. I figured they would try a larger form factor each year. iPhone --> iPad ---> Macbooks ---> iMacs. This would have allowed more testing time and refinement of the process. They're such a huge company that yields would be a major issue.


    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post





    2) Are the displays laminated the same way? Does nearly 4x the area affect the curing process or QA check?


    Whenever I find white papers on displays, they sound like a complicated issue. NEC published one a number of years ago on the use of LED and its inherent problems. This was around the time they released a 21" RGB-LED backlit display for $6000. The tri-colored LED lights gave it a wider gamut, and they shipped a custom colorimeter with it. I can't find the white papers anymore, but they mentioned the issues with LED stability and how trying to stabilize them resulted in higher energy consumption which created more color stability problems due to heat. Displays are a complicated issue. People have mentioned "yellow screen" issues on some of the new ones, which aren't always uniform. I'm curious if some of these would go away once the lamination completely sets.

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