Apple's Mac Pro ship times fall below one week for first time since launch

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited May 2014
More than six months after Apple debuted its redesigned Mac Pro, the company has finally caught up with demand and is estimating ship times of three to five days on base configurations sold through the Online Apple Store.



Apple's new shipping estimates hit the Online Apple Store early Saturday, ending a six-month Mac Pro drought that caused customers who purchased the computer in January and February to wait more than one month for their order to arrive. The change was first spotted by Portuguese Apple blog AllMacLong.

At the time of this writing only base model configurations are eligible for 3-5 day ship-by times, while modified systems are still running at 2-3 weeks.

Since launching the completely redesigned Mac Pro in December, Apple has faced supply issues with the "Assembled in USA" machine. The company has been making steady progress, however, and advanced ship times to 2-3 weeks earlier in May. Last month, ship-by dates dropped to below one month for the first time since launch.

Historically, ship-by dates have steadily improved over the first quarter, with checks in April showing estimates at 5-6 weeks, which moved up to 4-6 weeks on Apr. 11, 4-5 weeks on Apr. 18 and 3-5 weeks on Apr. 24.

While the new estimates mark substantial progress, supply is such that in-store models are still non-existent. In January, Apple said it didn't expect to have Mac Pros available to buy from brick-and-mortar stores until at least March.

As Apple builds its inventory toward 24-hour ship times, authorized resellers like MacMall and Adorama have dozens of Mac Pro configurations for sale, which can be seen in AppleInsider's live Price Guides.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    hydrhydr Posts: 146member

    Apple, fix HDMI1.4->2.0 4k/60Hz and add miniDisplay Port SST 4k/60Hz support.

     

    It is the least you can do after "support 3 4k monitors" bragging which turns out to be a farce. 

  • Reply 2 of 50
    I'm happy that US assembled serious tech is selling well. So it's not all about those small, light gadgets.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,875member
    I would love to know whether this is a case of demand being higher than expected or if it's a case of supply being lower than expected demand.

    Either way, it has been a very long time since apple has had such a hard time getting supply caught up with demand. The last time I remember it being this bad was when the "low cost" Mac IIsi and LC came out, can anyone remember something more recent?
  • Reply 4 of 50
    asciiascii Posts: 5,838member

    Hawaii GPUs and dual internal SSDs would be nice (even if 1 of the Thunderbolt controllers has to be sacrificed).

  • Reply 5 of 50
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,387member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post



    it has been a very long time since apple has had such a hard time getting supply caught up with demand.

    It's been a long time since a major Apple hardware product wasn't assembled in China. CTO builds are still 2-3 weeks. I hope this has just been growing pains, not a sign of the best we can do in the U.S.

  • Reply 6 of 50
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,179moderator
    hydr wrote: »
    Apple, fix HDMI1.4->2.0 4k/60Hz and add miniDisplay Port SST 4k/60Hz support.

    It is the least you can do after "support 3 4k monitors" bragging which turns out to be a farce.

    10.9.3 seems to have fixed some issues:

    http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/peripherals/f/3529/t/19542094.aspx?pi23185=2

    "This (4K Dell UP3214Q display) now works on my MacPro (late 2013) using the seeded beta of Mavericks 10.9.3 at 60hz x 3840x2160 on D700's, with DP 1.2 compliant cable and the monitor set in 1.2.

    So happy to see the back of 30hz as it was doing my head in."
    blastdoor wrote:
    I would love to know whether this is a case of demand being higher than expected or if it's a case of supply being lower than expected demand.

    Their revenue was almost unchanged since the same quarter last year when the last Mac Pro was not only long overdue an update but not for sale in Europe. If they sold 100,000 units at a minimum $3k, that would make up $300m revenue. This is possible but for this to happen, the Mac revenue would have had to decline by about $200m without the Mac Pro update. The number of units may not have exceeded 100k and this is out of around 4-5m Macs they sell every quarter.

    As compelling as the design is, just a quad-core starts at $3,000 now and that cuts out a lot of potential buyers when there's a display and peripherals to go along with it.

    It doesn't need to be a high volume operation though. I think they scaled the manufacturing way down. This would mean that when the sales die down, they aren't over staffed and it would still be high profit.

    They might have room to drop the price once the sales die down a bit and that would keep the sales volume.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post



    I would love to know whether this is a case of demand being higher than expected or if it's a case of supply being lower than expected demand.

    I don't think it's either.

     

    I ordered mine in early April. At the time the ship time was "6 to 8 weeks". So it would arrive last week of May.

     

    By the mid/end April, the times had been reduced to "4 to 6 weeks". So it would arrive the last week of May.

     

    By early May it was "3 to 4 weeks". So it would arrive the last week of May.

     

    Then it was "2 to 3 weeks". So it would arrive the last week of May.

     

    Now it is the last week of May, and the delivery time is one week. So it would arrive the last week of May.

     

    Does that sound like a supply or demand problem to you? Or something to do with the way the factory is being worked?

  • Reply 8 of 50
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,389member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post



    I would love to know whether this is a case of demand being higher than expected or if it's a case of supply being lower than expected demand.

     

    Why does it matter? It seems to me the only reason it matters is to confirm or refute one’s personal bias for or against the new Mac Pro. Those who criticize the new design and ports would feel vindicated if demand is lower then expected while those who like the new machine would sense confirmation of their opinion if demand is outstripping supply. So it is just about whether you are a glass half-empty or a glass half-full person regarding the new Mac Pro. 

  • Reply 9 of 50
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    I'm curious to know which potential buyers are cut out because of the price. Is the nMP more expensive than the previous model?
  • Reply 10 of 50
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    rogifan wrote: »
    I'm curious to know which potential buyers are cut out because of the price. Is the nMP more expensive than the previous model?
    I am not aware of any. I never purchased a prior version of the Mac Pro, but I have considered buying one several times. When pricing them, I always felt that they were incredibly expensive. I did did not find them to be unnecessarily expensive, but I did find them to be very much the high-price spread. I see nothing in the prices of the new Mac Pros that place them outside the price spectrum of the older model. Heck, even used Mac Pros are not cheap. As of this writing, PowerMax offers a used MacPro5.1 for $2700. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that this computer's price when new was somewhere north of $2700.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,343member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post



    I would love to know whether this is a case of demand being higher than expected or if it's a case of supply being lower than expected demand.

    Supply is lower than demand. 

     

    The Mac Pro still isn't available as an off-the-shelf purchase from bricks-and-mortar retailers.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post



    I'm curious to know which potential buyers are cut out because of the price. Is the nMP more expensive than the previous model?

     

    The entry-level new Mac Pro is $2999, the old one was $2499.

     

    At this price category, I doubt if many potential buyers are shut out. This is a professional tool. Either your employer is purchasing it for you to do your job, or a self-employed owner will write it off as a business expense for tax purposes.

     

    In the long run, the cost of a desktop CPU is just fraction of your total computing system (display, software, peripherals, services, networking, etc.).

  • Reply 12 of 50
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    I know the new MP is fast and all, but I so much preferred the original design. I love my current MP with matching Cinema and keyboard. I guess they made it black to match the Sharp monitor which might be a better color for a dark video editing bay. Overall I still think it is ugly, but that is just me. If they designed it for video professionals wouldn't it have made more sense as a rectangular box shape like all the rest of the equipment they use? I like the front facing FW and USB ports of my current MP. Much more convenient for importing media.

     

    I always like to have the best, newest Mac but I just can't talk myself in to it for some reason. I'm glad that the 60 Hz thing is almost fixed. Perhaps I'll spring for it when the next series of 4K monitors arrives. Everything is a bit too bleeding edge right now. I must be getting more conservative as I get older.

  • Reply 13 of 50
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maury Markowitz View Post



    Now it is the last week of May, and the delivery time is one week. So it would arrive the last week of May.

     

    Does that sound like a supply or demand problem to you? Or something to do with the way the factory is being worked?


    You might be right. Do we know how much of the manufacturing is done in the US assembly plant? Perhaps they build them in batches.

     

    ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbWOQWw1wkM

  • Reply 14 of 50
    kpluckkpluck Posts: 500member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post



    I would love to know whether this is a case of demand being higher than expected or if it's a case of supply being lower than expected demand.

    When Intel announced the chipset for TB2 in 2013 they said it would have limited availability until sometime this year. I don't know why every story about the new Mac Pro availability issues seems to ignore this fact. In any event, I don't think there can be any question that supply of the TB2 chips is part of the problem for the constrained supply. GPU supply issues are probably also contributing.

     

    I have no doubt initial demand for the new Mac Pro was probably pretty good, but the bulk of the delays are being caused by component shortages not super high demand.

     

    -kpluck

  • Reply 15 of 50
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,179moderator
    mstone wrote: »
    I guess they made it black to match the Sharp monitor which might be a better color for a dark video editing bay.

    Not quite black, it's reflective of whatever environment its in:

    1000

    1000

    and it matches the Thunderbolt display more closely than the old one:

    1000
    mstone wrote: »
    Overall I still think it is ugly, but that is just me.

    Design is always going to be subjective but new designs tend to be more modern and fresh. If someone who'd never seen the machines before was asked to pick out the latest model, it would be obvious.

    1000
    mstone wrote: »
    If they designed it for video professionals wouldn't it have made more sense as a rectangular box shape like all the rest of the equipment they use?

    It wouldn't make much of a functional difference if the heat still escaped vertically. There's also not much indication it's specifically designed for video use.
  • Reply 16 of 50

    In the late 1980s I spent $1200 or $1500 for a used Mac Plus. A few years later, over $2000 for a Mac desktop without a hard drive, and in 1999 a PowerMac G3 for $1900 with a 6 GB hard drive ! Gradually I spent less and less for new Macs, including Mac Minis for less than $1000; but if $2000 or more for a Mac was not too much, 15 or 20 or 25 years ago, then how can it be too much now? 

  • Reply 17 of 50
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

     
    It wouldn't make much of a functional difference if the heat still escaped vertically. 


    Just because heat naturally rises is not much of a factor when air is being pushed through the enclosure. Exhausting from the top or the back is equally effective in my opinion. In fact the rear exhaust is probably better in my case because I tend to have a lot of reference manuals and print outs on my desk and I would have to be careful not to block the air inlet on the new design. The argument that modern computing doesn't need optical drives or internal hard drives is also a matter of opinion.

     

    I'm curious to see how heavy duty the power supply turns out to be. In my experience small 1U power supplies don't have a very good MTBF compared to the large heavy duty PSU like in the old MP. But I guess it doesn't have be very high power since it is not spinning any drives. The new design is a lot smaller but you really don't save all that much footprint because you are going to need a RAID enclosure. I usually have a FW drive sitting  on top of mine, which I use for off site back ups for the client or for importing media. With the new design you can't put anything on top, so that is something else on the desk.

     

    I know what you are saying about someone unfamiliar being able to choose the newer model but how about someone who has been using a Mac Pro for years. Let's say Apple had a focus group of top pros and asked which machine they would prefer. The original style case with updated TB2, dual Xeons, dual GPU, USB3, Superdrive and an SSD, or the new MP cylinder design. I know which one I would choose even if it cost a lot more.

  • Reply 18 of 50
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post



























     

     

    OMG!!!

     

    THAT THING IS BEAUTIFUL!!!

  • Reply 19 of 50
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 1,810member
    Waiting to buy till i see the new Apple display.

    By the time they come out with a retina-ish desktop display for it (at not an insane price like the Sharp 4K display), I'll want to wait for new Mac Pro revision 2.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,179moderator
    mstone wrote: »
    Just because heat naturally rises is not much of a factor when air is being pushed through the enclosure. Exhausting from the top or the back is equally effective in my opinion.

    Right but if they did vent it vertically then a rectangular design wouldn't be much benefit. It would be necessary if they vented it horizontally.
    mstone wrote: »
    The argument that modern computing doesn't need optical drives or internal hard drives is also a matter of opinion.

    It's a matter of seeing where technology is going. Mechanical drives simply can't keep up with solid state in performance. There was even a news article out recently saying a simple software change could make SSDs last twice as long and run 3x faster:

    http://www.neowin.net/news/ssd-breakthrough-means-300-speed-boost-60-less-power-usage-even-on-old-drives

    This might allow Apple to use TLC NAND and double storage for a reasonable price while pushing SSDs up to 3GB/s. Samsung already has SSDs running at 3GB/s. PCIe SSDs are coming into DDR1 memory bandwidth. Having a 2TB 3GB/s SSD would be like having 2TB of slow RAM.

    An internal HDD will always slow down the whole system at some point, heat it up more and make more noise than necessary. SSDs will become inexpensive and replace HDDs entirely so there's not much point in designing a chassis to accommodate something that will be removed later on.

    Optical drives are finished, even Sony said so:

    http://www.xbitlabs.com/news/storage/display/20080902135402_Sony_Admits_Blu_Ray_Is_the_Last_Optical_Disc_Format.html

    "“Blu-Ray is the final format for the optical disc. We don’t have a shorter laser. In the future, if we have a physical media format, it will change physically. It won’t look like an optical disc. I don’t know what sort of technology we will have in the future,” he said, “but while using lasers and optical discs, this is the final format,” said Taka Miyama, Sony’s product strategy manager"

    Their Archival Disc coming in 2015 uses 6 layers to get to 300GB. I can just imagine how long that'll take to write and is everyone going to be upgrading their internal laptop Blu-Ray drives again? Gigabit networking is the way forward and inexpensive SSDs will replace discs for archival use. When NAND gets to $0.10/GB, 10TB = $1000 and that's all anyone will need.
    mstone wrote: »
    I'm curious to see how heavy duty the power supply turns out to be. In my experience small 1U power supplies don't have a very good MTBF compared to the large heavy duty PSU like in the old MP. But I guess it doesn't have be very high power since it is not spinning any drives.

    The drives hardly use any power (10-20W tops) vs the GPUs (~200W each) and CPU (~100W). The new Mac Pro maxes out around 450W, the old one would likely draw around the same under typical circumstances. There's no reason to think this PSU is any lower quality than before. It's sandwiched between the IO board and motherboard and gets cooled with the same fan as the rest of the machine. The previous model had PSU failures:

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/apple-desktops/267864-psu-failure-mac-pro.html
    mstone wrote: »
    The new design is a lot smaller but you really don't save all that much footprint because you are going to need a RAID enclosure.

    That's still much smaller than the old model and not everyone will need a RAID drive and some who do won't need it locally.
    mstone wrote: »
    I know what you are saying about someone unfamiliar being able to choose the newer model but how about someone who has been using a Mac Pro for years. Let's say Apple had a focus group of top pros and asked which machine they would prefer. The original style case with updated TB2, dual Xeons, dual GPU, USB3, Superdrive and an SSD, or the new MP cylinder design. I know which one I would choose even if it cost a lot more.

    All you added there was an extra CPU and an optical drive. That doesn't need to revert to the old case. A 2nd CPU would fit in the new one but what's the point when they offer a single 12-core anyway? Sure they might offer dual 8-cores, which would be a bit faster but not enough to warrant stocking a whole new dual-socket motherboard just for the few people who want it. They simply wouldn't offer dual 12-cores because it would be at a price hardly anyone would pay.

    An optical drive could have been placed right at the bottom or stuck on the side of the cylinder but not everyone uses them so why compromise the design for the minority who do? USB optical drives are inexpensive.
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