According to French site MacBidouille [Google Translate], Apple Inc. (AAPL) new iMac may not be delivered in late November as promised and may instead be delayed till early next year. The significantly thinner and lighter iMac was introduced only several weeks ago, with Apple promising the arrival of the 21.5” version at the end of November followed by the 27” by the end of the year. The reason for the delay is the process that AAPL uses to manufacture the new iMacs, something called ‘Friction-Stir Welding’ as well as the process for the LCD screen which is the first time such as process has been used on such a large screen.
Apple has been having issues with production for all of its latest devices, including the iPhone 5 and the iPad mini, due to supply constraints and new design and production techniques. During the company’s earnings call, CEO Tim Cook spoke about the supply and demand constraints that they face during the holiday quarter, noting that the demand for a popular product makes it harder to get them out in time.
In terms of general shortages on the iMac, we’ll be constrained for the full quarter in a significant way, part of that is that we’re beginning shipping the 21.5-inch iMac in November and the 27-inch in December. And so there will be a short amount of time during the quarter to manufacture and ramp those and I expect the demand to be robust. So we will have a significant shortage there.
This isn’t the first time that Apple has had issues with manufacturing, production, and supply constraints and the company will likely focus on iOS devices for the holiday sales until the iMac can be produced and shipped. With the radical new design of the thinner and lighter iMac alongside the lower price tag, sales of the new Mac will likely increase during the first quarter of 2013.