iMac delay rumors debunked, though inventory should be strapped
20th Nov 2012 | 00:49
21-inch iMac already on its way to distributors
Despite swirling rumors, the new super thin iMac should slide into Apple stores as scheduled.
Last week, an unnamed source claimed Apple had production problems involved with making the upcoming computer, announced in October alongside the iPad mini.
Rumors had the launch of the new All-in-One desktop pushed back until early 2013.
But new sources have refuted those rumors and say the iMac is right on schedule. The computers should land in consumers' hands, they say, by the end of November.
When Apple unveiled the new iMac, it flabbergasted the tech world with its svelte 5-millimeter thickness (or should we say thinness). But to get the desktop so wafer thin, Apple needed to use a few new manufacturing techniques.
The debunked rumor claimed the "friction-stir welding" process was holding up production. It's a technique borrowed from air wing manufacturing that fuses aluminum together with heat and thousands of pounds of pressure.
The technique is used to join the back chassis panels together. The fact that Apple is pioneering a few production practices for the iMac gave credence to rumors of delays.
However, these new sources are as mysterious as the first, so a little skepticism might be in order. But these reports stay in line with official word: Apple hasn't mentioned anything about delays since it announced the next iMac.
Already heading out
The new tipsters also report the 21-inch model is already on its way to distributors in the U.S. and other countries. They say the new iMac should hit stores before the month is up.
Our previous source pegged the original release date to Nov. 27, which might turn out to be accurate despite misinformation about delays.
The 27-inch iMac is said to launch sometime in December, while online pre-orders for it could also start alongside its little brother. Though those big boys might not be as quick getting to consumers as the 21-inch version.
While supplies last
Expect both new iMacs to be in short supply, however, especially outside of the U.S. Not only do the new unnamed sources predict limited stock, Apple CEO Tim Cook does as well.
During a recent financial results call, Cook said he expected "demand to be robust" and that there would be "a significant shortage" of the product.
However the rumors pan out, it's a safe bet the iMac will be in limited supply. Even if the new manufacturing techniques haven't delayed the desktop's launch, they should constrain production.
Also, since this is the first update of the iMac since May 2011, Apple cultists should jump at the chance to get their next fresh fruit fix. So anyone with a really thin iMac on their gift list should try to cross it off sooner rather than later.