The 27-inch iMac is Apple's latest hard-to-find product, with shipping on new orders delayed by two weeks, but whether that's good news for Apple depends on who you ask.
Apple says the delays are due to high demand for the all-in-one desktop computer, its largest model yet. "The new iMac has been a huge hit and we're working hard to fulfill orders as quickly as possible," Apple's official statement says. "We apologize for any inconvenience or delay in delivery this may cause our customers."
Unofficially, the 27-inch iMac has display problems. Chatter about cracked screens began in Apple's discussion boards last month, and Macworld's test unit suffered the same fate. There's also talk of flickering displays; it's the most commonly reported issue at a Web site dedicated to documenting the 27-inch iMac's woes.
Predictably, Apple is not talking about those issues, but BroadPoint AmTech analyst Brian Marshall lays the blame squarely on ATI's graphics cards. "They should've stuck to Nvidia," Marshall told MacNewsWorld. Apple uses ATI cards in both its 27-inch iMacs and one of its 21-inch models, but only the larger models have been delayed. Marshall also questioned Apple's assertion that its flagship iMac is a huge hit, calling it a "low-volume product."
Apple launched the 27-inch iMac in October, when it overhauled its all-in-one line with new sizes and better specs. Last week, the company delayed shipments by two weeks. Computerworld reports that other retailers have followed suit. Mac Connection, Amazon.com and ClubMac.com are among the authorized Apple resellers that won't have the 27-inch iMac in time for Christmas.
If you absolutely must have the iMac by then, MacMall's Web site says the iMac "usually ships within 5 to 7 business days," and New York retailer B&H has the quad-core 27-inch iMac in stock. But even though Apple's not talking about the display complaints -- that's just not how they roll in Cupertino -- it may be best to wait until things are back to normal.