Apple Users Hoping For A Mac Pro Desktop This Year Will Have To Wait Until February -- Or Longer

Dec 19 2013, 4:46pm CST | by

Apple Users Hoping For A Mac Pro Desktop This Year Will Have To Wait Until February -- Or Longer
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

Macintosh power users who have been waiting years for Apple to update its high-end desktop and thought they could finally get their hands on the new workstation this month will have to wait a little longer.

According to the Mac Pro order page on Apple's website, the cylindrical-shaped desktop, which went on sale today, won’t ship until February — or March — after the company started the day by offering early buyers a Dec. 30 ship date. The customizable machine, priced starting at $2,999, offers a new design that has been described as resembling a dark tower, a black shiny garbage can, a bullet and a spaceship by some Apple followers (It resembles the alien whale spaceship in Star Trek IV: The Journey Home to me).

Apple CEO Tim Cook, who told users last year that the company would deliver an update to the Pro in late 2013, has spent the past few months since the update was unveiled in June touting the fact that it being built in the U.S. Most of Apple’s products are made in China. “We have begun manufacturing the Mac Pro in Austin. It’s the most powerful Mac ever. Orders start tomorrow,” Cook said in a tweet yesterday that included a photos of the Pro on the assembly line.

While Apple has had trouble fulfilling early orders for its products in the past and last year struggled to meet demand for its new iMac desktops, Cook told investors earlier this year that it doesn’t like to keep waiting for its newest products. Of the iMac shortages, Cook said in retrospect that he would have delayed release of the iMac into 2013 because “we felt our customers had to wait too long for that specific product.”

Apple didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

“The shipping delays hint at low production volume, higher-than-expected sales, or both,” noted ComputerWorld today. “The bet would be on the first, since the Mac Pro is being assembled in a new factory in Austin, Texas.”

“We’re also hearing from customers with shipping quotes all the way in March,” said 9to5Mac. “It would appear that there must have been some problems ramping up production in Texas. Why else would Tim Cook expose himself to the type of situation he just 1 year earlier said he wished he could avoid? The only rationale is that Mac Pro production was delayed beyond Apple’s wildest estimates.When faced with the prospect of missing the deadline on the very important first U.S.-assembled Apple product in a decade versus making customers wait in very long queues, it would appear he opted for making the deadline.”

“Most of Apple’s products do end up being supply constrained early in the product cycle, especially in cases where the external design has changed along with the internals,” said Ars Technica. “The long wait for a new Mac Pro is similar to what happened last year when Apple released the 2012 iMac late in the year—the 27-inch model, in particular, was hard to find for several weeks after its release…While this situation is unfortunate for people who need a new Mac Pro now, expect availability to improve in 2014 as Apple can refine its manufacturing processes and make enough of the workstations to meet demand.”

Apple doesn’t break out sales of the Mac Pro, designed to appeal to  power users who may do high-performance, graphics-intensive tasks, but it’s likely a small number of the Mac desktops (which include the iMac) and MacBook notebooks sold. In the quarter ended in September, Apple said it sold nearly 4.6 million Macs, a 7 percent drop in shipments over the prior year. The Mac accounted for 15 percent of sales.

Source: Forbes Business


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