Is Apple Facing Another Supply Crunch?

Manufacturing troubles may push back the launch date of Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) newly redesigned iMac to next year, missing out on the critical holiday shopping season, according to a new report. A French Apple news site, MacBidouille, said production difficulties were likely to push back the release of both versions of the new desktop.

At the company’s post-earnings conference call last month, Apple chief executive Tim Cook had warned of a “significant shortage” of the desktop computer that was first announced alongside the iPad mini launch in October. The 21-inch model of the computer was earlier scheduled to start shipping this month, with the 27-inch model coming in December. The availability of both versions remains unchanged on Apple’s online store.

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According to Apple Insider, MacBidouille reported that the new friction-stir welding process that binds the two major pieces of the iMac’s aluminum body together was causing most of the delays. At the October unveiling, Apple had cited the new process as the reason for the thinner, but stronger frame of the computer. The new iMac is 40 percent smaller in volume compared to its previous generation and comes without an optical drive.

KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo had reported in August that the new process was likely to cause supply constraints for initial batches of the computer.

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