Mac Pro ship date slips to April

Apple's redesigned Mac Pro is being assembled at a Texas factory, the first Mac in decades made in the US. Image: IDG

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11 February 2014 | 0

Apple continued to have problems meeting demand for its radically redesigned Mac Pro desktop computer, with ship dates today extending into April.

Earlier today, ship estimates for new orders stretched into April in several foreign markets, including China, France, Germany, Japan, and the UK, as first reported by MacGeneration, which is based in France. Soon after, Apple’s US and Canadian online stores followed suit, showing April as the estimated ship date.

Apple’s redesigned Mac Pro, made in the USA, continues to be in short supply nearly two months after its debut.

Although the Mac Pro – a distinctive-looking black cylinder that’s 10″ tall and about 7″ in diameter – went on sale 19 December it almost immediately slipped into back order. The February estimate was later pushed into March before today’s change to April.

The pricey computer starts at $2,999 for the low-end stock configuration and can be tricked out to a top price of $9,599.

At least one analyst predicted that the Mac Pro, while catering to the line’s traditional power users, creative professionals and engineers, would also become a status symbol of sorts for those with the wherewithal to buy one.

The shipping delays continue to hint at low production volumes at the new Apple factory in Austin, Texas, where the computer is assembled. Apple has touted the Mac Pro’s built-in-the-USA trait, including a rare tweet by CEO Tim Cook at the machine’s launch.

Shortages of the Mac Pro will not materially affect Apple’s bottom line, as the Mac division accounted for just 11% of the company’s revenue for the December quarter. The Mac Pro, while expensive, will make up only a fraction of the unit sales of the line overall, which last quarter reached 4.8 million, the majority of those notebooks from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro families.

But the extended shortages mean that the revenue the Mac Pro produces is being pushed from the current quarter into the calendar’s second. They also are reminiscent of the fiasco Apple created in late 2012 and early 2013, when it announced a redesigned iMac without an inventory even as it pulled the older models from its stores.

The shortages also spurred profit takers to list their new Mac Pro systems on eBay at prices significantly higher than list.

Mac Pro prices on the auction and sales website today were as high as $6,250 for a configuration that Apple sells for $3,999, a 56% markup. Another of the several listings asked $4,499 for a system that runs $2,999 from Apple, a 50% profit for the seller.

Computerworld

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