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Saturday, March 18, 2006, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Apple\'s MacBook Pro wait times improve significantly

Apple Computer is addressing backlog of its new Intel-based MacBook Pro professional notebooks as quickly as possible and now looks poised to reach an overall supply and demand balance early next month.

The company's online store now lists estimated wait times for both the 1.83GHz and 2.0GHz models at 7-10 business days, down from 2-3 weeks earlier this month and 4 weeks in late February.

Apple's online store isn't the only outlet to reflect these improvements. According to tipsters, MacBook Pro orders placed earlier in the year through Amazon.com were originally given estimated ship times of late April. Therefore, tipsters were incredibly surprised when they began receiving shipment confirmations on their orders earlier this month.

In fact, Amazon.com now lists the 2.0GHz MacBook Pro as being in stock and shipping within 24 hours, and is also offering a $150 rebate on this model, bringing the total cost down to $2,349.99. Meanwhile, the 1.83GHz MacBook Pro is shipping in 1 - 2 weeks from the online retailer, also with a $150 rebate, for a reduced cost of $1,849.99.

Amazon.com also retains stock of both the 1.5GHz Core Solo Mac mini and the 1.66 GHz Core Duo Mac mini, offering rebates of $25 on both models.

According to reliable sources, a shortage of common components shared between Apple's Intel iMac and the MacBook Pro are at the root of the ongoing MacBook Pro backlog.