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Wednesday, November 15, 2006, 08:00 pm PT (11:00 pm ET)

Apple ships some 17-inch Core 2 Duo MacBook Pros

Apple Computer has managed to get the first shipments of its new 17-inch MacBook Pros out the door but continues to struggle in meeting overall demand for the flagship notebooks.

Customers who had been expecting to receive shipment confirmations on their orders last week were instead sent an email from Apple's online store informing them of an unexpected delay.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based Mac maker apologized and said it expected to begin shipping the high-end Core 2 Duo notebooks by Tuesday, Nov. 14.

Making good on its word the second time around, the company this week began notifying some customers that their orders had shipped out Shanghai, China.

"I got an e-mail from Apple saying my stock MacBook Pro Core 2 Duo 17" shipped today," one customer wrote in an email on Monday. "I had ordered it with free ground shipping on Oct. 25 and it shows expected delivery for Nov 16."

On Tuesday, several additional Apple store customers reported that their new 17-inch notebooks had begun to make the air freight journey across the Pacific. But not all were so fortunate:

"I ordered my MacBook Pro 17-inch on the 30th of Oct. and I've just [received] an e-mail saying it won't be shipped till the 30th of Nov," wrote one Apple UK customer. "This certainly isn't the 7-10 days stated when I ordered it."

As of Wednesday evening, Apple's online store estimated that new 17-inch MacBook Pro orders would not ship for at least 5 business days, suggesting supply constrains could persist into the busy holiday shopping season.

On the other hand, every other computer Apple sells is available within 3 business days, with the majority ready for immediate shipment. The story is the same with iPods, which aside from the shuffle at 1 to 2 business days, are all available for dispatch within 24 hours.