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Monday, January 25, 2010, 08:50 am PT (11:50 am ET)

Apple plans second fix for flickering 27-inch iMacs - reports

Soon after Apple delayed shipments of its big screen 27-inch iMac, various users have begun to report from AppleCare technicians that a second fix for screen flickering affecting the hardware is due within 3 weeks.

In a thread on the Apple Discussions forums that spans nearly 250 pages, users have begun to report conversations with AppleCare representatives who claim a new update is forthcoming. A month ago, Apple released a software fix for the flickering issue on the 27-inch iMac, but since then users have said it did not address the problem.

One user, Dennis Murphy, said he was told that AppleCare technicians were issued a bulletin on Saturday that stated a fix would be released in about three weeks. The Apple employee was allegedly instructed to collect customer contact information so they can be reached when the fix is released.

"This would clearly explain the extended shipping times we're seeing," Murphy wrote on the forums.

Last week, Apple delayed shipment of new direct-order 27-inch iMacs by three weeks. Supply issues have persisted for months, with Apple in December apologizing for the delays.

Another poster, GuiltyVerdict, wrote Saturday that an Apple representative told them a combination software and driver patch is due in roughly three weeks.

"This will reportedly resolve the issue of the screen flickering (it is not hardware causing the issue)," the user wrote.

The three weeks allegedly cited by AppleCare technicians would coincide with the existing three-week wait time for direct orders of 27-inch iMacs.

However, when contacted by AppleInsider Monday, an Apple representative said the three-week delay was not related to any hardware issues. Instead, they said the company has had trouble meeting up with demand for the new system, as some components are in limited availability.

Still others have indicated system's internal graphics card cable could be the culprit. User ferris666 said they spoke with a technician who said the problem with the cable could not be fixed with a firmware update, though the "simple fix" has been implemented in newly produced machines.

While most of the reports are tied to the 27-inch model, there are also users who have experienced the same symptoms with the 21.5-inch model. When it debuted in October, the new iMac was the best-selling desktop in the U.S. for the month. Various issues were reported quickly, though the screen flickering has remained for some time.