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Thursday, October 18, 2012, 03:15 pm PT (06:15 pm ET)

iMac shipping times slip for some European Online Apple Stores

Online Apple Stores across Europe are seeing shipping times slip for all iMac models, most showing a delay of one to three days, possibly signaling a drawdown ahead of a new product launch.

Apple's country-specific online storefronts from the UK to Germany are quoting delays in standard configurations of the company's all-in-one iMac, affecting both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch models, which some are quick to speculate is a sign of an imminent refresh.

European iMac Supply

The UK Apple Store shows iMac ship times of 1-3 days. | Source: Apple


It appears, however, that delayed shipments are only affecting online Apple Stores in parts of the EU, while the U.S., Canada, and Asia Pacific markets are quoting immediate availability. Further, some European countries like Czech Republic are still showing all models to be in stock.

The first signs of a supposed iMac drawdown came in a September report that cited an Authorized Apple Service Provider, who said channel supply for the computer was "peculiarly low."

Most recently, an image of an allegedly leaked part reignited rumors that Apple would soon announce a totally redesigned next-generation iMac with a more organic teardrop shape and laminated display for maximum thinness.

With an upcoming Oct. 23 media event expected to usher in the much-rumored iPad mini, Apple may take the opportunity to unveil additional products like a new iMac and possible 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display.

When Apple does decide to debut a new iMac, it is expected that the 21.5-inch model will be hitting store shelves first, followed by the 27-inch model soon after. KGI analyst Ming-Chi Kuo noted in August that the screen lamination process has proved to be troublesome when applied to the larger-screened machine, suggesting the difficulties could lead to a launch weeks after the 21.5-inch iteration is released.