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Thursday, October 25, 2012, 03:15 pm PT (06:15 pm ET)

Apple braces for significant shortage of new iMacs

Apple's newly redesigned iMacs will debut later in the December quarter, and the company expects the all-in-one desktops will face significant supply constraints through the end of the year.

The new 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMacs were unveiled by Apple this week, but the company announced the smaller version won't be available until November, while the larger one will not hit shelves until December.

"We will have a significant shortage there," Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook revealed during his company's quarterly earnings conference call on Thursday.

As Apple's desktop line has languished, MacBook products have become an ever increasing part of the company's lineup. For the September quarter, the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air accounted for 80 percent of Apple's total Mac sales.

Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities first reported in August that the new screen lamination process for the redesigned iMac is apparently more difficult with the 27-inch model, which could lead to it launching weeks after the 21.5-inch option. His scoop proved accurate, as the larger iMac will launch a month after the 21.5-inch model.

iMac 2012


The new iMac is just 5 millimeters thin at its edges, and it features a new display laminated to the computer's edge-to-edge glass cover. Like Apple's other recent Mac updates, it lacks a dedicated optical disc drive.

In all, the design is 40 percent smaller than its predecessor, thanks in part to a new "friction-stir welding" process, which Apple says "uses a combination of intense friction-generated heat and pressure to intermix the molecules of the two aluminum surfaces (of the front and back of the device), creating a seamless, precise and superstrong join."