Friday, January 25, 2013, 10:33 am PT (01:33 pm ET)
Rumor: Apple suppliers solve iMac production problems, strong sales projectedA new report holds that Apple's component suppliers have solved the production problems keeping stocks of the company's new iMac models low, and Apple will supposedly see strong sales of its signature desktop in the quarter to come.
The report comes via BrightWire, which cites Taiwanese news source China Times in saying that Apple's Taiwanese component suppliers have improved the assembling conformity rate for the new iMacs, with mass production of the desktops said to have begun in December of 2012. The report expects orders to remain strong throughout the first quarter of 2013, as orders for new products typically peak within the first four months after their launch.
The report runs counter to recent trends, which have seen delivery times for the 21.5-inch iMac slipping to two to three weeks in some areas, suggesting that production problems could still be an issue as late as this week. More recently than that, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted during the company's quarterly conference call that, while Apple was confident it could significantly increase supply, "demand here is very strong and we are not certain that we will achieve a supply-demand balance during the quarter."
Cook cited iMac supply constraints as a major reason for a significant drop in Mac sales for the past quarter. Cook noted during the conference call that figures for other Mac devices were largely in line with analyst projections and that the iMac, along with the shorter quarter and other inventory constraints, largely made up for the shortfall in Mac sales compared to previous quarters.
Analyst Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities revealed in August, months before the new iMacs were unveiled, that production issues were likely. It was said that the screen lamination process in building the new desktops is difficult, particularly with the larger 27-inch model.
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