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Customers report long delays when customizing Apple's Mac Pro

Build-to-order models of the Mac Pro have seen significant delays in recent weeks, as the future of Apple's professional desktop line remains in question.

One reader who has been in contact with AppleInsider ordered a high-end Mac Pro in late March that was advertised to ship within 3 to 5 business days. After the order was placed, the estimated shipping date was pushed back to April 11.

As of Monday, the Mac Pro still hasn't shipped, and a new shipping date has not been provided. Requests for information from Apple have yielded few results for the customer, as a representative from the company reportedly said that the custom 12-core configuration must come straight from China.

Signs of supply constraints with the Mac Pro first cropped up last week, when Amazon went out of stock of 8-core desktop. However, inventory has since been replenished at the online retailer.

It's unknown whether the delays and constraints occurring in recent weeks up are related to a forthcoming update to the Mac Pro, a discontinuation of the aging desktop line, or something else entirely. AppleInsider first reported last October that officials were questioning the future of the Mac Pro, which has become an incredibly minor part of the company's overall business.

Potential chip candidates for the Mac Pro became available in early March, as Intel updated its Xeon line of high-end CPUs. The new Xeon E5 chips incorporate the Sandy Bridge microarchitecture that first appeared in traditional mobile and desktop chips last year.

The Mac Pro desktop has not seen an update since July of 2010, when the desktop was given up to 12 processing cores with Intel Xeon processors.