Hot on the heels of an intended MacBook Pro and iPad 2 launch comes the news that third party Apple resellers are now experiencing dramatic shortages of the iMac. As noted by two AppleBitch readers separately, stocks of the 21 and 27 inch iMac are at very low levels in many of Amazon’s European stores, particularly in France and the UK. Additionally, the US-based electronics retailer J & R is completely out of stock of several 27 inch configurations despite having plenty as little as 3 weeks ago.
As reflected by the impending refreshes to the MacBook Pro and the iPad, evidence of an impending product release is often first materialised as falling stock levels in third party retailers. This is sometimes, but not always, followed by shortages and extended shipping times at Apple online and retail stores. The fact that retailers either have very little or no stock of both the 21.5 inch and 27 inch iMac provides a good indication that a new model could be on the way.
While it is not clear if the iMac will be receiving a redesign, good evidence emerged today that the new MacBook Pro will have Light Peak connectivity, termed ‘Thunderbolt’ by Apple, integrated into a hybrid DisplayPort. It is likely that the iMac would also receive Light Peak/Thunderbolt compatibility in the new model, combined with the new Sandy Bridge processors making their way into the MacBook Pro.
According to the MacRumors Buyers Guide, the iMac has an average release interval of 226 days and was last refreshed 211 days ago meaning that it is approaching the time where an updated model would be released. Given that the new MacBook Pro is expected to be released tomorrow, the iMac may be the ‘one more thing’ that is talked about during the March 2nd media event.
Update: While still showing normal shipping times for online orders, we’ve been told a large number of Best Buy retail stores are showing limited or no stock availability of the iMac.