If you’ve decided not to wait and are looking for a new MacBook Pro, you might need to wait some time. Consumer reports are pointing towards lower stock levels in the supply chain, with many Apple fans being asked to wait until August before picking up their new macOS-powered laptop.
While there is no single report or detail that confirms the issue, there are a growing number of Apple fans looking to buy a new MacBook Pro that are reporting long lead times to have their machines shipped. Add up all those data points, and the story becomes much clearer, as Michael Potuck explains:
“We started seeing more reports of the same and even the stock 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro models were pushed into mid-July. It’s now a few weeks later and the supply issues are continuing. The stock 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro notebooks are shipping as late as July 28. And direct from Apple, if you upgrade any component, like the M1 Pro/Max chip, RAM, or storage, the shipping time slips to as late as August 8.”
On one hand, this has been expected. The consumer electronics industry has suffered from a shortage of supply to customers for some time now; with factors including the worldwide silicon chip shortage, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the general slowing down of various economies all coming into play.
Apple has weathered this far more than other manufacturers – no doubt due to Apple’s size in the marketplace that demands more attention is paid to it compared to much smaller manufacturers chasing the same components.
On the other hand, Apple can’t change the fundamental laws of supply and demand. Once any backlog or goodwill has been used up, Tim Cook and his team will return to a level playing field and face the same challenges as other manufacturers. Which I suspect is what is happening here.
A mix of a new design of laptops (the first big change to the MacBook Pro platform since 2016) and the move to the ARM-based Apple Silicon offering better performance and endurance compared to the direct Intel equivalent, has increased the demand for the MacBook. With more demand on one side and reduced supply on the other, the delay from purchase to delivery for the average consumer can be measured in months.
Neither is it just the MacBook Pro affected, although its popularity means it is the most noticeable. The new Mac Studio and Studio Display are showing similar months-long delays, and while the standard iMac models can be picked up almost immediately, any upgrades to RAM or Storage will push delivery back to, you guessed it, August.
Maybe it’s better to wait till August… after all, Apple is set to announce new plans for the whole Mac family – including the MacBook Pro – at next month’s WWDC with the potential for new hardware before the end of the year.