An alternative take on Apple's Mac Pro supply constraints

Apple has another hit on its hands as Mac Pro demand has outstripped supply across the planet, as pro users rush to get hold of one of the company's powerful workstations. We ain't seen nothing yet.

Manufacturing the future of broadcasting

Apple began taking orders for the high-spec Mac on Wednesday, but initial supplies were scooped up by last night -- it took two hours for the pent-up demand to grab all available units. You'll be waiting until February to get one at this point.

This isn't the first time Apple's introduced something interesting only to see it sell through so fast -- the company's history is peppered with examples of such behaviour. iPhone, iPad, iPod, iMac all sold out fast. It's possible the company only had limited supply of its Made in the USA Mac and chose to bring these to market in order to keep its promise to introduce the device this month.

The release should be good for Apple's bottom line as it shores up Mac sales in what is traditionally its busiest quarter. In conjunction with Apple's other recently updated Macs you can expect to see some recovery in the company's PC sales that have been weakening in recent quarters as customers waited on new products.

An Apple spokesperson declined to provide sales figures, but did say:

"Demand for the all-new Mac Pro is great, and it will take time before supply catches up with demand."

Seeds of disruption

That Mac Pro supply is already constrained has caused some industry watchers to speculate it may be experiencing problems ramping up production of the machines at its new Texas factory. I don't think that's true.

What has happened -- I think -- is that Apple recognize the key purchasing period for Mac Pro customers won't be across the Christmas period, but as we begin the new financial year.

The decision to ship Mac Pro in quantity early next year will stimulate the market for Thunderbolt 2 peripherals and foster interest in a 4K-ready Apple Display.

Apple has been engaged in a relationship with Sharp for some time. Sharp had been expected to manufacture displays for the current iPad, using its new high-res tech.  The relationship with Sharp clearly exists: it provides the 4K display currently sold by Apple for use with the Mac Pro.

These existing constraints in Mac Pro supply lead me to suggest the company intends deploying other elements of its wider 4K plan in the second quarter, near the new budget year. This leads me to imagine April's National Association of Broadcasters event may see Apple talk about some other broadcast-relevant products: a new Apple TV? A new iPad? UltraHD movie services via iTunes? A new Final Cut?

The decision to ship the new Mac this month will help the company boost Mac revenues while creating interest in its new pro desktops. If I'm right about Apple's bigger picture, then the interest we are seeing now will pale into insignificance once the company puts other elements of its plan in place.

Also read: Predictions: Apple's 2014 in 8 pictures

Also read: 12 great Christmas gifts for Apple's iPad, iPhone

Google+? If you use social media and happen to be a Google+ user, why not join AppleHolic's Kool Aid Corner community and join the conversation as we pursue the spirit of the New Model Apple?

Got a story? Drop me a line via Twitter or in comments below and let me know. I'd like it if you chose to follow me on Twitter so I can let you know when fresh items are published here first on Computerworld

Join the discussion
Be the first to comment on this article. Our Commenting Policies