Apple plays coy (Scrooge?) on 27-inch iMac shipping delays

Gregg Keizer reported this weekend that a couple of Apple resellers are saying Apple told them to expect delays in shipping of 27-inch iMacs because of technical issues. The site where they posted the news was a site created by a frustrated iMac user for tracking issues with 27-inch iMacs.

Two Apple resellers -- independent dealers approved by Apple to sell Macs -- contacted the Apple iMac (Fall 2009) Issues site to report that all shipments of iMacs had been pushed back at least two weeks as Apple replaces the machines' graphics cards.

Canadian Web designer Scott Pronych built the tracking site after he received a 27-in. iMac with a shattered screen, saying he wanted to document the display problems. By digging through Apple's support forum and taking reports directly from others via a form on his site, Pronych has identified more than 600 users who have had issues with their new machines.

Not only is his site getting a lot of attention, Apple's support forums are blowing up over the issue, with thousands of responses from 27-inch iMac owners having various problems including broken or shattered screens, screens that flicker yellow, or just being DOA.

The screen flicker issue can be seen in this video: 

Apple has issued a ambiguous statement saying that, "The new iMac has been a huge hit and we are working hard to fulfill orders as quickly as possible.  We apologize for any inconvenience or delay this may cause our customers."

Some took this to mean that the two week delay wasn't due to any technical issues.  It had to to with overwhelming demand alone for these machines.  NPD even put their name on the delay by saying that Macs are selling 70% higher than last year at this time and that they didn't believe technical issues were to blame.

As much as I love Apple's products, I'm not buying it.  There are significant issues with Apple's gorgeous 27-inch iMacs.  That is pretty obvious at this point.

If Apple has a rebuttal to this sentimate, they could have used their PR voice to dispel these rumors.  Instead, they aired a meticulously planned piece of PR that does not acknowledge the issue.

MG Seigler from TechCrunch and Mark Wilson of Gizmodo both acknowledged issues when getting their 27-inch iMacs.  Of my firends and collegues, two out of four got bad machines (2 bad Core i7s, 1 good Core i7 and one good Core2 Duo).

In any case, Apple is on it -- but not in time for Christmas.  If the person you are getting gifts for wants a 27-inch iMac under the tree, you might have to keep that tree up until New Year's.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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