French site macbidouille (Google translation) reports that Apple may be pushing the release dates of the new 21.5” and 27” iMacs to early next year. The new iMacs were introduced at Apple’s October special event, where the company expected the 21.5” model to start shipping in November and the 27” model, in December.
The iMac lineup was refreshed after a long gap with an all-new design, which was significantly thinner than the previous generations. To achieve this thinness, Apple had to laminate the display to the glass and use a relatively new welding technique called “Friction stir welding.”
The report from macbidouille blames the advanced welding process for the delay:
Apple seems to have more problems than expected because of the new manufacturing process of these iMacs, which passes through a system of welding of aluminum under high pressure system, already used to assemble the wings some aircraft such as the Airbus A380.
During the most recent quarterly earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the company will face a significant shortage of iMacs in the initial few months after launch due to difficulties in production. While Cook didn’t drop any hints of a delay, it looks like the advanced manufacturing techniques have forced Apple to push back release dates.
Apple, on its website, still maintains that the 21.5” model will start shipping this month, and the 27” model will ship a month later.