|Reports of iMac shortages have begun to circulate around the web and thought it best if we checked to see what local retailers in Austin had to say. Robert Arons at CompUSA confirmed that colored iMacs have indeed been difficult to get right now but was very quick to pass on the fact that Apple has gone on record saying that over-demand and not cancellation was at the center of the shortage.
This was echoed by another retailer who wished to remain anonymous who told us that the shortages were a problem, but that they were expecting new units "soon." Our source quoted his own sources [Editor's Note: Unconfirmed by us] at Motorola that said that Apple would be upping the Candy Colored iMacs to 300 MHz very soon.
Mr. Arons of CompUSA felt it more likely that any change in the iMac would include a DVD-ROM unit of some sort and not a processor upgrade.
In the middle of this comes an e-mail sent out to retailers from Apple that says that Apple had simply underestimated demand for the machines and that they were doing emergency runs of Grape and Blueberry models to fill back orders.
The Mac Observer Spin: Motorola certainly has lowered the prices of the PowerPC CPUs during the last 60 days and it would be very smart of Apple to up the CPU speed, but it would also be uncharacteristic of Apple to do so this soon. The 266MHz models were only introduced this January and didn't begin to ship in any volume until a week or two after that. Apple also has fairly bad history of bringing any kind of processor upgrade to the market with any speed.
With this in mind, it would be particularly spiffy if it turns out that a speed bump does play out in the next 45 days.
We are not sure exactly where rumors of Apple canceling the iMac started, but it is fairly inconceivable that Apple would do so in that face of it still being one of the hottest products on the market. Hence the word "balderdash" in our title.
Lastly, Apple really should take the soonest opportunity to bump up the iMac as PC manufacturers will be shipping Celeron based machines at 433 MHz (nevermind that they will be slower than the Celeron 300a chips that can be clocked up to 450 MHz. Intel is now making the Celeron so that it can not be clocked up.) in the near future. In fact, they should have released the Candy Colored iMacs at 300 MHz in the first place. Like it or love it (meaning we don't need to be lectured or preached to on these issues as we are part of the Choir), consumers not in "the know" only think in terms of MHz comparisons and not the fact that the G3 is inherently superior to the Celeron, Pentium, and PII.
Not being privy to the discussions or decision making, we can only be assumed there was a good reason for shipping the units at 266 MHz.
So what if Apple does ship the iMac with a 300 MHz processor? Think Big Sales. At least in our opinion. 300 MHz is a good marketing point to work with and will allow Apple to continue selling the iMac at the pace they have been so far.