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Apple Delays Entry-Level MacBook Air Until After Turkey Day, Apologizes to Customers

by , 3:50 PM EST, November 5th, 2008

If you were eagerly waiting for the updated new MacBook Air, you might have to be a little more patient.

According to AppleInsider, Apple is currently apologizing to customers this week who had placed orders for its late 2008 entry-level MacBook Air notebook. The company cited that, due to an unforeseen issue, it's unlikely to deliver those systems until shortly after the Thanksgiving holiday.

"Due to an unexpected delay, we are unable to ship your MacBook Air by the date originally quoted to you," the company said in an email to several online store customers who were previously quoted ship times of November 5th and a delivery estimate of November 10th. "We now anticipate shipping the item by 11/24/08 and delivering by 11/29/08."

Apple then apologized for the inconvenience and said customers may change or cancel their order anytime time before it's shipped.

The delay only appears to affect the delivery of the entry-level 1.6 GHz model with a 120 GB SATA hard drive. Apple has been actively shipping the higher-end 1.86 GHz model with a 128 GB solid-state drive since late October, many customers citing the arrival of their notebooks about a week earlier than anticipated.

A quick investigation into the matter revealed the hold-up to be a direct result of either component or supply chain issues surrounding the 1.6 GHz model's standard 120 GB SATA hard drive.

Apple's online store is currently reflecting lead times of only three to five days for the 1.86 GHz model with its built-in solid state drive, but two to three weeks for the 1.6GHz Air with standard hard disk drive. However, selecting a 1.6 GHz model and choosing the $500.00 upgrade to a 128 GB Solid State Drive drops the lead time from two to three weeks back to three to five days, essentially isolating hard drive as the source of the delay.

Unfortunately, the MacBook Air isn't the only Apple notebook whose shipments are being delayed due to hard drive components. AppleInsider readers have noted that the $50 option to upgrade the new MacBook Pro's hard drive to a 320GB Serial ATA @ 7200 RPM increases lead times from one to three days to five to seven days.

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