As soon as the glue sets!
Apple's online store was updated on recently to reflect shipping times of between three and four weeks for new orders of its redesigned 27-inch iMacs. Previously, orders were advertised to ship "in January" — a change that was made last month to let customers know their orders would not ship before Christmas.
With three-and-a-half weeks left in the month of January, the change in estimated shipping times may not represent an outright delay, but the continued wait is yet another sign that Apple is unable to produce enough iMac units to meet customer demand.
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook signaled in October that his company would face a "significant shortage" of iMacs in the December quarter. And analyst Ming-chi Kuo of KGI Securities said in August that the new screen lamination process used in building the new iMacs is particularly difficult with the larger 27-inch model.
Early January, Apple began offering its new hybrid Fusion Drive on entry-level 21.5-inch iMac orders. Previously, that option was limited to the 27-inch model and high-end versions of the 21.5-inch model.
Updated Jan 10:
Apple is still facing manufacturing issues with its new big-screen 27-inch iMac, though a report claims the issue could start to improve in February.
Citing industry sources, hit-or-miss DigiTimes reported on Thursday that mass production issues can be pinned on iMac panel supplier LG Display. The problem apparently stems from full lamination issues in producing the panels.
Apple and LG are only able to produce about 100,000 units a month, according to the report. The issues do not apparently apply to the 21.5-inch iMac, which has reached monthly shipments of between 300,000 and 400,000.
AppleInsider previously noted January 14 that Apple's iMacs remain in short supply more than a month after the new all-in-one desktop launched. In fact, Apple's reseller channel remains completely out of stock of the 21.5-inch model.