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MacBook demand exceeds production

updated 01:30 pm EDT, Wed August 23, 2006

MacBook supply exceeded

Apple is struggling to fulfill orders for its 13-inch widescreen MacBook laptop systems in the heat of the back-to-school shopping rush. The MacBook is in high demand this year, according to a report from AppleInsider, but the company or one of its suppliers has underestimated demand for the notebook. Customers hoping to receive their newly-ordered MacBook this week instead opened an apology letter from the Cupertino-based company, informing them that it would be unable to fill orders within its promised timeframe. "I ordered a MacBook over the weekend," said one Apple customer. "The order was to be processed in 5-8 days. I just got an apology letter from Apple saying they would not be able to meet that order fulfillment deadline."

Customers who ordered custom systems with additional memory and larger hard drives are reporting delays of up to two weeks from when they had first placed orders.

"I ordered a MacBook a week ago with a promise of shipping within 24 hours. The ship date was then set for yesterday (8/21)," said another customer. "I have now received notice that my computer won't ship until a week from today (8/29)."

Apple sold 800,000 notebooks during its most recent quarter, and expects to reach a supply and demand balance by the end of September, according to the report.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Buran

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't make bad promises

    Can't keep the promise? Not enough supply? Why didn't you tell people up front?

    At least they're apologizing but given students are going back to school NOW and many schools now REQUIRE students to have a computer, this is unacceptable.

  1. Terrin

    Joined: Dec 1969



    It is not like Apple knows how many people are going to order MacBooks. It can only guess. Based on the guess, it orders that many build. If more people order the Macs then anticipated, then Apple is backlogged.

    Consequently, Apple does not know it will fall short until the problem occurs. Otherwise, Apple would post the correct expected date of shipping at the time of order.

  1. sfitz

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Last minute shoppers

    Buran: Blaming Apple for not having a computer readily available for everyone who wants one is ridiculous. Maybe those studens shouldn't have waited until the last minute. It's not like they are the ONLY students going back to school AND needing a computer! How long have these laptops been available!?! Long enough to have ordered sooner and beat the rush. You're probably the same type that waits until the last minute to buy a Christmas gift and blames the store employee when there is nothing left to buy. Get real! I've been in retail long enought to have met that type year after year after year! At least Apple has acknowedged the short coming as soon as they could. It's not like Apple took the money and said, "Sorry, you're never getting your computer." Not getting the computer immediately might be disappointing to you, but it's certainly not UNACCEPTABLE. Relax. Your computer will arrive soon.

  1. Buran

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I didn't order one

    ... but yes, I do think that Apple should have had a clue that this would happen. Back to school is always a busy season, and the Macbook is in high demand. Simple enough to say "hey, maybe we should put pessimistic ship estimates on the website, so if something happens we won't get caught with our pants down and won't have to send all those people to school to get yelled at by administrators" (school bureaucrats can be rather hardnosed sometimes).

    And, sfitz, I'm actually very polite and have never yelled at a retail clerk in my life. Way to go. You've implied something completely incorrect about me based on the fact that you don't like what I have to say, and dared to say that Apple screwed up. Which they did.

    Students frequently buy when they do due to the timing of back-to-school sales (most students aren't made of money, and have to do this) or their scholarships or financial aid isn't available until a certain date, or they have to wait for the check to arrive. It's not like Christmas gifts when you can buy those any day of the year.

    I don't miss college ... or people like you who don't think before they mouth off.

  1. DahlBryn

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Go to an Apple Store

    What's that stat again?... 86% of the total US population lives within a half-hours drive of an Apple Store... or something like that.

    If you're so intent on getting your Macbook, go to an Apple Store - they ALWAYS have them in stock and will upgrade them with tons of bling right on the spot (only takes a few minutes).

    While waiting you can check out all of the software titles and iPod accessories they have... enticing you to purchase even more Apple stuff and spend more than you intended.

  1. ibmjones

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I can concur with dahlbryn's statement. I went to the Apple store Tuesday last week (within about 15 minutes of closing) and got a macbook within 10 minutes.

    Of course, there is always a chance that the demand surged the day afterwards. :)

  1. Leighgion

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple may be flying high

    ... but let's be a little reasonable here. ANY product can have demand outstrip supply regardless of any amount of foresight. Apple's got deep pockets right now, but it's still no trivial thing to just ramp up production and stock to excess and no amount of projection can predict just how much stock is enough, especially for a new product like the MacBook.

    Besides, for all we know, Apple did slam as many MacBooks out as possible for the back-to-school season but still got overtaken by unexpected demand. I mean, look at the iPod - nobody dreamed it'd become the 900-pound gorilla of the portable music world in such a short time, but there it is.

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Oh Darn...

    Unfulfilled demand means we probably will not see the low end expended for a while. I will buy a highest end Merom MBP so it does not really matter to me personally, but there will be an expansion in the low end at some point. I guess we could still see a lower end 13" MBP added to the line when the Meroms come out, or maybe a "MacBook Thin." But a new cheaper iBook type is really unlikely if they are having difficulty filling MacBook orders.

    As to the gist of this thread I say to folks who complain about 2 week deliveries: Get over it! A major factor that allows manufacturers to keep pricing ever lower is Just-In_Time ("JIT") manufacturing. Hiccups will occur, and two weeks is not the end of the world; just inconvenient for folks practicing JIT purchasing... :-)

    -Allen Wicks

  1. bigpoppa206

    Joined: Dec 1969


    In the bigger scheme

    of things, at least Apple has a very popular computer on its hands!

  1. Tsilou B.

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's really a problem

    I have ordered a MacBook with 1GB RAM on August 10th. It was supposed to be shipped within 3 business days. It still hasn't shipped.

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