updated 09:55 am EST, Fri December 9, 2011
Likely reflecting situation in Thailand
Shipping times for custom iMacs with 2TB hard drives are beginning to improve at Apple's online store, notes AppleInsider. The delay is now down to two to four weeks, having previously ballooned to between five and seven weeks. Even the current wait is unusual, as picking an iMac with a 256GB SSD lowers the shipping delay to two to four days.
The situation is almost certainly connected to flooding in Thailand, which beyond taking a human toll also knocked a good deal of the world's hard drive production offline. Companies like Western Digital have begun to recover, but are not back into full-scale operation. Drive shortages could persist throughout 2012, although they may affect Apple less than most PC makers, given that computers are just a portion of its business, and the MacBook Air is SSD-only.