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Rumor: iMac Likely Won’t Hit Stores Until 2013

According to the French blog MacBidouille, the production of Apple's newly introduced iMac models aren't ready to be released for sale just yet. If this information is accurate, this can't be good news for Apple and the brand new iMac, as in years past the holiday sales of the Cupertino company usually result in huge spikes for Mac computer sales.

iMac Apple

iMac Proving Difficult to Manufacture

While we don't know the exact reason for the rumored delay, the French site speculates that Apple's advanced welding process is the culprit. Tim Cook already suggested that there will be a supply shortage of the popular iMac during Apple's quarterly earnings conference call, but he kept the details secret.

The totally redesigned iMac was presented in October during the iPad mini event, and features an advanced assembly technique named "friction-stir welding". This technique uses high heat and pressure to "intermix the molecules of the two aluminum surfaces" resulting in a seamless joint.

In addition, the optical drive has been removed with the redesigned iMac, leaving room for speculation that Apple may be able to create the thinnest all-in-one device, which would be in line with the company's mobile computer products: the MacBook Air and the latest MacBook Pros with Retina Display.

Turns out that Apple has increased the manufacturing difficulty in multiple ways, and alongside the aforementioned process, the iMac's screen lamination process adds another level of difficulty. This process eliminates the 2mm air gap between the display and front glass. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, of KGI has pointed to this process as causing supply constrains before we began to talk about the redesigned iMac models, in August.

As of the writing of this article, Apple's online Store shows no change in the iMac launch: the 21.5-inch iMac should hit stores in November, while the 27-inch version should arrive in December.

[Via AppleInsider]

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