Apple iMac Shortage Due to Chinese Silver Supply Problem?
Rumors whirl about that Apple is suffering delays in producing the new iMac due primarily to the problems of sourcing industrial silver in sufficient volume in China. More silver than usual is used in the new 21.5″ iMacs. The delay in the iMac led to a plummet in fourth quarter Mac sales for 2012, a 22% drop from the same period one year prior. This led to a record low percentage of Apple’s total revenue of $54.5 billion having come from computer sales.
The decline in Mac sales was substantially greater than the global personal computer industry, which IDC posits is approximately 6.4% year-over-year. Apple moved less than 4.1 million Macs during the three months ending New Years Eve 2012, down quite a bit from the 5.2 million sold in the fourth quarter of 211 and the 4.9 million sold in 2012′s third quarter.
In October Apple had signaled that new the iMacs would arrive late from China. Three months later the story has not changed. Shipping delays today still range from two to three weeks for the 21.5 inch model, which is Apple’s most popular and three to four weeks for the 27 inch version.
Both have been in short supply, just like silver. Sales numbers for the iMac were unavailable, as Apple, for the first time, lumped both desktops and notebooks into a single “Mac” figure rather than listing them separately.
This means 1 billion dollars in revenue is out the door for Apple.
But, that silver is the direct reason why Apple is unable to receive their iMac is as yet not quantified. The company did have supply problems during the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, but has had few other notable disruptions. This is easily one of the worst. Could it be due to one of the most important elements of Macs being in short supply? Certainly makes sense, as silver has a long history of supply worries.