back to article More problems for Apple's top desktop

Apple's star-crossed top-of-the-line iMac is causing new problems for Cupertino - but this time it's not about cracked casings or flickering displays. It's just late. Again. Thanks to some sharp eyes at AppleInsider, we've been alerted to a posting on Apple's online store that shipments of 27-inch iMacs - both the Core 2 Duo …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Apple top range

    You must be either a blithering idiot or a designer (one who smells his/her own farts) to order one of those in the first place.

    1. NigelS

      i'm almost an idiot then

      I was about to order a 27" and noticed earlier that the delivery times had slipped by a further week, it would have been my first mac purchase, i think i'll hunt around for a 24" instead, these 27" screens are doomed!

    2. Mark 65

      An interesting conclusion

      So why wouldn't someone want a very powerful machine running OSX with a beautiful 27" screen (when it works)?

      Some people, believe it or not, may actually wish to run OSX rather than the latest overdue turd that is windows. Windows 7 is still crap. It'd be great if it wasn't but the only thing it comes out smelling of roses against is Vista.

      Perhaps they also use apps that cannot run on Linux and so can't cobble together a PC for the job? At least when you buy an iMac if you want to go play with your own shit you can dual boot into windows.

      Horses for courses. Just because you don't see the need for one doesn't mean it won't suit somebody else perfectly.

      1. rcdicky


        Love how you say horses for courses and crap all over Windows at the same time...

        I actually love Windows 7 and OSX - who knew that was possible eh?

        But then this isn't an article about Windows vs. Mac is it? Though I've yet to see an article about Mac that hasn't turned into that (very stale now) argument...

        1. Mark 65


          I didn't "crap all over Windows at the same time". What I said is that Windows 7 is crap, and it would be great if it wasn't but it is. XP is getting long in the tooth and decidedly insecure. 7 provides the security but doesn't really leave a user feeling satisfied or that the interface/experience or even overall architecture has really moved on any save for a little bit of transparency in windowing etc. You just know underneath it all there's if statements from 2000 and earlier kicking around or at least XP remnants that should have disappeared in a re-write. There's just no will within MS to start from basics.

          As I said, it would be great if 7 wasn't crap but when you think of how many years post XP we are things haven't really gone anywhere have they? Therein is the problem.

      2. Dave Murray


        "Perhaps they also use apps that cannot run on Linux and so can't cobble together a PC for the job? At least when you buy an iMac if you want to go play with your own shit you can dual boot into windows."

        What exactly would stop a PC dual booting Linux and Windows? Or running Windows in a VM under Linux? Time to buy yourself an IT for Dummies book, Ubuntu and Win7 live perfectly happily with each other on my quad core box.

        1. Mark 65

          Don't need one

          I'm perfectly adept with computers thanks. I was referring to the fact that you can run Windows native on a Mac in a supported/sanctioned manner but the reverse isn't true.

          In simple terms....

          Windows 7 isn't what it should be, just "better than Vista"

          Linux might be alright but you just can't get the professional apps on it

          Therefore people use OSX which would require a Mac and can dual boot into Windows if they want to feel soiled.

          1. Parsifal

            Because Apple won't allow It

            The reverse isn't true because apple won't allow it. With a restricted inventory of components Apple have less to spend on compatibility testing and support for OSX. If Apple would allow it to be sold for any computer (INTEL or AMD) then perhaps we could have a realistic comparison.

            The ONLY reason Apple added the ability to run Windows on Macs was to gain customers that they otherwise wouldn't have a chance of getting, not to allow windows users the same opportunity to run OSX on PC's is pretty hypocritical (But then that's par for the course with Apple and it's more rabid devotees) But since Apple makes its money from reselling cheap components at inflated prices that's unlikely to happen, ever.

          2. Stephen Bungay

            iMac problems

            This is what can happen when you contract out the manufacturing. On paper such a move might be a good business decision, but the downside is that quality-control issues such as these might have to be dealt with from afar. Not ideal, very expensive, very time-consuming.

            The costs incurred due to these kinds of problems eat into any cost-reductions gained, damage to the corporate image/reputation and lost sales and consumer confidence in your product are the result. Long-term damage can be horrendous.


            Hmmmm.... who would benefit from Apple taking it on the chin when it comes to quality?


    3. Anonymous Coward

      its ok

      You can stick with your tramp steamer / easy [jet|cruise] computers - but some people like to travel in style and speed.

    4. Michael C


      the 27" machines at Apple's plant are coming off the line and passing all tests fine, any issues have only beed seen after the machines have been shipped (usually to homes), and that follows as the bulk of the issues are in the custom-built models.

      Af for being an idiot to buy one? OK genious, find me ANY machine in ANY form factor with the parts build of either of the two 27" iMac models for less money. I'll even let you exclude the webcam, IR port, Keyboard, Mouse, speakers, the OS, the FireWire port, and the displayport-in function, and I bet you STILL can't build a machine for less money let alone order one from a vendor that comes with a waranty.

      Here, I'll save you the trouble on the top tier machine:

      2.8GHz i7 860: $279 (with stock cooler)

      LGA 1156 mainboad with 4 RAM slots $129

      Memory: 2X2GB DDR3 10666: $90

      Video: Redeon 4870 1GB: $170

      DVD/RWDL: $29

      HDD: 1TB hitachi 7200RPM: $80

      Wireless: Wirelenn N Mimo PCI 5GHz card: $79

      Bluetooth: USB 2 Dongle: $29 (internals cost more)

      Chassis: (generic) $30

      PS: including appropriate PCIx pins required: 550w: $69

      Fans: 2 additional: $20

      Screen: 30" LG (lowest price screen supporting 2560x1440 or better resolution in ANY size) $1,159 (and it's not even IPS).

      I stopped here, $2163, plus shipping... No waranties (other than by individual manufacturer)

      Missing Mic, Speakers, WebCam, Card Reader, OS, Keyboard, mouse, IR Receiver, Dual link DVI/Displayport Cable, Software of any kind, assembly, warranty, assembly services, shgipping charges, aesthetic form factor, and it's already $100 more than the top of the line 27" iMac including a free printer and a copy of Parallels MacMall will throw in.

      I would have run down the same on the little brother, but I passed the iMac's price after Monitor, Processor, GPU without adding anything else... Difference there is likely $300 or more.

      The 22" iMac base model I can beat by about $150 if I really go for low end parts and a real low end GPU, but still that doesn't include OS, Kbd/mouse, webcam and more.

      Oh, and the full size iMac will only draw about 365w (at full max power, average is under 280w) compared to the specced out i7 above which will exceed 300w all the time, and 450 regularly, so you;ve got to factor 3 years of a 100w power draw into your numbers too.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        Single hardware failure..

        ..and you have a totally useless system. Computing for idiots.

  2. Ryan813

    iMac is not Apple's top desktop

    The Mac Pro line would be the top desktop :)

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Well i never

    What do you expect? Made in China?

    The sweetness of a low price is soon forgotten in the sourness of poor quality

    Low price to Apple not the consumer

    @AC 23:17 each to his own, don't like it? Don't buy it. A lot of people do, and keep them for years, resale value is good too. Keep a mac for two years or five, and you'll still be able to sell it on Ebay for a fair price. With a PC, its down to your local recycling centre.

  4. Mage


    It is made in China.

    If you really want a mac buy one. But not the Apple overpriced screens.

    1. Michael C

      well, take a look at this then...

      Apple's screens are actually the same or lower price than their "competition".

      You see, Apple's displays are NOT retail grade displays, but commercial panels. Look at comperable professional displays and they're all starting over $600 for 24" and over $1000 for 30". Yea, you can find cheaper displays, but comparing a Vega to an RCA knock off is not exactly a comparrison....

      I just checked NewEgg. There are 4 24" displays in Apple's class that cost more, one from HP is over $1900 for a 24" display. NEC and LaCie displays cost more than Apple's. Even given it;s age, the 30" is still one of the cheapest displays in it's class, hundreds less than NEC, LaCie, and any comperable HP screen.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is not Apple's top desktop

    That would be the cheesegrater style Mac Pro. I have one, on a desktop, with eight Nahalem cores, and it's very decent for the job it was bought for (lots of editing and graphics crunching). The inside of the damn thing looks like an expensive kitchen, it's so nauseatingly tidy and sleek, too.

    That said, these big IMacs do sound like they are having some bad production problems, beyond the hysteria of the usual kneejerk naysayers. I probably wouldn't buy one myself, due to the all in oneness (nice to mix and match the right computer and monitor for the job etc.), but I can see the appeal.

    All this talk of shiny precious Apple devices makes me shifty, mind. My inexpensive, home-built hairy-arsed Core i7 gaming box is a little less beautiful (but goes like an absolute rocket when I boot it into Linux, have to say). Hopefully, his Steveness won't declare me a heretic and have me cast out of The One Church for that...

    1. Rik Myslewski
      Thumb Down

      Desktop> Tower? Let's call the whole thing off

      Ah, the ongoing debate of "desktop vs tower" - if only the IEEE would weigh in with a standard.

      Personally, I know of no one who places a Mac Pro on their desk -- including me.

      Semantics, eh?

  6. Nexox Enigma

    Mmmmm nice resolution

    I wouldn't mind getting my hands on that display, with a DVI port on it. No need for the rest of the computer, however. Does is piss anyone else off that they keep changing aspect ratios every 12 minutes? I don't even know who 'they' is, but I rather liked 4:3, and 16:10 was alright, but now everything has to be 16:9, because, as we all know, computers exist to display HD video. Right. Will it ever stop?

  7. danny_0x98

    Lead Times

    Increased lead time could mean the demand and therefore the number of orders has increased. Given it's relatively high level of problems, that seems unlikely, yet, I've seen the reporting and I still want one, though I am waiting for the problem fixed sign.

    An alternative explanation would be supplier delays and this may be tied in with q/c issues.

    It has to be one of those two reasons because an increase from two to three weeks means they can't make as many as the market wants.

  8. Waffles666

    Thats what you get when you buy rubbish

    Apple have never been very good in the hardware department this is nothing new, just because they price it so high doesn't mean they spent more on the parts that go in. Just a worse situation then normal go buy a PC heaps cheaper, faster and get windows 7 no more messing around trying to get programs and hardware to be campatible.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      You've never used one, have you!

    2. Anonymous Coward


      Complete waffle, you're just trolling. Your liberal interpretation of spelling and grammar has inspired me though:

      "Just a worse situation then normal go buy a PC heaps cheaper, faster and get windows 7 no more messing around trying to get programs and hardware to be campatible."

      FYI. I did have a PC. It lasted about 20 minutes before I needed to reinstall the OS because it had slowed down so much. After 4 years of this, I threw it out a window. The antiquated iMac my friend gave me when he emigrated has had the OS reinstalled only when I gave it to my flatmate and still runs at the speed it did when I got it. Enough said.

      Windows 7 - every time someone mentions it as though it is the saviour of computing, I have to try hard not to laugh so hard I shit myself. EVERTYTHING MS makes these days stinks of manure for a reason.

      I've never found any programs to be "campatible" as I don't like the outdoor life and tents aren't a good place to run desktop machines - you'd need an external generator and it might be dangerous when it rained.

      1. Waffles666


        Quote "FYI. I did have a PC. It lasted about 20 minutes before I needed to reinstall the OS because it had slowed down so much. After 4 years of this, I threw it out a window"

        Every 20 minutes for 4 years? Didn't occur to you might be a hardware fault? typical mac user.

        I ran OSX 10.5.5 on my PC (AMD) for quite some time and found it to be like every other unix/linux distro out there. Sure it boots fast and looks pretty but not worth paying money for since if your a power user you need to be running windows anyway, and defiantly not worth the ripoff money money you pay apple for the privilege of owning cheap albeit good looking? hardware.

        1. Anonymous Coward


          Yet more FAIL and crap from an obvious teenage fanboi...

          "if your[sic] a power user you need to be running windows anyway..." How do you figure that genius? Clearly it's not powerful enough to run a spell checker in your browser! It's 'if *you're*' btw, a contraction of 'you' and 'are'. I think you'll find those that know what they are doing (WTF is a 'power user'?!) use tools that best enable them to do the job at hand. Since *all* OS's are much-of-a-muchness, that could just as well be Mac OS or one of the myriad F/LOSS desktops as much as Windows. Shock horror, it could be the CLI!!! Come back when *you've* gone though puberty!

    3. Tim Cook

      I'm really happy for you

      Imma gonna let you finish but - the aluminium Macbook Pros have the best notebook design of all time. Of all time!

    4. Ascylto


      How aptly named!

      The trolls are out again.

      This is a non-story. There have been problems with the screen etc., so why wouldn't that cause a delay as Apple delay/stop production until the problem is sorted?

      Is 'campatible' in your Windows spell-checker?

      Oh wait ... it is!

  9. Scott L. Burson

    Clock speeds wrong??

    How odd -- the 3.06 GHz model (left column) is listed as less expensive than the 2.66 GHz model (right column). But the left-hand model has less VRAM. Looks like somebody screwed up which clock speed went where.

  10. Scott L. Burson

    Oh, sorry

    Oh, I see what's going on -- the left-hand, 3.06 GHz configuration is a Core 2 Duo, while the right-hand, 2.66 GHz is a Core i5.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Want one...

      Friend of mine got the i5 version a month or so back. It's lovelier than a very lovely thing, and its damned fast, too. Did I mention how lovely it is? The screen and the graphics performance are gob-smackingly good, and i5 or i7, I want one.

      Her husband would at one time have preferred to eat his own head than use a Mac, but even he's been won over and she practically has to fight him to get to her own iMac. Oh, and there's no hint of screen flicker, cracking, warping, or any other ailment.

      Oh, and no, I have no links to Apple in any way, shape or form, but speaking as someone who binned his last PC a little while back, I wouldn't mind at all.

      A three-week wait for one of these little beauties has got to be worth it. Anyway, who in their right mind wouldn't want 27 inches of pure loveliness, madam?

      Flame away, all you Ballmer Boiz!

  11. Bad Beaver
    Dead Vulture


    ... maybe it's time to make them elsewhere, eh? CSFC ain't cuttin' it anymoo!

    Oh, and of course I'll chime in with the choir: That's not the top desktop my dear, that's not the top desktop my dear. Techsite should know better.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Apple history is not squeaky clean!

    Oh how we so easily forget.

    The Apple II ( designed by the tech God Woz! ), was a rip-roaring success, then IBM squashed Apple into the dirt when the PC came out.

    Apple decided to try to get it going with the Apple III, remember it? No probably not, it was complete crap! It was so bad that people were trading Apple II at twice the price of the Apple III!

    What about the Apple Lisa? Still no? Yep, is was a SoHo desktop, again it was complete crap! No power, crap screen and dire software.

    Apple Newton? Yep, i was sort of OK, but still pretty naff.

    Apple Digital Camera? 0.25 megapixel and store 6 shots at 640x480 max resolution! Hardly sold any.

    Apple make lots of good stuff, but for every good Apple product, there are 3 shite ones in the cupboard which they cut their teeth on!

    Still love 'em and still proud to own Apple kit.

  13. Stephen Jenner
    Thumb Up

    27" iMac?

    Three weeks ago, 23/12/09 I had a home built PC, with an Intel Motherboard and Pentium 3.2 CPU. I put Windows XP Pro onto a WD Digital Raptor and my data onto two half terabyte Caviars. I had 512mb on an AllinOne ATI card and I had a CardDeluxe soundcard. I had been using this for four years, an incredibly good machine.... And then boom! my Zalman power supply blew up and took the Raptor with it.

    So on the 23/12/2009, I walked into my local Apple store and I bought the dual core 27" iMac, off the shelf.

    I have absolutely no problems, it is brilliant. No flickering, no cracks, no waiting, no loud fans. I have forgotten Windows completely. As "His Jobsness" used to nearly say, "It (nearly) just works". I am sure he would agree that NOTHING IS PERFECT (and I am talking glossy screens here), so 9.5 out of 10.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Ralph 1

    Another 'quality' story

    Almost up to the standard of the "exploding iPhone epidemic" you were hyping a while back, which turned out to be almost entirely hearsay. Yes, there have been some reports of problems with iMacs. Is it disproportionate to the numbers sold? Is the damage/failure rate uncharacteristic for any mass-produced product line? This is a machine that is being sold in huge numbers and has to be shipped with more caution than most (edge to edge glass is more susceptible to damage after all).

    As far as I can tell, the delays are simply due to its popularity - Apple can't keep up with demand. I've bought one myself recently, and it has been flawless to date - one of the best computers I've owned (and I've had many).

  15. JasonH
    Thumb Up

    Alternative theory

    Or perhaps this is one of the changes to be introduced in the upcoming event on the 27th January. Apple often add delays to products that are revamped in one of these shows - this could be such an occasion, in which case El Reg and I will duly take credit for having spotted the significance of this delay...

    Just a thought.

    1. NigelS


      That was my thinking to, either way, there IS a problem with these screens, i'm happy to wait a little while to see if / when the issues are addressed before i purchase a new mac, although i have to say with this being my first personal purchase of a new mac (have used mac pros for a long time, and i have a nice gaming pc) i am somewhat put off by these issues, time will tell.

  16. jai

    balloning forum threads?

    of course, you fail to mention that the majority of the content in those threads is just 4 or 5 posters arguing with each other. the signal to noise ratio is at least 1:2 if not greater

  17. jai
    Dead Vulture

    are you sure it's problem related and not high demand?

    i have a 27" iMac currently on order, and it's not due to ship until next week.

    i've just checked, and there's no change to the estimated shipping date

    are you sure the move from 2weeks to 3weeks is not just due to high demand as everyone has a fresh wave of hope that they've fixed the screen issues and that it's worth placing an order now?

  18. Capt John Yossarian

    PC vs Mac

    *Sigh* here we go again.

    As a tech professional, I'm sick to the back teeth of this sort of shite. Believe it or not, there are many of us who are platform agnostic - you use the best tool for the job.

    Mac's are outstanding when it comes to design and grafix etc and PC's are excellent at doing a whole raft of stuff for both commercial and home users. That's it.

    Is there a need for constant bitching between people on this and many (repeat ad infinitum/nauseam) other sites? No there isn't.

    Mac users - accept that sometimes products will have faults or simply don't meet the hype surrounding them.

    PC users - accept that there are other platforms out there intended for specific users and uses.

    Personally, I've used computers since late '70's - PDP's, Apple II's, iMac's, more PC's than you could shake a shitty stick at and ludicrous number of servers/mini's and mainframes. Hell I can remember Xerox's Worm (so named 'cos it took chunks outta Apples! - circa 82-ish).

    They're just stuff for doing stuff. Hell you might as well get into a hissy-fit over whether a Ryobi Router is better than Makita or Trend (queue jokes..). They're simply tools and not a golden ticket to the afterlife or a cure for AIDS or a miracle penis enlarger.

    Flame on!


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      You make some valid points...

      and I think that most rational users of both camps share your POV, however those that frequent sites of this nature are rarely rational! 1 point of contention. Every company will market their product as the best in class that not just Apple (look at the way Windows is being marketed, "It was _my_ idea..."), but the hype that surrounds Apple is largely generated by fanbois (both pro and *con*) and the media*. Like Windows AND Linux, the Mac is good at doing what 90% of users want. Trouble is that the other 10% like arguing about which one is the best...

      *Seriously el Reg, how many tablet articles have you published in the last 6 months?! A cursory search shows the figure to be 67 (search term "apple tablet") which is over 2 stories per week! How many from Apple in the same period? None. Reporting that a business may are may not developing a new technology is one thing, but blogging and speculation ain't news, you appear to using the red-top technique of building up to knock down...

      1. Oninoshiko

        not even the ones that frequent,

        just the ones who won't STFU.

        You who like macs, good for you.

        You who like windows, wonderful.

        The linux guys in the back, congradulations.

        To the five Be fans... you guys can even keep useing your systems (actually, the BeBoxes where kinda cool looking)

        I think I see the one VMS guy cowering in the corner, it ok.

        anyway, now that that is squared away, I'll be on my way. yes, the one with the OpenSolaris logo on it, thanks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No flames here

      Absolutely agree, been a computer user since the early 80s.

      Still can't resist throwing out the bait and watching the fanbois take it though, those Mac users are like marlin, there's good sport to be had when you hook them.

    3. Paul 8
      Thumb Up

      Quell the Fan bois

      Well said that man, want do anything to quell the pathetic fan bois on all sides.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    ... bring in the Trolls... or should we say, little boys?

    This is embarrassing for Apple, of that, there is no doubt, but you just need to laugh at the Trolls rather than feed them.

    They are completely undeserving of any 'geek' badge or moniker, undeserving of any tech kudos, any insight or in fact, any original thought at all.

    "Ha ha, that's why I use xyz platform, you stupid fanboi's, overpriced bloatware blah blah I'm a moron blah blah"

    Keep it coming trolls, because really, you make yourselves look completely and utterly stupid.

    True geeks, people with insight, original thought etc. embrace ALL platforms, understanding that competition is good and that each platform has it's own merits and pitfalls.

    Trolls are effectively stupid blokes without much going on in the trouser or noggin department.

    So, lets not feed the trolls, but rather, laugh and move on.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is about Mac Quality right?

    So, lets drop the old Apple vs Windows routine (though that is an interesting topic in itself)... It's all about the quality of Apple products right?... Which is not a new thing or an unknown thing, or a slight thing! Ever since the switch to the intel chip set Apple's pricing has been a little more competitive but the quality has drop considerably. I know folks who still have pre intel Macs running just great but early iMacs and MacBook Pros for example were plagued with issue (still are, as some folks are still trying to keep them going)... It's not the intel chip, but the poor product design (talking engineering here not looks, they're all great looking products still), the poor manufacturing and poor low quality product components! Take a look at this Apple thread for just one example: <> So come on Apple get back on track! At least this time around they are apologizing, where as before they've seemed to deliberately suppressed the issues... There must be hundreds of folks complaining in the Apple forums of poor quality right now, not to mention probably 10s if not 100s of thousands of folks who just didn't make the connection with their dead hardware, or got fobbed off by Apple, purchased another product or such... on an' on .... Apple needs to look at it's game, and to have a think about doing something for it's old (once) loyal customer base.

  21. fortyrunner


    I bought one these puppies from my local Apple Store last week. The stores have continued to ship.

    I've always been a Windows guy (since 1.0) but got a Mac 3 years ago.

    The screen is a game changer. 2800x1440 (or something like that). I use it to run a Windows VM for remote working and Visual Studio and Eclipse are spectacular at that resolution.

    The screen quality compared to my Dell and other brand screens is vastly superior - I never get tired eyes. I'm sure that with much fiddling I could get the Dell screens the same - but the Mac screen is perfection out of the box.

    Why the frak they ship with a stupid small keyboard and why they think its amusing to swap the " and the @ keys I have no idea. Microsoft keyboards and key combinations are much better.

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