Government // Mobile & Wireless
Commentary
12/14/2009
05:59 PM
Jake Widman
Jake Widman
Commentary
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iMac Shipments Delayed: Multiple Problems Reported

The 27-inch iMacs, introduced in October, are now showing a two-week ship time. Apple has not said why, but an independent website has been documenting issues with the new machines ranging from flickering screens to whistling displays.

The 27-inch iMacs, introduced in October, are now showing a two-week ship time. Apple has not said why, but an independent website has been documenting issues with the new machines ranging from flickering screens to whistling displays.The 27- and 21.5-inch iMacs were announced on October 20 and replaced the previous 24- and 20-inch models -- systems that I've called "the cornerstone of any Mac office." Complaints about flickering screens began to appear on the Apple support site within a week, and there are now 85 pages devoted to the topic, "New iMac 27inch screen flickering/tearing/shutoff."

That's not the only problem customers are having, either. A new site, imac.squeaked.com, has been collecting and collating the complaints, and the flickering displays account for a little more than half of the issues. Others range from finding the screen cracked on arrival to dead pixels to perhaps the strangest, a high-pitched whistling noise that increases as the display's brightness is turned up (the issue the site appears to be named for). To be fair, more than 20 percent of the posters on imac.squeaked are reporting that their systems arrived in perfect condition.

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Nevertheless, suddenly customers who order a 27-inch iMac are going to have to wait a couple of weeks to get it. In a typically opaque statement, an Apple spokesperson told CNet that "the new iMac has been a huge hit and we are working hard to fulfill orders as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience or delay this may cause our customers." The vast majority of the complaints on imac.squeaked.com have to do with the 27-inch model, though the high-pitched squeal seems to be mostly a problem with the 21.5-inch iMac.

Most Mac veterans wait for the first or second rev of a new piece of hardware before jumping in, and this is a good example of why. The iMac will still be the cornerstone of a Mac office, but t's probably a good idea to hold off on laying or rebuilding that foundation for a month or two.

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