Apple has stopped taking orders for iMacs at its online store, and has posted a message on the site that read, "We planned to have our next generation iMac ready by the time the inventory of current iMacs runs out in the next few weeks, but our planning was obviously less than perfect."
"We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers," the message concluded.
Apple also acknowledged Thursday that the new version of the iMac--which currently looks like a lamp stand with a flat-panel display instead of a shade-- won't be available for sale until September.
The blunder leaves Apple a window of several weeks without supplies of one of its best-selling products--meaning that the company will miss out on much of the lucrative back-to-school computer buying season. Schools, universities, and their students are among Apple's core markets.
Analysts had expected that Apple would unveil a new iMac this week at its Apple Developer's Forum in San Francisco, but instead the company touted its new operating system, dubbed "Tiger."