Apple pushes February MacBook Pro orders back to June

Apple pushes February MacBook Pro orders back to June

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Apple pushes February MacBook Pro orders back to June
Buying a high-end MacBook Pro requires money and patience.
Photo: Cult of Mac

People who ordered a top-tier MacBook Pro in February are being notified that it won’t be delivered until June. The delay results from COVID-19 lockdowns in China hampering notebook assembly.

New orders also face delays of several months, making a refurbished 2021 MacBook Pro a better option for some buyers.

MacBook Pro backordered until June

Apple doesn’t enjoy frustrating its customers. Problems outside the company’s control derailed MacBook production, causing enormous delays. Most notably, the Chinese government is putting limits on factories in the country as it attempts to stop the spread of COVID-19.

These global problems hit Mac buyers hard. As just one example, Cult of Mac reader Brenton Henry is looking at a very long wait for his “maxed out” MacBook Pro.

“We put our order in on February 6th, and they’re now quoting June 14 to June 28 for fulfillment,” said Henry. “Over four months to get a machine is an enormous amount of time.”

Those placing new orders face waits just as long. Order a 2021 MacBook Pro with an M1 Max processor from Apple.com and the estimated delivery time is between June 14 and June 28.

Blame COVID-19

Quanta Computing is the only company that assembles high-end Apple notebooks, and a COVID-19 lockdown near Shanghai forced the temporary closure of some its facilities in mid-March. However, it’s been able to restart limited production, with “Apple’s Mac as the 1st priority,” according to TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Still, the fact that orders placed months ago are scheduled to be delivered in the same time window as orders placed today would seem to indicate that there is currently no significant MacBook Pro assembly happening.

2021 MacBook Pro refurbs arrive more quickly

Anyone wanting a 2021 MacBook Pro before June should consider a refurb. Refurbished versions of the newest macOS notebooks are now available from the Apple Store online. Units currently arrive in a day or so. Buyers also can save money this way, but the range of offerings remains limited.

A refurb 16-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro chip, 16GB of RAM and 1TB of storage goes for $2,429. That’s $270 below the usual cost. Cut the storage in that same M1 Pro/16GB unit to 512GB and the price drops to $2,249, or $250 off.

Those looking for more power, however, might come away disappointed. There are no refurbished MacBooks with the M1 Max processor available at this time.