Many Apple products sold out for months as supply chain issues finally add up

The news: In a situation that has been developing for months, significant product shortages have finally begun to affect the Cupertino tech giant across numerous product categories.

As first noted by @BasicAppleGuy, here are the current estimated shipping times for the following products in the United States:

  • iPad Air: 31-38 days
  • Mac Studio (M1 Max base model): 9-17 days
  • Mac Studio (M1 Ultra base model): 52-67 days
  • Mac Studio (custom configuration): 80-94 days
  • Apple Studio Display: 60-74 days
  • MacBook Pro (base 14/16-inch): 57-71 days
  • MacBook Pro (custom configuration): 59-76

Some stock may show up sporadically in Apple Stores between now and these estimated dates…but the availability will be quite constrained for the next 2-3 months.

Sam’s take: We’ve been hearing about supply chain issues since the beginning of 2020 when COVID first struck, but Apple has been largely immune to the effects until now. While some products like the iPhone and iPad had been temporarily hard to find, 3 of the 4 new products from Apple’s March 8 event are still sold out for weeks. Not to mention the crazy delays on new MacBook Pro models that were released in October of last year. But the well-being of the workers who assemble these products must come first, even if it means worse delays than what we’re seeing now.

Apple updates Final Cut Pro with Mac Studio performance improvements & more

The news: After teasing a forthcoming update at their March 8 event, Apple has just released a new version of Final Cut Pro with a handful of enhancements.

  • With “optimized playback and graphics performance for M1 Max and M1 Ultra the new Mac Studio,” Final Cut Pro 10.6.2 is now fully updated for Apple’s top-tier silicon
  • The new update also adds duplicate clip detection, machine-learning voice isolation, Korean Language support and other stability improvements and bug fixes
  • iMovie’s Magic Movie and Storyboard features can also be placed directly into the timeline now

Sam’s take: A month late, but so glad to see this finally ship. I was having a lot of issues with Final Cut when I first got my Mac Studio, but they oddly dissipated after a few days. Now, with FCP being actually optimized, I can’t wait to test out the performance while editing my next video.

New video shows Mac Studio is upgradable (but Apple blocked it in software)

The news: Despite having a removable Solid-State Drive (SSD) and an extra slot, the Mac Studio is non-upgradable due to software locks, according to a new video from Luke Miani.

  • YouTuber Luke Miani decided to test whether or not the machine is actually upgradable through a series of comprehensive tests…
  • Miani took the wiped SSD from the second machine and inserted it in the open slot on the first machine, but the Mac’s status light blinked SOS and it wouldn’t boot up
  • He then swapped the SSDs between two Mac Studios and found again that neither would boot
  • In a disappointing move, it appears that Apple has locked user-upgradability in software (the device recognizes the SSD, but Apple stops it from booting)

Ian’s Take: After Apple’s announcement that they were going to allow users to repair their iPhones with genuine Apple parts, I had hoped that Apple would allow upgradeability. While I am disappointed in this move by Apple, it is certainly not without precedent. Apple currently solders the SSDs in all of their other computers with Apple silicon making upgradability impossible. In the Mac Studio, the SSD isn’t soldered and could be upgradable…but Apple has locked it in software.

This is a clear message to me that Apple doesn’t care about the right to repair. Hopefully, if Apple receives enough backlash, they will change this (it is, after all, only software). One can only hope that Apple’s upcoming Mac Pro is upgradable, or pro users will certainly not be happy.

Mac Studio has a removable SSD, despite what Apple tells you

The video: While not technically user-replaceable, in a surprising move, Mac Studio’s solid-state drive (SSD) is not soldered, according to YouTube channel Max Tech.

  • Taking apart the Mac Studio is a dangerous ordeal with an exposed power supply…but there is a removable SSD…a first for Apple Silicon
  • It was assumed that the SSD would be soldered, but instead it is a simple connection covered with tape (there is also an extra slot on the opposite side for future upgrades)
  • Apple says that the Mac Studio features non user-accessible storage, but it is very possible that authorized providers could offer upgrades in the future

Ian’s Take: While Apple didn’t go as far as making the SSD user-replaceable, this is a step in the right direction. When Apple first unveiled its plans for Apple silicon, many assumed that nothing would be user-replaceable and everything would be soldered. While that has been true for all Apple silicon Macs so far, even the Mac mini, the Mac Studio changes this. While this removable SSD does not tell us much about the Mac Studio, it could give us a peek at the upgradable future of a more modular Apple Silicon Mac.

Mac Studio hands-on photos surface online ahead of official release

The photos: A lucky customer by the name of Simon received his Mac Studio days ahead of the official release on Friday, according to Apple blog Mac4Ever.

  • The photos, which can be seen above and below, show us around the device in our first ever hands-on look at the all-new Mac Studio…which sits atop a unique base that has slew of precision-milled aluminum holes for air intake
  • “Our reader Simon tells us that he received his machine, a Mac Studio M1 Max, a few days in advance thanks to an error from the store (where he ordered it yesterday!)” Mac4Ever says

Sam’s take: I am wickedly excited to get my hands on this machine. It is, essentially, everything I have ever wanted from a Mac and these photos make the design look so slick. I’m ready for Friday!

Download Apple’s official Mac Studio wallpaper here

The wallpaper: Apple just made waves with their first all-new Mac announcement in years…but the flashy wallpaper shown in the marketing shots is even wavier.

Mac Studio tidbits: What Apple didn’t tell you

The news: Apple announced the all-new Mac Studio desktop at their March 8 Peek Performance event…but now we’re taking a closer look at some tidbits you should know.

  • Even though this is a higher-end desktop, there is a built-in speaker (but I doubt that it’ll be any good or even viable for anything more than a quick soundbite)
  • All Mac Studios ship with 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports on the back, but only the M1 Ultra Mac Studio also has Thunderbolt 4 ports on the front…the front ports on M1 Max are just standard USB-C
  • The Mac Studio with M1 Ultra weighs a whopping 2 pounds more than the same computer configured with M1 Max
  • Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and a 10Gb Ethernet port all come standard

Sam’s take: How does the M1 Ultra weight 2 pounds more than M1 Max? Am I the only one that finds this fascinating? But considering that most people will set this on their desk and never move it…I don’t think this weight difference actually matters. I’m also really grateful there’s a speaker on here as someone who probably relies on my built-in Mac speakers too much.