MacBook Supplies Tightening at Third-Party Retailers Ahead of Potential Refresh [Update: Mac Mini Too]

AppleInsider notes that MacBook supplies have become "severely constrained" at a number of third-party retailers, suggesting that Apple may be drawing down stocks ahead of a refresh.

Specifically, Amazon, MacConnection, On Sale and J&R are all out of stock. In addition, inventory of the entry-level portable is low at DataVision.

In addition, one of Europe's largest distributors is completely out of stock of the white MacBook, and lists no estimated time of arrival for new shipments. Sources indicated that this is unusual, but not necessarily a sign that the current model will be discontinued.

Shipping estimates for orders made through Apple's online stores around the world remain at "within 24 hours", suggesting that the shortages have not yet extended to Apple's own distribution channels. But shortages at third-party retailers are frequently the first indications of Apple preparing to release updated models.


As noted in our Buyer's Guide, Apple is well overdue for a MacBook refresh as judged by its usual update cycle, having last updated the MacBook in May 2010.

Rumors of updated MacBooks have been essentially nonexistent, although the Machine will presumably make the shift to Intel's Sandy Bridge platform and include Thunderbolt support. And while no specific timeframe for an update has been offered, the line is clearly one of many including the MacBook Air, Mac Pro and Mac mini that are due for an update. Apple has been said to be holding new hardware launches until OS X Lion is ready, and so we may see a flood of new releases once the operating system debuts next month.

Update: AppleBitch reports that Best Buy's online store and Amazon UK are also currently out of stock of the Mac mini. While the shortages are not as widespread as seen with the MacBook, they could be early signs of a drawdown for that line as well, which was last updated in June 2010 with a new design.

Related Roundup: Mac mini
Buyer's Guide: Mac Mini (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

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117 months ago

MacBook is for poor people who can't afford something decent, so yes, I think Apple will keep selling them and will update them soon.


Yeah, the poor people who drop a grand on a laptop, please let me always be poor like that!:rolleyes:
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago

The new MacBook Air should just replace the MacBook. It serves no purpose anymore.


At the $999 price point, the MacBook Air has a bunch of restrictions that the MacBook doesn't, notably:


* no optical drive
* 11 vs 13" screen
* 64 GB vs 250 GB hard drive
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago
Thank goodness, it's been waaaaaaay too long.


The new MacBook Air should just replace the MacBook. It serves no purpose anymore.

I don't understand this. The MacBook is more powerful than the Air (I believe), is more upgradable, more feature packed (dvd drive) and is cheaper than the MacBook Pro. And the only way to get a bigger screened MacBook Air is if you fork up 1500ish.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago
As a proud Macbook owner(6,1 model). I must say, I could have afforded the MBP but honestly, I wanted a white laptop. I upgraded the RAM and HD on the cheap from OWC. Couldn't be happier. Love the color mostly, some will say thats dumb, I say dont tell me how to spend my money :)
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago
If they are intent on keeping the MacBook they ought to stick a weak non-hyperthread enabled i5 or i3 in there and charge $799. Otherwise, I don't see the point of it.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
117 months ago

I don't see how a poor person can somehow get the $1,000 for a white MacBook... but can't find $200 more for a MacBook Pro...


Take me for example and some other thoughts.

1) I wanted a white laptop
2) At the time, my 6,1 rev model was better spec'd than the 13"MBP at the time.
3) People have preferences, maybe they like the feel and look more than the pro
4) Price, in todays world $200 is still a good chunk of change, esepcially if you don need more ports, etc...that the pro offers.
5) People spend their money how they want

Just saying, I could have easily afforded the extra $200 to get the base pro, but I wanted white, and I could upgrade my RAM and HD on the cheap myself. Now I have a nice macbook with more ram, more hd space, in a package I want. Couldn't be happier. :)
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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