Refreshed internals, lower price point possible.
German Retailer Begins Taking Mac Pro Pre-Orders, Claims December 16 Availability [Updated]
German retailer Conrad Electronic has, however, now begun taking pre-orders [Google Translate] for the two stock configurations of the new Mac Pro, citing availability of Monday, December 16.
It is unclear what Conrad is basing its availability citation on, but it appears to be the first specific claim of a launch date from a retailer, something many potential customers have been waiting for. Availability of the new Mac Pro is likely being constrained by new Intel Ivy Bridge-EP processors that were officially launched in September but which have apparently been somewhat slow to ramp up production.
Holiday shopping considerations would be less of a factor for the new Mac Pro than for most of Apple's other products, given the professional focus of the machine, but the end-of-the-month holiday season could present some logistical issues for Apple given employee vacations and other factors.
Also unclear is what kind of volumes the new Mac Pro will ship in at launch. If supplies are tightly constrained as it appears they may be, shipping dates may quickly slip into early 2014 with only a small number of units making their way to retailers and customers before the end of the year.
Update: French site MacGeneration posted a Tweet earlier this week claiming that delivery to customers may come on December 18, which could be in line with December 16 shipping availability.
Update 2: Conrad has removed its Mac Pro pre-order pages.