Earlier this month, there were questionable rumors making the rounds that Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) may potentially be forced to delay the new iMacs that it unveiled last month.
Word was that the Mac maker was having difficulties with the friction-stir welding manufacturing process. 9to5Mac shot down the speculation with its own more reliable sources saying everything was still on track. The 21.5-inch models have been slated for a November launch while the larger 27-inch models will ship next month.
Apple has now announced that the 21.5-inch models are set to ship this Friday, Nov. 30, just barely squeezing in to technically meet its self-imposed deadline of November availability.
While the news in itself isn't the most meaningful for Apple's performance, since desktop sales continue to shrink along with the PC market, it shows that Apple continues to overcome some of the manufacturing challenges it's been facing with its products. Desktop units fell 24% last quarter to 968,000, and it's safe to say that the iMac is Apple's best-selling desktop compared to the pricey Mac Pro and lower-end Mac Mini.
It's also good news for graphics specialist NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA ) , since its newest Kepler GPUs are featured in the new iMacs, displacing Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ: AMD ) after several years. Kepler chips are also found in the newest MacBook Pros. At this point, the only GPU spot that AMD has left is in the Mac Pro. Tim Cook has already hinted that the professional desktop is getting an overhaul next year, so don't be surprised if AMD loses that spot to NVIDIA, completing Apple's transition back to its former GPU flame.
Desktop revenue was just 3.4% of sales last quarter, but Apple remains committed to innovating on a decreasingly important product line. Sometimes focusing solely on the product is good enough.
There is absolutely no argument that Apple is at the center of technology's largest revolution ever, and that longtime shareholders have been handsomely rewarded with over 1,000% gains. However, there is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool's senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple, and what opportunities are left for the company (and more importantly, your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.