If you hoped pre-ordering a new MacBook Pro with Retina Display would make you the first one on your block with Apple's latest, greatest laptop, think again. Many customers that placed orders for Apple's 15-inch Retina Display-powered MacBook Pro were originally quoted a 7-10 day waiting period. Those same customers are now receiving e-mails from Apple, stating their beautiful new laptops won't ship until or after July 25.
Several MacBook Pro customers forwarded their e-mails from Apple to MacRumors:
Dear Apple Customer,
Thank you for your recent order.
Purchase Order#: xxxxxxxxxx
Sales Order#: xxxxxxxxxx
Ship-to Zip Code: xxxxx
Due to an unexpected delay, we are unable to ship the following item(s) by the date that you were recently quoted:
Z0ML, MBP 15.4/CTO
will now ship on or before
Jul 25, 2012
Please note that product availability can change rapidly, and it is possible that your order may ship much sooner than we anticipate. You may even receive a shipment confirmation between the time we send this email and the time that you read it.
What's Causing The Delay?
This is not the first Apple product that has sold out on launch day -- not by a long-shot -- so what gives? MacRumors noted that all of the customers who forwarded their e-mails said they had ordered and customized the highest-end MacBook Pro model -- configured with 768 GB of solid-state storage -- but chose not to upgrade from the basic 2.6 GHz processor. Choosing that upgrade -- bumping a 2.6 GHz processor to a 2.7 GHz processor -- costs an extra $250.
Besides the potential delays in developing so many customized laptops, it's likely the sheer volume of orders that's been overwhelming the supply chains and the manufacturers. Within hours of the computer's announcement at WWDC 2012, shipping had been pushed to 2-3 weeks. By the next day, the waiting period was 3-4 weeks. The website still reads Shipping in 3-4 weeks, but those who ordered originally will have waited from the beginning of August to receive what they ordered at the beginning of June!
We've reached out to Apple for further comment, and we'll let you know if we hear back.
About The New MacBook Pro With Retina Display
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Parts of this description are taken from my original review of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, which can be read in full here.
Announced at WWDC 2012 in San Francisco, the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display has been redesigned by Apple from the ground up. Several new architectural features have been included outside and inside the computer shell to make the computer stronger, faster and less noisy, but the real showstopper is the display. As the name implies, the new MacBook Pro is the first computer to feature Apple's Retina Display technology.
For those that don't know, a Retina Display is any display where the pixels are packed so close together that the human eye cannot distinguish them. The first Retina Displays were featured inside the iPhone 4, and Apple recently ported the display to its 9.7-inch new iPad in March. The company has proven that it can make a Retina Display for almost any device, now that it's fit a stunning amount of pixels into a 15.4-inch display.
The new MacBook Pro with Retina Display features a 2880 x 1800 pixel resolution, which means it contains 3 million more pixels than an HDTV. It is the highest-resolution display on any notebook in the world, and it definitely delivers.
Up close, the display sings. If the new iPad feels like a layer has been removed between the user and the interface, the same goes for the new MacBook Pro, and it's all thanks to that Retina Display.
Not only are images sharper on the new MacBook Pro, but the contrast and saturation quality is also significantly higher. According to Apple, the new MacBook Pro display features a 29 percent higher contrast ratio than the standard MacBook Pro display, and the glass itself is much better to look at, too. Apple managed to reduce the glare on the screen by up to 75 percent, which makes the screen shiny but not too reflective in bright settings. Apple clearly put a lot of work into making the display disappear.
Everything looks better on the new display, but image-based applications are particularly gorgeous, especially Aperture and Final Cut Pro. While playing with Apple's film-editing software, the program launched in less than 10 seconds, speedy considering the heft of the program and all of its files. Once you're in Final Cut, however, everything is completely fluid. Watching various tracks simultaneously, or moving from track to track, all while watching a 1080p HD video in the viewfinder, it's all extremely impressive.
(For a comparison, I also tested Final Cut Pro with a couple of Apple desktops, including low-end iMac and Mac Pro computers. On those platforms, Final Cut loaded slower -- about 15 to 20 seconds -- and it was nowhere as reactive or as beautiful as it was on the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display.)
It wasn't enough for Apple to create the world's greatest display on a laptop; Apple built the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display around a brand-new, all-flash architecture, which makes storing and recalling files dramatically quicker and performing actions significantly faster. Starting up, launching apps and navigating the desktop are all extremely smooth. Apple says that thanks to flash, booting the system and opening files are both more than twice as fast as on the old architecture, and copying files is more than four times faster. Working on heavy-duty programs like Final Cut and Aperture is also faster on the new MacBook Pro, but so is everything else.
Apple also boosted the speed of its chips, using the third-generation quad-core processors built by Intel called Ivy Bridge, which can run at 2.3 GHz, 2.6 GHz, and 2.7 GHz for different models, with Turbo Boost up to 3.3 GHz, 3.6 GHz, and 3.7 GHz, respectively. Apple also outfitted the new MacBook Pro with the latest graphics chip from NVIDIA: the GeForce GT 650M supports automatic graphics switching, dual display and video mirroring capabilities.
While the speed of the actual computer is important, the speed of the ports to which it connects to other devices and networks is just as much so. Apple didn't skimp here, either.
The new MacBook Pro with Retina Display features two USB 3.0 ports (which are also compatible with USB 2.0), a new HDMI port to easily transmit images to other HD devices and displays, an SDXC card slot, and best of all, two Thunderbolt ports. Thunderbolt boasts a lightning connection speed, but while many devices aren't yet accesssible with the connection, Apple wisely built adapters for Gigabit Ethernet and FireWire 800, which will allow users to connect to the Internet with incredible speed.
For wireless users, the MacBook Pro with Retina Display is also compatible with 802.11n Wi-Fi networking -- the new AirPort Extreme with simultaneous dual-band support should give your laptop an added boost -- and also includes Bluetooth 4.0, a.k.a. Smart Bluetooth, for near-instantaneous connectivity.
This kind of power, both in the computer hardware and in its connectivity, is quite a feat, considering the thinness and lightness of the device. The computer stood up to almost any test: Launching multiple applications, watching multiple videos, opening many tabs and searching simultaneously; the new MacBook Pro can handle it all.
There are very few, if any, real drawbacks to the new MacBook Pro with Retina Display. The computer is beautiful, it's powerful, and it's light. If I had to pick any gripes with the computer, it would be the 7-hour battery life and the prices of the higher-end models.
The 7-hour battery life could definitely be improved upon, especially since users need a mobile computer that's dependable when they're not directly near a power source, which is a lot of the time. It would also be welcome if this computer could connect to cellular networks as a phone does when it can't find a Wi-Fi source, but that could be a ways off.
Aesthetically, it would have been nice if Apple removed -- or just shrank -- the black bezel that borders the screen. Besides that, there's not much wrong with this computer. At all.