Stock of the 21.5-inch iMac is scarce ahead of next week's Apple Event

2019 iMac
2019 iMac (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • The 21.5-inch iMac is out of stock in the majority of Apple Stores right now.
  • The lack of availability calls into question if Apple will unveil a new iMac next week.

The stock of the 21.5-inch iMac is running low at Apple Stores across the United States, increasing rumors that the desktop may be days away from a refresh.

As reported by MacRumors, the lack of availability is affecting both the non-4K and 4K versions of iMac with shipping dates being delayed by a week or more.

A vast majority of Apple Stores are listing the standard 21.5-inch iMac as unavailable for pickup. The higher-end configuration with 16GB of RAM and 1TB of Fusion Drive storage is currently unavailable for pickup entirely, but is available for delivery. Regardless of configuration, Apple lists at least five to seven business days for shipping estimates.The higher-end 21.5-inch iMac with a 4K display is also experiencing a lack of availability at a few stores nationwide; however, it largely remains in stock. The larger 27-inch iMac remains available as normal.

The could be two explanations as to why availability is slim for the current 21.5-inch iMac.

The first is that we could be seeing Apple getting impacted by the global chip shortage. Last week, it was reported that the company was expieriencing delays in MacBook and iPad production due to the lack of certain components.

Chip shortages have caused delays in a key step in MacBook production -- the mounting of components on printed circuit boards before final assembly -- sources briefed on the matter told Nikkei Asia. Some iPad assembly, meanwhile, was postponed because of a shortage of displays and display components, sources said.As a result of the delay, Apple has pushed back a portion of component orders for the two devices from the first half of this year to the second half, the people said. Industry sources and experts say the delays are a sign that the chip shortage is growing more serious and could impact smaller tech players even more heavily.

The second reason, and the hopeful one, is that the company may announce a new iMac at next week's Apple Event. Apple is hosting a virtual event on Tuesday, April 20, and we could be in store for an iMac redesign. While the most probable products to be unveiled at the event are new iPad Pros and the long-rumored AirTags, the company could surprise us all with a new iMac.

The new iMac is expected to get a full redesign and more closely resemble a gigantic iPad Pro attached to a stand. In addition, it is expected to feature the latest Apple silicon processors that have yet to be revealed by Apple.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.