Need a New Mac, iPad, or Apple Watch? You May Have to Wait

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If you need a new Mac or other Apple product, you may be waiting for a while. Direct orders for some of Apple’s most popular products have longer-than-usual shipping delays. It’s worth checking with independent Apple resellers too.

I ordered a heavily BTO’ed 13" MBP right after they were announced on May 4th. Apparently it just left the factory in Shanghai late yesterday, Friday. FedEx has is scheduled to arrive at my home on Wed, May 20. The original shipping window Apple quoted to me was 5/20-28 so I’m happy. I remember seeing that the BTO initially pushed delivery back about one week.

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On delivery dates, Apple (and many others) are underpromising and overdelivering. I have ordered various staples for inventory with estimated delivery dates several weeks out. I think they all have been delivered within a week.

In Apple’s case, I ordered an iPad Magic Keyboard on April 21 (when detailed reviews were published). The delivery window was shown as May 7-May 14. The keyboard was delivered on May 6.

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I have also experienced that. Several Amazon shipments came multiiple days early. I guess they wanted to err on the side of caution with some estimates.

That said, UPS Ground once again baffles me. A 2 oz item shipped to me last Mon from Orlando. By today it’s saying it arrived in Atlanta. WTF? Scheduled delivery is next week in Berkeley. Really? In my experience USPS (to my surprise these guys are usually the fastest) and FedEx are usually great, as is Amazon’s own delivery. But UPS? Good God.

UPS is a bit crazy. Here’s the saga of a delivery I got yesterday in Oakland, CA. It first showed up on Tuesday at UPS in Louisville, KY with 3-day shipping (arrival Friday). By Thursday, it had made it all the way to Rockford, Illinois, and I got a notice that arrival was delayed until Monday. But, by that evening, it made it across the country to West Sacramento, CA , and in the early hours of Friday, traveled the 80 miles or so to Oakland and onto a truck. I received it Friday afternoon.

One neat thing about the UPS IOS app is that when the item gets on a truck, you can follow its progress. It’s wild to see the route zig-zag all over my neighborhood.

Hehe. I’ve admired that with Amazon deliveries. It’s indeed fun to watch them crisscross through town.

My UPS ( can follow the delivery truck on your Mac or Windows machine.

I had a strange experience with UPS this week, as well. Four boxes were shipped to my wife from McKesson medical supplies In state for delivery the next day and was notified that evening that all four were in Oakland for delivery the next afternoon. Then I got an early morning notification that three of the four would be delayed for another day. They all were eventually delivered, but only the lightest box got here early on the first day. Seems somebody in Oakland didn’t want to load the heavy boxes?

As someone who works at UPS you have no idea how insane it’s gotten. This has turned into a peak season heavier than Christmas. Plus it’s not blacked out for the workers (we can take time off or vacations. A no no after Thanksgiving). I’m a sorter. I’ve been literally knee deep in packages for weeks. Seems like we’re the only shipper in town. I’m seeing volume from customers we’ve never carried before. We consistently roll volume over as we no room in the outbound trailers. No extra bodies hired. Not enough drivers. New ones can’t get their DOT physicals to be move up. Plus not enough trucks to deliver even if we had the drivers. Or the time. Drivers are hitting their DOT hours by Thursday or mid Friday.
Not complaining. Getting overtime. At least I’m still employed. Hell, they’ll let me work through my vacation if I wanted.


Wow, thanks for the inside look. Tonya and I had a discussion when all this was starting about whether it was ethically acceptable to place orders for things you didn’t really need. We came to the conclusion that while it wasn’t a major problem, we should avoid ordering non-essential items if possible to reduce strain on the delivery services.


Thanks for the behind the scenes view, @brevebear. Don’t get me wrong. I realize workers are doing what they can with this onslaught. I’m primarily amazed at the online tools. I’m sure my parcel has moved more than 30 miles since last Wed, but the online tools show that all that has happened. I think others above describe similar odd tracking. It’s not so much about shipments being late, as to tracking not being consistent with real progress. But yeah, probably also related simply to unusually large volume. The new abnormal so to speak. :wink:

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Sounds like a case of packages not getting scanned. Gives the illusion it’s not moving. Scanning packages is big deal for this very reason. Weird package miss directions might just be miss scans, in where a package was scanned in the wrong trailer, then moved out to the correct one but never rescanned. Gives the illusion the package is heading the wrong way. These problems are rare but do happen. I gotta say I appreciate the patience a lot of you have. On our end we view every package as very important. It’s why I have a job. Every customer is important.

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Brave Bear,

Thanks for your dedication and insights.

In general, I try to plan modestly ahead to keep stress down. So, as I have indicated, my purchases during this period are, for the most part, mainly to replenish my inventory (for example, a multi-month supply of toilet paper). In normal times, such quantities were easily available from local stores. However, understandably, that is no longer the case. So, given the need to eventually have the product, it makes sense for me to order online for delivery whenever. Thus, I am not really worried about them arriving tomorrow or a month from now. Given the opportunity to indicate priority, I do mark it as low.

I am interested in networks and flow; so given the ability to track shipments, I do so. However, I am not upset by things moving off schedule. As I said previously, even with apparent hiccups in shipment progress, most things are arriving either before or near the start of originally promised delivery windows.

Same. But now I feel like it’s a patriotic duty to order stuff!

At least here in Germany, the Apple refurbished store could be a possibility if you need something really fast. I ordered an iPad Air 3 there on May 7, and it was delivered on May 8 :grinning:. But of course the selection is limited and constantly changing.

On a related note, can the 1 year free TV+ be issued again if you buy another Mac/iPhone or does one Apple ID only get the freebie once regardless of how many devices you buy?

The Apple TV+ trial is one per Apple ID (and one per family if you have a family plan with multiple IDs in the family).

Thanks, @ddmiller.

And the offer expires. I got a code with my iPod Touch. I didn’t activate it because I don’t have any appropriate device attached to the TV where I like to watch streaming video. After a few months, I got a “your offer is about to expire” e-mail.

I have no idea if I’ll receive another offer if I buy another device in the future.

Indeed, early this morning the FedEx truck pulled up and dropped off my brand new Core i7 13" MBP. Today was the very first day of the original shipping window Apple quotes me (for a BTO MBP) on release day May 4th. :+1: :clap: :slight_smile: