Apple resellers and customers expecting new Power Mac G5s face a longer-than-anticipated wait

Macworld readers report receiving letters from the Apple Store to confirm that the Mac they ordered will ship later than thought.

One reader ordered his on July 13. When he placed the order, the Apple Store told him to expect his Mac to ship in July. His order confirmation warned him to expect the Mac to ship "on or before July 30".

Today, Apple is telling customers: "The demand for this item has been incredible".

The company is: "Shipping as quickly as possible, but cannot meet the ship date we previously estimated for you. We now expect to ship your Power Mac on or before August 20th".

"We appreciate your patience and sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this delay has caused you," the Apple message says.

Enquiries among Apple's UK resellers have confirmed similar delays: "This is what we have been told, too," said one. Apple "always struggles with new product launches," they added.

Another reseller described Power Mac G5s supplies to be "seriously constrained".

Manufacturing problems at IBM's state-of-the-art East Fishkill factory have ben well-reported. These relate to the move to a new 90-nanometre manufacturing process, which has affected the number of chips produced and the reliability of those processors.

Apple has already confirmed that the next-generation iMac will be based on a G5 processor. Company chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer said: "We normally don't talk about unannounced products but we feel you need to know about the current situation. The new iMac will be based on a G5 processor.

"We could not secure the necessary supply of G5 processors to launch the new iMac on schedule. We now plan to announce and ship it in September."

He described IBM's supply problems as happening across the industry - Intel is also understood to be enduring problems in moving to its own 90-nanometre process.

Apple has so far not responded to requests for comment on this story.