Why are the Mac Pro base models available at Amazon and B&H but not at Apple?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by macrumorsuser10, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. macrumorsuser10 macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2010
    I see that the two Mac Pro base models ($2999 and $3999) are currently available at both Amazon.com and B&H Photo, but not at the Apple online store or at physical stores (I called my nearby store). What is the deal with this?

    I suppose the Apple online store might be backlogged with custom build orders, but why would they not have the base models in stock?
  2. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    They're called Value Added Resellers for a reason.

    Apple let's them sell the base model while Apple stores and online deal with the BTO systems.

    The resellers are happy because they have the base models to sell. Bringing in more business for them.

    Apple is happy because they don't have to worry about the pipeline for the base models so they can concentrate on the CTO models.

    Built in America at it's finest !!
  3. hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    B&H typically also sells BTO models including the top end ones. I would imagine they have them on order and they will be available to ship once received. They have to wait on the BTO orders just like everyone else.
  4. deconstruct60, Apr 21, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Because Amazon and B&H are probably selling what they ordered several weeks ago. It isn't like Amazon and B&H Mac Pros comes from the oompa-loompa staffed factory and the the online store's come from another factory. The systems all come from the same place. Amazon and B&H can only sell what Apple delivers to them. If Apple is late delivering then the stores will sell later. These are probably Mac Pros these stores ordered in Jan/Feb that they get to sell now.

    As long as these previously ordered systems fly off the shelves at a relatively fast clip these stores will keep placing new orders. It also means that the size of orders these stores are making probably is getting larger(e.g., if initially ordered 100 in Dec. and couldn't keep that in stock for a couple of weeks, then probably not going to order 100 in Jan. More likely something like 110-120. If can't keep that in stock.. goes up again. ) That means there is little excess capacity to build an inventory of machines at the Apple own stores. Until the buying slows substantially across the board, Apple isn't going to have any inventories of stock models.

    Any notion that the demand across all stores is perfectly and/or predictably uniform is likely a flawed notion. These stores having models in stock can be a temporary situation as more unmet demand shifts their way. Given the highly skewed nature of the initial demand bubble, the production and distribution of Mac Pros probably won't reach an even supply/demand state until June or so.
  5. deconstruct60, Apr 21, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Eh? Apple brick and mortar stores primarily sell standard configs. Apple is just as looped into selling standard configs as these other stores. Even Apple can't sell what they can't contract to make.

    The factory producing these machines is probably running at max capacity. There is no rational reason for Apple to get into a speculative fixed config bidding war with the other resellers over standard config units that don't exist. Apple is taking orders for standard configs right along side custom orders. The high rate of those orders for all the sales channels means Apple has little inventory stock to sell on short notice.

    As long as the 3rd party retailers keep ordering new Mac Pros at a high rate, Apple will keep allocating production slots to them. Until they and other users slow their orders, Apple can't build inventory of the standard configs for their own stores. If all the demand for a particular standard config shifts to any one of these retailers they'd probably quickly go to the same state of "out of stock" as the Apple stores are in right now too.

    If demand suddenly drops then the 3rd parties are stuck with the standard config inventory and Apple isn't. When demand starts to meet supply they'll build some small standard config inventory. If demand drops some more, they'll cut back orders at the factory.

    If Apple manages to run the factory orders at almost max capacity most of the year then it would have been a profitable move by Apple and the contractor to shift to the new factory set up.
  6. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Got my nMP next day from Amazon (received Saturday). Even better the Pegasus2 R6 that came from Beach also arrived next day! Amazon is the bomb for ordering with Prime. No clue why apple can't/won't compete with that.
  7. CptSky macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    Because Amazon is selling existing stock, while Apple is selling "inexistant" stock... So, yes, buying an existing item which is already stored near you is faster than buying an item which must be manufactured and than shipped from the factories.
  8. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Umm, that is circular logic. The machine was made and shipped by apple from the same factory whether directly to me or to amazon first. There is only one source for it. Apparently Apple would rather ship to Amazon rather than customers directly. But they are all coming from the same assembly line.
  9. CptSky macrumors regular

    Feb 1, 2013
    The difference is that Amazon have stocks (most stores are selling what they have in stock, not what they'll get at some point), so when you buy it, they directly have it and directly ship it to you. Apple still doesn't have enough Mac Pro around to have stocks, so they'll have to build it and ship it to you. But, they need to ship some to stores too, else stores won't have anything to sell. So, you get the actual wait time... Apple can sell inexisting stock while a store (like Amazon) can't.
  10. deconstruct60, Apr 22, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    None of what you have outlined so far is circular.

    No. Amazon is selling machines to them. Guess what? Customers who ordered machines weeks if not months ago... yep... Apple is delivering machines to them too.

    There is little to no difference between the two groups.

    If Apple's contract plant can make 6,000 Mac Pros a month and there at least 6,006 orders from retailers and customers per month then there will be no units to stock Apple's inventory to sell off the shelf.

    Right now Amazon entry Mac Pro is showing

    " .. Only 8 left in stock (more on the way). ... "

    If 8 folks show up buy before Apple ships replacements, then Amazon will be in the same state that the Apple store is (i.e., none available for immediate shipment).

    It isn't like Apple is passing up on machines that nobody wants or is incrementally reducing capacity on the production line lower so there are less available. The factory capacity was not set so high to produce a years worth of Mac Pros in 3 months, but it is starting to match the level of demand. The wait times are shorter and there are standard configuration stock that doesn't disappear in days (or hours ). For the majority of the 2014 the capacity will probably be more than sufficient. Relatively soon the retailers will start ordering less because fewer folks are buying Mac Pros as quickly (a substantive number of folks who need one, have one. ). At that point supply will catch up to demand and "ships in 24 hours" will show up on Apple's web site and can walk out of a physical Apple store with one. Right now Apple store stocking standard configs means kicking some other customers/partners in the shin in a "rob Peter to pay Paul" exercise.
  11. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    ok this is getting silly, but here is my point: I went to the apple store because I usually order directly from Apple. It said 3-4 weeks for a stock mac pro.

    I needed one now, so I went to amazon and had it here next day.

    Apple clearly COULD prioritize orders to their own customers (i.e. will fulfill amazon orders only when current customer orders are at shipping now), but they have chosen not to.

    This is particularly confusing to me because obviously Amazon is getting them at cheaper prices in order to sell and make a profit, so Apple is selling them for LESS than they could get shipping direct. Maybe due to volume sales and less overhead for the given units moved, it makes sense to them.

    However it's clear that APPLE has made a conscious decision to short their direct customers.
  12. flowrider macrumors 601


    Nov 23, 2012
    +1 - Actually this is one of the silliest threads I've seen on this forum, and there are a lot of silly threads.

  13. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    Apple has two kinds of customers in this case - the authorized dealers, and its direct sales customers. Apple is in a stickier position with authorized dealers than their direct customers - not only is Apple selling to the dealers, Apple is competing with the authorized dealers for retail customers.

    The dealers have a choice - they can enthusiastically sell Apple, or not. The difference between having dealers enthusiastically selling (running ads, encouraging the sales force to sell particular brands, etc.) and simply filling orders for people who already know what they want, can be substantial. If the dealers feel Apple is giving them the short end of the stick (Apple retail stores have stock when they do not), it endangers Apple's relationship with customers who buy dozens, hundreds, thousands of computers. And this is especially important when we're talking about a hot product (which nMP clearly is). Retailers are particularly passionate about having stock of the hot product.

    The dealers already accept that Apple is skimming all the BTO sales, which are higher priced/more profitable. It'd be harder to accept that Apple is hogging the off-the-shelf sales as well.

    So maybe Apple is just erring on the side of caution.

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