Apple's new Mac Pro has gone on sale today, with demand already pushing availability of the innovative desktop to February 2014. The cylindrical Mac launched with premium pricing this morning - starting at $2,999 for the entry-spec model, though that still includes a 3.5GHz quad-core Xeon E5 processor, 12GB of memory, 256GB of PCIe flash storage, and dual AMD FirePro D500 graphics - but Apple's online store is already warning that new orders shouldn't be expected to ship until midway through Q1 next year.
A reasonable contributor to the delay may well be the new manufacturing processes Apple is piloting with the 2013 Mac Pro, not to mention where it's being built. The company detailed the production line back in October, from the "deep draw" which extrudes the shell initially, through to the lathing, polishing, anodizing and more.
Meanwhile, the Mac Pro is also now being built in Apple's Austin plant as the company pushes domestic manufacturing. That may well be another cause of delay, however, as the production facility ramps up.
Apple arguably revealed its most interesting product of 2013 when it showed off the Mac Pro earlier this year. Dropping the capacious internal expansion space of its predecessor in favor of numerous Thunderbolt 2 and USB 3.0 ports for external drives and other peripherals, the short, round chassis promises to punch above its size in terms of power.
For instance, there's the option of a 2.7GHz 12-core processor with 30MB of L3 cache - a hefty $3,000 option - along with up to 64GB of memory, for $1,200 more. $600 gets dual AMD FirePro D700 GPUs with 6GB of GDDR5 VRAM each, and $800 takes the storage to 1TB of PCIe-based flash.