During Apple's earnings conference call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook fielded an analyst's question regarding Apple's product releases during the Fall 2012 quarter and delivered a surprisingly candid answer.
Addressing the shipping delays that plagued Apple's new iMacs, Cook articulated that Apple should had waited to release its new iMac models until this year.
"I don't spend a lot of time looking back except to learn from it," Cook explained. "If we could run it over, frankly, I would have announced the iMac after the turn of the year. We felt customers had to wait too long for that specific product."
Cook explained that despite supply constraints for the iPad mini, he would not have changed its release date, because they were still able to get the device out to millions of customers.
While supply problems for new Apple products are not uncommon -- the company tends to push its contract manufacturers and component suppliers to their limits in pursuit of "insanely great" devices -- the shipment delays associated with Apple's recent iMac refresh were atypically long. Since its release in November, Apple struggled to keep up with demand.
For quite some time, shipping delays for the all-in-one desktop computer stretched for as long as three to five weeks. It wasn't until early March that Apple seemed to get a grasp on production issues, resulting in a much more reasonable shipping time of just one to three business days.
Apple is always keen on pushing the envelope in terms of manufacturing processes, and it's suspected that Apple's iMac supply issues were rooted in a new lamination process used to keep the new iMac screen as thin as possible.