iMac 2021 pre-orders begin, but there's bad news on some color options

iMac 2021
(Image credit: Apple)

Pre-orders for the iMac 2021 begin today (April 30) — in addition to a couple other Apple products. But if you've got your heart set on a specific color for Apple's latest all-in-one, it could impact how you shop for your new computer.

Apple posted a notice outlining the hows and wheres of pre-ordering the iMac 2021, iPad Pro, and Apple TV 4K this weekend — pretty standard practice for when you have this much high-profile hardware going on sale. But the details about iMac pre-ordering include some information about which colors will be available in Apple Stores and which you'll have to order online.

First spotted by 512Pixels, Apple's pre-order notes state that only the green, pink, blue and silver iMacs will be available in Apple's retail stores. That's four of the seven colors Apple is producing for the iMac 2021.

You'll still be able to order the orange, purple and yellow iMacs, but only at Apple's website. All seven colors are available to order online, in fact.

There's no explanation for why Apple is limiting the colors available at its brick-and-mortar stores, at least initially. Any time any company launches a new product, it takes time to ramp up inventory, and Apple's move could reflect that with the iMac 2021 launch. The coronavirus pandemic has also led to production delays throughout the tech world — just ask anyone trying to buy a PS5 — so it's possible that some iMac models won't be as plentiful as others in the early stages of the iMac rollout.

Whatever the cause — and we can only speculate at this point — it's important to know which iMac colors will be available from which retail outlets, so you can plan your ordering accordingly.

There's more to the iMac 2021 than just a choice in colors. The latest edition of Apple's all-in-one desktop is the first to be powered by the company's M1 processor. In addition, there's a new camera system, improved audio, and a new look from earlier iMacs.

While pre-orders are getting underway today, the iMac 2021 won't ship until the second half of May. Leaks have suggested the iMac 2021 will ship on May 21, along with the iPad Pro and Apple TV 4K.

Meanwhile, as Apple starts taking pre-orders for those products, two other devices announced at last week's Spring Loaded event are now on sale. The purple version of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini has hit stores, as has the AirTag key finder that Apple unveiled.

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.