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MacBook Pro orders are facing delays — what you need to know

MacBook Pro 16-inch 2021
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

MacBook Pro fans who still haven't bought one of the new models are evidently in for a long wait, amid reports that customers are still facing wait times of a month or more when trying to order a new 14-inch MacBook Pro 2021 or 16-inch MacBook Pro 2021 online.

Bloomberg journalist and Apple tipster Mark Gurman reports (opens in new tab) that wait times have jumped significantly for folks trying to order those 2021 MacBook Pro models directly from Apple, with wait times reaching a month or more. Here at Tom's Guide we've seen the same issue, with some of the most tricked-out configs having delivery windows nearly two months away. 

This is significant because Apple launched these remarkable laptops more than six months ago. Powered by Apple's M1 Pro and M1 Max processors, they're some of the best MacBooks to date, so it's notable that the company can't seem to reliably keep them on hand.

That may speak to their popularity, of course. But according to Gurman's (well-informed) opinion, the odds are that these delays are due, at least in part, to COVID-19 lockdowns in China. The seasoned Apple reporter points to China's zero-tolerance policy for COVID-19 outbreaks as a key cause for delayed MacBook Pro shipments, though he notes that most other Mac products don't seem to be facing similar delays. 

Sure enough, you can still get an entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro with M1 with free next-day delivery, though the fully upgraded model currently takes three weeks to ship at the time this article was published. 

However, unless you're really in a bind I'd recommend holding off on that purchase. I've spent some time using the 16-inch Pro 2021 and the new features are well worth waiting for, even for a month or two. Plus, we're expecting to see a new 13-inch MacBook Pro 2022 debut later this year packing the long-rumored Apple M2 chip

MacBook Pro 2021 delays: What to expect

After some hard-nosed research and online shopping, here's an abbreviated rundown of what the shipment times for a new MacBook are as of April 13 in California. Hopefully this gives you a bit of context as to which models are delayed, and by how much:

  • 13-inch MacBook Pro: Tomorrow - 3 weeks
  • 14-inch MacBook Pro: 5 - 9 weeks
  • 16-inch MacBook Pro: 5 - 9 weeks
  • MacBook Air: 1 - 3 weeks

Of course if you wanted a new top-of-the-line MacBook Pro 2021 and can't afford to wait two months for one, don't despair: There's still always a chance it will be in stock at your nearest Apple store, ready for pickup. 

Alex Wawro is a lifelong tech and games enthusiast with more than a decade of experience covering both for outlets like Game Developer, Black Hat, and PC World magazine. A lifelong PC builder, he currently serves as a senior editor at Tom's Guide covering all things computing, from laptops and desktops to keyboards and mice.