This is just an opinion at this point.....but plausible.  The longer silver remains below at least $50/oz, the situation is likely to deteriorate.  A very good read below.  Ivana


Is Ted Butler’s Silver Panic Imminent? Apple Contractor Claims New iMac Production Delayed Over Silver Shortage!

January 18, 2013

Silver expert Ted Butler has long predicted and awaited an eventual industrial shortage of physical silver, and a resulting panic silver buying that terminates the bullion bank cartel’s manipulation of the silver market. 
Butler may be about to be finally proven correct, if an Apple contractor is right that Apple has delayed production on the new 27” iMacs over an industrial silver shortage in China

With the US Mint sold out of Silver Eagles and production shut down for the 2nd time in 2 weeksand shortages of nearly all retail silver products rapidly developing along with spiking physical premiums, it appears that a widespread retail, and perhaps industrial physical silver shortage is developing and escalating by the hour.

Submitted by Bally A.

I work as a sales contractor for a local independent Apple dealer. I don’ know how many of you closely watch Apple delivery dates, but we received a consignment of the new 21.5″ iMacs and then they dried up. We haven’t received any of the new 27″ iMacs. Our shelves are bare with lots of backorders. I’ve never seen this before.

Apple announced the new iMacs on Oct. 23 2012.

It’s been 10 weeks now since any 27″ iMacs have been shipped and Apple states that another 3 to 4 week delivery for those models, if you order today.

Apple states that there are “production problems” causing the delay.

Why? Based on the evidence, in my opinion there is simply not enough silver available to produce them.

The new “Iris” screens use a lot, lot more silver than the older models, including the new iPads.All the silver is going to produce the iPad 4′s which, of course, use less silver per unit. This creates the illusion that all is right except for a few “production glitches”.

Why is a silver shortage the likely culprit for the production delays? The 21.5″ iMac screens are essentially the same as the 27″ screens. Inside, there is little difference other than the width of the systems where you have enough width to have 4 RAM slots and thus upgrade the the RAM. There are no RAM slots on the new 21.5″ iMac, i.e. you get what you bought re. RAM.

There are no shortages of HD’s CPU chips etc. If they can produce the 21.5″ iMacs, they can produce the 27″ iMacs, or else why would Apple announce them and then have almost a FULL ONE FISCAL QUARTER DELAY in manufacturing and delivery???

The only logical answer, is that the brighter screens require substantially more silver than the earlier models. That is also why there was a $100 price increase on most models of the iMac.

Apple manufacturers its iMacs and iPads in China, and China is now importing massive amounts of silver, where once a few years ago it was a net exporter- and this in spite of a huge increase in domestic silver production!

Of course, Apple doesn’t and won’t announce a shortage of Silver for fear that silver prices would skyrocket and even a $100 price increase would be insufficient to cover a large increase in silver prices and thus they would lose profit margins. They are already on the hook for a massive amount of the Iris based iMacs at a their current price point. Should silver prices skyrocket for any or all of the reasons we know, Apple may be on the hook of fulfilling the Back Orders at no profit or even at a loss.

It doesn’t take about 12 weeks these days to correct a “production ‘problem’”, especially when Apple had already announced the launch and its sister system already rolled off the assembly line, but in limited quantities.
The only explanation I can think of for the production delay is that there is a massive shortage of silver to make the brighter screens.

How much silver is used in the new Apple screens?

Google all you want. I have. You won’t find it anywhere. Trade secret, you know. I’ve googled many times to find out how much silver is used in LCD displays. No answer. No one is telling.

But think about it. Where does the $100 increase in the 21.5″ base model come from? At $30 per oz., I doubt that it all goes to say 2 extra oz. plus margin of silver per se. Obviously, it must be far less than even a 1/4 or 1/10 of an oz. increase.

That’s about $3 or $4 more at spot Comex pricing in production costs, if you think about it. So why the $100 increase and production delay?

I can think that the new production line would cost more, but $100 more seems to be a stretch. It still doesn’t account for the delay in and of itself, nearly 3 months later than the announcement. Why would Apple announce the iMac launch, if they weren’t assured that the production lines were ready to go? That’s highly unlike Apple. Historically, there were a couple of weeks delay from announcement, a month tops. 
3 MONTHS? Never.

Even at 1/10 of an oz. or less per iMac, still seems to me the only explanation.

Moreover, I checked our Apple back orders today back over a month and only a few are what’s called “processed” which means that they are now starting to be built with no ETA for shipping.

Conclusion: I believe that an industrial silver shortage is at the heart of Apple’s delays. Nevertheless, if Apple can’t get it’s silver in necessary quantities, the amount or short term price or Comex price doesn’t really matter. If Apple can’t obtain enough to supply demand, they can only delay orders, delay production, and delay the inevitable.

That inevitability is that silver pricing must go up, while silver production stays flat at best.

I’ll bet a dollar to a donut that Apple knew about this shortage of silver in China, and that was why it increased it retail price $100 per low end iMac.

Apple was attempting to front run the higher price of silver within China itself, where Apple produces its products and has, obviously made deals with the Chinese gov’t as to price and availability as regards to silver.

With China now importing more silver than the massive amounts it produces, China probably abrogated its deal with Apple and that there is some sort of rationing deal amongst the Computer manufacturers and other silver using manufacturers.