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Mac Pro refresh may loom, as wait times grow before WWDC

Picking up a Mac Pro desktop tower from one of Apple's retail stores is surprisingly hard, a hint a refresh could be right around the corner.

Screenshot by Josh Lowensohn/CNET

It's no secret Apple's desktop tower is long overdue for an update, and perhaps one of the best signs that a Mac Pro refresh is just around the corner has come from Apple's online store.

MacRumors notes today that those in the market for one of the towers -- which haven't received a hardware update since July 2010 -- are facing unusually long wait times if they want to pick one up in store.

While Apple lists three of the four models as in stock on its online store (with the 12-core model shipping in 2-4 business days), a search through Apple's in-store availability tool tells a different story. Apple stores in both New York and San Francisco list the computers as available for in-store pickup beginning June 12, the day after Apple's annual developer conference.

A Mac you can open up and tinker with, something of a rarity these days.
A Mac you can open up and tinker with, something of a rarity these days. Apple

MacRumors says it's searched through around 100 of Apple's retail store listings, which all say the same thing. Curiously, a search for the 12-core model, which currently has a 2-4 day shipping delay from Apple's site, is listed as ready on June 15 in some stores.

A report from AppleInsider last October said that Apple was mulling an end of life to the Mac Pro line, the direct successor to Apple's PowerMac and the first machine to signal Apple's transition to Intel x86 chips in 2005. The high-end machines, which begin at $2,499 in the U.S. remain Apple's one truly customizable Mac, with the company having since moved on to machine designs that offer few, if any, user-accessible parts.

Apple is expected to debut new Mac hardware at its Worldwide Developers Conference next Monday to coincide with Intel's latest crop of chips, though much of the attention around those updates has focused on the company's portables: the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. Less is known about what Apple intends to do with its desktop machines, which include the iMac, Mac Pro and Mac Mini.