This Fall is the season of our discontent as Apple delays, delays and delays again products across its entire range. From lagging iPhone 5 supply to outright push backs, like the 2012 iMac, Apple’s disappointments are becoming habitual. In fact the longest wait to date has been for iTunes 11 — the first major rewrite of the company’s desktop jukebox, media + app store + management and device manager in at least four years.

And, that unwieldy description — “jukebox, media + app store + management and device manager” — is a big, big part of the problem. iTunes does so much and that patchwork of functionality has been held together using a patchwork of aging technologies, including WebObjects and AppleScript.

iTunes is slow and feels klugey, and it’s been like this for years.

That said, whereas Apple has promised iTunes 11 will simplify and streamline many functions, it isn’t clear how much under-the-hood housecleaning has been done in the app.

Whatever the case, more than a month after it was initially due, Wall Street Journal reports that iTunes 11 will ship on Thursday, November 29:

This week, [Eddy] Cue faces a test of how well Apple can keep up in online services with the launch of a new desktop version of iTunes, which is expected as soon as Thursday.

The new iTunes has been delayed a month by engineering issues that required parts to be rebuilt, according to people who have seen it.

Yes, Apple promised that iTunes’ delayed launch would come in November, but almost no one expect the company to wait until the last hours of the month to actually deliver — very, very unApple-like.

Then again, maybe this is the new normal for Apple? Product ship dates and supply issues, almost across the board, are increasingly plaguing the company that, until very recently, just worked…

What’s your take?


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