There was some action in the blog world on Apple’s estimate ship time for it’s products. Instead of saying how many hours, days, or weeks it takes to ship something, it just says “in stock”. We don’t know yet what it’ll say if something isn’t in stock, like the forthcoming iPhone.
I reckon this is due to competition. Apple does not want to let it be known how behind they are. It will allow its competitors to estimate just how well Apple’s products are selling. By being able to see what the estimates are and with some clever checks of supply lines, competitors can probably come close to knowing about the sell-through level of its products.
This change comes at a time when the iPhone 5 is about to launch. On top of that, Macbook Air competitors, the ultrabooks Intel is pushing, are also due to flood the market, just as soon as they can figure out how to come close to Apple’s Macbook Air prices.
Furthermore, "in stock" means just what it means "in stock".