We’ve been hearing reports of minor – not severe – white MacBook constraints as early as last week. The white MacBooks are not even close to as constrained as the MacBook Air and the Mac mini – which is in fact constrained as well – but the process leading up to a product refresh is booting up. Now, we’ve discovered that Best Buy is marking the $999 white MacBooks as “backordered” in their systems.

This is the same system that currently marks the constrained Mac minis as “backordered,” as we reported two weeks ago. Looking deeper into BestBuy’s online store, the major Apple reseller is quoted new white MacBook shipments between July 15th and July 27th. We’re not saying that this backordered status means a refresh for the MacBook, as this can just be indicative of Apple loading OS X Lion – rumored to be launching in mid-July - on to the consumer notebooks. More after the break:

A counterpoint to this, though, would be the lack of a supply crunch for Apple’s Macs that are not due for a refresh, namely iMacs and MacBook Pros. Apple will, of course, begin loading OS X Lion on these machines at some point as well. In addition, the white MacBooks are due for a refresh and will likely pickup some faster processors and Thunderbolt ports. Best Buy is obviously not the best source of information, but we think the constrained status is indicative of a refresh in the coming weeks – given the surrounding evidence.

In addition, iWork ’09 boxes are facing a supply crunch in some corners of the world. This could mean three things: iWork ’11 is coming soon, iWork is going to become a Mac App Store exclusive, or there are just constraints in certain parts of the world – which is not too odd.

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