Business Briefing

IMac delays blamed on its popularity

Apple Inc. said the popularity of its new iMacs has led to shipment delays, causing two-week waits for customers ordering a 27-inch version of the desktop computer through the company’s website.

Apple started selling updated versions of its all-in-one iMac computer in October. The Apple fan site AppleInsider.com, citing resellers, said some buyers of the 27-inch models have complained about flickering screens and yellow-tinged displays — problems that Apple may be delaying production to fix. Users also have reported screen malfunctions on the iMac discussion board at Apple’s website.

A spokesman declined to comment on the cause of the shipment delays.

AUTOMOBILES

Ford executive praises Obama

Ford Motor Co. Executive Chairman Bill Ford Jr. met with President Obama and endorsed the administration’s handling of the struggling auto industry.

Ford credited Obama for stepping in to help General Motors and Chrysler and prevent auto suppliers from collapsing. Ford said the administration acted “swiftly and forcefully and it worked.”

Bill Ford delivered a list of recommendations to the Commerce Department developed at a Detroit business summit on ways to revitalize the economy.

AEROSPACE

Maiden flight for Boeing 787 is set

Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner is ready to fly today if Seattle’s skies clear, providing “a really big day” for the plane maker, said James Albaugh, the head of commercial operations.

Final tests during the weekend went well and engineers aren’t “working any issues” before the maiden flight, which is now scheduled a few days ahead of plan, Albaugh said. The second test jet is “in very good shape” and should be in the air Dec. 22, barring any unexpected problems, he said.

FOOD

Cadbury fighting Kraft takeover

Britain’s Cadbury kicked off a robust defense against Kraft Foods Inc.’s $16.3-billion hostile takeover offer, urging shareholders not to let the U.S. maker of cheese, cookies and macaroni dinners “steal your company with its derisory offer.”

Cadbury also confirmed that it had received rival approaches from Hershey Co. and Italy’s Ferrero International but said they were too preliminary to begin proper talks.

Kraft said that it stood by its offer and that it was reviewing Cadbury’s response.

AIRLINES

British Airways crews plan strike

British Airways cabin crews will strike over the Christmas period, their union said, throwing the plans of thousands of holiday travelers into uncertainty at one of the busiest times of the year.

Strikes will begin Dec. 22 and run until Jan. 2, said Len McCluskey, the assistant general secretary for Britain’s Unite union. McCluskey said 92.5% of workers voted in favor of the action.

INTERNATIONAL

Greece’s leader to cut spending

Greece’s prime minister announced a barrage of spending cuts, promising to control a ballooning budget deficit and warning that the country risked drowning in debt.

George Papandreou called for unity during a speech to business and union leaders in Athens. He pledged that his Socialist government, elected in October, would take steps he said were decades overdue.