August 12th 2002
By Mike Flaminio
MacMinute is reporting that Apple will announce the long-awaited update of its pro desktop product line tomorrow (Tuesday, Aug 13). According to their report, a number of surprises are forthcoming - some good, some not.
Here are the salient points:
• All PowerMac systems will feature dual-processors -- 867MHz (US$1,699), 1GHz ($2,499), and 1.25GHz ($3,299);
• The dual-1GHz and dual-1.25GHz models will feature ATI's Radeon 9000 series graphics cards;
• The dual-867MHz configuration is expected to ship by the end of this week;
• The dual-1GHz model will ship by the end of the month;
• The dual-1.25GHz model is expected "sometime" in September.
Out with the old
MacMinute also reports that Apple will announce reduced pricing on EOL PowerMac systems as follows: 800MHz ($1,299), 933MHz ($1,499) and dual-1GHz ($2,199).
The digital daily's short, but info-packed write up also states that Apple plans to introduce a SuperDrive-equipped eMac for $1,499 (sound familiar?) and will reduce the price of CD-RW and Combo Drive iMacs by $100 to $1,299 and $1,499, respectively.
Tomorrow will tell if the above info is correct. However, it is worth noting that Stan Flack -- MacMinute's publisher and chief editor -- isn't in the habit of posting rumors and has a reputation for integrity.
Analysis: Although dual processor configurations across the line are a pleasant surprise, the modest 250MHz speed increase at the high-end is greatly disappointing. It is also somewhat bewildering that after all this time that Apple can't do any better than September for its high-end machine.
Bus speed -- MacMinute makes no mention as to the bus/system speed of these updated machines, so there is still some suspense here -- i.e. 266MHz or 333MHz? However, given the overall disappointing nature of the details so far presented I'll put my money on the lower figure.
SuperDrive eMac -- It's a matter of some wonder that Apple didn't first give Zettabye Solutions (the company that originated the concept of and was later forced to stop selling SuperDrive-equipped eMacs) an award for creating "The Mac Configuration of the Year" a la the public knifing Watson.
P.S. Zettabyte's website currently features the following telling teaser: "Sick of your CD-RW? Want a SuperDrive? We know and we've got you covered! Coming Late August 2002"
Update 8/13 8:00 AM EDT
Apple's online store is currently down for updates, always a sign of pending product announcements.