Analysts, press react to G5 systems

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The announcements of impending Power Mac G5s has Apple shares on the rise, and some analysts are predicting very healthy pro sales in the months ahead, according to a CBS MarketWatch article.

"I know that this one is going to sell," said Richard Doherty, analyst with Envisioneering Inc. in Seaford, N.Y., told CBS MarketWatch. "There are time-sensitive applications where you have to get something done in a short amount of time -- desktop video, graphics layout and special effects. For those types of jobs, you have to have the fastest computer."

In fact, he said the Power Mac G5 could help Apple triple its unit sales volume in the next 12 months. The analyst feels that, thanks to the G5 systems, Power Mac towers could comprise 25 to 30 percent of Apple's sales within a year; that's up from what Doherty estimates is currently less than 10 percent.

"When you do the math, almost every specification comes in equal or faster than the Pentium 4," said Tim Bajarin, analyst with Creative Strategies, told CBS MarketWatch. "The Apple core audience is made up of people doing music, imaging, videos ... you just can't give them enough speed. When you get a big boost like this, it drives the high-end of Apple's business."

Meanwhile, Jon Fortt, writing for the Mercury News, says that Apple is back "in a fighting mood." Whether the G5 really is the fastest personal computer in the world, it's "very fast, no question," he writes.

"It is pixel-crunching, power-guzzling, heat-generating fast," Fortt said. "The thing gets so hot that Apple built in nine computer-minded fans that know when it's time to come on. The case itself takes on the smooth aluminum look of the laptops, with little venting holes in the style of an antique microphone. I imagine this brings a double benefit to Apple. First, rather than build a plastic skin around an aluminum skeleton, Apple has just designed an aluminum skin."

David Zeiler, in his The Mac Experience column for the Baltimore Sun said that the crashing sound you heard on Monday was the "the sound of thousands of Mac users smashing their piggy banks needed to pre-order" a G5.

"While the casual Mac user may wonder what the fuss is about, the new G5 Power Mac is the machine for which pro users (as well as home users with a penchant for power) have waited for more than a year," he writes. "And almost every advance in technology introduced in Apple's pro lines eventually migrates to its consumer lines. The arrival of the G5s, to start shipping on Sept. 2, should reverse the declining sales trend Apple's pro desktop line has experienced in recent quarters. Even with the general economy still struggling, demand for these new Macs should be strong."

Despite the hubbub about Apple's benchmarking methods, the G5s "certainly equal Intel's advanced 875 platform and should allow Apple to go until 2005 without a major platform refresh," Martin Reynolds opines in a Gartner report.

While almost everyone is enamored of the G5's specs and architecture, but as for its design ... well, some love it and some don't. Falling into the latter camp is Molly Wood, a ZDNet tech writer. In a preview of the new systems, she says that she doesn't care for the G5's looks, but that "the innards have serious promise."

"The new Power Mac's design is sleek, metallic and very squared-off, compared to the rounded look of the G4 series," Wood opines. "From afar, the G5 looks suspiciously like a standard, beige-box PC, distinguished only by handles and, of course, the big grey apple on the side. Up close, it's somewhat squat, silver (it's encased in aluminium), and super-slick. Both the front and the back of the machine are covered with breathable mesh aluminium; the front features a perfectly flat optical-drive opening that actually retracts from top to bottom, rather than opening inward or outward."

Appearances aside, she does like its microprocessor, technical advances, and Apple's long-awaited adoption of USB 2.0.

This story, "Analysts, press react to G5 systems" was originally published by PCWorld.

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