will unveil faster, single-processor G4 towers and redesigned G4-equipped PowerBooks at
next Tuesday, according to a
report by CNET. Sources contacted by MacCentral confirmed the main facts in the report, calling it “right on the money.”
Sources reported that Apple CEO Steve Jobs will introduce four new, single-processor Power Mac G4 models, all using a 133MHz system bus, and ranging in speed from 466MHz to 733MHz. MacCentral sources confirmed that two models will feature respective speeds of 466MHz to 733MHz.
CNET sources also reported that Apple will unveil a G4 PowerBook, code-named “Mercury.” MacCentral sources reported that Apple will introduce three laptop models. The new portables will use a slot-loading DVD drive and lithium polymer battery, sources said.
MacCentral sources said question marks remain as to when the new products will be available. Factors include the release of Mac OS X, the availability of Motorola’s faster V’Ger family of G4 processors–which are expected to be used in the new models–and the availability of CD-RW or DVD/CD-rewritable drives, which Apple is determined to add across its entire product line.
“There’s a distinct possibility certain G4 configurations won’t be available immediately, until the DVD/CD-rewritable drives become available in mass quantity,” commented a MacCentral source, who added that Pioneer is supplying the drives.
One surprise is Apple’s apparent decision to end the use of dual-processor G4s in its G4 tower family, at least for the time being. Sources told MacCentral that multiple processors might appear in certain server configurations, but that Apple will restrict their implementation due to engineering and manufacturing issues.
CNET also reported — and MacCentral confirmed — that Apple will release Mac OS 9.1 at the show. Apple representatives told MacCentral sources that version 9.1 will be standard on all new shipping models.
The slowly leaking news of forthcoming Macintosh models comes as the supply of existing high-end, 500MHz G4 towers, PowerBooks and certain iMac DV models has dried up. Although many dealers might still have some of these configurations in stock, sources reported, and MacCentral has confirmed, that these systems are virtually unavailable, either directly through Apple or via third-party distributors.