Apple Computer Inc. confirmed for MacCentral on Monday that the recently announced Xserve G5 has been delayed and will not ship until sometime this month. Announced at Macworld Conference & Expo in January, the Xserve G5 was originally scheduled to ship in February.
“The new Xserve G5 server that we announced at Macworld this January has been very well received by our customers,” said Apple in a statement given to MacCentral. “We plan to start shipping them in March 2004, a few weeks later than we originally planned.”
Analysts do not expect the delay of the Xserve G5 to adversely affect sales from Apple’s current enterprise market. Noting the differences in consumer and enterprise buying practices, analysts believe customers will wait the extra few weeks.
“The delay, while maybe disappointing to some customers, is only a few weeks. I would expect the major fallout would be bad publicity,” Joe Wilcox, senior analyst at Jupiter Research, told MacCentral. “Customers willing to wait from January to early March would probably wait the couple extra weeks. No business serious about the reliability of its corporate infrastructure orders a server overnight.”
Tim Deal, Senior Analyst with Technology Business Research, agrees. “For those who are familiar with the product, or are upgrading from the G4 version, the deal will probably be nothing more than a minor annoyance, and should not significantly affect sales.”
However, Deal has a different view for customers who thought about trying Apple’s Xserve G5 for the first time.
“Apple has had to struggle to gain credibility in the server market as it is, and Apple has had to work hard to counter objections and misconceptions about the interoperability and functionality of the Xserve,” said Deal. “So the delay may very well affect those customers who feel they are taking a ‘chance’ with their transition to Apple. It may undermine confidence in Apple’s ability to deliver a timely, comprehensive and reliable solution inclusive of consulting, service and support.”
The new Xserve G5 features single or dual 2.0GHz G5 processors, a new system controller with up to 8GB of PC3200 error correcting code (ECC) memory, up to 750GB of storage, dual onboard GigaBit Ethernet, optional internal hardware RAID, dual PCI-X slots that support 133MHz PCI-X cards with over 1GBps of throughput and FireWire 800 and USB 2.0 ports. It ships with Mac OS X Server v10.3 and unlimited user licenses. The single processor model is US$2,999 and the dual processor model is $3,999.
Apple declined to comment on what caused the delay.