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iMac Rumors Swirl on Eve of Apple Expo

By ECT News Business Desk MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Aug 30, 2004 11:50 AM PT

The spies snooped and the rumor mills turned, but Apple remained mum on the eve of Apple Expo 2004, set to open in Paris tomorrow. Most speculation centered on the design of the new G5 iMac.

iMac Rumors Swirl on Eve of Apple Expo

Last month Apple announced that the new iMac would be released in September. At the same time, it stopped taking orders for the current version, a decision that cost it sales during the crucial back-to-school buying season. If Apple hopes to make up for lost sales, the new G5 iMac must make a big splash.

Secret Photos

Mac Web sites over the weekend buzzed with comments about photographs that purport to reveal the new iMac design. The images have yet to be confirmed as authentic, and some observers -- including many readers of -- suggest a hoax.

However, if the photographs turn out to be real, they suggest that the new iMac will follow in the line of Apple's new flat-panel displays, with the computer's motherboard located behind the LCD display.

"Apple does not comment on rumors," Apple spokesperson Pamela Bennett said.

The photographs, which first appeared on a French Web site, appear to have been taken in a service elevator. The poorly lit photos have the look of something taken on the fly, a few stolen moments in an elevator and a peek-a-boo unveiling.

Then again, the photos also convey the sleek Mac aesthetic: The elevator floor is plastic with a pattern of black dots, the baseboard stainless steel, the walls a translucent white. The black clamshell box is propped open, revealing a thickish LCD display resting on a bed of Styrofoam packing material.

Shortage of G5 Chips?

Whatever the design, it is certain that the new iMacs will feature G5 chips. According to unconfirmed reports, there will be two new iMac models, one with a 17-inch display and a 1.6GHz G5 processor, the other with a 20-inch display and a 1.8GHz G5 processor. The same reports claimed that the new units will be priced between $1,300 and $2,200.

It also has been reported that all the new 1.8GHz PowerPC chips that Apple has been receiving from IBM have been going into the new iMacs, causing delays in shipments of dual-1.8GHz G5 Power Macs.

Apple previously announced that the supply of G5 chips would be tight in July, but reports suggest that manufacturing snafus will continue to hinder IBM's ability to produce the processors. If so, the limited availability of G5 chips could delay shipments of new iMacs as well.

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