||C-NET is reporting that faster iMacs are indeed on the way (we reported this possibility on March 24th). Unlike our report which suggested 300 MHz units were shipping soon, C-NET is saying that 333 MHz units will be shipping at the same price points as today's 266 MHz units, US$1199. C-NET is also reporting that no other changes are currently in store.
The Mac Observer Spin: Well isn't this some great news! We are hoping that it is indeed true as Apple needs a faster iMac to compete against Intel's new Pentium III campaign and cheaper PCs running on the Cyrix and Celeron chips. It is important to remember that much of the target audience for the iMac does not know that a PowerPC chip is faster in many ways to the Pentium II (and to a lesser extent to the Pentium III). If Apple does indeed start shipping a 333 MHz iMac at the US$1199 price point, then they will have an even bigger hit than they do right now where product shortages are the name of the game.
Even more interesting is what will happen to prices for the current line of 266 MHz iMacs as well as the remaining inventory on the Rev. B 233 MHz iMacs. Should the Rev. Bs be pushed below the US$799 level, whatever remaining inventory on those units will surely be gone very quickly. The same goes for the less popular Lime, Tangerine, and Strawberry 266 MHz iMacs if they should dip near the US$1000 levels. With any luck, dealers will not be hurt by these inevitable price reductions.
Lastly, Apple usually moves at glacial speeds when it comes to releasing faster models. If this rumor turns out to be true, Apple deserves a big salute to Thinking Different about time-to-market.