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Apple Readying Dual-Core G5 PowerMacs, New G4 PBs & G5 mini, Analyst Claims

First on TMO - Apple Readying Dual-Core G5 PowerMacs, New G4 PBs & G5 mini, Analyst Claims

by , 11:15 AM EDT, August 15th, 2005

Investment banking concern Caris & Co. said Monday it believes Apple Computer will most likely release new G5 PowerMacs based on IBM's dual-core 970 PowerPC processor, as well as a G5 Mac mini and faster G4 PowerBooks on September 20 at Apple Expo 2005 in Paris.

In a research note obtained by The Mac Observer, analyst Mark Stahlman wrote, "we believe that Apple is now preparing a broad array of new PowerPC-based Macs and that these new models are likely to support further expansion of the high value-added Mac franchise.

"We believe that Apple is preparing new G5 PowerMacs based on IBM’s dual-core 970 PPC, G5 Mac Minis based on a new IBM low-power processor, and new G4 PowerBooks based on next generation processors from Freescale Semiconductors."

Mr. Stahlman's prediction on G5-based mini's comes less than a month after the company revamped the low-cost Mac line by adding a top-line G4 1.42 gigahertz model with 80 gigabyte hard drive and SuperDrive for $699. The July 26th announcement did not include a processor speed increase since Apple initially came out with the mini last January. Historically, Apple rarely upgrades Macs within a minimum of eight months.

Mr. Stahlman also said he believes the new G4 PowerBooks will "likely be based on the Freescale 7448 processor, potentially running as fast as 2GHz" and that possible new "dual-core PPC systems will likely be used to build 4x CPU Macs – so called “dual dual” machines."

He said "the most likely timing of at least some of these announcements is the Jobs keynote on September 20th at Apple Expo 2005 in Paris, but that given the number of new products in the pipeline, there is a possibility that some will be introduced before the Paris event, however."

The Wall Street analyst also said there are some indications that the new PowerBooks may add "high- definition screens as well," citing Apple's acknowledgment that 2005 was “the year of high-def."

"Apple has yet to deliver HD resolution (i.e., 1920x1200 native) in a PowerBook," he wrote. "With Sony pushing the HDV recording format into consumer Handycams (initially in Japan), the ability to display (and edit) 1080i pictures is becoming necessary."

Mr. Stahlman said he is "increasingly confident" Apple will soon release a video-based iPod despite Apple denials.

"Sony’s surprising success (even to itself) with video on the handheld PlayStation Portable combined with the earlier-than-expected decline in DVD sales has apparently made Hollywood much more receptive to new video formats," he wrote. "Second generation Portable Media Players like Creative Labs’ Zen Vision – which supports video, photo and music with a 30GB hard-drive – are also likely to accelerate Apple’s video iPod plans."

Predicting further developments, he said he believes that iTunes may be upgraded to support video before the video iPod appears and that color screens will be announced for the iPod Mini. He also said "Apple is lining up additional partners for iTunes, as jockeying for position in music, etc. downloading has become intense."

Mr. Stahlman also upgraded Apple stock to 'Above Average' from 'Average.'

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