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Cook Reiterates PowerBook G5 "the Mother of All Thermal Challenges"

TMO Reports - Cook Reiterates PowerBook G5 "the Mother of All Thermal Challenges"

by , 5:45 PM EDT, April 13th, 2005

Despite continuing rumors, an Apple Computer executive reiterated to analysts Wednesday that a Power PC G5-based PowerBook would still be "the mother of all thermal challenges," giving no clear evidence that such a laptop will be announced anytime soon.

Just like he was asked last January in a similar analyst quarterly conference call, Tim Cook, Executive Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Operations, would not elaborate, but repeated his earlier comments saying, "I haven't changed my view on that."

Various Mac news and rumors sites -- such as the French site MacPlus -- have been reporting that development of a G5-based PB is well underway and is in the pipeline to be announced later this year.

Mobile users have already been waiting over a year and a half for Apple to pack the processor that powers its pro towers into Apple's top-line laptops. It took Apple two years, however, to find a way to take the G4 processor and pack it into portable form.

In September of 2003, Spanish Web site CincoDias quoted Apple CEO Steve Jobs as saying he hoped Apple could release a PowerBook G5 "by the end of [2004]."

Two months later, in November, Dave Russell, director of product marketing for portables and wireless at Apple, told Computerworld that Apple "would like" to fit a G5 into a PowerBook, but that the biggest obstacle was cooling the processor. One only needs to watch how liquid cooling (QuickTime 1.6MB) enables the G5 processor to survive in the aluminum Power Mac tower to realize that packing such a system into a laptop is a daunting task. "We certainly want to [offer a PowerBook G5]," Russell said at the time. "But it's going to be a while. We think the G4 has a very long life in the PowerBook."

In February of 2004, Peter Glaskowsky of the Microprocessor Report told MacMinute that IBM's PowerPC 970FX--the latest iteration of the G5 processor found in today's high-end Power Mac G5 systems--offers the basic power consumption features needed for a laptop. At the time, Glaskowsky said he believed a PowerBook G5 would debut by the summer. It never did.

In an April 19, 2004 interview with BBC News, Apple VP Greg Joswiak commented that, "In the very long run, the G5 is part of our long term processor roadmap, but it will be some time before that processor will be in a notebook."

Misha Sakellaropoulo contributed to this report.

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