Where Are the i5/i7 MacBook Pros?

We've all be eagerly awaiting Apple's launch of i5/i7-based MacBook Pros. These are Intel's quad core CPUs, and Hewlett Packard has been shipping notebooks with these CPUs for some time. Is Apple overloaded with iPad attentions? Are there product timing issues?

One school of thought says that resources have been diverted from the new MacBook Pros to Mr. Jobs' pet project, the iPad. I believe that because while Apple is rich in revenues and cash, it still runs very lean organizations. I'm betting that Bob Mansfield, SVP of Mac Hardware Engineering is busier than [fill in your favorite humorous line.]

Another possibility is that there are timing issues to work out. With so many people not sure if they need an iPad, but very sure they need a faster Mac notebook, why have tens of thousands of customers shelling out big bucks for a quad core MacBook Pro -- only to be flat broke on March 26th or so when the iPad ships?

If Apple can manage it, now would be a very good time to release those MacBook Pros with the new Intel CPUs. Get it behind them and stop taking so much heat from the PC crowd for being so tardy. As my friend, David Sobotta, says in the link above: "I have a very good memory, and as I remember it, one of the reasons that Apple moved to Intel processors was so that its customers would not have to wait for the latest and greatest processors."

The closer we get to the iPad release, the more dicey the release of these MacBooks could be because Apple doesn't want customers to anguish over a choice. Apple wants the impulse buy.

I'm hoping it's all just a temporary snafu. One rumor suggests that the new MacBook Pros are imminent.

If Apple weren't quite so lean and managers quite so overworked, this issue wouldn't have even come up. But when Mr. Jobs' personal project, the iPad, is imminent, it's all hands on deck. Customers will have to wait for it to all sort out. I just hope it's sooner than later.

What do you think?