Apple warns of Q4 shortfall, cites G4 shortage

Apple warns of Q4 shortfall, cites G4 shortage

Apple Computer warned yesterday that profits and sales for its fourth fiscal quarter will fall short of those a year ago. The company cited problems meeting demand for its recently announced Power Mac G4 computers.

Apple appeared to lay the blame for the bad news squarely on Motorola, which is supplying the high-performance G4 processors that run its new machines.

"We are very disappointed that this quarter's deliveries of G4 processors will be lower than planned. Orders for the Power Mac G4 have been strong and we anticipate ending the September quarter with a substantial order backlog," Fred Anderson, Apple's chief financial officer, said in a statement issued yesterday.

Apple expects to report earnings of $US75 million to $85 million for the quarter due to end September 30, which would compare with earnings of $106 million a year ago, the company said. The fourth quarter results are due out on October 13. For the December quarter, Apple still expects computer shipments and revenues to increase significantly from a year ago, the company said.

In its own statement, Motorola, putting a positive spin on the news, said its inability to keep up with demand for its G4 processor is "a great endorsement" for the new chip. The product is a complex one to build, and Motorola had to work through "a number of issues and design changes" in a short amount of time, the statement said.

Apple has received orders for 150,000 Power Mac G4s since the product was unveiled late last month at the Seybold publishing conference in San Francisco, Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chief executive officer, said in yesterday's Apple statement. The computer maker hopes to catch up with the backlog of orders early in the coming quarter, he said in the statement.

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