Channel to set slice of Apple

Channel to set slice of Apple

A host of new products unveiled by Apple at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco will make their way onto the Australian market this month, with the company announcing it is already taking orders for its new PowerBook and expects the product to ship by early February.

Apple also announced its long-anticipated Mac OS X will ship on March 24. It will be available to Apple resellers from March 24, but the system will not be preloaded on machines until July. Local pricing has yet to be announced, but the system will retail for $US129 in the US.

The company hopes to put the woes of last year well behind with the launching by CEO Steve Jobs of Apple's new Titanium PowerBook G4, hailing it the "supercomputer to go". Apple claims the new offering will outperform Pentium III based notebooks by up to 30 per cent. Featuring PowerPC G4 processors running at up to 500MHz, the PowerBook will also include a DVD drive, 5-hour battery and 15.2-inch display.

The product will be available through Apple dealers and directly through Apple's Web site in two configurations. The first includes a 400MHz processor with 128MB of SDRAM and a 10GB hard drive. It will retail for $5495 on the Australian market. The second option is available with a 500MHz processor, 356MB SDRAM and a 20GB hard drive. It will sell for $7495. Both offerings include ATI built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet, FireWire and USB ports, as well as VGA and S-Video ports, and come ready for wireless network access via an AirPort card and built-in antennae for use with an AirPort Base Station. Apple will also bundle its iMovie2 video editing software, Final Cut Pro and iTunes jukebox program.

Built-to-order options will be available with a 30MB hard drive and up to 1GB SDRAM.

Jobs also announced a new 733MHz Power Mac G4 which will include a CD-RW drive with a DVD-R, a combination which Apple has dubbed SuperDrive. It will come as standard with Apple's top of the line model.

The new series will be available in 466, 533, 667 and 733MHz processors and will expand users' graphics card options. The machines are expected to be on the Australian market in February, in five standard models. Apple will offer more than 300,000 built-to-order configurations through its direct online arm,

A new Machintosh Server G4 range is also available to the channel, retailing from $6395.

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