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Tuesday, January 13, 2004, 09:00 am PT (12:00 pm ET)

Notes on iPods, Power Macs, Apple alliances

iPod mini
Independent of recent reports circulating around the web, AppleInsider sources are confirming Apple plans to reduce the price of the new iPod mini by approximately $50 (US), as soon as humanly possible. While some reports have speculated that the reduction could take place sometime in the coming year, sources expect the miniatures to shed the cost in-time for Summer.

Power Mac G5
Meanwhile, updates to the company's flagship line of professional desktops are nearing release, with the sources citing January 20th or later as a potential time-frame. Recent reports on the subject have been crossed with mumblings of project 'q38'; a tracking name which is rumored to pertain to the desktop revision itself or the new series of 90-nanometer PowerPC G5 chips that will power them.

During the week of Macworld Expo, sources were vouching for the completion of the q38 project and claimed that the units were ready for introduction. "We were kind of expecting them," one source said excitedly, "I don't know what the hold up is... they're done. Maybe they're attempting to distance announcements or have yet to build up a consistent supply of the microprocessors."

iPod
Believe it or not, Apple's newly formed alliance with HP may become one of potentially numerous agreements based around the same terms, sources said recently. The computer maker is rumored to have several potential partnerships in-line that would extend the iPod's dominance in the music industry by allowing Apple to manufacture the players for third parties. However, no specific details on likely contenders are yet available.

And to the relief of iPod fanatics, Wired New's Leander Kahney has confirmed the lack of substance to reports that suggested HP would be helping Apple to implement WMA support into the iPod as part of the agreement between the two computer manufacturers.