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Thursday, March 18, 2004, 04:20 pm PT (07:20 pm ET)

All-in-one Apple desktops reach end-of-life cycle

Apple hardware engineers currently have their hands full, as the company races to refresh almost all of its professional and consumer CPU offerings this spring.

Power Mac G5 revisions have been long overdue, but the company is also working on upgrades to the PowerBook, eMac and iMac product lines.

According to sources close to Apple's distribution channels, both the 1GHz eMac and iMac products have just recently been updated to end-of-life (EOL) status. Typically, when an Apple hardware product reaches EOL status, the goal is to deplete channel inventory in preparation for significant revisions to the product line.

While sources confirmed that PowerBook 'updates' are being readied, they were unable to provide details about the flavor of processor that will power the new laptops.

Meanwhile, the company's iMac product line is rumored to be next in line for adoption of the Power PC G5 processor. Previous reports have cited a prototype of the redesigned iMac with LCD display, sporting a 1.6GHz G5 processor.

Sources with ties to Apple's education channels had previously anticipated eMac revisions would become available around the April time frame.