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Apple portable updates on the horizon

Apple engineers are simultaneously working to deliver updates to the company's iBook and PowerBook G4 product lines, recent information has revealed. Both sets of updates are rumored to be revisions to the currently available products, rather than totally new offerings.

Unconfirmed reports indicated that Apple's PowerBook models will receive faster graphics processors and updated G4 processors with speeds possibly reaching 1.5GHz. A recent report by the Register's Tony Smith indicates that Motorola's PowerPC G4 7447A would likely power the new portables. The chip reportedly adds on-the-fly clock frequency adjustment, allowing system makers to run at reduced frequencies according to workload, effectively increasing battery performance.

Previous reports also suggest that potential cosmetic changes were in the works for the company's 12-inch PowerBook offerings, possibly reducing the thickness of the 'Books. Channel inventory of both the 12-inch and 17-inch PowerBook models are close to depleted in some markets, sources said. Stock of the more recently redesigned 15-inch PowerBook are reflecting much higher figures.

Meanwhile, the company is also said to be readying another slight revision to its consumer iBook laptops. According to an anonymous report, the new units will include a low end 933 Mhz model for $999 and a high end 1.25 Ghz configuration for $1499. Two additional midrange configurations were listed, though it should be noted that all configurations are currently unconfirmed.

Sources were able to confirm that prototypes the new iBook and PowerBooks were seeded outside of Apple, earlier this year. Both of the pre-production prototypes were rumored to be at approximately the same stage in their respective development cycles.

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