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Wednesday, July 28, 2004, 03:30 pm PT (06:30 pm ET)

Apple to ship first wave of liquid-cooled Power Mac G5s

Apple Computer, Inc. is preparing to ship the first "official" batch of liquid-cooled dual processor 2.5 GHz Power Mac G5s, which should begin appearing on some customer's doorsteps as early as next week, AppleInsider has learned.

Apple began taking pre-orders for the 2.5 GHz Power Macs in early June, citing availability from the Apple Store in July. Although the company this month was reported to have provided select partners and clients with a handful of its earliest production models, shipments have yet to begin to the average consumer.

This week the Apple Store remained optimistic that the company will make good on its July promissory statement. According to well placed sources, the first customer shipments of 2.5 GHz Power Macs are currently "on track" to leave Apple's manufacturing facilities this Friday, July 30th.

Over the past week, several customers have noted pre-authorization charges from Apple on their bill statements. This is a typical precautionary measure taken by the Apple online store to detect any customer finance issues just days prior to shipping large product orders.

Unfortunately for most 2.5 GHz Power Mac adopters, the initial shipment is expected to be quite limited. A recent analysis of pending Power Mac G5 orders indicates that only those customers who placed orders during the first week or so of availability are likely to see their orders fulfilled by the first week of August. In fact, it appears that IBM's G5 manufacturing problems will continue to plague the Power Mac family well into September. New orders for 2.5 GHz Power Macs carry a waiting period of at least 4 to 6 weeks, meanwhile customers have also reported their share of delays associated with fresh orders for the slower 2.0 GHz Power Mac models.

On a more positive note, information suggests that Apple's July 30th 2.5 GHz Power Mac shipments may include a handful of NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL graphics cards. Apple had previously stated that the graphics card—a requirement for Apple's new 30-inch HD Cinema display—would not ship until late August.

Although higher-ups at the Apple online store confirmed plans to begin shipping the new Power Macs later this week, they were cautious not to rule out any last minute delays. In the event that plans change, sources say that customers with July delivery estimates will receive an e-mail from the Apple Store, updating their order status to an reflect an early August delivery.