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Monday, April 04, 2005, 05:00 pm PT (08:00 pm ET)

Two more Apple hardware products in the pipeline

Apple Computer has recently completed the development of two new hardware projects that are expected to be released in the coming weeks or months, AppleInsider has learned.

Although specific details remain shrouded in mystery, sources have noticed two new blips on the Apple hardware radar. The first, a project code-named "Q87," appears to have recently received approval for manufacturing in Asia.

Sources describe Q87 as an update to an existing desktop computer that the company targets at both the consumer and education markets. However, the only major change appears to be the default operating system, which will see an upgrade from Mac OS X 10.3 Panther to Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.

While Q87 could represent updated iMacs or eMacs, the consensus among sources is that Q87 is likely the first minor revision to the Mac mini. With Apple making an aggressive push towards regaining lost market share with the mini, sources believe the company would like to begin shipping new models pre-loaded with Tiger as soon as possible.

The second hardware project to hit the radar carries the codename "M18." But sources were unable to positively identify the project, other than to say it was desktop-related. M18 is scheduled to debut alongside Q87 and may very well represent a new Apple peripheral or wireless device.

Sources were further puzzled by a couple of recent software projects, which reportedly go by the codenames "Omega" and "Bazooka." Both projects were completed early last month and pertain to consumer-oriented software products.

Although sources were unable to identify the two projects with any degree of certainty, they said the codenames could simply pertain to the recently released Keynote 2.0.1 and Pages 1.0.1 software updates.

Sources expect Apple to begin introducing a slew of new hardware and software products during the third week of April.