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Rumor: New Apple eMac in the works

New versions of Apple\'s educational eMac are reportedly in the pipeline, though their arrival remains a mystery.

Apple Computer is reportedly working to revamp its eMac all-in-one desktop offerings, according to reports from multiple sources.

Rumors that the company may soon refresh the education-based product line are backed by several factors, including a rare leveling of supply and demand, dwindling channel inventory, and a sharp decline in orders for the computers to Apple\'s overseas manufacturing facilities.

Reliable reports have also indicated that the company plans to introduce a reworked version of an existing desktop computer later this year, coinciding with due revisions to eMacs life cycle. This product, according to sources, has been under development at Apple for nearly 10 months and features slight external and major internal modifications to one of the company\'s current offerings.

Over the last few weeks, Apple distributors such as Ingram Micro have seen unsolicited inventory dumps of current eMac configurations--a typical occurrence just prior to imminent product announcements from Apple. Additionally, sources claim that arrival estimates for further eMac shipments have jumped into late-October even though no orders appear to be pending.

Exactly when Apple plans to introduce the new models remains an uncertainty, as the company\'s inventory management practices have sometimes proved to be deceiving.

According to sources, Apple has been developing a redesigned eMac based around a G5 processor and more robust graphics processor, but may still choose to introduce one more incarnation of the eMac G4 due to current cost efficiency and supply concerns associated with the G5.

Apple introduced its present generation of eMacs in May of 2003, but updated the performance of the computers only once in the 18 months that have followed. Last November the company slashed prices across the product line, allowing it to offer a low-end eMac configuration to educational buyers at just shy of (US)$600.