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Apple eMac G5 on hold, G4 back in production

Apple Computer has returned its eMac G4 line of computers to production, despite indications earlier this Fall that the company was clearing inventory in favor of manufacturing new models.

Sources close to the computer maker told AppleInsider this month that Apple had anticipated releasing a major revision to the education-centric all-in-one desktop before the end of the year. The new eMac was to include a G5 processor and a significant internal component reorganization.

Instead of making its debut in the latter half of 2004, the eMac G5 was reportedly placed on hold, while eMac G4 production was restarted in order to keep up with demand. At the root of the problem appears to be IBM\'s PowerPC 970 G5 processor.

Reminiscent of the recent iMac G5 fiasco, yet not nearly as dramatic, sources claim a less than ample supply of G5 processors is to blame for the minor delay. And while the new eMac was to rely on the slowest available G5 processors, currently a 1.6GHz variant, inventory of these chips are being used to reduce demand for Apple\'s new low-end iMac G5.

This is not the first time a lack of faster PowerPC processors has reportedly slowed the evolution of Apple\'s eMac. In the Fall of 2003, the dearth of PowerPC G4 processors in excess of 1GHz resulted in October price cuts for the eMac line, rather than faster models.

Last month, sources noted inventory dumps and a decline in orders for eMacs at Apple\'s manufacturing facility, indicating that new models could be around the corner. According to sources, Apple now plans to introduce an eMac revision in early 2005. Additional details will be published when they become available.