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Analyst claims Apple ‘iBook’ to launch 21 July

Saloman Smith Barney man's predictions follow Register's own

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Apple's shares rose a couple of dollars yesterday after Saloman Smith Barney analyst Richard Gardner said he believes Apple will launch its much-anticipated consumer notebook late next month. Gardner's comments followed much speculation on Apple-oriented Web sites that the iMac-style portable, codenamed P1, but likely to ship under the name iBook, may be delayed way beyond Apple's "sometime in 1999" deadline -- or even canned altogether. The rumours cited Apple insiders claiming the machine, prototypes of which have already been demoed to major educational institutions, one of Apple's target markets for the new portable, has so fair failed to meet the company's own production QA standards. Certainly the iBook has suffered delays -- it appears to have originally been mooted for an early 1999 launch with shipment following sometime in the first half of this year. However, Apple now appears to have moved the dates back to sometime before the end of the year. That said, a summer launch, timed to build up mindshare in time for the autumn school and university terms, would be essential for Apple to make the most of the new portable. That's one of the reasons why Gardner reckons Apple will unveil the machine on 21 July. We think so too. Earlier this year, Taiwanese OEM Alpha Top let slip it had been signed by Apple to build the iBook, and was on course to ship the portable in volume "in the second half of the year". And last week it said the machine was now on course to ship in August (see iMac notebook OEM tells all). ®

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