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Apple iMac II set for Paris debut

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Apple will introduce its next-generation iMac -- the so-called 'C2 Revision', codenamed Kihei -- next week at Apple Expo Paris, according to a Korean source cited by Mac-oriented Web site Japan Apple Watch. JAW doesn't offer any clues as to the authenticity of its source, but with Apple now outsourcing the bulk of its iMac manufacturing to Korean giant LG, JAW's "confidential" source could well be close to Apple's plans. That said, there are issues with the information he or she has provided. According to the source, Apple is preparing two models: one with a 13in TFT display, the other with a 15.8in LCD screen. The former will ship with a built-in CD-ROM drive, the latter with a DVD-ROM unit. Both machines, the site says, will support Apple's AirPort wireless networking technology, but since this is a key part of Apple's product strategy, AirPort support was always a given. Apple will ship the machine in a variety of colours, including a more sober white and grey model aimed at offices. All of this sounds plausible given what's leaked out about the next iMac already. Current specs. include a 400MHz PowerPC 750 (aka G3) processor with 512K backside L2 cache, 64MB RAM, 8GB UltraDMA/66 hard drive and a couple of much-requested FireWire/IEEE1394 ports. The decision to offer two versions of the machine -- if accurate -- is curious given Apple's strategy of keeping its consumer product lines as simple as possible. That said, since Apple will have to face up to the supply problems in the TFT display market -- which is why it recently bunged Samsung $100 million to give it first pick of displays -- so offering a cheaper but more readily available screen alongside a better but in shorter supply machine makes some sense. The other question mark over the JAW info is the announcement date -- according to US sources, the iMac will be unveiled later in the year, possibly as late as mid-November. It has to be said, though, that while that makes sense as a ship date, it's a little late for the unveiling of a product so important to Apple's ongoing success. That puts Apple Expo Paris back in the frame, particularly since interim CEO Steve Jobs has finally been persuaded to leave the US for a while and give the show's keynote. ®

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