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Intel Macs 'due 6 June'

Early 2006 launch date dashed?

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Apple's Intel-based Macs may not appear until June 2006, if claims made by sources at Taiwanese distributors are to be believed.

According to the moles, cited by DigiTimes today, Intel-based Mac Minis, iBooks and iMacs have been scheduled to launch in Taiwan on 6 June.

That's six months after most recent speculation has suggested that Apple will launch its x86 machines. A variety of Apple fansites have separately claimed the Mac maker will announce Intel-based PowerBooks, iBooks and Mac Minis early next year, most likely at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, due to take place in the second full week of the new year.

When Apple CEO Steve Jobs told software developers on 6 June this year of the company's decision to migrate from PowerPC to x86, he said Apple would ship Intel-based Macs by "this time next year". The full Mac range would be converted over by the end of 2007.

However, it's been claimed that the first machines will arrive much sooner, prompting even Wall Street analysts to indicate they're anticipating an early launch. January has been favoured not only because of Macworld Expo, but because Intel is expected to debut next-generation mobile processors in the same timeframe, plus its Viiv home media centre platform. Both launches have helped boost expectations of Intel-based notebook Macs and Mac Minis. ®

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