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News > Technology
Apple unveils new Macs
January 9, 2001: 2:30 p.m. ET

Faster models reduce speed gap with PCs, have writable CD-ROM drive
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Apple Computer remedied a key deficiency in its product line Tuesday by introducing faster Power Mac models with a drive that consumers can use to create their own CDs.

Apple's  (AAPL: Research, Estimates) sales suffered in the fourth quarter of last year because of a price-performance gap between its Power Macs and IBM-compatible personal computers powered by microprocessors from Intel Corp. The faster Macs unveiled Tuesday at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco will help reduce that gap.

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graphicSteve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer Inc., gives keynote speech at MacWorld.
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The new Power Mac G4 line includes machines with processor clock speeds of 466, 533, 667 and 733 MHz. The 466 and 533 models are available immediately, while the other two will be available in February, Apple said.

The company's sales also had suffered because none of its machines offered writable CD-ROM drives, which have become very popular for storing music downloaded from the Web. Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced at Macworld that all of the new Power Macs will come with these writable drives. With Apple's new iTunes software, Power Mac G4 users will be able to burn their own standard audio CDs.

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In addition, Apple unveiled a new "SuperDrive" that can record both audio and video streams. The SuperDrive, which comes as standard equipment on the new top Power Mac G4 model, can be used to create DVDs that can be played in standard DVD players.

Separately, Apple said its long-awaited OS X operating system will ship March 24, with a price tag of $129. Apple has shipped more than 100,000 copies of the public test version of OS X since its release in September and has received more than 75,000 individual user feedback entries from Mac users and developers worldwide. More than 400 leading developers, including Adobe, Alias|Wavefront, Macromedia and Microsoft have committed to delivering more than 1,200 applications built for Mac OS X. In addition, more than 100 developers will announce new Mac OS X products this week at Macworld, Apple said.

Apple had warned last month of a huge shortfall in revenue for the quarter ended Dec. 30 that will cause the company to report its first quarterly loss in three years. The company said at the time that it had experienced significantly slower-than-expected sales during October and November, causing its revenue for the December quarter to come in around $1 billion, rather than the $1.6 billion analysts had expected. graphic

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