RealTime IT News

Apple Lets G5 Cat Out of the Bag

On Monday, Apple Computer will announce a new processor to accompany its next major operating system release (code-named Panther), internetnews.com has learned.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker is expected to announce plans for a PowerPC G5 processor for its Power Mac line up in speeds of 1.6GHz, 1.8GHz or a dual CPU 2GHz configuration.

The G5 information was only leaked after Apple accidentally posted it on its Apple Store site late Thursday. The company quickly removed it, but not before a myriad of Macintosh enthusiast sites took screen shots and passed it around the Web.

The new Power Macs are also expected to have up to 1GHz processor bus, as much as 8GB of DDR SDRAM, fast Serial ATA hard drives, an AGP 8X Pro graphics options from NVIDIA or ATI, three PCI or PCI-X expansion slots, three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 and two FireWire 400 ports, Bluetooth & AirPort Extreme ready and an optical and analog audio in and out.

CEO Steve Jobs is expected to give more details about the company's future plans during his keynote from Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Outside of highlighting Panther to developers, the content of the speech is being closely guarded.

Apple declined to admit the mistake and would not comment further on the issue. Sources confirmed to internetnews.com that the G5 will be highlighted on Monday.

However, the company did spend the better part of the day trying to save face. Sites like MacMinute.com were asked by Apple to remove any proof of the G5's specs as well as other details of the keynote that are being leaked to the press.

"I received an e-mail from Apple Legal requesting that I remove the screenshot and I complied. The screenshot was posted in the first place to validate the article, but since the story has now been reported in numerous venues, the screenshot was kind of a mute point," MacMinute.com Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Stan Flack told internetnews.com.

Nick dePlume over at ThinkSecret.com says Apple's been turning up the legal pressure in recent days with three new legal threats from them this past week alone. The latest issue was an article titled, "Apple to push videoconferencing with new iChat, camera", posted on the Web site. DePlume removed the article under protest.

"They pressured us because we were right," dePlume said.

Apple has a well-known, longstanding policy of closely guarding information about its unreleased products as trade secrets. The company says publishing, displaying, or linking articles about confidential business information and/or an Apple trade secret without Apple's authorization is a no-no.

But is the company strong-arming its fan sites into keeping sensitive information under wraps? Not so, says Flack whose previous venture MacCentral.com was sold to IDG's Ziff Davis a few years ago.

"In my experience, I have always found Apple to be professional and cordial. They have never used strong arm tactics on me, neither with MacMinute, or my previous company," Flack said. "I was asked if I would remove it and I did. The story remained intact. I would not have considered changing the article itself."

Historically, Apple fans try to second-guess the Mac maker's plans as a Jobs' keynote approaches. Suggestions range from the logical (a faster processor) to the absurd (acquisition plans).

Rumors aside, analysts say the bigger question will be if that G5 comes from Apple's longstanding chip partner Motorola or from IBM in the form of its 970 processor. A spokesperson at Big Blue denied it was making the chip for use in the Macintosh brand, but insiders say is perfectly suited to power Apple computers.