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Last Updated: Monday, 19 April, 2004, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Apple goes after notebook sales
Apple Powerbooks
Powerbooks come with built-in wireless technology
Apple is aiming to capitalise on the trend towards portable computing with a series of upgrades to its notebooks.

It has bumped up the processing speeds in both its iBook and Powerbook range, as well as cutting the price.

"We know that customers would prefer to be portable," said Greg Joswiak, Apple vice-president of hardware product marketing.

Notebooks have become increasingly important to Apple, making up about half of all Macs sold.

'Thin and light'

Apple is looking to the cheaper and faster models to boost its sales in the coming months.

In the very long run, the G5 is part of our long term processor road map, but it will be some time before that processor will be in a notebook
Greg Joswiak, Apple
In the three months to March, it sold some 358,000 notebooks, making up just under 50% of all computer sales.

"We've been pushing hard on the move to portable computing," Mr Joswiak told BBC News Online.

He said the latest range of notebooks aimed to offer performance of a desktop in a thin and light design.

For the new range of Powerbooks, Apple has increased the G4 processor speed on the 12-inch entry model to 1.33GHz, incorporated a wireless technology and cut the cost to US$1,599 (1,149).

The iBooks have also had a power boost, with the entry-level 12-inch now coming with a 1GHz G4 processor and a slight price drop to $1,099 (799).

Feeling the heat

The last time Apple upgraded its notebook line was in September.

Mr Joswiak refused to be drawn on when the next generation of notebooks, using the PowerPC G5 processor, would be released.

The Power Mac G5 desktop was launched in June 2003. But Apple engineers are working on reducing the heat generated by the chip before it can be incorporated into notebooks.

"In the very long run, the G5 is part of our long term processor roadmap, but it will be some time before that processor will be in a notebook," said Mr Joswiak.

He declined to be pinned down to a date for G5 portables, but pointed out that it had taken at least two years for the G4 chip to make it from the desktop to the notebook.

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