Quark today confirmed it will begin shipping QuarkXPress 6.0 next week in the UK, Europe and US.

Quark communications manager Glen Turpin told Macworld: "We will ship next week in the UK."

He also clarified previously existing confusion regarding the date: "We had previously told our channel partners that we would ship by July 31 at the latest. With Tuesday's announcement, we obviously pulled that date in, though apparently not all our partners have received the new information."

He added: "Our ServicePlus customers will receive the first shipments, as that is a membership benefit for that program."

Speaking to MacCentral Turpin that the initial confusion was the result of a "communications problem" that the company was taking action to remedy.

"I absolutely want to reassure you that QuarkXPress 6 will ship next week," said Turpin.

Quark apologises

Quark president and CEO Fred Ebrahimi was penitent when announcing the application: "The truth of the matter is we should have done this earlier," he said. "My apologies to all of you for being late."

Speaking to CRN news, he confirmed the company will also continue to support Quark Publishing System (QPS), which Quark had planned to discontinue. "Mac OS X support in QPS will be introduced in the next quarter", he said. He also promised Apple and Quark would continue to work together.

Apple has long seen the non-appearance of XPress for OS X as a major stumbling block to adoption of its new operating system. Its release may reverse Apple's fortunes in the professional market - greeting-card company Hallmark has announced that has moved its 2,000 Macs to OS X now that XPress is ready.

A full version of XPress 6 will cost £1,095; but street prices are expected to be lower. XChange international is offering customers that pre-order upgrades a special discount with up to 15 per cent off the normal upgrade price. Special pricing for XPress 6 upgrades is only valid until the 15th July 2003

Upgrades from version 5 will cost £199; special price £169. From version 4, £299; pre-order, £269. From version 3, £399; pre-order, £369.