Company CEO Steve Jobs’ Apple Expo Paris keynote received a mixed reception from UK resellers.

Although the updated PowerBook range won approval, there remains deep-seated concern over product availability, as well as disappointment at the lack of any Panther announcement.

Narinder Chandi, director of CoolMacs, said: "The 15-inch PowerBook update didn't disappoint, especially as it now includes Bluetooth, Firewire 800 and USB 2.0. The higher capacity 80GB hard disc and maximum 2GB RAM is great, too."

Jonathan Cole, managing director of Computer Warehouse, agreed: "The news is marvellous. They are great products and we will sell bucketloads."

Anne Harwood, director of Gordon Harwood Computers, echoed this, saying that the PowerBooks were “excellent news".

However, reseller enthusiasm was tempered by concern over availability of both the new PowerBooks and older stock, following a summer-long shortage of Apple products that has proved disastrous for some.

Phil Sharp, marketing director of Cancom, said: "We are very excited about the new products, but are sceptical that Apple will provide enough stock to meet demand."

ASC director Aiden Spencer agrees, saying: "It's great Apple are launching new products but it would be helpful if it would concentrate on supplying products so that we can fulfil our customers' existing orders. We have outstanding orders on the 15-inch and 12-inch PowerBook going back two months, and there are many G5 orders still to be fulfilled. It’s no wonder MacWarehouse has gone out of business."

There was also concern over the lack of any Mac OS 10.3 Panther announcement, with Jobs merely reiterating that it would be available “before the end of the year”. Many resellers are finding that customers are holding off upgrading their Macs until Panther is available, thus hitting sales.

CoolMacs’ Chandi said: "It was disappointing not to hear that Panther would be shipping sooner than the end of the year particularly, as the Power Mac G5 would benefit from it."