Apple is unlikely to release a G5 PowerBook before the latter half of 2004, argues Business Week.

Columnist Alex Salkever points to the pre-Macworld Expo speculation that strikes Mac users in January each year. He writes: "The consensus now holds that Apple will mostly trot upgrades of the existing product lines out on the stage."

He expects future fireworks: "The real fireworks will start long after Macworld – in fact, about six to ten months later." He claims that's when Apple will introduce G5 PowerBooks, which "could spur huge sales", he said.

IBM has heard of no G5 laptop plans, he alleges, pointing out that existing G5 processors are too hot, and drain too much power to be used in a notebook chassis.

"The simple solution to all of these problems is to introduce a low-power, slower-speed chip specifically for laptops", he says.

Much of that work may already have been done, he suggests, pointing to IBM's November 15 introduction of PowerPC 970 chips for blade servers – and to maintain the rack-mountable form-factor blade servers require, IBM will have had to make a reduced power chip, "this implies a low-power G5 laptop chip is only a small step away from the existing product," he writes.