Apple will close the processor-speed gap between it and Wintel machines, claimed the company's CEO, Steve Jobs yesterday.

Jobs, said: "We are working closely with Motorola to address this problem. We'll be introducing systems with higher MHz next year." He continued: "We plan to close the perceived gap in the first half of 2001." Jobs also promised that Apple would make more progress during the rest of the year.

Lost sales Independent tests show that PowerPC chips are almost twice as fast as Pentium chips with the same MHz speed. However, many computer shoppers believe that the higher a computer's processor speed is, the more powerful the system. This has been a worry for Apple for some time now – this perceived gap is thought to have cost the company sales.

Motorola's second generation G4 microprocessor, the 7410 is now in mass production. Motorola's head of European marketing communications, Paul Clark, said: "We expect this chip to be used by the computer market in desktop computers, and in high-end applications, for example radar installations." At the time, Clark refused to comment as to whether Apple was making orders for Motorola's microprocessor, which can run at up to 550MHz using only 5W of power.

Apollo mission Motorola also made an announcement about its fourth-generation G4 microprocessor, Apollo, which can reach speeds more than 1GHz. Motorola announced V'Ger, the third-generation G4 microprocessor, last year. Neither chip is currently in mass production, but Clark said: "It's probably safe to say V'Ger and Apollo will ship in 2001."

Clark was unable to confirm or deny if Apple plans to use these chips in future computers. However, Jobs' announcement that Apple plans to bridge the gap, and the new generation G4 microprocessors built-in AltiVec/Velocity Engine and multiprocessing support lend weight to the concept that Apple could be shipping 1GHz G4 computers as early as next year.