A quarter of Macworld Online readers will wait until next year before upgrading to the new Power Mac G5, with another 25 per cent saying they can't afford the new machine.

Of the remaining 1,593 respondees, 7 per cent don't feel the need for speed, 4 per cent still need Mac OS 9, and 17 per cent will wait for a G5 PowerBook. But 22 per cent are so excited by the G5 they plan to upgrade “as soon as possible”.

Many readers feel that delaying buying a G5 will allow time for hardware upgrades, G5-related changes to OS X, and price decreases. One said: "The right time to buy is the moment which is right for your needs, not when the technology is finished".

But a quarter of readers can't afford to upgrade, come what may. Among this number are consumers without enough cash, and employees who are stymied by corporate spending freezes.

"I was due for a replacement for my dual 500MHz G4 Power Mac in September,” bemoaned one worker. “But to help out with this year's budget shortfall I agreed to hold off until April next year."

Speed stakes Of the 7 per cent who say they don't need the extra speed on offer, one said: "It makes sense to buy the latest, fastest and the most RAM one can afford. Unneeded speed today is tomorrow's lifeline".

Others would rather wait till the next update, expecting a wireless – possibly Bluetooth – keyboard and mouse: "I think I'll hang fire on the G5 until I see what Apple does with OS X post-Panther".

OS X is a key reason people aren't rushing to buy, with many saying they'll wait until G5 machines ship with Panther. One said : "Otherwise I'll have to shell out the full price for Panther so soon after buying Jaguar."

One thing readers are agreed up on is that Apple has at last introduced a desktop computer able to compete with PCs: "Megahertz myth or not, I can now say to PC-owing friends that Macs can compete in pure, raw speed terms," one reader declared.

Another noted: "Up until now all Apple’s non-portables have lagged significantly behind their PC counterparts, and I've felt I would be wasting money if I bought one."

The G5 was announced just in time for one reader, who was about to switch to a PC: "Thank goodness Apple announced the G5 in the nick of time,” he said.