Analyst concerns that Apple's switch to Intel will dampen the iPod's halo effect in the short term could be unfounded.

Of 1,788 Macworld readers looking to buy a new Mac who voted in a recent online poll almost half (46 per cent) will go ahead and buy a new Mac now, rather than wait until after the Intel switch.

The poll found that 16 per cent of voters plan to buy a G4 laptop before Apple makes the move to Intel. Another 30 per cent will go ahead and buy a G4 or G5 desktop now rather than wait for one with Intel inside.

There were a number of voters that will wait until after the switch, despite being on the market to buy a new Mac now. Although slightly fewer than those who will go ahead and buy now, a substantial 44 per cent said they would wait.

Of this number more than a fifth (24 per cent) said that they need a new laptop now, but will wait for Intel and another 20 per cent want a new desktop now but will wait for the Intel model. The remaining 7 per cent of voters were unsure whether they would go ahead and buy now, or if they would wait and see.

The Osbornes

It had been suggested that Apple could suffer from the so-called Osborne Effect. Osborne Computer pre-announced its next model several months before it would actually ship and as a result nobody bought the existing model.

One reader doesn't think Apple will met a similar fate. He explains: "The Osborne Computer was little more than a toy. It didn't really have many serious applications - it was a learning tool. The difference with Apple is that many people rely on Macs to earn a living. If you need one, you get one, end of story."

He believes that for the majority "the impact of switching to Intel won't be much different than when G3 became G4 and then G5".

Although he does admit: "I think that sales will dip, but not catastrophically."

But one reader will wait. He tells his story: "On the Sunday I had been about to sit down with my brother and go halves with him on a Mac mini for his Birthday. He is a PC user who has tried Linux but found it too hard. I thought he would like Mac OS X. When I heard the Intel rumours I said we should wait. And we will still wait."

He continues: "The Osborne effect describes exactly what we did that night and why we still haven't ordered the Mac mini. If Apple is to limit the cash-burn this year they need to offer their power PC computers at much lower prices."