A shortage of Apple products has left UK resellers eyeing the upcoming Apple Expo Paris with keen anticipation. The event kicks-off with a keynote from Apple CEO Steve Jobs on September 16.
Top of the resellers’ wish list are new 15-inch PowerBooks. Narinder Chandi, director of Cool Macs, said: "Given that Jobs will be delivering the keynote, new PowerBooks are a certainty. The 15-inch PowerBook is long overdue. I expect that there will also be an announcement that Panther will ship in 30 days."
Shortages headache The hugely popular PowerBooks remain in short supply, according to channel sources, and Mac-only dealers have recently faced other shortages because Apple has been ramping-up its product offerings. It introduced new iMacs and iPods earlier this week, and is now engaged in shipping Power Mac G5s.
Darren King, director of Square Group, said: "We are all guessing that there will be an Aluminum 15-inch PowerBook, but you can never be sure with Apple. It’s possible that all Jobs will do is show off the iMac and iPods announced earlier this week."
iMac, iPod predictions Many resellers believe the keynote will focus on the recent iMac and iPod announcements, and shipping dates for Mac OS X Panther. One reseller suggested that a G5 Xserve might be unveiled.
Mark Newcombe, director of AT Computing, said: "I am expecting an announcement about shipping dates for Panther. Rumour has it that this will be two weeks after the Expo. New 15-inch PowerBooks are obvious, but I also expect that there will be a price-drop on the 12-inch PowerBook. In fact, I think that we will see the death of the iBook, with Apple discontinuing the G3 portable in favour of lower-spec PowerBooks for consumers."
One surprise prediction came from Chris Hadley, manager of Templeton-Smith: "Steve is going to announce that I will be the new CEO of Apple. I'm going to bring my black polo neck and deliver the keynote for him."
Some resellers have few Apple products to sell. The assets of south-coast Apple reseller Logic Computers were this week acquired by The Rapid Group, after it was unable to survive the product drought.
Steve Jobs will deliver the keynote speech at Paris' Palais des Congres at 10am (9am BST). The exhibition runs from September 16-20 at the Porte de Versailles.