In the clearest signal yet that any revised iMac models will not feature SuperDrives this year, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the company hopes to bring the SuperDrive to its consumer Macs next year.

The statement was delivered to a herd of Wall Street analysts at Apple's Cupertino HQ yesterday.

As Apple approaches Macworld Conference and Expo, Tokyo, 2001, industry rumours claim Apple will announce a refreshed iMac range there. US reports say deep discounts are being made to the price of high-end DV and DV SE iMacs, though such price cuts are not available in the UK. This hints at some product revision in the future.

"I think it's possible to bring the SuperDrive down into our consumer products next calendar year 2002," Jobs said, according to MacCentral. The CEO asserted that this hinged on the company making enough SuperDrives to bring the cost down.

The SuperDrive is made by Pioneer. It can read and write to both CDs and DVDs. It supports a number of formats, including DVD-video, DVD-ROM, DVD-R, CD-ROM, CD-Audio, CD-R, CD-RW, CDI, CD Bridge, CD Extended and Photo CDs. It ships as standard only with Apple's recently-announced Power Mac G4 733MHz.