The industry is buzzing with rumours that Apple is to launch a new cube-shaped iMac computer at the opening of its Macworld trade show in New York today.
Apple is expected to unveil the new iMacs because the range has not been upgraded since last October, and sources say the company has been pushing retailers to clear out older models. Mac fans are also hoping that Apple will hand out a public beta version of its forthcoming OS X operating system.
Gillian Munson, an analyst at financial house Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, said: "We continue to gain evidence from the channel that Apple is likely to embark on a new product refresh. This is a similar pattern to what we saw in the Apple channel prior to [its] last big product release, the colour iMacs."
There is also speculation that Apple will announce technical upgrades to its iMac and PowerMac lines at the show.
Meanwhile, graphics accelerator company ATI Technologies said it will officially unveil Mac support for its new Radeon processor, and promised a "surprise announcement" with Apple today. Apple is expected to introduce three new Macs with ATI graphics hardware on board.
ATI rival 3dfx is also expected to show a host of Mac programs running on its Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 boards at the show.
Separately, Apple announced a drop in profit in its fiscal third quarter results. Net income for the period ended 1 July fell just over one per cent to $200m, or 55 cents per share, compared with $203m, or 60 cents per share, last year. Revenue increased 17 per cent to $1.83bn. The figures include a $37m post-tax gain from the sale of its ARM Holdings shares.
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