Did Apple Leak Next-Gen Macs?

An apparent slip on Apple's online store provides some insight into the specifications of the Power Mac G5.

Pay no attention to that Mac behind the curtain: Apple Computer Inc. apparently let slip the veil of secrecy cloaking its next Power Macs Thursday night when specifications describing new "G5" Power Macs briefly appeared on the Mac makers online store.

If accurate, the stats confirm widespread reports that the Cupertino, Calif., Mac maker is on the verge of releasing professional desktop Macs based on a new processor and featuring a radically faster system bus as well as other enhancements.

The Apple Store page was quickly pulled down, but not before screenshots and specifications were picked up by sites across the Mac Web, including MacMinute, MacCentral and MacRumors. The version of the specifications listed on MacRumors was "removed per the request of Apple" within a few hours of posting, and Apple Legal demanded MacMinute remove the image it posted.

According to the modified Apple Store page, the new machines will come in 1.6GHz, 1.8GHz and dual-2GHz "PowerPC G5" configurations; "PowerPC G5" is apparently Apples marketing term for the PowerPC 970, the 64-bit chip from IBM that is expected to supplant the Motorola-developed PowerPC G4 currently driving most Mac models. The systems will also feature processor-bus speeds of up to 1GHz, three expansion slots based on the current PCI or new PCI-X standard, three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 and two FireWire 400 ports, "AGP 8X Pro graphics options from Nvidia or ATI," up to 8GB of DDR SDRAM, and optical and analog audio in and out.

The Apple Store page did not include details of pricing or availability, although eWEEK sources have said that Apple will unveil 64-bit Power Macs at next weeks Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Apple has already said it will distribute a developer release of Mac OS X 10.3, a k a Panther, at WWDC.

eWEEK recently reported that the first round of new Power Macs, code-named Q37, will arrive ahead of Panther, which sources said wont ship until mid-September. They predicted the new hardware will debut in midsummer with a special build train of the current Mac OS X Version 10.2, a k a Jaguar.

Apple was not immediately available to comment on the reports.