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The first commercial Apple Macintosh computers running on Intel processors may be released a bit earlier than expected, believes UBS Investment Research analyst Ben Reitzes. He claims that Apple will have new products and content to announced at the Macworld Expo scheduled for early January and notes that Intel is expected to unveil its dual-core Yonah processor for mobiles also early next year.

The analyst, excepts from whose research notes were published by AppleInsider web-site, believes that early January, 2006, is a possible timeframe for the first Intel-based Apple computers to debut. UBS researchers suppose that the first of Apple’s computers to use Intel processor, in particular, Intel’s next-generation Pentium M flavour code-named Yonah, will be Mac Mini. The firm claims that Apple’s strategy will be to equip its computers with Intel processors starting from the most affordable models.

“We continue to believe that both the PowerMac and PowerBook will be introduced at a later date (late 2006 or early 2007) – with the possible use of the Intel’s Merom processor for the PowerBook and Conroe processor for the PowerMac,” Mr. Reitzes is reported to have said.

Currently Apple’s Mac mini, iBook and PowerBook computers use IBM G4 processors at up to 1.67GHz. Potentially, Apple could replace those chips with Intel Yonah processors, providing mobile and entry-level users with a processor that features two processing engines, thus, works faster in case numerous applications are running. However, Apple recently updated its iMac with IBM G5 (PowerPC 970FX) and PowerMac with dual-core G5 (IBM PowerPC 970MP), thus, the company may decide not to give its entry-level Mac mini serious processing power and initiate transition from other products. A possibility for Apple would be to transit all of its desktop products to the G5 chips and either to do this with the mobile lineup as well, or to begin offering Intel Inside laptops.

Apple announced plans to deliver models of its Macintosh computers using Intel microprocessors by mid-2006, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007. The computer maker did not comment on the news-story.

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