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Apple Computer quietly reduced pricing of its 20” iMac computers featuring IBM PowerPC 970FX (G5) processors. The products now cost less than iMac computers featuring Intel Core Duo chips with similar screen size which may mean that the computer maker has plans to get rid of those machines as quickly as possible.

Without much noise, Apple’s online store began to sell 20” iMac 2.1GHz G5 machines recently at the price of $1499, down from $1699, or $200 less compared to the price on the same computer before and the cost of 20” iMac running Intel Core Duo 2.0GHz that features two processing engines. Apple did not give any official explanations for the move.

Earlier this week it was revealed that Apple does not have enough 17” iMac G5 computers to fulfill the orders, possibly, due to low inventory levels, which observers explained by Apple’s intention to get rid of the G5-based computers as quickly as possible. In effect, the 17” iMac G5 was claimed to have been shifted to end of life status that explains their reportedly insufficient availability.

Another report earlier this week claimed that sales of all Macintosh computers tumbled following announcement of the first Macs featuring Intel Core Duo processors. The reasons for slowed-down sales of Macintosh products were predicted back last year: performance of software originally developed for PowerPC-based computers is not high on the new machines since the programs run using emulation software, but not a lot of consumers want to spend their money on the Mac G5 machines that are set to face end of live in several months time and and which are already slower in some applications.

Apple Computer did not comment on the unofficial stories.

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