Paris, France — Apple Computer is trying to persuade the U.S. government to lift restrictions on exports of the new PowerPC G4 processor-based Power Mac systems, the acting head of the company said at Apple Expo on Wednesday.
“The Power Mac G4 is so fast that it is classified as a supercomputer by the U.S. government, and we are prohibited from exporting it to over 50 nations worldwide,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s interim chief executive officer.
Apple, however, is working toward getting the U.S. authorities to lift the export restrictions to the listed countries, he said. “And fortunately this isn’t one of them,” quipped Jobs, addressing a crowd of European Macintosh-faithful on the first day of the Apple Expo trade show held annually in Paris.
The new G4 systems were unveiled by Jobs late last month, and feature a new series of fast PowerPC processors running at clock speeds of 400-MHz, 450-MHz and 500-MHz.
Aimed at graphics professionals, Apple today only ships Power Macs featuring the slowest 400 MHz G4, starting at $1,750 in Europe, but Jobs promised the audience that a faster 450-MHz system would be available by October, followed by 500-MHz systems in November.
To demonstrate how fast the new G4 systems are, Jobs staged a series of demos featuring a 500-MHz G4 system battling a PC powered by a 600-MHz Intel Corp. Pentium III processor. Jobs claimed that the live demos proved that the G4 on the average is 2.94 times faster than the Pentium III. “Using Intel’s own tests,” he added.