Apple won't honor most G4 orders

Apple says it will honor only a few pre-orders for discontinued G4s. Everybody else must re-order.

After a day of mixed messages, Apple Computer Inc. late Friday formally apologized to its customers for confusion surrounding the reconfiguration of its Power Mac G4 line and the cancellation of advance orders for the powerful new machines.

But despite news reports and messages from Apple's (Nasdaq:AAPL) online store suggesting otherwise, an Apple spokesman told MacWEEK that the company will, out of necessity, cancel almost all advance orders for G4 systems.

"We are honoring [advance] orders from just a small number of individuals," the spokesman said.

Customers 'understand'
"We are apologizing for the inconvenience this has caused our valuable customers," he said. "Fortunately, most of our customers understand the need to do this to meet demand, and almost all of the customers we have heard from are reordering."

Apple said earlier this week that delays in chip production forced it to reconfigure its new Power Mac G4 line using slightly slower processors. Prices for the systems remain unchanged, however, leaving customers who had pre-ordered the machines uncertain of what configuration they would received and how much they would be charged.

Reports incorrect
Some customers received an e-mail message from the Apple Store early Friday informing them that an earlier decision to cancel all advance orders had been rescinded.

Later in the day, however, Apple said the Apple Store message was wrong and that production demands necessitated the cancellation of almost all orders for now-unavailable configurations. Similarly, Apple said news reports Friday from the Associated Press and other outlets stating that Apple had rescinded the G4 price hike were incorrect.