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Faster Core Duo chips mean slower MacBook deliveries?

Many Apple customers were delighted by their Valentine's Day present of faster Intel Core Duo chips in their new MacBook Pro systems, at no additional charge. But those who ordered their systems right after the January announcement are going to have to cool their heels waiting for that extra speed.

Jonathan Taylor (thanks, Jonathan), in the TalkBack forums discussing the news, noted that the announcement about the faster chips obscured the fact that his $2,499 MacBook Pro, ordered the same day it was announced, would now be arriving about two weeks later than expected. An Apple customer service rep told him all shipments were being delayed in order to upgrade the systems with the faster chips, according to his post.

An Apple PR rep did not respond to requests seeking confirmation on whether the upgrade affected the ship dates of all MacBook Pro orders that had already been received. The company announced Tuesday that the $2,499 system would ship this week, while the $1,999 system would ship next week, but it appears that everyone will have to wait until at least the end of the month, according to Jonathan, the online Apple Store, and several other posts on message boards frequented by Apple's fans.

Intel's decision to move up the launch date of the Core Duo chip caused a bit of consternation among other Intel customers about the new schedule, and allowed some smaller PC vendors to beat the big guys to market with notebooks containing the new chips. Apple's iMac systems were available immediately with the new chips, but it's going to take a little longer to be first on your block with an Intel Mac notebook.