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Apple misses ship date for Xserve G5

The company originally said it would start shipping the rack-mounted server in February, but now hopes to get it out this month.

Apple Computer on Monday confirmed it is behind schedule in shipping its Xserve G5 rack-mounted server.

Apple had originally said it would start shipping the product in February, but now says it failed to reach that goal and instead hopes to ship the product this month.

"We plan to start shipping them in March 2004, a few weeks later than we originally planned," Apple said in a statement provided to CNET News.com.

The company declined to say what's to blame for the holdup, saying it had no comment beyond its statement.

The Xserve is part of Apple's modest foray into parts of the high-end computing world. Apple introduced the first version, using G4 processors, in May 2002, with company CEO Steve Jobs making the debut of the G5 model at this January's Macworld Expo. The company also is working on software, dubbed Xgrid, aimed at making it easier to group its products in a cluster.

Apple said the Xserve G5 has been "very well received by our customers," but the company did not quantify the demand for the product.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University has already announced it plans to use the Xserve G5 as part of an upgrade to its "X" supercomputer, also known as Big Mac. The machine, which ranked No. 3 on this year's list of top 500 supercomputers, was originally built using 1,100 Power Mac G5s. Some of those original desktops are being sold by catalog and via online retailer MacMall.