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Mac tidbits: 17-inch MacBook Pro shipping, new iMacs soon?

Apple has released the 17-inch MacBook Pro it introduced at Macworld 2009, and another sign that new iMacs are coming soon has been discovered.

Apple's new 17-inch MacBook Pro is shipping on schedule. Apple

A couple of tidbits surfaced Friday related to Apple's current and future Mac lineup.

First of all, the 17-inch MacBook Pro introduced at Macworld 2009 is now shipping, MacNN discovered. Apple is quoting a 7- to 10-day lead time for shipments from its online store, which means it won't arrive until February, but Apple had only promised to start shipping the notebook by the end of January. It doesn't seem to be available in Apple's retail stores yet; at least, it wasn't available at the downtown San Francisco store as of Friday.

Secondly, AppleInsider reports that Apple resellers are being told to expect limited quantities of 24-inch iMacs in the coming weeks, which generally means that the current model is being phased out. There have been several signs that Apple is planning to tweak the iMac in the coming weeks, most recently via an analyst report suggesting Apple was weighing whether to use dual-core or quad-core processors in the new models.