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So where are the 300-MHz Macs?

Resellers still don't have the super-fast Macs that were promised to them this month.

Despite announcements from Apple Computer (AAPL) and Motorola Computer Group that boxes with the 300-MHz PowerPC processor 603e are supposed to be here, resellers still don't have them.

These systems are supposed to satisfy power-hungry users and keep the Macintosh ahead of PCs based on Intel's Pentium chip. But prospective buyers of the Power Macintosh 6500/300 will find the systems still aren't available from the catalog resellers and retail stores, and neither are Motorola's StarMax 5000/300.

Apple and Motorola both promised their products would be available in May; Motorola specifically projected mid-May.

Apple now expects to ship the 6500/300s by late next week. One catalog reseller confirmed that Apple's systems should be in stock by mid-to-late June. That may not seem an extraordinary delay, but any delivery lapses are hurtful to a company struggling to regain profitability by the fourth quarter.

A spokesperson for Motorola says they will be shipping their systems to distributors next Wednesday, with a small number of systems available by May 30th. Systems should be readily available by mid-to-late June in both cases.

While the two companies rush these boxes out the door, another fast PowerPC chip relied on by two major clone makers appears to be truly in limbo.

Power Computing and Umax unofficially announced workstation-class systems using the 250-MHz PowerPC 604e in March. The systems are destined for use in markets such as the software development, graphics, and desktop publishing markets.

Both companies printed ads in publications and catalogs, but IBM (IBM) has yet to formally announce availability of the new 604e chips.

Not surprisingly, Power Computing's PowerTower Pro 250 and 250MP and Umax's SuperMac S900 604e/250 haven't reached resellers yet.

Officials at both companies were unavailable for comment.