Regarding the "retirement" of Deep Blue, I believe I've seen a news piece that one of the primary machine architects has gone off to do a startup building a chess machine for public consumption based on the concepts. If someone wants to sift through the news archives using the names of primary authors I bet they could find a bit more.
I doubt IBM would be afraid of Apple defeating Deep Blue. IBM has the most advanced manufacturing technology of anyone and unless Apple were to come up with some really clever software, IBM would always be able to build the most advanced hardware.
With regard to chess, I'll put my bets on the
"throw weight" of the machine.
Regarding, the Godel Escher Bach discussion, I agree that Hofstadter is writing too long ago. Moravec understands this much better than Hofstadter (perhaps because he is writing 11 years later in Mind Children or 20 years later in Robot).
Moravec, I believe does discuss Deep Blue in Robot.
Some of the book is online at: