The New Fall Line-Up (7/31/00)
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Whoops, here we go again: the exact kind of rumor that always prompts a zillion opinion articles about how the Mac rumor sites hurt Apple for the sake of advertising revenue, followed by a kajillion counterpoint rebuttals arguing that the consumer has a right to know. AppleInsider's back in the thick of things, as the no-holds-barred site broaches the subject of the next iBook revision. The new laptops, code-named "Midway," will sport the same Fisher-Price-meets-Hello-Kitty clamshell enclosure we've seen for the past year, but will supposedly pack faster G3 chips, better ATI graphics circuitry with double the video RAM, and an "aggressive" new price. Furthermore, the higher-end Special Edition model will allegedly sprout a FireWire port and a DVD-ROM drive. But that's not all: prepare for new hues, which we imagine will mirror the new iMac's slightly more muted tones.

So what's the problem, you ask? Here's the problem, at least as the anti-rumor brigade sees it: people who were just about to go out and buy an iBook may now be far more likely to hang onto their cash until these enhanced models (supposedly) ship in September. And that's a reasonable concern; any of those potential buyers who could wait a couple of months in hopes of getting more and paying less may well do just that. Heck, a sizeable subset of those potential customers probably feels that "Tangerine or Blueberry" represents the worst "lesser of two evils" choice since the last Presidential election, and would be willing to wait two months just to see if Apple ships an iBook that doesn't look like it escaped from the Planet of the Black Light. Those delayed purchases translate into lost revenue for Apple-- and it's even worse if the rumors aren't even true.

So, while we're certainly not going to avoid mentioning AppleInsider's latest rumors (pretty much everyone that tunes in here would have found them anyway), we would like to say this: the AtAT staff bought a first-generation iBook soon after they entered the channel. We've gotten a ton of use out of it, and it's the best investment we've ever made in a portable. Whether we're surfing wirelessly while reclining on the couch, producing AtAT on the road, or playing PlayStation games at 30,000 feet via the wonder of Virtual Game Station, we're constantly amazed at how cool this thing is. A few months ago, Apple upped the RAM and disk size on the iBook while keeping the price the same. Do we wish we had waited until the revision shipped? Not on your life-- we'd have missed out on months of work and fun. Did the revision change our iBook in any way? Of course not; it's the same lovable little blue guy we bought last November. It still does what it did. It still does what we bought it to do. So our advice is this: buy what you need when you need it. Eventually you have to ignore the rumors and bite the bullet. If you keep waiting for the next revision, you'll never have any fun. And fun is what it's all about.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 7/31/00 episode:

July 31, 2000: Irony of ironies: Apple's lawyers may soon be defending the company against a lawsuit from the maker of the Qube. Meanwhile, the MIA Sage commercial quietly reappears as if nothing happened, and rumors swirl of a new iBook arriving in time for fall...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 2449: Fun With Regular Polyhedra (7/31/00)   Gosh, it's almost too much irony for a bleary-eyed Monday morning. (As if.) Remember all those iMac wannabes that copied the distinctive shape, style, and colors of Apple's smash hit consumer system?...

  • 2450: It's Not Easy Being Seen (7/31/00)   Now you see it, now you don't-- but wait a few days, and hey presto: the absent one returns, none the worse for wear. Stupid magic trick? Well, sort of; we're talking about the vanishing act that Apple pulled with its Sage commercial last week...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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