...And Back To The TiBook (5/4/01)
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More than a few of you are a smidge puzzled by one thing about the new iBook: the option of getting an internal CD-RW or CD-RW/DVD-ROM combo drive in Apple's lower-cost consumer portable, while the high-end PowerBook G4 is strictly DVD-ROM-only. But really, there's no mystery; the PowerBook is thinner, and we wouldn't be surprised if there are no slot-loading CD-burning drives available that would fit in that sleek titanium beauty. In addition, for better or worse, it seems pretty clear to us that Apple sees CD-burning as a fundamentally consumer-oriented technology (they think everyone just wants to mix their own audio CDs)-- and it's not like there isn't a precedent for new technology debuting on the consumer side of the product grid first. Remember how long it took for AirPort to get from the iBook to the PowerBook?

That said, though, we do expect burning capabilities to find their way into Apple's pro portable line whenever the next big revision happens (and when we talk about "burning capabilities" in a laptop, we're not talking about how Dell did it.) Mac OS Rumors expects a new PowerBook sometime this summer, featuring not only CD-RW and combo drive options, but also a slew of other nice incremental bonuses-- such as processors running at up to 600 MHz, a RADEON Mobility graphics chip, better AirPort reception, and a more rigid enclosure to avoid some of the flex-related problems plaguing certain customers. Oh, and while we're slightly skeptical about this, Apple may totally break with tradition on the color-choice issue-- while the iBook is available only in white, the next PowerBook may be offered in a few different colors of anodized titanium. The whole world's gone haywire.

Hopefully these improvements will materialize sooner rather than later, since the Mac community is experiencing a certain sense of déjà vu right now; you may recall that the last big revision to the iBook suddenly made the PowerBook look a whole lot less attractive for its price. We're sensing a lot of the same sentiment floating around ever since last Tuesday. It'll be interesting to see whether PowerBook sales stay strong once the iBook is actually shipping. In any event, we don't doubt that Apple will continue to impress us with spiffy new products, and we eagerly await seeing what this summer's Macworld Expo has in store. Purple TiBook, anyone?


 
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The above scene was taken from the 5/4/01 episode:

May 4, 2001: Apple continues to wave the "No Comment" flag even as further evidence of scads of Apple retail stores continues to pour in. Meanwhile, service steps up a notch as Apple ups warranties on refurbished products to one year and restores extended AppleCare options, and now that the new iBook is done, Apple's gnomes turn back to the PowerBook in preparation for a feature bump this summer...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3033: More Retail Rumors A-Plenty (5/4/01)   You know, at this point the real mystery isn't where Apple's retail stores will be, or what they'll look like, or whether their commercials will feature arrow-through-the-head Crazy Steve pushing Midnight Madness sales by holding up fistfuls of cash while yelling "Insanely great, or just insane?...

  • 3034: Service: Getting Some Back (5/4/01)   Speaking of poorly-kept secrets, it's not going to come as any surprise to most of you that technical support for Apple customers-- while still pretty strong-- has been on a downhill path for the past few years...

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