What, ANOTHER New iBook?! (5/24/01)

For those of you who just bought a new iBook, we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that you now own what is arguably the coolest, friendliest, and most useful laptop ever to grace this earth. The bad news is that you may be considering it obsolete in as little as six weeks' time. For you see, Brian Freeman was the first of many faithful viewers to tip us off to the gabbiness of Alpha-Top, Apple's Taiwanese laptop manufacturer; according to a CNET article, the contractor has publicly stated that it's about to start cranking out even newer iBooks in July, featuring a "wider screen" and coming in "a variety of colors." (Listen! Hear that? That moist pop was the sound of Steve Jobs' head exploding.)

Now, before you start engaging in premature buyer's remorse, think for a second: is it just us, or does July seem way too soon for Apple to ship yet another iBook? By the time Macworld Expo rolls around, the current iBook will only have been shipping for just over two months. Does it really seem likely that Apple would roll out an upgrade that soon? Not that it couldn't happen, of course, but remember, we're not just talking about new color choices, here, which is a fairly minor change to implement; we're talking about a wider screen, which would probably require at least a small alteration to the iBook's chassis. (Okay, sure, the current iBook still has a little room to accommodate a bigger screen, but we still think it sounds a little fishy.) So before you panic, ask yourself this: when was the last time that Apple changed the actual physical design (not just the colors, or hard disk size, or processor speed) of a single product family twice in less than three months?

The only reason we can't dismiss this rumor outright is this: if you accept the theory that the current iBook is actually a "CubeBook" renamed in order to avoid any association with Apple's gorgeous but disastrously slow-selling Cube, then obviously Apple must have been working on a real new iBook, too-- and the odds are good that the real iBook would boast a slightly larger screen and different color choices. So maybe there's something to this after all, but we're not betting the house on it. We seem to recall having heard reports from loose-lipped Taiwanese contractors long ago-- about Apple-branded Palm OS devices rolling off the assembly lines. In other words, we're keeping open minds, but our hearts won't stop out of shock if Macworld Expo comes and goes without new iBooks gracing the stage.

SceneLink (3070)
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The above scene was taken from the 5/24/01 episode:

May 24, 2001: Loose lips hint at a new new iBook in July, sporting a wider screen and new colors. Meanwhile, Apple may be in for a rough time sticking to its LCD-only display policy, as LCD prices may start rising next year, and Gil Amelio insists that Apple's doing well because the company is still sticking to his master plan...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3071: LCDs: What Comes Down... (5/24/01)   Uh-oh, it sounds like Uncle Steve's master plan to eradicate the cathode ray tube from the face of this troubled planet could run into a teensy little snag next year. For those of you who aren't quite up to speed, it still should come as no surprise that Steve isn't the CRT's biggest fan; as a display technology, it's bulky, it's hot, and it sucks down power like Kool-Aid on a summer day...

  • 3072: Denial Reigns Supreme (5/24/01)   Oh, my my my... It seems that good ol' Gil Amelio has settled on a wonderfully effective defense mechanism to help deal with his failure to restore Apple to glory. It's no secret that the man was kicked in the head pretty hard when Apple's board gave him the boot, but in recent years, his strategy has been simple: he points to whatever successes that Apple may have accomplished in recent months, and then says it was all his idea...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

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