Making Titanium New Again (8/23/01)
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My, my, my... is it just us, or is the plot getting awfully thick in here? At first we were half-joking when we suggested that Steve's official denial of new hardware product launches at the Apple Expo in Paris is open to interpretation, but now the signs are simply too overwhelming to ignore. iMac, shmiMac; we may not see a revolutionary new version of Apple's groundbreaking consumer desktop model until the following month, but we're now more sure than ever that September is at least going to bring us a minty-fresh new PowerBook G4 iteration. Technically, if all we're talking about is a speed boost and maybe some new build-to-order options, that's not actually the launch of a "new hardware product," is it? Clever Steve...

Consider the facts. First of all, the PowerBook G4 spec hasn't been touched once since the product's debut in January, so clearly it's due for a little sprucing up. Then there's the fact that Apple's current "Burning Desires" PowerBook promo (which offers customers a free external CD-RW drive) ends on September 3rd, hinting at an inventory-flushing maneuver to make way for the new gear. Next, consider the fact that Apple recently slashed PowerBook prices by hundreds of dollars to education customers, and is rumored to be doing the same in the general market within days. Put it all together, and we smell a revamped PowerBook cookin' up for a picnic sometime next month.

The question weighing so heavily on our minds, then, is this: just when in September can we expect these zippy new portables? Our own wacky fever-dreams seem to imply massive PowerBook price cuts starting the day after tomorrow. (Faithful viewer Ben Bussey notes that today Go2Mac is reporting the same thing as an "exclusive," claiming "you heard it [there] first." Hmmmm...) If that indeed comes to pass, then Apple would obviously be clearing out the channel in preparation for the new models. But what are we to make of the little birds chirping about Apple's plan to cut off its "Burning Desires" promo a full ten days prior to the original September 3rd end date? Well, if the birds are correct, then that implies the imminent price drops are real-- and presumably steeper than the cost of a free external FireWire CD-RW drive.

What we don't know is just how long Apple thinks the channel will take to bleed dry following these alleged price drops-- but we doubt it's longer than four weeks. So yes, we are banking on a new PowerBook at the Apple Expo, or at Seybold, or even sometime before. As for what these shiny new portables will be packing under the hood, well, only Steve knows for sure... but someone with a busy finger left us an anonymous message in the dirt on the AtATmobile last night: "500/667 MHz, 20-48 GB DISKS, DVD OR CD-RW (NO COMBO) -- WASH ME." Is it "real dirt," or just the work of some neat freak messing with our heads? You decide.


 
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The above scene was taken from the 8/23/01 episode:

August 23, 2001: No new hardware product launches in Paris next month? That's as maybe, but a revamped PowerBook is on its way nonetheless. Meanwhile, an author in Singapore issues a $15,000 reward for his lost PowerBook, and Microsoft garners some grass-roots "Redmond Justice" support from the lifeforce-challenged...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 3261: Next Stop: Milk Cartons (8/23/01)   Meanwhile, not everyone in Macdom is anxious for a new PowerBook; at least one guy is desperate to get his old one back. How desperate? Well, how about "$15,000 reward for safe return" desperate?...

  • 3262: Grabbing The Zombie Vote (8/23/01)   Man, talk about an unexpected "Redmond Justice" plot twist! Watch out, Justice Department and attorneys general; pursue your antitrust case against Microsoft at the risk of your own political careers, because the company has apparently managed to secure grass-roots support in its struggle from a vast, untapped segment of the U.S. population: the stiffs...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

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