What Apple *should* do to fill the 12" Powerbook Gap

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by eidrunner247, Nov 30, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #1
    Granted, the new Aluminum Macbooks half come a long way in filling the gap for those users that wanted a replacement for the 12" Powerbook. Still, I am not quite satisfied and I wanted to see if there are others felt the same way.

    The 12" Powerbook was Pro performance with iBook portability. And (if I remember correctly) it also had a backlit keyboard. Currently only the high end Macbook has that feature.

    Still what essentially separates the Macbook from the Macbook Pro is the graphics card. So, here is what I advocate: put a dedicated graphics card in the high end Macbook. That will allow it to be the true 12" Powerbook replacement.

    I'm not saying this will happen, but in my world, that's what I'd like to see. Anyone else have these same musings?
     
  2. macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #2
    Most 12" owners think the MacBook is still too big. Also, it didn't come with a backlit keyboard simply because they couldn't fit it in the case.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #3
    I agree that that change, among a few others, would make the Macbook almost the perfect machine. The only problem with this though is that it would start cannibalizing Apple's other notebook products. People would have less reason to buy a Macbook Pro or a Macbook Air. If the Macbook had the same screen as the Air, for instance, much less people would buy the Air. If the Macbook had firewire and a dedicated graphics card, much less people would buy the Pro.

    This would be great for consumers but it's not what Apple wants. They want to sell you the higher end products, the Macbook Pro and the Mac Pro, because the profit margins are bigger at the high end.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #4
    I loved my 12" PB, but now that I have the Al-MB, I'd much rather have the thinner form factor with a slightly large footprint (bigger screen size).

    I saw a used 12" PB when I picked up my Al-MB a few weeks ago. Boy, that thing was thick!
     
  5. macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #5
    I'd rather the smaller footprint with a CD drive then the thinner case, just saying..
     
  6. macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #6
    I completely agree. The new Al MB is really a nice machine when you see it in person. I've never felt a computer so solid before either. The only thing I hate about it is the keyboard. I love the PB's keyboard and I've used my wife's MB enough to know I HATE the chicklet keys.
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    smooth

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Detroit
    #7
    Since I started looking at Macs over a year ago, the one thing that the PC companies have over Apple is the variety in their notebook lines. There is typically a consumer line and a professional line, both with several size options.

    If Apple had 2 product lines, each with 4 sizes: 11" 13" 15" 17", then the pro models of the 11" and 13" models would make the former and current Powerbook owners very happy. The biggest trend that I've seen on this site is the wish for an equivalent model. The 11" consumer model would be Apple's version of the netbook. And my personal belief is that many potential switchers do not like the cost of the 15" MacBook Pros but want the screen real estate and just will not dish out that kind of money. I can think of at least a dozen people who won't consider Apple for that very reason.

    Personally, I don't really have a want or a need for a Powerbook replacement, but I think it would be smart for Apple to offer something. I see how much Apple's notebook market share has grown since the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines have been introduced. I think it could have been even more if there were more options.
     
  8. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    East London
    #8
    Yeah i was kinda struck by how you could only get 13 inch macbook or 15 inch pro.

    would have thought there would have been a market for larger screen macbook and even for a smaller one say 11-12 inch highly portable.

    still guess they know what there doing.....
     
  9. macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #9
    The 12" PB G4 was discontinued on May 16, 2006- almost 31 months ago. Were Apple to try and replace it, it would have been done already.
     
  10. macrumors 68000

    cellocello

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Toronto, ON
    #10
    Apple's a pretty small company guys - not sure how you expect them to sustain an EIGHT model laptop line-up.

    Dell can offer something like this, because all they do is literally put chips in boxes. No OS development, no hardware development, no nothing and they quite honestly move 10x the hardware Apple does. Offering tons of laptop models makes business sense for Dell.

    Apple can't work miracles - they can't offer a different laptop model for every single specific set of exacting requirements people might have out there. They offer 4 different laptops that are pretty customizable spec-wise; pretty decent if you ask me.
     
  11. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Location:
    East London
    #11
    But I want one..........:D
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    BanjoBanker

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Location:
    Mt Brook, AL
    #12
    I loved the size of my trusty 12" PB, and I still do. That being said, I really enjoy the performance of my C2D Blackbook. I have looked at the AL MacBooks and I do not see a reason to upgrade at this point in time. I love the form factor of the MBA, but again, no real advantage that would warrant an upgrade from the BlackBook. The 12" PB was a way cool little machine, but the new MacBooks make a perfect replacement, they are lighter and only a tad larger in footprint. I wonder how many of the people who gripe about no replacement for the 12" PB ever owned one? :rolleyes:
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    smooth

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Detroit
    #13
    I'm definitely not saying Apple should operate like Dell nor should they have nearly as many models. I certainly wouldn't expect a 15" notebook for under $1000. But close or at $1000? It could be possible. And 2 seperate "models" are not necessary either if they could offer a configuration of the 15" and 17" models that would not be considered "pro." So in a sense, they'd be eliminating the white MacBook and replacing it with an 11" notebook that can be configured as a MacBook or a MacBook Pro. When the Powerbook was around, there was 3 sizes plus 2 sizes of iBooks and both models were quite successful - so it's not like Apple has not had greater variety before.

    I would say get rid of the MacBook Pro name - go strictly with MacBook. With the MacBook Air, there would be 5 models - same number that they have right now. The high-end models would become the unofficial MBPs.

    Yes, Apple is a smaller company, but all this is based on the assumption that they want to grow. Variety will help that. If you believe Apple wants to keep a smaller marketshare, then yes, having just a few options is the best route to go. Based on what I've read about the company, I don't think that is the case.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    smooth

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2007
    Location:
    Detroit
    #14
    I wonder that myself, but it is the biggest complaint that I've seen on these boards. Personally, I too have a BlackBook and I love it. My only compaint is that I wish it were bigger. When I first got it, I had an iBook that I was getting files from before giving it back to my pastor to sell it. I barely noticed a size difference.
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #15
    As a 12" PB owner, I don't mind paying £500/$1000 more for the MacBook if it had firewire and a better screen. That would have been the perfect upgrade for me. Instead, I upgraded to a refurb last gen blackbook. Heavier than what I'm used to and what I would like, but I'm happy with it for now.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    silverblack

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #16
    Good for you. But a lot of people would NOT pay $2500 for what you described as a 13" MBP (current MB with the better screen and firewire), probably not even $2000. People (especially students) are already complaining that the $1000+ MBs being too expensive compared to PCs.

    Besides, such $2000+ 13" MBP would compete directly with MBA and 15" MBP. Doing so not only hurts the Al-MB sales, but also the MBA and MBP sales.
     
  17. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    #17

    Me too! I'm happy for now. The Blackbook smokes the 12 inch G4 and I still sold it for quite a pretty penny!
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    #18
    I'm personally thinking a smaller screen on the air. Add FW to the macbook (maybe as an option, mind you, they'd need a different case for it, so they'd probably need to put it on all of them) keep gpu it has. Still quite fast and keeps price lower, will also drive more people to the MBP with grand central. OR, have an equivalent to the blackbook that would have FW, better screen and maybe keep the illuminated keyboard strictly on that one (mind you, keep the non-scence as options, like bigger HDD to keep it's price point much closer to the MB than that of the MBP. No real changes to the MBP : get the 17" to unibody, though I'm thinking it's not available in unibody as maybe the factory can't accept the size of it...

    Then, offer matte screen as an option on the MB and MBP, maybe put a premium for it on the MB and put a better screen with the matte option. I think those who really want the better screen are essentially the same that want a matte screen. Or maybe having both options wouldn't be all the much of a problem.

    That way, the air would be more desirable as it would be even more portable. I think those that want the air want a super portable machine and don't actually want it to be a 'screamer'. The impact on performance a smaller screen would imply would probably be okay with most potential buyer. It would probably bring it's price to something a bit more saner, also. As of right now, I think there's a huge premium for the MBA simply because it allows users to differentiate from the run of the mill MB.

    There is a market for a 'pro' 13". Or... there are people that don't just browse the web and use iTunes that would like to use a 13" computer and want a fully capable laptop.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #19
    Apple's portable line used to be a lot simpler. If you wanted a small portable, you could get a consumer 12-inch iBook or a pro 12-inch PowerBook. You either paid more or made sacrifices.

    Now my dream laptop would have to compete with the Al-MB, MBA and MBP - all of which sacrifice something.
     
  20. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #20
    That's exactly my point. There was certainly a difference between the ibook 12" and the Powerbook G4 12". Namely the graphics card. The Powerbook 12" was just that "fully capable laptop."

    I'd like to see the Macbook (high-end) with the Nvidia 9600. Charge $1,799 or something like that (maybe $1,699) - there will be lots of buyers. I'd jump on it. That would be the true replacement to the powerbook 12"
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    hayduke

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2005
    Location:
    is a state of mind.
    #21
    Just trim the bezel on the air. Done.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #22
    I highly doubt there will be anything to fill the gap. Apple doesn't care about it anymore, hence their push with the 13.3" machines.
     
  23. macrumors regular

    jensepollense

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia Tech/Blacksburg, VA
    #23
    I recently switched from a 12" PB G4 to the new aluminum Macbooks, and I definitely can see that some people would like to have a notebook with the 12" form factor back. I just think it'd be hard for Apple to do something with this without cannibalizing sales of on of their other notebooks, be it the Macbook or the MBA.
     
  24. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #24
    If it does canibalize sales of the MBA or MB, then drop the least popular laptop. Small doesn't have to be crippled.
     
  25. macrumors regular

    jensepollense

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia Tech/Blacksburg, VA
    #25
    I guess you're right, but there's no way to do this without making lots of folks angry. Apple obviously seems very satisfied with their current lineup, so maybe they don't see a need to change something that, in their view, doesn't need to be changed.
     

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