will all apple laptops merge into just one line?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by jefhatfield, Aug 19, 2003.

  1. jefhatfield Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    with the 14 inch ibook nearly the same price as the 12 inch powerbook, there is not such a huge differential between the two lines anymore like there used to be

    at one time the high end ibook was 1799 and the low end powerbook was 2499, a seven hundred dollar difference

    why can't they all be powerbooks with aluminum casings? even the lowly entry level ibook is now powerful enough to run os x and photoshop

    in six months to a year, here is what i can imagine...all powerbooks like this:

    entry level for student...G4 alubook at 867 mhz...999
    mid level...G4 alubook with larger screen and 1 ghz...1299
    pro level...G5 alubook faster than 1 ghz...1599
    ultimate...G5 alubook with largest screen then available...starting at 1899 or 1999

    basically one line with no laptop starting over two grand

    ...and with applecare, maxed out RAM, and airport setup, all under three grand for the most customized G5 alubook

    maybe sounds unrealistic this month or next, but remember the ibook came out in 1999 the same price a 12 inch powerbook is today
  2. mactastic macrumors 68040


    Apr 24, 2003
    I think there is definetly a market for a pro-featured 12" laptop though, so the smallest one should still be available with most of the features of the larger ones. Thats actually what's holding up my purchase of a 12" PB now, I'm waiting and hoping that the next rev. has a DVI out, 2 RAM slots, and an L3 cache.

    On a related note, if apple wants to sell small screen iBooks, they should make them dual monitor capable. Anyone with a screen that small needs options.
  3. ColoJohnBoy macrumors 65816


    Mar 10, 2003
    Denver, Colorado
    I sincerely doubt it. A great many people prefer the look of the iBook cas over that of either the TiBook or AlBook. Plus it seems Apple has a huge market selling iBooks as the perfect laptop for students, teachers, families, etc. At my uni they even have a laptop leasing program - $30 a month gets you use of a 800 MHz 12" iBook with Combo Drive.

    Nah, Apple's built itself a happy little niche that I don't see it leaving anytime soon.
  4. MacBoyX macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2003
    East Coast, USA

    As has been said before you will never see PB at 999.

    Apple sells plenty of iBooks, it's not going anywhere. I also really doubt we're gonna see an actual G4 in the iBook. I think we will see more powerful and Altivec enabled G3's in the iBook.

    Remember the 12" PB was not made to replace the iBook but to give PowerBook users a smaller machine to use. The iBook is a tougher more durable computer more suited to use in schools and such.

    I don't see Apple dropping a whole product line, especially one that is selling so well.

  5. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    but what if, in the future of course, apple offered the "ibook" with an aluminum shell? would the plastic ibook users complain and say, "hey, where is my white plastic?"

    the pismo was really curvy and stealthily cool looking in black plastic, but when the tibook came out, i think the metal was much more of a hit and people everywhere lusted after it...even PC users:p

    i like the ibooks now and they are superior to the revision a ibooks of 1999, but somehow i still like the weird shape and feel of my clamshell ibook
  6. mrjamin macrumors 65816


    Feb 6, 2003
    whats an altivec enabled G3 if its not a G4? i thought thats what the difference was in the first place!
  7. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i don't think of it as dropping the ibook but merging the two into one seamless line going from 999 to 1999

    and who ever thought there would have been any "powerbook" at 1599? it happened so 999 in the future is not all that wild...G3 powerbooks were 2499 to start with at one time with the higher model being 3499
  8. MacBoyX macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2003
    East Coast, USA
    Merging 2 lines into one means dropping one of them. Making them all AluBooks gets rid of the iBook.

    The iBook is made in it's shape and it's materials to make it more durable. The AluBook would NOT...be good in schools.

    I really think we are seeing the lowest point on pricing in a while...i mean do you really think that someday you're going to see a 999 top of the line PowerBook, no way.

    Prices are where they are going to stay for a while...the only reason apple dropped the prices was to stay competitive with PC laptops and I don't seem them dropping too much more if at all.

  9. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    exactly, that's why i think the G3 is old news

    G4 for the home user
    G5 for the pro user

    and write a eulogy for the G3:p
  10. MacBoyX macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2003
    East Coast, USA
    No seriously the G4 is not simply a G3 with alitvec. It's a totally different chip.

    There are G3 chips at IBM that have AltiVec added to them. And they are G3 chips.

    One of the most important points is this...

    G3s are provided by IBM.
    G4s are provided by Motorola.
    G5s are provided by IBM.

    G3's are still being developed to go past 1Ghz.
    Motorola doesn't have a desire to keep developing the G4.
    IBM has no problem continuing to make the G3.

    I think you will eventually see...

    iBooks with G3 + Altivec processors called something like G3+ G4+.
    eMacs/iMacs with low end G5's. (when the 3.0 +'s come out, the 1.6-2.0's will go in here)
    PowerBooks with G5's but not at the equivalent of the PowerMacs.
    PowerMacs with the High End G5's.

    No more G4...no more Motorola...

    The G4 chip was a great chip with no future....and now that future is the past.

  11. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i can see the ibook and powerbook not merging and things still being fine

    but prices will drop on all stuff but not as fast as the PC prices

    give it time and the PC world will come out with some sub 700 dollar athlon or celeron laptop...i have already seen a compaq celeron laptop for 749 usd...but only cdrom and only 128 MB of RAM though
  12. MacBoyX macrumors 6502


    Jan 3, 2003
    East Coast, USA
    The G4 is stuck at it's speed. It's not going to get any faster. Apple already showed that people will pay for and have interest in Home machines with high end processors (iMac G4/eMac).

    The G4 is the chip that's dead. The G3 of today is not the G3 of yester year. It has evolved and is a pefectly good chip that has a long future ahead of it.

    Write the eulogy for the G4. It's the one with no future

  13. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    i still see the G4s anchoring the consumer line of macs for a long time to come (12-18 months) but we will see ;)

    then maybe eventually all macs will have G5s, just different speeds and the pro stuff will offer the dual configuration
  14. admford macrumors member

    May 13, 2003
    From what i heard Motorola is having some troubles in making faster G4s. Their processors seem to have a high defect rate and thus blocking many attempts to raise speeds and pass to a smaller manufacturing process.

    Currently IBM doesn't have any of these problems with the G3s and G5s. Apple tends to rename chips which seem faster or equal to the past series (G3 is not IBM's brand name of it's processor, namely it's Apple's). My best guess is that the current G3s tend to be equal or better in applications that don't use Altivec. Basing on it's performace relative to equal speed G4's, Apple might even call the G3 equipped with Altivec a G4 processor.

    But like i said, it depends on what Apple execs think about this move and it's effect on PowerBooks. Who knows, it might be called "G3 + 1/2". As for looks, i think there might be a slight redesign of the iBook cases, but i suspect that they'll keep the current materials used in making them.

    On the PowerBook front, I was actually VERY dissapointed that Apple left the PowerBook G3 Pismo/Lombard cases. With the possibility to have 2 batteries, swapable drives, or a weight saving device. This made the Pismo very modular and flexible for the user. Namely that's why I bought a used Pismo instead of a new iBook two months ago. Personally I hope that Apple will return to swapable drives and the possibility to use more than one battery at a time.
  15. mstecker macrumors 6502

    Jul 16, 2002
    Ack! Not this discussion again. We need to have a FAQ somewhere on this:

    Q: If IBM straps an altivec engine onto a G3, is it still a G3, or is it a G4?

    A: No one knows, but there are two competing schools of thought.

    1) It will be called a G4. When Apple rolled out the "G5", they confirmed that they own the G-something trademark. As such, they can do whatever they want with it. If they want to define "G4" as a PowerPC with Altivec that's not a 970, they're welcome to do so. And remember, as saavy marketers, are they more likely to call it a "G4" or a "G3"?

    2) It will be called a G3+ or G3 "with velocity engine". The G4 differs from the G3 in many more ways than just the addition of Altivec, so it might not be proper to call this new chip a G4.

    I think that based on marketing, the correct answer will be #1. I'll eat my shoe if I'm wrong.
  16. admford macrumors member

    May 13, 2003
    The truth is if the processor ends up being called a G4, then what happens with the powerbooks?

    PowerBooks have been known to keep with current processor technology which is implemented in desktops.

    The iBooks are around one generation behind the current processors used in desktops. If it happens that the G3 with velocity engine will be called a G4, then the powerbooks would presumably use the G5, since Motorola most probably will not make an enhanced G4.

    As what Apple is saying with G5s in PowerBooks, we might not see them until next summer at the earliest. The G3s with velocity engine might be released for sale in December, thus allowing it to be implemented in iBooks almost immediately (seems that they have the same bus and power requirements as the previous G3 models used currently). This difference in time might cause apple some problems with naming the processor.

    Remember, Apple likes it that the iBooks are selling very well. But what Apple wants is to keep it's PowerBook sales as high as possible. And releasing a G4 iBook when Apple has G4 PowerBooks on the market, the iBook most probably take buyers away from the PowerBooks, and that's against Apple's strategy.
  17. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    There are a few key differences between the 750FX (G3) and MPC7455 (G4):

    -The 7455 has one more FPU pipeline and includes AltiVec (AltiVec is in the works for the 750 line).
    -The 7455 supports a Level 3 cache, the 750FX does not.
    -The 7455 (currently) supports a faster frontside bus (though a 200 MHz FSB is in the works for the 750 line)
    -There's one thing that the 7455 has that I've forgotten.

    The fact is that for consumer-level portable implementations, IBM's 750 line of chips is superior to the MPC7400 series. The 750s draw less power and dissipate less heat. Looking at IBM's roadmap, there is little reason to suggest that the G3 processor is anywhere near dead.
  18. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    so let's say apple keeps the G3 chip alive for two more years or so..

    by then the PC world will have pentium 5s and some super opteron on their low end machines floating around 4 or 5 ghz and 6 ghz or more on the high end

    ...and apple will still be pushing a machine with an "enhanced" G3 with altivec and a pumped up bus and level 3 cache?

    don't get me wrong, the G3 was the fastest processor jump in apple's history at the time in the 90s and the ibooks now are still faily capable machines, but why push the life of an old processor?

    the pentium pro was an amazing jump in technology at the time but intel didn't just stay there...pentium II based on the pentium pro came out and then the pentium III...all in a very short period of time...pentium III floated around for quite a while, then we have pentium 4 and amd has the athlon xp

    if there is a nostalgia for the G3, that's fine (i have one in my ibook), but with 40 percent of americans still not computer users, we have to capture the most we can with that market and these people, used to numbers and value for dollar, will want a cheap computer, high quality, and fast as possible...could we afford to still float around in G3 land?

    use the heck out of the G4 while it still has life and then move all machines left over to the G5...by then there will be a G6 in the works or whatever apple decides to call the next generation processor...and it won't take 3 1/2 years this time to get to that next generation processor
  19. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    It's not really the hardware that is the BIG difference right now between the PB12 and the iBook.

    Everybody does see the PB12 as the logical progression of the iBook, so...

    If the hardware is essentially the same (even if one is a generation newer), what distinguishes the iBook from the PB12, besides a plastic case.

    Software ...

    Ones aimed at consumers and loaded with AppleWorks and Games.

    The other is Business orient with a Office demo and some business junk.

    Slap a plastic case on the PB12, change the software package, and the warranty a bit (maybe). And you have an iBook or a PowerBook12SE.


    But right now, the iBook is booting into OS9 -- while DDR PowerBooks do not.
  20. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    wow, sunbaked, is that true?...ibooks still booting into os 9?

    at my wife's work with 300+ macs and software licenses and peripherals committed to many os 9 compatible softwares/compatibilities, the company will stay os9, due to financial hardships, well into 2004 or later...they rent all machines and rent all software titles from a major computer industry vendor

    ha ha...i still use os9 and i have gotten really good at it so i wouldn't mind getting an ibook right now that boots into os9 :p
  21. Daveman Deluxe macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Jun 17, 2003
    Corvallis, Oregon
    IBM's processor roadmap involves G3s that will run at a clock frequency of up to 2.0 GHz, and that's only two processors away. I expect more improvements may come after that.
  22. jefhatfield thread starter Retired


    Jul 9, 2000
    in the context of a 900 mhz G3 at the best right now, at the moment, that is cool

    but intel celerons, entry level, are at 2 ghz, in the same range in PC laptops as the $999 dollar entry level ibook

    and soon , the athlon will be in a laptop at $999 usd

    i think apple has pushed the G3 as far as it could in today's competitive computer hardware market
  23. tazo macrumors 68040


    Apr 6, 2003
    Pacific Northwest, Seattle, WA actually
    Apple still needs to offer a cool running laptop for people who need a ton of mobility and don't want to almost be burned by the 12" pb :D
  24. bennetsaysargh macrumors 68020


    Jan 20, 2003
    New York
    well, one thing thart should be in tge next revision of the PB to disitinguish them from the iBooks is FW800 and USB2.0. it needs those.
  25. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    have you seen the massive battery life those celerons @ 2G get - a whopping 1hr 45min.

    our G3s do much the same work at the same sort of speed and get a tiny 5hrs of life.

    which chip is better - do i need to elaborate?

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