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Saturday, November 19, 2005

Apple & iBook Laptops

We recently wrote that Apple's move to Intel marks a tectonic shift for Apple, which has used processors from IBM and Motorola throughout the life of the Mac. However, the company has changed architectures before, shifting in the 1990s from Motorola's 68000 family of chips to the PowerPC architecture jointly developed by IBM and Motorola. Think Secret speculates that Apple is planning to release its first entry-level iBook laptops with Intel processors next January. While not sure of what processors or price points the new models will debut at,it is thought Apple will expand the iBook line with one additional model and will lower prices - to entice current Windows users and prove to the market it will be more competitive with the likes of Dell, Gateway, HP and Sony. It is more likely the initial release of products with the new processor will be consumer-based products only and not professional, high-end lines, such as PowerBooks and towers, as some Web sites have reported. Apple will almost certainly tap Intel's forthcoming Yonah processor for the iBooks, a successor to the company's Pentium M. The dual-core Yonah chip could very likely deliver performance greater than Apple's current G4-based PowerBooks. Rolling out a consumer system like the iBook as the first Intel Mac also makes sense from a software development standpoint. Analyst Stephen Baker at NPD Intelect believes for Apple, they need a nicely configured $699 notebook to be competitive at the entry level he said. "They can play up the value of the bundled software and Mac OS X and really have a strong case for consumers to buy their product & notes the intensifying competition in the consumer notebook market. While launching Tiger recently, I wrote that clearly this move adds to the Mac's general superiority over typical Windows computers as the best choice for average consumers doing the most common computing tasks. There’s no doubt that Apple's move to Intel could usher in a new era of success. While on this do not forget to read the misconceptions regarding the so called Apple-Intel Deal.

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