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Apple tells some stores to expect 'sealed packages' early this week

post #1 of 70
Thread Starter 
Evidence that Apple plans to introduce new MacBook Pro notebooks as early as this week continues to mount, with the company reportedly providing some dealers with strict warnings not to breach the integrity of sealed pallet shipments that may begin arriving as early as tomorrow.

More specifically, the Mac maker this weekend began informing some of its larger European resellers that they could expect delivery of sealed product pallets to their brick-and-mortar stores as early as Monday, which coincides with one of ten federal holidays (President's Day) in the United States.

Apple has historically avoided making major product launches on federal holidays, and as such is telling these partners that an official announcement pertaining to the shipments would follow shortly, according to a person familiar with the matter. The same person said that Apple is vocalizing its right to yank reseller licenses from any dealer who tampers with the sealed shipments ahead of that said announcement.

The move underscores the complications Apple faces in attempting to equip its expansive supply chains for major product introductions on the scale of MacBook Pros ahead of formally unveiling such products, especially in the face of sprawling stock-outs on existing models that impede new customer purchases.

As such, the Cupertino-based company has in the past commissioned its freight carriers to provide drop-shipments of new products to its distribution points across the global in the days and hours before an impending announcement, concealing those shipments in black plastic wrap before sealing them further with "Apple Confidential" tape (as can be seen in the below photo of a pallet of unannounced Power Macs back in April of 2005.)



According to those same people briefed on this week's shipments, Apple's major European distributors ran out MacBook Pros near the top of the month, regional resellers have not been able to place new orders for the notebooks for over two weeks, and Apple has not shipped a single unit of its own to the channel during the same period of time.

For more on Apple's plans for its MacBook Pro line, please see AppleInsider's MacBook Pro information archive.
post #2 of 70
The plot thickens.
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post #3 of 70
If apple indeed does release MBPs this week it seems their cone of silence may of finally been repaired. While there have been rumors and vague details, there haven't been the concrete tangible leaks seen before the last several product releases.
post #4 of 70
Highly excited to see what they're going to look like!
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post #5 of 70
No event = speed bump or relatively minor upgrade. No big deal.
post #6 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jb510 View Post

If apple indeed does release MBPs this week it seems their cone of silence may of finally been repaired. While there have been rumors and vague details, there haven't been the concrete tangible leaks seen before the last several product releases.

Wasn't John Gruber leaking product releases days before as well?
post #7 of 70
My sister is planning to buy a non-pro MacBook soon. Regular MacBook updates will probably come separately. I wonder, out-loud and anonymously through the internet, if it's worth her waiting possibly until as late as April or May...

But yes I'm looking forward to this announcement as well. I hope that there's at least a small event of some kind to watch on the Apple site.
post #8 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

No event = speed bump or relatively minor upgrade. No big deal.

not true at all. redesigned iMac and white macbook were both released with out an event before hand
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post #9 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

No event = speed bump or relatively minor upgrade. No big deal.

I don't think they'd threaten to revoke a reseller license if it was just a CPU bump. This is a redesign.

SSD, Sandy Bridge, Mac App Store = no optical drive, high speed connector to replace FW and ethernet, thinner MBA-like design as announced, possibly liquid metal alloy with a different metal shade, higher resolution and possibly higher quality displays (if they get IPS screens, that would be nice).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undecided

I wonder, out-loud and anonymously through the internet, if it's worth her waiting possibly until as late as April or May...

I think they'll drop the plastic MB line in favour of the 11" Air and it would be a good move to drop the 13" Air in favour of a thin 13" MBP.
post #10 of 70
Whatever. U.S. Customs and the Dept of Homeland Security have already opened the packages, taken it out, turned it on, taken it apart, sold photos to Gawker, and taped it back up again.

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post #11 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

No event = speed bump or relatively minor upgrade. No big deal.

Totally Agree.

On to more rumours of the iPad 2, 3 & 4?...

Even the iPad 2 should be a 'No really big deal' as camera, 512MB RAM, etc. should of easily been put into the current one from the get go.
post #12 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

No event = speed bump or relatively minor upgrade. No big deal.

It is not wise to underestimate Steve.
post #13 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

SSD, Sandy Bridge, Mac App Store = no optical drive, high speed connector to replace FW and ethernet, thinner MBA-like design as announced, possibly liquid metal alloy with a different metal shade, higher resolution and possibly higher quality displays (if they get IPS screens, that would be nice).

Expect half of those things and maybe you won't be disappointed.
post #14 of 70
Does anyone have a guess at what the new graphics chip will be?
post #15 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think they'll drop the plastic MB line in favour of the 11" Air and it would be a good move to drop the 13" Air in favour of a thin 13" MBP.

Replacing the MacBook with the less-expensive Air sounds plausible now that's it's entered my mind, but I almost somewhat doubt that that wouldn't happen for at least another year, giving the Air models one more update or revamp and price adjustment. I am suddenly just a little worried though about that happening sooner than not.

Replacing the 13" Air for a thinner MacBook Pro doesn't sound as likely though -- I would think that they're hoping and aiming ultimately to go in the opposite direction.
post #16 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Whatever. U.S. Customs and the Dept of Homeland Security have already opened the packages, taken it out, turned it on, taken it apart, sold photos to Gawker, and taped it back up again.

No they didn't. That's what Steve worked out with the President at dinner last week.
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post #17 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Expect half of those things and maybe you won't be disappointed.

I always expect nothing but hope for everything and a $100 price drop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner

Does anyone have a guess at what the new graphics chip will be?

One of the Radeon 6000-series GPUs but not sure which one. They usually go for the lower-end so it could be the 6530M. There's not much to choose between them performance-wise anyway. Plus the 6530M has the same TDP as the 6550M but the 6550 is faster.
post #18 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Whatever. U.S. Customs and the Dept of Homeland Security have already opened the packages, taken it out, turned it on, taken it apart, sold photos to Gawker, and taped it back up again.

post #19 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

Expect half of those things and maybe you won't be disappointed.

Ah, but disappointment - regardless of what Apple does - is the name of the game.

Wait for all the inevitable whining that will fill these boards in a few days' time. You'll need a drink afterwards, if you read them all.
post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

No event = speed bump or relatively minor upgrade. No big deal.

Events have only ever been held for chassis redesigns and that's only for the MacBook Air twice and the MacBook Pro once. All other times have been press releases. With Apple no longer going to MacWorld, they don't have announce a laptop only to have it ship 6 weeks later.
post #21 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

No they didn't. That's what Steve worked out with the President at dinner last week.



(Sorry, couldn't resist).
post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by DHagan4755 View Post

The plot thickens.

Yeth it does.
post #23 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by iDave View Post

No event = speed bump or relatively minor upgrade. No big deal.

Not even close to true. If the MacBook Air design is making its way to the Pros, then it's already had its event.

Apple releases most Macs quietly these days. Events are reserved for the other 2/3 of their revenue.
post #24 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Whatever. U.S. Customs and the Dept of Homeland Security have already opened the packages, taken it out, turned it on, taken it apart, sold photos to Gawker, and taped it back up again.

Yeah, and those goons are completely above the law too.

Yet another example of how police states can often engender criminal activity as much as they stop it.
post #25 of 70
I wish those sealed crates contained iPad 2s!!!

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post #26 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think they'll drop the plastic MB line in favour of the 11" Air and it would be a good move to drop the 13" Air in favour of a thin 13" MBP.

Interesting, Marvin. But I think they will, by year's end, have two competing laptop lines.

An 11", 13" and 15" MBA and a 13", 15" and 17" MBP/OD. These will run in tandem until the MBA sales out perform the MBP/OD. I think the future is the MBA line.

As prices come down we will see larger and larger SDD's certainly in the MBA line and perhaps even in the MBP line. Laptops are already powerful/fast enough for 90% of user's demands, i.e., web browsing, photo/music/video management, email, facebook, etc.

As far as the white plastic MB's continued viability, (just like the iPod classic) -depends on its sales figures.

I could see them dropping it altogether, as you say, or the they could drop the entry level price to $799! I think it's anyone's guess!

Best
post #27 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I always expect nothing but hope for everything and a $100 price drop.



One of the Radeon 6000-series GPUs but not sure which one. They usually go for the lower-end so it could be the 6530M. There's not much to choose between them performance-wise anyway. Plus the 6530M has the same TDP as the 6550M but the 6550 is faster.

Thanks. IYO, would the 6530M be good enough for current games, say StarCraft II?
post #28 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevc View Post

Even the iPad 2 should be a 'No really big deal' as camera, 512MB RAM, etc. should of easily been put into the current one from the get go.

Any chance that this relates to the iPad 2 and not updated Macbooks? Just hoping..
post #29 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

As far as the white plastic MB's continued viability, (just like the iPod classic) -depends on its sales figures.

Possibly but the reason the iPod stays is it offers more storage. The only way they can do this in the MB is to bundle a 2.5" drive but then it's not instant-on. The ODD in the MB uses far too much space that's better used for a dedicated GPU, extra battery and also cooling. Lastly, if they do make it thinner due to the ODD removal and switch to SSD, the plastic won't work as it will crack more easily. I thought they'd ditch it the last time though so as you say, if the sales are strong, they may decide to let it run the course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner

Thanks. IYO, would the 6550 be good enough for current games, say StarCraft II?

Yeah, the 6530, 6550 and 6570 are very powerful chips - the 6550 is in the region of the Radeon 5650, which plays SC2 on high quality, I'd expect the 6530 to be within 15% of that:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EulrR9o-ZvA

The Radeon series will be about 20% faster than the current 330M GT and supports the newest graphics standards like DX11 so more effects. Apple could actually stick with NVidia as they use less power but there was a rumour about them switching to AMD and they've already done this in the desktops - no NVidia GPUs at all.
post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neruda View Post

Any chance that this relates to the iPad 2 and not updated Macbooks? Just hoping..

I really doubt it. I was just looking at the macrumors site, and between there and here, it looks like MacBook Pro updates this week are pretty much a given. I also very much think that an iPad2 announcement would garner an event because a new iPad attracts much more mainstream press attention than just a MacBook update.
post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

Thanks. IYO, would the 6530M be good enough for current games, say StarCraft II?

A 6530 for the 15", a 6630 for the 17" and a 6450 for the 13" would make my year.

But Apple also needs to do their part with OpenGL support....

Edit: I'm really hoping Apple sticks a different GPU on the 17" even though I am not in that buying range because it is insulting to have the same GPU drive more pixels on a supposedly Pro computer.

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post #32 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by jd_in_sb View Post

I wish those sealed crates contained iPad 2s!!!

That's what I thought. With the Motorola Xoom being available for purchase this Thursday, maybe Apple ships the iPads to its stores internationally to hold presentations there this week as it would be impossible to invite the press to Cupertino on that short a notice.

On the subject of hope, a professor of mine used to say that hope is just deferred disappointment ;-)
post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


As far as the white plastic MB's continued viability, (just like the iPod classic) -depends on its sales figures.

I could see them dropping it altogether, as you say, or the they could drop the entry level price to $799! I think it's anyone's guess!

Best

I suspect that the white mb will continue for the edu market and keep the rebadged c2d as the CPU. Hopefully drop in price as you suggest but probably not $799 as they tend to give away an iPod during back2school season.

I also don't see a 15" MBA. Too much overlap in the lines. If anything I expect the 13" MBA and mbp to merge...
post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undecided View Post

Replacing the MacBook with the less-expensive Air sounds plausible now that's it's entered my mind, but I almost somewhat doubt that that wouldn't happen for at least another year, giving the Air models one more update or revamp and price adjustment. I am suddenly just a little worried though about that happening sooner than not.

Replacing the 13" Air for a thinner MacBook Pro doesn't sound as likely though -- I would think that they're hoping and aiming ultimately to go in the opposite direction.

I had said something similar,earlier.
It wouldn't totally surprise me for Apple to eliminate the 13" pro in favor of the 13" Air going forward.
It's just a stab; we'll see soon enough.
post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

I suspect that the white mb will continue for the edu market and keep the rebadged c2d as the CPU. Hopefully drop in price as you suggest but probably not $799 as they tend to give away an iPod during back2school season.

I also don't see a 15" MBA. Too much overlap in the lines. If anything I expect the 13" MBA and mbp to merge...

Yep, nht, you're probably right on the white MB price. I remember the eMac seemed to stick around forever to be the entry level desktop and then just for education/schools and then finally dropped altogether.

You may be correct about the "overlap." It will probably take an increase in "pwr" and SDD size before the MBA's could really replace the MBP's. OD's are not the only consideration.

I think that if one is looking at laptops, you want the lightest, thinnest and therefore the most mobile, eg., the MBA 11" If you are looking at a desktop the most important factor is having the largest screen size available. IMHO

Best
post #36 of 70
Well whatever it is, bring it on - I'm in the market for a new 15-inch MBP and have been waiting for the refreshed models for a few weeks now. Please let it have a decent video card, that GF 330 with 256 MB on the middle 15-inch model was just depressing.
post #37 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Undecided View Post

My sister is planning to buy a non-pro MacBook soon. Regular MacBook updates will probably come separately. I wonder, out-loud and anonymously through the internet, if it's worth her waiting possibly until as late as April or May...

But yes I'm looking forward to this announcement as well. I hope that there's at least a small event of some kind to watch on the Apple site.

Chances are Apple will continue their student promotion in the late summer, whereby when you purchase a macbook(pro) with the student discount you will get an ipod touch for free. Possibly an ipod touch g5? This is by far the best deal for students on mac products, and I always factor the free touch into my decision (when purchasing for myself or recommending to friends).
post #38 of 70
...and a $5/hr employee will open one just because it's there, and not privvy to all the announcements, etc.

Large retailers will lose their "licenses". I can't wait to see this news story here.

Really apple? Ship a product and don't let a B&M sell it? You have lost your mind even more than before.
post #39 of 70
A sealed "palette", not "pallet"?
post #40 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by hers1 View Post

A sealed "palette", not "pallet"?

I read that, too. I let it pass, as there's a lot of typos on blogger sites lately.
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