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Supply of Apple's white MacBook severely constrained ahead of Lion debut - Page 4

post #121 of 153
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Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Why not? Afraid you'll get cooties?

Just... decided to respond to it because it was the first post on the page or what?

Because why should I have to buy a used product? You can't possibly not understand this.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #122 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post





I don't for a second believe that Steve implied a convergence of the entry-level, light-and-thin, and high performance lines represented by the MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro, respectively.

I don't either! Apple realizes different people have different needs. I think Steve was trying to highlight a general trend.
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As long as it's possible for a MacBook to be sold at a substantially lower price than a MacBook Air with the same screen size, then I expect Apple to continue the MacBook. As long as HD is cheaper per GB than SSD, I think there will be a safe place for the MacBook in Apple's lineup.

There maybe other factors to consider. For one I'm convinced that many simply prefer plastic. Beyond that price is everything to some users. Finally the long battery life means a lot to many.

The thing is people recognize compromise when they see it. AIR is a compromise that some can't settle for.
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If I were Apple, for the next few years the MacBook would be HD-only, the MacBook Air would be SSD-only, and the MacBook Pro would include both HD and SSD (like the iMac). Eventually, SSD will become cheaper per GB than HD, at which point my crystal ball goes cloudy.



I agree. Apple are racing to achieve maximum market penetration of Thunderbolt. Apple don't want Thunderbolt to "fail" the way Firewire did. There is a perception that Thunderbolt is a high-end interface and that the low-end will continue to be served by USB. Apple must counter that perception.

This is screwed up. Nothing about TB says lowend. It is not and never will be a replacement for USB. Considering what you have expressed here I already believe Apple has failed, at least they have failed to clearly relate their vision for TB.
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I don't know how you went, in 27 hours, from suggesting that Thunderbolt is a "safe bet" to suggesting "skip it."

TB is a safe bet if Apple keeps the MacBook in the same basic price range.
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The only way I can imagine Apple skipping Thunderbolt on a new MacBook would be to skip external video altogether and I'm not expecting that.

It all depends upon how far they want to lower MacBooks price. For example if Apple went with an AMD Fusion product they could trim out a lot of cruft, add USB3 and increase performance. They could do this in a MacBook sized machine that might cost $750-$800.

The key here is relying solely on what is integrated into the AMD chipset. Would they get rid of video out? I can't say, it is one of those ports that many never use while others can't live without.
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Not including Thunderbolt on the next MacBook would send the wrong signal to peripheral manufacturers contemplating the Thunderbolt market.

Remember MacBook is a low end machine into which you want to stuff a high end port. More importantly the TB market is fully aware of the expense involved in implementing TB, nothing about TB will be cheap anytime soon.
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I think Apple need to get the price of the MacBook down to $899 while at the same time moving up to 4GB of RAM and, in my opinion, the best way to achieve that is to drop the internal optical brick.

Not at all. First the optical brick is cheap, though it can be deleted for other reasons. Second things like FireWire and TB add considerable expense to the MacBook. Apple can drop this stuff and make Avery good entry level Mac Book in the $7-800 range. Apple just needs to focus on what consumers need out of the machine.

Entry level users will be farther ahead with four USB3 ports than they would be with TB. Dropping the optical is good but won't significantly impact price. MacBook needs to be redone with a hatchet not a knife. Of course to get USB 3 Apple would need to switch to AMD, this wouldn't be that bad and would give us a much faster GPU and a more capable GPU.
post #123 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Just... decided to respond to it because it was the first post on the page or what?

Because why should I have to buy a used product? You can't possibly not understand this.

Nobody said you have to buy anything. I think the suggestion implied being a little more opened minded.

Frankly it is like human relationships a little experience exposes both a persons strengths and weakness. So too with a computer. Buy a used computer and you get something that is burnt in and ready to go. Buy a new computer and you have to worry about infantile failures, bugs and other new product issues.

I'm not trying to be funny here, people often dismiss used this and that out of hand. Such behavior can be a mistake.
post #124 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The thing is people recognize compromise when they see it. AIR is a compromise that some can't settle for.

The MacBook and the MacBook Pro are compromises just as much as the MacBook Air is. They are simply different compromises.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This is screwed up. Nothing about TB says lowend. It is not and never will be a replacement for USB. Considering what you have expressed here I already believe Apple has failed, at least they have failed to clearly relate their vision for TB.

Apple do not need to relate their vision for Thunderbolt to consumers. They just need to sell large enough numbers of Thunderbolt-equipped computers that peripheral manufacturers can sell Thunderbolt products in profitable numbers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Apple ... could ... add USB3 ....

As long as the success of Thunderbolt is in question, I find it difficult to imagine Apple adding USB3. As long as USB3 doesn't come for free with Intel's chipsets, I think the chances of Apple supporting USB3 are nil. When Intel does support USB3 in the chipsets, I think the chances of Apple supporting USB3 are slim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Would they get rid of video out? I can't say, it is one of those ports that many never use while others can't live without.

Those few people who need video out can buy a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. I don't think Apple will drop video out from the MacBook, but the main reason is, in my estimation, to maximize the market penetration of Thunderbolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Remember MacBook is a low end machine into which you want to stuff a high end port. More importantly the TB market is fully aware of the expense involved in implementing TB, nothing about TB will be cheap anytime soon.

No one said Thunderbolt is a "low-end" port. However, the extent of market penetration must be important to Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

First the optical brick is cheap, though it can be deleted for other reasons.

At a million per month, internal optical bricks add up to real money. Of course, weight, thickness, battery life, number of failure modes, etc. are all good reasons to eliminate the internal optical brick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Second things like FireWire and TB add considerable expense to the MacBook.

Once the MacBook gets Thunderbolt, I don't see much chance for the MacBook to keep Firewire. The MacBook Pro may support both for a while, but I don't believe the MacBook will. We're long past the time when Apple care about the market penetration of Firewire. Now they include Firewire only to maximize sales.
Mac user since August 1983.
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Mac user since August 1983.
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post #125 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

The MacBook and the MacBook Pro are compromises just as much as the MacBook Air is. They are simply different compromises.

Exactly. Which is why I believe Apple can benefit from turning MacBook into a low end machine.
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Apple do not need to relate their vision for Thunderbolt to consumers. They just need to sell large enough numbers of Thunderbolt-equipped computers that peripheral manufacturers can sell Thunderbolt products in profitable numbers.

This is the nosy asinine thing I've heard in years. People, including you are very confused about TB. Right now the use of Thunderbolt requires a $50 cable, a cable that won't get much cheaper due to it's design. No body is going to hook up a $60 drive with a $50 cable, not that we will be seeing a $60 drive with a TB port anytime soon.

Frankly FireWire is a cheap solution compared to TB. I fully expect to see even less uptake of TB compared to FireWire. That isn't a bad thing because TB certainly has a niche to fill.
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As long as the success of Thunderbolt is in question, I find it difficult to imagine Apple adding USB3. As long as USB3 doesn't come for free with Intel's chipsets, I think the chances of Apple supporting USB3 are nil. When Intel does support USB3 in the chipsets, I think the chances of Apple supporting USB3 are slim.

It would be irresponsible for Apple to hold off on USB 3 as it has nothing to do with TB as there is virtually no overlap in intended usage. Show me how it will be possible to do a $60 external drive with TB.
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Those few people who need video out can buy a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro. I don't think Apple will drop video out from the MacBook, but the main reason is, in my estimation, to maximize the market penetration of Thunderbolt.

If Apple truly wants a low end MacBook I can't see them adding either port. I really not know what Apples plans are but I can't imagine TB being all that attractive to most MacBook users.
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No one said Thunderbolt is a "low-end" port. However, the extent of market penetration must be important to Apple.

Market penetration means nothing if the buyers have no intention of using the hardware.
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At a million per month, internal optical bricks add up to real money. Of course, weight, thickness, battery life, number of failure modes, etc. are all good reasons to eliminate the internal optical brick.

The big question: is the consumer ready? I'm no fan of the optical but a lot of users like that drive.
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Once the MacBook gets Thunderbolt, I don't see much chance for the MacBook to keep Firewire. The MacBook Pro may support both for a while, but I don't believe the MacBook will. We're long past the time when Apple care about the market penetration of Firewire. Now they include Firewire only to maximize sales.

The include FireWire because people actually use it. They find the incremental cost acceptable. Step back and consider the big stink when they did remove the port from a machine. In a lowend machine these days USB3 is the most economical solution to many I/O needs.

What is in the next MacBook will go a long way to telling us what Apple thinks of the low end market. Maybe they really don't care, I don't know. What I do know is that many people buy a laptop and hardly ever use the ports they have. I may be the opposite here but that is why I own a pro.
post #126 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I believe Apple can benefit from turning MacBook into a low end machine.

I believe the MacBook is already a low end machine. However, I believe Apple have a few opportunities to move a bit farther down-market with the MacBook. As we've been discussing, Apple have a great opportunity to drop the internal optical brick. I believe this is a question of when, not if. I was surprised that Apple didn't drop the internal optical brick from the MacBook when they redesigned the MacBook chassis in 2009. I'm confident that the next MacBook chassis redesign (which may or may not coincide with the next MacBook update) will drop the internal optical brick. As we've also been discussing, Apple have the opportunity to drop the video out port from the MacBook, but I don't expect them to do so, primarily because I believe Apple want to drive the adoption of Thunderbolt. Apple also have the opportunity to move down-market by retaining HDs in the MacBook as the market increasingly moves to SSDs. It's one more opportunity to segment the Macbook from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. I believe that, about 2013 or so, Apple will start offering >200dpi resolution for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, but for the MacBook only a year or two later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This is the nosy asinine thing I've heard in years. People, including you are very confused about TB.

That seems a bit harsh. I have occasionally overlooked something and I have been grateful when you've brought my attention to it. I have been additionally grateful that you have generally been polite about it. I've tried to be polite when bringing to your attention things you may have overlooked. I apologize if I have not always succeeded in being as polite as I should be.

For whatever it's worth, I don't believe the confusion about Thunderbolt lies on my side of the keyboard. ;-)

Whether or not Thunderbolt becomes ubiquitous depends in part on what the PeeCee manufacturers do. If HP, Sony, Dell, etc. adopt Thunderbolt, then it will eventually replace USB. Remember that Intel are also backing Thunderbolt and will include Thunderbolt support in all Intel chipsets, desktop, laptop, and server. That makes the cost of adoption low for the PeeCee manufacturers.

The other big question is whether or not Apple will add Thunderbolt to the iOS devices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Right now the use of Thunderbolt requires a $50 cable, a cable that won't get much cheaper due to it's design. No body is going to hook up a $60 drive with a $50 cable, not that we will be seeing a $60 drive with a TB port anytime soon.

1. All Apple cables are expensive.
2. Prices drop with volume. The last time I priced an Apple Firewire cable, it was $40. Now the same cable is $20.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/M8707G/A
3. The Thunderbolt cables are currently expensive because they are smart cables with electronics at each end. As volumes ramp, the integration of those electronics will drive the cost down.
4. Copper Thunderbolt cables are an interim solution until the optical version takes over. The optical cables don't require electronics integrated into the connectors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Frankly FireWire is a cheap solution compared to TB. I fully expect to see even less uptake of TB compared to FireWire. That isn't a bad thing because TB certainly has a niche to fill.

Firewire is moribund. Except for cables, it will be difficult to find a product for sale in 2015 that supports Firewire.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It would be irresponsible for Apple to hold off on USB 3 as it has nothing to do with TB as there is virtually no overlap in intended usage. Show me how it will be possible to do a $60 external drive with TB.

What does irresponsible mean in this context? Exactly what responsibility are you writing about? Fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders?

I expect to see Thunderbolt flash drives for a few dollars/euro more than USB flash drives by 2015.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

If Apple truly wants a low end MacBook I can't see them adding either port. I really not know what Apples plans are but I can't imagine TB being all that attractive to most MacBook users.

Firewire was dropped from the MacBook in 2008. I don't see any reason why Apple would want to add it back now. On the other hand, adding Thunderbolt to the MacBook would reintroduce Target Disk Mode which was lost when Firewire was dropped and, as already discussed, increase the Thunderbolt installed base, which appears to be a goal at Apple (and at Intel).

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Market penetration means nothing if the buyers have no intention of using the hardware.

I had no intention of ever using Firewire until I needed Target Disk Mode.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The big question: is the consumer ready? I'm no fan of the optical but a lot of users like that drive.

I think you may be judging that from this forum, which is a self-selected group over-representing the high-end users. I believe the phenomenal success of the MacBook Air, despite the high price/performance ratio, demonstrates that most consumers are ready to drop the internal optical brick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The include FireWire because people actually use it. They find the incremental cost acceptable.

That's why the MacBook hasn't included FireWire since 2008? That's why the MacBook Air has never included FireWire (but now includes Thunderbolt)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Step back and consider the big stink when they did remove the port from a machine. In a lowend machine these days USB3 is the most economical solution to many I/O needs.

It was a big stink on this and a few other boards over-representing high-end users. In the market as a whole, there was no stink. Dropping the internal optical brick will be much less traumatic than was dropping the floppy drive. As I've written before, I believe the MacBook Pro may retain the internal optical brick long after it's gone from the MacBook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What is in the next MacBook will go a long way to telling us what Apple thinks of the low end market.

Yes. I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Maybe they really don't care, I don't know.

What is the antecedent of "they"? Apple or the consumers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What I do know is that many people buy a laptop and hardly ever use the ports they have. I may be the opposite here but that is why I own a pro.

I believe most consumers don't care about the ports they don't use.
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post #127 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I believe the MacBook is already a low end machine. However, I believe Apple have a few opportunities to move a bit farther down-market with the MacBook. As we've been discussing, Apple have a great opportunity to drop the internal optical brick. I believe this is a question of when, not if. I was surprised that Apple didn't drop the internal optical brick from the MacBook when they redesigned the MacBook chassis in 2009. I'm confident that the next MacBook chassis redesign (which may or may not coincide with the next MacBook update) will drop the internal optical brick. As we've also been discussing, Apple have the opportunity to drop the video out port from the MacBook, but I don't expect them to do so, primarily because I believe Apple want to drive the adoption of Thunderbolt. Apple also have the opportunity to move down-market by retaining HDs in the MacBook as the market increasingly moves to SSDs. It's one more opportunity to segment the Macbook from the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. I believe that, about 2013 or so, Apple will start offering >200dpi resolution for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, but for the MacBook only a year or two later.

Relative to what when talking low end? I don't buy the thought that Mac Book is low end.

As to high resolution screens that may happen much sooner than you think. The key element here is to debut resolution independence. If Lion offers that up we could such screens this year.
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That seems a bit harsh. I have occasionally overlooked something and I have been grateful when you've brought my attention to it. I have been additionally grateful that you have generally been polite about it. I've tried to be polite when bringing to your attention things you may have overlooked. I apologize if I have not always succeeded in being as polite as I should be.

Nobody is perfect but I'm not convinced I was harsh. Everything I've seen indicates to me that USB isn't going away and TB will not be low end for a very long time. To me it is obvious and as bright as today's mid summer sun.

TB hardware will most certainly get cheaper in the long run but it will take it a very long time to achieve the sort of ubiquity that USB has. It is most reasonable to think of it as a high speed Firewire when it comes to adoption.
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For whatever it's worth, I don't believe the confusion about Thunderbolt lies on my side of the keyboard. ;-)

You have the right to believe that, but I don't see a mad rush to TB happening.
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Whether or not Thunderbolt becomes ubiquitous depends in part on what the PeeCee manufacturers do. If HP, Sony, Dell, etc. adopt Thunderbolt, then it will eventually replace USB. Remember that Intel are also backing Thunderbolt and will include Thunderbolt support in all Intel chipsets, desktop, laptop, and server. That makes the cost of adoption low for the PeeCee manufacturers.

There are a lot of IRS in that statement. First; I don't see TB as a replacement for USB and have seen nothing to indicate that either Intel or Apple see it that way. The number one issue here is that most devices don't even challenge USB-2 speeds.

As to PC manufactures nothing says they need to bring the port out of the PC.
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The other big question is whether or not Apple will add Thunderbolt to the iOS devices.

I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen this year.
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1. All Apple cables are expensive.
2. Prices drop with volume. The last time I priced an Apple Firewire cable, it was $40. Now the same cable is $20.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/M8707G/A

The question is will it be able to compete with $3.00 USB cables. Especially on devices that will never use the bandwidth TB can provide.
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3. The Thunderbolt cables are currently expensive because they are smart cables with electronics at each end. As volumes ramp, the integration of those electronics will drive the cost down.

That is not a given with a closed architecture.
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4. Copper Thunderbolt cables are an interim solution until the optical version takes over. The optical cables don't require electronics integrated into the connectors.

That is wrong. The whole point of the active cabling is that it gives Apple the ability to provide an optical cable with the electronics built in. Thus an active optical cable system.
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Firewire is moribund. Except for cables, it will be difficult to find a product for sale in 2015 that supports Firewire.

That should say a lot for you. In the end USB is seen as being good enough.
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What does irresponsible mean in this context? Exactly what responsibility are you writing about? Fiduciary responsibility to the shareholders?

I expect to see Thunderbolt flash drives for a few dollars/euro more than USB flash drives by 2015.

I think at is wishful thinking!
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Firewire was dropped from the MacBook in 2008. I don't see any reason why Apple would want to add it back now. On the other hand, adding Thunderbolt to the MacBook would reintroduce Target Disk Mode which was lost when Firewire was dropped and, as already discussed, increase the Thunderbolt installed base, which appears to be a goal at Apple (and at Intel).


I had no intention of ever using Firewire until I needed Target Disk Mode.


I think you may be judging that from this forum, which is a self-selected group over-representing the high-end users. I believe the phenomenal success of the MacBook Air, despite the high price/performance ratio, demonstrates that most consumers are ready to drop the internal optical brick.

A success yes but it does not outsell MacBook nor MBP
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That's why the MacBook hasn't included FireWire since 2008? That's why the MacBook Air has never included FireWire (but now includes Thunderbolt)?


It was a big stink on this and a few other boards over-representing high-end users. In the market as a whole, there was no stink. Dropping the internal optical brick will be much less traumatic than was dropping the floppy drive. As I've written before, I believe the MacBook Pro may retain the internal optical brick long after it's gone from the MacBook.

Actualy I think this is backwards. The people that would most likely want an optical drive never show up in these forums. Early adopters and tech types are already walking away from old technology.
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Yes. I agree.


What is the antecedent of "they"? Apple or the consumers?


I believe most consumers don't care about the ports they don't use.

Yep. So the question is why bother with ports people won't use? In the context of a MacBook these consumers would find 4 USB3 ports to be more usable and flexible.
post #128 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Relative to what when talking low end? I don't buy the thought that Mac Book is low end.

As to high resolution screens that may happen much sooner than you think. The key element here is to debut resolution independence. If Lion offers that up we could such screens this year.

Nobody is perfect but I'm not convinced I was harsh. Everything I've seen indicates to me that USB isn't going away and TB will not be low end for a very long time. To me it is obvious and as bright as today's mid summer sun.

TB hardware will most certainly get cheaper in the long run but it will take it a very long time to achieve the sort of ubiquity that USB has. It is most reasonable to think of it as a high speed Firewire when it comes to adoption.

You have the right to believe that, but I don't see a mad rush to TB happening.

There are a lot of IRS in that statement. First; I don't see TB as a replacement for USB and have seen nothing to indicate that either Intel or Apple see it that way. The number one issue here is that most devices don't even challenge USB-2 speeds.

As to PC manufactures nothing says they need to bring the port out of the PC.

I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen this year.

The question is will it be able to compete with $3.00 USB cables. Especially on devices that will never use the bandwidth TB can provide.

That is not a given with a closed architecture.

That is wrong. The whole point of the active cabling is that it gives Apple the ability to provide an optical cable with the electronics built in. Thus an active optical cable system.

That should say a lot for you. In the end USB is seen as being good enough.

I think at is wishful thinking!

A success yes but it does not outsell MacBook nor MBP

Actualy I think this is backwards. The people that would most likely want an optical drive never show up in these forums. Early adopters and tech types are already walking away from old technology.


Yep. So the question is why bother with ports people won't use? In the context of a MacBook these consumers would find 4 USB3 ports to be more usable and flexible.

So you feel the White Macbook is dead ..??

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post #129 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by brucep View Post

So you feel the White Macbook is dead ..??

9

The MacBook sells well and the AIR really isn't a MacBook replacement. AIR could be improved but I don't see it ever being as fast as a MacBook could be.

In any event we will know what is up soon (hopefully). There is always the possibility that MacBook gets replaced with something different. That is a machine designed to fit someplace between the ultra portable and the full size MBP.

The other problem is that Apple needs to lower prices to adjust to the realities of the PC world. The higher integration chips will drive down pricing on PC hardware significantly. Apple needs to make sure their pricing does not get grossly out of whack like it has in the past. I simply don't see the AIRs getting cheaper! However the MacBooks could easily.
post #130 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Just... decided to respond to it because it was the first post on the page or what?

Because why should I have to buy a used product? You can't possibly not understand this.

I decided to respond to that post because, frankly, I thought it was pretty stupid. Apple's refurbished stuff is as good as new.
post #131 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

I decided to respond to that post because, frankly, I thought it was pretty stupid. Apple's refurbished stuff is as good as new.

But isn't. Which is the point.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone] exists, it doesn’t deserve to.
Reply
post #132 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Relative to what when talking low end? I don't buy the thought that Mac Book is low end.

Relative to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. That was the actual context and that is the natural context. One could argue that the MacBook is not low-end relative to PeeCee laptops, but that really isn't very relative to whether or not it is redundant in Apple's laptop lineup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As to high resolution screens that may happen much sooner than you think. The key element here is to debut resolution independence. If Lion offers that up we could such screens this year.

I've been as big a fan of Resolution Independence as any member of this forum. However, it looks like Apple have chosen another path. It looks like Apple will be offering resolution doubling rather than resolution independence.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Nobody is perfect but I'm not convinced I was harsh. Everything I've seen indicates to me that USB isn't going away and TB will not be low end for a very long time. To me it is obvious and as bright as today's mid summer sun.

I think it depends on how long is a "very long time." I certainly don't take it as a given that Thunderbolt will ever completely replace USB. Several things would have to happen first. Intel (and most or all of the other chipset makers) would have to include Thunderbolt support in all their chipsets; the PeeCee makers would have to adopt Thunderbolt in their PeeCees; Apple would have to drop USB support; and, finally, Intel would have to drop USB support from their chipsets. I'm not writing that will happen. I'm writing that could happen the way it did with serial and parallel ports. Yes, I know that RS-232 is still used for some lab equipment, but it's dead in the markets we're talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

TB hardware will most certainly get cheaper in the long run but it will take it a very long time to achieve the sort of ubiquity that USB has. It is most reasonable to think of it as a high speed Firewire when it comes to adoption.

I agree that there is a significant chance that Thunderbolt will see adoption similar to what Firewire saw. There are also reasons why Thunderbolt may do much better than Firewire did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

You have the right to believe that, but I don't see a mad rush to TB happening.

I think it's too early to judge that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

There are a lot of IRS in that statement.

Huh???

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

First; I don't see TB as a replacement for USB and have seen nothing to indicate that either Intel or Apple see it that way. The number one issue here is that most devices don't even challenge USB-2 speeds.

More speed than is needed is not a barrier to adoption.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

As to PC manufactures nothing says they need to bring the port out of the PC.

Huh???

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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen this year.

Really??? I would be very surprised to see iOS devices get Thunderbolt support this year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The question is will it be able to compete with $3.00 USB cables. Especially on devices that will never use the bandwidth TB can provide.

I remember when USB cables were wildly expensive compared to serial cables.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That is not a given with a closed architecture.

It is in a competitive market.

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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

That should say a lot for you. In the end USB is seen as being good enough.

While there were some other influential factors, I believe the determining factor in the success of USB and the failure (to become ubiquitous) of Firewire was that Intel strongly backed USB and didn't back Firewire. Think about what happens if all the PeeCee manufacturers start adding one or two Thunderbolt ports to each machine this year or next and then about three or so years from now Intel drops USB support from their chipsets. I'm not writing that will happen, but it could happen.

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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I think at is wishful thinking!

You might be right.

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Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

A success yes but it does not outsell MacBook nor MBP

So??? There are more buyers for whom low price and good performance is more important than weight and size. There are more buyers for whom maximum performance is more important than weight and size. Neither of these facts should come as a surprise. Neither of these facts support retaining the internal optical brick.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Actualy I think this is backwards. The people that would most likely want an optical drive never show up in these forums. Early adopters and tech types are already walking away from old technology.

Good point. All we really know is that we are a self-selected group that does not represent Mac buyers overall. We can only guess as to the direction of our group biases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Yep. So the question is why bother with ports people won't use? In the context of a MacBook these consumers would find 4 USB3 ports to be more usable and flexible.

Thunderbolt comes with the Mini Displayport, so Apple are not adding anything that would annoy or confuse a typical consumer. Including Thunderbolt will at the very least allow Apple to drop the Firewire ports.
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post #133 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

The MacBook sells well and the AIR really isn't a MacBook replacement. AIR could be improved but I don't see it ever being as fast as a MacBook could be.

The current ULV chips are faster than the old chips, so while not as fast as they could be, still fast enough for the target audience. Samsung already use the i5 ULV chips in their Macbook Air clone:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-drukwbqnU

Large trackpad, chiclet keys, even the hinged ports (guess they copied it before the switchover). They are really asking for trouble copying Apple's designs.

A MBA with standard SSD will appear faster than a MB with a HDD. Intel are moving to ULV across the board and a quad-ULV with Ivy Bridge in next-year's Air totally negates the need for a MB in terms of performance.

IMO, the only issue at this point is storage capacity. If they hit the following storage options though for the models, I think they will be ok: 160GB $999, 256GB $1199, 256GB 13" $1299, 512GB $1599.
post #134 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

...still fast enough for the target audience.

This. This is why the Air will replace the white MacBook in Apple's lineup.

If users need more power, or if they NEED the optical drive, then they get the MacBook Pro. If they want either less expensive or more portable, they get the Air. It's that simple.

It's all about target audience. 95% of the people buying the Air are at least partially buying it because it's cheap. They are not exclusively buying it because it's small. That's why it didn't sell in its first incarnation.

95% of the people buying the white MacBook bought it because it was cheap.

It's mostly the same market segment, so Apple can trim the around the edges of that market a little bit, and that means getting rid of the plastic.
post #135 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

If users need more power, or if they NEED the optical drive, then they get the MacBook Pro.

Or better yet, buy an external optical drive. It can be a pain to carry around if you need it a lot but it gives you the chance to get a Blu-Ray drive.

DVD burner is $40:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827136198
Blu-Ray burner is $185:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16827118048

You can play Blu-Ray films using the VLC workaround and you'd have no problems authoring your own movies. If you need a menu, you can use Toast or Encore and I'd expect them to play back without requiring any workaround.
post #136 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

This. This is why the Air will replace the white MacBook in Apple's lineup.

If users need more power, or if they NEED the optical drive, then they get the MacBook Pro. If they want either less expensive or more portable, they get the Air. It's that simple.

It's all about target audience. 95% of the people buying the Air are at least partially buying it because it's cheap. They are not exclusively buying it because it's small. That's why it didn't sell in its first incarnation.

95% of the people buying the white MacBook bought it because it was cheap.

It's mostly the same market segment, so Apple can trim the around the edges of that market a little bit, and that means getting rid of the plastic.

I strongly disagree. Compare the 13" MacBook Air with the 13" MacBook. Choose the configurations that are nearest to each other in terms of performance, RAM, storage, etc. (of course, one cannot choose perfectly comparable configurations, but some configurations are nearer than others). The MacBook Air is much more expensive than a MacBook, despite the higher performance of the MacBook. If Apple drop the internal optical brick from the MacBook, then the base price will probably drop from $999 to $899. That makes for a more fair comparison and an even sharper price difference.

The idea that the MacBook Air is cheap or that anyone buys it because the price is low strikes me as unsupportable.
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post #137 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I strongly disagree. Compare the 13" MacBook Air with the 13" MacBook. Choose the configurations that are nearest to each other in terms of performance, RAM, storage, etc. (of course, one cannot choose perfectly comparable configurations, but some configurations are nearer than others). The MacBook Air is much more expensive than a MacBook, despite the higher performance of the MacBook. If Apple drop the internal optical brick from the MacBook, then the base price will probably drop from $999 to $899. That makes for a more fair comparison and an even sharper price difference.

The idea that the MacBook Air is cheap or that anyone buys it because the price is low strikes me as unsupportable.

I'm thinking the 11" Air will be the main replacement in the market segment, actually. Again, based on price.
post #138 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

I'm thinking the 11" Air will be the main replacement in the market segment, actually. Again, based on price.

Once Apple drop the internal optical brick from the MacBook (which I believe is a question of when, not if), Apple will not be able to produce the 11" MacBook Air as cheaply as the 13" MacBook. There will always be some large number of consumers who prefer a 13" faster, less expensive machine with more storage over an 11" slower, more expensive machine with less storage -- despite the weight, thickness, and coolness of the latter.

That is why the MacBook Air is not a replacement for the MacBook. Put another way, Apple would be leaving a very large number of Mac sales on the table if they were to discontinue the MacBook this year. Things might be different after the price per GB of SSDs matches that of HDs, but that is still years away.
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post #139 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I strongly disagree. Compare the 13" MacBook Air with the 13" MacBook.

11" MBA
1.4GHz i5-2537M (Geekbench 4519)
2GB Ram
160GB SSD
384MB HD 3000
1366 x 768 resolution

13" MB
2.3GHz i5-2410M (Geekbench 6312)
2GB Ram
250GB HDD
384MB HD 3000
1280 x 800 resolution

The 13" screen is better but Apple made a really smart decision by making the 11" shorter instead of smaller so it doesn't seem all that small and the keyboard isn't cramped. Apple may also use the i7 ULV, which will no doubt be faster than the i5 ULV.

I'd say the above specs are matched fairly closely and the MBA gives you instant-on as well as much faster read/write speeds, which saves beach balling far more than 40% faster CPUs. You're talking about 180MB/s sequential writes vs 50MB/s and much higher IOPs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

The idea that the MacBook Air is cheap or that anyone buys it because the price is low strikes me as unsupportable.

It depends on where you place the value. If you only value raw CPU performance, it's not great but if you value an aluminium chassis, SSD drives and ultra-portability then you get a good deal with the MBA for the price.

If a consumer walked into an Apple Store next Tuesday and they'd switched the MB with the above Air and the consumer asked 'can this machine run Microsoft Word faster than the old MB? It seems like it would be slower', a salesman could confidently answer 'yes' and demonstrate that it launches faster and opens tens of documents in the blink of an eye:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-hAhaxo53k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK0zLmbQxKA

That's what's going to matter in the end - demonstrable performance improvement. You can show a consumer a benchmark score but when they get home and Word behaves exactly the same as their old machine, they'll be disappointed.
post #140 of 153
Quick opening of files proves nothing. It has been shown again again that the AIRs can become CPU bound and noticeably sluggish. It certainly depends upon the user and the apps but AIRs do get returned for poor performance still. Frankly any sales rep demoing opening speeds like you suggest, as an indicator of performance, is an unethical sales person. There is much more to performance than access to secondary store.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

11" MBA
1.4GHz i5-2537M (Geekbench 4519)
2GB Ram
160GB SSD
384MB HD 3000
1366 x 768 resolution

13" MB
2.3GHz i5-2410M (Geekbench 6312)
2GB Ram
250GB HDD
384MB HD 3000
1280 x 800 resolution

The 13" screen is better but Apple made a really smart decision by making the 11" shorter instead of smaller so it doesn't seem all that small and the keyboard isn't cramped. Apple may also use the i7 ULV, which will no doubt be faster than the i5 ULV.

Apple could use lots of different processors in the next revision. For example the could go intel in AIR and AMD in the Mac Book. Each would have it's positives as well as a few negatives. The thing is in the case of your examples above video would be taking a step backwards in some regards. What is frustrating about that is that few here onthe forum seem to be concerned. There're many users that would be better off with an incremental increase in GPU power and sometimes they don't realize it.

All this focus on the CPU is all well and good but people need to realize thatthese are not Apples performance machines anyways. Mac Book effectively tips the balance towards faster CPU hardware while AIR puts a focus on fast secondary store. Apple could keep that devision going for a long time. A smart consumer would simply choose the best device for his needs
Quote:

I'd say the above specs are matched fairly closely and the MBA gives you instant-on as well as much faster read/write speeds, which saves beach balling far more than 40% faster CPUs. You're talking about 180MB/s sequential writes vs 50MB/s and much higher IOPs.

Simple question, which machine would you grab if you knew your apps would execute out of RAM? It isn't a trick question as many will.
Quote:


It depends on where you place the value. If you only value raw CPU performance, it's not great but if you value an aluminium chassis, SSD drives and ultra-portability then you get a good deal with the MBA for the price.

AIRs are now excellent little machines, no one is arguing that. However Mac Book is faster for many uses. Beyond that many don't like Apples Aluminum enclosures.
Quote:
If a consumer walked into an Apple Store next Tuesday and they'd switched the MB with the above Air and the consumer asked 'can this machine run Microsoft Word faster than the old MB? It seems like it would be slower', a salesman could confidently answer 'yes' and demonstrate that it launches faster and opens tens of documents in the blink of an eye:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-hAhaxo53k
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK0zLmbQxKA

Which would be disgusting.
Quote:

That's what's going to matter in the end - demonstrable performance improvement. You can show a consumer a benchmark score but when they get home and Word behaves exactly the same as their old machine, they'll be disappointed.

Even if they went to a Mac Book it won't perform exactly like the old machine. What would be really disgusting is if that fast opening demo turned out to not be indicative of performance in the users domain. Before any sales rep offers up advice they had better understand the users needs.
post #141 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Quick opening of files proves nothing. It has been shown again again that the AIRs can become CPU bound and noticeably sluggish.

The current Core 2 Duo Airs yes but those are very old. Current generation ULV chips are over twice as fast and outperform the current Macbook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

For example the could go intel in AIR and AMD in the Mac Book.

They can't use AMD because of Thunderbolt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Simple question, which machine would you grab if you knew your apps would execute out of RAM? It isn't a trick question as many will.

Apps and files still need to get into RAM and SSD is far better than HDD.

Due to the capacity of SSD currently available, the MB could well have another revision left in it but if it's not replaced this year, it will be next year.
post #142 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They can't use AMD because of Thunderbolt.

Nothing prevents them from pairing the Thunderbolt controller chip with an AMD system.

I don't believe Apple will ever use AMD processors, but you are absolutely wrong about that reason.
post #143 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

The current Core 2 Duo Airs yes but those are very old. Current generation ULV chips are over twice as fast and outperform the current Macbook.

We won't know for sure how much better the machines perform until they are available. There are many factors to consider and frankly it is guess work to determine how every component interacts. For example if Sandy Bridge only configurations come you end up losing GPU acceleration through OpenCL. That can be significant.
Quote:
They can't use AMD because of Thunderbolt.

What does AMD have to do with it? They use AMD GPU's just fine with TB and PCI-Express is PCI-Express.
Quote:
Apps and files still need to get into RAM and SSD is far better than HDD.

Yes and it is a great way to quickly mislead somebody. For example just about anybody using spread sheet software or in memory databases will see a significant difference in performance.

My point remains, it is misleading to focus on opening apps when addressing a customers performance questions.
Quote:
Due to the capacity of SSD currently available, the MB could well have another revision left in it but if it's not replaced this year, it will be next year.

Interesting that there has been no leaks yet today. The info on the AIR's and Pros spilled a bit today, but that isn't much of a surprise. The lack of a MacBook leak is a bit of a disappointment.
post #144 of 153
First; it would help both Intel and Apple if they could show that Thunderbolt is open technology suitable for use with anybodies processor. Right now there are a lot of questions in the community as to the wisdom of adopting TB.

Second; if AMD is as successful with Fusion as some think they will be, they will take share from Intel. Right now Fusion is seen as a better processor than Sandy Bridge, obviously depending upon how you measure better. The processor is certainly far more suited to common user workloads that SB. So we have real issues with the competitive landscape.

Third; we have a democrat in the White house which means witch hunts when it comes to corporations. It is in Apples and Intels best interests to make sure that TB is openly supported on platforms from other companies.

Fourth; I honestly believe that Apple needs to migrate the Mac Book downward cost wise and to continue to do so for some time. AMD allows for this while retaining reasonable margins.

Fifth; it can be a problem to be tied to closely to anyone supplier. This is all about diversification, to protect ones supply lines. It really doesn't take much to wiped out a source of parts as the recent happenings in Japan teach us. In the past Apple wasn't big enough to even have to focus on this, now they are one of the biggest consumers of chips in the world.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Nothing prevents them from pairing the Thunderbolt controller chip with an AMD system.

I don't believe Apple will ever use AMD processors, but you are absolutely wrong about that reason.

It is no surprise that I want them to design in some AMD hardware. Frankly there are only two platforms at Apple where it makes sense to me right now. One being the Mac Book the other being the Mini. You may be right though, I'm sure they buddied up to Intel like a bride and groom at a shotgun wedding.
post #145 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

First; it would help both Intel and Apple if they could show that Thunderbolt is open technology suitable for use with anybody's processor. Right now there are a lot of questions in the community as to the wisdom of adopting TB.

I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Second; if AMD is as successful with Fusion as some think they will be, they will take share from Intel. Right now Fusion is seen as a better processor than Sandy Bridge, obviously depending upon how you measure better. The processor is certainly far more suited to common user workloads that SB. So we have real issues with the competitive landscape.

I'm not so sure that the superiority of AMD is quite as clear as you think. I'm also expecting a lot from Ivy Bridge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Third; we have a democrat in the White house which means witch hunts when it comes to corporations. It is in Apple's and Intel's best interests to make sure that TB is openly supported on platforms from other companies.

They may look like witch hunts, but they are actually shake-downs. It's all about campaign contributions. Senior Apple employees, cumulatively, contributed less to Obama's election campaign than most other Fortune 500 companies, so Apple suffer retaliation at the hands of the "Justice" Department. It would be much worse for Apple if they hadn't put Al Gore on the board to protect against exactly this. Why do you think Apple were allowed to bid for the Nortel patents? All Fortune 500 with low contributions to Obama's political machine are similarly harassed by the administration.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Fourth; I honestly believe that Apple needs to migrate the Mac Book downward cost wise and to continue to do so for some time. AMD allows for this while retaining reasonable margins.

I agree that Apple need to bring the base price of the MacBook down to $899. However, I suspect you are overestimating the prices that Apple pay to Intel for chips. I don't think Apple have much room to put cheaper components into the MacBook while maintaining their quality standards. I think the only low-hanging fruit is simplifying the MacBook. Dropping the internal optical brick is the obvious move, it part because it fits with Apple's strategic interests. As a counter-example, dropping the video out would be contrary to Apple's strategic interests.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Fifth; it can be a problem to be tied too closely to any one supplier. This is all about diversification, to protect one's supply lines. It really doesn't take much to wipe out a source of parts as the recent happenings in Japan teach us. In the past Apple wasn't big enough to even have to focus on this, now they are one of the biggest consumers of chips in the world.

This is true for commodity components, but one cannot just plug an AMD CPU into a socket meant for an Intel CPU. Intel have a very large number of fabs located all over the world, strategically located to minimize the risks to their ability to supply customers. Switching to AMD would increase, not decrease, supply chain risk for Apple.
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post #146 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Interesting that there has been no leaks yet today. The info on the AIR's and Pros spilled a bit today, but that isn't much of a surprise. The lack of a MacBook leak is a bit of a disappointment.

Perhaps a bit of a disappointment, but it shouldn't be a surprise. Quite the contrary. I would be surprised if Apple were to revise both the MacBook and the MacBook Air in the same week -- especially together with the Mac Pro. It would be too disruptive in many ways. One example is the extra traffic in the retail stores (and the online stores) is better spread out than concentrated in time. There are similar issues for Apple's QA teams and for component suppliers. Companies want the waves generated by their product cycles to cancel, not reinforce, each other.

My guess is that the MacBook Air and Mac Pro will be revised in July, the MacBook in August, and the Mac Mini in September. We'll have to wait to see.
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post #147 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

We won't know for sure how much better the machines perform until they are available.

I think it's still a safe bet to assume CPU performance will double as that's pretty much the minimum on offer. Core 2 Duos are very old. The GPU performance will suffer a bit going from the 320M to the HD 3000.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

What does AMD have to do with it? They use AMD GPU's just fine with TB and PCI-Express is PCI-Express.

They might be able to integrate it but it's not clear what the roadmap ahead is for Thunderbolt. Apple is working with Intel on this so to go with an AMD model isn't going to work well at all.

I prefer AMD's setup with slightly lower CPU and much more powerful GPUs and it seems like a better option but unfortunately they give no indication of using anything more than their GPUs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

My point remains, it is misleading to focus on opening apps when addressing a customers performance questions.

You can generalise it to be misleading to focus on anything that doesn't address their specific needs. If application and document loading is where they find the computer slow then focusing on CPU benchmarking is not going to help them. I think SSDs (and iPads) have proved that consumers are far more storage limited than CPU limited.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling

My guess is that the MacBook Air and Mac Pro will be revised in July, the MacBook in August, and the Mac Mini in September. We'll have to wait to see.

I think the Macbook Air and Mini will come with Lion and the MB discontinued. I think the iPhone will launch in September and Mac Pro in October/November. If Apple has access to the Xeon E5 chips early then they can all launch with Lion in the next couple of weeks.
post #148 of 153
Told you so.
post #149 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think the Macbook Air and Mini will come with Lion and the MB discontinued.

You were right.


I still think Apple should offer a 12" or 13" aluminium MacBook at the lowest possible price ($799 or $899?) by dropping the internal optical brick and including:

- a low-cost i3 or i5 processor
- Intel integrated graphics only
- 4-8GB RAM
- 2.5" HD (no SSD option)
- non-backlit keyboard
- 10 hour battery
- the same set of ports as the new 11" MBA (magsafe, Thunderbolt, 2xUSB, audio)

Weight and thickness would be less than the MacBook Pro, but not in the territory of the MacBook Air.
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post #150 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I still think Apple should offer a 12" or 13" aluminium MacBook at the lowest possible price ($799 or $899?) by dropping the internal optical brick

They need to push people onto SSD. If they offered an HDD model, people would just go for it to get the capacity. I think they should have hit 128GB in the entry model but they obviously weren't able to at this point in time.

With Intel moving to ULV and optical being removed, I reckon the Air and MBP will merge down the line but I don't see a movement back to HDD. In a year or two, the MBA will get 512GB SSDs.
post #151 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

You were right.


I still think Apple should offer a 12" or 13" aluminium MacBook at the lowest possible price ($799 or $899?) by dropping the internal optical brick and including:

- a low-cost i3 or i5 processor
- Intel integrated graphics only
- 4-8GB RAM
- 2.5" HD (no SSD option)
- non-backlit keyboard
- 10 hour battery
- the same set of ports as the new 11" MBA (magsafe, Thunderbolt, 2xUSB, audio)

Weight and thickness would be less than the MacBook Pro, but not in the territory of the MacBook Air.

It's Apple.

I can't see them doing any laptop at all under $1000 (Apple-speak $999). They need to keep their margins high.

Even the current entry-level 11.6" MBA is ho hum (really 2 GB?), and they charge $999. They could drop the prices to more reasonable levels, but people will still buy them no matter what, so in the end, they would just lose profit margins to lower the price.

Baring something amazing, I think that the 11.6" base MBA is the new "Macbook", even though the screen is small, but maybe they're figuring that since people are buying iPads, again, people will buy it no matter what.
post #152 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

They need to push people onto SSD.

Why do Apple need to push people onto SSD? In the case of Thunderbolt, there are network effects. In the case of SSD, there are no network effects.
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post #153 of 153
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

Why do Apple need to push people onto SSD?

So that it becomes the mainstream storage format and not the expensive luxury format. If you show someone a $300 128GB drive and a $50 500GB drive, chances are, they will go for the 500GB drive.

This means SSD sales stay low and people fill up their 500GB internal drives and find it very difficult to migrate to smaller storage.

Apple put IPS displays in their tablets and desktops because they know what users should want and it's only when they are forced to take it do they see the difference.

People won't voluntarily move away from optical so Apple has no choice but to take the drive away. It causes some upset as evidenced here:

http://www.engadget.com/2011/07/27/e...ve-for-better/

They gave the Mini a 6/10 score pretty much for not having an optical drive yet the MBA 9/10, while ignoring the fact it also doesn't have one. That exactly highlights why tech journalists shouldn't be the deciders of what constitutes good and bad decisions in the industry because they only look at what happens now.

e.g I want Blu-Ray now, I want 500GB now, I want USB 3 now etc.

Blu-Ray has no future, HDDs have no future, USB 3 does have a future and Apple need to push people along the right path.
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