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15.4" PowerBook Rumor Roundup

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
At SpyMac, they said this morning:

[quote]
PowerBook upgrade may come as early as next week

When Apple introduced the new 12" and 17" PowerBooks, they neglected the once-supreme 15" middle model, save for minor price cuts. According to recent talk, that could change as early as next week.

As to be expected, Apple resellers contacted by Spymac report below-average sales of the 15" PowerBook, a result of consumer awareness of the new models.

Although stock of the old model is far from depleted, sources anticipate that Apple will be ready to roll out the updated 1GHz 15.4" PowerBooks by the end of February, with an announcement as early as next week not out of the question.

Speculation arose that Apple would maintain the 15" Titanium PowerBook in an effort to continue selling an OS 9-bootable professional laptop, though this does not seem to be the case.

Pricing and configuration is not expected to change. <hr></blockquote>

Meanwhile, MacWhispers this morning says:
[quote]- Chi Mei has been shipping its new 15.4-inch 1280x800 pixel notebook panel to Foxconn's primary notebook computer assembly facility since the third week of January. Foxconn (formerly Hon Hai) is Apple's primary contractor for PowerBook assembly.

- We have no information verifying that the 15.4-inch Chi Mei panel is being put into PowerBooks. We do have a statement from a high-placed LG-Philips source that "Apple will continue to use an LG panel" in the new mid-range PowerBook.

- LG-Philips has both a 15.4-inch 1280x800 notebook LCD and the existing 15.2-inch 1280x854 pixel panel available for Apple's use.

- The new midrange PowerBook has been being produced and stockpiled for at least 2-weeks. <hr></blockquote>

More specifically, Jack Campbell, operator of MacWhispers and poster to Spymac forums has stated:

[quote]Again... both the new 10, 20, and 40GB iPods, as well as the new mid-range PowerBooks have been in production and being stockpiled for at least 3-weeks. There is no reason that both cannot be announced as immediately available products on Tuesday.

This past month, while talking and emailing with many of our own company's retailers and distributors around the world, I've tried to gently prod every one of them with a question about how the TiBook was selling now. ... even managed to ask a couple of fellows at Ingram.

Here's the deal: No matter that a handful of folks here have defended the TiBook's viability, it seems the vast majority of portable Mac buyers disagree.

TiBook sales completely tanked on January7th, and they've remained effectively non-existent since that time. Reseller estimates range from sales being down anywhere from 80% to 95% of prior levels.

This is real info; we announced our desktop riser stand made specifically for the TiBook at MacWorld. And, the huge drop in TiBook sales has heavily impacted our own anticipated sales.

That said, because I have a vested interest in this matter, I have been aggressive about calling industry suppliers/vendors and trying to come up with a real answer. This is how and why I was the first person who managed to ferret out the new relationship Apple has with Chi Mei Optoelectronics, and the new 20.1 and 15.4-inch panels coming from that company. For fun, I ran that information on my little MacWhispers.com rumor site. But, actually, none of it's "rumor." While nearly everyone online has been tantalized by an old press release about coming 15.4-inch panels from LG-Philips, in reality, Chi Mei has been actually shipping their 1280x800 15.4" panels to Apple's assembly partner, Foxconn (Hon Hai), since the week of the keynote.

So, I know the new 'Book is in production. And, I know that it's "mere days" from introduction. I cannot find out precisely "what" day.

One last tidbit, from a major Apple distributor: It seems that Apple staff reassured this distributor about the speediness of the mid-line PowerBook's appearance the day following the keynote.

Guys, that's all I know. And, it's all true, straight from OEM sources with no reason on earth to lie to me under the circumstances.

As I said, all I have is info on the actual production being under way. I know nothing about whether packaging, collateral materials, accessories, or logistics factors may be impacting a shipping release. I, like anyone with some sense, can only assume Apple would be coordinating all of these factors to get the machine announced and shipping as soon following first production as possible.

I'm expecting it any day. <hr></blockquote>

CompUSA's online store has the following shipping estimates:

iBook 700 - 2 to 4 weeks
iBook 800 12" - 3 to 6 days
iBook 800 14" - 2 to 4 weeks
PBG4 867 12" - 48 Hours
TiBook 867 - 2 to 4 weeks
TiBook 1GHz - 2 to 4 weeks
PBG4 1GHz 17" - Pre-Order

I don't know if this is telling or not, but if the new 12" PowerBook is shipping in 48 hours...and the 4-month old Titaniums in 2 to 4 weeks..that says something to me.

All of this was preceded by an article in Digitimes shortly after MacWorld SanFrancisco. The article has since been take down. It showed a rubric where a 15.4" PowerBook was to be produced. It was assembled by a different company from the one producing the 15.2" Titanium. A forum member wrote to the author of the DigiTimes article and received a response:

[quote]Hi,
The 15.4" model will replace the current 15.2" model in the near future. On
Apple Computer's website, the company has pointed out that the actual 15"
PowerBook measured at 15.2" in diagonal.
Hope this help.

Chinmei Sung
DigiTimes.com <hr></blockquote>
You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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You think Im an arrogant [expletive] who thinks hes above the law, and I think youre a slime bucket who gets most of his facts wrong. Steve Jobs
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post #2 of 8
The TiBooks are not selling as well as Apple's new 12" PowerBook (for some obvious reasons) and that is the reasons they are quoting such a long wait time. CompUSA does not keep a large stock of machines on hand that they don't think they can sell.

Apple, on the other hand, is quoting 'same day' delivery for one TiBook and 1-2 days for the other. They still have quite a bit of stock of these machines.

Also remember that the current iBooks were released on the same day as the current TiBooks. It is most likely they will be getting an update relatively soon after the 'mid range' PowerBook.

I also believe that Apple will hold off on updating the 15" TiBook until the 17" PowerBook is shipping. Otherwise, you will see many people cancelling their 17" orders in favor of this new laptop. With these PowerBooks not shipping for at least another 2 weeks, I doubt we will see a 15" introduction until then.
post #3 of 8
Retailers/resellers routinely get burned by Apple so a pattern has developed wherein they only stock safe bets. Anything newly released is a safe bet for the next 2-4 months, anything else has to be carefully considered. There were credible stories that Apple was calling up resellers left and right trying desperately to unload iMacs and PM's before the new year, but resellers weren't biting. The attitude has become, what'll you do for me? Justifiable I think considering quite a few retailers have been burned with full price stock on a just replaced machines that Apple refuses to give any credit or other incetive for. Screw Apple then is what they say, and who can blame them.

Personally, I new the Ti was near the end of it's life themoment they offered to give one to you, Fran. I'll come in a few months together with a slight price drop on the Combo-drive model.
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post #4 of 8
Apple UK was quoting 12-14 days on a custom build 12" PowerBook late last week. So I don't think lead times really mean anything here.

It seems unlikely to me that Apple would introduce a replacement 15" (ie new case) so soon after the 12" and 17" - if they were going to do it you'd think they'd do them all at the same time (inventory isn't an issue, they plan these things more than a couple of days in advance).
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B&W G3/350 22" La Cie II, 12" PowerBook, 67 Mustang, 96 Honda Pan European
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post #5 of 8
[quote]Personally, I new the Ti was near the end of it's life themoment they offered to give one to you, Fran.<hr></blockquote>

Yeah, the writing's on the wall for the TiBook now that I have one.

Still, it's the most amazing Mac I've ever used and will suit me well for years to come.
post #6 of 8
I agree with the idea presented in Fran's post.
post #7 of 8
Apple just produced one of those long Apple Banners picturing 'The Fab Four' (17"Al, 15"Ti, 12"Al, iBook), I noticed it in my local Mac shop this past weekend. So, I'm guessing we'll wait a while for the introduction of a 15" AlBook. I'm betting 3 months down the road. Gives the 17"AlBook some time in the spotlight and allows for more purchases from those who 'need' a bigger laptop.
It's just an object. It doesn't mean what you think.
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post #8 of 8
WIth that whole "Fab Four" poster thing, I am beginning to doubt that the new Powerbook 15.4" will be introduced on Tuesday. It seems more logical that it be realeased in March. As for the iPod: tomorrow, on Tuesday. Maybe Apple will have a promo that says "Pick up a free TiBook at your local Apple store!" That would be nice, and it seems more and more likely by the day.
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