Originally posted by Curufinwe
**** Damnit Matsu, I clap along with the crowd when you do your price dance just like everyone else, but get off your vendetta against the iBook 12" !!! *****
WTF? Why is it so important to your ego to constantly bash the 12" computer and vehemently lobby for it to be phased out at every opportunity? Everytime you lob this idea in here you get into an argument with about 5 students and people who try to explain to you there are folks in the world who don't want to have to lug around a 14" computer because they don't have the bucks for a powerbook. It has been demonstrated time and time again that there is a huge market out there for people who think that small is beautiful. And with the monitor spanning hack these are really great work computers for 2D folks. You're not suggesting that Apple disable this feature further out of spite are you?
I do have friends who have the 14" because they like the big screen, but everyone I know personally under 30 years of age has bought the 12" and it's not because of the price. In fact, this is about the cutest little piece of seductive hardware that apple has out there (iPods excluded) for non-techie types and non-powerusers. Funny how "cute", "portable" and "cheap" are all things that young people want. Just like old people need a big screen. Different demographics, different products, mmkay?
I completely agree with you that these are the entry level laptop and need to be as cheap as possible and need not be so powerful, but why keep up this active ignorance about the fact that there is a place for this form factor without it being either a)totally crippled or b)expensive (Pb 12")? You are really getting a bit tedious...
I agree with 90% of what you post, and agree that one model of iBook should be left behind in features in order to keep lowering the price, but there is also a place for a well spec'ed smaller version that would appeal to the kids who want a small computer with modern technology and yet can't justify $500 more for Pb. How else do you hit the price/performance sweet spot that moderately informed young people buy in? If the Pb 12" is your solution to the portability concerns - who is disregarding price now?
I love you man but everytime the title of the thread has the word "iBook" in it I know you are about to whip out the soapbox to catechize yet again that one of the best loved apple machines should be killed off, and I wish you would spend your energy elsewhere.
You've almost convinced me about the importance of the 12" iBook, but...
It must be predicated on the machine being cheap (prepare pricing dance
for future deployment). They could stick with a 12" bottom end, but to really drive the price down, it's going to have to stick with proportionally slower CPUs, smaller HDDs and weaker video. 1099 is a good entry, but the pressure is on. There aren't a lot of portable options that cost less that are actually worth buying, but there are a few and by next year there will be plenty. 799-899 is a mark worth striving for, even if the machine is proportionally slower.
Basically, the arguments you make amount to a niche -- the budget conscious mac road warrior. Niches are nice, but they can be the undoing of a company like Apple. Apple needs to attack the major markets, in laptops that means BIG SCREEN CONSUMER MACHINES. It makes sense.
This kind of buyer will not accessorize the machine with an external desktop set-up. They want one machine to do everything! And they want a big screen that they can view comfortably as their main desktop and mobile display, without a Dual Display setup. The iBook 12" excels as a secondary mac, and is a good primary machine in a pinch, though the lack of spanning hurts it. I don't trust the hack. Apple, however, should not make the assinine manouver of crippling machines to upsell buyers. The high end should sell itself on its own merits -- the PB's will move ahead significantly within the next 12 months and this problem will go away, Apple should just enable the spanning by then, or at the very least, provide a docked (closed lid) mode that lets you drive a higher res external display. But I digest...
It's as simple as matching the competition and competing on features. The people on these boards are atypical buyers, they have their own rationale that doesn't really match the behavior of the average consumer. Apple has read the trends and taken appropriate action.
The 14 is definitely the best consumer laptop option. The 12 is a great budget, budget-traveler option, but it doesn't make the same argument for itslef as an "primary machine" that the 14 does. So, yeah, it should continue, but they need to drive the price of it down, since it will always be a better secondary computer than a primary machine for the majority of consumers/students.
I'd still look for a widescreen replacement to oust both these models once the PB's move on to their G5 future (at least a year)
Ideally, Apple could build the mobo/case combination around a degree of modularity and just offer the same spec in your choice of either 12 or 14" model. If the 14" models are not artificially overpriced, they will outsell the 12" models even in such a scenario. But because Apple has inventory control issues to manage, we may not see such a scenario, they will instead opt for the model with the most potential, and that is the larger screen affordable machine. Most consumers will be happy.