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Report: Asustek wins bid to produce widescreen iBook

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Asustek Computer recently outbid Quanta Computer to secure orders from Apple Computer for a 14.1-inch widescreen iBook model, according to a report in China's Economic Daily News.

The deal reportedly extends to the first 500,000 of the new iBooks that will be manufactured and debunks an earlier DigiTimes report that said Quanta secured the same order back in April.

Apple's current offerings include both a 12.1- and 14.1-inch iBook G4 laptop, but neither features a widescreen display. The smallest profile Apple laptop to sport a widescreen is its 15.2-inch PowerBook G4.

The overseas report also cites unnamed sources in saying Asustek also recently secured orders for the 15.4-inch iBook, which will be launched in 2006.

The reliability of the report is unknown and Asustek declined to comment, stating it has non-disclosure agreements with all of its OEM customers.

According to the report, last year Asustek shipped more than one million notebooks to Apple, including 12.1-inch iBooks and 12.1-inch PowerBooks.

Asustek is also believed to be one of two Taiwanese manufacturers contracted by Apple to produce its iPod shuffle digital music player.

Meanwhile, Quanta retains contracts to produce Apple's iMac G5, Xserve G5, and certain PowerBook G4 models.
post #2 of 38
Hopefully they ship with Intel processors. I'll be ready to buy next spring. . . just before my wife graduates with her degree and loses her educational discount.
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post #3 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by fahlman
Hopefully they ship with Intel processors.

Are you serious? The decision to move to Intel was only made very recently. Hardly enough time to design a new machine with a new architecture and put out contracts to build it.

SJ said it'll be the middle of next year before we see Intel-based machines. They wouldn't be letting contracts for those just yet, surely?
post #4 of 38
i DONT CARE ABOUT NEXT YEAR. WHAT ABOUT NEXT WEEK ????
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
i DONT CARE ABOUT NEXT YEAR. WHAT ABOUT NEXT WEEK ????

We are writing a report (as I speak) on the new G4s that will likely show up in the next wave of PowerPC laptops.

Settle down...

Kasper
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post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Kasper
We are writing a report (as I speak) on the new G4s that will likely show up in the next wave of PowerPC laptops.

Settle down...

Kasper



hey cool Kasper himself speaks. wow. that's like getting into the emperor's throne room and speaking to Palpatine himself, bypassing Vader.
post #7 of 38
The article did not say when the new iBooks will be available, but my guess is they will be introduced in Paris and will most likely have the G4 in them. I think the first Mac that will ship with an Intel processor will be the Mac Mini at MWSF 2006 where iLife '06 and iWork '06 will be shipped with universal binaries.
post #8 of 38
Yes This will be soo cool! Of coarse they'll have intel processors, They said sometime in 06. I hope these versions have DVI and support external displays becuase I have to use "the hack" and the VGA Port instead of the DVI port on my 17" NEC.

I basically want the current 15" PowerBooks specs on the 15" Widescreen iBook. 1 running at 1.5ghz Pentium M and the other 1.7. The PowerBooks can start at 1.8 o
2.0 and max out at 2.2. By that time all the Professional items will come standard with 768mbs of ram . Sorry I should stop dreaming!
post #9 of 38
It's about time we had an iBook with a resolution higher than 1024x768.

This won't be an Intel machine, either. Steve said they've still got plenty of new PPC products to show off.
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post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by CrunchinJelly
It's about time we had an iBook with a resolution higher than 1024x768.

This won't be an Intel machine, either. Steve said they've still got plenty of new PPC products to show off.

I would presume it would pack a chip from this family:

http://www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1142

Not too exciting... but that's why we're moving to Intel after all, right?

Best,

Kasper
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post #11 of 38
That is quite far off though.
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Kasper
We are writing a report (as I speak) on the new G4s that will likely show up in the next wave of PowerPC laptops.

Settle down...

Kasper

Haha! Very funny Kasper! But we all know that next wave of Powerbooks are going to hold G5's (dual processors, too, from what I'm gathering) in an even slimmer form factor. Of course, the liquid-nitrogen cooling pack is 20 pounds, but that's not been an issue so far in testing.

G4s! Ha, so 2000! Next thing you'll know, you'll be telling us all about Apple switching to Intel processors and all. Man, you're a riot!
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by krispie
Are you serious? The decision to move to Intel was only made very recently. Hardly enough time to design a new machine with a new architecture and put out contracts to build it.

Steve did not wake up Monday morning and decide to switch to Intel processors.

Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
15.4-inch iBook, which will be launched in 2006

I hope that it ships late enough in 2006 to have an Intel processor. I don't need a new computer. My ol' Windows desktop I inherited when I got married 5 years ago still surfs the internet and sends and receive email just fine. It's going to be even better when I install Fedora Core 4 sometime in the next few days. When I need to do real work I go to the office and work on the dual 2.0GHz G5 or Dual 1.25GHz G4. I would like a laptop so I'm not tied down to a desk at home too and I'll buy one when the iBooks go Intel.
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post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by krispie
Are you serious? The decision to move to Intel was only made very recently. Hardly enough time to design a new machine with a new architecture and put out contracts to build it.

SJ said it'll be the middle of next year before we see Intel-based machines. They wouldn't be letting contracts for those just yet, surely?

SJ said that by the time WWDC rolls around next year they should already be shipping Intel-based models. So any time between January and June could be the introduction of Intel-based iBooks and Mac minis.

My best guess is we will see 12.1" (4:3) standard and 14" (16:10) widescreen iBook models with better graphics and faster G4 processors in the coming weeks. Minor cosmetic changes to both with the new 14" widescreen model simply being wider. Then next spring we will see the Intel-based iBooks, a total redesign from the ground up which will include a 15.4" widescreen iBook and a smaller 13" model, both widescreen this time.

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post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by 1984
My best guess is we will see 12.1" (4:3) standard and 14" (16:10) widescreen iBook models with better graphics and faster G4 processors in the coming weeks.

No widescreen iBook in the next couple of weeks (IMO). An iBook refresh is one thing, but a widescreen requires new design and layout, lots of testing. They're not going to do that as part of a 'refresh'. If you're doing all that, you might as well start from ground up and redesign the thing (its been the same for many years, although I like the looks of it).

And I'm not holding my breath on better graphics. I did that the last time it was refreshed and was left blue in the face and unconconscious.
post #16 of 38
A 15-inch iBook. Nice. Maybe I should grab one when I graduate.
post #17 of 38
I will definately be wary of that model...

My experiences of Asustek have been not good...the latest being a mate's top of the line laptop falling apart after a month of sitting on a desk...i understand that its all designed to reduce the price of the end machine... lets just hope that it sticks to Apple's quality control...my PB is still as tight as the day i took it home......

someone is bound to tell me they are reasonable, cheap products but hey, this is just my opinion
post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by krispie
SJ said it'll be the middle of next year before we see Intel-based machines. They wouldn't be letting contracts for those just yet, surely?

Not quite...he said Apple will be SHIPPING INTEL PRODUCTS by this time next year. Theoretically, he could launch a new intel product anytime between now and the day before WWDC '06
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post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
No widescreen iBook in the next couple of weeks (IMO). An iBook refresh is one thing, but a widescreen requires new design and layout, lots of testing. They're not going to do that as part of a 'refresh'. If you're doing all that, you might as well start from ground up and redesign the thing (its been the same for many years, although I like the looks of it).

Just wondering out loud...how difficult would it be for Apple to have two prototypes under development using the same form factor. One running PowerPC, another one running Intel.

If what Jobs says is true (MacOSX living a double life for the past five years), surely they've considered different motherboard designs.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
No widescreen iBook in the next couple of weeks (IMO). An iBook refresh is one thing

Your speculation as good as any is reasonable, but you have to keep a few things in mind:

1. The iBook is 3 MONTHS beyond its very regular product update cycle. It has been updated on schedule for the last four years. Every time a product has substantially missed its update cycle, has in years past meant a major upgrade was pending. This has been the Apple modus operandi.

2. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying that they have very good PPC products yet to be released. Given the current situation with the iBook, the fact that Apple has stuck with its form factor for over 4 years, and the fact that Apple needs products to bridge the gap to the Intel era, I would say comports with the thinking that a major iBook revision is likely.

Other reasoning on why a major revision is needed is outlined in my post on the other iBook thread.

Just my 2¢...we'll see!
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post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
Your speculation as good as any is reasonable, but you have to keep a few things in mind:

1. The iBook is 3 MONTHS beyond its very regular product update cycle. It has been updated on schedule for the last four years. Every time a product has substantially missed its update cycle, has in years past meant a major upgrade was pending. This has been the Apple modus operandi.

2. Steve Jobs was quoted as saying that they have very good PPC products yet to be released. Given the current situation with the iBook, the fact that Apple has stuck with its form factor for over 4 years, and the fact that Apple needs products to bridge the gap to the Intel era, I would say comports with the thinking that a major iBook revision is likely.

Other reasoning on why a major revision is needed is outlined in my post on the other iBook thread.

Just my 2¢...we'll see!

Sorry, I just don't buy it. Apple is cheap. Extremely cheap. When we all complained about the G5 towers still lacking PCI Express, it was "They're waiting for the next chips, since its cheaper to do it all at once". I just don't buy apple making a whole new widescreen iBook just to come out with a slightly faster processor.

As to your points, #1 is invalid. The PowerMac G5s were last updated June 2004 (not counting the stupid single processor in Sept). Everyone waited and waited for the update, and 11 months later, Apple releases it as a minor update. And this was a year after a long delay after its initial release, only to get the last update.
post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Louzer
Sorry, I just don't buy it. Apple is cheap. Extremely cheap. When we all complained about the G5 towers still lacking PCI Express, it was "They're waiting for the next chips, since its cheaper to do it all at once". I just don't buy apple making a whole new widescreen iBook just to come out with a slightly faster processor.

They wouldn't be doing it because of a faster processor. They would be doing it because it is a highly requested feature, competes better with similar PC offerings and will boost sales during the inevitable pre-Intel lull. It's not that big a deal either. Pop in a wider display and mold a revised case to hold it. Just think of the current iBook only wider. They may have been developing it for quite a while now.

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post #23 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by 1984
They wouldn't be doing it because of a faster processor. They would be doing it because it is a highly requested feature, competes better with similar PC offerings and will boost sales during the inevitable pre-Intel lull. It's not that big a deal either. Pop in a wider display and mold a revised case to hold it. Just think of the current iBook only wider. They may have been developing it for quite a while now.

re: pre-intel lull... AppleInsider (and Kasper himself) has mentioned that this widescreen iBook will come in next year, with G4 7448 coming in Oct 2005

the only thing that is puzzling me still is what Apple has got up its sleeve for the July-Sep 2005 'back-to-school' quarter. are they going to risk riding on what they have? i suspect refreshed iBooks and iPods announced next week to coincide with EDU conference. Mac minis, maybe just a price drop (if not already factored into promotions and rebates etc. by dealers worldwide).

The Big guns, eg, Widescreen iBooks, updated Mac minis, must-have iPods, updated iMac g5, prolly will come out for Oct-Dec 2005 christmas frenzy...

This should hold Apple profitable through what would otherwise have been considered a 'loss-leader' kind of 2nd half of 2005...

2006, well should be sorted now with MacIntesh's leading the charge.

Okay. its becoming clearer now, and I think i'm ready to stop bitching about Mac Minis and updated iBooks. if i need to get a Mac mini for my dad, i'll do it, so be it if they come out with something new tomorrow. whatever. this waiting game thing can make one quite unhappy.... and one can never have a fast enough GPU, it's just getting silly \
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by itsamac
I will definately be wary of that model...

My experiences of Asustek have been not good...the latest being a mate's top of the line laptop falling apart after a month of sitting on a desk...i understand that its all designed to reduce the price of the end machine... lets just hope that it sticks to Apple's quality control...my PB is still as tight as the day i took it home......

someone is bound to tell me they are reasonable, cheap products but hey, this is just my opinion

Asustek are already producing the 12" iBook and 12" Powerbook. I'm not sure about the other iBook or Powerbook models, though.
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post #25 of 38
12" widescreen ibook...oh boy that'd be sweet
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by cj171
12" widescreen ibook...oh boy that'd be sweet

heh... 4:3 is so... 20th century. 16:9 or 16:10 is the new aspect ratio of the millenium...!!!

umm although i guess film has always been 1.85:1 or 2.35:1 ultra wide

who decided on 16:9 anyway? that's a nasty ass number, 16 divide by 9 is 1.777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777777 77777777777777777777777777777777777777777etc.

i guess 16:10 is nicer, it is 16 divide by 10 = 1.6

here's a cool widescreen ratio:
pi : pi/2

edit:
oh shit... this isn't tobacco i'm smoking....

nah, it's cool. i just got sidetracked for some reason.

carry on, nothing to see here.

edit2:

oh wait: art and maths buffs, what is the ideal aspect ratio according to 'golden mean' rules? i think it's like 1.85:1 right? which is some movie aspect ratios...
post #27 of 38
Quote:
what is the ideal aspect ratio according to 'golden mean' rules?

1.6:1
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by bryan.fury
1.6:1

No. It's (1+sqrt(5))/2 :1.
post #29 of 38
14" widescreen 16:10 is a very nice ratio. No taller than the 4:3 12", just under 2" wider.

The form factor of such a book would be very nice too. Expect something marginally thinnner than the current iBook, lighter than the current 14" but with longer battery life than the 12".

The 12" may soldier on as a neutered entry level machine, and the widescreen becomes the machine of choice. Buyers in this segment want bigger screens. This size and ratio lets Apple deliver without building a pig.
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post #30 of 38
The Golden Mean (or Golden Section), represented by the Greek letter phi, is one of those mysterious natural numbers, like e or pi, that seem to arise out of the basic structure of our cosmos. Unlike those abstract numbers, however, phi appears clearly and regularly in the realm of things that grow and unfold in steps, and that includes living things.
The decimal representation of phi is 1.6180339887499... .
You can find it in a number of places:


Number Series
If you start with the numbers 0 and 1, and make a list in which each new number is the sum of the previous two, you get a list like this:

0, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, ... to infinity-->


This is called a 'Fibonacci series'.
If you then take the ratio of any two sequential numbers in this series, you'll find that it falls into an increasingly narrow range:

1/0 = Whoa! That one doesn't count.
1/1 = 1
2/1 = 2
3/2 = 1.5
5/3 = 1.6666...
8/5 = 1.6
13/8 = 1.625
21/13 = 1.61538...
34/21 = 1.61904...
and so on, with each addition coming ever closer to multiplying by some as-yet-undetermined number.


The number that this ratio is oscillating around is phi (1.6180339887499...). It's interesting to note that the ratio 21/13 differs from phi by less than .003, and 34/21 by only about .001 (less than 1/10 of one percent!), thus providing our less technically-advanced ancestors an easy way to derive phi on a large scale in the real world with a high degree of precision.
post #31 of 38
thanks Bryan. good stuff. damn you appleinsiders are so smart!

hmm so 16:10 looks like the closest to golden mean... interesting, it's quite arbitrary isn't it, that there's also 16:9 and 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 that came about due to various technical or historical requirements, eg. a CD fits 74mins normally because that's the length of beethoven's (something) symphony

yes, IIRC some basic art history, rennaisance master painters are known to employ golden mean ratios in their compositions a lot.

i can't believe no one has solved why this Phi exists etc... but it's cool that there are many mysteries still for us to ponder, and for mathematicians to get grants and do whatever it is they 'do' at universities and stuff
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
thanks Bryan. good stuff. damn you appleinsiders are so smart!

well, it was a simple copy&paste job

but i remembered the 1.6:1 from my art classes ...
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by sunilraman
re: pre-intel lull... AppleInsider (and Kasper himself) has mentioned that this widescreen iBook will come in next year, with G4 7448 coming in Oct 2005

Nope. Read it again. He said a 14.1" widescreen iBook is in developement with an initial order of 500,000 (sounds like its ready to go) and later a 15.4" widescreen iBook will debut sometime in 2006.

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post #34 of 38
This makes sense. iBook's target market wants larger screens. The benefits of the 12" ibook have been bestowed upon cognoscenti almost as an accident of technological evolution. However, the small portable is better suited to the Powerbook line. Don't get me wrong, I love the 12" size for a tote everywhere machine, and I would get another one, it's just that consumers seem to be looking for a more one-size-fits-all solution. I don't want to say desktop replacement, for fear of the awful imagery that it conjures up, but consumers are looking for an all-in-one solution when it comes to laptops. They generally don't dock them -- many people buy the 15"+ sizes so that they can forego even hooking up a second display. iBook needs to cater to that market, the current 12" and 14" don't.

That said, I don't know that I would buy a 15.4" iBook, but I would definitely take a look at a 14" widescreen model. It really is a nice size/ratio to balance screen size against portability...
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post #35 of 38
Excellent! Paving the way for a 20" HD Lapzilla.
post #36 of 38
I remember when 17" seemed out of the question, a 20" could happen, not from Apple, but no one ever accused the average consumer of having too much sense, or style.

I was on a 5 hour bus ride the other weekend. A colleague had a huge 17" hp laptop. It had such a huge honking bezel on it, that it looked like it could just about accomodate a 19" LCD if they just slimmed down the bezel to a more Apple-esque dimension...
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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Matsu
I was on a 5 hour bus ride the other weekend. A colleague had a huge 17" hp laptop. It had such a huge honking bezel on it, that it looked like it could just about accomodate a 19" LCD if they just slimmed down the bezel to a more Apple-esque dimension...

Ask, and ye shall receive: Doubles as a coffee table, perhaps. \
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post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Matsu
I remember when 17" seemed out of the question, a 20" could happen, not from Apple, but no one ever accused the average consumer of having too much sense, or style.

I was on a 5 hour bus ride the other weekend. A colleague had a huge 17" hp laptop. It had such a huge honking bezel on it, that it looked like it could just about accomodate a 19" LCD if they just slimmed down the bezel to a more Apple-esque dimension...

Why don't you think Apple would create such a laptop?

It might be totally impractical for travel and coffee shops, but I could see Apple marketing a 20" Lapzilla as a portable video studio, for editing DV on location or on the go. Anyone who plans on buying only one Mac and doesn't need full portability, a 20" PowerSLAB would rock. Take a Mac user who drives to work, walks from the parking lot 50 feet into the building, another 20 feet to his desk, and sets down his laptop. This Mac user works on his Powerslab at home on a desk, in front of the TeeVee, and sometimes he lays in bed and views porn when his wife is away. He doesn't need full portability, all he needs is a self-contained unit that is luggable, and Apple could make exactly what this hypothetical Mac user needs.

Just imagine how much computer could be crammed into a 20" laptop!

Introducing the Apple Powerslab - a video studio you can use on location in the Rocky Mountains, at work, or in the den. Featuring Intel's new Powerswitcher technology that manages the Powerslab's four CPU cores for long lasting battery life on the go, and for searing performance when plugged in.

I'd buy a Powerslab in a heartbeat. Then I could use it as my "luggable desktop", and get a 12" Powerbook for portable computing - except at cafes, where I'd use my Powerslab to pick up chicks.
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