Originally posted by melgross
It seems to me that the 15" and 17" MUST be introduced at the same time for the same reasons. Who is going to buy a now much slower and obsolete 17", when the new 15" is out. Ouch!
At first I thought the same thing. But on second thought I no longer think so.
I agree that the iBook cannot move to Intel first, not unless they reduce the CPU speed so the iBook ends up slower than the PPC PowerBook. And that will likely not happen. Why move the iBook to Intel if it ends up as slow as the current iBook model?
Apple will have to move the PowerBook and the iBook line at the same time.
But it was agreed that moving the PowerBooks, the 'pro' line, to Intel first is a rather risky business. What if the design has major unknown bugs? What if OSX/Intel has some? And add those to the rather infamous bugs found in the first model of any new PowerBook generation. Not good.
A good way out of this dilemma is to split the 'pro' line. Move the 15" PowerBook to Intel first. This might seem to eat into 17" sales, but I feel those customers are probably unwilling to be the guinea pigs on the plunge to Intel anyway. Sure they'd want the speed and dual core CPUs, but if your business depends on this machine, would you risk buying a potentially buggy solution, perhaps not really working as advertised?
Therefore pro customers will likely much rather adopt a wait-and-see approach. And they'd also much rather see their applications compiled natively for Intel before they move. I assume they will wait with their PowerBook purchase until the next program update cycle anyway.
In that light it makes sense that Apple offers only the 15" model with Intel first, allowing conservative 'pro' customers to still be able to buy a 17" PPC PowerBook.
And as the 17" allows for better cooling perhaps Apple can even eek out a small performance boost on the PPC chip one last time for the 17" model at the same time they introduce the 15" Intel model.
Other than that I can see Apple offering current PPC PowerBook models alongside the new Intel models for some time. Like they did with the OS9 bootable PowerMacs.
But offering 15" and 17" models in Intel and PPC versions seems a bit much. Therefore it is likely only one of them or they split the 15" or 17" models as mentioned above.
[edit to clear up the meaning of some sentences]