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Apple poised for special event this September - Page 7

post #241 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Redesigned MacBook Pro with tapered edges, LED backlit display, magnetic latch, black backlit keyboard, oversized Air-like Multi-Touch trackpad, maybe an optional SSD, and a long, narrow, removable battery that, when removed, gives access to the hard drive bay (as seen in the spy shots).

Yes please. I've seen the LED displays and they're way nicer than my fluorescent MacBook screen. I also much prefer the darker keyboard the Air sports. I was a TiBook owner back in the day and would like a move back in that direction in Apple's designs. I never took to the aluminum laptops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

If the MacBook is updated the same day, I'm predicting a similar tapered-edge facelift, but it'll retain its polycarbonate black and white plastic material. An SSD option is less likely.

Well, my Macbook is the worst-constructed computer I've ever bought from Apple, and I've bought a few. The Bezel is falling off and there are thin pieces of plastic missing along the latch end of the base. Very disappointing, especially since I am not exactly throwing it around. My wife's is showing signs of the same issues and she hardly ever moves it. So that redesign sounds good, as long as it addresses these issues. *Many* people have reported them since the iBook morphed into the MacBook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Pretty much, but make sure to participate in the nerdy goodness of zerfman's MacBook Air Teardrop vs. Wedge Poll

I did....... ;-)
post #242 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by jouster View Post

Yes please. I've seen the LED displays and they're way nicer than my fluorescent MacBook screen.

After thinking about it, I looked up the current specs of the MacBook Pro and to my sort of surprise, the 15" model already comes with an LED backlit display standard. Oops.

The 17" model has an optional high res 1920x1200 LED backlit display for a rather reasonable $100 extra. They'll probably make LED backlighting standard on the 17", but they may make the high res version optional as Leopard doesn't fully support resolution independence (which Snow Leopard is likely to address).

So, the 13" MacBook is the only one that really needs to move to LED backlighting and considering there's already a 13" LED backlit screen in the Air, it's likely to be adopted by the MacBook.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jouster View Post

I also much prefer the darker keyboard the Air sports. I was a TiBook owner back in the day and would like a move back in that direction in Apple's designs. I never took to the aluminum laptops.

Yeah, with the debut of the Air and its slick black backlit keyboard that mimics the MacBook's in the shape of keys and the indention of the entire keyboard (in contrast to the current Pro's flush keyboard of concave silver keys), I think it's almost a given the redesigned Pro's will get those black keys. Not only would it match the style of Apple's other laptops, but last year's aluminum iMac keyboard as well (in terms of shape, not color, obviously).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jouster View Post

Well, my Macbook is the worst-constructed computer I've ever bought from Apple, and I've bought a few. The Bezel is falling off and there are thin pieces of plastic missing along the latch end of the base. Very disappointing, especially since I am not exactly throwing it around. My wife's is showing signs of the same issues and she hardly ever moves it. So that redesign sounds good, as long as it addresses these issues. *Many* people have reported them since the iBook morphed into the MacBook.

Hmm, I thought were more durable than that.

Hopefully whatever the new MacBook case turns out to look like, they'll make it more resistant to wear and tear.
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post #243 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by jouster View Post

Ya gotta use a differnet abbreviation! Ti works. "Tit" combined with "stiff" is just.....wrong. Or right. Just saying'....

I know, it's what we call it though. In the next post I wrote, I realized that I couldn't abbreviate it at all because of what I had said. If you look back on that one, you'll see what I mean.

Quote:
Okay, so the fascinating shape-fight is over? So, what tearwedge-shaped goodies might we see at the proposed event?

I hope so, it's become tiring.
post #244 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerfman View Post

ha, wait now you have convinced me. good point.....

You were too annoying in that post to be wide awake when you wrote it.
post #245 of 312
Apple won't split AAPL anytime soon. It did so in the past because the company needed to raise fresh cash to help save itself. Now that it's back on top, Apple wants to filter the short-time profit-takers out of its stock, so AAPL can strengthen and cruise high (think GOOG or, in another ten years, Berkshire Hathaway $$$$).
post #246 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by DOSbox-gamer View Post

Apple won't split AAPL anytime soon. It did so in the past because the company needed to raise fresh cash to help save itself. Now that it's back on top, Apple wants to filter the short-time profit-takers out of its stock, so AAPL can strengthen and cruise high (think GOOG or, in another ten years, Berkshire Hathaway $$$$).


I don't recall "raising cash" to be a reason for a stock split. Last I've heard, stock splits are just to make the price seem reasonable. No actual value is generated in doing so except for a possible psychological boost to make the stock seem affordable.
post #247 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I don't recall "raising cash" to be a reason for a stock split. Last I've heard, stock splits are just to make the price seem reasonable. No actual value is generated in doing so except for a possible psychological boost to make the stock seem affordable.

This is correct. A stock split raises no additional cash. Only a seasoned equity offering (throwing more shares out there) or additional leverage (debt) would raise more cash. Stock splits are seen as positive because it usually means the price has risen enough that it looks very expensive...thus they double the number of shares each shareholder has which cuts the price in half.
post #248 of 312
hey is the mbp update guaranteed to happen before the end of september?
post #249 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerfman View Post

hey is the mbp update guaranteed to happen before the end of september?

[emphasis added by me]

No.
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post #250 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

[emphasis added by me]

No.

is it really likely to be otu by te end of september?
post #251 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerfman View Post

is it really likely to be otu by te end of september?

Little dyslexic are we?

I'd say it's extremely likely we'll see the new MacBook Pros by the end of September at the latest. We've got two more Tuesdays in August and a total of five in September, so if they're going to do something this month, we'll hear about it very soon as they always send out invites to the press a few days in advance.

If Apple decides to announce these new, redesigned laptops alongside updated iPods, which seems likely, they'll probably wait until after their Back to School deal ends on Monday, September 15th, as nowayout11 suggested earlier, to avoid confusion. By then, three Tuesdays will be left, so they'll either release the Pros and iPods the very next day, Tuesday the 16th, or the following Tuesday, the 23rd. I doubt they'd release them on the last Tuesday because that would also be the last day of the month.
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post #252 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerfman View Post

is it really likely to be otu by te end of september?

If that's meant to be "Is it really likely to be out by the end of September?", I'd say: yes, all signs point to new MacBook Pros by the end of September.
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post #253 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerfman View Post

is it really likely to be otu by te end of september?

I think that most of would agree that it is very likely to be out by the end of September, barring any unexpected problems.

{My Mac Pro too, please!)
post #254 of 312
...I don't think so, since that is the "sweet spot" for iPod sales in terms of volume.

I do think Apple may drop the 1 GB shuffle in favor of the 2 GB model, to start with.

As for the nano, in my opinion it will become the "3.5G" model, which looks and functions exactly like the current model but with new internal circuitry. Apple will offer two models, a 16 GB version (with cases in up to ten different colors) selling for US$199 or a 32 GB version (in black and Product Red colors only) selling for US$249. It will not offer Wi-Fi connectivity, since that requires too much extra circuitry and could severely affect battery life.
post #255 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by SactoMan01 View Post

...I don't think so, since that is the "sweet spot" for iPod sales in terms of volume.

I do think Apple may drop the 1 GB shuffle in favor of the 2 GB model, to start with.

As for the nano, in my opinion it will become the "3.5G" model, which looks and functions exactly like the current model but with new internal circuitry. Apple will offer two models, a 16 GB version (with cases in up to ten different colors) selling for US$199 or a 32 GB version (in black and Product Red colors only) selling for US$249. It will not offer Wi-Fi connectivity, since that requires too much extra circuitry and could severely affect battery life.

A 32GB nano is highly unlikely at this point because that would eat into iPod touch sales. The touch just got a 32GB option for $500 earlier this year, so a price drop there to $400, or $300 will keep the touch competitive with the $200 subsidized iPhone 3G; obviously the 8GB (and maybe even the 16GB) touch would then be retired and a $500 or $400 64GB touch could debut.

I do agree about the 2GB shuffle replacing the 1GB at $50 and maybe a 4GB model for $70, as has been rumored. If that happens, a 16GB nano for $200 seems reasonable.

With all these changes, I'm betting on them retiring the niche iPod classic, especially if there's a 64GB touch available. Not only that, they could drop touch from the iPod touch's name, making it the new iPod, simplifying the lineup so it's just the iPhone, iPod, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle.
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post #256 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

A 32GB nano is highly unlikely at this point because that would eat into iPod touch sales. The touch just got a 32GB option for $500 earlier this year, so a price drop there to $400, or $300 will keep the touch competitive with the $200 subsidized iPhone 3G; obviously the 8GB (and maybe even the 16GB) touch would then be retired and a $500 or $400 64GB touch could debut.

I do agree about the 2GB shuffle replacing the 1GB at $50 and maybe a 4GB model for $70, as has been rumored. If that happens, a 16GB nano for $200 seems reasonable.

With all these changes, I'm betting on them retiring the niche iPod classic, especially if there's a 64GB touch available. Not only that, they could drop touch from the iPod touch's name, making it the new iPod, simplifying the lineup so it's just the iPhone, iPod, iPod nano, and iPod shuffle.

i sure hope they don't get rid of the ipod classic. its so.... classic. i love the design and if the 32gb touch is 400 bucks like you say i cant afford that after i buy my new ipod touch. and would be getting the classic. on the other hand its a good opportunity to buy a refurb or one of the leftover models.
post #257 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerfman View Post

i sure hope they don't get rid of the ipod classic. its so.... classic. i love the design and if the 32gb touch is 400 bucks like you say i cant afford that after i buy my new ipod touch. and would be getting the classic. on the other hand its a good opportunity to buy a refurb or one of the leftover models.

Yeah, I ended up buying a 5.5gen 80GB iPod video about a year and a half ago before the classic was introduced after my 4GB iPod mini (my first iPod) could no longer hold my ever expanding library, which I've recently been trimming down; I have about 23GB of music now, so I plan on buying some new stuff soon.

The full-size iPod may have started it all, but even though the classic is the best iteration, it's also the most outdated iPod currently available in many respects. The interface, while improved over my iPod video, is largely the same, the click-wheel is alright, but nowhere near as responsive and intuitive as the iPod touch's Multi-Touch display, it lacks WiFi access, and it's the only iPod using a hard drive, which results in a good amount of lag while browsing.

To retire the classic, I think Apple has to get the 32GB touch down to $300 and introduce a 64GB touch for $400. Will they do this soon? That's hard to tell, but once they do so, the $250 low-end 80GB classic will only be a stone's throw from the $300 low-end 32G touch, both in price and capacity. Thanks to formatting, only about 40GB will separate the two, which isn't much, and with a $400 64GB model, there's almost no difference at all. I doubt Apple has made much from the $350 160GB classic and by this time next year, we'll probably have a 128GB touch, so the minority of people who missed out on the high-end classic will have a much more compelling alternative.
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post #258 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

so the minority of people who missed out on the high-end classic will have a much more compelling alternative.

Where this logic falls apart is the fact that the iPod touch is much better suited for video than the iPod classic because its screen has double the resolution. Yet video is the one usage where every GB counts.

I cannot see where a 128GB iPod touch would even be closely comparable to a 160GB iPod classic. If anything it needs to have more storage space than the classic as videos on the iPod touch can be of higher resolution.

IMHO only a 256GB iPod touch is a true successor to a 160GB iPod classic.
Yet this is at least another 2 years off.
post #259 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Where this logic falls apart is the fact that the iPod touch is much better suited for video than the iPod classic because its screen has double the resolution. Yet video is the one usage where every GB counts.

I cannot see where a 128GB iPod touch would even be closely comparable to a 160GB iPod classic. If anything it needs to have more storage space than the classic as videos on the iPod touch can be of higher resolution.

IMHO only a 256GB iPod touch is a true successor to a 160GB iPod classic.
Yet this is at least another 2 years off.

Well said. I agree 100%. I still think a touch with HDD storage is technically feasible, so we might see one of those (1.8" HDDs with >160 GB capacity are probably available now).
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post #260 of 312
I still think Apple will introduce a 32 GB "3.5G" nano because of the direct competition from both Creative and Sandisk for the similar class of players. And there may be a good reason for this: Apple may be preparing to retire the iPod classic in favor of flash-based models, which will rapidly increase in storage capacity over the next few years as solid-state memory storage technology improves.
post #261 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Where this logic falls apart is the fact that the iPod touch is much better suited for video than the iPod classic because its screen has double the resolution. Yet video is the one usage where every GB counts.

I cannot see where a 128GB iPod touch would even be closely comparable to a 160GB iPod classic. If anything it needs to have more storage space than the classic as videos on the iPod touch can be of higher resolution.

IMHO only a 256GB iPod touch is a true successor to a 160GB iPod classic.
Yet this is at least another 2 years off.

That's all well and good, but I wasn't making the argument that a 128GB iPod touch would be a feature for feature replacement of the 160GB classic. It would be, however, a compelling alternative that offered more than what the classic can, including WiFI, a Multi-Touch display, and as you mentioned, a larger, high resolution screen. So you lose 30GB, probably closer to 20GB due to formatting. In return, you get the valuable features I listed, in a smaller package, without the interface latency and increased power usage that comes with a hard drive based device.

With all that said, you're ignoring the fact that the iPod classic appeals to a niche audience that's smaller than the shuffle, nano, and touch. In Apple's recent Q3 '08 earnings, it was noted that most of their revenue was made off shuffles and touches. The year before, I believe at Macworld '07, their best selling iPod was...the nano (this was before the touch and nano "fatty" were launched in the fall). Most people have no use for the iPod classic's large capacity storage, which is why the iPod touch and especially, the iPhone are selling so well.

Another thing worth remembering is that while Apple always announces different milestones for song downloads off iTunes, I don't believe I've ever heard how well their music videos are doing and they didn't brag much about their movies until rentals came along (which I don't believe they've talked about either). While there are certainly people who download a lot of videos, there's likely a much greater number who simply stream videos off YouTube, which the iPod touch does quite well. There are of course people who buy up TV shows on iTunes, but after seeing an episode once or twice, people will likely not sync it to their iPod if they're running low on space and a new episode comes out.

A 128GB touch would be more than enough for a great many users. 256GB would be awesome. But people are gonna have a hell of a time filling up a 32GB or 64GB touch in the meantime. I consider myself a pretty avid music listener and bought an 80GB 5.5gen iPod video because my music collection at the time couldn't fit on the 30GB iPod video and I wanted room to grow. Since then I've dropped to 23GB as my interests have changed, as many people's do. If I had kept acquiring music at the rate I had been, I'd probably only have 40GB at this point. I have 50 videos, mostly ripped from YouTube, that take up 1GB, around the same amount of music videos that take up 1.6GB, and around 3.5GB of podcasts (which most consumers know nothing about). I have 47GB remaining.

So I agree with you on pretty much everything you said.
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post #262 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I still think a touch with HDD storage is technically feasible, so we might see one of those (1.8" HDDs with >160 GB capacity are probably available now).

And what would that entail? A thicker, heavier iPod touch with a laggy interface, slower start up, and of course, because the drive would have to be running most of the time, bad battery life.

The benefit? A little more storage and maybe a slightly lower price tag that would be appreciated by a niche audience. Is it technically feasible? Sure. Would it be a smart move by Apple to essentially go backwards in time for so few advantages? Obviously not, otherwise they likely would have done so by now.
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post #263 of 312
wobegon, I totally agree the 160GB iPod classic is a niche product. And knowing Apple, it's probably a doomed product since Apple hardly ever keeps niche products around (see PowerBook 12").
Yet its a niche product more likely because of its price and not because people prefer less storage space.

Where I don't agree is your assumption that a 128GB iPod touch is a compelling alternative. If I have 155GB of music and videos, ditching about 1/4 of them in favor of other features does not seem compelling.
Especially since watching the classic's videos probalby looks crap anyway (due to lower resolution), so I'd need to ditch even more of my library to get higher res versions of these videos.

It's compelling only to people who have a 160GB classic with its HD just half full - but then why did they buy a 160GB classic in the first place? Most people who went for the big capacity went for it because they needed it. And now asking these people to ditch 1/4- 1/2 of their library in favor of other features doesn't make sense.
That's like saying, "here's an improved copy of your favourite novel now leather bound and with glossy color illustrations - but you'd have to rip out the last 3 chapters".
Not great.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

A 128GB touch would be more than enough

In my case, I only use Apple Lossless compression because I hate to give up audio quality.
Therefore my music collection is ca. 160GB. Ditching 1/4 of my library - and therefore now for the first time having to juggle albums between iTunes and my iPod since I no longer can fit all on the iPod - in exchange for wifi and a bigger screen is not compelling at all.

But I am likely one of those niche customers. Just as I'm still typing this on a 12" PowerBook - simply because there is no other Apple product that can compete in size (even a MacBook or MacBook Air is huge compared next to it).
post #264 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by solsun View Post

Thats definitely not a 2003 Powerbook G4. The original PowerBook G4's (titanium) had black keyboards, plus Garageband didn't exist in 2003.

The Titanium Powerbook had black keyboards, but these came out in 2001. The 2003 Powerbook (September 2003) was Aluminum and did have grey keyboards, as shown. The case was a little bit thicker than the model shown, but for all intents and purposes, it is the same general external design.

GarageBand came out in January 2004.
post #265 of 312
I think after the rough road Apple has been on the last several weeks, we can all agree, that what ever they announce it will be cool, neat or Apple will not look good in the eyes of the stock holders, buyers, users, and all those folks who make or try to make a living writing about Apple.

Kind of like a marriage I think we see some new, something old (up-graded, and something borrowed from somebody (just wait and see, they will be sued for the last item, well because they just will)

Skip
post #266 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

wobegon, I totally agree the 160GB iPod classic is a niche product. And knowing Apple, it's probably a doomed product since Apple hardly ever keeps niche products around (see PowerBook 12").
Yet its a niche product more likely because of its price and not because people prefer less storage space.

I'd say it's a little bit of both because if it were simply price, the iPod touch wouldn't be outselling the cheaper iPod nano and iPod classic. It's doing better than those devices due to all the features I listed: WiFi, big screen, slick user-friendly interface (for web browsing, calling people), etc. It's also doing well because a great many people don't need the extra space, or maybe I should say, most people aren't holding out for a 32GB touch, let alone a 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Where I don't agree is your assumption that a 128GB iPod touch is a compelling alternative. If I have 155GB of music and videos, ditching about 1/4 of them in favor of other features does not seem compelling.
Especially since watching the classic's videos probalby looks crap anyway (due to lower resolution), so I'd need to ditch even more of my library to get higher res versions of these videos.

I think we're going at this from different angles. I was suggesting that people generally buy more space than they need, as I did with my 80GB iPod video, which is holding only 23GB of music and including videos and podcasts, I have around 30GB of content. So no, you certainly wouldn't be well served by a 128GB touch when you already have more stuff than it can hold and no doubt, you plan on acquiring more stuff. You'd have to decide to stick with the 160GB classic you already have, or keep your iPod classic after buying an iPod touch and limit your music library on the latter, using the former when you don't need a big screen.

Personally, I'll be holding onto my 80GB iPod video 'til they launch a 64GB touch, maybe even a 128GB touch depending on how much music and videos I acquire in the meantime. But as I'm sure you're aware, a number of people with big music libraries actually end up buying a lower-capacity touch and keep their larger-capacity classic. That's why I keep stressing alternative, rather than replacement. For the majority of people, though, a touch can serve as a replacement because they have a measly 4GB-5GB worth of music and videos.

Oh, and about watching video on an iPod video or iPod classic, it's really not that bad. The resolution is fine - the nano has the same resolution, just higher pixel density thanks to the smaller screen. Would I watch a movie on it? No. It's good for ripped YouTube videos, video podcasts, and TV shows. I've watched a considerable amount of videos on my iPod because I'm writing this on my trusty three year old 15" PowerBook G4 (I almost bought the 12", but it felt claustrophobic; the Air's 13" higher res screen is much more comfortable IMO), which no longer has working speakers after a water spill. I use the application TubeTV for downloading and converting Flash videos, which I then sync to my iPod. I'm too cheap to fix it at this point and...it helps me justify a new Mac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

It's compelling only to people who have a 160GB classic with its HD just half full - but then why did they buy a 160GB classic in the first place? Most people who went for the big capacity went for it because they needed it. And now asking these people to ditch 1/4- 1/2 of their library in favor of other features doesn't make sense.
That's like saying, "here's an improved copy of your favourite novel now leather bound and with glossy color illustrations - but you'd have to rip out the last 3 chapters".
Not great.

In my case, I only use Apple Lossless compression because I hate to give up audio quality.
Therefore my music collection is ca. 160GB. Ditching 1/4 of my library - and therefore now for the first time having to juggle albums between iTunes and my iPod since I no longer can fit all on the iPod - in exchange for wifi and a bigger screen is not compelling at all.

I think I answered most of these concerns above. Fortunately, if you bought a touch, no one would then take away your classic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

But I am likely one of those niche customers.

Another thing to keep in mind is that most people like yourself (I include myself to a certain extent because if I had more money, I'd have more music; I stopped using P2P a while back) who need a large capacity device like the classic already have one. So whenever Apple inevitably retires the iPod classic, people in this niche won't be SoL, at least until you reach the storage limit. Also, there are ways in which Apple could reduce the storage problem, like allowing you to stream your entire collection over a WiFi, EDGE, or 3G connection from anywhere in the world, like their .Mac/MoblieMe Back to My Mac service. There's already a third party app called Simplify Media on the App Store that does this. Apple would still continue to increase the iPod touch and iPhone's internal storage capacities because not everyone will have wireless internet access all the time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Just as I'm still typing this on a 12" PowerBook - simply because there is no other Apple product that can compete in size (even a MacBook or MacBook Air is huge compared next to it).

If we're only comparing the longest side of the 12" PB to the longest side of the Air: 10.9" vs. 12.8". But the shorter side of the 12" PB is only about 0.3" shorter than the Air's, the the Air is thinner by more than 1" at the thinnest and by 0.42" at the thickest, and the Air is 1.6 lbs. lighter, though it feels even lighter than that thanks to the weight being more spread out (kind of like how the 5.4 lb. 15" MacBook Pro feels lighter than the 5.0 lb. 13" MacBook overall).
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post #267 of 312
let's just hope it's not blue =/
post #268 of 312
wobegon, good points.

A cool solution would be if Apple could offer an 'insanely expensive' but also 'insanely capacious' iPod touch in the next upgrade (or whenever they get rid of the classic). Like 192GB or even 256GB. Intended as a full replacement for the iPod classic line. Why not charge $699 or even $899 for it? Some people might still buy (I might if I save a bit more). At least I'd have the option of keeping all my music collection on one device - if I so choose. And it has all the other nice features of an iPod touch.

But I doubt the September event will bring ultra-high capacity iPod touch models.
Yet we don't know what 'transition' they have planned.


Streaming music is an interesting alternative. But it's not as ubiquitous yet. It means you need to have an iPhone (plus monthly subscription fee), or you need wifi access which you typically don't have when you're out and about like in parks, beaches or on trains and planes - places where you listen to your music a lot. And I wouldn't want to pay call charges on airplanes for listening to streaming music either.
Good storage capacity is still preferable to streaming solutions at the moment.


Re PowerBook 12"
Footprint on a table or desk is what I'm most concerned about, not thickness. And as you pointed out the 'small' MacBook Air is almost a whopping 2 inches (that's ca. 20%!) wider. That's huge IMHO. Quite a lot bigger and certainly not 'small' in comparison. And hence no comparable alternative.

Unfortunately most small screen 'ultra laptops' are a bit anemic on the performance side. Even compared to my 5 year old PowerBook. They're getting there though. Yet even if ultra laptops catch up with a 5 year old PB, that's still not really an alternative. If they're only just about even I might as well stick with the PB. Would be great if they had twice the performance to be a real 'upgrade'...

I hope Apple eventually hears the 'ultra laptop' calls from its users!
post #269 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Re PowerBook 12"
Footprint on a table or desk is what I'm most concerned about, not thickness. And as you pointed out the 'small' MacBook Air is almost a whopping 2 inches (that's ca. 20%!) wider. That's huge IMHO. Quite a lot bigger and certainly not 'small' in comparison. And hence no comparable alternative.

I agree that thickness really isn't a factor, it just needs to be thin enough.

I wonder why the extra width is a problem. Are you using a school desk?
post #270 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I wonder why the extra width is a problem. Are you using a school desk?

It's just generally better for smaller bags. Bags are usually not super-thin, but typically either bigger or smaller. And I prefer to travel with smaller baggage.

But my desk is a concern too. It's not terribly big, just 35" wide, most of which is used by a 23" ADC and an A4 Wacom tablet. I've got about 12"-13" available next to them - which will have to include any protruding plugs (DVI, USB, etc.). A laptop that's already 13" wide is not really ideal.
post #271 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

wobegon, good points.

A cool solution would be if Apple could offer an 'insanely expensive' but also 'insanely capacious' iPod touch in the next upgrade (or whenever they get rid of the classic). Like 192GB or even 256GB. Intended as a full replacement for the iPod classic line. Why not charge $699 or even $899 for it? Some people might still buy (I might if I save a bit more). At least I'd have the option of keeping all my music collection on one device - if I so choose. And it has all the other nice features of an iPod touch.

Yeah, that's another option, but then you're getting into the price range of "netbooks" like the Asus EeePC, which Apple is, to a certain extent, competing against with their WiFi mobile platform: the iPod touch and iPhone. Obviously the iPhone and iPod touch aren't a substitute for a true computer, but they offer a much more compelling alternative to the underpowered, 10" micro laptop market that features computers like the EeePC, which really don't do anything well, other than being small (uncomfortably so, in many people's opinions). Also, Apple's own MacBook, one of their best selling Macs, would only be a few hundred more, which could result in some cannibalization. Likewise, when Apple upgrades their iPod line, they rarely introduce new higher priced options, but instead increase the capacity and value, while keeping firm price points. They get favorable flash prices from suppliers thanks to their heavy use of them, which should allow 128GB and 256GB iPod touches to come sooner than people may think, especially with the unprecedented popularity of the iPhone that's now being offered on a worldwide scale.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

wobegon, good points.But I doubt the September event will bring ultra-high capacity iPod touch models.
Yet we don't know what 'transition' they have planned.

Depends on what you consider "high capacity." I'd say a $300-$400 32GB touch is likely and a $400-$500 64GB touch is possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

wobegon, good points.Streaming music is an interesting alternative. But it's not as ubiquitous yet. It means you need to have an iPhone (plus monthly subscription fee), or you need wifi access which you typically don't have when you're out and about like in parks, beaches or on trains and planes - places where you listen to your music a lot. And I wouldn't want to pay call charges on airplanes for listening to streaming music either.
Good storage capacity is still preferable to streaming solutions at the moment.

Right, wireless internet access is definitely not widespread enough yet, though it is available on some planes and trains. As for paying a monthly fee for iPhone music streaming, well if you're an iPhone user, you're already paying that fee and Apple likely wouldn't tack on an extra bill for such functionality. Also, not sure where you live (Shire?), but I'm talking from a U.S. perspective. We pay a flat fee for unlimited 3G data access. Perhaps you're talking about charges associated with cafe's, trains, and planes charging separate fees for WiFi access. We're affected by that here, but all Starbucks now offer free access to iPhone customers (and AT&T customers in general, I believe). This is true for different outlets (as in, not simply cafes) around the world as well, like I think it's Orange or O2 or Tele-Somthing-Or-Other that offers free WiFi access on trains, for example.

But at the end of the day, I still prefer having everything on a single device too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Re PowerBook 12"
Footprint on a table or desk is what I'm most concerned about, not thickness. And as you pointed out the 'small' MacBook Air is almost a whopping 2 inches (that's ca. 20%!) wider. That's huge IMHO. Quite a lot bigger and certainly not 'small' in comparison. And hence no comparable alternative.

You're also getting a smaller, rather square 12" screen (it's only slightly wider than it is tall), instead of a 13" widescreen that, while only 1.2" larger in diameter, offers considerably higher resolution: 1280x800 vs. 1024x768. That in turn = more screen real-estate. The Air can also support external resolutions up to 1920x1200 (a.k.a., a 23" ADC), compared to 1600x1200 on the 12" PowerBook G4.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

I hope Apple eventually hears the 'ultra laptop' calls from its users!

I'd say the Air is their answer. Same price point as the defunct 12" PB ($1600-$1800) and a similar target market (premium ultra light category, with a full size screen and keyboard). The 12" PowerBook was never really in the EeePC category. Ha, it's still more powerful and full featured than the current crop of underpowered netbooks so many years later.

The performance comprises made with the 12" PowerBook and the Air are shared as well, but thanks to solid state storage and the Intel-optimized version of Mac OS X Leopard (Snow Leopard), the Air's shortcomings will become less and less apparent. To understand the increase in speed offered by SSDs, check out the side-by-side video comparison with the HDD Air done by AppleInsider HERE, especially the first two videos that show startup time and the opening of like 30 applications simultaneously. The third video shows Mac OS X's aggressive caching. The HDD model is on the left, the SSD model on the right in all videos.

Then factor in the usual processor upgrades from Intel and the custom supporting chips from PA Semi, which will likely find their way into new Snow Leopard-running Macs in a year or so.
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post #272 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

The Air can also support external resolutions up to 1920x1200 (a.k.a., a 23" ADC), compared to 1600x1200 on the 12" PowerBook G4 [...] with a full size screen and keyboard.

I think you've got the specs slightly mixed up here. My 12" PB definitely connects to my 1920x1200 23" ACD at full res, and it has exactly the same sized keyboard as the current MacBook Pro, i.e. a full size keyboard. It just has none of the wasteful strips to either side as the keyboard is flush with the unit.

While it's nice to have a higher res screen on the laptop itself, as long as I can connect a full HD external screen, I'd rather take a smaller footprint than the MacBook Air's wider one. Also I do like the fact that I can swap the battery on long trips.


Since Apple builds its own computers I'd like to see them be more inventive and rather not use standard components (that any manufacturer uses) for a more cleverer solution.
An idea I had was mounting the SSD as a layer of flash chips behind the screen. If Apple could make the screen 1-2mm thinner (using OLED?!?) the saving in thickness could be used to put a layer of flash chips behind the screen. It'll be enough for 128GB with current chips. If they're clever they could mount them user-upgradable.

That way the space for a harddisk could be saved from the bottom unit which means the whole laptop could be smaller and/or its battery bigger.
post #273 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

I think you've got the specs slightly mixed up here. My 12" PB definitely connects to my 1920x1200 23" ACD at full res, and it has exactly the same sized keyboard as the current MacBook Pro, i.e. a full size keyboard. It just has none of the wasteful strips to either side as the keyboard is flush with the unit.

Argh, I was looking at the specs for the 1.0GHz 12" PowerBook G4, which I thought was the final model, but obviously there were the 1.33GHz and 1.5GHz models as well.

Yeah, so if you're using the 1.5GHz model, you can output to 2048x1536; all the other models only output to 1600x1200, however.

As for the full-size keyboard, I was saying that the Air and 12" PowerBook G4 shared that feature. Also, the "strips" along the sides aren't exactly wasteful. They're speakers that offer better sound quality and output. The 12" PowerBook's speakers, I believe, are positioned under the keyboard. I can't figure out if it came with a built-in mic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

While it's nice to have a higher res screen on the laptop itself, as long as I can connect a full HD external screen, I'd rather take a smaller footprint than the MacBook Air's wider one. Also I do like the fact that I can swap the battery on long trips.

Some good points. Of course, the average consumer has no idea or even an interest in hooking up their laptop, which they bought for using at the coffee shop and browsing on the couch or patio, to a big external monitor, tethering them to a desk. Similarly, while some think they need a removable battery, few people end up buying extra laptop batteries (due to their relatively high price) and of those that do, a minority actually use them. Removable batteries also add bulk to the final product.

By the time batteries need to be replaced, generally people have already bought a new computer. I'm not one of those people, but I'm in the minority like you. Will Apple completely kill all replaceable batteries in the MacBook and MacBook Pros? Not for quite some time, especially with the very powerful MacBook Pros being more in need of such a thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Since Apple builds its own computers I'd like to see them be more inventive and rather not use standard components (that any manufacturer uses) for a more cleverer solution.

I think Apple agrees with you, which is why they bought up PA Semi for creating custom chips the competition won't be able to easily replicate, and their partnership with Intel resulted in a custom miniaturized processor for the Air this past January.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

An idea I had was mounting the SSD as a layer of flash chips behind the screen. If Apple could make the screen 1-2mm thinner (using OLED?!?) the saving in thickness could be used to put a layer of flash chips behind the screen. It'll be enough for 128GB with current chips. If they're clever they could mount them user-upgradable.

That way the space for a harddisk could be saved from the bottom unit which means the whole laptop could be smaller and/or its battery bigger.

Interesting ideas. The laptop displays Apple uses are already remarkably thin though, especially the Air's. OLED displays are gonna be awesome someday, but Apple has to transition from cathode to LED backlit displays first, which is likely one of the many transitions they'll be making in addition to HDD->SSD, small trackpads->large Multi-Touch trackpads, contoured silver keyboards->rounded, indented black keyboards (this only affects the 15" and 17" MacBook Pros), mechanical display latch->magnetic latch (again, with the MacBook Pros) internal SuperDrives->no discs (this one will take awhile) and whatever advances Snow Leopard, Intel, and PA Semi will offer individually or in combination.
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post #274 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

if you're using the 1.5GHz model, you can output to 2048x1536

Could the 1.5GHz model really do that? I'm not sure about the 30" resolution...
I have the 1.33 GHz model which has 64MB VRAM. Not a lot by today's standard, but was rather huge 5 years ago. At least it's enough to drive the 1920x1200 and 1024x768 at the same time. Photoshop on the big screen, palettes on the small one, perfect!

The speakers are not mounted under the keyboard. They are mounted at the backside of the unit on either end for maximum stereo spacing, pointing away from the user. Since the screen folds behind the backside and is at an upward angle, the speakers' sound is effectively reflected back to the user via the screen. Rather clever.
The microphone pinhole is on the top side (when opened), in the top left corner, opposite from the Power On switch (which sits in the top right corner).
It's rather well thought out and I really miss this clever design. And it has even twice as many USB ports than the MacBook Air, and FireWire.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Apple has to transition from cathode to LED backlit displays first

I wish they could speed up the transition to OLED!
If you have never seen one live, I urge you to go check out a Sony XEL-1 11" OLED TV. It's nothing short of stunning! LCD and plasma are both so dead! Regardless of recent advancements. I've you've ever seen an OLED of that quality live, you don't want anything else.

My thinking was that you can't make the laptop lid any much thinner. Sony demoed OLEDs that are 0.3mm thin. So in theory one will be able to create a laptop lid that's merely 1mm thin - including screen and back cover. But how sturdy will such a lid be?
I think it'll be rather floppy and not terribly strong. So there is a limit how thin a lid can be. And if it has to be thicker for sturdiness, why not fill this 'empty' space with something useful. An SSD as a single flash layers would seem a good choice. A battery is probably going to be too top heavy. And it'll be a while until DVD drives are 2-3mm thin - if ever.

I think we wouldn't have to wait for OLEDs to be able to put a layer of flash chips behind the screen. The MacBook Air's lid is thin enough, compared to the 12" PowerBook. If one would keep the lid at the PB's size yet use the MBA's LED LCD a layer of flash chips could be squeezed in already.

And for the 17" MacBook Pro, Apple really needs to add a numeric keypad soon. Everyone else has it. I'd assume pro users also use keyboard shortcuts a lot, hence a built-in numeric keypad would be rather helpful. And most people align their windows along the left screen edge anyway, so one might as well shift the keyboard centered below that window, rather than centered on the screen. That's OK for a screen with 1024 horizontal res where the text window is likely fully centered anyway. But on a 1920 screen you likely won't have the email or Word document window centered on the screen - but rather left aligned. And so should the keyboard.
post #275 of 312
I don't see the need for a numeric keypad on the 17-inch MacBook Pro. Just because everyone else is doing it doesn't mean Apple should. I'm not quite sure that I understand why the other manufacturers put it on theirs. Then those manufacturers center the trackpad under the space bar and when you look at the whole thing aesthetically, it looks hideous.



I see why Apple has refrained from including a numeric keypad.

I think Apple would be best suited upping the graphics horsepower and the richness of the speakers than mess around with a numeric keypad. I don't see how a numeric keypad on the 17-inch would be of great functional use to creative professionals who are using Photoshop or Final Cut Pro?
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post #276 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Could the 1.5GHz model really do that? I'm not sure about the 30" resolution...

The 30" resolution is 2560x1600 and requires dual-link DVI.

2048x1536 is "square" (4:3) and is the highest analog resolution a VGA port can reliably drive.
post #277 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

Could the 1.5GHz model really do that? I'm not sure about the 30" resolution...

According to THIS, yes. That site catalogs all info on past and current Macs. The poster above, FuturePastNow, is partially right, however all but the 867GHz 12" PowerBook G4 used mini-DVI, not VGA. He's right about the picture being "square" on a 30" ACD because it's a dual-link display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

I have the 1.33 GHz model which has 64MB VRAM. Not a lot by today's standard, but was rather huge 5 years ago. At least it's enough to drive the 1920x1200 and 1024x768 at the same time. Photoshop on the big screen, palettes on the small one, perfect!

That's strange considering THIS says the 1.33GHz model only outputs to 1600x1200, i.e. about the resolution of the current 20" 1680x1050 Apple Cinema Display.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

The speakers are not mounted under the keyboard. They are mounted at the backside of the unit on either end for maximum stereo spacing, pointing away from the user. Since the screen folds behind the backside and is at an upward angle, the speakers' sound is effectively reflected back to the user via the screen. Rather clever.

Ok, well that is rather clever. But its reflected sound probably isn't better than the more direct speakers on today's MacBook, Air, and Pro (or 15" or 17" PowerBook G4).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

The microphone pinhole is on the top side (when opened), in the top left corner, opposite from the Power On switch (which sits in the top right corner).
It's rather well thought out and I really miss this clever design. And it has even twice as many USB ports than the MacBook Air, and FireWire.

Now I wouldn't call the 12" PB's mic placement clever. Or maybe I should say, the current MacBook's, MacBook Pro's, and MacBook Air's placement of the mic next to the built-in iSight camera mounted in the center of the display bezel is better.

Saying the 12" PB has twice as many USB ports is a tad comical; it's 1 vs. 2. The most Apple includes in their laptops is 3. I've had two USB ports on my 15" PB for years and rarely used both simultaneously. Most people only ever use one at a time and many will then unplug one USB device to plug in another, even when they have multiple USB ports. I can see why you might need two: a wired keyboard and mouse, or wired tablet.

The loss of Firewire hasn't had much of an impact on most people, especially as Apple has dropped iPod sync over FW and the iPhone I don't believe has ever synced over FW. Actually, I'm not sure they still support charging over FW for iPods at this point. Maybe they see a better chance of beating out USB 3.0 with Firewire 800 or Firewire 1600 (if such a thing is in development).

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

I wish they could speed up the transition to OLED!
If you have never seen one live, I urge you to go check out a Sony XEL-1 11" OLED TV. It's nothing short of stunning! LCD and plasma are both so dead! Regardless of recent advancements. I've you've ever seen an OLED of that quality live, you don't want anything else.

I haven't had the pleasure of seeing one first hand, but from the videos I've seen of them and what I've heard, they're awesome both in terms of of picture quality and thinness. I think I heard the Chinese government is planning on using them in their offices, thus they're going to buy a ton of them to help drive the price down. Pretty nice. That's a much better waste of tax payers' dollars than...say...a war. Don't know if the rest of the world will see any benefit from them doing that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

My thinking was that you can't make the laptop lid any much thinner. Sony demoed OLEDs that are 0.3mm thin. So in theory one will be able to create a laptop lid that's merely 1mm thin - including screen and back cover. But how sturdy will such a lid be?
I think it'll be rather floppy and not terribly strong. So there is a limit how thin a lid can be. And if it has to be thicker for sturdiness, why not fill this 'empty' space with something useful. An SSD as a single flash layers would seem a good choice. A battery is probably going to be too top heavy. And it'll be a while until DVD drives are 2-3mm thin - if ever.

I see where you're coming from, but personally, I prefer a light and firm display like what comes with the Air than a floppy, heavy display that's hard to open. So many laptops put too much weight into the display, making setting the display at different physical angles more difficult. I don't think the thinner and lighter OLED displays will be so light that they will somehow become floppy if they're used in laptops. It's more about the hinge's resistance, I believe.

Also, by the time OLEDs become affordable, we'll likely have thinner laptops as their components get miniaturized or things like internal disc drives are dropped in favor of high capacity solid-state storage, high speed WiFi, and digital distribution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post

And for the 17" MacBook Pro, Apple really needs to add a numeric keypad soon. Everyone else has it. I'd assume pro users also use keyboard shortcuts a lot, hence a built-in numeric keypad would be rather helpful. And most people align their windows along the left screen edge anyway, so one might as well shift the keyboard centered below that window, rather than centered on the screen. That's OK for a screen with 1024 horizontal res where the text window is likely fully centered anyway. But on a 1920 screen you likely won't have the email or Word document window centered on the screen - but rather left aligned. And so should the keyboard.

Haven't the 15" and 17" aluminum PowerBook G4s and their MacBook Pro decedents had numeric keypads for years? Not "true" numeric keypads, but a clever substitute? I'm asking leading questions, so the answer is yes. On my current 15" PowerBook G4, by pressing the F6 key (labeled num lock), most of the number and letter keys are turned off, save a small selection of keys on the right side that are labeled at the corner with numbers in the formation of a real numeric keypad, including +, -, /, *,=, decimal, and clear keys.

People who need a numeric keypad for working on a laptop probably prefer using an external keyboard with a full-on keypad, or they can buy an external USB keypad if they need something portable. Most of the time, though, most people have no use for one. Putting a true keypad into a Mac laptop would make the keyboard feel off center as most people either maximize windows (generally silly Windows users who've just made the switch) or they center the window on the screen until they need to view two things side by side. There are also a lot of people that place windows all around the display so they can just click on the windows to switch to different applications, rather than using command-tab. This would also requiring moving the built-in speakers to the back or under the keyboard, resulting in poorer sound output.

Like DHagan4755 pointed out with that picture, centering the trackpad to compensate for a generally useless trackpad looks odd and ugly too.
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post #278 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

According to THIS, yes. That site catalogs all info on past and current Macs. The poster above, FuturePastNow, is partially right, however all but the 867GHz 12" PowerBook G4 used mini-DVI, not VGA. He's right about the picture being "square" on a 30" ACD because it's a dual-link display.

Ahem. I think you misunderstand.

The 12" Powerbook had a mini-DVI port, but it also had a VGA port. The same port, with adapters for both. It did not support dual-link DVI, which means that no 12" PB could ever drive a 30" cinema display at its native resolution. The maximum resolution DVI monitor it could connect to was 1920x1200. Through a VGA connection, however, the maximum was 2048x1536, and a bunch of old CRTs could go that high.
post #279 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post

Ahem. I think you misunderstand.

The 12" Powerbook had a mini-DVI port, but it also had a VGA port. The same port, with adapters for both. It did not support dual-link DVI, which means that no 12" PB could ever drive a 30" cinema display at its native resolution. The maximum resolution DVI monitor it could connect to was 1920x1200. Through a VGA connection, however, the maximum was 2048x1536, and a bunch of old CRTs could go that high.

Ah...oops! Sorry, I was speaking past my knowledge there. I thought it was DVI or VGA, not both, and I had no idea VGA could offer such high resolutions. Thanks for straightening me out.
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post #280 of 312
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Ah...oops! Sorry, I was speaking past my knowledge there. I thought it was DVI or VGA, not both, and I had no idea VGA could offer such high resolutions. Thanks for straightening me out.

There's no real limit to the resolution or scan speed of VGA. It's just a matter of a faster board. The "standard" isn't limited with analog as it must be with digital.
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