iBook revision thoughts?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
There has been some speculation on the forum regarding the future of the iBook. If I remember correctly, the last iBook refresh in Fall/Winter 2002 (approx November).



I've been thinking about what they can do in terms of improving the iBook, and I have to admit that I'm not sure how much more we'll see between now and Summer 2004. Here's an item by item list:



Screens: Haven't spent more than a quick glance or two with the iBooks, but it would appear that both the 12" and 14" screens are acceptable. I don't see much happening on this front, aside from perhaps dropping the 12" model?



CPU: I'm rather doubtful that we're going to see a G4 iBook before G5 Powerbooks, though I suppose they could move up to a 1GHz G4. This would overlap too much with the 12" G4 though.



FSB + RAM: At the very least, 256MB base models is a no brainer, because these things eventually have to ship with Mac OS X (specifically without also shipping with Mac OS 9). DDR RAM is also likely, not so much because it's 100% necessary, but because DDR is almost certainly cheaper than regular SDRAM at this point in time.



Enclosure: I don't think we're going to see a new enclosure with the next revision of the iBook, unless it's some minor dimension tweaking.



Optical Drive: CD-RW/DVD combo drive as a base (maybe), with higher end choice sporting a SuperDrive.



Video: Nvidia GeForce Go 5200 32MB? More likely to see 64MB ATI Radeon 7500. I'm pretty doubtful that Apple will do so though, even though that small increase in VRAM would make gamers pretty happy.



Firewire 400, 800, USB 2.



All of the above said, I really have my doubts. The Powerbook G4s haven't had rapid enough growth in the past year for there to be a very clearly defined low end product if Apple wants to update the iBook. Most of my suggestions above would move the iBook to a position where it greatly overlaps with the features of the lower end G4 Powerbooks.



Then again, Apple already had G4 887MHz Powerbooks vs. G3 900MHz iBooks, so I could be wrong.



I noticed that there hasn't been too much iBook hype on the forums, so we'll see if anyone bites.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 5
    lucaluca Posts: 3,833member
    Actually, the iBook was revised once in November of 2002 (same time as the PowerBook 15") and it was also revised in April (?) of this year. It's still due for an update though.



    As far as what it'll get:



    - It's possible that Apple will drop one screen or the other, but I'm really not sure. Unfortunately, as cool as the 12" is, I have a feeling that they'd be more likely to drop the 12" than the 14". They already have a 12" super-compact laptop, if you want one of those you pay for it. If you have bad eyes you can pay less for the 14" iBook. If the 14" iBook takes over as the only model (not really likely, but definitely possible), it will cost the same as the old 12" ones. And perhaps there would be a higher priced model to fill the spot that the 14" currently does.



    - Getting a 1 GHz G4 would basically be making it the equal (or almost equal) of the 12" PowerBook. If it gets a G4, it'll stay at the current speeds (which would still be a respectable performance boost from the G3s). The aforementioned extra slot that would be left open (assuming the 12" model is dropped in favor of an all-14" lineup) could have a special 14" widescreen iBook like pscates drew. But that's not likely at all



    - iBooks will get a G4 in all models at once, and they will get DDR at the same time. I think they'll stay with 128 MB of RAM on the motherboard for a while longer, though, and just ship it with 256 MB of RAM. That will be one (pitiful) way for Apple to distinguish the 12" PowerBook from the iBooks. And, once they hit 1 GHz (which they most likely will with the next update), they'll go to a 133 MHz FSB.



    - I agree on the enclosure. I don't think it could get much better unless it was given a more scratch-resistant matte finish on the OUTSIDE like the dome on the FP iMacs.



    - If it gets a G4, I think a superdrive might be an option on the highest end model. You might even have to buy a 14" to get it (assuming there are still 12" and 14" ones available). Combo will definitely be available, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the base model will still have a CD-ROM.



    - Video is a toughie. The last two updates have had the same graphics card, the Radeon Mobility 7500. The only difference is that the November 2002 ones had 16 MB or 32 MB, and the April 2003 ones have 32 MB standard. I think they'll both still have 32 MB standard, so as not to compete with the PowerBooks, but perhaps they will move up slightly to a GeForce 420/440 Go or a Radeon 9000.



    - No Firewire 800. iMacs don't have it, eMacs don't have it, and 15" PowerBooks didn't have it until last Tuesday. iBooks aren't even on G4s yet. They'll have USB 2 (it seems like Apple is adding USB 2 to all its products now, just as soon as they update them), so I don't see any reason why the iBook won't get it.



    I think Apple will maybe move the iBook into the OS X-only realm in either the next update or the one after that. OS X-only machines are all G4s with 133 MHz buses or faster, and all of them are supplied with at least 256 MB of RAM. Also, they all have Airport Extreme slots and the option of built-in Bluetooth.



    A possible scenario is 867 MHz/1 GHz/1 GHz for the 12"/CD, 12"/Combo and 14"/Combo. Seems reasonable to me. Maybe they'll still be G3s, maybe they'll be G4s with a feature set specially designed to prevent them from competing with the PowerBooks (read: crippled). Even if they are crippled, I bet they'd still make good computers for the money. I think Apple is still trying to work out how they're going to prevent the iBooks from getting in the way of the rather cheap 12" PowerBook. It sure doesn't give the iBook much room to move.
  • Reply 2 of 5
    chagichagi Posts: 284member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Luca Rescigno

    Actually, the iBook was revised once in November of 2002 (same time as the PowerBook 15") and it was also revised in April (?) of this year. It's still due for an update though.



    As far as what it'll get:



    - It's possible that Apple will drop one screen or the other, but I'm really not sure. Unfortunately, as cool as the 12" is, I have a feeling that they'd be more likely to drop the 12" than the 14". They already have a 12" super-compact laptop, if you want one of those you pay for it. If you have bad eyes you can pay less for the 14" iBook. If the 14" iBook takes over as the only model (not really likely, but definitely possible), it will cost the same as the old 12" ones. And perhaps there would be a higher priced model to fill the spot that the 14" currently does.



    - Getting a 1 GHz G4 would basically be making it the equal (or almost equal) of the 12" PowerBook. If it gets a G4, it'll stay at the current speeds (which would still be a respectable performance boost from the G3s). The aforementioned extra slot that would be left open (assuming the 12" model is dropped in favor of an all-14" lineup) could have a special 14" widescreen iBook like pscates drew. But that's not likely at all



    - iBooks will get a G4 in all models at once, and they will get DDR at the same time. I think they'll stay with 128 MB of RAM on the motherboard for a while longer, though, and just ship it with 256 MB of RAM. That will be one (pitiful) way for Apple to distinguish the 12" PowerBook from the iBooks. And, once they hit 1 GHz (which they most likely will with the next update), they'll go to a 133 MHz FSB.



    - I agree on the enclosure. I don't think it could get much better unless it was given a more scratch-resistant matte finish on the OUTSIDE like the dome on the FP iMacs.



    - If it gets a G4, I think a superdrive might be an option on the highest end model. You might even have to buy a 14" to get it (assuming there are still 12" and 14" ones available). Combo will definitely be available, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the base model will still have a CD-ROM.



    - Video is a toughie. The last two updates have had the same graphics card, the Radeon Mobility 7500. The only difference is that the November 2002 ones had 16 MB or 32 MB, and the April 2003 ones have 32 MB standard. I think they'll both still have 32 MB standard, so as not to compete with the PowerBooks, but perhaps they will move up slightly to a GeForce 420/440 Go or a Radeon 9000.



    - No Firewire 800. iMacs don't have it, eMacs don't have it, and 15" PowerBooks didn't have it until last Tuesday. iBooks aren't even on G4s yet. They'll have USB 2 (it seems like Apple is adding USB 2 to all its products now, just as soon as they update them), so I don't see any reason why the iBook won't get it.



    I think Apple will maybe move the iBook into the OS X-only realm in either the next update or the one after that. OS X-only machines are all G4s with 133 MHz buses or faster, and all of them are supplied with at least 256 MB of RAM. Also, they all have Airport Extreme slots and the option of built-in Bluetooth.



    A possible scenario is 867 MHz/1 GHz/1 GHz for the 12"/CD, 12"/Combo and 14"/Combo. Seems reasonable to me. Maybe they'll still be G3s, maybe they'll be G4s with a feature set specially designed to prevent them from competing with the PowerBooks (read: crippled). Even if they are crippled, I bet they'd still make good computers for the money. I think Apple is still trying to work out how they're going to prevent the iBooks from getting in the way of the rather cheap 12" PowerBook. It sure doesn't give the iBook much room to move.




    Good point regarding the second iBook refresh, forgot about that one.



    I think choosing a laptop depends a great deal on what you want to use it for. For example, the base price on an iBook for educational buyers is $1350 CND. Perfect choice for note taking, report writing, e-mail, web, IM, etc. that your average student does.



    I have the further intent of being able to code on my laptop (if I scrounge up the funds to buy one), so again, performance isn't the hugest issue. Should also be comfortably portable.



    And finally, when it comes to gaming, it's all done on my PC (P4 2.1, 128MB GeForce 4 Ti 4200). I'll be willing to sacrifice on that aspect because it's doubtful I would want to play games on the laptop. DVD would be nice for the purpose of watching movies in my room without disturbing others in the house. Also, I refreshed my knowledge of the Radeon 7500, and even with 32 MB VRAM, it's a better choice than any PC laptop in the price range.



    Intel "Extreme" Integrated graphics? Puhhhh-lease.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    all laptops should be widescreen I still believe that the ibook gives access to many schools and students and must have a model that is very low in price.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    iBooks won't get G4s. The G4 is history. The iBook will get 1 GHz in January, and a faster G3 in summer 2003.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    IBook will get one more G3 refresh (1Ghz, 256 base RAM)



    I don't think it will see another G3 based refresh after that, possibly mild price drop in Q2 '04 and it WILL get a G4 sometime in H2 (late Q3-mid Q4) '04. Just a few months before the advent of the PB G5.



    PS, if it is a G3+altivec (for our purposes, that's a G4 and will be marked as such)
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