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Apple Planning Intel iBook Debut for January? 577

Posted by Zonk
from the apple-christmas dept.
axonis writes "Apple is planning to release its first entry-level iBook laptops with Intel processors next January at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, highly reliable sources have confirmed to Think Secret." From the article: "Apple will almost certainly tap Intel's forthcoming Yonah processor for the iBooks, a successor to the company's Pentium M. It is unknown whether Apple will go with a dual-core version of the processor, slated for release in January, or a single-core version, which Intel announced in August would be delivered shortly after the dual-core version. The dual-core Yonah chip could very likely deliver performance greater than Apple's current G4-based PowerBooks."
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Apple Planning Intel iBook Debut for January?

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  • by Nerftoe (74385) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:44AM (#14052027)
    If someone were to say "Next January", that would mean January 2007. If one intends to imply January 2006, simply "January" would suffice.
  • Re:How many? (Score:5, Informative)

    by ciroknight (601098) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:48AM (#14052057)
    "enough". Apple's been silently distrubiting updates as fat-binaries. It's very likely you won't notice, or even care for that matter, but I'm sure in a few [weeks/months/years] someone will have a binary stripper to remove the unnessicary part of the Universal Binary.

    I think Apple just gave mid summer as an estimate to give the developers of 3rd party applications more time, as well as themselves if they needed it. Now they've figured out that the developers were quick to transition, everyone's bitting at the chops, and delaying it any longer seems to be a bad idea. Can't wait to get my hands on one.
  • Re:Humor & irony (Score:3, Informative)

    by masklinn (823351) <slashdot,org&masklinn,net> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:53AM (#14052091)
    Presumably if MS can get custom PPC chips, Apple will be getting the hottest and latest Intel chips--maybe even custom.

    The MS guys have been working with IBM engineers for 2 years to build the XBOX360 chip (based on the IBM PPE design, which is also PS3's Cell root and more than likely the base of Revolution's CPU as well. A completely different beast than the Power4 which was the base for Apple's Power970 chips)

  • Re:Intel- "Ready"? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ciroknight (601098) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:55AM (#14052122)
    Intel-"Ready": All binaries (libraries, applications, frameworks, drivers, kernel) are set up to run on either PPC or Intel archtectures.
    This means the software is "Intel-Ready", just as your computer might come "Internet-ready"; it has all the software installed and configured for any number of different internet connections, but it is up to you to choose which one to use.

    The only issue I see is dust-busting the system to remove all the cruft you don't need; Fat binaries are a waste of space if you're not flipping back and forth between archetechures, so the sooner someone comes out with a fat-binary stripper, the better.
  • Re:How many? (Score:5, Informative)

    by jcr (53032) <.jcr. .at. .mac.com.> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:03AM (#14052215) Journal
    I'm sure in a few [weeks/months/years] someone will have a binary stripper to remove the unnessicary part of the Universal Binary.

    This has been in NeXTSTEP and Mac OS X all along. See /usr/bin/lipo on any Mac OS X machine.

    -jcr

  • Re:How many? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Beautyon (214567) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:11AM (#14052297) Homepage
  • xbox 360 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Junta (36770) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:12AM (#14052315)
    Think their marketing message is that it is 'revolutionary', and hence 360. xbox 180 would be saying whatever we did last was wrong and we are going a totally different direction, but that isn't the message they feel is correct. They want people to perceive that they have been getting it right, but this next console will revolutionize things along the path they demonstrated, but not abandoning the overall strategic direction.

    Yes, it marketize and is confusing, but xbox 180 clearly would send the wrong message regarding their confidence/commitment when the last platform didn't totally bomb. Now other companies that have had horribly bad reputations have done things like say 'we screwed up and learned, try us again', but if their isn't the wide perception of screwing up, the message would just be bizarre.
  • by Been on TV (886187) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:12AM (#14052319) Homepage

    The highly reliable sources ThinkSecret often cites, most of the time produces so, so predictions.

    Statments like "The dual-core Yonah chip could very likely deliver performance greater than Apple's current G4-based PowerBooks." does not sound too reliable. Why on earth would Apple intro systems with less performance than current models -- and I am not just thinking in terms of real processsor performance, but perceived system performance? They'd be the laughing stock of the industry. Unless they can put a system into the market that gives a noticeable better performance than what is possible with the G4, they will wait. Apple does not want the Intel experience to be mediocre. They want it to be top notch.

    I find the predictions AppleInsider made last Friday to be more sensible, but I am still not sure if Apple would put the 32-bit Yonah into the iMac, as it may be seen as a step back from the 64-bit G5. I've commented on Apple's 64-bit roadmap and how to get there [andwest.com], mentioning av 64-bit Yonah, which is really the Merom. Perhaps Intel may have been able to bring this chip forward in time from fall 2006 to this spring, enabling Apple to go straight to 64-bit from day one.

  • Re:How many? (Score:5, Informative)

    by larkost (79011) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:18AM (#14052386)
    Where are you getting these "quite clear" positions?

    Adobe was prominently on stage for the announcement of Apple moving to Intel and promised their eventual support. They did say that there was going to be a bit of work because they were still a PowerPlant house, but they were going to make the transition.

    And that does not take into account the recent announcement from Metroworks that they were going to make a PowerPlant Mac/Intel version of their compiler after all. That could make the transition much easier. I would still rather that they moved over to an XCode project, but that might not be convenient with the requirement that this build quickly on both MacOS X and Windows from the same codebase (it is of course possible... I am talking about convenient).

    Now Apple has released a few great products recently, and in the video space they are directly competing with Adobe... although most people would say that they are more accurately competing against Avid... But in the image space: I can't think of any product that Adobe makes that compares with Aperture... unless you talk about the image browser in Photoshop, and that is really stretching things. Aperture is going to sell more copies of Photoshop.
  • Pro vs. Consumer (Score:4, Informative)

    by MacGod (320762) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:23AM (#14052444)
    If this rumour proves true, it will be an interesting shift for Apple. Apple has traditionally kept its consumer machines at much lower performance levels than its pro machines. The notable exception being the current G5 iMac vs G4 PowerBook. But I can't remember a time when the iBooks would outpace the PowerBooks (or the iMacs outpace the PowerMacs). Yet with the Intel upgrade (as TFA said), a Yonah-iBook would likely perform more strongly (on universal binary apps anyway) than a G4 PowerBook. Interesting times indeed....
  • Re:Don't buy this. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:27AM (#14052480)
    TPM or TCM would be used to prevent you from running OS X on non-Apple hardware, so it wouldn't negatively impact you if you're running Apple hardware. You are free to run Linux or Windows on an Intel Mac, as has been publically stated by Phil Schiller, Apple's VP of Marketing.
  • Re:How many? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Golias (176380) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:38AM (#14052604)
    You want to run Photoshop on an iBook?

    I run Photoshop all the time on the current iBook.

    Some filters take a few extra seconds to apply, but it works great.

    No need to be all bold-type incredulous, sport.
  • by pohl (872) * on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:38AM (#14052612) Homepage
    Yeah, the G4 really is a nice little laptop processor if you can feed it instructions and data fast enough. Sadly, most G4 machines were unable to do this consistently because of the bus and the type of memory modules. The latest iteration of the PowerBooks [apple.com] made an improvement in this regard. The processor isn't much faster than the last rev, but these machines feel much faster, probably because of the increased bandwidth between the processor and memory. For audio applications like GarageBand, the AltiVec [wikipedia.org] unit really increases the effective instructions-per-clock. The way they've offloaded a lot of work onto the GPU has helped to extend the life of the G4 too.

    I'm sure they've run out of ways to squeeze more out of it, though.

  • Could very likely?!? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Guspaz (556486) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:39AM (#14052627)
    The dual-core Yonah chip could very likely deliver performance greater than Apple's current G4-based PowerBooks.

    Could very likely? That's quite a bit of uncertainty.

    The Pentium M is roughly performance-equivalent to an Athlon64 of the same clockspeed (The PM is still a bit weak in the multimedia department, but Yonah is expected to fix that. The statement holds true for gaming, at least). Assuming that the dual core Yonah ships at the same max speed as current Dothan processors, that means 2.26GHz. That's roughly an Athlon64 X2 4400+. The PowerBook ships with a single 1.67GHz G4. I think it is safe to say that the processor "definately destroys performance-wise" rather than "could very likely deliver performance greater than".
  • Re:I want to see... (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrtrumbe (412155) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:48AM (#14052725) Homepage
    And how long does it take?

    Have you seen how fast a Mac goes into and wakes up from sleep? Hint: it's much faster than suspend.

    Taft

  • Re:And the point is? (Score:4, Informative)

    by rco3 (198978) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:05PM (#14052937) Homepage
    "Why buy an Intel Mac?"

    Err... because it's a Mac, is faster than a G4 Mac, but still runs OS X? I *like* OS X, but that's not what "zealot" means. Nor does "zealot" mean "someone who disagrees with Nagora." "Zealot" means "A person who is fanatical and uncompromising in their religious, political, or other ideals." Interestingly, you and I can be on opposite sides of the "Is OS X better than Windows?" question and still both be right. Those are "opinions", you see. To each cat his own rat, and all that.

    Oh, and here's another definition for you: "Troll: 2) Informal computing. A message or posting on the internet designed to provoke an indignant response in the reader." My opinion is that you got downmodded, not by zealots, but for posting a troll. HAND.
  • by Phillup (317168) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:06PM (#14052953)
    I think what they are trying to say is that the intel system, running emulation, might deliver performance greater than a G4 running native apps.

    'Course... that's a wild ass guess.

    But, it "fits" the facts a lot better.

    Especially when you consider that right off the bat there will still be a lot of non-native software. People really will expect to install a lot of their *current* software.
  • Re:Now I wonder... (Score:2, Informative)

    by ClamIAm (926466) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:22PM (#14053131)
    Centrino means NOTHING except that it has a Pentium M, Intel chipsets a,b,c and intel wireless chip x,y,z. "Going" to Centrino does not give Apple benefits except in marketing.
  • Re:All right (Score:3, Informative)

    by mstra (38238) <matt@stratton.gmail@com> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:33PM (#14053258) Homepage Journal
    Yonah would have to be hobbled like the dude in that Heinlein story

    "Harrison Bergeron" was a short story by Kurt Vonnegut, not Heinlein.

  • Re:Don't buy this. (Score:3, Informative)

    by prichardson (603676) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:41PM (#14053348) Journal
    I know you were joking, but seriously...

    When I take notes in my music history class my spell checker borks on almost all of the names and most of the terms. The problem is that a lot of the time I'm switching into german or italian. A spell checker with any warning more severe than a red underline needs to be a lot smarter than anything we have now.
  • Re:How many? (Score:3, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:48PM (#14053429) Journal
    Except when it comes to resale value. I keep looking on eBay and seeing old PowerBooks going for significantly more than an equivalent-spect iBook - sometimes even when the iBook is new. I have no idea why this should be.
  • Re:I want to see... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:48PM (#14053432)
    And how long does it take?

    Have you seen how fast a Mac goes into and wakes up from sleep? Hint: it's much faster than suspend.


    My Thinkpad T23 (running Windows XP) comes out of suspend in less than half a second. Maybe that's not as fast as Mac laptops, but certainly fast enough for me. My Mac Mini actually wakes up slower than that, though.. So I don't know what you're talking about.
  • by blackmonday (607916) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:00PM (#14053580) Homepage
    I agree that the 12 inch powerbook screen needs to be updated, and I have a feeling it's about to change to a widescreen format. But iBooks are meant for students, and doing basic tasks. If you need more screen get a Powerbook. The last revision of the 15 inch powerbook saw an increase in the screen resolution. I have an older tiBook, and I love the screen as-is.

    Don't forget about an external monitor through DVI. I recently went laptop shopping (I needed an XP machine), and I couldn't find a laptop with DVI other than the Powerbook. With an Intel CPU and Windows Dual Boot, thats gonna be a hard laptop to resist.
  • Re:I want to see... (Score:2, Informative)

    by schotter (17230) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:32PM (#14053948)
    OS X does offer that feature. It's not on by default.
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:39PM (#14054027) Journal
    The low resolution is because of, not in spite of, Mac OS being a graphics platform. Apple displays are all (with the exception of the 14" iBook) 100dpi. This means it is very easy to ensure that things are the same size on screen as on paper. Increasing the resolution by a small amount would introduce scaling artifacts when enlarging any pixmap UI elements. I would imagine that they will probably only upgrade to 150 or even 200dpi (I have a 225dpi display on my Nokia 770, and it is very, very nice). With sub-pixel AA, a 100dpi screen is okay, but starting to look a little dated.
  • Re:I want to see... (Score:3, Informative)

    by RzUpAnmsCwrds (262647) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:23PM (#14054540)
    Have you seen how fast a PC notebook with a modern BIOS sleeps and wakes? Have you heard of 'reduced latency suspend state'?

    My notebook can wake as fast as the hard drive can spin up. I have raced it against a friend's PowerBook - and won.
  • Re:I want to see... (Score:3, Informative)

    by adam1101 (805240) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:32PM (#14054638)
    ...how they implement the instant-on stuff. None of this "hibernation" crap, when I open my powerbook, I start working. Done and done.

    And it it can be easily implemented on Intel arch, why hasn't it been done?

    My old ThinkPad 600X takes many seconds to start up from suspend. OTOH my new ThinkPad X40 wakes in about a second. I open it, count to one, and start working. Done and done. Hibernation is optional (and very nice on this machine, about 20 seconds cold start, I basically use it instead of power off). That you personally haven't seen it doesn't mean that it hasn't been done on "Intel arch", whatever that means. It basically all comes down to the BIOS implementation, of which there are many varieties.
  • Re:I want to see... (Score:4, Informative)

    by John Newman (444192) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:53PM (#14054859)
    I think the main difference between Suspend and Sleep is the power usage. Macs use only a few % of power per day in sleep, so it's perfectly realistic to *never* turn off your laptop, even if you go for a week without using it. Whereas my friends' Dells use so much power in Suspend mode that if they leave it for more than a day they risk draining the battery. I also haven't seen wake-on-open (vs. wake-on-keypress), but that must due to cheap manufacturers' implementations. I can't imagine there's a difference between the two at a BIOS level.

    I don't know if the difference in power usage represents something fundamental, or just different designers being more or less careful with power management. I don't really doubt that Apple will be just as careful with their Intel designs as they have been with their PowePC ones.
  • Re:I want to see... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Graff (532189) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @03:54PM (#14055553)
    Actually Mac OS X does have a "Hibernate" mode, it's called "Safe Sleep"

    It's fully enabled on the newest PowerBooks but you need to fiddle around a bit to get it enabled on previous models.

    Here's a guide on how to do it: http://www.andrewescobar.com/archive/2005/11/11/ho w-to-safe-sleep-your-mac/ [andrewescobar.com]
  • Re:How many? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 18, 2005 @11:51AM (#14062858)
    I run Photoshop CS just fine on an 800MHz G3 iBook with 640MB RAM. Like mentioned above, it just takes a few extra seconds on some filters but all in all it works great to be a 3 year old iBook.

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