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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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  • How many? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geddes (533463) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:31AM (#14051903)
    How many programs have "fat" binaries, with intel versions?
  • All right (Score:3, Insightful)

    by _vSyncBomb (50710) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:33AM (#14051924) Journal
    Well, it should be no surprise, after that high-end Apple laptops improved *not* *one* *hertz* on the high end since January. Still this is pretty big news, since the PowerBook has had to advance in every other area in the interrim--backlit keyboards, scrolling trackpad, now high-density displays.

    But it will be nice to again have a PowerBook that is actually somewhat fast.
  • Intel- "Ready"? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by adavies42 (746183) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:33AM (#14051930)
    What the hell does "Intel ready" mean? That sounds like a PPC iBook which can have an Intel chip swapped in, which is nonsense. Is this just another meaningless headline from our illustrious editors?
  • by external400kdiskette (930221) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:38AM (#14051971)
    Is if they continue to put cheap stuff in their entry-level machines which are still always going to be more expensive than the windows equivilants. Specifically in the ram and video card department. I mean the people who want OSX anyway are always going to pay a few hundred extra because they want that but to increase market share and become more mainstream I really think they have to make sure they offer the right ammount of power/screenquality/ram/whatever else for the $ , not just a cool physical design.
  • DVD Jon (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HeetMyser (655524) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:38AM (#14051975)
    Although I'm very (VERY) interested to see what Apple's design crew comes up with for these Intel-based machines, the real drama is going to involve watching OS X make its way into the wild, whacky world of x86 commodity hardware. Surely this is going to be one of the most sought-after hacks in the world after the first final release of OS X Intel hits the streets. God help whichever Apple lackey is within 100 yards of SJ when this happens.
  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:40AM (#14051987)
    ...of Edinburgh pub.

    "I don't see a need for Apple to go much below $1,000 unless they are going to offer a really low-end iBook with really low-end features," he said. "Cheap (Windows-based) notebooks are just that. Cheap. They have low-resolution, small hard drives, little memory. Apple doesn't need to compete their. They could keep the price the same and offer more. If you're going to lower prices (on iBooks), then lower them on the high end, and add a third, higher-end model that comes at $1,299."

    Spelling nazis rejoice!
  • by BoomerSooner (308737) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:42AM (#14052003) Homepage Journal
    Lol, that is soooo uncalled for. Funny nevertheless.
  • Humor & irony (Score:3, Insightful)

    by klubar (591384) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:42AM (#14052008) Homepage
    Does anyone appreciate the irony in Microsoft using the PowerPC chip in its XBox and Apple using Intel in its laptops? Both need to implement "on the fly" code conversion to maintain compatibility with older programs. I wonder who has done a better job at an universal converter. (With the XBox 360 some programs have not been made compatible. I wonder if Apple can hit 100%?)

    Of course, as of right now Intel is behind the curve in performance compared to AMD. Presumably if MS can get custom PPC chips, Apple will be getting the hottest and latest Intel chips--maybe even custom.
  • Re:Humor & irony (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Yahweh Doesn't Exist (906833) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:45AM (#14052032)
    I expect Apple to get 100% compatibility via Rosetta quite easily. the only difference is speed - MS needs to run games in "real time" whereas computer programs being a bit slower isn't too much of a problem.
  • It figures... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by XxtraLarGe (551297) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:45AM (#14052034) Journal
    I just bought my PowerBook G4. But then again, it runs all my current software/games flawlessly. As much as I love my Macs, any time I've bought first gen products they've been sub-par. I think I'll wait a year or two so that there's a good enough collection of native software available.
  • by NutscrapeSucks (446616) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:50AM (#14052071)
    My money is on the "Celeron-M" being in both the iBook and the Mini (if the Mini survives the transition). That would allow them to put single-core Pentium-M in most of the Powerbook line, with the dual-core only in special pro models.

    Apple will play dual-core laptops for all the margin they're worth, which means there's no way they will be introduced at the bottom or even the middle of the line-up.
  • by jasenj1 (575309) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @10:54AM (#14052114)

    "The dual-core Yonah chip could very likely deliver performance greater than Apple's current G4-based PowerBooks."

    Could? The dual-core Yonah's had better deliver performance better than any of Apple's current laptop lineup. One of the main reasons for the switch to Intel is the sad state of Motorola and IBM's low-power chips.

    Other places [appleinsider.com] are indicating that Apple will release the Powerbooks first because the higher performance CPUs are what Intel has available now, with the lower performance ones coming in the Spring.

    Not news. Merely rumor.

    - Jasen.

  • Right Timing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by _eb0la_reston_ (930919) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:00AM (#14052180) Homepage
    The announcement date (Jan 2006 at Macworld San Francisco) makes sense: January sales figures are flatline.

    Apple, usually makes new product announcements on January:

        * 2005 - iPod Shuffle
        * 2004 - iPod Mini / XServe G5
        * 2003 - 20" Cinema Display + New Powermacs + New iBooks + iLife + Safari + Final Cut Express
        * 2002 - New iMacs + 12" iBook + iPhoto + OSX installed by default on new machines...
        * 2001 - Titanium iBook.
  • Re:Humor & irony (Score:2, Insightful)

    by trigeek (662294) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:05AM (#14052226)
    Apple getting custom chips from Intel? Not with their market-share. Dell couldn't even get custom chips from Intel.

    Intel makes its money by making the same thing, millions of times. Custom chips just don't fit in that equation.

  • So... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:06AM (#14052242) Homepage Journal
    ...what's the truth here? Are Intel processors more powerful than Motorola/IBM? Has Apple been lying all this time regarding the performance of PPC vs. x86? Why did Jobs sell out to IBM? Remember how anti-Big Blue he used to be? What's going on? More to the point why did MS decide to flip-flop with the Xbox 360 (should have been called Xbox 180, but I'm sure they don't "get" the difference either) and go with a... PPC? So if Apple has been lying all this time and x86 is actually the better architecture, why did they lie to begin with? Was it a poor business decision that they wanted to cover up? Or is something else entirely going on?
  • Re:How many? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pubjames (468013) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:12AM (#14052317)
    they couldn't care less about the direction Apple is moving

    I doubt very much that is true. They may not like it, but to say they couldn't care less is just stupid.
  • by (A)*(B)!0_- (888552) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:21AM (#14052417)
    Management of deadlines is as much about not missing deadlines as it is setting realistic timeframes. If someone tells me a project will be done in six months and they complete it in six weeks, I want to know why the original timeline was so poorly calculated.
  • by embrown (923302) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:24AM (#14052448)
    Not exactly. Apple has had its share of delayed product. Just take the promised "3GHz PowerBook" that never arrived for instance -- that's what got Apple into this whole Intel mess to begin with.
  • by radish (98371) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:33AM (#14052556) Homepage
    It's called "suspend", and it's an option on every notebook I've used in the past 5 years.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:33AM (#14052565)
    You, of course, realize that the deficiencies you perceive have more to do with the fact you're used to system B and occassionally use system A. Most people who use system A regularly claim all those deficiencies (such as the "too far away" menubar (?)) are actually benefits. Likewise, those users of system A who occassionally use system B find system B to be hard to use, confusing, etc (whether "B" means "Linux" or "Windows" or anything else...)

    So to answer your question of "why buy an intel mac", it's "to run OSX". If you don't have a need or desire to run OSX you have no need to buy an intel mac. If, on the other hand, you use OSX by choice, an intel mac makes a perfect choice.

    Duh.
  • no CAD tools for OSX

    The folks at Arcitosh [architosh.com] will be interested to hear that...

    If you're just referring to AutoCAD, emphatically not knowing anything specific, my educated guess is they'll soon be reconsidering leaving the Mac market.

  • by gsnedders (928327) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:37AM (#14052596) Homepage
    They've said they're moving to Intel in 2006 to 2007, and will be finished by June 2007. They've also said Leopard is shipping late 2006/early 2007. Doesn't that make it obvious enough that Tiger will be shipping with Intel?
  • Re:How many? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by justin12345 (846440) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:43AM (#14052664)
    Yesterday's Powerbook is todays iBook.
  • by nikanj (799034) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:51AM (#14052752)
    It can easily be done with intel processors. It can't be easily done with ibm pc (from the 80's) legacy crap.. Apple is not going PC, they're just going x86 instruction set and intel processors.
  • Get A Grip (Score:3, Insightful)

    by NDPTAL85 (260093) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:52AM (#14052764)
    See here's the thing. This is software, not the Civil Rights Movement. I'm not going to deprive myself of an enjoyable and easy to use computing experience provided by Apple (or even Microsoft) just so I can be "free" with "Only If Your Time Is Worthless Linux".

    Have fun not having fun.
  • Re:Don't buy this. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Have Blue (616) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @11:53AM (#14052778) Homepage
    Even a laptop that shocks you when you make spelling errors seems more evil to me

    If you don't see that this is not in fact evil but actually one of the best inventions ever, you need to spend more time on IRC and web forums.
  • Re:How many? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:04PM (#14052919) Homepage
    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.

    Makes me wonder: is this jump in the schedule because developers were quick to transition, or because customers were holding off their purchases until they saw the new Intel models?

  • Re:A prediction (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Glock27 (446276) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:05PM (#14052934)
    I'm ECSTATIC about this news - as long as the rumored ability to dual-boot Windows XP is a reality.

    I think it's even better than that - I think there'll be affordable solutions allowing Windows apps to run at basically full speed under OSX, in a sandbox where they can't harm the rest of the OSX system. Should be sweet, no dual booting!

  • Re:How many? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:14PM (#14053044)
    And I ran Photoshop just fine on an overclocked 40 MHz Quadra a long time ago. But Apple want pros to buy pro machines, so I wouldn't expect them to care too much about Adobe's readiness when setting the release date for a consumer machine.
  • Re:How many? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Brad Oliver (604118) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:17PM (#14053079)
    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.

    Metrowerks is, IIRC, releasing PowerPlant as open-source. However, I haven't seen any announcement from them about an OSX Intel compiler/linker. Do you have a reference for the latter?

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

    by sribe (304414) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:18PM (#14053104)
    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.

    There has been no such announcement. I don't know where you got this; I can only think that perhaps you are confusing it with MW's work on open-sourcing the PowerPlant framework so the community can move it forward with GCC and Intel compatibility. But MW is out of the x86 compiler business, period.
  • Re:Get A Grip (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:25PM (#14053165)
    If you don't care about the Freedom of your software, the capitalists have won.
  • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:40PM (#14053328) Homepage
    How many programs have "fat" binaries, with intel versions?

    I believe that purchasers of consumer machines, like the iBook, are more heavily dependent on the bundled software that Apple provides. Keep in mind that the consumer machines come with AppleWorks, a basic suite with word processing, spreadsheet, etc. Coming from Apple all of the bundled software will be native Intel code.

    As far as other software, with the exception of games and computationally intensive programs - the latter being odd to find on a consumer machine, emulation will probably work well enough in the short term. While the mobile G4 and the Pentium M'ish CPUs may be too close to each other performance wise to make emulation acceptable in general, if an app was only using a small fraction of the G4 CPU then effective emulation is possible. For example if an app only uses 10% of the G4 but uses 90% of the Pentium M when emulated the user experience will be about the same.
  • by nagora (177841) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @12:47PM (#14053416)
    Interestingly, you and I can be on opposite sides of the "Is OS X better than Windows?" question and still both be right.

    I agree. The difference is that I will get modded into oblivion and you won't. It is impossible to discuss any negative opinions of Apple on /. It is taken as gospel by many Mac users that there is nothing to be learnt from Windows and that Linux is in some prehistoric age. But, using a window manager where the windows can be moved without skimming right up to the top, or resized from any point inside the frame is fantasticly useful, to say nothing of a multi-button mouse. But such talk is verboten by the invisible hand of the zealots. And don't even mention AMD!!

    Ah, well, not my problem, I guess.

    TWW

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

    by kuwan (443684) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @01:48PM (#14054116) Homepage
    +5 Informative!? WTF?

    This guy's talking out of his ass. First of all, Metrowerks has not made any announcements that they will make a Mac/Intel version of CodeWarrior (CodeWarrior is the compiler, PowerPlant is the framework). In fact, Metrowerks announced that CodeWarrior 10 would be the last release of CodeWarrior for the Mac platform. Period. End of story. That's why the latest release is so cheap ($99, download only). Also, Metrowerks no longer even exists as a company inside of Motorola. All Metrowerks/Motorola is doing for PowerPlant (the C++ GUI framework) is releasing it as open source so that someone else will be able to port it to MacIntel, they aren't going to be doing any of the Intel work.

    The main reason CodeWarrior had to come to an end on the Mac is because Metrowerks/Motorola sold all of it's x86 compiler technology to a third party, Nokia I believe. They no longer have the rights to develop an x86 version of CodeWarrior. No x86 version means no future on the Mac. Though many of us have seen the writing on the wall for a long time and have expected CodeWarrior to come to an end sooner rather than later.

    Adobe will be moving to Xcode because everyone has to move to Xcode. There is no other option.

    Also, to put the Adobe comments into context, Adobe's CEO Bruce Chizen had an interview with CNet [com.com] where he discussed the difficulties in the transition as well as Adobe's possible timeframe:
    Q: I wanted to get your take on Apple's switch to Intel. How difficult is the process of migrating apps from platform to platform?
    Chizen: Steve (Jobs) likes to trivialize the process and make it seem easy, but moving the apps over is not that easy...Getting over to MacTel is work...

    Q: What are the early returns from the people doing some of the work with the developer market? Not that easy, is it?
    Chizen: It's not that easy because you have to compile the app, you have to test it. If you look at most testing cycles, for any complex cycle, for any complex product, that's three or four months until it's out. You just can't turn a switch and get a MacTel product--and Steve knows that.

    Q: So, when do you think that Adobe will be ready to take Photoshop?
    Chizen: I haven't given a date yet... If you look at our product cycles for products like Photoshop and Creative Suite, they tend to be in the 18- to 24-month cycle, which means that you're talking about either Q4 of '06 or Q1 of '07.

    Contrary to what a lot of mindless posters think, the transition is a lot of work and will be very difficult for many companies.
  • Re:How many? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by tverbeek (457094) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:17PM (#14054477) Homepage
    Makes me wonder: is this jump in the schedule because developers were quick to transition, or because customers were holding off their purchases until they saw the new Intel models?

    I'd think the iBook market would be one of the least affected by this phenomenon, since the lion's share of potential iBook buyers - people who get their product announcements from TV commercials - aren't even aware that there's a switch in the pipeline. And if Apple's suffering from "purchase delay" now, imagine how bad it'll get for the rest of the product line once the general public know about and see Intel-based Macs. They won't be able to give away PowerBook G4s after intelBooks like these ship.

  • by snStarter (212765) on Thursday November 17, 2005 @02:22PM (#14054531)
    Let's see - Apple is going to upgrade the iBook with Intel and, if the rumors hold, it's going to outperform their high-end PowerBook line?

    Does this make sense? Unless the iBooks are so crippled as to be totally uninteresting (slow graphics, very limited memory, bad bus speeds) why would anyone buy an old technology PowerBook?

    Now I can see Apple doing the Mac Mini first but not the iBook if its performance really outstrips the G4 PowerBook.
  • by Phat_Tony (661117) on Friday November 18, 2005 @01:43AM (#14060410)
    "Apple has ALWAYS lead the jump to new and improved technology and aesthetics with the consumer hardware. The pro hardware comes along later"

    Right, like when they introduced the 68030, 68040, PPC601, PPC603, PPC604, PPC603e, PPC604e, G3, G4 and G5 chips in their professional hardware first, then let it trickle down to the consumer line. Or SATA. Or Firewire. Or Firewire 800. Or USB 2. Or DDR RAM. Or the switch from NuBUS to PCI. Or the switch from PCI to PCI-X. Or the switch from SCSI to IDE. Or introducing Apple flat-panel pro monitors before the G4 iMac. Or moving from 16->256->Thousands->Millions of colors.

    The only thing I can think of where Apple moved the consumer line ahead of the pro line are putting USB on the iMac when their pro line was still the USB-less Beige G3 towers. Or if you want to consider aesthetics, then again with the iMac. But these two examples are the only ones I can think of. Can you point out ANY other example? I don't even buy your example of the 6500- the 6500 was part of their pro line at the time ('97). The consumer line back then was Performas, particularly the Performa 6360, Performa 6410, and Performa 6420, all of which were released just a few months before the 6500 and ran at 160, 180, and 200 mhz. The 6500 was the Pro line. It came with 64 MB of RAM and a 4 GB HD, where the consumer line was 16 MB and 1.2 GB. In fact, this isn't so obscure. From the advent of the PowerPC in early '94 with the 6100, 7100, and 8100, until the G3 came out at the end of 97, the pro line went by numeric designations, and the consumer line went by names like Centris, Quadra, and Performa.

    Apple almost always releases the fancy new technology in the pro line, then moves it down to the consumer models.

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