Apple VP: PowerBook G5 possible; will take some time to engineer

“Jon Rubinstein, senior vice president of Hardware Engineering at Apple, spoke to Macworld UK about the Apple G5. While declining to comment on unannounced products, he did concede that the possibility of a G5 PowerBook was simply ‘an issue of good, solid engineering,'” David Fanning reports for Macworld UK.

“He made it clear, however, that the current crop of G5 processors are designed for desktop machines, and a cooler-running version of the processor would be needed for a PowerBook. But he did point to the fact that a few years ago, nobody thought it would be possible to get a G4 processor in a PowerBook,” Fanning reports.

Full article here.

21 Comments

  1. And IBM is set to go full force with Apple. They’re already way ahead of schedule. God… “ahead of schedule”… that must be music to Steve’s ears after dealing with Motorola for so long…

  2. Apple can engineer a lot of it before actually having the chips, and IBM should have the chips ready starting in November of this year. Then finish the development and wait for IBM to produce in volume… I think VERY early 2004 is at least possible. NOT a sure thing, just possible.

    Look at it this way–Apple has been waiting on Motorola to deliver the current G4 updates. It hasn’t actually taken the better part of a year to engineer a .25 MGhz speed bump. So what has the PowerBook division been up to in addition to that? Nothing at all, or… laying the groundwork to get G5s in a PowerBook.

    Apple can only do what’s possible–the laptop situation is just like the tower situation used to be–but they have all the motivation in the world to push the very limit of what is possible. Pressure from Centrino/Pentium M, surging laptop sales, good timing to steal market from Windows, hype about the G5 making the G4s look poor, etc. And Apple has a lot of cash and a lot of talented people.

    So I think there’s a good chance that the ship date of PowerBook G5s will be determined by when IBM can deliver the chips in quantity–not by Apple spending time on product development.

    And waiting for IBM to deliver is a lot better than waiting for Motorola!

    Announce at MWSF04? Ship in Feb? I hate to get my hopes up…

  3. Depends what you want. I suspect that they could engineer a G5 ‘lugable’ – large and heavy with very poor battery life, but would anybody want that? (Take a look at the current crop of Windows portables, such as Toshiba’s 17″ monstrosity)

    Engineering a G5 into the current powerbook 1″ aluminum enclousure is a much different problem.

    We want a G5 laptop, but we want it to be sleek and portable with decent battery life.

  4. the new 15″ powerbook is now 1.1″ thick. I can’t think of another reason why Apple increased the size of the powerbook except to get it ready for the new G5. Apple designed the 12″ and 17″ before the G5 and kept them at 1″ thick.

    Probably there is more room for airflow and heat sinks for the G5. Otherwise they would have simply put in the same motherboard in the 15″ as in the 12″ in an aluminum body and called it a day.

  5. Man, I’m hoping for a G5 powerbook in January. I plan on upgrading my iBook 466 SE to the next generation of Powerbooks next year. <sigh> G5 powerbooks at MWSF…that would be sweet.

  6. I got my PB G4 1GHz Titanium this January. I was kinda pissed about the new PB’s but I knew that it was going to come eventually after the 12″ and 17″ ones came out. But oh well. I decided I’ll was until the Powerbook G5 comes out to upgrade. Imagine a 64 bit processor in a LAPTOP!! Holy crap. That will be awesome. Windose PC’s are already way in the dust…but 64 bit laptops will destroy them. I can’t wait.
    Hopefully it will be mid-next year when they come out. Im really loving this Apple/IBM partnership. IBM is a good, reliable processor supplier that delivers…and ahead of schedule. Go Apple!

  7. AL – The 12″ PowerBook is not 1″ thin. It is 1.18″ thin.

    I must say, I am a little disappointed that the AlBook is thicker than my 2-year-old TiBook. The weight is basically the same, too. Granted, this new machine technically better all around, but still… it’s not just 1 inch thick any more!

  8. One inch thick never im pressed me. size doesnt matter to me.
    However, I was looking forward to a real 64 bit chip
    and substantial increases in processor speeds. I dont want to
    hear rationalizations or excuses–actually when you think about
    it , they cant sell g5 lap tops till after they sell a lot of desk tops
    otherwise no one is going to by the desktops–everyone will just
    by a laptop–so they have to retard the development of the lap top.
    Id rather have a fast and durable machine than a thinner
    machine

  9. Forget the G5 PowerBooks! What about the G7 PowerBooks? What about the G12 PowerBooks?!?

    <O)eeeee[|):::::::::::::::::::::::::::::>

    The new G4 PowerBooks are barely released you bunch of goobers.

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