Analyst: I’d be surprised to see an Apple PowerBook G5 in 2005

“For Apple Computer, releasing a G5 PowerBook continues to be a weighty issue. Apple customers have been waiting for the company to deliver a PowerBook driven by the G5 chip for some time. The more powerful chip first arrived in the Power Mac line in 2003, and Apple began offering it in the iMac last year,” David Becker reports for CNET News.

“The computer maker is well aware that Mac fans want a G5 PowerBook, and technically, the company could offer one now. But given the relatively power-hungry nature of the IBM PowerPC 970FX processor–Apple has dubbed the 970FX and its predecessor, the 970, ‘G5’ chips–a G5 PowerBook would require compromises in size, weight and other aesthetics such as noise production. Apple, and likely most of its customers, wouldn’t be willing to live with that.” Becker reports.

“‘It’d be this really thick, heavy notebook, and it would be loud as all get-out,’ said Kevin Krewell, editor in chief of the Microprocessor Report. ‘Those would not be design choices that Apple would want to pursue.’ Although the wait might be painful for customers who want the latest technology from Apple, the company is likely to hold out for a low-power G5, a chip that could come later this year. The lower-power chip would consume less watts and also produce less heat, allowing Apple to fit it inside the thin chassis that’s typical of a PowerBook,” Becker reports. “Michael Gartenberg, an analyst for Jupiter Research, said he would be surprised to see G5 portables in 2005. ‘A G5 PowerBook is going to happen, but not as soon as a lot of people would like,’ Gartenberg said. ‘Apple is concerned about preserving the entire mobile experience, as opposed to just putting a G5 in a box and sticking a handle on it.'”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We wonder what happened to the previous editor in chief of the Microprocessor Report? You know, Peter Glaskowsky, the guy who said almost a year ago of the PowerBook G5, “I doubt it would be later than July or August [2004]. If everything had been just on a slightly different schedule we might have seen them at Macworld [San Francisco 2004].” More info here. The moral of the story: nobody outside Apple (except perhaps for Nick C.) knows for sure about the PowerBook G5’s progress and Apple sure isn’t about to spill the beans about when it’s coming while they’re trying to sell the world speed-bumped PowerBook G4s.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple unveils faster PowerBooks starting at $1499 with ‘scrolling TrackPad, Sudden Motion Sensor’ – January 31, 2005
Analyst: Apple PowerBook G5 to debut no ‘later than July or August’ – February 23, 2004


  1. I honestly think this last speed-bump of the Powerbooks will be the last one with G4 chips in them. So we could be looking at early next year before we see a real G5 chip in a powerbook. I would love to get a Powerbook, but for right now, I’m happy with my iBook, plus, I kinda need cash for other bills. But when Apple introduces the G5 Powerbooks, you can be rest assured, they’ll do it right. And by then I should be able to get one.

  2. I’d love to see a G5 Powerbook, but I’m in no hurry. My 1.33Ghz 15″ Al PB does everything I need. I found that with 1GB of RAM, it *flies*.

    It’s right sexy too.

    There’s nothing like sitting in Starbucks, opening up the powerbook and watching everyone’s eyes drawn to your screen.


  3. Apple has definitely hit a few problems with the G5.
    No powerbook g5 in or 3+Ghz Powermac in sight.

    As far as introducting new computers Apple´s only option was go small and retro – ala the G4 macmini.

    Apple can´t really do much else until the G5 problems are solved. It can´t offer lower end or high end. It can´t bump up iMac speed without hurting powermac sales.

    And since Apple does not promote its software or OS Apple is kind of in a hold pattern for promoting newer, faster computers. (Yeah I know they introduced some faster powerbooks, but they are G4s…)

  4. MacMonkey: “There’s nothing like sitting in Starbucks, opening up the powerbook and watching everyone’s eyes drawn to your screen.”

    And then the women go sit with someone else while you sit and surf for porn…

  5. We all remember how long it took for the G4 Titanium PowerBooks to come out after they had come out with the G4 PowerMacs…Looks like the same thing is happening now with the long-awiateed G5 PowerBook.

    And I guess history repeats itself again…this time in the form of IBM. Motorola had some problems with speed-bumped G4 chips a long while ago, and now we’re having problems in seeing new, faster G5s come out.

  6. Apologies first – Anyone else have problems downloading music from the iTMS? Seems it’s totally busted the last 2 days. can’t download without a -50 error occuring.

  7. According to the technical charts posted by MDN–assuming I’m reading them right–Apple to scale back the G5 clock to 2.0 GHz (from 2.5) and get down to only 40 watt consumption (as opposed to 100). Is that right? If it is, why the heck can’t they get a PB G5 out?

  8. I gave up waiting for the G5 PB in April when the 1.5 15″ PB came out. Added a gig stick and doubt if I wold buy a G5 PB for a long time. If I heed more power I swap the original 256 stick for a second gig stick.

    With half a billion in R&D each year you know that the good folks at Apple are working on a lot of things we will want to spend out money on in the future, but my little G4 is a great notebook. Perfect for business trips and hooks to a 23″ display in the office. I really can’t tell the difference in daily use when comparing it to the 20″ G5 iMac at home.

    If Freescale can deliver then the G4 has a long life ahead of it.

  9. Re: way off topic

    No but I have been getting error code (502) when I click on my shopping basket!

    This started happening when I updated Itunes to the latest version.

    ANy help solving this would be highly welcome!!!

  10. Explain to me why, for 99.5% of users, you need a 64-bit CPU. For a laptop a dual-core 32-bit CPU will be a monster. Someone post a list of apps that would in any way run better on a G5 than a faster 32-bit chip. The 970FX will have to be power scaled and will run slower than the MPC7448. Then list how many people actually use and need such applications.
    I stand by my view on the FreeScale MPC7448. The MPC7448 has every advantage- low power use, runs cool, has dual VPUs (imagine FCP on a PowerBook with 2 CPUs & VPUs) and is ready for the existing design and form factor with minimal modification.
    This obsession with a 64-bit CPU on a laptop has little need driving it.

  11. Asking why users would need 64-bit CPU support is like the 10 MB’s is all you need pitch and those folks at MS, such as Bill Gates saying in September 1988 how people didn’t need a GUI and DOS was just fine. There are countless applications that will benefit from 64-bit address space. Of course, if you don’t already know, it would be not of much use for me to reel off a list of them as you probably would wish to argue how users really don’t need them. Who says it has to be an either or? What makes you think there are not or might not be dual core 64-bit CPU’s that Apple/IBM will introduce when they deliver the PowerBook G5’s later in the year. More than encountering technical issues Apple is having a crisis of business and stock consciousness. Business is good and there are not really any pressures in the marketplace at this time to push them to deliver them. But in 3-6 months, the landscape will be decidedly different plus there are a disruptive hardware items coming from various obliques. Even if they don’t delivery them, it is not because they can’t but it will be more a matter of market spacing and not real need to deliver them just as the situation is right now with the line topping off with the 1.67 GHz. Look for Apple stock to split and as they build this up again, they will begin likely pushing performance speeds again.

  12. Since people are only really concerned with the name of this thing … Apple should just rename the dual core G4 chip a “G6” when it’s available – whack ’em in a powerbook and sell ’em like hotcakes …

  13. Hazard’s Dad:

    Actually, I don’t think it’ll be less of a disaster – which is why I’m adding a minimum of six months to the rumored “first silicon” date.

    However, I think IBM are due to debut a couple of new techniques at 65-nm (strained silicon??, or is that already out with 90??) which are supposed to help with issues like electrical leakage, so maybe that’ll bring the thing back into line.

    The point is: no 64-bit in a PowerBook until a 350, and not really the big issue that everyone (Budo included) seems to think until a) the OS is largely 64-bit aware and b) there is a reasonable portfolio of 64-bit savvy apps.

    Be patient, it’ll come and be done right.

  14. With regard to the comment above from MCCFR, is it not the case that “Tiger” is built around 64bit (hyperthread tech) which should theoretically make the G5’s far faster.

    In relation to all you guys who are gonna die soon if you cant get a G5 PB, wake up and smell the coffee. A G5 will appear when Apple get the right mix of design, functionality. style and cost. Beleive me you will survive with the pefectly adequate and stunning G4 PB, which is still a country mile ahead of the wintel slabs which are currently on offer.


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