RUMOR: Intel-based Apple iBooks coming in January with extremely low price tags

“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. It is not known exactly what processors or price points the new models will debut at, but it is thought Apple will expand the iBook line with one additional model and will lower prices—in some cases possibly $200 or more—to entice current Windows users and prove to the market it will be more competitive with the likes of Dell, Gateway, HP and Sony,” Ryan Katz reports for Think Secret.

“Those behind the report of Intel-ready iBooks are the same sources responsible for past reports of the Mac mini and photo iPod, first reported by Think Secret,” Katz reports .

Full article here.

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41 Comments

  1. Lower prices? Not likely!

    Apple always fully loads their computers, and adding the fact that Apple will most likely use the very latest chips that Intel has to offer (perhaps even to unique Apple’s specs), there is no reason why the price would change much. The final retail price of a computer has little relationship to the manufacturer’s cost of the CPU.

    For those with more than two neurons to rub together, they know the difference between total fantasy and a rumour.

  2. “Those behind the report of Intel-ready iBooks are the same sources responsible for past reports of the Mac mini and photo iPod, first reported by Think Secret.”

    Much thanks, guys, that helps us narrow things down quite dramatically.

    Expect your information flow to shut off abruptly very soon now.

  3. I’ll bet that Apple has a $799 entry-level iBook model up their sleeves in order to further compete with Windows notebooks, but that’s probably as low as they’ll go.

    All I can say is bring em on. I’ll be right there in January to buy one if they’re released then.

  4. $799 would be a slam-dunk for me since I’d want to add AppleCare. The white case is getting a bit long in the tooth though. I imagine Ive is coming up with a new look to go with a new marketing effort.

  5. It seems to me, and to Nick DePlume at thinksecret, that a yonah based ibook would possibly be faster than a g4 powerbook. You can rave all you want about the inherent effeciency of the g4 but the fact is that frontside bus is 167. Yonah’s is “667 MHz FSB (166 MHz quad-pumped” according to wikipedia. I don’t know what 166 quad pumped means though. Maybe it’s some cheap trick like lengenthing the p4’s pipeline to increase clockspeed without actually improving performance. and it will max out at 2.16, which for anyone who has used the pentium M chips knows, dellivers much much better performance than 2.16 pentium did. The M and yonah are more effecient like the PPC so the work per clockspeed is very comparable.

    If the powerbook is using the g4 at 167Mhz and 1.67ghz and the ibook is using the dual core yonah at 667Mhz and anywhere between 1.5 and 2.16ghz it will probably be faster. For those who need powerbook g4 reliability for pro apps there will still be a reason to buy powerbooks but apple will look foolish selling a faster computer for half the price of their top of the line machines. Then again maybe apple wants to look foolish, instead of saving face on their past decisions to stay with PPC maybe they are ready to make it look like switching to intel is actually for performance reasons.

    either than or they will use the new chips from ibm for awhile, but since the schedule for the change over appears to be vastly accelerated from what we were told I doubt Apple will do it. Plus a kick ass G5 powerbook now would call their switch motives into question by the general public, not just the geeks who follow processor development.

    Anyone have any thought about what apple might do about this possibly contradiction of their cheap machine being faster?

  6. If this is true it’s a shame in several ways.
    1. It’s a shame to see the commoditization of Apple products. Dell was once successful, too, but I don’t think any of us want to see Apple drift that way.
    2. If there are new models coming in January it is a shame that Apple missed some of the Holiday buyers (particularly if the iPod halo effect is real).

  7. Mike Buonarroti:

    If Apple has chosen to get price competitive, there is no reason they can’t. Remember that they have one major competitive advantage that the rest of the industry does not: They don’t have to pay for a Windows license. It’s amazing how much of the cost of a low price PC covers the Windows license.

    Also, to refute your point about processors having little effect on the retail price of a computer, I’d have to disagree. Switching to Intel allows Apple to use more commodity components in the motherboard’s design in place of more expensive custom chipsets.

    There’s no reason to believe that Apple will “fully load” their new entry level notebooks any more than they already do, with this in mind, and the points I made above, it’s very possible that Apple could shave a couple of hundred off the price and still offer as good or better a product than what people are used to.

  8. “1. It’s a shame to see the commoditization of Apple products. Dell was once successful, too, but I don’t think any of us want to see Apple drift that way.”

    What are you talking about? The only thing that will be different about these Intel-macs is the processor and its supporting architecture. The iBook (or any other Mac) will remain pure Apple.

    Why do so many people think that just because Apple is moving from PowerPC to Intel seems to mean that Apple will stop being Apple?

    For future reference: Apple ≠ Wintel world (or anyone else). Don’t try to compare the two.

  9. Pity:

    “1. It’s a shame to see the commoditization of Apple products. Dell was once successful, too, but I don’t think any of us want to see Apple drift that way.”

    Apple’s products have been commoditized for years. SDRAM DIMMs, PCI, USB, AGP, ATA, S-ATA, VGA, DVI, PCMCIA… There’s nothing wrong with commoditization, as long as the design and quality don’t suffer. There’s no reason to believe that Apple’s product designs are going to get worse. They are just parts after all.

    “2. If there are new models coming in January it is a shame that Apple missed some of the Holiday buyers (particularly if the iPod halo effect is real).”

    Yes, but a January release will help Apple keep it’s sales momentum up through the post holiday season which normally takes a big dip, and allows Apple to maximize their PPC investment. Remember the Mac mini? It came out in January and sold like crazy anyways, helping Apple to have strong sales at a time when the rest of the industry is winding down. Intel iBooks at $200 less than what they sell for now would make the mini looks like a slow starter.

    Buy your AAPL stock now while you can!

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