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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really think that the iBook G4 is a bad business move for apple for now. For low end consumer use the iBook G3 had LOTS of good life left in it. If Apple wants to make less margine (using G4's as opposed to MUCH less expensive G3's) well that is their (POOR) choice.

It really is a silly business move as the low-end Mac line has no real competition in the first place. How many low end P4 laptops are on the market? Not very many (most low end PC laptops use a Celeron or AMD processor which is comparible to a G3)... so why move your low end line into high end processor.

Very stupid business decision on the part of Apple, some product managers should get the axe for this one. It lowers their margins (higher production costs) and now cannibalizes the low end of their Powerbook line.

In addition it alienates their curtomers who have recently bought products (ie. like me).

I think that they are REALy great products... Apple just should have waited 8-12 months before releasing them.

[ October 22, 2003, 10:38 PM: Message edited by: da_jonesy ]
 

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I dont think its a BAD decision, poor one maybe. Apple is trying to produce a very nice looking low end laptop. I agree the G3 is a great chip but if apples bean counters think that using a G4 will be good for business maybe we should trust them. To me its not like any corporation to make a move like this withoug having a master plan, and with Christmas shopping season quickly approaching this is timed (i think) just right.

It adds a little incentive for people buying their son/daughter/parent a laptop because now "its redesigned so hey it must be better right!". Its all sales VS cost, and I think it will certainly be easier for apple to convince a x-mas shopper that a iBook is a better deal due to the price. Especially when the average shopper is under informed and doesnt realize the differences. (Limited memory, less cache, slower bus, no superdrive, etc) They see the words "G4 processor" on both boxes and assume its the same thing at a better price.

I don't know about you but I wish I had the money for a powerbook. But I don't, and I really thing this is a very good deal. Personally im taking it as more of a blessing, I mean if apple can surprise us all with a G4 based iBook why not surprise us with a G5 based powerbook sometime soon aswell? ;)
 

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I think they will keep there margin as they now have 8 models using the G4 processor. (3 x iBooks, 2 x 12"PB, 2x15"PB and 1 x 17"PB)

Maybe not the same product number, I don't keep track of such things. But still all the G4 processor.

Also Motorola may be willing to deal as they have been one up'd by IBM and the new G5.

As for the product change and anyone that has recently purchased. Every electronic update is bitter sweet. Always has been. :(
 

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LOL sorry Heart, maybe I should put a disclaimer right before that. Something like "For those with a empty wallet but thirst for toys stop reading now! The images which could stir in your mind may not be good for your health... or your wallet" :D
 

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I personally beg to differ. The G3 is old, it debuted in 1997, making this year the 6th year it has been in use. Although it is still being developed, it doesn't have the AltiVec engine that makes the G4 so much better then the G3. Also, it is believed that within a year or so, Apple will be buying the G3s with AltiVec and most likely still remain naming them G4s. With the move to a G5 for the high end machines, there is no need to have 3 different processors being used in the products. The iBook, is not a product Apple aims to make a large amount of profit on. Apple makes much more profit on the high end systems, and reduces the amount of profit made substantially on the lower end systems.

Many low end PC laptops may use a Pentium 4, a Celeron, or an AMD but that makes no difference. The G4 is still a slower chip. Those chips are much faster. The G4 is not high end by any reach. Its only high end for the G4 line, which compared to everything else in the world is still lagging behind. Thank you Motorola. :rolleyes:

The new iBook will not be cannibalizing the PowerBook line much, if at all. The iBook is most definitely a high end consumer laptop, but not a professional laptop. If you compare the two, a 14" iBook and the 12" Powerbook, there are differences in bus speed (33Mhz makes a big difference), the amount of RAM, and the ability to connect to other devices. The iBook doesn't come with a SuperDrive for one, among other things. The iBook is still a consumer laptop, where it should have been all along. The PowerBooks is still lagging behind where it should be, thanks to Motorola, and hopefully come January and MWSF they will be brought back into the real world with the higher speeds and substantial performance found with the G5.

How has it alienated users like you? Apple has been set back long enough to finally release a consumer version of their laptop that passes 1 Ghz. I don't see many PC laptops under 1.6 Ghz.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
No no no... I meant their manufacturing margin. The G3 chip is much less expensive than a G4 (not to mention the whole slew of problems that they've been having with the portable G4 processors in the first place).

Since the G4 is more expensive... that cuts into Apple's bottom line as they are not passing that cost on to the consumer.

And on top of all of this they now have to pretty much kill the 12" PB line... And sunsetting a product is costly... not to mention the waste in terms of expense in building a product line in the first palce.

Don't get me wrong... these are sweet machines that by the sounds of them I would recommend... The issue is that someone at Apple isn't doing their homework or job correctly.

Apple isn't perfect... recall the days of the Powermac 5200 or 4400... or licencing clone Macs and then revoking those licenses when they realize it is canabilizing their hardware sales. Apple is REALLY good lately on design, but I think they missed the "business" boat on this one.

To all who buys these machines... Kudo's they look like a great value... Apple however needs to get some managment in there and kick some ass on this one.
 

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perhaps.. by buying more G4 chips apple is able to cut the cost of ALL G4 chips. Did you ever consider that? I mean an iBook line would significantly increase the number of chips they are purchasing and therefore lower the manufactoring costs.

And we don't exactly know where Apples bottom line is if you know what I mean... It might cut it a bit but who knows it could only be something like 40 bucks. But then Apple takes into account the increased revenue generated by the increased sales of people upgrading their iBooks or choosing this as the right time to get an iBook.

Believe me I think the Apple Executives thought long and hard and crunched ALOT of number before making this jump. Also its been pointed out that the 12" PB line has features totally unavailable on the iBook line so there is still going to be a demand for it.

Believe me I don't need a superdrive so I have no intention of spending the extra bucks on a PowerBook whos Power im not going to fully use. Instead ill grab myself a nice iBook which might be more suited to my needs. And now with this update and refresh of the iBook line its suddenly become much more tempting


Anyways there are just alot of factors to weigh in before we start jumping to conclusions if this is good or bad. Personally I think its a good move on apples part and shows them taking another step forward.
 

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Actually, the 7440 class G4's are less expensive than the 750GX G3's now. They are actually pretty expensive.

I am a little puzzled by these systems, the 14" iBooks sold pretty poorly, while the 12" iBooks were very popular, yet only the low end iBook is 12", so why even bother with the 14" iBooks?

But hey, if it made sense it wouldn't be Apple.
 

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So far so good for heat, etc. Looks like it's got some decent battery life too. Way to go Apple. I'll be buying a Rev C in a year or so. Can't wait.

[ October 24, 2003, 08:56 PM: Message edited by: Chico Sanchez ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Naaaaa I can't see it. I mean, yeah theoretically buying more G4's will decrease your per unit cost for the the G4 processor... however, When you already have production capacity for the G3 and a tried tested and true architecture (system boards, etc...)... the costs to develop the new iBook line had to be enormous.

Now the arguement that the G3 lacks the Altivec engine... well how many apps really use it? Does Safari? or iCal? or Mail? sure apps like iMovie and iDVD do... but then those apps were really meant for the higher end hardware anyway.

And to think that a bunch of Apples executives crunching the numbers made this happen is not exactly correct IMHO. My guess is that some senior management (below the executive group) approved this. And my guess is that it must of caused political chaos way down in the trenches between the iBook and Powerbook product groups. Companies do this stuff all the time... Executives aren't on top of every facet of a business... they put trust in their underlings and look at everything at the 30,000 foot level, that's what executives do.

From the outside I guess some senior level product line managers must have put some sort of business case together with some nice Keynote presentations (notice I didn't say PowerPoint) got the initial sign off and went ahead. But was their any REAL substantive research put into a business case like that? No Way (there never is in the high tech industry)... real research, polls, focus groups, etc... takes months and high tech companies don't have that much time.

These guys are not business gods (well maybe their industrial form factor designers are). All I'm saying is that their timing was ill chosen. If I was them I would have waited till the whole PB line was on a G5 (which would be sometime next year) and then I would have released the G4 iBooks.

All that they are doing now is causing confusion in the market place by having way too many poducts in a similar price/feature range.

Another company that is guilty of this is Palm... they do the same thing. Car companies do this all the time as well (however Car companies have the luxury of much longer product development schedules).
 

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The Motorola MPC7440's are DIRT cheap and the logic design is probably damn near identical to the other powerbooks,

I tend to agree that Apple might have been further ahead pushing the tried and true iBook design while leaving the 12" Powerbook in place - but this isn't exactly an Edsel
 

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You guys crack me up! Apple surprises us with a great update to a product line which has been underpowered vs the competition, and the complaints just roll on in.... :mad:

What this has done is put a G4 machine into the price range of a lot more people. Apart from the chips, look what else the iBook does for Apple's streamlining in manufacturing: no more tray-loading CD mechanisms. There's some volume on the slot-load models now (on the order of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands if you consider the school deals).

The Powerbooks will still sell to the people who know what a Powerbook is and can do. The iBooks, particularly with this config and price point, will continue to win new Switchers to the Mac.

If Apple can do this, and still make money (of which I have absolutely no doubt), who are we to second-guess that decision? Are we so used to having to play catch-up, to being (at least in the public eye) in the underdog position, that we have a psychological conditioning against being happy when good things come?

Enjoy this! :D Evangelize! Trumpet the new products to friends and foe alike! Sell a whole whack of 'em for Apple if you're worried about the company's health.

Besides... Apple still has a few BILLION dollars sitting in the bank. If Steve and the other folk at Cupertino are ready to start taking a few risks with the bottom line, so be it. I applaud the move!

:cool:
M
 

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here here, me too! im not at all surprised one bit, it was only a matter of time they did this... I'm still going to buy the 12" powerbook because it has a faster processor, bus, more ram capacity, bigger hd, bluetooth, audio input and a cooler lookin case IMO...

G4 is better than G3. these machines aren't only made for email and word processing.. if that's all you need it for buy a pc.. graphics, video and audio are not as uncommon as some of you think.. this is a GREAT move and about time!

when's that G5 laptop comin out?? ;)

[ October 23, 2003, 12:27 AM: Message edited by: kloan ]
 

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Yeah, I agree that it's good business to put the fastest chips/architecture in every model as soon as the price point the bean counters want is met.

My guess is the new iBooks use the 7457, a new variant of the G4 that uses less power than the 7455 found in desktops; thus it makes sense to put 'em in iBooks now.

Since Motorola is spinning off it's money-losing chip business, I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't go pretty far to have some orders on the books to keep potential investors happy.

Lets not forget PPC chips have always been cheaper than Intel chips at the wholesale level (lot of 10,000); at times they've been half the price.

The G5 probably costs a fair penny while it's in early production, but that should change. Finally, IBM may well be ramping down the G3 fab plants to make room for more G5 capacity.
 

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Gordguide, it looks like the new iBook G4s are still using the older 7445 processor as it still has 256k of L2 cache. I could be wrong there though, I haven't seen any in depth specs yet.

As to the "Do we want to see a 1.25 Ghz G3?" question, yes, yes we do.

The next generation of G3s will have a 1MB L2 cache (that is 2x what the best G4 has right now) and reach speeds of about 1.5 Ghz, the generation after that will have 1 MB L2 cache and Altivec Support.

Unless Moto gets the butt in gear, the G3 could very well surpass the G4 in terms of power. Of course, I am basing that on the fact that Moto shipping schedules have been really slow. They could get a better G4 out the door in the near future too.

--PB
 

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Some people have been panning Apple's decision to have a 14" iBook, but for me, it's the main reason why I'm now considering an iBook over a PowerBook. Up till now, I have been debating between a 12" and a 15" PB, preferring the smaller one because of the weight, but finding the screen size on the larger one better for reading text. I have a Pismo, and I find it a perfect size and screen resolution for a portable - both are mirrored in the 14" iBook. So this gives me one other option. I'll wait and see all the models before deciding, but even then, my Pismo is working just fine and doesn't have to be replaced yesterday. Can wait to see if Panther speeds it up any.
 

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This is definately a evolutionary move.

--

iMovie and iDVD do... but then those apps were really meant for the higher end hardware anyway.
iMovie is bundled in G3 iBooks and I have seen and hear may people using it for video editing. Meant or not for high end Apple promotes them in G3 iBooks.

And we have discussed in may forums, people posing the question, 'Will Photoshop perform will with a G3 iBook?"
And the answer now is definately yes.

Now just pick a portable they all have a G4 processor. Pick your screen size and pick your features, and lay your money down.

Three processors was too confusing. Hurray for Apple! I for one will be promoting alot of portables - PowerBooks and iBooks
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Naaaaa... Three processors wasn't confusing... it was differentiating.

G3 Home/Education/Consumer
G4 Prosumer/Mid Range Professional
G5 High End Professional

It wasn't confusing at all... Now it is confusing. With two product lines using the same/similar processors with so much overlap in the $2K range... this is just silly.

I stand by what I said... great product by the looks of them... poorly executed on Apple's part. They should have waited until the Powerbooks were being released with G5's next year.

I'm sure that the Apple channel managers must be having a fit... I have heard no reports as to G3 iBook availability (remember how hard it was to come by powerbooks before the last rev?)... that's how you manage a channel... you let supplies dwindle (you sell out existing units... this creates demand anxiety as the last units get snapped up). Then you release the new units.

Any of you who think that Apple is flawless when comes to business execution is deluding themselves... these guys are falable just like everyone else (well except when it comes to industrial design as of late).

Let's just see how long the 12" PB G4 lasts... cause it won't. NO ONE will pay a $800 premium for 12" Combo PB G4

12" PB G4 Combo $2299
12" iBook G4 Combo $1499

Lets see $800 more gets you a what? Somewhat less sturdy case, bluetooth, mini DVI, slightly faster processor, a little bit more on board memory...

Honestly this is the death of the 12" Powerbook. So we will be back to only the 15" and 17" Powerbooks and 12" and 14" iBooks.

And still no one has told me (convincingly) why Apple had released these this early. I see NO competitive pressure for the G3 iBook... these are great machines that had LOTS of life left in them commercially.
 

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I think it is about time Apple made this move to make their portable line all one chip the G4.

This will stop the confusion for most consumers when it comes to looking at a G3 vs G4 notebook from Apple. You can't tell me that has never happened. Ever try explaining to a new person why they should buy a 6yr old outdated processor chip G3 over a more recent G4 chip? That was where the confusion started and it got worse. People kept on asking can this G3 run this and that? Well now with a G4 across the line, guess what? Those questions should no longer be asked.

What does the consumer have to decide now?

1. What screen size?
2. Superdrive or no Superdrive?
3. How much hardrive space do I want?
4. What are my uses?
5. Do I want DVI or not?

It is now so much easier for a consumer to decide which one is right for them. As for the iBook competing against the 12" Powerbook? Yeah right. Take a hard look at the main differences and you will see that the 12" Powerbook is on its own.

Apple has done a great job here and I'm happy. I was looking at getting the 15" Powerbook because I didn't want a G3 14.1" iBook. I wanted the size of the screen and a current chip like the G4. I don't need the amount of gadgets or power from the 15" Powerbook for what I do. Now that the iBook comes with a G4 14.1" that fits the bill nicely at $843-$1000 savings depending on what model from a 15" Powerbook, I no longer need a 15" Powerbook.
 
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