Argument for the new PowerBook G3

Posted by:
Date: Monday, February 1st, 1999, 00:00
Category: Archive

At first I was very wary of the possibility of a third laptop making the product lineup. The new iBook is so feature rich, it makes it hard to believe that a product could be sold between the iBook and the PowerBook. But then I took a closer look at these offerings.


At first I was very wary of the possibility of a third laptop making the product lineup. The new iBook is so feature rich, it makes it hard to believe that a product could be sold between the iBook and the PowerBook. But then I took a closer look at these offerings.

An inspection of the pricing shows an US$800 gap between the high-end iBook and the low-end PowerBook. US$800 is a pretty large gap and can certainly be filled by a PowerBook G3 for users who want a larger screen, a Cardbus slot, and are willing to pay for it; but, don’t need the speed of a G4, and don’t want to pay for it. Let’s call them Business users.

Will sales of these PowerBook G3s cannibalize sales of iBooks and PowerBook G4s? Most certainly. But only a small percentage. The majority of consumers and students on a budget are still going to opt for the incredibly affordable iBook. The majority of professional multimedia content creators are still going to opt for the incredible power of the PowerBook G4.

The important thing to realize is that what will also potentially happen is Apple will gain Business buyers that wouldn’t have purchased either the iBook (too small a screen, can’t use their Ricochet modem) or the PowerBook G4 (too expensive for their primary need, which is running Office). The percentage of potential business buyers who want/need a larger screen and a Cardbus slot will far outweigh the percentage of potential cannibalized iBook and PowerBook G4 sales.

Everyone says it, but I will state it here once again – Apple’s needs to gain market share. The only way to gain market share is to offer a wider variety of choices. Apple can’t/won’t do it through licensing, so they must do it in house. If this means cannibalizing a few sales of one product to introduce many sales through another product, then it must be done.

After consideration, I hope the rumors are true. I look forward to seeing the new PowerBook G3 at Macworld Expo New York 2001.

Recent Posts