Spring iMacs Give Clues to Future

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Date: Thursday, February 6th, 2003, 00:00
Category: Archive

The announcement of the Spring iMacs comes post-widespread speculation of the revamp. That said, all lines have now been updated in January except for three: XServe, iBook and iPod (and part of the TiBook line, I suppose – so four). Allow me to rationalize a few projections.

Since the iBook was re-tuned just three months ago, I think it’s specs are safe until July. Whether we see the G4 7457 or not, I think a iBook refreshing will probably occur then. Long and short – if you want a new iBook, don’t wait.

Amid all the wild, nay ridiculous, rumors of the iWalkingPDAPod, I strongly suspect a more quiet continual evolution. Larger capacities are a good guess, and perhaps *more* features, but never a completely new product that would ever be mistaken for a PDA. There is no need, so get over it Newton freaks! Long and short – if you want a new iPod, don’t wait.

Quickly, I think it’s very obvious the current 15″ TiBook will be updated, sooner or later, to a new 15″ AlBook. When? Perhaps in February, maybe later as inventory allows. Heck, it may not be done yet! Long and short – if you want a new 15″ TiBook, don’t wait.

Finally, XServe is the interesting line I’ll be watching. Remember that the newest core logic board technologies went into XServe (167MHz Bus, 333MHz DIMMs, etc) first before popping up in the rest of the PowerMac line. XServe RAID is so heavily expected by all that I doubt it won’t happen. But with the Dual 1.42GHz PowerMac stop-gate released at the end of February, it’s highly unlikely we’ll see the IBM 970 in the prosumer line this fall.

Inventory alone suggests this, if not for the fact the everyone’s perception that a processor will arrive on schedule is horribly optimistic. Apple is now selling about 7000 XServes per quarter. Let’s say they would also sell 100,000 PowerMac per quarter as well. If IBM can start production on time and IF they can mate the chips successfully to AltiVec and IF the I/O works at 1/2 processor speed, you’ll need far less chips to feed your server line that you would your prosumer line.

Think Dual – 14,000 chips at spec versus 200,000 chips. I truly think you will see XServe Raid at Macworld Expo this July. The timing will be right, the inventory will be right and the need will be right. It will be a phenomenal chance for Apple to test the IBM/Apple marriage on a smaller scale while widdling the price of the IBM chip down for use in the prosumer line when the G4 finally runs out of the fumes it’s been clinging to. Of course – if you want a new XServe, don’t wait (maybe).

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