October 29th 2002
By Mike Flaminio
Following up on IGM's report on October 25 regarding a possible TiBook rev November 5, it appears that the impending revision may not bring a DVD-R SuperDrive to the PowerBook.
MacRumors quotes Greg Joswiak, who spoke to News.com in an article published October 28.
Joswiak, senior director of Apple's worldwide hardware product marketing, said to News.com that "We'll offer them as soon as the slot-loading drives are available,"
Apple's PowerBook shipments plunged by almost 40% in the most recent quarter. Recently, Sony shipped a DVD-R-equipped notebook, while Toshiba plans to start shippings its DVD-R Satellite today.
Pioneer, manufacturer of Apple's desktop SuperDrives, has now produced a slimline notebook DVD-R drive, but it is uncertain whether a slot-loading model has been produced at this time.
However, the slot-loading CDRW/DVD Combo drive in the current TiBook also took some time to bring to market, due to both its slot-load feature, as well as the difficulty in designing a drive slim enough to into the PowerBook's 1" chassis.
According to News.com Dell will not bring a DVD+RW notebook to market for some 6 months - a move sure to hurt the company. DVD+RW is around 6 months away for notebooks. Dell does not want to release DVD-R notebooks to have them superseded by DVD+RW, probably for technical and support reasons. In the short term at least, this will give the DVD-R format the edge.
Analysis: The very elegance of the Ti is becoming self-defeating: due entirely to its design parameters, Apple have to wait - and sacrifice much-needed Pro sales - until a third-party manufacturer produces an ultra-slim DVD-R that's also slot-loading.
Put is another way: you could have one on an iBook right now, if Apple so desired. Can we have our expansion bays back now, please Steve? At least we can put what the hell we like in them.