September 22nd 2003
By Mike Flaminio
The Register reports that Apple may be readying a G4-based iBook or at least that's the information one sharpie gleaned from the margins of an ad for UK Mac-reseller Dabs.
The specs listed, however, would appear to be a dead giveaway that this report is at least highly flawed -- G4 500MHz with a 60GB drive and 256MB RAM, as well as a 15-inch screen.
Simply put, even if the iBook were to get faster DDR memory and front-side bus (FSB), a PC133-equipped 900MHz G3 would still likely be more powerful. Also, IBM already has faster G3s ready, as well as even more low-power, low-heat silicon in the pipeline. Mutliple reports around the web have stated these chips will sport faster bus and memory capabilities that will rival if not best the G4.
Further, the availability of a 15-inch LCD would likely cannibalize PowerBook sales -- assuming no one minded using a "pitiful little" 500MHz G4.
As IGM reported back in June, the next revision of the iBook is expected (Think Secret) to include 1GHz and 1.2GHz G3 processors. Given Motorola's well-known difficulties in producing sufficient numbers of new (ie 7547) processors, these plans may have changed. Also, several models in the PowerBook G4 are still stuck at 1GHz and it's highly unlikely Apple would ship (superficially) faster G3 iBooks.
The one factor that says The Register story may be true? A desire on Apple's part to consolidate its codebase by reducing the number of processors it must support.
New or refreshed iBooks are likely any time now that the PowerBook has been refreshed. Nevertheless, 500MHz? I think not. What's your take?