Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The First Intel Macs

John Gruber says:

Releasing Intel-based Macs now might be popular with the keynote crowd and the tech press, but it would come at the expense of a bit of Apple’s credibility with developers.

since the developers had been told they had until June, and he’s not wrong. However, I have to say that from the very moment Steve Jobs announced the June date at WWDC 2005 I expected that the first Intel Macs would ship this January. I don’t know exactly why—something about his word choice and intonation, I guess, combined with the expectation that Apple would want to start the transition as soon as possible.

I can’t think of an Apple product name that’s worse than “MacBook Pro.” The product itself sounds great, though. Interestingly, the screen is slightly larger than the 15-inch PowerBook’s (but lower resolution). Also unlike the PowerBook, there’s no FireWire 800, dual-layer burning, or internal modem, and no estimated battery life is quoted.

Originally, I planned to buy the first Intel-based iBook, however no iBook has been announced yet. The MacBook Pros aren’t shipping until February, and they’re not 12-inch.

So I’m getting a 20-inch iMac Core Duo, and there’s a good chance that it will become my primary Mac. If I understand Apple correctly, each 2 GHz core is faster than a 2 GHz G5 (for non-vector stuff), so the iMac should be faster than my dual-processor G5 tower. To my surprise, this iMac comes with a DVI port for a second monitor, and it’s advertised as supporting extended desktop (no Screen Spanning Doctor required). Alas, the 500 GB model isn’t shipping for 3–4 weeks, and Apple’s developer hardware discount is only around 10%—I thought it used to be close to 20%.

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I too disagree that they lost credibility. They said "by June." If they ship them now, well, that's "by June." I kinda figured they padded it by a few extra months, particularly given the trouble they had with the G5 and when Steve said "within a year" and that turned out to be so bogus.

Oh, and the ADC discount on the $2499 PowerBook (I'm refusing to use the other name) takes it down to $1999 - 20%.

The discount tends to be lower on products that provide a lower margin for them. So it's not surprising the the discount on the iMac is lower than the macbooks.

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