New PowerBooks: your educated guess is as good as mine (but it’s Tuesday or October)

I’m in the market for a new PowerBook: this iBook is getting on for three years old. But just before I spring for the new one, I’m expecting a speed bump, as it’s known. (It’s really galling to buy a machine and have the speedbump come out a few weeks later. That happened with this machine.) But how soon will change come?

Mix in some detail: the big back-to-school (and university) rush is over, surely buying up all those laptops. But you want to have something to jazz up the buyers before Christmas. Which makes it October or November, really.

Ah, and according to Mac Buyer’s Guide: Know When to Buy Your Mac, I should wait until some time in October – probably. Here’s their detail:

PowerBook: last release April 19, 2004; days since update 153 (average = 171)

But even before that comes the iBook, it seems:
Days Since Update: 153 (Average = 155)

Which would suggest an iBook update this Tuesday, PowerBook on October 7th. However, as both tend to get updated at the same time, maybe a date between..?

Note that I’m not claiming any great information here. Just using the statistics, and some obvious marketing thinking.


  1. Well… love my 1.33 GHz 12-inch PB… and my employer would have bought whatever I wanted.

    The 15-inch is a great machine according to colleagues who have them, the 17″ is great for pros on location, but the small size and portability of the 12″ have ushered in a new era of light and unencumbered motion at, be it from office to meeting office to airport.

    I hook the PB to a 19-inch CRT at work, and a 17-inch Apple LCD screen at home… big screen video runs fine… and 12 inches is more useful on the road than I had imagined. Great to just have everything follow me around on the PB…

    If you mainly do email/browser/Office-type apps, the G4 runs about as well as the G5 tower I have at home. If you’re into intensive 3D, very large images or video, hang out for the G5 PB… the G4 PBs are OK, thanks to Velocity Engine, but the G5’s very fast bus and memory make a big difference…

    As far as timing: Murphy’s law dictates that Apple will announce something new within 24 hours of your purchase…

  2. I think I’m going to get the 15″, because I’ve had a 12″ iBook and I just feel like I need some more screen real estate. And don’t have that many spare monitors around. (Although come to think of it there is one lurking under the stairs that I could use… an LCD one… hmm).

    However, Murphy’s Law doesn’t get to bite me here, because I am going to wait for the speedbump. I’ve waited three years – I was ready to buy last December or so, but the finance committee (=spouse) vetoed it.

    Perhaps the next day they’ll announce Keynote 2.0, but that’s not quite the same.

  3. Excuse my apparent obtuseness, but didn’t we just have the powerbook speedbump a few weeks back – ironically at about the time you published my piece on switching to a powerbook. They upgraded the processor power and increased the spec in general – not a quantum leap for sure, but significant and reduced the price!.

    Perhaps your speedbump envisages something more substantial, but for me the 15 inch screen maximises size and convenience while for office work, Office for Mac 2004 is essentially brand new. And from a marketign perspective, I sense Apple will be pushing the fabulous iMac and then Tiger for the next twelve to eighteen months at least while focussing on a greater value for money proposition in laptops.

  4. No, John, we didn’t have what the industry calls a “speedbump” – which generally includes a faster processor. Check the site I linked to – Powerbooks haven’t been updated, in processor terms, for nearly six months.

Comments are closed.