Friday, October 13, 2006

Confounded by Apple

I'm usually pretty good at Apple tealeaf reading - I have a few sources who are good, combined with knowing what websites typically have better sources than me (most of 'em, which is why I don't spend my days running an Apple blog for profit). I also know enough industry background so I can usually predict what direction that Apple is likely to go in.

On the other hand, I've been caught by surprise many times. The switch to Intel was a gobsmacker. Releasing two systems (iMac Core Duo and MacBook Pro) at MWSF this year, only six months after the initial announcement was a big stunner.

And the fact that Apple has yet to release a Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro is a big surprise, too. All the other major manufacturers announced and are shipping their Merom notebooks (Merom is the original Core Duo with a larger cache and 64-bit X86 support - AKA the Core 2 Duo). Apple themselves stuck Merom into the iMac already. But Merom is a chip for portables. So why hasn't it made it to the Apple portables yet?

I'm going to speculate wildly here, but maybe they're waiting for the next forthcoming chipset from Intel before they release. Or they are redesigning the enclosure (the current MacBook Pro is basically stuffed into a modified PowerBook shell). Or maybe it's just because they can't get enough CPUs from Intel right now.

Either which way, the ramifications to me were that I had to cave and buy a current MacBook Pro while I was on vacation two weeks ago (we were down on the Vineyard the last week of September) - otherwise I wouldn't have had a computer for my employee I hired (I stole her from Apple). The upside is that the 17" MacBook Pro (which I bought) is a nice piece of hardware.

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