The addition of a 14-inch version of the “ice” iBook to Apple’s portable lineup might appear likely to cannibalize sales of the 15-inch Titanium PowerBook, but the company apparently doesn’t think so.
Sandy Green, Apple product manager, told MacCentral that many professionals and those who into high end graphics would still go for the TiPB with its slightly larger screen and G4 processor. Plus, those who need expandability via a PC card slot and the ability to run dual displays will continue to choose the titanium model, she said.
However, folks who don’t need such features will find the iBook line a good value, Green said. The new 14-incher is a pound heavier than the 12-inch model, but she doesn’t think the difference is substantial.
“A larger screen was one of the most requested features from users,” Green said. “And the 14-inch model is still extremely competitive in terms of size and price.”
Two other changes in the bulked up iBook are more memory and longer battery life. It comes with 256 MB of RAM compared to 128 MB in its smaller siblings. And the battery life is touted as being six hours instead of five. Green said the longer battery life is due to its larger size.
Batteries for the 12-inch iBooks won’t fit into the 14-incher’s case. However, the dimensions of the data ports on the left hand side of the iBooks are the same both the 12-inch and 14-inch models are the same. This means products such as the US $12.95 Portector, a soft s strip that covers and protects the data ports, will work on both configurations.
Besides a new model, the new iBook line has gotten a price cut. The entry unit is US $1,199 for a 12.1-inch active-matrix display and CD-ROM drive, reduced by $100. An iBook with a 12.1-inch display and the a combo drive (CD-RW/DVD) is $1,499. The 14-inch model is US $1,799, which, until this week’s Macworld San Francisco, was the price of the system that’s now $1,499.