The popularity of Apple’s new
model featuring a combination CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive has caused the company to rethink its retail marketing strategy — a move Apple confirmed today in a conversation with MacCentral. Originally available only as a build-to-order option from the Apple Store, the combo drive-equipped iBook will now be available as a retail option.
One secret to the combo CD-RW/DVD drive’s success may be its novelty as a Mac-compatible optical drive. CD-RW drives are installed across the iMac product line. The PowerBook G4 features a slot-loading DVD-ROM drive. Power Macs feature CD-RWs and DVD-ROM drives, and the vaunted CD-RW/DVD-R “SuperDrive,” but not a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive. The drive is unique to the iBook, not available on any other Mac, even as a build-to-order option.
There’s another change of plans, too. Apple will make its CD-RW-only equipped iBook a build-to-order option, instead.
Apple’s iBook product hasn’t changed — the diminutive portables start at just US$1,299 for a CD-ROM-equipped model configured with 64MB of RAM (less if you’re an educator, student, or educational buyer); $1,499 for a DVD-ROM equipped unit sporting 128MB RAM; $1,599 for the CD-RW model, soon to be build-to-order from the Apple Store; and $1,799 for the CD-RW/DVD-ROM-equipped iBook, now to be made a retail item.