MacCentral readers were first to receive information two days ago about Apple’s intention to allow existing Titanium PowerBook owners to upgrade their system with a combo drive. Few details were available at the time, but today Apple released more information on the subject.
Apple will offer The PowerBook G4 Combo Upgrade Program from January 14 – March 30, 2002, for owners of a 550MHz or 667MHz PowerBook. Owners of earlier PowerBook 400MHz and 500MHz models are not eligible for the upgrade program because the combo drive will not fit, according to Apple.
Apple will post a phone number on its Web site January 14 for customers to call and place an order. When calling to place your order have the serial number of your PowerBook available — the Apple representative will verify that your system is eligible for the upgrade program. You will also be asked for your shipping address and credit card information. When your drive comes in, you will be sent a shipping box so you can send your PowerBook to an Apple Repair Center — your credit card will be billed once the upgrade is complete.
If you live near an Apple retail store, the process will be much faster. Beginning January 14, you can take your PowerBook to a Mac Genius in one of the 27 Apple Stores located across the U.S. to have the combo drive installed. They will verify your PowerBook qualifies for the program and then order the drive. When the drive arrives at the store, you will be asked to bring the PowerBook in to have the service done onsite.
If you live in Canada, Latin America, Europe or Japan, upgrades will be done by an Apple Repair Center. In the Asia Pacific region, selected Apple Service Providers will perform the Combo upgrade since Apple does not have Repair Centers in those areas.
Apple notes that you will not be able to upgrade via the online Apple Store, because the program is being handled by its Apple Care organization. Apple also says that you can’t keep your old DVD or CD-RW drive that they take out of your PowerBook.