The 'Book Page

Survey Says....

August 21, 1999 - Dan Knight - Tip Jar

Since Steve Jobs unveiled the iBook, I've taken two online surveys too see what Mac users think of the iBook.

What's the best feature?

The first survey asked, What is the iBook's best feature? Options were

  • wireless networking
  • competitive price
  • rugged design
  • colors
  • the handle

My guess was that AirPort would win, since the iBook would be the first consumer computer with a high speed wireless networking option. Over half those who responded voted for wireless networking as the best thing about the iBook.

In second place was the iBook's competitive price (see The Price Is Right for my analysis of how the iBook compares with Wintel laptops).

Here are full survey results:

Wireless networking

54%

 

 

Competitive price

20%

 

 

Rugged

14%

 

 

Colorful/color choice

8%

 

 

The handle

3%

 

 

What's the worst flaw?

The second survey asked, What is the iBook's biggest flaw? Options were

  • Too little memory
  • Too few colors
  • Too small hard drive
  • Too big/heavy
  • Too expensive

This time, there was no break out winner. Too expensive took the top spot by a few votes, but just one-third of those surveyed thought the iBook was overpriced.

Almost as many complained about the 32 MB standard memory, seeing this as the chief flaw of the iBook. Fortunately, it will be an easy one to solve.

Less than half as many said the limited color choice (blueberry or tangerine) or hefty size and weight of the iBook were the biggest problem. And only half that number thought the 3.2 GB hard drive was too small.

Here are the full survey results:

Too little memory

32%

 

 

Too few colors

13%

 

 

Too small hard drive

7%

 

 

Too big/heavy

15%

 

 

Too expensive

33%

 

 

Conclusion

Apple seems to have achieved some reasonable compromises in the iBook design. AirPort is the star feature, followed by reasonable pricing and rugged construction.

Still, most Mac users had hoped for a less costly iBook, so the price is seen as the biggest problem the iBook has -- followed closely by limited memory.

Fortunately, several mail order vendors are taking orders for the iBook at it's regular price, but with 64 MB total memory installed. This should answer the complaints of some about price and limited memory.

The price should eventually resolve downward, once the shortage of displays it behind us. Let's hope Apple's investment in Samsung results not only in all the screens they need, but also helps lower the price of those screen.

When that happens, Apple may be able to reduce iBook retail by up to US$200.

iBook & PowerBook Page sponsor Outpost.com is taking iBook orders for blueberryicon and tangerine with 64 MB additonal RAM (96 MB total) for US$1,629.

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