The Macintel Report

Apple's 2006 Line, Intel Transition Questions, Intel Talks Up Merom and Yonah, and More

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2005.10.27

This Week's Macintel News

Apple's decision to switch to Intel CPUs means we live in very interesting times.

PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing news is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

Anticipating Apple's 2006 Lineup

TechNewsWorld's Rob Enderle says:

"We are anticipating that many of Apple's laptop products will simply no longer have an optical drive of any kind but instead will have a multiple format flash reader slot and an iPod docking port. When docked, future iPods will have access to some notebook functions and be usable as a secondary display.

"...While PowerBooks are beginning to look somewhat dated because they have been around for so long with little change, in many ways they still look more advanced than many of their WinTel counterparts...."

Other Topics Discussed

The Beginning of the End for Optical Drives

"As Apple has been first to move to 3.5-inch floppies and then away from them we are expecting Apple to be the first to move aggressively away from optical drives to other alternatives. Some of those alternatives will be the more integrated use of iPods, other flash-based devices, and an updated iTunes."

2006 Apple Laptops

"...A stronger tie-in to the ever more PDA-like iPod and stronger ties to iTunes like backend services should be present as well. This is where Apple will be taking its biggest gambles and, at least for now, those gambles look like good ones to me."

'06 iBooks

"As we have seen with the iPod, black is the new white. Expect Apple to begin the iBook's color transition next year. The black iPods out now give us a sense of what they'll be looking to accomplish....

"Expect screen sizes in the 12-inch wide and 14-inch wide format sizes....

"...Prices should start in the US$850 to $950 range and cap out around $1,200 for the line."

2006 PowerBooks

"PowerBooks will likely shift to a darker metallic or graphite finish.... The new PowerBooks line should also expand to the first 19-inch wide screen format product in the segment and the possibility of the first dual processor dual core laptop as well in this format.

"PowerBook displays will probably be among the first to get LED backlighting...."

Desktop Lines

"Desktop hardware will be visibly changed as well as Intel favors BTX designs for cooling and noise containment. What's new in this area is small form factor, high performance products...."

2006 Mac Minis

"Starting with the Mac Mini we will see improved graphics performance which will be exploited in the Mac OS updated designed to run against Windows Vista."

Death of the eMac?

"CRTs aren't working well in education anymore thanks to disposal fees and weight issues. Expect a Mac Mini variant to move into this space...."

2006 iMacs

"Moving on to the iMac, expect another design change...."

2006 G?

"The new G5 desktop, which will get a name change, will drop a little in size and get the biggest performance jump of any of the platforms...."

'06 Apple Monitors

"I'm expecting Apple to expand their line to include a 45-inch LCD display with LED lighting...."

Intel Talks Up Merom and Yonah at IDF Taiwan's Vyacheslav Sobolev reports:

"This week at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) in Taipei, Intel has been discussing its next-generation dual-core mobile processor, known as Merom, which will come out in the second half of 2006. Merom will succeed Yonah, Intel's first 65nm processor, which is the main part of the Napa mobile platform and is scheduled for launch in January 2006. At the event in Taipei, Intel also introduced its future mobile platform technology codenamed Robson. The technology, which is now under development, aims to extend battery life, accelerate system boot-up and provide user-visible responsiveness, said vice president of Intel's mobility group and general manager of the mobile platforms group Shmuel (Mooly) Eden."

Intel to Pump $650m into US Fab

300mm wafer output boost

The Register reports:

"Intel is to spend $650m upgrading its Rio Rancho, New Mexico 300mm-wafer plant the chip giant has announced.

"The expansion of Fab 11X will create more than 300 new jobs at the facility, the company added.

"The cash will be used to increase the fab's capacity, allowing Intel to punch out even more 90nm and, soon, 65nm processors than before. It's all about increasing chip volumes which, in turn, allows Intel to reduce prices.

"Intel said the work will see the construction of new clean rooms taking place next year with a view to beginning production early in 2007."

Apple's Transition to Intel in Question

eWeek's Roger L Kay reports:

"Opinion: Apple is moving forward with its Mactel plans. But which machines will be the first in line for a processor refresh? Consumer or pro? The release of new multicore Power Macs may make some wonder."

Clueless Apple Store Employee

ehMac says:

"OK, it is a little anecdotal, I admit . . . but here it is. My Dad, who has never owned a Mac, finally got sick of viruses and marched off to the Apple Store (he lives in Dallas) to pick up an iBook. Before buying it, though, he asked one of the workers there if there would be any issues surrounding the 2006 release of the Intel chip equipped Macs. The worker shrugged his shoulders and says:

"'Um, to be honest, we know absolutely nothing specifically about the new Macs.'"

More Mac News

PowerBook, iBook, and other portable computing news is covered in The 'Book Review. General Apple and Mac desktop news is covered in The Mac News Review. iPod news is covered in The iNews Review.

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