Mac Musings

Macintosh 2001

Daniel Knight - 2001.01.03 -

At the end of AD 2000, Apple had five product lines with CPU speeds ranging from 350 to 500 MHz:

With faster CPUs promised, where do we expect things to be at the end of 2001?

DVD will be standard on all models, hard drives will start at 20 or 30 GB and go from there, and no Mac will ship with less than 128 MB of RAM.

The Power Mac

At the top of the line, we expect a faster G4 at Macworld Expo, even if all Apple can offer is 550 MHz (times two processors). Over the course of the year we expect to see the processor speed increase significantly, possibly reaching the 800 MHz to 1 GHz range by the end of 2001.

A four processor Power Mac G4 would not surprise us at all.

The PowerBook

We expect Apple to split the PowerBook line by offering a thin-and-light model, then reshaping the older mainstream PowerBook as even more of a desktop to go. None of these applications demand a G4, although we expect Apple will offer a PowerBook G4 sometime in 2001.

We fully expect to see PowerBook CPU speeds of at least 700 MHz by the end of 2001.

We are hoping for a PowerBook with a 1280 x 1024 screen, either as the norm for the "pro" PowerBook or as a more costly option.

We also anticipate Apple will make AirPort a standard feature of the PowerBook and iBook by the end of the year.

The Cube

Apple has promised a more affordable Cube, something we applaud. With the Power Mac expected to reach at least 800 MHz in 2001, we are confident the Cube will reach the 700-800 MHz range during the year. Most of all we're hoping for a popularly priced Cube, possibly with a G3+ processor.

The iBook

Apple's first model with the PowerPC 750CX (G3+) processor should be available in speeds just one step behind the more businesslike PowerBook, breaking the 600 MHz mark this year.

We would not be surprised to see Apple reduce the bulk and weight, since the iBook is one of the larger, heavier portables on the market.

The iMac

The iMac will still be Apple's bread-and-butter machine, probably accounting for 50-60% of unit sales during 2001. CPU speeds will increase to at least 700 MHz and prices will drop, possibly resulting in a $650 iMac by the end of the year.

We also expect a new iMac design during 2001, one offering a slightly larger viewing area than the current 15" monitor. Although the Windows world seems hooked on 17" displays, we think Apple might just think differently enough to find a supplier for a 16" monitor - a bit bigger than today's screen but not too much additional iMac bulk.

Overall, we don't anticipate any radical changes from Apple, although some evolutionary changes may seem radical.

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Dan Knight has been using Macs since 1986, sold Macs for several years, supported them for many more years, and has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. If you find Dan's articles helpful, please consider making a donation to his tip jar.

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