Breaking News: C|Net reports that Apple lost PowerBook Engineering Plans

Wednesday, 2004-03-31; 20:46:00

Any updates to the PowerBook could be delayed for at least 6 months

(Originally posted on AppleXnet)

In a blow to those waiting for new Powerbooks, Apple has lost all traces of the engineering plans for a previously scheduled speed bump to the PowerBook line, according to C|Net. Apple employees are reportedly "doing everything in our power to locate and retrieve the plans in order to get our update schedule for the product line back on track." From the article:

Pamela Bennett, PR spokesperson for Apple Computer, said that what was lost consisted only of plans for minor speed bump updates to the PowerBook line. When asked about plans for a possible introduction of a PowerBook model with a G5 processor, Bennett declined to comment, saying, "We do not comment on rumors or speculation."

Bennett did indicate, however, that if the plans for modest updates to the PowerBook were not located, liquid-cooled PowerBooks could be put on an accelerated time-table.

According to the MacRumors Buyers Guide, the PowerBook product line was last updated on September 16, 2003. That means that it's already about 6 and a half months old. Alarmingly, if the lost engineering plans for the speed bumped PowerBook are not found, an additional delay of 6 months due to this setback would put more than a full year between PowerBook updates. Despite the fact that Apple's PowerBooks do pack a lot of features into a small package, other laptop manufacturers would have a significant amount of time to put some distance between them and the PowerBook. Apple could be facing a significant dearth of PowerBook sales, despite whatever positive spin Apple marketing executives try to put on it.

Perhaps more alarming is the fact that a PowerBook G5 is farther off than most people thought. Original predictions placed the introduction of a PowerBook G5 at WWDC, but with WWDC less than 3 months away and the revelation that this mishap could cause a 6-month delay in updates, it seems that our best hope for such a product would be at Apple Expo in Paris, which typically happens in September.

Let's hope that either 1) Apple locates these plans or 2) Apple has a bunch of other whiz-bang products up its sleeve to make up for this major delay. It's unfortunate that Apple has been having so much trouble lately with filling the demand for new products, given that there's been almost a 3-month product dry spell since MWSF '04. Apple's future has never looked brighter, and now it's being hampered by all these production and engineering problems. Apple needs to get back on their feet, and quickly.

-- Simone

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