Tarun Reflex

October 15, 2008

Apple Unveils new series of Macbooks | www.apple.com

Apple refreshed its notebook computer lineup Tuesday, introducing faster, greener machines and cutting the price of an entry-level model to about $1,000, all in time for the holidays.
The new computers, which Apple announced at a press event at its Cupertino headquarters, take their design cues from the lightweight Macbook Air notebook that Apple unveiled in January. Apple expected to start shipping the updated computers Tuesday and have them in its retail stores today. The computers have rounded cases like the Air’s and are made using a similar manufacturing process that helps to reduce weight and internal parts while adding rigidity.
“This is a tour de force of engineering,” company Chief Executive Steve Jobs told those attending the event.
That it may be, but some analysts questioned whether Apple’s emphasis on design over price was out of touch with the times, given the ongoing economic crisis and wide expectations of a recession. Other manufacturers have been cutting prices, and one of the fastest-growing PC segments has been the so-called netbook market, where machines often sell for as little as $300, analysts noted.
That’s a market that Apple doesn’t play in, and the company moved in a different direction from its competition. Except for its entry-level notebook — which sports an older design — Apple maintained its prices on other notebook models and even raised the price on one model.
updates will help “Apple maintain its image of . . . attention to detail and overall focus on the end-user experience,” said Bob O’Donnell, an analyst with industry research firm IDC. But, he added, “The price points are a little high.”
Wall Street analysts had speculated before the announcement that Apple might cut the price of its entry-level Macbook even further to $899. Investors Tuesday seemed disappointed that Apple chose not to go that far, analysts said. Apple’s stock closed regular trading off $6.18, or 5.6 percent, to $104.08.
At the event, Apple announced updates to its entire notebook lineup. The consumer-level Macbooks, which formerly came in a plastic shell, now will sport an aluminum enclosure, except for the $1,000 low-end model. The company is replacing the Intel chipset — but not the Intel microprocessor itself — in all its notebooks with one from Nvidia. Apple is also replacing the integrated Intel graphics chip in its Macbook notebooks with one from Nvidia that Apple says will run four to five times faster.
Additionally, Apple has removed a wide range of hazardous chemicals such as PVCs and arsenic from its new notebook computers or their manufacturing process. The notebooks have earned a gold rating from the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool, a service sponsored by the Environmental Protection Agency to help consumers judge the environmental impact of particular products.
Apple’s computer sales have outgrown those of the broader PC industry in 14 of the past 15 fiscal quarters, Tim Cook, Apple’s chief operating officer, noted at the event. The updates should help the company maintain that momentum — at least in the near term, analysts said.
Apple’s event may not have answered questions about its pricing strategy, but it did confirm without a doubt that Jobs is indeed alive and kicking. Apple’s stock plunged earlier this month on a false rumor that the iconic CEO had experienced a heart attack, one of a series of rumors or reports about Jobs’ well-being in recent months.
Jobs, whose gaunt appearance hasn’t noticeably changed in recent months, declined to take questions about the state of his health, but noted that his blood pressure is a healthy 110 over 70.
Apple”s new crop
The Mac maker updated its notebook lineup on Tuesday. Here”s a look at its new offerings:
Product-Category-Base Proce
Macbook (entry)-Consmer notebook – $999
Macbook -Consmer notebook – $1,299; $1,599
Macbook Pro (with 15.4-inch display) – Professional notebook -$1,999; $2,499
Macbook Air – Thin and light notebook – $1,799; $2,499
Base specs:
Macbook (entry)-Consmer notebook – $999 :
2.1GHz processor; 120GB hard drive;
1GB memory; Intel integrated graphics processor
Macbook -Consmer notebook – $1,299; $1,599
2.0GHz or 2.4GHz processor; 160GB or 250GB hard drive; 2GB memory; Nvidia integrated graphics processor
Macbook Air – Thin and light notebook – $1,799; $2,499
2.4GHz or 2.53GHz processor; 250GB or 320GB hard drive; 2GB or 4GB memory; Nvidia integrated and discreet graphics processors with 256MB or 512MB of video memory
Macbook Pro (with 15.4-inch display) – Professional notebook -$1,999; $2,499
1.6GHz or 1.86GHz processor; 120GB hard drive or 128GB flash drive; 2GB memory; Nvidia integrated graphics processor
What”s new
$100 price cut
Unibody aluminum case; Nvidia chipset and graphics chip; LED-backlit display; larger glass trackpad; $100 price hike on higher-end model
Unibody construction; dual graphics chips; larger glass trackpad
Larger drives; Nvidia chipset and graphics chip; mini DisplayPort connector
Whats new in Macbook (entry)
Base price: $999
What”s new: $100 price cut
Whats new in Macbook
Base price: $1,299, $1,599
What”s new: Unibody aluminum case, Nvidia chipset and graphics chip, LED-backlit display, larger glass trackpad, $100 price increase on higher-end model
Whats new in Macbook Pro
(with 15.4-inch display)
$1,999, $2,499
Unibody construction, dual graphics chips, larger glass trackpad
Whats new in Macbook Air
$1,799, $2,499
Larger drives, Nvidia chipset and graphics chip, mini DisplayPort connector

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