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MacBook - Why no serious updates on Macbook?


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livinitup1

 
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I don't know about you Macbook owners but when I noticed that the Macbook Air had an LED screen and a multi-touch trackpad I already knew that they would be adding these functions to their other notebooks pretty soon. Just not THIS soon. Like many others my homepage is the Apple Live homepage which tells you all of Apple's new updates in a feed format. When I noticed that they updated the notebooks this morning I was shocked and excited. The big let down was that the new features which were seen in the Macbook Air were not added to the Macbook, just the Macbook Pro.

Although this is a big let down for me I can understand why. Apple is currently trying to keep the costs of the Macbook relatively constant, so the vast majority of people can afford it. Adding a new processor and bigger hard drive without the price of the notebook increasing makes sense due to the fact that the price of hardware falls relatively quickly since hard drives are getting cheaper to manufacture and increase in storage.

The question is: When will we see the LED screen and multi-touch trackpad in the Macbook?

I am personally hoping that they are added in the summer along with a semi-redesign of the Macbook itself. I'm sure they can make that thing a little thinner and not so heavy as it is now.
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bryphotoguy

 
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The MBP switched to an LED screen long before the MBA came out, so that's not new.
As you correctly stated, Apple is trying to hit a price point with the MB so MAYBE towards the middle/ end of the year we might see those features. The new processor cost has to drop some before they can invest more in other newer technologies for the MB.
how dissapointed would you be if they only updated the screen and the touchpad and kept old processor? Would you feel cheated because it had an older processor?


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tmorgan1689

 
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bryphotoguy has a good point, they can't bring everything to the Macbook as the same time the cost for Apple would offset the price and they wouldn't make any money. The screen will be updated the next big update.

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I think you may be giving Apple a little too much credit by saying the reason is to help the consumer with price. You're saying they can't put these features in the MB without raising the cost, so why were they able to put them in the MBP without raising the cost? Honestly, I think the real reason is putting in a multi-touch trackpad, and to a lesser degree, an LED screen, in the Macbooks would make them more competitive with the MBA and cannibalize sales of the MBA. I'm not saying Apple is bad for doing so, just that the real reason is probably this.

You could see the same strategy in the iPhone and Touch. Apple had no good reason to leave certain apps off the Touch that were on the iPhone other than to keep the two products separate in functionality so the Touch didn't cannibalize the iPhone sales.

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Kash

 
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fleurya's reasoning makes the most logical sense from a business sense. It's the reason why the Macbook doesn't have dedicated graphics, it's why it was limited to 2 and 3GB of RAM for several years. By increasing the power of the Macbook, you risk losing the sale of the higher end Macbook Pros, which Apple most likely makes a higher margin of profit on.

Does Apple care about keeping cost low for the consumer? Partially. But it's more interested in differentiating the two lines enough to make the higher end model a compelling purchase. If there were little to no difference, people would just buy the cheaper model, which is bad business for Apple.


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bryphotoguy

 
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I could see your case for the iPod touch/ iPhone debate but is still called an iPod Touch not a Breakthough Wireless Touch that happens to have an iPod feature. Maybe Apple didn't do enough research before originally cutting those apps from the Touch. They're included now, right?
There are far more tech. based differences between the two laptops. I doubt those two upgrades (LED and Touchpad) will pursuade many to spend an extra $800 for a MBP. They're meaningless to someone with $1200 to spend on a laptop.
There is more profit made on a sale of the MBP. Apple is able to comfortably add the two upgrades now on that model.
That's not to say this is good/ bad marketing on Apple's behalf. They can boost their sales on the MBP now with the added features and later this year, boost sales of the MacBook with some new features. If they are upgraded together, demand might be lower for the MBP. But again, I bet the margin is less than $150 on the MB. Adding these two features now significantly cuts into those profits. Waiting 6 months for processor costs to drop by $50 to give more wiggle room for upgrades is wise financially.
Apple might get into trouble with all the early adopters complaining later. But, it seems like a lot of early adopters complain so that's unavoidable.


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Kash

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryphotoguy View Post
That's not to say this is good marketing on Apple's behalf. They can boost their sales on the MBP now with the added features and later this year, boost sales of the MacBook with some new features. If they are upgraded together, demand might be lower.
This is what is confusing me about this update. Apple has historically updated the two models separately, a few weeks or months apart. But this time it chose to do so at exactly the same time. I could understand why if Apple is planning on completely overhauling both lines later in the year, but other than that, it just baffles the mind.


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bryphotoguy

 
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Apple and Intel seem to be working a lot closer these days. I mean, they had Intel design that special processor specifically for the MBA. Now it's Apple's turn to scratch Intel's bottom line by ordering 2x as many new processors upfront while they're still charging an arm and a leg.
Just my 2 cents.


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Zoolook

 
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Apple's next computer is going to be made out of baby kittens.

**edit - I'm assuming we're accusing Apple of evil-doings because features that are on their high-end Pro Macs are not on their entry level consumer MacBook, right?

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bryphotoguy

 
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Actually, that's the code name for 10.6 "Baby Kittens".

I don't know what we're actually discussing but I guess that's my point. The Pro model is always going to have more advanced technologies. Eventually the MB will but when prices drop.


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XJ-linux

 
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I would have bought the new MB if it had the Multi-Touch and LED or perhaps some improved graphics. It was a let down when I finally got onto the AppleStore site to find nothing real had changed. The marginal hop in processing power does me little good as I don't really utilize the 2.16Ghz C2D I already have. Besides, I was always told to upgrade only after there is a doubling of what I already have. Guess I'll wait for a 4Ghz processor, 8GB RAM model to come out.

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Zoolook

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
I would have bought the new MB if it had the Multi-Touch and LED or perhaps some improved graphics. It was a let down when I finally got onto the AppleStore site to find nothing real had changed. The marginal hop in processing power does me little good as I don't really utilize the 2.16Ghz C2D I already have. Besides, I was always told to upgrade only after there is a doubling of what I already have. Guess I'll wait for a 4Ghz processor, 8GB RAM model to come out.
Model upgrades are never all that exciting from one to the next, but if you compare the original MacBook Black to the new one...

CPU: 2.0ghz Core Duo vs 2.4ghz Core 2 Duo

64-bit vs 32-bit, 400 mhz faster, faster RAM and Motherboard freequency, 50% more L2 Cache. It's a LOT faster

GPU: 950 GMA vs X3100

Hardware Vertext shaders, hardware TnL, DX10 capability (ok, slow, but there), all improvements

RAM - 4GB vs 2GB maximum. Makes a pretty big difference if you're into video editing

HDD: 100GB vs 250GB - makes a HUGE difference. After all the essentials are installed, you end up with almost 3x more free space (220 GB vs 80GB).

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XJ-linux

 
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Very true Zoolook. Like I said, my current MB works just fine today!

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Zoolook

 
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Originally Posted by XJ-linux View Post
Very true Zoolook. Like I said, my current MB works just fine today!
Mine too... very fond of it in all it's 32-bit glory!

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The Skeptik

 
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Im curious to see what the previous previous gen refurbs will sell for when they put them up. I might pick one up. I was going to last week but I tricked my hp into thinking it can still run somehow. Might as well milk it for all its got. Every day of usage I can get out of it means more computer for my dollar. A 6 to 650 dollar macbook would be a steal though. All I need it for is photoshop and music.
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