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Friday, October 03, 2003, 10:00 am PT (01:00 pm ET)

Apple to Overhaul iBook Product Line

Apple plans to offer parents a new selection of fashionably-hip iBook consumer laptops in time for stocking-stuffers this holiday season.

According to reliable sources, the new portables will see their first major revisions since May of 2001, including a completely new form-factor that has been under development at the company's Valley Green 6 facility for some time now.

Few details on the new enclosure are available at this time, though sources iterate an emphasis on durability that remains essential for the iBook's core audience of students and youngsters.

While alterations to the laptop's color scheme are rumored, sources were unable to provide final details at this point in the development cycle.

Panther Help


In addition to AirPort Extreme support, the new 'Books will see major upgrades to their RAM specification and memory controller, sources confirmed. The current line of iBook portables utilizes PC100 SDRAM at 133MHz, while the new models are rumored, but not confirmed, to support DDR RAM at 166MHz.

The units are widely suggested to take advantage of IBM's PowerPC 750GX microprocessor, code-named 'Gobi.' Offered at frequencies of up to 1.1GHz, the chips began sampling in July and have been targeted for mass production by December.

Apple plans to announce the revamped line of iBooks sometime in the next two months, sources said. Other confirmed features include brighter displays, internal Bluetooth support, two USB 2.0 ports, a single FireWire port, an improved full-sized keyboard, and revised mobility graphics chip.

All configurations will ship with Mac OS X Panther 10.3 pre-installed.

Additional information will be published as details become available.