I had an interesting encounter yesterday at my local Apple Store. I went in to buy a MacBook Pro and asked the associate about it's availability. He said they had them in the back and he could fetch me one if I wanted. I then told him I would prefer an iBook replacement because of how hard I was on my last two PowerBooks and didn't want to sweat the form factor.It's an interesting comment given that Apple store employees know almost nothing about new product announcements and timelines. And even if they did know something that's unannounced, what are the odds that they'd risk their job by telling a customer? There's a great piece at MacGeekery by a former Apple retail store genius that explains how little Apple store employees are told about product road maps and launch dates before they are made public.
I lamented that they could not give me a firm date on the arrival of the iBook replacement. The associate then told me I should hold off if I could. I know that Apple is generally low-pressure when it comes to selling, but I found this interesting, especially since they're not estimating the iBook replacements until June. Could they be sooner? One can only hope.
Backing up the Apple store comments, Macworld UK is saying that the MacBook could arrive as soon as April 19th, on the eve of the company's financial announcement. Macworld UK goes on to say that Apple is selling off their iBook demo machines presumably to make room for the new MacBook.
The conventional wisdom is that the MacBook will ship with a 13.3-inch wide screen display with 1280x720 WXGA resolution and be available with an Intel Core Solo processor standard and optionally with a Core Duo. Reports last week also suggested that the MacBook may be offered in colors other than the standard aluminum.