After yesterday's report that Apple could release an Intel-based Mac mini with DVR features and a built-in iPod dock comes news that they may also announce an Intel PowerBook in the same timeframe.
In a note to clients Citigroup analyst Richard Gardner speculates that Intel PowerBooks could arrive in January, saying "we are becoming more convinced that Apple will introduce its first Intel-based PowerBook at Macworld San Francisco." Macworld Expo runs from January 9 to 13, 2006.
Gardner said these product introductions would be sooner than expected, which should help minimize the risk that Apple would end up with a buildup of its current line of non-Intel laptops as customers anticipate the arrival of the new models.
While he doesn't back it up with an solid evidence, his premise holds water. The fact of the matter is that people aren't buying the old iron anymore (except for the iMac, maybe) because they're waiting for the Intel boxes to arrive.
Previous reports indicated that Intel iBooks and PowerBooks were due to arrive as early as April or May to meet the educational buying window for the 2006/2007 academic year. Original estimates were that the Intel PowerBooks wouldn't arrive until at least June 2006, so a January announcement would be a major coup for the company.
Can I pre-order mine now?
UPDATE: A friend of the PowerPage tells me "Our double sources tell us the PowerBook will NOT come in January, but instead, the iBook. Additionally, history tells us Expo is used for consumer products only, over the past 3 to 4 years."