Apple updates PowerBook G4 range

Apple releases wireless keyboard and mouse

Steve Jobs keynote The 20th Apple Expo Paris takes place from September 16-20 2003 at the Porte de Versailles. Apple CEO Jobs opened the event with a keynote at the Palais des Congres. Here are the highlights of his speech.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs began the keynote by introducing the new 20GB and 40GB iPods, and then went on to heap praise on the new G5 Power Macs - repeating the claim that it is the fastest personal computer currently available.

Jobs promised to ramp G5 speeds to 3GHz "before the end of next summer".

Panther by "end of year" Moving on to Mac OS X, Jobs stated that Apple's target is to have 10 million users "before too long". OS X 10.3 Panther will be "as big if not bigger than Jaguar," he told the audience. According to Apple chief financial officer Fred Anderson, there are currently 7 million regular OS X users.

Jobs ran through Panther's new features (such as window-tiling Exposé, FileVault encryption, and the Pixlet video codec), as he did during the company's Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this summer.

Mac OS X 10.3 will not be released today, as Apple is sticking by its "end-of-year" deadline for the operating-system update - which is expected to cost £99 (including VAT).

Jobs moved onto a demonstration of iChat AV and Apple's iSight webcam. He called iChat AV "video conferencing for the rest of us". There have been over half a million downloads of iChat AV since its release in June.

PowerBooks updated Jobs then moved on to one of the areas where new products are expected: the portable market. He again stated that 2003 has been "The year of the notebook" for Apple. While the industry averages 24-25 per cent all computers sold as notebooks, Apple has sold 42 per cent last quarter. The 17 and 12-inch PowerBook configurations announced in January at Macworld Expo San Francisco were repeated, and there are changes.

The 17-inch PowerBook G4 now runs at up to 1.33GHz with 512K L3 cache, and 2GB maximum memory. Like the Power Mac G5 and recently updated iMacs, it now features USB 2.0 (backwards compatible with USB 1.1 devices).
The 17-inch PowerBook costs £2,399 including VAT.

The 12-inch PowerBook's G4 now runs at 1GHz, and has a mini-DVI video port instead of the original VGA-only link. It costs £1,299 with Combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, and £1,449 with DVD-R SuperDrive.

The 15.2-inch PowerBook's G4 is available at 1.25GHz, with a maximum 2GB 333MHz DDR RAM. The new mid-range portable features a DVD-R SuperDrive, and is available today. It features the same anodized-aluminium case as the 12-inch and 17-inch models, and is now ready for 802.11g 54Mbps AirPort Extreme.

Like the 17-inch PowerBook it features an auto-sensing llighted keyboard, FireWire 800 and 400, USB 2.0, Bluetooth, and 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet networking.

Two models are available. A Combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive model costs £1,599. The DVD-R SuperDrive model costs £1,999.

Wireless keyboard and mouse Jobs also announced an Apple wireless keyboard and mouse, based on Bluetooth. He claimed that adaptive frequency hopping reduces interference. It features 128-bit encryption.

The mouse remains a single-button affair.

"This will be great for offices and classrooms full of these things," Jobs told the crowd. They will cost £59 each, including VAT.

Innovation Jobs summed up: "Our strategy at Apple is to innovate", noting the first 17-inch notebook; Safari, iLife, Keynote, Final Cut Pro 4, new iPods, Power Mac G5, iSight, iChat AV, Panther, 15- and 17-inch PowerBooks, wireless keyboard and mouse. "We are gonna keep innovating because that's what we love to do."

What do you think of Apple's Paris Expo announcements? Let us know – vote in our poll (link to the left), or comment on Macworld Online's Forum.