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Apple's 17-Inch MacBook Pro Comes to Market

By Erika Morphy MacNewsWorld ECT News Network
Apr 24, 2006 1:59 PM PT

Apple has introduced a 17-inch screen version of its MacBook Pro notebook that was first introduced with a smaller screen at the beginning of the year.

Apple's 17-Inch MacBook Pro Comes to Market

At the time of its debut, there was considerable speculation as to why a 17-inch version of the notebook was not released along with the 15-inch product.

A supplier glitch may have caused the delay.

"Apple is very particular about its component parts," Bob O'Donnell, vice president of clients and displays at IDC, told MacNewsWorld.

"It wants to make sure it delivers a high quality product -- and to do that, it puts the screws on its suppliers," he added.

Price Points

The high-quality components are one reason Apple's products tend to cost more. The other, O'Donnell noted, is the brand's cachet among users.

Still, O'Donnell is surprised at the suggested retail price for the 17-inch screen MacBook Pro -- US$2,799.

"There are very few people charging that much for notebooks these days. However, the people who buy Apple don't tend to worry too much about price," he acknowledged. "That is another reason why Apple is able to charge what it does."

Indeed, the MacBook Pro is fully loaded, featuring the much vaunted Intel Core Duo processor and a new system architecture that is five times as fast as the PowerBook G4.

Weighing only 6.8 pounds, it includes a built-in iSight video camera for mobile conferencing, a remote media application and MagSafe Power Adapter, which is geared specifically for mobile users.

MarketShare 'Okay'

Despite its high prices, and despite Windows' widespread presence in business and consumer installations, Apple is "doing okay" with its marketshare, O'Donnell maintained. "Worldwide, it is under 3 percent, and in the United States, it is 3.5 percent on the way to 4 percent."

Growth of Apple systems slowed to single digits in the first quarter following a surge in growth during Q1 2005, O'Donnell noted in the IDC's Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, released last Wednesday.

The company has been growing at a rapid pace over the past year, benefiting from customer interest in its music business as well as new products, but the transition to Intel processors may have caused supply issues for Q1 2006, according to the report.

Some Apple fans may be waiting for a consumer-oriented, Intel-based notebook to come to the market at a lower price point.

"When that happens, I think it will be big news," said O'Donnell.

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