History of MacBook Rumors

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The MacBook was arguably the most anticipated Intel based Macintosh to come from Apple. Apple announced on June 6th, 2005, that they would be transitioning the Macintosh to Intel processors, and it was originally rumored that an Intel based iBook would be released at Macworld San Francisco 2006 (held in January).

A number of new rumors came over the following months, giving possible release dates in March, April, May and June 2006. This led to high anticipation over this whole period until the eventual release on May 16. Further fanning the speculation was the long time since the previous update to the iBook/MacBook line (which occurred in July 2005), which likely increased the number of potential buyers of the updated model.

Contents

Early rumors

Several rumors circulated in 2005 regarding the introduction of Intel based iBooks with varying details, however most of them agreed that they would be introduced in January 2006 at Macworld San Francisco, which turned out to be false.

  • The earliest rumors suggested that Apple planned to move "lower-end computers such as the Mac mini to Intel chips in mid-2006 and higher-end models such as the Power Mac in mid-2007.
  • The first rumor of an upcoming Intel-based iBook suggested a 13" widescreen model and an anticipated ship date of April-May 2006.
  • In mid November 2005, ThinkSecret claimed that Intel iBooks would be unveiled at Macworld, citing highly reliable sources. It also suggested a price drop of as much as $200 USD was possible.
  • In early December, ThinkSecret suggested that a 13.3" widescreen iBook will be released, replacing the current 14" model. This would have a maximum resolution of 1280x720, compared to 1024x768 on the current models.
  • Less than a week later, a Taipei Times report of unknown reliability suggested that Apple would release light-weight notebooks with a stylish design, with a 12" model at 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) and a 14" model at under 2 kg (4.4 lbs).
  • In mid December, ThinkSecret claimed that Apple would release new iBooks at Macworld, using a dual-core low-voltage 1.5 GHz Yonah processor.

Post MWSF rumors

When Intel based iBooks were not announced at Macworld San Francisco 2006, rumors were that they were likely to be introduced in April-May 2006, but possibly announced as early as March.

  • In late January 2006, AppleInsider claimed that new iBooks would feature Front Row and Photo Booth software, as well as a built in iSight. It would come in two 13" models, but with a similar design to the current iBooks.
  • In early February, ThinkSecret reported that Intel based iBooks would be announced in March with a 13" widescreen form factor, and would be available in quantity sometime in April.
  • In April AFX News Limited claimed that Apple would start shipping the new iBooks in June.
  • Several days later, AppleInsider and ThinkSecret posted reports agreeing on a name change to MacBook and that they'd be available within 30-60 days. ThinkSecret reported the use of both Core Duo and Core Solo processors, while AppleInsider reported that Core Duo processors would be used exclusively. AppleInsider claims they will be "the most redesigned notebooks to emerge from Apple's famed industrial design studios in several years".
  • Reiterating previous reports, AppleInsider in April claimed that the MacBook could come in a variety of colors.
  • In early May 2006, ThinkSecret reiterated that the MacBook is expected in May.
  • MacRumors then reported that several sources claimed that Apple Stores had received material not to be opened until Tuesday, May 9. This was soon followed by reports from AppleInsider [1] and ThinkSecret [2] mirroring the May 9 release date rumor.
  • After the previous rumor did not eventuate, ThinkSecret claimed the release had been postponed to May 16, while AppleInsider reiterated an imminent release within the next few weeks. May 18 and May 19 were also speculated as possible release dates.

Details

Name

While there was originally only speculation pointing to the MacBook name, several leaks later helped to confirm this name before the eventual release.

The initial speculation for the new name occurred after Steve Jobs announced the MacBook Pro and commented that "we want 'Mac' in the name of our products". This, along with the "Pro" in the name of the high end laptop, pointed at the new name.

Several events helped to confirm this speculation. In March 2006, Apple posted text ads on Google Italy advertising a "MacBook" starting at 999€. That price point didn't match either the then-current iBook or the MacBook Pro, and the ads were soon pulled.

In early May 2006, a slip on Apple's website revealed the name "MacBook". A screenshot of this can be seen here.

Processor

After the lack of an announcement at Macworld San Francisco 2006, it was originally thought that an Intel based iBook would be based on a single core Yonah processor, rumored to be released later this quarter. However, in February Apple upgraded MacBook Pro models before shipping to 1.83 and 2.0 GHz, from 1.67 and 1.83 GHz respectively. This created a possible opportunity for an Intel based iBook to use a dual core Yonah processor without significantly cutting into sales of the MacBook Pro. However, there was never any agreement amongst the main rumor sites until the eventual release, with AppleInsider reporting that new iBooks would have at minimum a 1.67 GHz Core Duo processor, while ThinkSecret claimed that Apple would use both Core Solo and Core Duo processors.

Form factor

Most rumor sites agreed that new iBooks would come in a 13" form factor. There had been conflicting reports of whether it would feature a new enclosure, with some rumors stating it would be similar to the current white one [3], while others claiming a new enclosure is possible [4]. Later rumors claimed that a new iBook would use magnets more extensively, using a magnet-based latch technology.