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iMacs Won't See SuperDrives Until Next Year (Analysis Included)

iMacs Won't See SuperDrives Until Next Year (Analysis Included)

by , 10:00 AM EST, February 1st, 2001

During yesterday's Financial Analyst meeting with Apple executives Steve Jobs, Fred Anderson, Phil Schiller, and Avie Tevanian, Steve Jobs suggested that said that SuperDrives wouldn't make it into iMacs until "next year." According to Mr. Jobs:

I think that it's possible to bring the SuperDrive to our consumer products next calendar year, 2002. I think we can make enough of them and bring the cost down.

Both Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller extensively discussed iDVD, the SuperDrive, and iMovie and included walkthroughs on how those technologies worked. The meeting is a semi-annual event designed to hold Wall Street analysts' hands in a walk through of Apple's plans. Apple will be archiving the meeting until February 28th. For those who can not get a stream, we provided live coverage of the four hour event for your reference.

The reaction from the mainstream press so far has been somewhat favorable. For instance, Apple's SuperDrives could reach iMacs next year comes from Upside Today.

The Mac Observer Spin:

What is bizarre about this is that iDVD is so clearly a consumer product. Apple has designed it to be used by consumers and speak most prominently about its promise in terms of the consumer. Despite this, it is included only in Apple's highest end PowerMac G4 product. This seeming contradiction is strange, but there are reasons for this that are inescapable at this time. The two biggest are the fact that supplies of the SuperDrive itself are tightly constrained and iDVD itself is tightly integrated with the G4 processor and the Velocity Engine. More specifically, the new version of the G4 included in the high end G4s include an enhanced implementation of the Velocity Engine, and this is part of how Apple has brought the encoding time on MPEG 2 compression down to 2X from 25X.

Some Observer have pointed out to us that a SuperDrive equipped iMac would have to be priced over US$2000. This is still a better price point than US$3499 for a product that is, once again, clearly intended for the consumer. A high end iMac (once Apple moves them to the G4) would be just the ticket. Eventually, as Mr. Jobs stated, the pricing on the SuperDrive will reach the point where Apple will be ready to put it in the iMac and all will be good.

Don't misunderstand us, we understand the reality of the situation, it is just strange to hear Steve Jobs speak so passionately about ordinary folks being able to make their own DVDs while Apple prices the product well out of their range.

What do you think?

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