DigiTimes is reporting that Apple will release a 15.4″ MacBook in the second quarter of 2007:
“Apple is planning to introduce 15.4-inch MacBooks in the second quarter of 2007, according to industry sources in Taiwan. The new model will fill the gap between the company’s 13.3-inch MacBooks and the 15.4- and 17-inch MacBook Pros that form its current notebook line up, and is expected to boost shipments of Apple’s Intel-powered MacBooks, the sources add.
Prices for the 15.4-inch MacBook models are likely to be more competitive than their 13.3-inch counterparts, due largely to the relatively lower cost of 15.4-inch LCD panels, and will therefore help push further sales of MacBooks,” the publication said.”
I’m going to call b.s. on this one for two reasons: 1.) According to MacRumors and AppleInsider, DigiTimes has not been very accurate with previous rumors, and 2.) A 15.4″ MacBook would cannibalize sales of the 15.4″ MacBook Pro, which I’m sure is more profitable than the MacBook. Honestly, there isn’t a huge difference between the specs of a 13″ MacBook vs. 15″ MacBook Pro (assuming, your needs are just web surfing, email, and digital photo management) so adding a 15.4″ MacBook would create some overlap between the two products.
If Apple were to do this, the only reason I could think of is to attract more ‘switchers.’ For example, I’m sure there are quite a few people out there who would switch to the Mac but want a 15″ screen and will not pony-up $2,000 for a MacBook Pro. A friend of mine was in a similar situation last year – he wanted a 15″ screen but didn’t want to drop an extra $700 to get a 15″ MacBook Pro. He still bought the 13″ MacBook but I’m sure he would’ve spent an extra $200 to get a 15″ MacBook.