In an attempt to avoid availability problems, Apple is changing the 160 MB hard drive configuration of the PowerBook 165c. Because Apple doesn’t expect to be able to obtain 2.5" 160 MB drives in large enough quantities soon enough to meet demand, it is replacing the 160 MB drives with a 120 MB drives. Apple hopes this will make 165c available in quantities sufficient to meet the expected high demand.
We’re pleased to see Apple nimbly changing direction and modifying a shipping product. This flexibility means more 165c machines for people who want them, and less bad press for Apple. This change comes at a time when the 180 is almost impossible to find because of low yields on the active-matrix screen, and availability on the 145 is low due to low demand, making 160 and 165c the most available options. 120 MB is still a generous size for a portable computer’s hard drive, so we hope few people will be seriously disappointed by the decrease in megabytes.
In addition, the Spring issue of "Apple Report," Apple Ireland’s quarterly magazine, claims Apple will release a PowerBook 185c in the summer. Given that the 165c has 180 performance with a passive-matrix color LCD screen, that might imply that the 185c will have better-than-180 performance with an active-matrix color LCD screen. We expect the 185c to actually be a 180 with an active-matrix color LCD, although there’s no telling with Apple. Apparently Sharp was showing off a new active-matrix color LCD screen at the Tokyo Macworld Expo, and that screen should ship by summer. It’s lighter than the 165c’s passive-matrix screen, but we haven’t heard if it consumes less power or will have a higher yield than the active-matrix gray-scale screen.
Jacob Ahlqvist — [email protected]