ThinkSecret.com, the website that seems to know what Apple is going to do next even before it does, has predicted that Apple is planning to release its first entry-level iBook laptops with Intel processors next January at Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

The report at

www.thinksecret.com

doesn't clarify any concrete details of what spec the new iBook will feature, only that it will feature the new chipset and be at a heavily reduced price to what Mac users are used to paying.

According to the site, ”It is not known exactly what processors or price points the new models will debut at, but it is thought Apple will expand the iBook line with one additional model and will lower prices”.

The report goes on to say that “in some cases possibly $200 or more — to entice current Windows users and prove to the market it will be more competitive with the likes of Dell, Gateway, HP and Sony”.

ThinkSecret has also said that Mac fans shouldn't “rule out the possible release of other Intel-based Macs at Macworld Expo, but that it is more likely the initial release of products with the new processor will be consumer-based products only and not professional, high-end lines, such as PowerBooks and towers, as some Web sites have reported”.

The move to introduce the Intel chip into the consumer models first rather than the higher ended products like the PowerBooks and Tower models is believed to be because the switch over is likely to decrease the speed over current performance. As consumers aren't so concerned with this over high end users, the lead time should allow Apple to manage the process before it has to appeal to professional business users.

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