From: Aaron W. Brown (aaron_at_designcraft.com)
Date: Fri Apr 07 2000 - 03:56:07 EDT
>This reminds me of 1993, when Chevrolet dropped a slightly de-tuned
>engine in a Z28 for half the price of the Vette. Boy, that really
>pissed-off those Vette owners. As an IBM stockholder, I applaud IBM for
>competing with the Dell Inspirion. It's a win-win for everyone, especially
Is the i-series a Thinkpad or not?
Since Acer makes the i-series, a better analogy is:
GM contracts Hyundai to produce Corvette's in Taiwan and sells them
in the USA as Corvette jr.
Now, every true Vette owner knows a Corvette jr isn't a real Corvette and
no one is pissed-off. Except for maybe a Corvette jr buyer who thought
they were getting a real Vette, boohoo.
Chuck's analogy is correct though in that the marketing model is similar
both IBM and GM.
Given: Corvette/Thinkpad are unaffordable to some people.
A. Sell more laptops by attracting a new set of buyers with a lower price.
B. Utilize "brand name class" of expensive product to sell a cheaper one.
I agree Randy, Mercedes would never sell a $10,000 economy car.
Mercedes does have a C-class though and it's affordable to many more
buyers. Buyers who because of the name/status, really want one.
In fact IBM uses the same product naming convention as Mercedes. The
cheaper product is still a Mercedes (IBM Thinkpad) but in a sub
class (i-series) with its own model number structure.
i.e. 1450i or 1750i, C200 or C320
Now, I'm not a mechanic but I think a C-class vehicle has technology
down to it from the S-class.
And that is more than just marketing, that's real value.
IBM cost reduced the TP700 series into a great value with the Thinkpad 300
My question is: Did the IBM thinkpad group pass any technology
(a Vette engine) down to the lower tier i-series? Is the 1721i based on
the Thinkpad 390 series?
The trackpoint keyboard, IMO, is the best laptop feature since the color
display. This is obviously a nice feature passed down to i-series. Does
i-series have a (Lexmark?) keyboard?
I know Acer manufactures the i-series to IBM specifications.
I've read IBM not Acer is the designer of the i-series. Then Acer is the
of 390 like i-series machines.
That means IBM handed a prototype to Acer and said, "Build this
inexpensive laptop for us"? Or did IBM follow the model of Dell
and evaluate a few Taiwanese laptops and rebrand, adding disk, RAM, display,
and in IBM's case, a trackpoint keyboard.
Is the i-series BIOS and APM written and maintained by the Thinkpad group?
Or is there an new engineering group for i-series?
What's the status of linux installed on an i-series? Win2k is
NOT supported by IBM on these, right? If so, don't count on IBM to
support it in the future either. Win98 could be a lonely place when you
horsepower to run win2k, but no driver support.
IBM is schlepping the good Thinkpad name to sell something the
Thinkpad wasn't built on; lower price, not as nice. I think IBM wants
to offer some sort of laptop to everyone. Using the Thinkpad name on the
i-series is questionable if they rebranded an Acer laptop. Did they?
I know the i-series is not a real Vette, I'm just trying to find out
if it's a Fierro or a Firebird.
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