Michael Sebrey forwarded us a somewhat strange internal announcement from AppleCare that applies only (so far) to the United States and will deliver new optical drives only for iBook customers that already need repairs:
"To keep current with evolving technology, Apple is replenishing its iBook service inventory with enhanced performance optical drives. As part of this effort, Apple is offering its Mac OS X (Jaguar - version 10.2) customers who own iBooks with a combo optical drive (DVD player/CD burner) the opportunity to enhance their optical drive performance by taking advantage of a limited time offer to swap out their existing optical drive for a faster performing optical drive.
"Note: This program applies only to iBook mail-in repairs that are already in need of service. In addition, computers requiring an abuse tier are not eligible.
"The enhanced performance optical drives are capable of burning CDs at a much faster rate than previously installed drives. However, these new drives do not allow customers to burn CDs in Mac OS 9 or in any version of Mac OS X prior to 10.2.8. Apple will maintain a minimal stock of the older drives for customers who need to burn CDs using versions of Mac OS previous to Mac OS X 10.2.8. For a limited time and at no additional charge, Apple offers a replacement with one of the newer optical drives. If it is not mandatory for customers to burn CDs using versions of Mac OS prior to Mac OS X 10.2.8, it will be to their benefit to take advantage of this offer."
"Eligible iBook Computers: Only iBook computers that shipped with specific versions of the combo drive are eligible for this offer. The following iBook computers are eligible for the optical drive enhancement program:
- iBook (16 VRAM)
- iBook (Dual USB)
- iBook (Late 2001)
- iBook (14.1 LCD)
- iBook (14.1 LCD 16 VRAM)
"Note: Only the iBooks noted above that shipped with the combo optical drive (DVD player/CD burner) are eligible for the optical drive enhancement program."