Will the first Intel PowerBooks be designed by a team of ex-Sony engineers? Could be. A reliable source tells us that Apple has been "having trouble playing catch up with the learning curve for designing using the Intel platform" and that in order to have an Intel-based PowerBook out by next year they've been scrambling to recruit an engineering team with some experience building light and thin Intel-based laptops. And how are they going to do that? By poaching from Sony apparently, by hiring a headhunting firm in Japan which has been trying to recruit as many current Sony VAIO and ex-Sony VAIO engineers as they can in order to have a team in place as soon as possible. Sounds a little crazy, but it wouldn't be the first time that Apple's turned to Sony for assistance — you might recall that they had Sony help them design the very first PowerBook way back in 1991.