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bborofka
2004-08-31, 05:24
There's a $500 gap in Apple's desktop lineup (still) that clearly spans the "sweet spot" Fred Anderson was talking about.

Why?!

It seems detrimental to Apple's own benefit to totally block out a price range like that. What would you guys like to see in that place?

I sincerely wish apple would make a no frills, budget-oriented PowerMac Express with a single G5 in an aluminum minitower. Just give it the baseline iMac specs so it doesn't overlap.

1.6GHz PowerPC G5
512K L2 cache
533MHz frontside bus
256MB DDR400 SDRAM
NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra (in 8x AGP slot! Upgradable! Attach external monitor!)
64MB DDR video memory
80GB Serial ATA hard drive
Slot-load Combo Drive
1 free drive bay
1 free PCI slot
$999

The iMac is great for the niche buyers that want it, but this sort of thing is what the masses really want!

Paul
2004-08-31, 05:26
I'd rather buy two of those instead of a tricked out 20"...

Barracuda
2004-08-31, 05:38
Are you kidding? There's not enough G5 chips to go around for the lower price range you mentioned! Maybe someday, but we're not there yet!

The value of the new iMac G5 is EXTRAORDINARY in light of the innovation and the kind of computing experience it provides! Just AMAZING...I don't know how Apple did this! It is completely untouched by ANY competitor!

Apple is a very smart company...they are allocating their chips in the most advanced and intelligent way they possibly can and they are making the most of their profit margins.

This new iMac will definitely share the excitement of the iPod's success.
It's far and away better than I expected of Apple! I've been waiting to be WOWED by them for a long time now...and this is simply a STUNNING acheivement!

Well done, Apple!

Koodari
2004-08-31, 06:00
The value of the new iMac G5 is EXTRAORDINARY in light of the innovation and the kind of computing experience it provides! Just AMAZING...I don't know how Apple did this! It is completely untouched by ANY competitor!
...
This new iMac will definitely share the excitement of the iPod's success.
It's far and away better than I expected of Apple! I've been waiting to be WOWED by them for a long time now...and this is simply a STUNNING acheivement!As a non-native English speaker, I find it hard to make out if this is sarcasm or if you are under influence of... something. If it's sarcasm, please add more exclamation marks (!!!11!!!) and CAPITAL LETTERS to make it clear for us foreign devils. Thank you.

And to stay on topic just a little bit, I admit to having been a huge proponent of the non-AIO budget Mac. It would be nicest in Cube/ShuttlePC/miniserver format, and have clearer separation from the pro market that way, but I wouldn't mind a tower as long as the price were right.

Barracuda
2004-08-31, 07:06
What can I say? I'm an expressive person!!!

And no, I'm not under the influence of anything...just high on life, eh? ;)

Also, the All-In-One concept is smart as far as Apple goes. Who in this World is going to buy a separate display that doesn't match the beauty of the Apple computer itself? That's why the Cube failed...the price of the computer did not include the display and who would buy a cheaper alternative that didn't match or compliment the Cube?

Also, I think there is a cheaper education model without the optical drive...it's mentioned in the press release, but I haven't seen the price yet.

Anyway...this iMac is gonna tear it up! It will be "Number One with a Bullet!"

BenRoethig
2004-08-31, 08:24
Did they say they're not making the eMac anymore? If that's the case, they'll be losing a lot of sales.

Luca
2004-08-31, 08:57
There's still the Superdrive eMac for $999. Although the only thing you get for your $200 extra is an upgrade to a DVD burner, and an 80 GB hard drive. The 80 GB is a $50 option on the lower end one so I guess they are charging $150 for a DVD burner, which is too much of course.

kretara
2004-08-31, 09:14
Also, the All-In-One concept is smart as far as Apple goes. Who in this World is going to buy a separate display that doesn't match the beauty of the Apple computer itself?

Anyone who has had multiple AIO monitors die on them. I've had quite a few AIO monitors die on me (going back to the Performa 5XX to the G3 iMac) while the "computer" still worked just fine. Why should I have to then go out and buy a new computer just because a monitor died?


That's why the Cube failed...the price of the computer did not include the display and who would buy a cheaper alternative that didn't match or compliment the Cube?

The Cube was a great computer. IMHO, the reason that it sold poorly was because it was vastly overpriced not because it did not come with a display.

Many of us actually use our computers for work not as an artistic statement or status symbol.
At work I currently have my G5 hidden behind my 2 Apple 17" LCD's and a dell 19" LCD (the 19" Dell LCD is shared between the G5 and Dell GX260). I also have a G3 Smurf and Dell Precision KVM'd to a 19 Dell CRT and a 12" PB all sitting on my desk.
At home I have a G3 smurf, a Poweredge and a Gigabit DP all connected via KVM to a 19 Dell CRT.

If one of the monitors above die, I just go buy a new one. If a machine dies I go to ebay (or my boss) and get a new one. If an AIO monitor dies I now have to 1) buy a new monitor 2) try to get the "computer portion of the AIO to "show" on an external monitor and 3) buy a new computer (at least at work) to replace the 50% dead AIO computer.

hmurchison
2004-08-31, 12:12
Ahhh yet another "Headless" circle jerk session. Not going to happen fellas. Not because Apple can't but because they won't.

The eMac is there at the lowend if you don't like CRTs then the iMac kicks in for $300 more. This isn't Burger King..you can't have it your way.

bborofka
2004-08-31, 12:16
Also, the All-In-One concept is smart as far as Apple goes.

Oh yeah, people are buying those in droves all over the place! Just look at how well they sell in the PC world! It's like having a PowerBook G5 that doesn't move...


Who in this World is going to buy a separate display that doesn't match the beauty of the Apple computer itself? That's why the Cube failed...the price of the computer did not include the display and who would buy a cheaper alternative that didn't match or compliment the Cube?

The Cube failed for more reasons than just not having a "pretty" display to go alone with it. Who in the world is going to buy a separate, unmatching, display? Uh, just about everyone? Most people care about cost and functionality than beauty and physical appearance. Have you never seen a Mac attached to a 3rd party monitor or something? Do you think everyone that buys a PM G5 also buys an expensive LCD?

And yes, I totally forgot about the $999 eMac. I guess it does fill that spot price-wise, but does anyone else think it's a little lacking now?

kretara
2004-08-31, 12:18
The eMac is there at the lowend if you don't like CRTs then the iMac kicks in for $300 more. This isn't Burger King..you can't have it your way.

Actually one can. Its called linux. I've been voting with my wallet since the Cube died.

From the people (college kids on campus) that I have talked to many of them love the iPod and think that Apple makes cool stuff but they do not want to be forced into the AIO platform. They want a headless machine. This comes from talking to ~ 60 college kids over the past 2 years.

BarracksSi
2004-08-31, 12:33
Why should I have to then go out and buy a new computer just because a monitor died?

Who said you had to do that? My parents' RevB iMac's monitor went poof, and all they had to do was get a new monitor, not a whole new computer.

I don't understand the disgust with all-in-one computers. It's there, it works, and you can use the extra shelf space in your computer desk for more storage instead of a box of electronics.

Again, going back to my parents, they haven't needed a headless computer to accomplish what they've done with their iMac. Heck, my iBook is effectively a headless computer, and I still do everything on it.

kretara
2004-08-31, 12:47
Yes, you can get a new monitor for an AIO. The CRT's for the G3 iMacs have come down in price but are still rather expensive.
G3 iMac
slot load: ~$220
tray load: ~$140

G4 eMac
non ATI graphics: ~$575
ATI graphics: ~$465

Replacement LCD's are God awful expensive.
15" ~$550
17" ~ $660
20" ~ $1060

I would rather save the money and get a better headless machine in the first place.

Luca
2004-08-31, 12:51
Yeah, that's insane. A 15" CRT comparable to the quality seen in the G3 iMacs would cost you about $30. A 17" CRT equivalent to the eMac would be about $120.

BarracksSi
2004-08-31, 13:02
Still a whole lot less than a new computer.

Koodari
2004-08-31, 14:27
This isn't Burger King..you can't have it your way.You're right. "Think Different" sounds pretty old fashioned anyway.

Koodari
2004-08-31, 14:35
I don't understand the disgust with all-in-one computers. It's there, it works, and you can use the extra shelf space in your computer desk for more storage instead of a box of electronics.Over six years ago I bought a 19" CRT, the first one to market. It was expensive, at least I thought it was because I was just a kid back then, but I could afford it because I knew it would last me a long time. Since then, the display has served with three different computers in a row, and now it's connected to a PS2 with a VGA adapter. I have had no other displays before I went and bought a Powerbook a few months ago.

When I pour a good chunk of money in a quality flat panel sometime in the future, I expect it to last as long as this CRT has lasted.

If these computers were AIO's, I would have had to use crappy screens the last six years, because I could not have afforded to get a good one with each computer. I'd be playing the PS2 at my friend's place, who has a television. I don't.

This answer any of your questions?

hmurchison
2004-08-31, 14:41
Actually one can. Its called linux. I've been voting with my wallet since the Cube died.

Linux is far from being what the Dr ordered. It's great if you have some obsessive hatred for Microsoft and love to tinker but there is nothing that Linux offers technically that we don't have in OSX with a much better UI and set of frameworks. I'm in college so I know the pressure to get things as cheaply as possible but an iMac is never going to be your choice if you don't like AIO. A refurb tower is your best option.

You're right. "Think Different" sounds pretty old fashioned anyway.

Yes, not to mention grammatically incorrect.


Headless Macs at the low end aren't coming anytime soon. One only need look at the money Apple pulls in via HW sales versus SW sales to realize that they aren't going to jeopardize this vital piece. People need to pray that the iPod can be a sustainable revenue stream because Apple is not diverse enough to offer low cost hardware without hurting their wallstreet performance.

bborofka
2004-08-31, 15:42
I don't understand the disgust with all-in-one computers. It's there, it works, and you can use the extra shelf space in your computer desk for more storage instead of a box of electronics.

I don't understand the excitement with all-in-one computers. Only a select niche of people buy them, consumers would rather have a separate box and display. The market has proved this. We have desks to set stuff on like desktop computers and monitors. If I really need more desk space and compactness, I'd just get a laptop. I'd get portability with that too.

hmurchison
2004-08-31, 16:32
I don't understand the excitement with all-in-one computers. Only a select niche of people buy them, consumers would rather have a separate box and display. The market has proved this. We have desks to set stuff on like desktop computers and monitors. If I really need more desk space and compactness, I'd just get a laptop. I'd get portability with that too.

You do realize that iBooks and Powerbooks are AIO computers as well. So yes in fact the market "has" proved this. AIO form factors are convenient. The desktop is declining on both platform in lieu of portables. Thus Apple is merely making their desktop line more palatable for the evolving tastes of its end users. If someone truly needs a bunch of upgradability then they can simply buy a Powermac and be future proofed to a wider extent.

bborofka
2004-08-31, 17:44
I guess we'll just keep debating this until it ends, if it ever does. It's really up to Jobs whether or not we get a cheap, headless Mac, not us. He cares more about what he thinks we need rather than what we really want. Oh well, no harm in advocating my opinions, here goes...

You do realize that iBooks and Powerbooks are AIO computers as well. So yes in fact the market "has" proved this. Duh. I was speaking in the context of Desktop computers. People want AIO laptops, not AIO LCD desktops.

AIO form factors are convenient. The desktop is declining on both platform in lieu of portables. Thus Apple is merely making their desktop line more palatable for the evolving tastes of its end users.
Convenience is in the eye of the beholder. Personally I would find plugging in my existing monitor to a computer and tucking the box under my desk much more convenient than having a totally inflexible computer permanently attached to a nice LCD, all for a little less desktop space and 2 less cords. I wonder how most other consumers would feel about that too?

And, because portables are becoming more popular, Apple should make their desktops more like portables? That's I fail to see the point in that, since portables and desktops truly are 2 different markets.


If someone truly needs a bunch of upgradability then they can simply buy a Powermac and be future proofed to a wider extent.

I've already heard this many times from people with similar opinions as yours, and I don't accept it as an argument. $2000 is out of my price range, and no, I'm not willing to rearrange my budget to justify Apple's high pricing for a computer with flexibility.

alcimedes
2004-08-31, 18:02
i think the problem is that there is a big divide between people who want a computer as a computer, and people who want a computer as an appliance. the appliance crowd want/like the AIO.

the computer types want a computer. the cheaper and more upgradable the better.

bborofka
2004-08-31, 18:30
i think the problem is that there is a big divide between people who want a computer as a computer, and people who want a computer as an appliance. the appliance crowd want/like the AIO.

the computer types want a computer. the cheaper and more upgradable the better.

Good point. I guess the big question is, then, are computers ready to be appliances?

BarracksSi
2004-08-31, 18:30
i think the problem is that there is a big divide between people who want a computer as a computer, and people who want a computer as an appliance. the appliance crowd want/like the AIO.

the computer types want a computer. the cheaper and more upgradable the better.

I think that's the gist of it.

Stick me with the appliance crowd, then. I may have been modifying my car, but I've never felt the urge to modify my computer. It's like my TV, or my phone, or my microwave -- it does the job that I bought it to do (or "hired", in a way). It'll keep running until it either breaks or I find something entirely new that requires me to upgrade, and by that point, I'd need a whole new computer to do it, anyway.

My parents are the same way, so it's probably my upbringing. I've also been using computers, almost always at school, ever since a fleet of black Apple II's in 5th grade (1982, maybe). I've never had to rebuild them or upgrade individual parts. I finally bought my own iBook in '99, and that was mainly because I was about to graduate college, and couldn't plan on skimming off the school labs anymore.

I watch some friends do this & that to their computers, changing motherboards, video cards, sound cards, etc etc etc, ending up with the case as the only original part, and I just never understood why, especially when it worked before.

One a side note, PC people ask me what sound card I put into in my iBook, and I go, "What do you mean, 'sound card'? It's got sound already -- it came like that." It's just less hassle for me to worry about.

BarracksSi
2004-08-31, 18:31
Good point. I guess the big question is, then, are computers ready to be appliances?

Oh, yeah, I think they are. I think they could have been appliances for a while, now, too.

alcimedes
2004-08-31, 21:58
Macs, maybe. PC's, no.

When the average Windows computer a person brings home get's compromised within 20 min., it's not ready to be an appliance.

Macs on the other hand can pull it off. Grandma call pull it out of the box, plug it in, and it pretty much will just keep working.

BarracksSi
2004-08-31, 22:38
Then the Windows PCs still need to play catch up. :D

bborofka
2004-08-31, 23:28
I think the computer industry is advancing way too fast to become true appliances yet. A computer is a tool that does certain tasks, and tools and tasks keep changing dramatically. We have not, and aren't even close, to hitting a ceiling in performance. Gigabit Ethernet, 64bit processors, advanced OS technologies keep paving the way for something that shows no sign of slowing down. Clocks, phones, TVs, DVD players... while they certainly do have their own advancements, at least aren't as rapid as the PC industry and you know a ceiling is in sight. There's only so thin and so large a TV can get, or so many formats a DVD player can read. Can you imagine if you had to get updates for those things ever few weeks, and had to replace them with newer technology every couple years?

On top of that, I think computers are still too expensive to be appliances. When the industry is ready, if ever, there will be appliance-type PCs. Until then, a computer will be a computer, and attempts to deviate from this will likely fail. Witness WebTV, tablet computers, and all-in-one desktop computers.

BarracksSi
2004-09-01, 00:30
We have not, and aren't even close, to hitting a ceiling in performance.

On the other hand, we might be hitting a sort of "ceiling" in the need for performance -- in that there doesn't seem to be a whole lot more that we can ask a computer to do. Now that the basic computers can edit video & sound (and do some practically broadcast-quality effects if you're willing to shell out the bucks for the software), I can't think of much else that I'd want a computer to do on its own that it's not capable of doing already.

The next frontier, as we know, will be integrating the computer into the home. One way to make that happen sooner rather than later is to change the form factor, and the G5 iMac has certainly taken steps to do that.

DMBand0026
2004-09-01, 01:35
Ahhh yet another "Headless" circle jerk session. Not going to happen fellas. Not because Apple can't but because they won't.

The eMac is there at the lowend if you don't like CRTs then the iMac kicks in for $300 more. This isn't Burger King..you can't have it your way.

This is me bowing, cause no one in the world could have put this better than you just did. Not only is it spot on, but it's funny too :)

bborofka
2004-09-01, 03:19
On the other hand, we might be hitting a sort of "ceiling" in the need for performance -- in that there doesn't seem to be a whole lot more that we can ask a computer to do. Now that the basic computers can edit video & sound (and do some practically broadcast-quality effects if you're willing to shell out the bucks for the software), I can't think of much else that I'd want a computer to do on its own that it's not capable of doing already.


"640K [RAM] ought to be enough for anybody."


Need I say more? Probably. To think that PC performance has reached some sort of ceiling of needing performance is to think that maybe they should have shut down the US Patent office after all. There does not "seem" to be a whole lot more we can ask a computer to do?! HAHA, there are infinite things we will ask a computer to do that we haven't even thought of yet. Who would of thought in the days of "640K RAM would be enough for anybody," that we'd be surfing the web, burning CDs, and playing 3D games.

Hell, Core Video and Core Image are asking the computer to do more. So is Doom III, GarageBand and iDVD. It's a never ending cycle; newer, faster technologies give birth to innovations that require newer, faster technologies and so on.


The next frontier, as we know, will be integrating the computer into the home. One way to make that happen sooner rather than later is to change the form factor, and the G5 iMac has certainly taken steps to do that.

No, the next frontier is integrating the computer with digital devices. That doesn't mean the previous frontiers aren't still there, namely DTP and the Internet. The digital hub era is just getting started, who knows what it will evolve into next. All the more reason to realize the computer is not an appliance, the damn thing is changing so fast.

Luca
2004-09-01, 11:00
Actually, Bill Gates never said that 640k of RAM was enough for anybody, it was an urban legend. It's probably related to how the IBM PC could only use a maximum of 640k of RAM - he must have said something about how 640k of RAM would be enough for that particular computer.

Oh, and a friend sent me this - thought it would be amusing:

http://img74.exs.cx/img74/350/44.jpg

Snoopy
2004-09-01, 23:37
. . . Headless Macs at the low end aren't coming anytime soon. One only need look at the money Apple pulls in via HW sales . . . Apple is not diverse enough to offer low cost hardware without hurting their wallstreet performance.



I don't think that is the reason. Apple could sell a low-end, headless Mac that gives Apple the same dollar profit as an eMac. There is no law that says a company must make less profit on a lower priced item. Apple would sell fewer low-end models this way, but would lose no profit on these sales.

Apple's profit would actually be higher because they would sell several of these to me and those like me. We can't get a low price headless Mac from Apple, but there are plenty on eBay. For simple jobs, and a box that fits on a shelf, the desktop beige G3 works fine and it runs Jaguar. (I haven't tried the patch that lets Panther run yet.) For more performance, I can get an old G4 Power Mac. Yet, I would far rather have a new simple and small headless Mac, and pay a little more than on eBay.

I'm not sure what the real reason is, for not having a headless low-end Mac. I am sure it is the reason behind many lost sales opportunities, however.

pscates2.0
2004-09-01, 23:50
Hey, where is that original pic above from? Somewhere on Apple's site? Has to be, right? That new iMac couldn't already be in a magazine or ad or stock photo setting yet.

:confused:

Oh wait...I think it's pasted in.

:D

BarracksSi
2004-09-02, 00:06
Hey, where is that original pic above from? Somewhere on Apple's site? Has to be, right? That new iMac couldn't already be in a magazine or ad or stock photo setting yet.

:confused:

Oh wait...I think it's pasted in.

:D

That shot is also seen in the video they played near the end of the keynote address.

In other shots, the woman you see there is really, really cute... I mean, like tasty cute... ;)

IVIIVI4ck3y27
2004-09-23, 07:20
I don't think that is the reason. Apple could sell a low-end, headless Mac that gives Apple the same dollar profit as an eMac. There is no law that says a company must make less profit on a lower priced item. Apple would sell fewer low-end models this way, but would lose no profit on these sales.

Apple's profit would actually be higher because they would sell several of these to me and those like me. We can't get a low price headless Mac from Apple, but there are plenty on eBay. For simple jobs, and a box that fits on a shelf, the desktop beige G3 works fine and it runs Jaguar. (I haven't tried the patch that lets Panther run yet.) For more performance, I can get an old G4 Power Mac. Yet, I would far rather have a new simple and small headless Mac, and pay a little more than on eBay.

I'm not sure what the real reason is, for not having a headless low-end Mac. I am sure it is the reason behind many lost sales opportunities, however.

To put it bluntly, the above is VERY true. There's been tons of people lobbying for a headless low-end Mac. Apple's own sales statements over the previous AIO LCD iMac pointed out that the AIO LCD machine's market was cannibalized by the laptop market. I think Apple's theory is that going AIO for the new iMac but putting in a higher end processor (G5) that's faster than the Powerbook will somehow accumulate said sales figures back to what they wanted. My vantage is, it won't.

Those that want portability want that portability for the ability to use that portability. It's fine and dandy that the iMac G5 = portable. Yet it still requires you to plug it in to use it. Therefore until there's a G5 Powerbook, portability likely will only matter to a small fraction of the computer purchasing market. That's the same small percentage that thought the overpriced and overengineered Cube was awesome.

Fetish design works great for Bang and Oluffsen and Sharper Image. Then again, much of what they're making into fetish design marvels also has considerably longer shelf lives (i.e. the CD player was an early 1980's invention that's still going strong) than a computer. Only a small percentage of a small niche is going to hold compact fetish-style desktop design as a major selling point. Computers are about value of usage for x # of years, and about expandability to those that are knowledgeable enough to expand. Even those that don't know how to or are less likely to still seek expandability and price to performance as a buying point moreso than a PC the size of a Puff's (tissue) box. Yes it was cool as hell, but the novelty wore off the minute you realized the desktop G4 with substantially more expandability and therefore usability was available for less $. The Cube actually made the G4 Desktop far more valuable than the Cube needed it to be. Hence, the Cube = dead. It wasn't a low cost (LC) style computer. The idea itself wasn't bad (small desktop)... but it's mission was critically flawed (overpriced, underpowered, underexpandable at pricepoint, out of touch with consumer's needs).

The rest aren't concerned with portability at all. They want to have choice. To get the monitor they want when they want it and at the sizing they want it at. The ability to swap in an old monitor they have lying around, or swap in a monitor from an older PC they have 'til they have $ to get that new LCD from Apple (or elsewhere).

I keep hearing people (i.e. HMurchison) speak of how Apple won't go away from AIO. I don't think anyone anticipates them to, and that's never been the argument. Yet to clue you in, for those who can remember when Macs were beige. Apple's first Macs were *ONLY* AIO machines and sales were initially a minor hit in 1984 and then they went sluggish. So what'd Apple do?

They severed the monitor from the design.

Amongst those designs was one of the most successful Macs in Apple's history. The Macintosh LC. Yes, farrrrrrrrrrrrrr more successful in sales than Apple's Cube, and also more successful than Apple's G4 iMac in #'s. In fact I'd bet it's still one of the 3-5 best selling desktop Macs of all time, if not Macs (desktop/laptop) period.

The LC was a lower cost desktop machine, in the form of a very slimline personal-size pizza box (not to be confused with the larger Sun pizza boxes or the infamous NeXT slabs). It was a very minimalist system, having a floppy drive and the basic guts. It was upgradable to a point, but at the time there was no such thing as 3D Graphics Accelerators and other needs for this particular computer's market to jack the costs up.

The low end will always be the low-end. Yet Apple isn't in the low-end game at this stage anymore. Even the eMac only hits the sweet spot for those wanting yesteryear's hardware for a bargain basement pricetag. It's not a bad machine, but once again it's an AIO for AIO people. I have no interest in an eMac, and would hold out for a G5 and wait 2 years or so (or buy used) rather than dive into any AIO offering. Even an older G4, which doesn't necessarily help Apple's bottomline, is more palatable to me than a new iMac or eMac.

Apple has only "1" headless range where it once had many. The problem in Apple's years of pitiful profitability (Sculley-Amelio era) was that they built too much crap (Performa + overlapping designs in too great of a variety) and had so many lines that made little sense. In the original days Apple's lineup fit varying needs, perhaps even too much (][fx, ][vx, etc.), but nonetheless they had the low-end AIO, the higher end AIO's, the low end LC desktops (LC ][, LC ]|[), and the various pro model computers.

So while I don't think anyone wants to relive the nightmare of the Performa, the LC warrants another look by looking at sensibly adding to the Apple lineup to meet ranging demands. Taking iMac G5 motherboards and putting them in external enclosures with an optical drive and selling them for a pricetag mildly above the eMac would suit a lot of people's needs who 1) won't buy AIO's ::raising hand:: or 2) want a lower cost desktop to dabble with the Mac and see if it's worthy of a switch. That will help build marketshare and it won't cut the profit margins at all. After all, many people have spoken of how the motherboard architecture of the current iMac, counting in the monitor pricing, is around $600 minus the head. Sell it for $800-1,200 for top end and that's what, $200+ profit per unit? That sounds like a healthy margin to me. Even if it had to sell for $1,000 base... I'd still buy one over an iMac at $1,299. You can't tell me that Apple's 17" LCD isn't valued at equal or less than $300 per unit so at $1,000... a headless iMac would have to be a very heady margin. Apple won't sustain losses if they can forecast and meet demand. If Apple wants to poll people, they'll get the necessary info. Only the realistic people should be taken seriously, although the unrealistic could warrant a tweener machine, between the headless iMac and the G5 if there's enough demand for a single processor gaming machine in that range. My guess is, there's not. Most expect a G5 with a bleeding edge card for pennies on the dollar and Apple isn't in the spare parts business like most PC builders who can build out of shelf overstock and upgrade their lineup as new parts become available (Apple rolls new or upgraded machines with major fanfare and extravaganza's to announce them). Apple has become more modular over time and shares many parts with PC's, but they keep a tighter grip on what they allow into their machines, and also require a lot of specialty parts as well.

It adds another wrinkle, and it's a brilliant idea. The R&D isn't exorbitant because the hardware is already there on the shelf, which makes the idea very modular and allows for greater sales volume with one architecture. You're just putting it in an enclosure and making sure it doesn't burn up, which Apple would do anyway with any mild variation in redesign for any model. So do a little testing with the current iMac motherboard and fans and see if it holds up. If it does... you're ready to go. The only real addition the iMac board needs for a low-end consumer is to have the onboard video connector outputted to an external DVI/VGA connector for hook up to a CRT or LCD.

This is what I want. The iMac G5 AIO is not my cup. The eMac isn't significantly better than what I already have. I can wait, but can Apple? If sales are slumping... then my guess is Jobs and company need to pull a new rabbit out of the hat. I think the "old friend" in the LC is the answer. It's just a question of when, not if, in my eyes.

IVIIVI4ck3y27
2004-09-23, 07:42
http://images.google.com/images?q=Macintosh%20LC&hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&safe=off&sa=N&tab=wi

For those with a short-term memory of what the LC series of Macs was. Here's some photos found around the web via a Google.com image search.

http://lowendmac.com/history/1990dk.shtml

Information that backs up and solidifies that the LC was one of the most successful Mac models in Apple's history. So AIO's have their place, no doubt, as the iMac G3 definitely substantiated it's position. Yet the LC goes to prove that a low-cost Apple desktop was a successful option that has just as much pertinence today as it did then. This doesn't mean $300-500 eMachine-competitor necessarily. It does however mean a way to get a lower end machine out there to the masses. A G5 in a slimline enclosure with an optical drive and Firewire and USB/USB2 is about all you'd need, and conveniently... the iMac G5 has all of this. Output the internal video connector to a female DVI/VGA connector that allows for a CRT or LCD and you're set, just stick it in a slimline and attractive/usable enclosure that speaks legions of Ive's panache for design and accessibility. To meet an even lower-end range, Apple could even put an updated eMac AIO board (assuming the eMac isn't replaced in entirety by the low-end edu iMac) in another similar slimline enclosure and meet the eMachine models head-on, still with retaining a decent margin per unit at that.

It'd also help marketshare which though Jobs hasn't warmed to the need... even BMW is releasing the 1/2 series soon in the U.S. and abroad (lower than the 3) and carrying the Mini lineup as well to undercut even the 1/2. Audi has the A3. Mercedes has a C-based coupe in the U.S. and sells the A-Class worldwide, as well as their Smart car lineup too. Selling a lower cost product doesn't have to cheapen the brand, if done properly. The LC, LC ][, and LC ]|[ proves this fact, as does the A3 (quality vehicle, just a matter of it's pricepoint compared to the A4), as has the Mini. To say that Apple has never done it or would never do it, fails to miss the point that Apple has done it and could easily do it again.

pscates2.0
2004-09-23, 08:02
I'm can't help but think that 6-12 months from now, after this initial glow has faded, the iMac G5 will be exactly in the same place the iMac G4 was after its honeymoon.

They're essentially the same machine. By that, I don't mean specs at all...I know a G5 is different from a G4. What I mean is that everything people bitched about regarding the iMac G4 is still present in the iMac G5.

:(

Makes me worry a bit.

IVIIVI4ck3y27
2004-09-23, 08:21
I'm kinda of the opinion that 6-12 months from now, after this initial glow has faded, the iMac G5 will be exactly in the same place the iMac G4 was after its honeymoon.

They're essentially the same machine. By that, I don't mean specs at all...I know a G5 is different from a G4. What I mean is that everything people bitched about regarding the iMac G4 is still present in the iMac G5.

Don't get me wrong: a nice design, much better prices, more "oomph" under the hood. But that doesn't erase the AIO, non-upgradeable graphics, etc. that seemed to cause the iMac G4 to go out like a lamb.

:(

That's if things remain as-is and Apple follows their history of one/no commercial for a supposedly righteous new product.

I'm curious to see what a Rev. B might bring. For those waiting for Rev. B (and a better graphics card or whatnot), I'll bet you $5 that doesn't come to be. The line will probably go to 1.8 and 2.0GHz machines, hard drive bumps and maybe something like Bluetooth and/or AirPort standard (at least on the 20" model).

Make no mistake: I'd love to see this iMac G5 be more successful and high-profile than the jellybean iMacs. But I honestly have no faith in Apple holding up their end of the deal in terms of push and advertising, based on past history. But I'd really love to be proven wrong on this.

We're about three months out from Christmas. If there isn't some good push on this by Halloween or mid-November, I don't know what Apple expects. I know their master plan is that everyone in America happens to stroll past an Apple store, see one in the display window, walk inside, fall in love with it and buy one.

But that's a bit unrealistic. Gotta do more than just that.

:)

Maybe they'll expand the silhouette thing to the iMac G5, further linking, in the minds of consumers, the connection between the two? Not sure how that would work, though, because you'd want to see the actual iMac, in detail, not just a white silhouette.

I tend to agree with you. The new iMac is an incredible machine for the wow factor of it fitting within 2", but it doesn't address much if any of the shortcomings of the original iMac G4 LCD, and maybe even loses some of the wonderful elements of the G4 model and it's ease of swiveling/positioning for the wow factor of that 2" thick attribute.

The one area it's resolved is to add substantial power and grunt with a decent pricepoint to the mix, and to help differentiate it somewhat from the Powerbook models where portability and power were almost the equivelant of the iMac itself. That's changed, but there's still your Powerbook G5 trolls crabbing that Apple wasted their time, and there's the non-AIO types that have been lobbying for a headless machine going back to before the Cube. The Cube was a failure because it completely missed the mark/point, not because the non-AIO form factor is a failure. The LC information from above proves this.

I don't necessarily think the iMac will be a failure (depends on how big of an expectation you set, and I wouldn't set things so large after the iMac G4), if Apple were to play it's cards right. Whatever Apple's sales volumes are expected, Apple should question at any time if they can legitimately predict those types of #'s. If they sell short, they need to have another option up their sleeves to fill in the gaps that are there.

GM in cars has taken a new road of trying to make multiple products fit one segment (hence the new aim with bringing out the Solstice and multiple models off of it; thank the Steve Jobs of cars, Bob Lutz, for that) vs. taking one product and wrapping it around a large segment as GM often tried to do before (Ford is following suit, hence splitting the Taurus into the Five Hundred and Mazda 6-based Ford Fusion sedan). As the old saying goes, you can't please everybody all of the time, but you can at least try to reach more and please more. Apple cut their model range down because costs and multiple overlapping models got out of hand. The problem is that Apple cut so deep that they've left big gaps that really need to be filled and haven't been since the original revamp of the lineups post-Amelio. A LC-like Mac, or even LC-like Macs (plural) would go a long way towards helping that. Apple could even modularize the enclosure in such a way to include a G4 in eMac based low-end models and G5 iMac boards in the higher end LC-like machines and share the enclosures with perhaps different aeshetic treatments to the plastics/metal. White for the low-end (similar to the eMac), White + Silver for the high end to bridge the gap, sort of like the iMac does with the metal leg and white plastic enclosure.

kretara
2004-09-23, 08:24
I finally decided to "upgrade" from my B&W. I had $1200 to spend. I went to CompUSA :o to look at the iMac. My initial impressions based on photos was pretty bad so I needed a visual inspection. After spending 30 minutes with the iMac (and telling 6 salespeople to leave me the heck alone) my initial impression holds. I really don't like the new iMac. There was no way I was going spend that much money on something that I did not like.
So, I went to ebay and bought a 733 Quicksilver for $450 and banked the remainder. Instead of buying a new Apple product I bought an used Apple product. Sorry Apple. Give me a $900-$1300 headless Mac and I'll give you my money and my extended familys money (we are looking at replacing 4 computers this year), until them I'll stick with ebay.

pscates2.0
2004-09-23, 08:26
I edited my post above for a less pessimistic, more focused take. :)

I don't think the iMac G5 will be a "failure" by any stretch, but I do genuinely worry that it might not truly reach the heights that it could, if left to simply sell itself on its own "coolness" or whatever. Or if it wound up on a 8-12 month update cycle, which has happened in the past, as we all know.

:(

I'd hate to think that the iMac G5 Rev. B is slated for next August.

rickag
2004-09-23, 13:09
......
So, I went to ebay and bought a 733 Quicksilver for $450 and banked the remainder. Instead of buying a new Apple product I bought an used Apple product. Sorry Apple. Give me a $900-$1300 headless Mac and I'll give you my money and my extended familys money (we are looking at replacing 4 computers this year), until them I'll stick with ebay.

You're not alone brother. When I needed to upgrade of few years ago, I bought a 7500 for $89 and added a G4 400MHz upgrade card, ATI Rage Pro. I am now at the point of upgrading again and will probably going the used route also.

Everyone who claims Apple doesn't off the mythical headless Mac is quite mistaken. They exist, but only in the used market, which doesn't help Apple's bottom line one bit. It's kind of sad that Apple's used market pricing is kept artificially high because demand for used Apple's is high because the typical consumer can't or won't afford a high priced AIO. :grumble:

note: for those inclined, don't even bring up the eMac as Apple's low priced option, its' current price/performance ratio is not acceptable to most people. :no:

Xaqtly
2004-09-25, 16:40
I'd like to offer an objective observation about the iMac G5. I work at a company that has a number of art, design and photo departments. Since the iMac G5 came out I have been innundated with requests from those departments to buy them all iMac G5s. I've gone over it with a number of people from those depts. and they all seem to feel that despite the iMac's drawbacks compared to the low end G5 tower which has dual processors and only costs $100 more, they would rather have the 20" flat panel display, the cool design and the space savings. They're all ga-ga for it, one of the designers is actually buying himself one this weekend.

Now most of these folks are either in photo editing or graphic design, layout and DTP - I think the iMac G5 will be sufficient for their needs personally. The photo prepressers are getting high end dual G5 towers because they need the raw power more than the editors/designers do. But I thought I'd mention it because it's been almost unanimous across these different departments, and honestly it surprised me. Nobody requested iMac G4s when they came out, they all wanted DP G4 towers instead. That suggests to me that the iMac G5 hit upon a very attractive combination of power, style and price, even moreso than the G4 iMac did. I just thought it was interesting is all.

IVIIVI4ck3y27
2004-09-28, 06:35
You're not alone brother. When I needed to upgrade of few years ago, I bought a 7500 for $89 and added a G4 400MHz upgrade card, ATI Rage Pro. I am now at the point of upgrading again and will probably going the used route also.

Agreed. I'd prefer new personally, because I could spring the extra $ for the Applecare too. When you invest that much $, it's almost a necessity in case the machines go *poof* which isn't unheard of. I just talked that fact over with 2 Mac technicians at my local Micro Center, both of which love the Mac platform and one of which is even a switcher. He's not drinking the Kool Aid all of the time but he does love the Mac for what it does, and still has his PC and PS2 for games.

Everyone who claims Apple doesn't off the mythical headless Mac is quite mistaken. They exist, but only in the used market, which doesn't help Apple's bottom line one bit. It's kind of sad that Apple's used market pricing is kept artificially high because demand for used Apple's is high because the typical consumer can't or won't afford a high priced AIO. :grumble:

Well hell, the Powermac G5 = a headless Mac. LoL So it's not like it's non-existant any way you look at it. Pricepoint-wise, yeah... there's a gaping hole for the non-AIO crowd like myself. That right now, as you've noted, has been served via the used sector. Yet if Apple offered something akin to the original LC and based it off of the iMac and eMac architectures, they could cut the costs of the used sector hardware and depreciate the values. More and more people would opt-in to buying less upgradable but easier to replace *NEW* machines based on cost entry point, and the used hardware would drop well enough in price that PC users "intrigued" by the Mac could obtain a beige or older candied model. That helps build marketshare without raping the product into something bastardized and ghastly.

The best part...

None of this has to cut into Apple's margins, because the hardware is already there to plunder out of the part's bin on, so R&D costs wouldn't skyrocket, and the hardware is already there to help meet or create higher forecasts from. The iMac and eMac are both suitable donors, as are parts from the G5, Powerbook, and iBook. Noone's expecting Apple to drop a $300 Mac on the masses and cut margins razor thin like PC vendors other than the naysayers that want to point out how it can't be done via FUD and propoganda to say otherwise. The answer is it can be done, because Apple charges a premium (margin) on the integrated CRT/LCD. Gutting out this element still leaves you with the increased margin on the hardware itself beyond that. Apple could even retain some of that margin on the monitor (which mind you isn't sold with the product) even with it gone, and sell the machines for $100-300 less depending on application (minus LCD or minus CRT in the case of the iMac/eMac) and still be making a healthy profit margin per machine. If Apple cut $200-300 off of the LCD in a new iMac, you're looking at a machine whose monitor on the street sells for probably $600+ for a widescreen 17" LCD. So if Apple's slicing the margins on this machine, they'd recoup the razor thin margins by cutting the costs minimally but giving the consumer the choice they want in terms of monitor selection. I'd buy a headless LC (iMac G5-based) for $899-999 no problem. Mind you the base iMac sells for what... $1,299? There's the $200-300 I referred to, and I'd bet it has better margins than the iMac with the LCD included.

note: for those inclined, don't even bring up the eMac as Apple's low priced option, its' current price/performance ratio is not acceptable to most people. :no:

Well this is arguable. I do agree Apple could do well to have a headless desktop based on the iMac G5 sans LCD that fits in the eMac's pricepoint. Would it eat eMac sales? Perhaps, but only for those that aren't strict AIO people and odds are, they didn't want an eMac in the first place, they just "settled" if they didn't just go buy a used last generation or 2 generation old desktop instead. That shouldn't be Apple's prerogative, to make people settle. Simply because a lot of people will "SETTLE" for used rather than new which doesn't help Apple's bottomline anyway you look at it. Especially when Apple has long-since abandoned the upgrade path to 3rd party vendors like Sonnet Tech, XLR8, Gigadesigns, Newer Tech, etc.

The eMac's guts could be donor to a machine that sells for $500-$700-ish depending on optical drive included and drive/RAM config. For $100 more per model, you could get it with a built-in CRT as an eMac; and the margins on CRT's are so thin anymore that I'd bet that most of the profit for an eMac comes from the costs of the hardware itself. Or you can for a similar pricetag get a monitor-less desktop with a G5 based on the iMac's board. Apple could even work out bundles for those that opt to buy them with Apple monitors and get the same margins they do off the current and same monitors they sell for the G5.

Moral of the story... none of this expands Apple's lineup so far it's like having 8-12 Performa and 9-13 PowerMac models, all with unique architectures and considerable R&D per machine. Really the modularity of this philosophy is such that it's just repackaging what you already have and designing around it. The costs would be minimal and the rewards high. I assure you.

Oh and I don't think you weren't optimistic or focused in your original posting pscates. As I said above, I think the iMac will be a success. Yet how much of a success is dependant on what level of expectations you set, realistic or unrealistic. To me the iMac G4 was a success. It didn't sell what the old iMac did, nor did it break past the LC, but the computer is in a different price sector and meets a different set of needs, a different design philosophy. Yes it's an AIO, but it's a premium AIO vs. an entry-level machine like the original iMac was. It bridges the gap between the low-end, and the high-end, and it's even had to contest with the continual evolution of the laptop which is eating desktop sales. For all of those challenges, it sold pretty well. I think Apple was overzealous in anticipation of sales on it, but I think it was a success. I don't see the current iMac G5 failing either, as it offers more for less. It might not be revolutionary, nor is it necessarily better in design vs. the previous machine, but... it's still a very nice machine.

Now if you want a failure... the Cube. Apple failed to forecast the market on that machine. They had the wrong philosophy with the machine. That's what happens when you push the envelope and take risks though. I never thought it made sense, and admittedly I like the less upgradable non-AIO desktop. Yet I'm not wanting a fetish computer that costs more than a Pro-Level Workstation/Tower. It doesn't have to be finite in it's miniscule sizing. It just needs to be cost-effective, offer good performance, and great value. It doesn't have to be revolutionary... hence a lot of people have basically regurgitated the form factor for the original LC models on various messageboards.

The dawn of the new iMac, contrary to naysayers, doesn't rid the gaping hole, nor does it spell the end of the non-AIO desire. I've seen a lot of people smitten by the iMac, and I've seen a lot of people that aren't and won't be. In that instance... it's up to Apple to find a way to get those that aren't, and to try to woo them away from "used" machines, or at least get their grubby paws on a new machine as fast as they possibly can. Every $ that rolls into Apple's coffers helps the company, helps boost the marketshare, helps cut the costs of older legacy hardware, and helps increase the potential for growth.

Like it or not, BMW is a premium brand that Apple compares themselves to... but BMW is now producing the 1/2 series (as-is Audi the new A3 in the U.S., and Mercedes a C-Class based coupe) to try to compete in a segment that typically is a pricepoint for Chevy, Ford, Dodge/Chrysler, Opel, Vauxhall, Toyota, Honda, VW, and other non-premium brands. They also own Mini, which like the "White Box" philosophy, shows another way to get product out there without it necessarily being a BMW in brand. Even there though, it shows you can pack a lot of design and performance into something economical and still produce margins off of it, not to mention cachet and desirability. I also am fairly certain BMW doesn't try to hide the shared lineage between BMW and Mini too much. Yes they want to keep them separate, but they also want that "Ultimate Driving Machine" charisma to apply to the performance image of what a Mini is, and make it known that BMW owns Mini and trickles that character down.

Apple could do the same (perhaps bring back the NeXT name which Apple owns), but in the same vain... they could just bring back the LC line under Apple (without recreating a brand) to serve the same purpose it did before; done via cost-effective modularity and parts bin sharing. I guarantee it'd sell, because I for one would buy one, and likely another one for my parents soon after. It's what I'm looking for and waiting for. I've got a safe hunch I'm not alone.

IVIIVI4ck3y27
2004-09-28, 06:47
I'd like to offer an objective observation about the iMac G5. I work at a company that has a number of art, design and photo departments. Since the iMac G5 came out I have been innundated with requests from those departments to buy them all iMac G5s. I've gone over it with a number of people from those depts. and they all seem to feel that despite the iMac's drawbacks compared to the low end G5 tower which has dual processors and only costs $100 more, they would rather have the 20" flat panel display, the cool design and the space savings. They're all ga-ga for it, one of the designers is actually buying himself one this weekend.

Now most of these folks are either in photo editing or graphic design, layout and DTP - I think the iMac G5 will be sufficient for their needs personally. The photo prepressers are getting high end dual G5 towers because they need the raw power more than the editors/designers do. But I thought I'd mention it because it's been almost unanimous across these different departments, and honestly it surprised me. Nobody requested iMac G4s when they came out, they all wanted DP G4 towers instead. That suggests to me that the iMac G5 hit upon a very attractive combination of power, style and price, even moreso than the G4 iMac did. I just thought it was interesting is all.

Well I don't think it's necessarily the design aspect as much as it is the performance per $. To me the current iMac isn't anymore exciting or revolutionary than the G4 model in terms of design or aesthetic. Both were amazing machines, and I'd almost give the previous incarnation more of the knod. Yet... for performance for $, the G5 model is amazing and it competes more favorably within the Apple lineup with that added firepower out of the G5 and the G5 name itself. I'm not so sure it's substantially superior in performance to the G4 with the crippled FSB on the iMac G5's and the far far less than bleeding edge video, less than adequate RAM, etc.

Yet the G5 marketing ramp-up after the launch of the decisively fast G5 desktop creates a marketing spiel, as in anything with "G5" on it immediately becomes linked to fast. It puts the iMac in a separation from the Powerbook/iBook and creates a sense of value beyond the non-desktop machines. Having a semi-portable LCD-based desktop with similar firepower to a similarly priced portable LCD-based laptop ate into the iMac's sales. Whether or not the G5 and new iMac architecture within the new machines is sufficiently faster to really live up to this marketing is arguable, but the cachet the G5 has right now is something to ride as much as Apple possibly can. For what the traditional iMac user needs one for though, a single processor machine hamstrung by FSB isn't as detrimental as it would be if you could get the same specs in another machine that you could take anywhere with you, i.e. the Powerbook/iBook. The laptop and the iMac AIO are more overlapping than a headless machine based off of the iMac IMHO, because AIO people will buy AIO's, and non-AIO people won't.

I'm a designer, I think the iMac is a marvel of engineering and design, I think the previous incarnation was more innovative and a better overall design. Yet I think the new machine will do well as long as you don't set expectations too high. I also admittedly am not interested in owning one. I'd not turn one down obviously, but if I spend the $, I want to choose the monitor I add to it for size, brand, etc.

rickag
2004-09-28, 08:33
Agreed. ....

Good post, well thought out. And, er, um, well at least we now know between kretara, yourself and me, there are three of us! :)

applenut
2004-09-28, 16:41
I'm can't help but think that 6-12 months from now, after this initial glow has faded, the iMac G5 will be exactly in the same place the iMac G4 was after its honeymoon.

They're essentially the same machine. By that, I don't mean specs at all...I know a G5 is different from a G4. What I mean is that everything people bitched about regarding the iMac G4 is still present in the iMac G5.

:(

Makes me worry a bit.

BINGO. someone has been struck with some sense.

wtd
2004-09-29, 02:22
We look at the PC market and say "AIO" has failed... no one wants them.

Is it possible this is the result of the fact that PC manufacturers have a tendency to make half-assed AIO desktops, then sell them side-by-side with far cheaper tower systems that are at least their equal in specs?

AIO works for Apple because they put thought into it, and because they don't produce non-AIO computers that directly compete.

kretara
2004-09-29, 10:08
We look at the PC market and say "AIO" has failed... no one wants them.

Is it possible this is the result of the fact that PC manufacturers have a tendency to make half-assed AIO desktops, then sell them side-by-side with far cheaper tower systems that are at least their equal in specs?

AIO works for Apple because they put thought into it, and because they don't produce non-AIO computers that directly compete.

This is going to sound harsh, but it is not ment to be.

All the below is IMHO:
One of the reasons that the AIO is selling OK for Apple is because we have no other choice but to spend 2K on a G5 tower, overspend on a used tower or buy an AIO in the $1400 price range.

Another reason is because many Apple fans will take whatever Apple gives and live with it. Its almost a religion.

Ok, last reason (of many pro/con) is from my experience working with hundreds of Mac heads about 25% of them will take "cool" styling (form) over function anytime, especially if its a Mac of any kind.

I did not list any of the pros for AIO because we already know most of them anyway.

pscates2.0
2004-09-29, 10:17
BINGO. someone has been struck with some sense.

You say that as if it's a first-time thing for me. :err:

I'm positively burdened with good, common sense...particularly when it comes to stuff like this. :)

It's the reason I'm not a Spec Whore, it's why I put the OS above all else and it's why I believe that Apple could be so much more to so many more people. I'm just jaded enough to see through stuff for what it is, BUT not so cynical that I still don't get a slight wiggle in my pants at the sight of new Apple goodies!

:D

Balance, my brother.

Snoopy
2004-09-29, 10:29
I think the G5 iMac has recaptured some of the appeal of the original iMac and will do much better than the G4 iMac. A big part of its anticipated success may be price. The G4 just cost too much to manufacture. Apple couldn't get the price down.

Yet, I think it's a mistake not to have alternatives in this price range. As it is, offering only an AIO to potential switchers turns many of them away. Likewise, many Mac users are buying on eBay because there is no alternative to the AIO at a price below the Power Mac line.

I'd like to replace my two Beige G3s with something new. If it doesn't happen by the time I really need something better, my next purchase may be an older G4 tower. You know, unless Apple actually tests the waters of this market, we can only guess what percentage of Mac users and switchers want something else, other than an AIO.