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Apple's next iMacs rumored with compelling new features - Page 6

post #201 of 231
I don't know if this was already answered, but if Apple does attempt to move to some variant of Nehalem with the next refresh (either i7 or i5), doesn't that necessarily mean the disappearance of an nVidia chipset? As far as I know, all the nVidia based MacBooks and current line of Mac Mini and iMac not only use nVidia's integrated GPUs, but also their chipsets as well. But there is the whole big fiasco going on with Intel suing nVidia, claiming that nVidia's license does not allow them to make chipsets for the new Nehalem processors. Since that dispute is still ongoing, wouldn't that force Apple to choose Intel's own chipsets over nVidia's? Not that it's necessarily a big deal, as Apple could use an Intel chipset while still having a pick of nVidia, ATI, or Intel graphics, but I can't recall hearing about any i7 or i5 chipsets designed for notebooks out of Intel, at least none that are already on the market or ready for market. So where does that leave Apple, nVidia, Intel, and us?!
post #202 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

I'll give it a try. The iMac has always been an all-in-one computer aimed at students, home users, professionnals and small companies. When the iMac morphed into the current LCD monitor form factor, Apple placed the logic board behind the screen and adopted a slower, cooler, portable CPU for 2 reasons:

a) to save money by placing one large order for portable CPUs used in both MacBooks and iMacs;
b) to reduce the heat produced by the CPU and allow for thinner, quieter iMacs with reduced or no added ventilation.

The iMac could be thicker behind the screen to provide enough space for a better ventilation which would allow Apple to use cheaper, faster, hotter desktop components not only for the CPU, but also the graphic card and the RAM.


Decision making at Apple has always been a problem with Steve Jobs second guessing everything and everyone, insisting that he is the inventor of everything made by Apple. Under such a tyrany, most companies go from being competitive and innovative to being out of touch with reality and slow to respond to new competitive challenges.

With the illness of Steve Jobs which meant continuous exams, surgeries, secrecy and, finally, a 6 month leave of absence, Apple has just become more irrelevant as its competitors created better and better computers at an ever cheaper price. Netbooks are just one example. Blu-Ray and quad-core CPUs are another example.

What is wrong with higher prices and higher profit margins? Most people prefer a good deal when they can find one. Windows computers are 40% cheaper than Macs. If you are a school board, are you going to pay 40% more for classroom computers? If you are a company, are you going to pay 40% more for 200 or 2,000 computers? The answer is a resounding NO!

When you compare features like Blu-Ray drives, quad-core desktop CPUs, user repleacable desktop graphic cards, iMacs just don't cut it.

And what is wrong with buyers choosing a brand new desktop tower with a Blu-Ray drive, a quad-core desktop CPU, a larger hard drive, 4 GB of RAM standard, a faster desktop graphic card, Windows 7 and a 40% lower price than a slower, dual core mobile CPU iMac?

A 4% world market share would be half of the problem it is for Apple if Macs used a standard operating system (Windows) with applications written in a standard computer language, i.e. C++, instead of a specific Objective C language which is not used by most programmers.

An ever smaller world market share, persistent higher prices, higher profit margins, poor features reflecting last year's technology all conspire towards one inevitable conclusion: Apple is fast becoming irrelevant for most people, a boutique company with niche products which are overpriced and underwhelming. The problem has taken years to mature, but accelerated with the health problems of Steve Jobs.

Squeezing the lemon for every last drop just doesn't make sense anymore. Ignoring competitors and belittling Windows won't bring buyers back to Apple.

Why not a desktop XMac or iMac?

Steve Jobs is the problem. Some people say that he is delusional, others believe that he is just a tyrant. Could he be just wrong? Stubborn and slowing down Apple?

For background info on Steve Jobs, see the Fortune Magazine editorial:

The trouble with Steve Jobs @ http://money.cnn.com/2008/03/02/news...tune/index.htm




P.S.: Sorry for the long answer which shows only one thing: it doesn't make any business sense for Apple to sell no desktop computer, no desktop tower.



I feel that the iMac is more for gamers though..
post #203 of 231
I would love to see a computer which knows when I am in front of it via the built in camera. It should not have to wait 15min or so to go into energy save mode. As soon as I leave it should know and turn off the screen and vice versa. Since the new iPhoto has face recognition it shouldn't be to hard to activate my account as well.

As to a touch screen, I agree with KingKuei it may get strenuous, a mousepad size multi touch pad would be an alternative.
post #204 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by ouragan View Post

I'll give it a try. The iMac has always been an all-in-one computer aimed at students, home users, professionnals and small companies. When the iMac morphed into the current LCD monitor form factor, Apple placed the logic board behind the screen and adopted a slower, cooler, portable CPU for 2 reasons:

a) to save money by placing one large order for portable CPUs used in both MacBooks and iMacs;
b) to reduce the heat produced by the CPU and allow for thinner, quieter iMacs with reduced or no added ventilation.

My fellow quebecois, you have your history wrong.

1- the iMac morphed into the current LCD monitor form factor in 2004 and was using G5 cpus at the time, something that Apple couldn't use in the notebooks (PowerBooks at the time).

2- When Intel introduced the new Core cpus, they were only mobile ones (Core solo and duo, Yonah, at 29W) so if Apple wanted to release Intel iMacs early 2006, they had to use Yonah. Anyway at that time Yonah was faster than any G5 in the iMac. Desktop and Xeon versions of the original Core cpu came much later: 6 to 9 months later.

3- Only between early 2006 and late-2007, the iMac used the same cpus as the MB/MBP.

4- the aluminium iMacs were launched in august 2007 and Apple started to use the mobile extreme edition cpus (2.8GHz). Then early 2008 they started the use of custom cpus in the iMacs (Intel's E8x35 series). It is still the case today.

So between august 2004 and august 2009, 5 years, the iMac used the same cpus as Apple's notebooks for just 2 years (2006-2007). They changed the form factor not to use the same cpus as the notebooks, but because they chose to. Today they are not using the same cpus as the notebooks.

Could they have done better, I think so. Late 2008, when Intel launched the desktop S series (quad-core cpus with a 65W TDP), I thought that they would fit well in the aluminium iMac since it was just 10W higher than the current E8x35 series cpus. And those cpus were cheaper than anything mobile. Well, it didn't happen and now mainstream nehalem cpus are around the corner...

The iMac probably represents 90% of Apple's desktop sales, that still a lot of money. I am eager to see what Apple will do with the line to make it more attractive. If they continue using dual-core cpus (even nehalem ones), I think that they should cut the prices. If they move to quad-core cpus, it will probably be custom ones since the mobile ones are way too slow+expensive (1.60-2.00GHz, $350-$1,050) and the desktop ones are way too hot (82W for the S series, 95W for the regular series). Maybe a custom version of the nehalem Xeon L55xx series at 60W, 2.13-2.40GHz ($423-$744), but without the "server" class services: DMI instead of 2xQPI, dual-channel memory instead of triple-channel, PCIe on die + P55 southbridge instead of the X58-class chipset, etc...

Blu-Ray would certainly be a nice optional addition, as well as LED-BL display(s). The SD slot will probably also appear in the next revision.
post #205 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

... I am eager to see what Apple will do with the line to make it more attractive. If they continue using dual-core cpus (even nehalem ones), I think that they should cut the prices.....

I agree. And I suspect they will use Arrandale cpus (dual core nehalem chips) when available. Especially when I hear that the next iMac will be 'thinner and sleeker'. That says to me that TDP can't be greater than what it is now. Perhaps if they use Arrandale cpus they can get a special overclocked version with enhanced performance.
post #206 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

"Indications would point to slimmer, sleeker designs akin to the company's relatively new 24-inch LED-lit Cinema Display. "


As an owner of an iMac, I don't think the next iMac needs to be any thinner or sleeker. Its thin and sleek enough.

Give it more/better features, ie nehalem processors and blue ray. That would be a good start.

Full agree. I own a 24" current gen iMac - don't think it needs to be slimmer. More RAM capacity and more cores would do it nicely.

15"MBP 2.66GHz Intel Core i7, 24" iMac 3.02 dual, 4GB Ram, Logic Studio, Apple TV (3rd Gen), 16GB iPod Touch (4thGen), Airport Express.

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15"MBP 2.66GHz Intel Core i7, 24" iMac 3.02 dual, 4GB Ram, Logic Studio, Apple TV (3rd Gen), 16GB iPod Touch (4thGen), Airport Express.

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post #207 of 231
I just hope Apple moves beyond the brushed-metal look and goes back to white for the iMacs, along with black. The brushed-metal look doesn't fit with anything else Apple makes anymore, even the interface has moved on to a smooth gray. I want my iMac to match my white iPhone, dammit.
post #208 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

I just hope Apple moves beyond the brushed-metal look and goes back to white for the iMacs, along with black. The brushed-metal look doesn't fit with anything else Apple makes anymore, even the interface has moved on to a smooth gray. I want my iMac to match my white iPhone, dammit.

They only had this look for two years, they usually keep a look on their computers running for 3-5 years. The iMacs aren't brush finish either. I don't know where you say the look isn't used anywhere else by Apple, haven't you seen their notebooks? That's the exact same finish. The Mac Pro and mini also have metal with the same finish. The Cinema display is the same.
post #209 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

They only had this look for two years, they usually keep a look on their computers running for 3-5 years. The iMacs aren't brush finish either. I don't know where you say the look isn't used anywhere else by Apple, haven't you seen their notebooks? That's the exact same finish. The Mac Pro and mini also have metal with the same finish. The Cinema display is the same.

What do you mean "The iMacs aren't brush finish," yes they are. Not all the notebooks have this same finish, you can still buy a white MacBook. You are right, the mini is also metal, but, the entire top of it is white. But all the peripherals and other devices are white or black.

I never liked the look of the metal finish iMacs with black accents and a white mouse. It looks like a hodge podge of different styles from the past thrown together. I have a white 24" iMac, white MacBook, white iPod and a white iPhone. So, I bought into the white scheme and was hoping that Apple would continue to offer their devices in white. It would be great if they offered white, black and metallic for everything, but, I'm sure Apple will never give us that much design choice.

I'd like to see the white iMacs return, I think they looked nicer than the current model, and i've been holding off on buying a new iMac until they do. But, I could be waiting a long time.
post #210 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

What do you mean "The iMacs aren't brush finish," yes they are.

Brush finish at least needs to have streaks, Apple's products don't have that. It is probably a bead blasted surface, but it certainly isn't brush.

Quote:
Not all the notebooks have this same finish, you can still buy a white MacBook. You are right, the mini is also metal, but, the entire top of it is white. But all the peripherals and other devices are white or black.

Sorry, I forgot that white straggler.

The keyboards are bead blasted aluminum too.
post #211 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Brush finish at least needs to have streaks, Apple's products don't have that. It is probably a bead blasted surface, but it certainly isn't brush.

The keyboards are bead blasted aluminum too.

Bead, brushed, it's very similar. And I hate those keyboards with the black keys. They look cheap and flimsy. I don't think this is one of Apple's greatest design achievements in computers. They look a bit too industrial, which I like, but, doesn't fit well with their other products. It would look good next to my kitchen appliances, but, I don't keep my iMac in the kitchen.
post #212 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trajectory View Post

Bead, brushed, it's very similar.

It doesn't hurt to know the difference, it's not at all hard and it's not confusing when you know what you're talking about.

Quote:
And I hate those keyboards with the black keys. They look cheap and flimsy. I don't think this is one of Apple's greatest design achievements in computers. They look a bit too industrial, which I like, but, doesn't fit well with their other products. It would look good next to my kitchen appliances, but, I don't keep my iMac in the kitchen.

I suppose you mean the notebook built-in keyboards. I was meaning the separate peripherals, I was referring to are these.

http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB...mco=NDc1MTM1OQ
http://store.apple.com/us/product/MB...mco=NDY5OTg0Mw

I'm not a fan of them, but not a lot of people seem to complain about them. I didn't like the feel of the new style keyboards either, which was why I bought a refurbished MBP. I can see black being better for usability though, when combined with the backlighting.
post #213 of 231
Quote:
The only place I see for an AIO desktop is the kitchen computer, and that has to be dirt cheap.

Ouch.

I like the iMac I have very much. It is 'last years' top end model that I bought in a sale this year due to my disgust at the UK price jack.

Dual core.
8800 GS
4 gigs of ram,
500 gig HD.

It does what I want it to.

But is it competitive to Wintel desktops in the mid-range?

No. It's competitive with other AIOs. But it's just a laptop on a stand in my view.

It's a very nice 'laptop' on a stand. And it is a work of art...from it's packaging to the computer to the software itself.

However, it is not competitive against mid-tower competition. No quad core and the gpu is feeble compared to the opposition.

The iMac is a solution for a great many people who are undemanding of their computers. But that's alot to pay for a computer that is undemanding. It's no slouch. But start playing a game and the fans work overtime...and it gets very hot on the left side...!

If I could have bought a mid-tower nehalem for the same price? I would have. But Apple didn't offer one...despite the fact that the cpu prices are much cheaper.

'Choice'. Apple's desktop is plain wrong in my book. A mini that is overpriced and limited. An iMac that is over priced and limited. And the Mac Pro outrageously priced for a 'quad' entry model that is 'unlimited' (unless you count the crappy choice of GPUs...oh...then suddenly it looks limited...) No quad core under £1800. What a disgrace. And no sign of sorting it any time soon...

Feel better now I've had my little moan...

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

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You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #214 of 231
Apple's idea of a compelling new feature is probably just the fact that the new iMac will come with an SD card slot or Snow Leopard pre-installed.

Apple may 'innovate' and introduce an iMac with a matte display
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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post #215 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post

I like the iMac I have very much. It is 'last years' top end model that I bought in a sale this year due to my disgust at the UK price jack.

That was a VERY smart move, in my book. The discounted outgoing models are always where the best value for money can be found.

I just picked up a £1,599 MacBook Pro for £1,149. Cheaper than the incoming base 15.4" model, and with a 9600M to boot.

But back to the sentiment of your post.

It is beyond me that Apple continue to put laptop components into a desktop computer that is constantly plugged into the wall. The whole premise of laptop components is to trade performance for battery life. To repeatedly knowingly select laptop components, which offer lower performance at a higher price tag, for a desktop computer which has no real need for low power components simply so that you can make the design slimmer and quieter is beyond me.

It's little wonder that Apple is seeing a shift away from desktop computers to notebook computers.

The iMac is a corporate statement. A design statement. It says 'this is a little slice of the future'. It appeals to people who have an eye for beautiful things and who don't mind paying a premium for such objects of desire. For these customers, the performance of the computer doesn't matter as much as having something beautiful on their desktop that people will complement them on. And that's fine, it's their money, and Apple is simply catering to that market.

But given the state of the worldwide economy, these customers are thinner on the ground, and I get the impression that customers are more interested in an item's price tag than the value for money that it offers.

'I don't really care if the £899 entry level MacBook offers better value for money than the £299 P.O.S. that Tesco are selling I may not have a job in 6 months time'.

Perhaps function over form is the order of the day? It certainly wouldn't hurt Apple to open up a new product family and test the water?

So if you were to start with a blank sheet of paper, and pick the components which offered the best back-per-puck (within the consumer marketspace) what would you end up with?

a mainstream desktop CPU that can be upgraded
a mainstream discreet GPU that can be upgraded
a mainstream memory standard with support for large capacities
a desktop 3.5" hard disk drive that can be upgraded
perhaps space for a second hard disk drive
a mainstream optical drive

And that would be a great machine. It might not look as great as the iMac or be as thin, but it would certainly offer more bang-per-buck and allow Apple to compete.

This, in a nutshell, is the argument for the headless 'xMac'.

You can be damn sure that Apple has costed and built prototypes of this machine. And then the accountant pointed out that there was no margin in the product and that Apple would be slitting its own throat. Not only that, but that Apple would be supplying a product that customers would be able to freely upgrade for years to come without any of that revenue stream coming Apple's way.

And you realise that it's perhaps not a reluctancy on Apple's part to compete in the 'xMac' space, but rather a mechanism of survival. Apple know that they can't afford to compete with the cheap HP machines that are everywhere there's simply no margin. So all they can do is build beautiful products that convince those with the means to part with the extra cash in order to experience 'a little slice of the future'.

This, in a nutshell, is the argument against the 'xMac'.

And so we've come 180º, and I realise now that the iMac may not be the best computer that it can be, but rather it's a result of strategy to fish-in the punters. It appeals to the emotional, rather than rational, animal within us. So with this in mind, the next iMac won't offer rational benefits like the best performing components for the job, but rather the components that will allow Apple to build a system that will appeal to the emotions. That means thin, desirable, hardware porn.

That means LED panels and 2.5" HDDs that will allow Apple to build a super-thin enclosure. Hell drop the optical drive completely and offer an optional external unit it almost worked with the MacBook Air?

So here's the new iMac it's got a beautiful 24" LED backlit display, two spindle RAID via 2.5" hard disk drives, an SD card slot and a 0.75" thick enclosure. It comes with a webcam that anybody can phone and video conference with. It starts at £399, with a £99 per month O2 contract for 24 months. Or there is the 30" model that starts at £499, with a £149 per month contract.

That's compelling. That's the future. That's where the money is. That's where the long term revenue stream is. That's why the iPhone has been so successful for Apple - build compelling hardware porn, let O2 worry about the billing and the credit scoring, and simply take a cut of the profits.

Apple will try it with the tablet first, because it's more socially acceptable (at the moment) to pay a monthly contract for a mobile device.
OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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OK, can I have my matte Apple display, now?
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post #216 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

To repeatedly knowingly select laptop components, which offer lower performance at a higher price tag...

With Apple selling around 90% of ALL their computers containing laptop components... are you certain these components come with a higher price tag?

Quote:
It's little wonder that Apple is seeing a shift away from desktop computers to notebook computers.

The whole industry is seeing the same shift! And more so on the consumer side of things.


Quote:
But given the state of the worldwide economy, these customers are thinner on the ground, and I get the impression that customers are more interested in an item's price tag than the value for money that it offers.

ALL computer customers are thinner on the ground. In the last 9 months (the period when this recession actually made a dent in sales), PC sales are down a little over 3%, yet Apple, the company with the expensive laptop component computers, still managed to grow their sales. How do you explain that?

Look you are not the first guy to say that Apple's sales were going to be hit harder than their competitors during this downturn. We were hearing this last year from the financial and tech pundits... some of whom should have known better. With only a slight alteration to costs (MacBooks) Apple seems to have proved them all wrong.


Quote:
This, in a nutshell, is the argument for the headless 'xMac'.

And like all the xMac arguments, you have conveniently forgotten to mention that most people DO NOT upgrade their computers (and never have) and that most people (especially consumers) are buying laptops.

You also fail to mention probably the largest market for desktop towers... the enterprise market... which Apple rarely competes in.



Quote:
This, in a nutshell, is the argument against the 'xMac'.

I think your financial and business reasons are spot on.
Your 'little slice of the future' comment is a little misguided. That 'future' is already here.
And the argument that you have, once again, omitted is that this potential xMac market is getting smaller as each quarter passes by.

Quote:
And so we've come 180º, and I realise now that the iMac may not be the best computer that it can be, but rather it's a result of strategy to fish-in the punters. It appeals to the emotional, rather than rational, animal within us.

With respect, I would suggest that your reasons for the xMac are 'emotional'. It seems to be based on your desire for such a product and your belief that their are many more people (than there actually is) that share your desire.

Apple's reasons for denying you this product .... like refusing to join the 'race to the bottom'...like maximising their profits... like not targeting a shrinking market...seem to be the most obvious and 'rational' reasons out there.
post #217 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by piot View Post

And like all the xMac arguments, you have conveniently forgotten to mention that most people DO NOT upgrade their computers (and never have) and that most people (especially consumers) are buying laptops.

You also fail to mention probably the largest market for desktop towers... the enterprise market... which Apple rarely competes in.

But the people who DO NOT upgrade their computers still UPGRADE THERE SCREEN (and don't want to buy a full new system at the same time) as well wanting THE BTO choice that you can't get the with imac. Also you can't get quad cores or good vidoe cards with the imacs.

For the enterprise market a bigger mini with a easy to get to HD and more in line with other pcs pricing will work good for most of there.

Mini needs 2-4gb ram min and a desktop HD.
post #218 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post

But the people who DO NOT upgrade their computers still UPGRADE THERE SCREEN (and don't want to buy a full new system at the same time) as well wanting THE BTO choice that you can't get the with imac. Also you can't get quad cores or good vidoe cards with the imacs.

Do you actually know what people are actually buying, or are you just guessing?

Most of the desktops over at Best Buy come with a monitor. It's the same at Dell's web site. Dell used to have an option to save a few bucks and NOT buy a screen. That option seems to have, largely, disappeared. It's easier to sell (or pass on to friends and family!) a computer AND a screen. NPD stated that US retail desktop sales have dropped to 20%. Just a couple of years ago that figure was 50% ! I don't think the 80% buying laptops will be upgrading their screens, processors or graphic cards any time soon.

Quote:
For the enterprise market a bigger mini with a easy to get to HD and more in line with other pcs pricing will work good for most of there.

Most of the enterprise have locked themselves into the Windows/Exchange ecosystem and many use proprietary custom software. I don't think the size of Apple's desktop computers is what is preventing them from buying Macs.

Look there will always be a market for an economical, upgradable desktop computer. But that market has been shrinking and provides some of the lowest margins in the business. I just cannot see why some people are so surprised that Apple currently has no interest in it.
post #219 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

Apple may 'innovate' and introduce an iMac with a matte display

My biggest regret in buying my Mac Book Pro was "upgrading" to the matte screen. Side by side with the iMac, I still prefer the glossy. Buy the end of the day I am 1 foot away from the matte screen. Never really noticed that until some coworkers pointed it out.
post #220 of 231
Quote:
a mainstream desktop CPU that can be upgraded
a mainstream discreet GPU that can be upgraded
a mainstream memory standard with support for large capacities
a desktop 3.5" hard disk drive that can be upgraded
perhaps space for a second hard disk drive
a mainstream optical drive

And that would be a great machine. It might not look as great as the iMac or be as thin, but it would certainly offer more bang-per-buck and allow Apple to compete.

I enjoyed your well thought out post. Made me smile.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #221 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

• a mainstream desktop CPU that can be upgraded
• a mainstream discreet GPU that can be upgraded
• a mainstream memory standard with support for large capacities
• a desktop 3.5" hard disk drive that can be upgraded
• perhaps space for a second hard disk drive
• a mainstream optical drive

1. and 2. As long as the entry level price of the iMac hovers around a grand, consumers won't be clamouring for upgradable CPUs and GPUs.

3. I don't believe there's been any problem getting high capacity RAM for iMacs for a long time.

4. Yes, this is the biggest problem with the iMac. It's akin to buying a car that doesn't allow you to change the battery yourself. Ridiculous.

5. Would be nice, but USB and Firewire drives are cheap. Time Machine backups should be made to devices on a separate power supply.

6. The SuperDrive is as mainstream as it gets. BR is out there, but by no means a necessity.

What I'm saying is that if Apple engineered a user-replaceable 7200rpm drive in the iMac and gave it a matte screen, 90% of the complaints would disappear. No xMac necessary.
The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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The evil that we fight is but the shadow of the evil that we do.
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post #222 of 231
Nice to pop in occasionally, Kasper. Thanks for the welcome back.

Okay.

Now that I've had a chance to use the OTA optical drive "borrowing" feature that the MBA has, why not release an updated AirPort Extreme with the MBA's custom USB circuitry so that you can plug in the MBA DVD drive (or any other USB DVD drive) and share it OTA? Or just release an Airport Extreme with a Blu-Ray drive. It wouldn't take care of everyone's needs, but it would give every Mac (and PC, if they do it right) with a recent OS a Blu-Ray drive, regardless of what hardware it had on board. Sure, it's a bit slower, but it's an optical drive. Slow is a given.

Update the AirPort Express and the various laptops with the same USB circuitry and you have a solution for road warriors, and Apple can eliminate optical drives from the entire lineup if they so choose.

(The only problem I can see with this is Big Content going into a snit over their precious movies being broadcast OTA, even if it's over a protected home network. That wouldn't surprise me at all, actually. But they haven't said anything about Apple's existing implementationg of DVD sharing yet, so maybe there's hope.)

As for the iMac:
  • Matte screen is an easy option to implement: Coat the glass. Why not, if people want it?
  • As wizard69 points out, thinner is not mutually exclusive with faster. It just takes a little more work to get there.
  • Speaking as someone who's looked forward to multicore processing since they were doing it with 604e's: There is no compelling reason to sacrifice clock speed for 4+ cores until enough software takes advantage of more than 2 cores to make up for the hit in speed per core. And although Apple has done good work trying to make parallel programming as painless as possible, it's not easy; it's not something you can bolt on; and there are some problems, like FPS games, that really run best on 1 or 2 cores maximum.
  • Making it glossy black like the iPhone: No. It's one thing to have a shiny black accessory. It's another to have a shiny black box the size of a television. Generally, the larger the object, the more neutral the color and texture should be. (That said, I really miss the Ruby iMac.)
  • Blu-ray? Sure, if it's cost effective and the licensing doesn't require Apple to sabotage its hardware and software.
  • 30" screen: Sure, why not? The iMac has already moved into the pro space. Maybe it will come with a quad CPU in recognition of the fact that a significant number of pros will use 4, or 8, or 16 cores, or however many are available.
  • Replaceable/serviceable innards: Apple did this with the first iMac G5. Then they stopped doing it. I can only assume that the extra cost and effort wasn't worth the payoff. If that's true, it's sad. I liked the maintainability and the VESA compliance of the original iMac G5.
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #223 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by sc54321 View Post

Full agree. I own a 24" current gen iMac - don't think it needs to be slimmer. More RAM capacity and more cores would do it nicely.

I too agree. Throw in a SSD along with Blu-ray, and I think you have a winner.
post #224 of 231
I think the next major revision of the iMac will include:
1. improved iSight (don'f forget Apple bought 5MP censors a while ago)
2. Core i5 in BTO (Core i5 is released 5. September, very convenient for a autumn or winter refresh)
3. LED backlit display
4. upgraded graphics
5. minor price cuts

I'm crossing my fingers, my money is burning in my pocket, but I refuse to buy a iMac runnig Core 2 Duo, and without LED display
post #225 of 231
Quote:
That was a VERY smart move, in my book. The discounted outgoing models are always where the best value for money can be found.

I just picked up a £1,599 MacBook Pro for £1,149. Cheaper than the incoming base 15.4" model, and with a 9600M to boot.

But back to the sentiment of your post.

It is beyond me that Apple continue to put laptop components into a desktop computer that is constantly plugged into the wall. The whole premise of laptop components is to trade performance for battery life. To repeatedly knowingly select laptop components, which offer lower performance at a higher price tag, for a desktop computer which has no real need for low power components simply so that you can make the design slimmer and quieter is beyond me.

It's little wonder that Apple is seeing a shift away from desktop computers to notebook computers.

The iMac is a corporate statement. A design statement. It says 'this is a little slice of the future'. It appeals to people who have an eye for beautiful things and who don't mind paying a premium for such objects of desire. For these customers, the performance of the computer doesn't matter as much as having something beautiful on their desktop that people will complement them on. And that's fine, it's their money, and Apple is simply catering to that market.

But given the state of the worldwide economy, these customers are thinner on the ground, and I get the impression that customers are more interested in an item's price tag than the value for money that it offers.

'I don't really care if the £899 entry level MacBook offers better value for money than the £299 P.O.S. that Tesco are selling I may not have a job in 6 months time'.

Perhaps function over form is the order of the day? It certainly wouldn't hurt Apple to open up a new product family and test the water?

So if you were to start with a blank sheet of paper, and pick the components which offered the best back-per-puck (within the consumer marketspace) what would you end up with?

a mainstream desktop CPU that can be upgraded
a mainstream discreet GPU that can be upgraded
a mainstream memory standard with support for large capacities
a desktop 3.5" hard disk drive that can be upgraded
perhaps space for a second hard disk drive
a mainstream optical drive

And that would be a great machine. It might not look as great as the iMac or be as thin, but it would certainly offer more bang-per-buck and allow Apple to compete.

This, in a nutshell, is the argument for the headless 'xMac'.

You can be damn sure that Apple has costed and built prototypes of this machine. And then the accountant pointed out that there was no margin in the product and that Apple would be slitting its own throat. Not only that, but that Apple would be supplying a product that customers would be able to freely upgrade for years to come without any of that revenue stream coming Apple's way.

And you realise that it's perhaps not a reluctancy on Apple's part to compete in the 'xMac' space, but rather a mechanism of survival. Apple know that they can't afford to compete with the cheap HP machines that are everywhere there's simply no margin. So all they can do is build beautiful products that convince those with the means to part with the extra cash in order to experience 'a little slice of the future'.

This, in a nutshell, is the argument against the 'xMac'.

And so we've come 180º, and I realise now that the iMac may not be the best computer that it can be, but rather it's a result of strategy to fish-in the punters. It appeals to the emotional, rather than rational, animal within us. So with this in mind, the next iMac won't offer rational benefits like the best performing components for the job, but rather the components that will allow Apple to build a system that will appeal to the emotions. That means thin, desirable, hardware porn.

That means LED panels and 2.5" HDDs that will allow Apple to build a super-thin enclosure. Hell drop the optical drive completely and offer an optional external unit it almost worked with the MacBook Air?

So here's the new iMac it's got a beautiful 24" LED backlit display, two spindle RAID via 2.5" hard disk drives, an SD card slot and a 0.75" thick enclosure. It comes with a webcam that anybody can phone and video conference with. It starts at £399, with a £99 per month O2 contract for 24 months. Or there is the 30" model that starts at £499, with a £149 per month contract.

That's compelling. That's the future. That's where the money is. That's where the long term revenue stream is. That's why the iPhone has been so successful for Apple - build compelling hardware porn, let O2 worry about the billing and the credit scoring, and simply take a cut of the profits.

Apple will try it with the tablet first, because it's more socially acceptable (at the moment) to pay a monthly contract for a mobile device.

A very thoughtful and compelling as well as reasoned post.

I agreed with it.

Lemon Bon Bon.

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply

You know, for a company that specializes in the video-graphics market, you'd think that they would offer top-of-the-line GPUs...

 

WITH THE NEW MAC PRO THEY FINALLY DID!  (But you bend over for it.)

Reply
post #226 of 231
When are we going to see a damn SSD option for the iMac, the time has come. Come on Apple. As for doing it yourself, don't even think about it. You practically have to rebuild your whole Mac. It's like opening up an iPhone 2G, and we only know what a nightmare that it.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
Reply
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #227 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by Messiah View Post

So here's the new iMac it's got a beautiful 24" LED backlit display, two spindle RAID via 2.5" hard disk drives, an SD card slot and a 0.75" thick enclosure. It comes with a webcam that anybody can phone and video conference with. It starts at £399, with a £99 per month O2 contract for 24 months. Or there is the 30" model that starts at £499, with a £149 per month contract.

That's compelling. That's the future. That's where the money is. That's where the long term revenue stream is. That's why the iPhone has been so successful for Apple - build compelling hardware porn, let O2 worry about the billing and the credit scoring, and simply take a cut of the profits.

Apple will try it with the tablet first, because it's more socially acceptable (at the moment) to pay a monthly contract for a mobile device.

Giant flaw in your day dream - why on earth would anyone in their right mind want a 3G connection on a desktop PC? 3G is very, very, VERY slow compared to even a poor cable or ADSL connection. It has massive latency issues, is unstable, drops out continually, and will have crippling bandwidth caps. It's sufferable when on the move simply because it's better than the alternative (no connection at all), but to use 3G at home would be beyond absurd.

When people are using home PCs they like to stream TV shows, download HD movies, upload their photos to flickr, play online games etc. None of those are in any way possible on 3G, nor will they ever be. Maybe some future wireless tech could work, but not 3G.
post #228 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApple21 View Post

I think the next major revision of the iMac will include:
1. improved iSight (don'f forget Apple bought 5MP censors a while ago)

Actually this one I'm neutral on. Frankly I don't use iSight so I don't care.
Quote:
2. Core i5 in BTO (Core i5 is released 5. September, very convenient for a autumn or winter refresh)

This would be absolutely terrible because you loose to much with i5 over i7. On an iMac you would want the katest virtualization tech and the other features cut out of i5. I could see i5 in the Mini and maybe the Macbook but that is about it.
Quote:
3. LED backlit display

That would certainly be nice if it saved power. However I would prefer an OLED display.
Quote:
4. upgraded graphics

Yes that would be nice. I'm neutral here again because I'm not convinced that Intel and Nvidia are going to work out their problems in a positive way for computer manufactures. I can see Intel shooting themselves in the foot over this sort of thing.
Quote:
5. minor price cuts

We can all wish but if Apple does make the leap to the newest tech that isn't likely to happen. Especially in a context where they seem to be GPU happy.
Quote:
I'm crossing my fingers, my money is burning in my pocket, but I refuse to buy a iMac runnig Core 2 Duo, and without LED display

In this case I don't blame you one bit. While we can argue about the short comings of Core I5 it is still a massive improvement over Core 2 which has been dead on the desktop for ages now. The LED display I don't know about. Some are no more than an update to the older tech and some far more innovative. In a way it would be nice if Apple could work with Sony on this, their multi LED array models are really sweet.


Dave
post #229 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


This would be absolutely terrible because you loose to much with i5 over i7. On an iMac you would want the katest virtualization tech and the other features cut out of i5. I could see i5 in the Mini and maybe the Macbook but that is about it.

I wasn't aware i5 didn't have virtualisation. I take it that would mean Parallels etc would no longer be viable on an iMac? I can't believe Apple would make such a stupid decision.
post #230 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I wasn't aware i5 didn't have virtualisation. I take it that would mean Parallels etc would no longer be viable on an iMac? I can't believe Apple would make such a stupid decision.

Nononono, not at all. It just means the i7's have special features to hardware-accellerate virtualization and thus enhance the performance of VMs.

i5's have no such features, and neither have Core 2 Duo's.
post #231 of 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post

I wasn't aware i5 didn't have virtualisation. I take it that would mean Parallels etc would no longer be viable on an iMac? I can't believe Apple would make such a stupid decision.

It is my understanding that I5 won't have the LATEST virtualization. I don't have the full details but for I5 to exist it obviously can't have everything I7 has or what would be the point. Maybe at a later date I can scare up the chart I found on the net that covered the differences. In any event I wanted to clear this up before to many posts got logged in.

It is not just an issue of special features to accelerate Virtualization, as I7 has much more of its hardware virtualized. That can make a huge difference in how well virtualization works.

In any event I5 does come up short on another tech or two from what I can remember. People seem to think it is just a cheaper version of I7 core but forget to realize that making it cheaper means pulling something out of it. I wouldn't mind one bit seeing I5 in the Mini or even the lowest end iMac, but that won't be a pro machine in my mind.


Dave
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