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Does no one care about iMacs anymore?

post #1 of 93
Thread Starter 
There were so many rumors leading up to iPhone 4, iPad 2, and the new Macbook Pros - why aren't we hearing anything about new iMacs in new rumors this close to the end of an average replacement cycle?
post #2 of 93
If you'd search, you'd see there are plenty of threads that talk about the future of Mac updates.

Sandy Bridge chips for the iMac, Mac Mini, and MacBook Air already exist, so they'll be updated when they're updated.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #3 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

If you'd search, you'd see there are plenty of threads that talk about the future of Mac updates.

Sandy Bridge chips for the iMac, Mac Mini, and MacBook Air already exist, so they'll be updated when they're updated.

I did search. I don't see the excitement building the way it has for the other products.
post #4 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nondual View Post

I did search. I don't see the excitement building the way it has for the other products.

Because it's the iMac. Nothing about it is going to change. It gets a new CPU, GPU, larger hard drive, and a Thunderbolt port.

No one's clamoring for a redesign or dropping the ODD. It's a desktop.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #5 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

If you'd search, you'd see there are plenty of threads that talk about the future of Mac updates.

Sandy Bridge chips for the iMac, Mac Mini, and MacBook Air already exist, so they'll be updated when they're updated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Because it's the iMac. Nothing about it is going to change. It gets a new CPU, GPU, larger hard drive, and a Thunderbolt port.

No one's clamoring for a redesign or dropping the ODD. It's a desktop.

You don't think they'll redesign the iMac after so many years with the same form? I've had iMacs the last two desktops I've had. I'm really hoping for some brilliance in this line again soon. My hope is misplaced?
post #6 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nondual View Post

You don't think they'll redesign the iMac after so many years with the same form? I've had iMacs the last two desktops I've had. I'm really hoping for some brilliance in this line again soon. My hope is misplaced?

Nope. They've found something that works perfectly. They've already redesigned it since the first "where's the computer" idea with the iMac G5, and if they had planned to change it at all, they'd've done it then.

We've had four designs since then. Be happy.

(Original white case, thinner Intel white case, aluminum border case, one piece aluminum case)

I'd like to see the computer move INTO the leg and have the display just be obscenely thin, but that won't happen for a decade or so.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #7 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nondual View Post

I did search. I don't see the excitement building the way it has for the other products.

Because the replacement has not yet been rumored/announced. Once that is in the air, you'll see momentum building.
post #8 of 93
The longest update was 11 months and that can take us up to WWDC in June. If they did that, I'd expect touch features to coincide with Lion as it would have to ship with Lion.

If they update in the next month, I'd expect just the usual spec bump.

The iPad rollout comes next though so between March 11th until the end of the month, it will all be about iPads. April would be a good time for the Mini and iMac refresh, assuming a standard upgrade.

The nothing until WWDC and the Mac Pro could be next with the 8-cores per CPU upgrade. Then the Macbook Air update to Ivy Bridge dropping the white Macbook around back to school time.
post #9 of 93
Personally, I think the current form factor is great and don't expect any radical redesigns anytime soon. Instead, I see small tweaks and slight changes going forward. Like others have mentioned, the next obvious update will include the sandy bridge processors and thunderbolt ports.

I expect some touch screen functions to make it to the iMac eventually, but not for awhile. Personally, I don't think it's practical to have touch screens on desktops, but that's just me.

I think in January of 2012 the macbook pros will get a radical redesign however. I think that is when Apple makes a bold move they already signaled with the MacBook air, and get rid of the optical drive....thus making the MacBook pros lighter and to have more room for additional SSDs and other components while making them even slimmer. When this happens, the 13" MacBook pros will FINALLY get a dedicated graphics chip!

I think the iMacs will hold onto their optical drives longer, but eventually will follow the macbook pros lead, just as the MacBook pros will follow the MacBook airs lead.

Again, I don't think the iMac will have a radical redesign for awhile. I really think Apple has found the perfect form factor evolution wise, and there is really no need to abandon it just yet.

But little changes will happen. Rumor has it the next update might include an additional size between the 21.5" and the 27" iMacs....and we will see a 24" version. Don't know if it will replace the 21.5" or not, but it might satisfy that sweet spot for people who think the 27 too big and the 21.5 too small.

Also since Apple has managed to squeeze an i5 and even an i7 into the MacBook pro 13"....it's a safe bet that the 21.5" iMac will finally see them as well in the next update.

Apple also introduced an additional SSD drive into the 27" iMac last update, and that option should find it's way into the smaller iMac as well.

In fact, there was a strong rumor that a small SSD chip on the cpu would be included standard in all the MacBook pros for storing the operating system and the users main programs for faster run and start up times. This feature didn't happen. Perhaps it will happen with the next iMac update.

I am sure the iMac rumors will pick up steam the closer we get to the summer. I hear updates can come anywhere between sometime in April to July. Personally I think May is a happy medium. But I'm just guessing. :-)

I wouldn't expect anything flashy. But the updates should be sweet. i5 and i7s across the board, Sandy Bridge, thunderbolt, more SSD options across the line, possible 24" model etc.

Not too shabby.

Plus with the release of OSX Lion this summer...lots of nice software changes too. More ios like features that blend the best of the new crop of mobile functions with that of the desktop. And rumor has it, Lion will finally enable users to control the size of type and tool bars INDEPENDANTLY.

Can't wait for the next update. :-)
post #10 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nondual View Post

There were so many rumors leading up to iPhone 4, iPad 2, and the new Macbook Pros - why aren't we hearing anything about new iMacs in new rumors this close to the end of an average replacement cycle?

First; the chip that will go into the iMac is some variant of Sandy Bridge with an extremely remote possibility of an AMD chip. There is nothing to get excited about here.

Second; Thunderbolt has been release! So again no surprise here.

Third; unless Lion surprises us with resolution independence there likely won't be a dramatic change in screen resolution.

Fourth; Apple screwed up with respect to SSD in the Mac Books so I truly doubt we will see SSD's built into the iMacs.

In the end there is very little to get excited about. Performance should go way up if SB is implemented aggressively, but that isn't a surprise either.
post #11 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Fourth; Apple screwed up with respect to SSD in the Mac Books so I truly doubt we will see SSD's built into the iMacs.

Built-in, no, but TRIM support for the iMac SSD option, perhaps?

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #12 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by nondual View Post

You don't think they'll redesign the iMac after so many years with the same form? I've had iMacs the last two desktops I've had. I'm really hoping for some brilliance in this line again soon. My hope is misplaced?

Brilliance? Come on it is a desktop computer built around a flat panel, you can't expect much from the line. Frankly Apple now has more design latitude in the Mini than the iMac. By that I mean by making the iMac a flat panel they effectively have boxed themselves into a device with limited options as to size and design. Mainly because the expectation from the consumer is for thinner and thinner machines.

In any event back to this brilliance you are looking for, just what do you expect? Seriously the iMac isn't a platform of surprises. We already know what SB and the other technologies are and we know Apple is boxed in to a flat panel solution.

By the way one of the reasons many of us support the idea of a XMac is to have a platform upon which Apple can address the shortcomings of the iMac design. IMac won't go away but there is significant interest in a machine that can offer up more flexibility than is seen in the iMac. Such a machine would effectively free Apple from the constraints of the iMac form factor.
post #13 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Built-in, no, but TRIM support for the iMac SSD option, perhaps?

I'm not a big fan of TRIM as it seems to push onto the OS, functionality that should be built into the drive. Instead the hope was for Blade SSD's in the new Mac Book Pros. The idea being that multiple slots could have been easily supported leading to a machine with the potential to have a significant amount of internal storage.

I'm still of the mind set that most user will want laptops with more and more built in storage now and in the future. There are to many issues with the "cloud" to make it a rational approach in every case. Since SSD are the wave of the future multiple slots would provide a way for todays user to deal with the capacity constraints.

The new MBP are really nice upgrades to the previous models, it is just that I was hoping for a different approach.
post #14 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm not a big fan of TRIM as it seems to push onto the OS, functionality that should be built into the drive. Instead the hope was for Blade SSD's in the new Mac Book Pros. The idea being that multiple slots could have been easily supported leading to a machine with the potential to have a significant amount of internal storage.

I'm still of the mind set that most user will want laptops with more and more built in storage now and in the future. There are to many issues with the "cloud" to make it a rational approach in every case. Since SSD are the wave of the future multiple slots would provide a way for todays user to deal with the capacity constraints.

The new MBP are really nice upgrades to the previous models, it is just that I was hoping for a different approach.

I'll never get a laptop - I have no need for a laptop - what with the iPhone and iPad to bridge the gap. I want as much screen real-estate as I can get - and although the iMac uses a lot of laptop parts, it's still cheaper all-around for more power to stick with the iMac than to get a laptop.
post #15 of 93
I agree too I don't see a major redesign of the iMac just yet possibly a speed bump with sandy bridge and thunderbolt, there are several major changes in technologies that are on the horizon that I believe will dictate the next generation development of the iMac, First and foremost cloud computing is coming this means that home computers are going to become thin client terminals that plug into the networks and run small apps,
Naturally form follows function so a new mobile standard quad processor hike possibly Ivy bridge and AMD GPU is taken in a new design,
I would like to see the demise of the mechanical drives replaced by four fast PCI based thunderbolt interfaced Blade SSD cards with upto a 1Gbt/sec link speed, hanging on to Sata for the sake of maintaining disc drives is holding back the largest step forward in home computers and we won't see that leap until we let DVDs go and embrace cloud computing services.
Macpro also needs to evolve to serve the clouds and that will be the next big thing in convergent home entertainment devices coupled with online home rentals surely heralds the demise of the Disc as a medium.

Also consider SDXC data cards can store UPTO 64Gbt and together with micro SD and adaptors are used in most video and stills cameras right upto pro studio HDcams and are fast enough to hold up to 8hrs of 1080p HD video and photography,
post #16 of 93
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm not a big fan of TRIM as it seems to push onto the OS, functionality that should be built into the drive. Instead the hope was for Blade SSD's in the new Mac Book Pros. The idea being that multiple slots could have been easily supported leading to a machine with the potential to have a significant amount of internal storage.

I'm still of the mind set that most user will want laptops with more and more built in storage now and in the future. There are to many issues with the "cloud" to make it a rational approach in every case. Since SSD are the wave of the future multiple slots would provide a way for todays user to deal with the capacity constraints.

The new MBP are really nice upgrades to the previous models, it is just that I was hoping for a different approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

I agree too I don't see a major redesign of the iMac just yet possibly a speed bump with sandy bridge and thunderbolt, there are several major changes in technologies that are on the horizon that I believe will dictate the next generation development of the iMac, First and foremost cloud computing is coming this means that home computers are going to become thin client terminals that plug into the networks and run small apps,
Naturally form follows function so a new mobile standard quad processor hike possibly Ivy bridge and AMD GPU is taken in a new design,
I would like to see the demise of the mechanical drives replaced by four fast PCI based thunderbolt interfaced Blade SSD cards with upto a 1Gbt/sec link speed, hanging on to Sata for the sake of maintaining disc drives is holding back the largest step forward in home computers and we won't see that leap until we let DVDs go and embrace cloud computing services.
Macpro also needs to evolve to serve the clouds and that will be the next big thing in convergent home entertainment devices coupled with online home rentals surely heralds the demise of the Disc as a medium.

Also consider SDXC data cards can store UPTO 64Gbt and together with micro SD and adaptors are used in most video and stills cameras right upto pro studio HDcams and are fast enough to hold up to 8hrs of 1080p HD video and photography,

Yeah....I'm not too interested in the cloud right now - I'd rather keep local storage local. The cloud is great for backups, but it's not directly controlled by me and I don't much like that.
post #17 of 93
One of the changes I would like to see done to the iMac is going back partially to an older design. The design I'd like to go back to is the neck and the mounting that they used on the basketball Mac. The reason I would like to see this is that allow the monitor to be moved in any direction and at any angle and virtually any height the only thing that was missing was the rotation of the screen which with larger screens I don't believe is really necessary. The advantage of this type of mounting for the screen is basically ergonomic.

The major problem is that the current screen design for both monitors and the iMac do not have enough weight in their base to be able to counterbalance the weight of the screen or the computer.
post #18 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by REM#1 View Post

One of the changes I would like to see done to the iMac is going back partially to an older design. The design I'd like to go back to is the neck and the mounting that they used on the basketball Mac. The reason I would like to see this is that allow the monitor to be moved in any direction and at any angle and virtually any height the only thing that was missing was the rotation of the screen which with larger screens I don't believe is really necessary. The advantage of this type of mounting for the screen is basically ergonomic.

The major problem is that the current screen design for both monitors and the iMac do not have enough weight in their base to be able to counterbalance the weight of the screen or the computer.

Naaaaaah. Personally I think the screen mobility of the current iMacs is fine. Tilt it up or down on the hinge is enough. If you need to angle the screen, I find turning the lead base on top of the desk easy to do.

And as you point out, the screens are too heavy. The old lampshade or basketball style iMac as you call it had the computer in the base. I think this is a step backwards. To cram all those components in a small base will only limit the iMac. Plus the whole point of evolving to a floating screen design would be lost.

I hope they don't radically change the design. For me, the current design is a winner. I'd just like to see them concentrate on the innards and software now. Phasing out optical drives. Making SSDs standard. Thunderbolt. Resolution independence. So much room to evovle. There's no need to change the design. IMHO. :-)
post #19 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by regan View Post

I hope they don't radically change the design. For me, the current design is a winner. I'd just like to see them concentrate on the innards and software now. Phasing out optical drives. Making SSDs standard. Thunderbolt. Resolution independence. So much room to evovle. There's no need to change the design. IMHO. :-)

The big feature that would be good is touch input, which would mean pulling it down almost flat but the IO ports will prevent that. One option might be to use a Thunderbolt connection mixed with the power cable but even this means no portrait mode.

Displays will only get lighter and components more power efficient so I can see a return to the lamp-style one day. I actually think it was Apple's most iconic computer design.
post #20 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

If you'd search, you'd see there are plenty of threads that talk about the future of Mac updates.

Sandy Bridge chips for the iMac, Mac Mini, and MacBook Air already exist, so they'll be updated when they're updated.

Oh please. You know what he means.
post #21 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Oh please. You know what he means.

And I addressed his concerns. I fail to see the problem.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #22 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

I agree too I don't see a major redesign of the iMac just yet possibly a speed bump with sandy bridge and thunderbolt, there are several major changes in technologies that are on the horizon that I believe will dictate the next generation development of the iMac, First and foremost cloud computing is coming this means that home computers are going to become thin client terminals that plug into the networks and run small apps,

I honestly doubt that will ever happen completely. There are certainly some advantages to cloud based systems but there are a huge number of other issues that are big negatives. Especially in the context of laptops that are actually used out in the field. You simply can't count on the cloud being there.
Quote:
Naturally form follows function so a new mobile standard quad processor hike possibly Ivy bridge and AMD GPU is taken in a new design,

CPUs will simply keep improving. At some point, possibly Ivy Bridge, the need for external GPUs will be greatly diminished.
Quote:
I would like to see the demise of the mechanical drives replaced by four fast PCI based thunderbolt interfaced Blade SSD cards with upto a 1Gbt/sec link speed, hanging on to Sata for the sake of maintaining disc drives is holding back the largest step forward in home computers

Why not just use a PCI Express interface? In an internal application there is no need for Thunderbolt.
Quote:
and we won't see that leap until we let DVDs go and embrace cloud computing services.

Which makes no sense at all. Think about it DVD's and the cloud have nothing to do with PCI Express based storage.
Quote:
Macpro also needs to evolve to serve the clouds and that will be the next big thing in convergent home entertainment devices coupled with online home rentals surely heralds the demise of the Disc as a medium.

Again you make no sense, for the most part the Mac Pro is not a server and has very little to do with providing cloud services. If you pull out the part about rentals then you have a point, even then it doesn't always make sense to rent a video when buying is often cheaper. The rental industry is a significant way to drain money from ones pocket. Especially if you have kids at the age where watching the same movie again and again and again is the norm.
Quote:
Also consider SDXC data cards can store UPTO 64Gbt and together with micro SD and adaptors are used in most video and stills cameras right upto pro studio HDcams and are fast enough to hold up to 8hrs of 1080p HD video and photography,

So where did that come from?

By the way I'm a big fan of SD cards, you can store a great deal of movies in the space of one CDROM.
post #23 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by REM#1 View Post

One of the changes I would like to see done to the iMac is going back partially to an older design. The design I'd like to go back to is the neck and the mounting that they used on the basketball Mac. The reason I would like to see this is that allow the monitor to be moved in any direction and at any angle and virtually any height the only thing that was missing was the rotation of the screen which with larger screens I don't believe is really necessary. The advantage of this type of mounting for the screen is basically ergonomic.

The major problem is that the current screen design for both monitors and the iMac do not have enough weight in their base to be able to counterbalance the weight of the screen or the computer.

I'm not to sure about this design specifically but I will support the idea that Apple needs to offer up a broader array of Macs. They are seeing great increases in sales due to the halo effect and greater acceptance of Snow Leopard as a stable OS. To keep the momentum going they really need to be able to answer to a wider customer audience. Simply put this means a Mac with enhanced flexibility or expandability at a reasonable cost (Mac Pro is not the answer).

To that end you really have potential in the basket ball base, that is if you can make it serviceable and accessible. Apple has made great strides lately in making the laptops more serviceable so they need to focus on the desktop line. The new Mini is an interesting approach but honestly they could do better and it really isn't the expandable device that many want.

So this brings us to XMac which in your case would allow for any type of monitor. It is the biggest gap in Apples current lineup of Macs. That is a machine that offers up midrange performance and reasonable expansion.
post #24 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I'm not to sure about this design specifically but I will support the idea that Apple needs to offer up a broader array of Macs. They are seeing great increases in sales due to the halo effect and greater acceptance of Snow Leopard as a stable OS. To keep the momentum going they really need to be able to answer to a wider customer audience. Simply put this means a Mac with enhanced flexibility or expandability at a reasonable cost (Mac Pro is not the answer).

To that end you really have potential in the basket ball base, that is if you can make it serviceable and accessible. Apple has made great strides lately in making the laptops more serviceable so they need to focus on the desktop line. The new Mini is an interesting approach but honestly they could do better and it really isn't the expandable device that many want.

So this brings us to XMac which in your case would allow for any type of monitor. It is the biggest gap in Apples current lineup of Macs. That is a machine that offers up midrange performance and reasonable expansion.

Wow I think they need to do the opposite: begin consolidating and reducing the number of mac models available. iOS is the future, OSX has it's days numbered.
post #25 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by REC View Post

Wow I think they need to do the opposite: begin consolidating and reducing the number of mac models available. iOS is the future, OSX has it's days numbered.

The numbers just don't support your position. Apple is seeing extremely strong Nac sales when looked in relation to the rest of the industry. I suspect the numbers would be even stronger with one midrange desktop model.

For today's consummer Apple really doesn't have a broad selection of desktop models. The laptop range is strong and all I'm asking for is similar interest for the desktop market.

In any event I'm not sure where you get the idea that OS/X days are numbered. I see the opposite as it is really attracking a lot of interest that Apple hasn't seen in years. It is possibly the most stable and usable 64bit OS going. I'm certain it will improve and morph over the coming years but you need to understand that IS/X serves a different class of users relative to iOS. Sometimes the same user leverages both.

In any event you will need to show me more than your wishful thinking that OS/X's days are numbered. There are so many ways it could evolve that it will likely be with us twenty years from now.
post #26 of 93
Heres a thought Marv'...
Where will we be in personal computing in 10 years time, I believe all households will have a black box, a server like a macmini controlling all environmental and security services including wi-fi type of net-ware.

Our business / entertainment / computational devices will be cloud connected intelligent terminals connecting to an infinite spectrum of information entertainment and communication, we will be able to use any device on earth to connect to our own personal and business virtual spaces at any time probably held at Apples data-centre.

So iMacs will evolve to become minimalist but powerful human user interface screens, maybe wall size superHD 80" iEntertainment OLed screens remote controlled by our other intelligent iPad terminal, and Laptops will become the de-facto office / business connected personal financial earning device.

As ISP speed becomes less of a limiting factor Tv Video games business communication and the heavy lifting of apps will become online live and cloud based once we get past our fears of insecurity everything will become streamed, and will most likely utilize a future iteration of a grown up iOS, this is what will determine the future direction and development of the iMac and by then powerful computers such future iMac are likely to be contained in one single VLSI 10nm package.

And at the industrial professional level of computer usage commercial service data-centers Visual photographic and sound Tv recording studios will be requiring a heavier duty version of a local service multi-configurable Macpro with heavy lifting abilities of MacOS with integrated server.

There is a foreseeable future for all apple devices to evolve into but will it remain cost effective for Apple to develop or not to develop in any particular direction, will iMacs become absorbed into the TVs of the future.
To be or not to be that is the question!
post #27 of 93
I don't know about Apple's focus on the Mac. But I am sick and tired of Safari being so vulnerable year after year in the pwn2own contests. If you look at the bug fixes for security for Webkit, almost all of the defects are raised outside of Apple. Where is the focus on the Mac? In a networked world, security is more important than ever.

I don't want to expose all my data to Google, so using Chrome is out of the question. Perhaps, I should shift to Opera or Firefox.
Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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Most of us employ the Internet not to seek the best information, but rather to select information that confirms our prejudices. - Nicholas D. Kristof
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post #28 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

So this brings us to XMac which in your case would allow for any type of monitor. It is the biggest gap in Apples current lineup of Macs. That is a machine that offers up midrange performance and reasonable expansion.

This is truly the type of Mac computer I want and am willing to pay to get. I would even be willing to take iMac parts in an easy open case that doesn't have a built in monitor.

So I guess you could say that I do care about iMacs... if there was a headless one.
post #29 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

This is truly the type of Mac computer I want and am willing to pay to get. I would even be willing to take iMac parts in an easy open case that doesn't have a built in monitor.

So I guess you could say that I do care about iMacs... if there was a headless one.

Don't hold your breath - the 'Xmac'/'headless iMac' is never going to happen.

Anybody who thinks that Apple is going to expand the Mac line with a user-serviceable machine has let wishful thinking overwhelm all of the available evidence about Apple's priorities and intentions. Macs will become more integrated and iOS-like going forward, with physical keyboards and trackpads instead of touchscreens, and Lion bridging the gap.

The iMac will not be changing dramatically from its current configuration - Sandy Bridge will provide another performance boost and, combined with Thunderbolt, will allow the high end models to encroach even further into Mac Pro territory.

The Mac Pro will soldier on for those applications that need every last processor core and GB of RAM you can throw at them, but that market will shrink every year. Don't expect to ever see a new case design for the Mac Pro - it's going to become such a niche market as to not justify the expense and effort. Thunderbolt is going to allow many, many current Mac Pro users to move to iMacs or MacBook Pros. Thunderbolt kills the need for multiple internal hard drives - you'll get better performance from an external TB RAID in almost all circumstances worth contemplating.

If you want something smaller than a Mac Pro, but without any sort of screen attached to it, the mini is your only hope. I doubt the next revision will get anything beyond dual-core i5/i7, but if it ever got a quad-core processor, the ability to use 16GB of RAM (which may exist now, but there is no availability of 8GB 1066MHz SO-DIMMs, so it's a moot point), and a discrete GPU, Thunderbolt would take care of the rest. TB could even allow the possibility of an external GPU solution, though it would have to come from a third party - Apple wouldn't do it.
post #30 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post

Thunderbolt kills the need for multiple internal hard drives

Hardly. I agree with the rest of your post, however.

Originally posted by Marvin

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Originally posted by Marvin

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post #31 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post

Don't hold your breath - the 'Xmac'/'headless iMac' is never going to happen.

Anybody who thinks that Apple is going to expand the Mac line with a user-serviceable machine has let wishful thinking overwhelm all of the available evidence about Apple's priorities and intentions. Macs will become more integrated and iOS-like going forward, with physical keyboards and trackpads instead of touchscreens, and Lion bridging the gap.

The iMac will not be changing dramatically from its current configuration - Sandy Bridge will provide another performance boost and, combined with Thunderbolt, will allow the high end models to encroach even further into Mac Pro territory.

The Mac Pro will soldier on for those applications that need every last processor core and GB of RAM you can throw at them, but that market will shrink every year. Don't expect to ever see a new case design for the Mac Pro - it's going to become such a niche market as to not justify the expense and effort. Thunderbolt is going to allow many, many current Mac Pro users to move to iMacs or MacBook Pros. Thunderbolt kills the need for multiple internal hard drives - you'll get better performance from an external TB RAID in almost all circumstances worth contemplating.

If you want something smaller than a Mac Pro, but without any sort of screen attached to it, the mini is your only hope. I doubt the next revision will get anything beyond dual-core i5/i7, but if it ever got a quad-core processor, the ability to use 16GB of RAM (which may exist now, but there is no availability of 8GB 1066MHz SO-DIMMs, so it's a moot point), and a discrete GPU, Thunderbolt would take care of the rest. TB could even allow the possibility of an external GPU solution, though it would have to come from a third party - Apple wouldn't do it.

But the imac screen is a trun off for some users and they want a system with more power then a mini. why not have a bigger mini (does not need slots or just 1 slot with a video card in it)
post #32 of 93
Intel is to use PCI interfaced SSDs in their future designs I don't see them making such a move to such a superior interface unless they intended to use it, it also fits right in with TB being PCI based aswell. so out goes the limitations of SATA.

Yes you could TB to raid Harddrives from the iMac in pro uses aswell and I'm sure that will do for many but pro users will demand the new PCI architectured Macpro's next year or the PC world be it linux or windows will take over that coveted market completely and effectively severing the head Flagship of the Apple computer range.

It would not be so much trouble to reduce the current size of the Macpro to repurpose use with Intels new architecture in mind which with removing the need for power hungry mechanical drives that generate significant heat and mount space.

on the other hand the Mac Mini really needs a bit more space to accommodate even miniPCI cards, it seems to look like it has run up a developmental cu de sac.

In effect neither the Macpro or Macmini fulfil future purposing, where a single machine positioned above the iMac use that could be configured with an array of manufacture specific PCI cards with an open architecture to fit either server or workstation use as is comming with next generation Intel designs would serve as a new revitalizing Apple flagship design.

cut off the figure head of a company and apple will become just one of those other names that I can't seem to recall at the moment.
post #33 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

Where will we be in personal computing in 10 years time, I believe all households will have a black box, a server like a macmini controlling all environmental and security services including wi-fi type of net-ware.

One thing that's become apparent with the iMac and iOS devices is that in order to control the user experience, Apple needs to control the display - simple example is where the iMac screen gradually fades when it dims the brightness.

A conflict will likely arise somewhere along the line about which form factor is dominant. Computer chips will get smaller and more powerful to the point where an iPhone size motherboard can perform close to a modern laptop or desktop. I reckon the iPhone 5 will certainly outperform a netbook.

This kind of motherboard can then fit into any form factor, even a power plug.

But then so can any manufacturer's boards so what's going to make Apple's products excel in future? It will be the user experience and the iPad/iPhone shows that the screen is a huge part of this.

Glass surface, IPS technology, best-in-class touch response etc.

Displays have a fixed size though and this won't accommodate everything as we need different sizes for different tasks.

I personally think that our data centres will be our smartphones because they are the closest extensions of ourselves technology gives us. We can take them almost anywhere, they will have enough storage to hold all the data we need to have at our fingertips (512GB), can process and playback media content effortlessly.

Once performance stops being important, everything else we do with computers just needs a bigger screen or external storage so they can use wireless display technology to connect to them and you don't even have to take it out your pocket.

- get up in the morning, pop it in your pocket
- get into the car and the phone knows your calendar and connects to the car GPS to tell you where to go
- have a meeting with a client, you walk into their office and your phone connects to their presentation screen and shows them your demo
- they suggest changes using a touch screen and it gets saved on your phone
- you go back to work, sit down and it connects to your computer screen and you make changes to the project
- you get home, sit down and it hooks up to your TV to give you personalised favourites and suggestions about what's on and you can sync shows to your phone to watch on a commute or lunch break

This sort of thing can be done using the cloud with multiple devices each with a computer but I think in the interests of privacy, security and efficiency, the smartphone will be dominant and cloud technology will supplement it.

Sure you may lose the phone or it gets stolen but that's what full disk encryption, device locking, backups and remote wipe are for.
post #34 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

One thing that's become apparent with the iMac and iOS devices is that in order to control the user experience, Apple needs to control the display - simple example is where the iMac screen gradually fades when it dims the brightness.

A conflict will likely arise somewhere along the line about which form factor is dominant. Computer chips will get smaller and more powerful to the point where an iPhone size motherboard can perform close to a modern laptop or desktop. I reckon the iPhone 5 will certainly outperform a netbook.

This kind of motherboard can then fit into any form factor, even a power plug.

But then so can any manufacturer's boards so what's going to make Apple's products excel in future? It will be the user experience and the iPad/iPhone shows that the screen is a huge part of this.

Glass surface, IPS technology, best-in-class touch response etc.

Displays have a fixed size though and this won't accommodate everything as we need different sizes for different tasks.

I personally think that our data centres will be our smartphones because they are the closest extensions of ourselves technology gives us. We can take them almost anywhere, they will have enough storage to hold all the data we need to have at our fingertips (512GB), can process and playback media content effortlessly.

Once performance stops being important, everything else we do with computers just needs a bigger screen or external storage so they can use wireless display technology to connect to them and you don't even have to take it out your pocket.

- get up in the morning, pop it in your pocket
- get into the car and the phone knows your calendar and connects to the car GPS to tell you where to go
- have a meeting with a client, you walk into their office and your phone connects to their presentation screen and shows them your demo
- they suggest changes using a touch screen and it gets saved on your phone
- you go back to work, sit down and it connects to your computer screen and you make changes to the project
- you get home, sit down and it hooks up to your TV to give you personalised favourites and suggestions about what's on and you can sync shows to your phone to watch on a commute or lunch break

This sort of thing can be done using the cloud with multiple devices each with a computer but I think in the interests of privacy, security and efficiency, the smartphone will be dominant and cloud technology will supplement it.

Sure you may lose the phone or it gets stolen but that's what full disk encryption, device locking, backups and remote wipe are for.

Not with the small download caps.
post #35 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Hardly. I agree with the rest of your post, however.

I should have been more precise in my wording - I think Thunderbolt makes multiple 3.5" internal hard drives unnecessary for the vast majority of users, as it eliminates the performance penalty associated with external storage.

In the current lineup, the i7 iMac is roughly as fast as the base quad-core Mac Pro, comes with a 'free' 27" monitor, and is still cheaper by $300 ($1300 with Apple's monitor). If you don't need that big, expansion-friendly case for hard drives that can now be put in a Thunderbolt enclosure with no performance penalty, then why would you spend that much extra for the same performance?

Anandtech's review of the new 13" and 15" MacBook Pros comes to this conclusion at the end. The writer tried to give up his Mac Pro for a 2010 MacBook Pro and didn't last a day. He tried again this year with a quad-core 2011 MacBook Pro, and hasn't looked back. With current software, it's not hard to find uses that max out a 2-core processor, causing performance to lag, and a 4-core processor will show noticeable benefits for anything beyond fairly basic uses. The same can't be said for 6/8/12-core machines, where it really takes specific applications to show a measurable benefit over four cores. Add Thunderbolt to the mix, and the need for the Mac Pro is severely diminished.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeB View Post

But the imac screen is a trun off for some users and they want a system with more power then a mini. why not have a bigger mini (does not need slots or just 1 slot with a video card in it)

Because making a mini big enough to hold even one PCI slot, along with adding a large enough power supply to make that slot worthwhile, would create a bizarre mini-tower that totally defeats the purpose of the mini. Apple would much rather sell you an iMac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

Yes you could TB to raid Harddrives from the iMac in pro uses aswell and I'm sure that will do for many but pro users will demand the new PCI architectured Macpro's next year or the PC world be it linux or windows will take over that coveted market completely and effectively severing the head Flagship of the Apple computer range.

cut off the figure head of a company and apple will become just one of those other names that I can't seem to recall at the moment.

I used to own a Mac Pro myself, but the economics vs. the 2009 i7 iMac were impossible to ignore when I upgraded last spring. The Mac Pro is a beautiful machine for what it is, but to imply that it is some sort of iconic product is nonsense. In computers, the iMac is the most iconic, but only because the MacBook Pro is no different than a typical laptop computer in basic design.

In reality, though, the iPhone and iPad are the defining products in Apple's lineup now, and changes to the Mac line will only make them more like iOS devices (flash storage, instant-on, gestures, etc). The Mac Pro is an anachronism in that world, and creating a smaller version of it for a vanishing niche market just isn't going to happen.
post #36 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post

Don't hold your breath - the 'Xmac'/'headless iMac' is never going to happen.

Anybody who thinks that Apple is going to expand the Mac line with a user-serviceable machine has let wishful thinking overwhelm all of the available evidence about Apple's priorities and intentions. Macs will become more integrated and iOS-like going forward, with physical keyboards and trackpads instead of touchscreens, and Lion bridging the gap.

If there is a market for the Mac Pro there is a market for a smaller machine that is more flexible than a Mini. Apple isn't going to kiss away the Mac Pro market and with their growing market share they could easily expand sales with an XMac. Like it or not the Mac gets dismissed in many installations simply due to the lack of flexibility.
Quote:
The iMac will not be changing dramatically from its current configuration - Sandy Bridge will provide another performance boost and, combined with Thunderbolt, will allow the high end models to encroach even further into Mac Pro territory.

Maybe, maybe not. It is a mistake to think of any Apple product as a static design. Apple can be very agressive in re-imagining hardware.
Quote:

The Mac Pro will soldier on for those applications that need every last processor core and GB of RAM you can throw at them, but that market will shrink every year. Don't expect to ever see a new case design for the Mac Pro - it's going to become such a niche market as to not justify the expense and effort. Thunderbolt is going to allow many, many current Mac Pro users to move to iMacs or MacBook Pros. Thunderbolt kills the need for multiple internal hard drives - you'll get better performance from an external TB RAID in almost all circumstances worth contemplating.

That is BS.
Quote:

If you want something smaller than a Mac Pro, but without any sort of screen attached to it, the mini is your only hope. I doubt the next revision will get anything beyond dual-core i5/i7, but if it ever got a quad-core processor, the ability to use 16GB of RAM (which may exist now, but there is no availability of 8GB 1066MHz SO-DIMMs, so it's a moot point), and a discrete GPU, Thunderbolt would take care of the rest. TB could even allow the possibility of an external GPU solution, though it would have to come from a third party - Apple wouldn't do it.

Sandy Bridge and TAb will vastly improve the Mini, there is little doubt there. However it is still a Mini and thus to limited in features for many uses.
post #37 of 93
wizard69 - I've seen some of your ideas for what the iMac might become (TB monitor with a separate base unit), and they're interesting, but I still have to ask why Apple would change from the current form factor. Why would they go from the iconic 'the monitor is the computer' back to the pedestrian 'monitor + computer'? Without the necessity of adding touch (which I agree is a dead end/marketing gimmick for current uses), why would they separate the components?

Everything I've seen from them in the last few years leads me to believe they will continue to refine the iMac concept, and that will lead to thinner cases and larger screens. I just don't see any impetus to go to a less elegant, backward-looking configuration.
post #38 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post

wizard69 - I've seen some of your ideas for what the iMac might become (TB monitor with a separate base unit), and they're interesting, but I still have to ask why Apple would change from the current form factor. Why would they go from the iconic 'the monitor is the computer' back to the pedestrian 'monitor + computer'?

This is a good question. The way I see it one monitor (in different sizes) could accomodate both the desktop and laptop line up. This would provide Apple with a way to add flexibility to the product line while minimizing the hardware they stock.

Let's imagine that the zero in on 3 screen size or monitors, with the right approach these would work with either the laptops or the desktops. That is any computer with a TB port. For the desktop they could offer up the current Mini concept, a more powerful XMac and of course the Mac Pro. With a little creativity the Mini and XMac could be mounted backpack style on the monitor.

In the end there are two values this offers the user. One is flexibility to use the screen you want matched to the CPU you need or in a word flexibility. The second value is in far easier maintenance and an easier approach to obsolescence.
Quote:
Without the necessity of adding touch (which I agree is a dead end/marketing gimmick for current uses), why would they separate the components?

Because it would allow Apple to make a far greater number of customers happy without really giving up much at all. The more flexible approach means that systems end up tailored to the users need. In this case they would actually be able to trim the actual number of desktop products offered.

A big thing for the consummer is that it does away with some of Aples stupid marketing tricks. For example any Base Unit could be fitted to any monitor. Thus you don't have to settle for lower performance because you don't want the largest machine.
Quote:
Everything I've seen from them in the last few years leads me to believe they will continue to refine the iMac concept, and that will lead to thinner cases and larger screens. I just don't see any impetus to go to a less elegant, backward-looking configuration.

Elegant is in the eye of the beholder!!! You have to realize that Apples current approach is less than perfect. I bring this up a lot but the lack of flexibility is a real issue.

TB only marginally solves the issue of flexibility, it is a great leap forward in I/O but there is more to an optimal computer installation than I/O. Realize that I expect the connection to the monitor to be TB, it is what is at the other end of the TB cable that gives you installation flexibility.

In any event I realize that computing hardware will trend to smaller and smaller devices. Everybody knows that, but for a given process Apple will be able to build a range of performance. Not all of that range will fit into a Mini size case.
post #39 of 93
Go to Apple.com and look at the topsellers list. The iMac is currently #2. I think that plenty of people still care about the iMac. The iMac is a huge seller for Apple.
post #40 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In the end there are two values this offers the user. One is flexibility to use the screen you want matched to the CPU you need or in a word flexibility. The second value is in far easier maintenance and an easier approach to obsolescence.

Because it would allow Apple to make a far greater number of customers happy without really giving up much at all. The more flexible approach means that systems end up tailored to the users need. In this case they would actually be able to trim the actual number of desktop products offered.

A big thing for the consummer is that it does away with some of Aples stupid marketing tricks. For example any Base Unit could be fitted to any monitor. Thus you don't have to settle for lower performance because you don't want the largest machine.

This is where I think you're not understanding how Apple works: Apple does not care about this thing you are calling 'lack of flexibility', and does not see it as a problem. If they did, they would have changed the line five years ago to entice more switchers. They didn't, and the switchers came anyway.

Right now, ~70% of Apple's sales are laptops, and the increasing power of the MacBook Pro line is only going to increase this number. So, going forward, 70%+ of all hardware sales are already eligible for your scenario, regardless of what Apple does with the desktop. Those customers may or may not buy a larger monitor - Apple's Cinema Display is clearly designed for laptop use, since the cables aren't long enough to reach a Mac Pro under a desk. Regardless, Apple makes a pretty hefty profit on the MacBook Pro, so they're happy either way.

The mini exists for switchers, co-locators/people who need a small server, and those who already have a monitor that they want to keep using, either because it's a good monitor, because they can't afford to buy a new one, or they don't care that much about monitor quality (like my sister, for instance). Apple has an iMac that's much, much better than the mini, in every way, for $500 more, and that includes a very nice 21.5" monitor, so if you need a monitor and can afford $500, you'll see that as a very good deal and go with it.

If you're a switcher and you buy a mini, within two years you will probably buy an iMac (because your existing monitor is starting to feel old and small) or a MacBook Pro (because you decide you want to be mobile). Either way, they eventually move you to a solution on which Apple makes more profit, and cuts out other manufacturers. Co-locators don't care about monitors, and people who still can't afford/don't care about a new monitor will buy another mini (again, like my sister).

If Apple changes the line as you describe, all desktop buyers will be free to mix and match as they like. This would be a problem for Apple, as they'd really like you to buy their monitor, but there's nothing that will force you to do so - all you need is something you can attach a Thunderbolt/mini-displayport cable or adapter to, and that covers just about every monitor on the market. With the current iMac design, Apple offers a very cost-effective solution that takes up less desk space than a monitor+CPU setup, and which (coincidentally) makes Apple more money than if you were to buy a similar 'headless' Apple CPU and a monitor from somebody else.

There's just no reason for Apple to move in this direction - they make more money via the iMac without ever facing the risk that someone will buy the Xmac CPU, then run over to Best Buy for a Samsung/LG/HP/whatever monitor to use with it. If you need more power than an iMac (a smaller and smaller part of the market, given the power of the quad-cores), they have an extremely expensive Mac Pro that they'd be happy to sell you, and makes them enough money that they don't care so much that you'll probably buy monitors from somebody else.

This lack of flexibility that you describe is a genuine problem, to the point of not purchasing a Mac, for a very, very small number of potential customers. In the end, Apple will just content themselves with selling these customers an iPhone and/or iPad, and will not lose any sleep over it.
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