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Does no one care about iMacs anymore? - Page 3

post #81 of 93
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Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post

Please tell me you didn't just offer Linux as an option for anything but a vanishingly-small portion of the market!

It isn't as small as you might imagine. However it is a better path to take than building a Hackintosh which was my point.

Frankly I ran Linux for years and for many things it is a very good OS. What has me on a MBP right now is iTunes and other media services. Well that and one gets tired of a new distro every 6 months.
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How can you say that Apple doesn't make money on a display purchase with an iMac or MacBook? Apple doesn't give anything away - there is extra profit in an iMac over a mini, and in case you haven't noticed, there's a display in every MacBook, and MacBook margins are pretty healthy. I've already stated why the mini exists (for switchers on a tight budget, or people who don't need more) and why Apple doesn't care about selling displays with Mac Pros (very healthy margins without). MacBook Pros and iMacs are Apple's mass market machines, and they make a healthy profit on every one of them.

It is true that Apple doesn't give anything away but at the same time the margins are not dramatically different form on model to the next. I would imagine those margins are greatest on the Mini based on estimates of raw parts costs. Of course no body knows what Apple really pays for those LCD screens and other parts in the iMacs that are generic. This Mini on the other hand is made up mostly of off the shelf Intel parts assembled in a minimalist design, then sold at a high price.

As to healthy profits that is not something that the Mini is immune to. Obviously on a dollar basis they are less than the other machines but percentage wise I suspect that they are the same or better than the iMacs. It is all about low end hardware sold at high prices
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I'll cover these with my reply to MacTac below.



Anything that needs space for even one PCIe card and internal storage expansion locks the form factor into a box of some description, and I have not seen any indication that Apple has any interest in selling a consumer PC that is a box any bigger than a mini.

I hate to say this but you are thinking small here. Modern hardware offers up all sorts of potential possibilities. For example consider storage, if you stay with old tech, that is 3.5" drives you use a lot of space and a lot of power. The question you have o ask is that even wise for a fresh hardware design, I'd say it is not. Looking at storage again Apple could build such a platform with hybrid slots that take both laptop drives and any of a number of new card standards for solid state memory.

The Mini currently takes two drives with the qualification that they aren't easy to get to. A little thought would lead to a machine that could take four such drives or a combo of traditional drives and SSD cards. Add a fractional sized PCI -Express slots or one of the other standards and you end up with a lot of functionality in a box that isn't by any means huge.
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Would such a machine be desirable? Of course! I might even be in the market for it. Would some version of Apple, in some alternate dimension where they didn't have the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, make such a computer? Quite possibly! But not this Apple in this dimension, and continuing to pine for such a machine is tilting at windmills.

You see things like IPod, IPad and iPhone are what make such a platform even more desirable. It is the box that becomes Apples digital hub that they speak of so much. One thing that hub needs is lots of storage. It is no mystery, to me at least, that Apple needs a platform that can more easily support all of those portable devices with their backups, apps, and media files.

The Mini comes close here but frankly isn't the most powerful platform going.
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Yeah, you and your eight friends go buy Windows boxes. The number of people switching from Mac to Windows is such a small percentage that it's basically a rounding error. The people switching because they really want some sort of box for a computer instead of the elegance of the iMac is even smaller.

Getting stuck with Windows software is a reality these days as some stuff will never get ported to the Mac. The solution for that is a VM and a Windows install.
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I'm sure you thought you had a great analogy there, but it falls apart if you think about it. Sure, some maintenance items on new cars may be located in more convenient spots than they used to be, but just about everything else is now impossible to work on in your own garage - you can't even see the engine in most new cars; all you see is a huge plastic shield over everything. The number of things that are considered 'owner serviceable' on a new car is much, much lower than it was 10-15 years ago.

Last year I went to Maker Fair in Detroit which was held at the Ford museum. Of course Ford took advantage of this to show off all the new tech going into their vehicles. Some of those vehicles where so tight under the hood that you couldn't leave a pencil in there without causing problems. At the current time I was driving a ten year old truck and frankly was shocked.

I won't argue about ones ability to service such beasts but the days of doing a spark plug change in a half hour are gone. I'm not to sure you could do such in half a day because simply reaching the component would require a major disassembly effort.
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So, in this case, the iMac is very similar to a modern car - think of the RAM as the oil filter or fuses. Everything else is out of sight and not considered 'user serviceable'. It would, admittedly, be nice if the hard drive was also easy to get at, but Apple hasn't found a way to do that and manufacture and arrange the case to allow it. It's not so different from a modern automobile at all. Instead of the big, loud tower cases that we can open and swap components in and out of to our hearts' content (I built most of my PCs between '96 and '05), we have an elegant, quiet iMac that we can't do much work on ourselves.

Times change, markets change, consumer tastes change. Apple has brought the market to them, and I don't see any indication that they're likely to go back in any way. Everything about the company's products, in fact, says that they will move toward more integration, not less.

The move to higher integration is being driven by the shrinking of electronic components. It is the only way to get to markedly improved hardware these days. However one thing that tech has had trouble keeping up with is storage demands. I don't see this going away because the trend is for data to expand much faster than storage.

Just look at the average computer user and video. Apple started out with Quicktime video that used up very little bandwidth and user storage space, that worked well with the computers of the time. As technology progressed and normal users began to adopt it we have continually ran out of storage space with users often resorting to less that desirable tertiary solutions. Demand goes beyond video but it is certainly something all users understand.
post #82 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post

You know the future of iMac is going to be like a 3 chip design (CPU, GPU, FlashRAM)

Whenever I see the terms flash and RAM used like this I get excited. The problem is there is no such thing as "FlashRAM"* no matter what Apple wants you to believe.
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with a screen, running a cloud computing online apps platform, infact I envisage within a very few short years nearly all computing devices will evolve into this new format.

Cloud computing has certain potential, that I honestly believe but no body is going whole hog into to this. There are so many real problems that companies and individuals will not want to give up local apps and storage. Right off the bat you have huge issues with security that few companies will find acceptable. Then everybody has an issue with the cloud not being available 100% of the time.

Frankly there is a lot of wishful thinking with respect to the cloud. While it certainly has its positivesI don't think we will ever get people handing over all of their needs to the cloud.
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Hardware is virtually already perfected possibly over-bloated, all that needs to change to open pandoras box is the ISPs constraint on limiting connection speed.
If you haven't already noticed Apple have already bought into and adopted this future.

The above statement is just insane. Since when is hardware perfected? Seriously iPad would represent one approach to your cloud platform of the future but it is far form perfected hardware wise. The jump in performance from iPad 1 to iPad should high light just how far we are form perfected.
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That means the iMac et al are already set on a fixed path of change along the lines of the macAir as we have already been intimated too, and all that is left is the case of when the next major redesign accures, I reckon that will be possibly 2012 when SSDs become cheap enough to be viable and the momentum of demand takes over.

In what reality did this thought escape from? The AIRs serve a certain class of user well but they are by no means the end all. AS to SSD's Apple will most certainly move to them as soon as they can, but that has more to do with machine performance and nothing to do with the cloud. In fact I find it simply amazing that you would try to tie the two together.

As a side note SSD's highlight why the cloud will be such a hard sell, it is all about fast local storage. There is simply no way that we will see the low latencies, speed of transfer and reliability in the could any time soon that comes close to local storage.
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Of course cloud computing will eventually put an end to desktop peripheral storage devices, only leaving the professional creative (television channels) and service provider (Cloud) markets in need of the "Xmac" (redesigned MacPro) type of PCIe computer.

Obviously you are dreaming here.
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My games designer son came out with quite a statement the other day having his feet in both camps said there really isn't that much of a divide between MacOS and Windows 7 to decide between today, and he wonders if such large OS systems will be displaced by emerging mobile platforms in virtually all domestic cloud devices, even the iMac.

Actually I see the opposite, a digital hub to support all of these devices needs a more robust and reliable platform. In essence you end up with the hub becoming your local cloud if you will. A place where you keep the stuff that shouldn't be out in the wild or where fast access is extremely important. Actually things like iPhone just highlight that you need a support system beyond what can be found in the cloud.
post #83 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daemonk View Post

I do think the time is coming to ditch internal disk drives on the iMac and laptops. Those who really care can always buy an external one. Maybe another year or two, but we're definitely almost there.

That won't happen. The economics don't make sense. Think about it you can by a hell of a lot of storage space for what it costs you to remain connected to the cloud. Storage space that will remain orders of magnitude faster into the foreseeable future.

Oh by storage space I mean what ever tech you can afford and are willing to use. I can see traditional magnetic disks going away real soon. That is no big deal as we have flash drives for the near term and other technologies to support storage needs into the future.
post #84 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by regan View Post

Also, one might not always be in range while traveling....especially abroad to the all powerful "cloud".

The cloud loses most of its appeal as soon as you describe it as 'computers sitting somewhere else', which is essentially what it is.

As you say, it will gain importance, especially in the role of content delivery but I don't see it replacing local storage for everyone. It certainly can for some people. I can imagine people using an iPad-type device and logging into an OS running remotely for anything the iPad can't do on its own but even if you take a consumer HD camcorder and record a film, you're talking about 20GB of data or 160Gbits.

To upload that to a server for editing in 30 minutes would require a sustained upstream of 88Mbits/s. It may happen eventually but we're probably averaging round about 1Mbits/s upstream these days, although I suspect lower.

You also have to consider why you'd rely on servers over local storage. Not everything needs to go into a data centre so there's no reason to purposely make it slower to access.

Computer parts will naturally get smaller and lower powered and it will be interesting to see what manufacturers do when mobile hardware becomes fast enough to use in a desktop form factor. I'm sure we will see dual/quad-core ARM SoCs in desktop machines and TVs fairly soon and they won't look any different from normal displays.

Because of the local storage requirement, I reckon the mobile device will be the dominant device connecting wirelessly to standard screens. I think the storage syncing is too much of an annoyance. Eventually just get a 1TB SSD card inside the phone and store everything there (encrypted of course) and backed up at home.

Computers are personal devices and smartphones are the closest extensions of ourselves we can have with us at all times.

An alternative route people often describe is where you walk around with no technology except say an RFID card and if you sit on the train, the table could be a touch-enabled screen and you access personal content that way and take calls on a wireless headset linked to it. That sort of idea kind of works and could even work in a swimming pool but it requires you to conform to the device rather than the other way round and you have to change context too much.

People will try to push all sorts of different form factors so we'll just have to see which one works out best in practise.

I think one day the iMac will be replaced by mobile tech and it's interesting that they are also AIOs really but I'd say people don't mind that setup as much when then the cost is lower.
post #85 of 93
Well, I'm excited about potentially new iMacs. Sure, the changes will be all under the hood, and the new one will probably look just like the one I have now (which I consider a good thing, frankly).

But if they do come out with SB, Thunderbolt iMacs this year, I may consider selling mine in order to get the new one. There's nothing wrong at all with the 27" 3.06Ghz iMac I have. I love it, and it's caused me zero problems. But if there were a new one out, I would really consider it.
post #86 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by AaronJ View Post

Well, I'm excited about potentially new iMacs. Sure, the changes will be all under the hood, and the new one will probably look just like the one I have now (which I consider a good thing, frankly).

But if they do come out with SB, Thunderbolt iMacs this year, I may consider selling mine in order to get the new one. There's nothing wrong at all with the 27" 3.06Ghz iMac I have. I love it, and it's caused me zero problems. But if there were a new one out, I would really consider it.

Agree completely. I have a dual core 3 gig, 8800GS 24 inch iMac. It's very nice. It's a work of art. But I'd happily sell/trade it in against the forthcoming revision. Think I can wait until iMacs go six core with a much better gpu and stick in an internal SD drive.

That would be my dream iMac at the moment.

But the rumoured iMac sounds like it will be a very nice revision.

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 #87 of 93
Well... details of next generation iMac leaked when Apple was testing the iMac section of the online store. Check this out:

http://www.mojipod.sk/pozname-konfig...novych-imacov/

Oh! It can be fake also...
post #88 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post

I'll cover these with my reply to MacTac below.

Yeah, you and your eight friends go buy Windows boxes.

I seem to recall Apple coming out with Boot Camp. Followed by products by VMWare and Parallels. If even Apple has acknowledged a need to sometimes use Windows Apple better pay attention to the needs of its customers. Especially long time customers. I know more people that have dropped Apple and switched from Macs to Windows then the other way around. In fact I don't know anyone that has switched from PC to Mac.
post #89 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

I seem to recall Apple coming out with Boot Camp. Followed by products by VMWare and Parallels. If even Apple has acknowledged a need to sometimes use Windows Apple better pay attention to the needs of its customers. Especially long time customers. I know more people that have dropped Apple and switched from Macs to Windows then the other way around. In fact I don't know anyone that has switched from PC to Mac.

Well, I switched to Mac in '07 for two reasons: I had been working on G4's/G5's for years at my former workplace and Bootcamp would still allow me to run whatever Windows stuff I needed. Funny, but I really haven't used Bootcamp all that much. These days I only ever use it for an occasional game.

I know of four more people who have made the switch to Mac since, and I know one former Mac (OS8/9) user who switched to Windows because he felt Macs were no longer worth the higher sticker price.

I could easily switch back to Windows, and I just might. I love OSX but if the next MacPro is not a killer, I'd probably get me a custom rackmount PC workstation. The few head-to-head tests that are out there generally indicate that Windows actually performs better for the most part anyway.

Then there is the fact that Apple seems to be losing interest in high-performance computing: with that in mind a $4000 MacPro seems a bit of a risky investment, all the more so when a comparable (not identical) PC can be had for $2500.

But clients do expect to see an Apple machine, and operating a PC is still a bit of a hard sell in audio and advertising land.
post #90 of 93
Back in the 90s I used Windows. I switched to Mac when they introduced Mac OS X. A Unix OS with a lickably clean interface? Yes please!
post #91 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTac View Post

If even Apple has acknowledged a need to sometimes use Windows Apple better pay attention to the needs of its customers.

HA!

It's to ease the transition of "Switching", nothing more.

There's nothing you can do in Windows that you can't in OS X.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
Reply
post #92 of 93
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

HA!

It's to ease the transition of "Switching", nothing more.

There's nothing you can do in Windows that you can't in OS X.

So every piece of software is available for both platforms? Even some that are available aren't equal in capability and features. Mac users were really rejoicing about Autocad for OSX until they found out that Autodesk cut out some things for the Mac version. Then a lot of them said why buy the Mac version.
post #93 of 93
As the old saying goes: "Unix for programming, Mac for productivity, Windows for Solitaire." (i.e. gaming)

Now you can have all three in one machine. How cool is that?
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