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What is happening and what can be done...?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Alright, first off, this is my first post! I have been reading AI for a long time and decided it was time to register.

Alright, on with the post...

Of course by now, our speculation and expection of MWSF is now teetering between lust and rage, what I want to ask is IF said rumors of the new iMac and the G5 do not come to bear then, well, why? I mean from the beginning Apple has been known for innovation and revolution in the PC industry and yet, now Apple seems to be scrambling to be able to make headway in their products. Now I'm not saying that advances haven't been made and progress hasn't be occuring but why does it seem to be minimum progress/maximum time.

So, what has to be done? Can Apple now catch up in mHz race and satisfy us as well as crushing the "mHz myth"? Can they again shake up the industry? I'd like your opinions on these questions as well as what you think the direction of the products:

iMac: First off, I love this machine! I would have bought one a few years ago, but I opted for the B&W for expandability. That said, I think the iMac is an amazing all-in-one product.

I, like many do feel that the form factor is getting old, it works, but even with speed bumps, the product just seems to lack the appeal that it carried when it was first introduced. I would also like to see it decked with a G4.

iBook: I can only say two things about this machine: I love it and I see it as being the one mac headed in the right direction. It has the beautiful case, solid features for a consumer laptop and is price competitive!

PowerMac: The machine I own, but wish it could be some much more. With all of the G5 rumors flying around I admit, I have got sucked into the fray. I would love to see a G5 debut, but I am also very interested in knowing how scalable the G4 Apollo is? I mean if it can scale to a decent speed than, yes, run with it, but have the G5 ready when it's needed.

Of course, as many have stated, a new FAST system bus is a must, DDR-RAM a must, a second 5.25 bay would be beauty, etc etc. The potential for this machine is great! I cannot wait to see it shine against the PC nay-sayers!

PowerbookTi: I love the look of this machine, but I am afraid that the Titanium casing and ultra-thin design are also its bane. From what I know from resellers and users the Titanium gets quite warm which means it will have to wait until processors will generate less heat and less power before I think this Powerbook can be a true pinnacle of portables.

Anyway, those are my opinions, fire away and comment!
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I love my B&W G3, well, until the G5 atleast...
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I love my B&W G3, well, until the G5 atleast...
Reply
post #2 of 3
[quote]So, what has to be done? Can Apple now catch up in mHz race and satisfy us as well as crushing the "mHz myth"? Can they again shake up the industry? <hr></blockquote>

Apple faces several problems with remaining competitive. I think two of the most insurmountable problems are the catch-22 situation of low volume, high prices.

Because of Apple's low volume sales, they must keep margins relatively high to remain profitable. Apple has the highest profit margins of the personal computer industry, and they only seem to get fatter. To move more volume, Apple needs lower prices, but if they lwoer prices, then their profitability is lost, and Apple cannot function for long in the red.

The other problem this presents is that Apple doesn't have the amount of cash needed for a serious R&D budget. Apple goes up against competitors that spend far more on R&D. For example, the OS X development team is miniscule compared to the Windows XP team. No wonder XP has better driver support, more options and customizability, ect., ect. The little details that require intensive work are better in XP, simply because M$ has an army of programmers working on it. Apple's programmers made OS X smarter, with more art and style, but no amount of creativity can make up for lack of work-hours.

I don't know how Apple could break out of the catch-22 they're in now--other than slow growth over the next 10-20 years.

[quote] Mac: First off, I love this machine! I would have bought one a few years ago, but I opted for the B&W for expandability. That said, I think the iMac is an amazing all-in-one product.

I, like many do feel that the form factor is getting old, it works, but even with speed bumps, the product just seems to lack the appeal that it carried when it was first introduced. I would also like to see it decked with a G4. <hr></blockquote>

The iMac is a disaster right now. It should be Apple's biggest item, but instead it's old and boring. Display is ancient tech, small, non-flatscreen, fuzzy, blah. Lame motherboard, poor graphics support, the list goes on. Apple needs to realize that the iMac competes directly with $999 wintel systems that come with 17" flat CRTs, fully decked out boxes, dual media drives, ect., ect., ect.....if not for the styling, the iMac wouldn't stand out one bit.

[quote] iBook: I can only say two things about this machine: I love it and I see it as being the one mac headed in the right direction. It has the beautiful case, solid features for a consumer laptop and is price competitive! <hr></blockquote>

Agreed. The iBook is what Apple should be doing with all their products. Get those prices down, offer good features, and stay away from expensive construction techniques/materials that jack up the price.

[quote]
PowerMac: The machine I own, but wish it could be some much more. With all of the G5 rumors flying around I admit, I have got sucked into the fray. I would love to see a G5 debut, but I am also very interested in knowing how scalable the G4 Apollo is? I mean if it can scale to a decent speed than, yes, run with it, but have the G5 ready when it's needed.

Of course, as many have stated, a new FAST system bus is a must, DDR-RAM a must, a second 5.25 bay would be beauty, etc etc. The potential for this machine is great! I cannot wait to see it shine against the PC nay-sayers!<hr></blockquote>

Powermacs are pathetic right now. Motherboard is 2 year old tech...Apple needs to get with the program and update it. CPU is fast but not competitive...Apple needs to light a fire under Moto's ass and get the G5. And don't wait for MWNY, introduce the G5s when they're ready, ASAP! Intel is going to be near 3 GHz by the end of this year--does Apple want to lag 2 GHz behind at 1 GHz? If this keeps up, then no amount of altivec units will give photoshop the edge in Steve Jobs' rigged expo bake-offs.

In a word, Apple needs a Powermac that trounces Wintels WITHOUT the bake-offs being rigged to use only select photoshop filters.

And for the love of GOD, ADD AN EXTRA EXPANDABLE DRIVE BAY!!! I think Apple did this on purpose so buyers would be forced to buy Firewire peripherals, and we all know who gets the royalities on the Firewire name--Apple! Damn, an extra drive bay would save so many people so much money and time. It's a disgrace that Apple cannot make such a simple change to their powermacs.


[quote]PowerbookTi: I love the look of this machine, but I am afraid that the Titanium casing and ultra-thin design are also its bane. From what I know from resellers and users the Titanium gets quite warm which means it will have to wait until processors will generate less heat and less power before I think this Powerbook can be a true pinnacle of portables. <hr></blockquote>

Fu[k all that, the Titanium rules! Who cares about a little heat? I agree, however, that something drastic will need to be done if Apple want's to boost the performance of the Titanium so that it can compete with the faster Wintel laptops.

To summarize:

Apple products have never been better.

Unfortuneatly, Macs are not competitive with the Wintel competition. They cost more, offer less performance, and cost way more. Did I say they cost more?

The biggest obstacle to greater market share for Apple is cost. I know plenty of people who've considered Macs, but in the end the price always seems to drive them away. And who can blame them?

Sure, we all pay more and don't mind so much, because we know how much better and COOLER a Mac is compared to a windows box. But to a newbie, a Mac is just another variant of windows, and also it is a new OS to learn, when they already know Windows, even if they don't like Windows it's familiar, and that's a powerful incentive to stick with it.

Imagine for example, how many idiots in the general public find it challenging to program a VCR. This is something tha has stepwise instructions clearly explaining the methodology. Now these sort of people, who make up &gt;70% of the public, they learn how to use one OS, and it scares them shitless. So even if they hate Windows, and they like the Mac better from what little they know of it, they are too scared to try a new OS. They would have to relearn how to use a computer, and they wrongly believe that compatibility issues will make them an outcast in the computing world.
post #3 of 3
There are dozens of reasons that can delay a product. An important part being delayed can hold up the entire process, similarly the late discovery of a bug. Integration takes time and testing. Manufacturing processes are troublesome when it comes to ironing out bugs as well.

Add to all that the need to be able to actually produce things at a reasonable cost for commercial sale. Then pile on political reasons to top it all off.

All of those things can delay the release of any product.

Can Apple shake up the industry again? Yes but to do so they need to get it right and not make anymore big mistakes and that means meticulous preparation and time. They are in many ways already well on their way back.

iMac: It's a good machine just old and in need of a reworking. Considering how much OS X is optimised for AltiVec though I wonder about the G3s a bit.

iBook: Apple has really done a great job with laptops. The iBook needs a larger screen but I would expect that probably by mid next year.

PowerBook: They need to work on the heat production a little. Beyond that it is a good offering.

PowerMacs: Motherboards are a concern. Apple has had this bad tendency of being behind the top offering in the PC world. ATA 100 should be standard as should DDR RAM. More PCI slots would be nice too along with support for greater amounts of RAM. In general more expansion room.

I just think Apple needs to take a slightly more aggressive approach when it comes to motherboard and case design.

The chips themselves are starting to head in the right direction. There shouldn't be another incident where the platform is stuck at one clock speed in the near future.

The G4s should be able to make around 2GHz after they switch to a 0.13 micron process.

G5s apparently have definite potential to scale.

[ 12-06-2001: Message edited by: Telomar ]</p>
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