Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon.
We'd do well to remember that Apple are relentless and yes, ruthless in their march forwards. They don't support ten year old software like Photoshop 7. Why would they support a 'ten' year old Pro design? The iMac has evolved over time. Follow the line from the 13 inch iMac to the current 27inch wonder in a 2 inch enclosure. iPad 2s that can rival G5s. Portables that have close the gap to the entry Mac Pro model.
At least people are recognizing the Pros very old design these days. Take a ten year old laptop and compare it to today's, things have changed a lot. Not so much with the Mac Pro where each revision just freshens the architecture while not innovating.
How many buyers are there for just the upper two tier models of dual processor Mac Pro? Less than for the entry models?
Good question which one needs to have confidence in guesses about current Mac Pro sales. I could see sales of less than 10k a month. Obviously internal information would be required to say for sure, and frankly the upper tier models are the only ones some would consider. So sales actually could be biased towards the high end.
The Macbook was dropped. Quietly. As one poster put it.., 'that was due to the natural evolution of technology' (as is often the case re floppy vs usb on the first imac...) Sure, the iMac might not be able to go toe to toe on absolute number crunching vs a 12 core model.
Please get a grip here the MacBook was replaced by something that better serves the same market. Every time I see comments like this I shake my head, it was pretty clear where the Mac Book was going the first time Apple debuted the refactored AIRs at a more reasonable price.
But given that you have a 27 inch screen, can buy the Pegasus Raid, install an SD drive, load the ram to 16 megs with 4x4 or 32 with 4x8 modules (yes?) you can certainly smack around the entry Pro model, give the middle model a bloody nose' and bruise any of the dual processor models.
This constant falling back to performance is a waste of time, because for every case that one can find for an iMac smacking a Pro around a like number can be found where the Pro smacks the iMac. Notably at lot harder than the iMac can manage to smack the Pro.
More importantly I don't really see a lot of Pro sales going to people simply focusing on performance, at least not CPU performance. They are instead buying for the other capacities that the machine offers.
'Absolute?' with each model loaded to the brim? Sure. But who was arguing that? Anyone? But the iMac/Airs/Mini/Pro laptop are Apple as a portable computing company and the sales and their designs are heading in that direction. The numbers don't lie. Look in any store. Look at their online store. Everything is tiny, small, thin and most things have a screen included.
It all depends upon how you look at the numbers. Apples Mac sales are cooling off and the desktop market for Apple in the US is absolutely flat. Also look at the stores and what do you see most directly - the low cost products. It isn't so much that devices are selling well because of portability but rather because of cost.
Is this a new phenominon? Hardly. Look at the original Mac. Had a screen included. A tiny machine really.
Yes but look back to all of through all of those years and realize that Apple did have reasonable desktop offerings. Even the Mini was a more reasonable offering. Not that the Mini is extremely bad just that one could go to Apple and get a complete system at a reasonable cost. Today theMini is more expensive and the monitor solution is terrible. It is no surprise then that the Mini is the sales darling of the online industry where it is packaged with reasonable screen solutions.
Even when the towers were 'competitive' PC reviewers beat them up over PPC, poor GPUs and a lack of monitor bundle. The prices have doubled on the low to middle ground since then.
PPC became a joke performance wise, so they got beaten up simply due to real world performance. It is the pricing of the low end that really bothers me. Apple simply doesn't have anything remotely competitive Asa midrange desktop machine.
We can speak of X-Macs. But the iMac is it. If not for Dave. Then for Apple. One is the spiritual successor to the iMac. One isn't. One drives sales through hard to get into obselessance over time and the other doesn't. one drives profits...one doesn't.
How in the hell can you make any of those statements???. There is nothing about an XMac that would be unprofitable in the least. The Pro is likely the least profitable machine in Apples line up. Further a properly built XMac would be more of a successor to the Apple 2.
Somebody spell out to me...the exact specs and show me the design of this mythical desktop that Apple will product and will prevent their desktops sales from remaining 'flat.' (...not so much...but relatively to the surging momentum of portability.)
Exact specs - how about using your imagination? There are many ways for Apple to realize an XMac. What you need to see though is that this in part would be the total overhaul of the Mac lineup. Gone would be the current Pro at the high end and the Mini at the low end. In stead we would have a scalable platform that could cover the entire performance spectrum.
Beyond that Macs don't have anymore momentum portability wise. The surge or better yet the ramp will be biased towards iOS devices more and more every quarter. If momentum was there Apple wouldn't be sending me ads for AIRs and other Mac hardware.
How many sales will that be? 100K? 200K? 250K? 500K? 1 million? (the first few numbers are hardly worth the engineering effor the latter number? Unlikely.)
A model range that replaces both the Pro and Mini and takes a few iMac sales along with it could easily sell 2 million or more a quarter.
If the iMac is selling 750K, how many will this 'X-Mac' sell? More than the original Cube? (A lesson hard learnt that APple maybe doesn't think there is a market for THEM to be a differentiator. There's plenty of PC mid-towers. And they're selling loads, right? In a razor thin, cut throat margin market?!)
Why would you bring up the Cube which back then was a terrible value relative to anything else just like most of today's Mac Pros? If anything Apple learned nothing from the Cube as they repeated that insanity with the original AIRs. At least with the AIRs they pulled their collective heads out of a dark place and produced something the market could eventually accept.
Can one x-Mac model stem the tide of portability?
tides go in and out, currently the tide is receding.
And will the iPad eat the laptop's lunch? As the laptops are eating the desktops lunch 4-1. And heading for an unassailable 5-1 ratio. Why would you want to put a clunky box on your desktop after getting used to all the space saving offering by an iPad and Air?
Let me count the ways.
- A much larger screen that fits my needs.
- The ability to actually add disk storage to the base configuration.
- Speed, a desktop can easily exceed the performance of any portable.
- Expandability or configurability. And no I'm not talking GPUs here.
- A desktop actually reduces clutter. Throw a laptop on a desk and you have to connect a bunch of wires to it.
- I need someplace to store everything and to backup all of those portable devices.
For the average consumer and not for die hards on forums...who will care? Where's the demand? (Outside of people who MUST have the latest ATI card for £500 and more than half the cost of an Air. No deal that...for the average person.) Apple's traditional market is relatively tiny. And it's being treated accordingly.
This makes no sense at all. Average consumers shop and thus are more sensitive to value than your so called die hards. They can perceive a bargain and a screwing.
When Jobs pulled engineers off OS X to focus on iOS years ago. When iOS became the focus of WWDC...when iOS started selling stratospheric numbers that buried the Mac userbase in a few years...and the current level of cash in the bank and the current APple stores tell what their focus is.
Do you really understand business at all? I can't tell you how many time I've been pulled off primary tasks to solve the problem of the moment. We aren't even talking consummer electronics here.
Apples condition is no more different than John Dears, they sell big and little tractors and everything in between. They do not give up on one segment just because another is hot.
Even though Apple's sales are relatively bigger than when they had the Cube...maybe they don't want to have '3' desktop models. The 'pro' now no longer occupies the £1495 to £2000 segment here in the UK. Partly dollar vs Sterling. Mostly not. The iMac has moved on up. It batters the entry Pro...and smacks around the lower mid model. And if you can wait a minute saves you selling your liver and kidneys for the dual processor model and an Apple 27 inch monitor.
Just because you can constantly repeat something does not make it true. IMac can't possibly smack the Pro unless you are very narrowly focused on optimal benchmarks. Your constant obsession here tells me you have no idea or appreciation of the Pros advantages.
I'm with you on pricing though. The whole discussion about XMac revolves around the idea of a far more cost effective desktop line up.
So given that Desktop sales are down 1:4+ Times the Cube sales by a factor of 4 relatively. Be generous. 100K (for a 'mini me Pro' with a price tag to match...£1495) a number ball park the Cube's initial sales? 100k x 4 gives you 400k in sales. It might cannibilise some sales though...Pro sales?!) so absolute desktop sales will hover just over 1 million. Say 1.2-3 million. Apple recently had 1.1 million desktop sales...and more people even more recently chose laptops so Apple desktops are around 1 million with the iMac leading a respectable charge. I don't think the sales or complete 180 degree reversal in design direction will make it worth Apple's while.
It would be very bad voodoo for Apple to abandon the desktop.
Apple's iMac is the best All in One out there. It's eating into, soaking up lower end Pro Mac sales leaving the dual Pro even more niche...and pricey! (Gone are the relative recent days of Apple 'giving us' dual processors at sub £2k prices.)
If this was true I'd almost be happy. The fact is iMac has soaked up nothing. Apple is in fact loosing sales. People that want a desktop are simply going elsewhere.
The iMac is Apple's 1k-2k machine. The Mini is below that on the 'low' end (not so much by the time you add a k/b, mouse, apple monitor...poor value relative to the iMac...) Whereas the iMac is very good value relative to the low end Pro's.
The iMac is not a replacement for either the Mini nor the Pro, it is as simple as that.
They aren't going to can the iMac for an X-Mac. Nor the Mini. Apple don't do overlap. The natural law of technology will cause teh iMac top end to eat the low end Pro...
Considering that the iMac is in a category of its own and is the only machine with some success there is no reason to can it. The Mac Pro and Mini on the other hand could die tomorrow and no one would bat an eye.
Apple may give the Pro no further investment but slam in the latest components and 'hope' that the sales reach 100k. (I remember years ago posters on this very board saying we'll be lucky to see Pro sales of 250k ever again. I didn't believe it at the time. Prices haven't helped. But technology is going portable and smaller. Honking Towers and Cray machines are so over. Are Apple doing to give us ANOTHER desktop in addition to 3 models?)
Again you have a very narrow view of reality. There is still a strong demand for performance that can't be had in a portable. That is the driver for desktop machines. Apple doesn't need a Tower in the sense of the Mac Pro to deliver such performance any more, that we can agree upon. However neither the iMac nor the Mini can deliver such performance. The obvious response is a midrange capable machine.
The alternative is to standard the Mac Pro on 6/8 core models and lop the price by £1000. To give two models under 2k. £995 and £1395 and another dual model sub £2k. The iMac still wins because of the included monitor. But I see this as the only chance to get the Pro anywhere near 250K unit sales. And yes. With a redesign to save costs. Maybe with a revolutionary modular aspect (at odds with Apple selling sealed boxes and obsolescence.)
Lemon Bon Bon.
Interestingly you are half way there to a XMac. Just throw in modern technology and you would be all set. In fact you seem to have pretty much verified in my mind why an XMac is needed. You dismiss XMac one moment but then turn around and realize that some of the points offered up are important and suggest what could be considered to be an XMac.
The more thought that people put into this the more obvious it should become that Apple needs to do something about the Mini and the Pro. XMac is simply a concept that they can build a new family around.