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iFixit dings new 21.5-inch iMac for low repairability as shipping times increase - Page 5

post #161 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

[...] You're stilling looking at it from some component spec but a buyer might look at the time saved between choosing more RAM when buying their Mac over going to some 3rd-party site to hunt down the right RAM, having it shipped to them (perhaps from a company they've never used), and then installing it themselves or having someone else do it as a favour or for a fee as "better."

 

I understand what you're saying. Maybe I haven't acknowledged that clearly enough in my responses. I completely agree. Even with easily serviceable machines like I have now, upgrades are an inconvenience I could do without. I'd much rather NOT start dismantling my new computer moments after unboxing it. The only reason I do is because the cost of having Apple do it for me is enough to overcome the cognitive dissonance that makes me believe it's worth it.

 

I'm so lazy I shower with my clothes on to avoid doing laundry, so when the prices are high enough to overcome THAT kind of inertia and make ME do it myself, it's past the point of being even a premium-price luxury convenience.

 

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I simply don't understand why this convenience option from this one PC vendor creates such an issue with people on tech forums and yet seems to go unnoticed with everything else in the world.

 

I know what you mean. It's a question of value -- how much is my time worth, what is the perceived benefit of doing something more productive or enjoyable vs. the cost of the service? That's reasonable and, as you suggest, I do it all the time. There's a threshold though. At some point the cost exceeds that value perception. I appreciate that the threshold is different for everyone, but I honestly think it's fair to generalize that the current price points for Apple add-ons are above the point *most* people would consider "reasonable."

post #162 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by v5v View Post

I'm so lazy I shower with my clothes on to avoid doing laundry...

I like that idea.
Quote:
There's a threshold though. At some point the cost exceeds that value perception. I appreciate that the threshold is different for everyone, but I honestly think it's fair to generalize that the current price points for Apple add-ons are above the point *most* people would consider "reasonable."

There definitely is an individual threshold. For instance, I'm buying the largest Fusion Drive, bet GPU and CPU for my 27" iMac, but with minimum RAM. The CPU is socketed so I could upgrade that on m own but I don't want to (haven't even looked at the cost difference). The 32GB RAM I'm buying is $300 from Newegg so that's a $300 savings.

To me that is the one area that I will bother upgrading after market but on the 21.5" we're talking about a savings of $50 to $130 since it's only $200 for 16GB. That's not a big enough divide to make me want to do it myself and lose a lot of service features you get from the BTO option that is warrantied by Apple.

Note that I am familiar with mods. I removed the ODD, installed an OptiBay chassis, and have a 1TB HDD+ 80GB SSD running as a Fusion Drive with 8GB RAM (max) on my 2010 MBP. I just don't think a $50 to $130 savings for a Mac one will have 2 to 5(?) years is a big deal.

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post #163 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

You need to define "better." You're stilling looking at it from some component spec but a buyer might look at the time saved between choosing more RAM when buying their Mac over going to some 3rd-party site to hunt down the right RAM, having it shipped to them (perhaps from a company they've never used), and then installing it themselves or having someone else do it as a favour or for a fee as "better."

 

On a scale of 1-10 of technical difficulty what you describe is a 2 in the old 21" iMac.  It consists of:

 

0) Go to crucial web site on your iMac and run their scanner to let it pick the right RAM for you.

1) Open Door held in with 3 phillips screws

2) Pull plastic tab out.

3) Pull old ram out.

4) Put new ram in.

5) Push plastic tab in.

6) Close and screw in 3 screws.

 

The "time saved" is very minimal.

 

 

Quote:
Not everyone is tech savvy. Not everyone who is tech savvy wants to do spend the time doing tech things. I know that if I were to buy a 21.5" iMac and wanted to use the SSD card for Fusion Drive I would just buy it from Apple because I do not want to solder in my own mini-PCIe slot that houses the SSD card. I have the tools and could figure it out (assuming that is the only component missing) but that isn't something I want to do. 
 

 

 

Soldering your own mini-PCIe slot is a straw man example.  Opening a door and slapping in a new SSD card should be the expected use case.

 

Quote:
I simply don't understand why this convenience option from this one PC vendor creates such an issue with people on tech forums and yet seems to go unnoticed with everything else in the world.

 

Because this is an Apple forum talking about Apple computers and this used to be a lot easier on the previous model 21" iMac and because the cost delta is very high.

 

Remember in the new computing model the iMac is a pickup truck.  There are some things you want to be able to do with a truck that you don't with a sedan (iPad) and comparatively the cost investment is much higher.

post #164 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

To me that is the one area that I will bother upgrading after market but on the 21.5" we're talking about a savings of $50 to $130 since it's only $200 for 16GB. That's not a big enough divide to make me want to do it myself and lose a lot of service features you get from the BTO option that is warrantied by Apple.

 

Eh, it's not either or.  Apple COULD have designed to be as expandable as before, they simply choose not to on the two components it was easy for most users to upgrade.

 

In any case the BTO options are also lacking given you can't get a 256GB SSD option.  That 128GB SSD +5200 RPM HDD drive is going to be both pokey and small in a few years.

post #165 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

Eh, it's not either or.  Apple COULD have designed to be as expandable as before, they simply choose not to on the two components it was easy for most users to upgrade.

In any case the BTO options are also lacking given you can't get a 256GB SSD option.  That 128GB SSD +5200 RPM HDD drive is going to be both pokey and small in a few years.

Saying that Apple "could have" designed their iMac differently is a bona fide straw man. They could have designed everything differently. What does that prove? That all their products have been wrong since they were first founded?

As I previously stated, I think the 27" iMac was the focus for this design and the 21.5" iMac was an after thought. I say this because the 27" iMac has a 3.5" HDD and external access to the RAM. So if you are one that wants the 21.5" iMac but wants a 3.5" HDD then the 2011 model would probably serve you well.

I don't think anything they did with the new iMacs is anything that is going to hurt iMac sales, hurt Mac sales, or hurt Apple. I think those suggesting it are out of touch with reality of who is Apple's biggest buyers.
Edited by SolipsismX - 12/3/12 at 4:27pm

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post #166 of 180
That's special. Someone who asserts that the design of the 21" iMac is "an afterthought" calling others "out of touch with reality".

The design of the 21" iMac was deliberately positioned to have no user modifiable parts to help upsell the 27" with a higher ASP and higher profit. That wasn't an afterthought nor is it an artifact of the design language.

You can argue that it won't hurt sales much and that's somewhat true given that the majority of sales are laptops anyway. But it is impossible to argue that the change is beneficial for users.

I have always argued that the xMac was never going to happen because Apple makes more money going the iMac route. Not because it was better for users. This is the same deal. Apple will make more money this way and that's good for Apple.

I personally don't care. I'll likely get a mini again although I do wish that had a GPU.
post #167 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The design of the 21" iMac was deliberately positioned to have no user modifiable parts to help upsell the 27" with a higher ASP and higher profit.

It's realistic given the points I made. For your "upsell" conspiracy to be valid you have throw out all logic to believe that paying $200 more for 16GB RAM was too expensive that users would then feel required to pay a $575 premium so they can install 16GB RAM themselves. Show us the rule in business that makes that a valid definition of the "upsell".
Quote:
I have always argued that the xMac was never going to happen because Apple makes more money going the iMac route. Not because it was better for users. This is the same deal. Apple will make more money this way and that's good for Apple.

So Apple wil make more money if they don't allow their devices to have to be user-upgradable and yet the new 27" iMac is which means that your entire premise is flawed. It should also be pointed out that any other current or previous Mac that can be user-graded would also invalid your premise unless you wish to spin a tale that Apple has just now realized this.

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post #168 of 180

Never mind 1embarassed.gif


Edited by hentaiboy - 12/3/12 at 7:00pm
Shut up and go away, you useless, pathetic FUDmonger - Tallest Skil
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post #169 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by hentaiboy View Post

Why is it that Apple charges only $100 for a 32GB RAM upgrade on the iPad but $200 for 8GB on the iMac?

Is that a serious question?

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post #170 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


It's realistic given the points I made. For your "upsell" conspiracy to be valid you have throw out all logic to believe that paying $200 more for 16GB RAM was too expensive that users would then feel required to pay a $575 premium so they can install 16GB RAM themselves.

 

It's a conspiracy theory to assert that Apple is tops in product strategy and has what is probably the industry's most finely tuned product line up?

 

Not one single machine from the lowest iPod to the Mac Pro is not carefully positioned against each other to maximize ASP and margins.

 

 

Quote:
Show us the rule in business that makes that a valid definition of the "upsell".

 

The base 21.5" iMac is deliberately configured to upsell by eliminating all BTO options except for a memory upgrade.  Even there, because you can't easily upgrade the RAM later, that design decision upsells you on the $200 16GB upgrade even if 8GB is enough for now...which it is for most folks.  Most folks that own Macs already will know that their Macs last a long long time...as long as you aren't beachballing waiting for the disk or for memory to swap.

 

The fact is that the best way to future proof your iMac purchase today, assuming that it is designed so that you cannot easily upgrade your RAM or HDD later, is to max out your RAM and install a SSD as part of your BTO.

 

This is not a $200 upgrade option.  This requires moving to the middle iMac tier in order to get the Fusion drive as a BTO option.  The cost for that 21" iMac is $1949 for a 2.9 Ghz quad core i5, 16GB RAM and Fusion Drive.

 

At which point you go: Well hell, I can get the 2.9 Ghz quad core i5 27" iMac with the Fusion drive for $2049 and buy more RAM later when I really need it.

 

This isn't a conspiracy.  This is good business.  This is also why the Mini has no GPU.

 

There is no way in Apple's current line up to finesse your way around real hardware limitations without paying the upsell and the line up is absolutely brilliant.

 

 

Quote:

So Apple wil make more money if they don't allow their devices to have to be user-upgradable and yet the new 27" iMac is which means that your entire premise is flawed. It should also be pointed out that any other current or previous Mac that can be user-graded would also invalid your premise unless you wish to spin a tale that Apple has just now realized this.

 

Why on earth would you assert that?  The point is that they deliberately make it so that you cannot save money on 3rd party enhancements (specifically RAM) without paying for an iMac with higher ASPs.  That's not accidental or an afterthought.  Apple doesn't DO that (accidents or afterthoughts) with their product line.  If it's there it's engineered to be there.  Sure, they can screw things up and miscalculate but the outcome "isn't accidental".

 

The existence of prior models that allowed certain technically capable folks to finesse their way around the product line doesn't invalidate anything.  There has been an ongoing trend to deprecate that since the elimination of the last xMac (the 2003 $1299 MDD Powermac G4).  Those days are in their final hours.

post #171 of 180
Apple's only issue is that on the models they do not offer decent costs on, they will have issues selling.

They can continue to make things less repairable but if costs are too high to order BTO upgrades, their margins might be fine for some higher end models but the lower end models might stagnate.
post #172 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The point is that they deliberately make it so that you cannot save money on 3rd party enhancements (specifically RAM) without paying for an iMac with higher ASPs/

Just to be clear, you are saying that anyone who wants a 21.5" iMac is being forced to pay for a 27" do to some Montgomery Burns conspiracy that will get them into a 27" iMac, an iMac that won't even be out for weeks despite the 21.5" iMac being available. That makes more sense to you than Apple seeing the 21.5" iMac as more of a consumer device that is infrequently upgraded after market compared to the 27" iMac being a business-class workstation that is more frequently upgraded after market?

If what you say is true then they should have never made the 21.5" iMac at all so all iMac buyers would get the 27" model.

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post #173 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Just to be clear, you are saying that anyone who wants a 21.5" iMac is being forced to pay for a 27" do to some Montgomery Burns conspiracy that will get them into a 27" iMac, an iMac that won't even be out for weeks despite the 21.5" iMac being available. That makes more sense to you than Apple seeing the 21.5" iMac as more of a consumer device that is infrequently upgraded after market compared to the 27" iMac being a business-class workstation that is more frequently upgraded after market?
If what you say is true then they should have never made the 21.5" iMac at all so all iMac buyers would get the 27" model.

 

Nope.  Not saying that.  I'm saying that Apple's product lineup is deliberately designed to make you either spend $$$ upgrading via BTO or spend $$$ upselling to the 27".  Either way they make more money.  Some small fraction of folks will buy the lowest end iMac or mini.  Most will get upsold.  Apple doesn't care if they upsell you to a $2000 21.5" iMac or a $2100 27" iMac.

 

You seem to have a problem with Apple's ability to make high margins with a high ASP and calling it a Montgomery Burns conspiracy.  They aren't where they are by accident and they aren't incompetent...despite the current supply chain glitch with the iMacs.

 

The 27" iMac isn't a "business class workstation" nor is it getting upgraded after market either except for the RAM.  Those are Mac Pros.  iMacs are nice machines and neither is more or less "pro" than the other.  The difference is that the 27" base model can get fusion without a costly bump to the mid tier so the cost delta is surprisingly small between the mid-grade 21" iMac and the 27" iMac.  Apple has positioned the price/performance sweet spots to be at the higher end or at the very bottom end. 

 

You have to be a real dumbass to get the 21.5" 2.9 Ghz Core i5 with 16GB RAM and Fusion ($1949) over the 27" 2.9 Ghz Core i5 with 16GB RAM and Fusion ($2049 + $40 for a 8GB RAM upgrade) for a $150 price delta.  Especially since you can literally install new RAM in 10 minutes or less and it doesn't void your warranty AND you get a better GPU to boot.

 

Now the i7 21"iMac quite isn't as bad at $2150 since it's a $300 delta between that and the $2450 i7 BTO option (with Fusion) for the 27". But man you get a lot of performance for that $300.  The 21.5" i7 is a comparatively a poor value.

 

The best bangs for the buck are the base $1300 21.5" iMac, $2050 Core i5 27" w/fusion and the $2600 3.4 Ghz i7 w/GTX 680 + Fusion 27"

post #174 of 180
That's strange; first you come across that you don't understand how and why Apple prices their products as they do, to me, and then you make a completely valid statement indicating, to me, that you do understand;
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

The best bangs for the buck are the base $1300 21.5" iMac, $2050 Core i5 27" w/fusion and the $2600 3.4 Ghz i7 w/GTX 680 + Fusion 27"

For some reason I take it you think the 27" iMac (whatever config) is better than the 21.5" iMac (whatever config). Seems to me you're forgetting that some people think a 27" screen is way too large for their needs and or taste. Heck, I know quite a few people who wish the return of the 17" and yes, even the 15" screens.

Bigger isn't always better, especially outside of the States. Just consider the smaller houses in Europe, where Apple might not get a good foothold into the living room if they start selling a big Apple TV screen. Not that I think they will, but that's another matter.
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post #175 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

You seem to have a problem with Apple's ability to make high margins with a high ASP and calling it a Montgomery Burns conspiracy.

I have a problem with upsell conspiracy that forces people to forego the 21.5" for the 27". How exactly does this scenario work? "Gee, I was going to buy the 21.5" iMac but since it would cost me $50 to $130 more than what Apple charges for pre-installed RAM upgrades I'm going to instead pay $600 more for the 27" iMac which is far too big for my needs." That sounds like a reasonable scenario to you? If so, then you might be Montgomery Burns.

Bottom line: Most people look at the size that suits their needs and then configure options accordingly.
Quote:
You have to be a real dumbass to get the 21.5" 2.9 Ghz Core i5 with 16GB RAM and Fusion ($1949) over the 27" 2.9 Ghz Core i5 with 16GB RAM and Fusion ($2049 + $40 for a 8GB RAM upgrade) for a $150 price delta.  Especially since you can literally install new RAM in 10 minutes or less and it doesn't void your warranty AND you get a better GPU to boot.

So now people that have a 21.5" iMac are dumbasses? Shame on you!

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post #176 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

That's strange; first you come across that you don't understand how and why Apple prices their products as they do, to me, and then you make a completely valid statement indicating, to me, that you do understand;

 

What?  Just because I'm an avid fan of Apple doesn't mean I'm blind to how they price and position product to maximize my dollars spent.  I'm also not going to whine when iFixIt gives an accurate assessment of user repairability and upgradeability.  The trend is toward none.

 

 

Quote:
For some reason I take it you think the 27" iMac (whatever config) is better than the 21.5" iMac (whatever config). Seems to me you're forgetting that some people think a 27" screen is way too large for their needs and or taste. Heck, I know quite a few people who wish the return of the 17" and yes, even the 15" screens.
Bigger isn't always better, especially outside of the States. Just consider the smaller houses in Europe, where Apple might not get a good foothold into the living room if they start selling a big Apple TV screen. Not that I think they will, but that's another matter.

 

Yes.  Whether you personally like 21" better than 27" is immaterial.  The GPU is better in the 27" (660M vs 650M).  The maximum supported RAM is higher (32GB vs 16GB).  The ability to install your own RAM is better.  The screen is both higher resolution (1920x1280 vs 2560x1440) and bigger.

 

As far as size for smaller homes or what not, that's a personal choice.  From my perspective a 27" iMac that can double as a TV (Slingbox + XBMC) is as or more viable than a 21" iMac (or some idiotic 15" iMac...get a 13" MBA) and a 32" HDTV if space is at a real premium.  European homes are no smaller than dorm rooms, apartments, RVs, boats or even a large number of US homes.  My first house was a 1400 sq ft rancher which is the same size as the average house in Denmark.  The last apartment I lived in was no more than 800 sq ft which is smaller than the average house in the UK (smallest in the EU).

 

http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/average-home-sizes-around-the-151738

 

Given that you see 27" iMacs in RVs, boats, apartments, dorm rooms, etc the size of the 27" iMac is not that significant a factor.  I'd probably go the 32" HDTV + mac mini + PS3 route but as I said, the 27" iMac is just a viable a build.

post #177 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I have a problem with upsell conspiracy that forces people to forego the 21.5" for the 27". How exactly does this scenario work? "Gee, I was going to buy the 21.5" iMac but since it would cost me $50 to $130 more than what Apple charges for pre-installed RAM upgrades I'm going to instead pay $600 more for the 27" iMac which is far too big for my needs." That sounds like a reasonable scenario to you? If so, then you might be Montgomery Burns.
Bottom line: Most people look at the size that suits their needs and then configure options accordingly.
 

 

 

I explained the upsell scenario twice now.  That you refuse to acknowledge that the mid-tier 21" iMacs are poor values in comparison with the rest of the line up is not my problem.  I can't help willful ignorance.

 

If the 27" iMac is actually "too big for your needs' then sure, pay almost as much for less capability since the situation warrants it.  For most folks bigger is better.  In any case $1799 vs $1299 is $500 not $600 and $1849 (27" iMac + $50 8GB RAM upgrade) vs $1499 is only $350.

 

You get a lot of future proofing for that $350, especially if you're willing to pay for the Fusion drive as well.  An option you do not get on the $1300 iMac.

 

Quote:
So now people that have a 21.5" iMac are dumbasses? Shame on you!

 

Troll much?  That's not what I wrote and you know it.

 

Do you deny that the $1700 21" iMac i5 with 16GB RAM vs $1850 27" iMac i5 with 16 GB RAM is a far worse deal?  This is the starting baseline for Fusion w/16GB.
 
Yes, I call them dumbasses to make the point.  If you have a space that only fits 21" then that's what you got and you work with it and obviously you're not a dumbass.  You're still better off getting the i7 model for another $200 bump or dropping back to the $1300 base model and saving $200 (put that toward a Thunderbolt SSD drive instead).  This is crappiest iMac configuration from a value perspective.

 

  • Folks that buy a $1300 21" iMac (just go with 8GB and forget future proofing) hit the lowest priced sweet spot in the Mac lineup if you need a GPU.  
  • If you don't need a GPU then the $800 Core i7 mini is the lowest priced sweet spot and a surprisingly good deal.
  • If GPU performance is the driving factor then the 27" iMac with the $150 GTX 680MX upgrade is the sweet spot.  Despite the high cost that iMac represents a good value.

Edited by nht - 12/4/12 at 7:51am
post #178 of 180

You know I still have no idea why you are arguing with me.  To use a car analogy this is no different than car companies forcing you to buy a higher end model (aka UPSELL) in order to get whatever option it was that you really wanted.  That you have to pay for the overpriced NAV package for $700 (for which a $500 iPad Mini is better) that you didn't want and upgrade to a higher trim level to get the back up camera that you DID want is part of how they make money.

 

That's not a conspiracy, that's just business. You don't have to like it but claiming it isn't happening or that it is accidental is stupid.

post #179 of 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by nht View Post

That's not a conspiracy, that's just business.

 

I get what you're saying, but I don't think the plan designed to push buyers up the line is as sophisticated or calculated as you describe. I actually think SolipsismX nailed it earlier in the discussion with his description of the commodity appliance computer.

 

Apple figured out a long time ago that buyers have an appetite for skinny, pointy computers, so when Jony says "I could make this thing even skinnier if we got rid of sockets and access panels" they decide, "Sure, go for it."

 

I, like you, approach the purchase of a computer from a traditional and possibly dying perspective: with the assumption that it can be easily customized. As SolipsismX points out, that's not the case with other consumer electronics devices -- you can't modify or upgrade your Blu-Ray player or TV -- and for better or worse, the computer is becoming just another CE product. For proof, he suggests looking at the success of the iPad.

 

I don't think the plan is carefully structured upgrade pricing designed to force buyers into higher models. I think he's probably right that it's just part of a gradual migration towards "good enough, better, best" model offerings like most other consumer goods.


Edited by v5v - 12/4/12 at 10:16am
post #180 of 180

Upgrade and option issues aside, speaking only from an aesthetic perspective, is the new model even an improvement?  Am I the only one who actually preferred the looks of the previous iMac? I liked the thicker at the edges, less bowed in the back appearance more than the current razor-edged bubble. Is it just me?

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