Originally Posted by SolipsismX
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.
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.
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.