Originally Posted by gwmac
That's the problem for many of us. All these changes seem to benefit Apple and not the consumer.
I would say most, if not all, benefit Apple but it's hard to see how none of them benefit the consumer.
Any desktop computer should have easy access to exchanging a hard drive which tend to fail after a certain amount of time, usually the day after the warranty expires. They should also allow easy access to upgrade the RAM. It seems Apple is making it more difficult to steer you towards buying a new iMac in a few years rather than trying to keep the one you have in working condition.
1) There is no "should." This is a free market. They break no laws by making their 21.5" iMac the way they do. Because it's free market if we, the consumer, don't like what they offer we don't have to buy. If this hurts sales then they will likely focus on changing that in order to regain those sales.
2) From what I recall from Google's tests HDDs tend to break down almost immediately (well within the warranty) or work for a long time and there was no single brand that better or worse overall.
3) If Apple's goal was simply to keep you buying new Macs every couple years then why so few options? Why so few updates? Why offer BTO options that will increase the life of your Mac considerably? Why try to make Mac OS X more efficient with each revision? And why allow the 27" iMac to have access to upgrade the RAM -and- give it 4 slots instead of just 2?
And to others saying Apple RAM is such high quality, you better check your facts. They use Hynix and other medium quality brands typically. They do not use some magical or ultra-premium brand memory or hard drives. There is no justification for them to charge 2 to 3 times retail price when they already get a huge discount off retail since they buy in bulk quantity.
I don't buy RAM based solely on a brand name. A brand name you have had experience can give you peace of mind on quality, warranted or not, but there are other aspects that need to be considered. For instance, the RAM I'll be buying for my iMac will cost me $300. Sure, I can it at half that price if I want the cheapest but I want the RAM with the lowest latency.
With 2x4GB RAM used in the iFixit breakdown they aren't using the RAM with the lowest latency (but are using low voltage, and halogen and lead free RAM) but that doesn't mean that the for RAM upgrades they aren't using higher performing RAM. But if they aren't, it's not an issue because that's their choice to charge the customer what they want for upgrades. Again, free market. They have a right to set the prices for a product they have to test, install and warranty just as you have the right to not buy it.
What would you rather they do start each Mac base model $200 more per unit and then charge you sell RAM upgrades at wholesale prices? Either way they have figured out what they produce and what they can sell at a certain price point. There is science behind all these prices.
PS: I think the focus was on the 27" iMac with the 21.5" following suit but with extra limitations do to the much smaller internal space for component placement. At least we got an iMac update which is apparently a big deal since I keep hearing Apple doesn't care about Macs anymore and yet the Mac has never been better.