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What's the harm of a huge show?

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Let's step aside from the rampant speculation about G5's, G4 iMacs, and all the rest. Instead, let's consider why we believe Apple is reluctant to have a huge show.

By "huge show," I mean to update their entire product line. Basically, give us everything they've got. I have observed a trend in our thinking on these boards that dictates Apple (read: Steve) prefers to ration the release of products. That is to say that they may have both a new tower and portable, but would refrain from releasing both.

Why would this be? I can think of a number of reasons.
1) Marketing. Apple's marketing is quite dependent on the media waves created by their events. There may be a perception that releasing too many products would spread attention too thin.

2) Development. Apple may not possess sufficient resources to create a new iMac and put a higher resolution screen in the TiBook.

3) Momentum. Apple consistenly releases new and exciting products. At least, that's how they have sculpted their image. This is because every 6 months or so, they seem to come out with a new, so called "revolutionary" device. We had iMac, then iBook, then Cube, then TiBook, then iPod, and so on. While they keep us, the Macinerds, in what seems like endless suspense, your average consumer seems to consistently be hearing about Apple's newest gadget. That being said, they may see the need to ration their inventions to keep their momentum.

I propose there would be no harm in updating the entire line in one show. If you could assign each product in the entire hardware lineup a number, then we would come out with a grand "Mac Average." By updating the entire line in one show, the whole baseline average would increase. That can only be a good thing.

Thoughts?

Pook
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post #2 of 41
As you mentioned I think the underlying feeling is that by releasing more than one "new" product you divide the press/publics attention rather than have them focus solely on a single new product. It also means Apple can focus their short-term marketing around this new product.
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post #3 of 41
I find it hard to believe that Apple (or any other company) would deliberately hold back release of any substantial product for more than a couple of weeks in order to get a better publicity hit. Designs and technology age and that means lost money.

For example, if Apple had a tower and an iMac ready for MWSF but chose to release one in SF and one at MW Tokyo that would mean giving up three months of potential sales just to get some better publicity. The publicity is not worth it. Time to market is worth almost more than anything.
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post #4 of 41
Agreed, especially for Apple. I don't think the G5 will be held back because of the iMac intro, but rather because the bleeding edge tech won't be ready until ~March (with manufacturing time included). Just because the G5 design has been finalised doesn't mean Apple could crank out a G5 desktop today.
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post #5 of 41
Apple has "screwed" themselves before while announcing a new product a month or two before it's ready. Which means that for those two months, they do not get any sales (or very few sales) of the older hardware. Like, if they announced a much better G4 and said it'd be available on Feb 20th, then people would wait until the 20th.

They announce it ahead of time in order to make use of the publicity caused by the MacWorld and other events.

And of course the public does expect a new thing at every event.

If they gave it all now and none later, then there'd be a lot of you pissed when the MacWorld NY doesn't have anything new.

Andrew
post #6 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by neutrino23:
<strong>I find it hard to believe that Apple (or any other company) would deliberately hold back release of any substantial product for more than a couple of weeks in order to get a better publicity hit. Designs and technology age and that means lost money.

For example, if Apple had a tower and an iMac ready for MWSF but chose to release one in SF and one at MW Tokyo that would mean giving up three months of potential sales just to get some better publicity. The publicity is not worth it. Time to market is worth almost more than anything.</strong><hr></blockquote>

You make some good points. It is important to get a product to market quickly (it can be an advantage over a competitor, allowing higher margins, for example).

However, I think that Apple has to manage their releases effectively. They need to release new products/upgrades at regular intervals. Do you want them to blow their wad at MWSF, and then nothing for 12-18 months? Or would you prefer something new every 6-9 months?

Then think about engineering resources. How fast do you think they can crank out new machines?

There are more reasons I could list, but I'm supposed to be working right now.

~e
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post #7 of 41
They can't do it all at once. But, IMO they at least need to do the desktops. And it is my sincere belief that an extremely bumped G4 or G5 is needed, IN ADDITION to an iMac. The sales figures in those cats are through the floor compared to a year ago.

But, updating the TiBook and iBook would be better for Tokyo I think. Then, they can bump those again in NY, as well as bump the new desktops....or intro the G5 if not released in SF.

They are really behind in desktop performance right now in my opinion. Portables, AirPort, iPod are all in good shape right now excluding minor revisions and bumps.

Little by little, with a jump start on the desktops in SF.
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post #8 of 41
With only four main product lines, Apple just isn't big enough to update everything at once. If they rolled out all-new desktops and updated portables in January, we'd probably have a whole year of nothing but feature changes and speed bumps -- and how exciting would that be for MWNY?

In addition, Apple is deliberately getting away from the Expo introduction cycle. The last two significant upgrades or new products (iBook and iPod) were introduced at special events. I wonder if they will continue this trend and use the expos for feature changes or other revisions (Apollo G4s, but not G5s).
post #9 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by BrunoBruin:
<strong>In addition, Apple is deliberately getting away from the Expo introduction cycle. The last two significant upgrades or new products (iBook and iPod) were introduced at special events.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I believe this is the case, for the most part.

I do expect we'll see new hardware *this* time... but simply because its the right time (err...overdue), and not because of the MW show per se.

I think we'll continue to see less and less "big show" at Macwords and more and more of these "special events."
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post #10 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by BrunoBruin:
<strong>With only four main product lines, Apple just isn't big enough to update everything at once. If they rolled out all-new desktops and updated portables in January, we'd probably have a whole year of nothing but feature changes and speed bumps -- and how exciting would that be for MWNY?
</strong><hr></blockquote>

That's probably one of the reasons why Apple never updates everything at the same time.
post #11 of 41
Thread Starter 
While I agree with many of you that Apple does not have the resources to introduce four new products in one show, what would the harm be of making the little upgrades in addition to the big announcements? I think everyone agrees that a higher resolution screen in the TiBook would be a welcome addition. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this does not demand the attention of many engineers. I believe Apple would avoid announcing this upgrade, even though it would please customers, because of their ration-based marketing philosophy. This is a mistake.

They should put out as much new technology as they can, not put off new technolgy just to make a bigger splash.
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post #12 of 41
Apple's push is all about image, not necessarily specs. The halo of excitement that surrounds expos is a good thing for Apple. The reason why the iBook was released in May was so it could get a jumpstart on the education buying season. The reason the iPod was introduced in October was to capitalize on holiday sales. I don't expect a PowerMac ever to be released at a special event like the iBook or iPod. PowerMac don't drive holiday sales aren't big in the education market.
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post #13 of 41
Well Apple upgrades the pro line every 6 months. Also, if the iMac and G4/5 was introed at MWSF they still have the rest, lol, like the portables, the next iDevice, software, and also, in July the next pro speed bump would be in order.

SO, introing PMs and iMacs does not mean they should hide in a cave for the next 12 months
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post #14 of 41
They have the resources, that is not the problem. They just can't let it all out of the gate right away.
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post #15 of 41
[quote]Marketing. Apple's marketing is quite dependent on the media waves created by their events. There may be a perception that releasing too many products would spread attention too thin.<hr></blockquote>

That perception was echoed by none other than Steve Jobs, who said a few years ago that the secret to generating hype was to focus on one thing at a time. When the hype dies down, you feed the press one more thing.

This is similar to what you see in politics, where the pundits and loyalists on one side of an issue will sieze upon a catch phrase and repeat it constantly to hammer it into people's heads.

On the other hand, if you have multiple products or initiatives, you dilute the impact of each.
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post #16 of 41
[quote]I think everyone agrees that a higher resolution screen in the TiBook would be a welcome addition. <hr></blockquote>

True, but the Ti was just updated, and the CD-RW version is trickling out at best. If Apple were going to change the screen resolution, they would have done it along with the speed/feature bump -- they won't make another revision in January to a machine that has not even been delivered to many folks who ordered them.
post #17 of 41
Harm of a huge show? LOL Apple needs a huge show because right now to put it bluntly, their computers suck.
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post #18 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by amidala:
<strong>Apple has "screwed" themselves before while announcing a new product a month or two before it's ready. Which means that for those two months, they do not get any sales (or very few sales) of the older hardware. Like, if they announced a much better G4 and said it'd be available on Feb 20th, then people would wait until the 20th.

They announce it ahead of time in order to make use of the publicity caused by the MacWorld and other events.

Andrew</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yah. The original G4 was a fiasco.
post #19 of 41
Thank you, TW99, for another of your always-insightful contributions.

As the general consensus indicates, Apple is moving away from 'huge' shows and I'm sure MWSF will be no different. The big story there will be the LCD iMac. Once Apple is ready they'll pop-up with something else.
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post #20 of 41
It's about profits.

Apple needs to be profitable every quarter, and the best way to have a profitable quarter is to be pushing a new product.

Particularly since many Mac users are "loyalists" who support Apple by continuously upgrading their computers, it makes more sense for Apple to offer new products throughout the year. If they updated everything at once, then a person would have to choose which product to buy. But if Apple introduces a new product every 6-9 months, then a person could buy a new product with each update. It spreads out the cost to consumers of keeping up with updates.

Imagine if Apple updated EVERYTHING at MWSF....what happens the next October? All of their products are old news, Apple isn't getting many press reviews for the old products, and sales are slumping. No company wants to deal with such a bipolar boom-bust cycle throughout the year.

And of course, when Apple intros a new product every few months, they get in the news every few months. It's better marketing, because it gives Apple a stronger presence in the tech review articles. One giant show would be too much for many tech reporters to digest, and too much for non-Apple fans to pay attention to.

Finally, Apple only has so many resources. I'm sure that there is much overlap in personell between projects, meaning that someone designing some part of the new iMac probably also has a role in designing a new part for some other Apple product. Since Apple products share many components, it's likely that Apple doesn't have one iMac wing, one Powermac Wing, one Titanium Wing, one iBook wing, ect, each wing of the building full of intense, isolated teams who work on nothing else.

So even if profits and marketing dictated a singe giant update one per year, Apple surely doesn't have the R&D resources to pull off such a thing.

Finally, there is the issue of market-research, an influence on product R&D that should not be underestimated. What I mean by this is that when Apple releases a new product, they use consumer and media feedback on that product not only in designing future version of said product, but also for planning out the direction of other projects. For example, when the Cube was a total bust, you can be sure that Apple reviewed their other projects and made sure that the Cube's deficiencies would not be repeated in another product launch. Or, if Apple released a Powermac with some feature like NO AUDIO INPUTS, and consumers raised bloody hell over it, then Apple would see to it that all of the current projects were revamped to include audio inputs (ok, bad example, but you get my point).

Thus there are many reasons to spread the introduction of new products out over the course of an entire year.

Oh, and best of all, it gives Steve a chance to strut on stage more than once per year....he would probably miss all his Apple groupies if there were only one Expo per year!
post #21 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by TigerWoods99:
<strong>Harm of a huge show? LOL Apple needs a huge show because right now to put it bluntly, their computers suck.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Actually the desktops suck. The portables are great right now.
post #22 of 41
The desktops do suck, but they don't suck really horribly, like back when we were stuck at 500Mhz.

The desktops need a solid update and a price drop. Apple is really taking king's ransoms on the PowerMacs. Friends that see my MacZone catalogues just can't believe the prices on the Powermacs. They're charging 4 year old prices. Even if they knock off only $100-$200, it would be awesome.
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post #23 of 41
[quote] The desktops need a solid update and a price drop. Apple is really taking king's ransoms on the PowerMacs. Friends that see my MacZone catalogues just can't believe the prices on the Powermacs. They're charging 4 year old prices. Even if they knock off only $100-$200, it would be awesome. <hr></blockquote>

Couldn't have said it better myself.
post #24 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by NeoMac:
<strong>The desktops do suck, but they don't suck really horribly, like back when we were stuck at 500Mhz.

The desktops need a solid update and a price drop. Apple is really taking king's ransoms on the PowerMacs. Friends that see my MacZone catalogues just can't believe the prices on the Powermacs. They're charging 4 year old prices. Even if they knock off only $100-$200, it would be awesome.</strong><hr></blockquote>

You're absolutely right about that. As long as they lower the price even a little I think it'll be great.
post #25 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by TigerWoods99:
<strong>Harm of a huge show? LOL Apple needs a huge show because right now to put it bluntly, their computers suck.</strong><hr></blockquote>

correction: their desktops suck.


their portables rock
post #26 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by applenut:
<strong>

correction: their desktops suck.


their portables rock</strong><hr></blockquote>

applenut- you still fairly cinfident in your G5 will debut sourced info? Starting to get nervous and need a little reassurance
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post #27 of 41
Yeah I agree, it's the desktops.

I wouldn't say the portables rock, but they definitely don't suck (in terms of specs).

Maybe I should've asked someone at CompUSA today about the G5s.....lol
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post #28 of 41
post #29 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by KidRed:
<strong>

applenut- you still fairly cinfident in your G5 will debut sourced info? Starting to get nervous and need a little reassurance </strong><hr></blockquote>

I know I'm starting to doubt him with the latest info but that's what he said and he's been right in the past so I guess we'll find out.
post #30 of 41
applenut, how come you're doubting him now?
post #31 of 41
ok... we are all in agreement that the desktops need a 'big show', yet we say that apple's 4 facet lineup limits this- so that one product doesn't get in the others spotlight. but seriously, what is an imac but a consumer desktop?
apple needs a serious 'showing' in all of its desktops. i predict this is just what will happen at mac world san fran

1. apollo imacs
2. g5 pms

im gunna put my faith in steve, i bet he brings all desktops to 1ghz

although i've been wrong before . . . <img src="graemlins/bugeye.gif" border="0" alt="[Skeptical]" />
post #32 of 41
The decision will be made based on inventory on hand. If they have been successful in clearing the channel of iMacs and Power Macs they could pull the curtain on both lines at MWSF. I don't really see this happening though. If the G5 is nearly ready ship they could announce it in January and wait until Toyko for the iMac, just to clear the channel further. My local CompUSA still has a Flower Power and Sage in stock, their stock of Quicksilvers on the other hand is dwindling.

Christmas sales will determine what products are announced at MWSF.
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post #33 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by janitor:
<strong>i predict this is just what will happen at mac world san fran

1. apollo imacs
2. g5 pms

im gunna put my faith in steve, i bet he brings all desktops to 1ghz
</strong><hr></blockquote>

I personally disagree. I definetly believe the PMs will break 1ghz...and the top o' the line imacs, but the lower end model imacs will probably still be in the mhz. But thats just my opinion. I'm no nostradamus.
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post #34 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by EmAn:
<strong>applenut, how come you're doubting him now?</strong><hr></blockquote>

not really doubting him... alright maybe I am, it just seems like there is so much information against a G5 and so much for it... I don't know what to think.

My prediction is still for a G5 and he still says that.
post #35 of 41
Ever since MWNY, Apple seems to be focusing its introductions/shows on product lines, instead of products themselves. For instance, MWNY focused on desktops: new Quicksilver PowerMacs and new iMacs. Then we saw the portable line bumped all at once in October. From this chain of events, I see it likely that MWSF will be focused on the desktop line only, touting the new G5 and iMac.

Apple's marketing has also begun to merge pro and consumer products. (See the "Too bad you only have one lap." ad, which features both the iBook and PowerBook)
The same could easily be done with a LCD iMac G4 and PowerMac G5 coupled with a catchy marketing phrase.
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post #36 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by Aphelion:
<strong>The decision will be made based on inventory on hand. If they have been successful in clearing the channel of iMacs and Power Macs they could pull the curtain on both lines at MWSF. I don't really see this happening though. If the G5 is nearly ready ship they could announce it in January and wait until Toyko for the iMac, just to clear the channel further. My local CompUSA still has a Flower Power and Sage in stock, their stock of Quicksilvers on the other hand is dwindling.

Christmas sales will determine what products are announced at MWSF.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Is your CompUSA selling them at full price or what? My local CompUSA is selling Blue Dalmatian, Sage, Ruby, and older Indigo and Snow models at huge discounts.
post #37 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by EmAn:
<strong>

Is your CompUSA selling them at full price or what? My local CompUSA is selling Blue Dalmatian, Sage, Ruby, and older Indigo and Snow models at huge discounts.</strong><hr></blockquote>

They are discounted but not by anything huge. They even have a original iBook for $1399. If your local store also has plenty of imacs on hand that is just a further indicator of a Tokyo release of the LCD iMac. Steve Jobs would delay them just to spite the analysts who predicted MWSF anyway.

[ 12-09-2001: Message edited by: Aphelion ]</p>
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post #38 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by Aphelion:
<strong>

They are discounted but not by anything huge. They even have a original iBook for $1399. If your local store also has plenty of imacs on hand that is just a further indicator of a Tokyo release of the LCD iMac. Steve Jobs would delay them just to spite the analysts who predicted MWSF anyway.

[ 12-09-2001: Message edited by: Aphelion ]</strong><hr></blockquote>


Then G5's in Jan and iMacs in Tokyo!!

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post #39 of 41
I tend to agree with G5s at MWSF and the new iMac at MWTY. Also, the portables should get updated at MWTY. Maybe PBG4 at MWTY and then iBook in the spring. Still a chance both the G5 and new iMac get introduced at MWSF.
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post #40 of 41
[quote]Originally posted by TigerWoods99:
<strong>I tend to agree with G5s at MWSF and the new iMac at MWTY. Also, the portables should get updated at MWTY. Maybe PBG4 at MWTY and then iBook in the spring. Still a chance both the G5 and new iMac get introduced at MWSF.</strong><hr></blockquote>

So TD, honestly, is your source really in a position to actually and truthfully have inside info? I want to believe you and I know you can't say too much, but can you reassure me of his/her can be cedible? Believing a friend is one thing, knowing someone who has real hard factual evidence is another. I want to believe you and applenut and I really want a G5
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