Originally Posted by TenThousandThings
I can't do the whole quoting and responding thing. I just don't have time right now. Anyhow, I find that approach only interesting to those directly involved. For anyone else following the thread, that kind of minutely detailed back-and-forth dialogue is impenetrable.
Not really it helps to understand what is being replied to.
First, I've got nothing against an xMac. I just don't think Apple has displayed anything close to an interest in making it happen, not since Jobs came back. My basic critique of your position is you're not thinking like a sales executive. You're thinking like a guy who spent years in the wilderness between a Mac Plus and a Mac Pro, and now wants Apple to completely change its direction so he can feel like he was right all along. I get it, but I think you're tilting at windmills.
My position is that the Mac Pro is a sales failure and that Apples executives aren't thinking about the market. It isn't a matter of being right or wrong it is rather a suggest that would save the desktop lineup. The only desktop machine that Apple has that sells well is the iMac, the Mac Pros figures are apparently so bad that they have serious considered discontinuing the machine. This isn't a matter of my feeling right or wrong it is what is happening to Apples desktop solutions.
One thing that seems to be obvious is that Apple is about to take the Mac Pro in a different direction to shore up sales. Or to try to anyways. It could very well be that the new "pro" machine will be more XMac like then many here imagine.
Second, you're allowing your xMac vision to blind you to the importance of Thunderbolt.
Actually TB makes the possibility of an XMac a greater possibility. With TB you no longer need room for large internal disk arrays for example.
It's an immature, still-developing initiative by two companies, Apple and Intel, that are arguably the two primary heavyweights in the industry right now. To poo-poo something of that magnitude because you imagine Apple isn't really serious about it is absurd. Plus, you're ignoring the commitment Apple has made already in the ongoing transition to Thunderbolt.
Who here is poo-pooing anything? I've stated that I believe Apple has gotten what it wants out of TB which is a docking port. Beyond that I have addressed the idiocy of,the external GPU dream. So explain to me how that is poo-pooing anything?,
Third, it's not a question of whether the high-end iMac competes with the low-end Mac Pro. If the cost of an Apple display is figured in, they don't compete now, as the Mac Pro starts at $3500 ($2500 + $1000). Your $2500 ($1500 + $1000) xMac would compete with a high-end Thunderbolt iMac at that same price point. You can blather on all you want about how they are totally different machines for different customers, but that falls apart as soon as Thunderbolt develops to its full potential. It's already most of the way there. Betting against Apple and Intel is not a good idea.
TB will never turn the iMac into a Mac Pro nor an XMac. For that matter it won't even turn the iMac into a Mini.
Fourth, on DED, the thing is, he has a strong track record over the years at Roughly Drafted, often flying in the face of the conventional wisdom and Microsoft enthusiasts. His shtick with the charts and lame graphics is getting long in the tooth, but he is usually right about the basic direction of the industry. It remains to be seen if he can continue that run in the post-Jobs era, but he deserves respect just for what he has done in the past.
At best he is a fluff artist and defending his sort of journalism does not do you any favors.
You're also ignoring the point about OS X, its place as the backbone of Apple's software development, and thus the need for it to stay on top of the most advanced processing technologies. My bit about it possibly explaining Apple's inexplicable Mac Pro behavior was just an aside, and not the main point.
I'm not sure where this is,coming from, the whole point of XMac is to have a viable platform to run Mac OS/X on that is also cost effective.
Finally, on my $4500 ($3500 + $1000) Mac Pro entry point prediction, I see now that my prediction does leave a gap in pricing that I didn't consider because I wasn't figuring in the cost of the display they are trying to sell. I don't see them leaving a big gap like that, so I guess I need to walk it back.
Oh really now you see a bit of a gap? The current Mac Pro is already massively over priced for the majority to the markets it is suppose to serve.
But that leaves a quandary. I still think any Mac Pro priced under $3500 (not including the display) won't serve "our Pro customers" [Cook] terribly well. You can rend your garments and wail that Apple has forsaken thou, but the fact remains that, unlike the xMac dream, Apple actually sells a machine for this market, however out-of-date.
This isn't about me at all. I'm not sure if you are trying to deflect discussion away from the facts with personal attacks or just don't get what the current situation with the Mac Pro is. It is pretty clear that Apple almost gave up on the machine as a product likely due to rapidly declining sales. The question then becomes why sales have tanked. The number one issue is the market for the high end machine simply isn't large enough to maintain the product line while at the low end the price on the Mac Pro is a joke. That is what this discussion centers around.
It starts at $3800 (not including the display). I share hmm's concerns that they are just going through the motions and they have lost sight of what made them so successful in the first place, but I'm not yet in panic mode.
Apple lost sight of the market when they started raising the price on the machine for no good reason. They tried to milk the market and the market revolted! As to panic I really don't care at this point other than I want to see the desktop lineup survive. However if they follow you advice and jack up the base price on the Mac Pro even further without offering real value the line will not just fail softly, it will crash as a post Jobs fiasco.
To put it simply Apple needs a viable entry point into a Mac Pro replacement that generates enough volume to support production of the machine. That means a much lower entry price for the Mac Pros replacement.
Come back in three years, when the Apple + Intel Thunderbolt gambit has fully played out, and see where Apple's software is at that point. If they're still cutting corners and basically failing to expend resources on things consumers and professionals alike need to "just work" -- then maybe it will be time to start questioning the leadership.
Well I'm holding out hope that they do the right thing but let's face it the desktop lineup has been static for a very long time with little to no innovation. There is a lot of potential technologies that could go into a new Mac Pro but I'm not going to say it will happen. In the end though Apple doesn't have three years to correct this issue. They need a strong and extremely competitive machine to bring back customers that have given up on Apple and its crappy desktop lineup.