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Apple expected to offer more affordable 'budget' iMac next year - Page 5

post #161 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

This is a real issue for many. The economy plus the focus on post PC realities means that the whole mentality of the desktop business is changing rapidly. I really see Apple getting caught with their collective pants around the ankles. The only bit of light here is that the IMacs sales where flat while the Mini and pro sales are in the gutter, but that was info from two years ago. I really can't imagine the iMac is doing much better today.
Yep! It is a clear indication that Apple doesn't have a handle on the economics of the marketplace. D
Well no, what they need is a true desktop class machine optimized to be cost effective. It needs to fill the gap between the Mini and the Mac Pro performance wise. So let's call this a quad core in the 70 watt range.

Are you serious with this drivel? Apple introduced the post-PC era with the iPad.
post #162 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I get the feeling that you’ve asked this before and ignored the multiple times you’ve been told the iMac functions as a standalone display for exactly this purpose…
No man in his right mind buys an iMac to use as a display for another computer.
Quote:
Maybe I’m wrong, but someone keeps asking it, so I apologize if it wasn’t you.


The way to go is not an xMac, or Apple would have done it.
Apple hasn't change the desktop line up in well over a decade and it is starting to be reflected in sales. Thus the new Mac Pro. So they spruce up one panel of their triptych and leave the rest alone, I don't think that solves the bigger issues here. The problem is the markets are vastly different than they where a decade ago, much of people's computing needs are getting solved by the devices market. So the tendency is to hang onto mainstream computing hardware much longer. If you do that, people are doing exactly that, then the iMac becomes a joke that people will avoid. Who wants to buy a machine that is a beast to repair if the expectation is that it will be used for many years.

Remember this is the post PC era, that doesn't mean the use of PCs dries up just that the perception of what is valuable in a PC changes. Sometime the changes are drastic, the post PC era means that few machines are used for e-mail anymore for example. When I look at Apples desktop line up I see something that might have worked well five years ago, but the world changed with the advent of iPhone and iPad and Apples desktop hardware simply doesn't represent what people need these days.
post #163 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

Are you serious with this drivel? Apple introduced the post-PC era with the iPad.

Exactly my point. Apple use red in the post PC era and did absolutely nothing with their desktop line up to address that new reality. The desktop line up is virtually identical to the line up they had when the iPhone was introduced. Mind you during the same time period the laptop line went through a major overhaul.

Due to the fact that this is the post PC era, the usage of desktop machines is changing radically. The attraction of low end machines is declining rapidly thus the tanking sales of the Mini and iMac. People buying PCs in the future will be buying for performance and value. This means lots of performance out of a minimalist box. The iMac is just the opposite of what these sorts of people need and making a cheaper iMac is just completely stupid as it misses the point.
post #164 of 198
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
No man in his right mind buys an iMac to use as a display for another computer.

 

No; that’s not what’s being said. After the hardware has outlived its usefulness, it’s kept on as a display.

 
Apple hasn't change the desktop line up in well over a decade and it is starting to be reflected in sales. 

 

Meanwhile, the entire industry has changed its desktop line in the last decade and is reflecting the same sales.

 
So they spruce up one panel of their triptych and leave the rest alone, I don't think that solves the bigger issues here.

 

I don’t think the updates to the iMac and Mac Mini in the last decade count as “leaving it alone”.

 
If you do that, people are doing exactly that, then the iMac becomes a joke that people will avoid. Who wants to buy a machine that is a beast to repair if the expectation is that it will be used for many years.

 

Because you buy what you’ll need at POS and supplement it with your mobile device, as was already stated by you to be the case.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #165 of 198
At $1,299, the base iMac for its specs is not worth my money even though it's a good machine overall. I can't see a budget iMac being worth it. I'd like to be surprised though.
post #166 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

No; that’s not what’s being said. After the hardware has outlived its usefulness, it’s kept on as a display.

If the general purchasing cycle  was imac--->imac it would depend upon whether you require a secondary display, either for the primary system or one owned by a spouse, offspring, colleague, etc. It would also depend upon hardware compliance between machines, as I'm not sure every possible combination of adapters has been tested on these. Personally I hate adapters. Most of the time I try to find a single cable solution such as mini displayport to displayport rather than a dongle conga line.

post #167 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

No; that’s not what’s being said. After the hardware has outlived its usefulness, it’s kept on as a display.

 

 

While that's a point too, it's not what I meant. I meant why should you pay for a builtin display if you want a midrange (where a "midrange" is the highest configuration below Xeons). And the reason is clear: even if you bought a great display last year, you've to get yet another new display if you want a midrange Mac, because that's the way Apple scales their product line.

 

Problem is that most users who want to get a new midrange Mac, have a great display already. And that's why I say this way of scaling is not valid anymore: These users have three choices: A) Getting a Mac Mini, with less specs they want. B) Get the specs they want but paying an extra for a display they don't need. C) Going Xeon.

post #168 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

Going Xeon.

That is why the Mac Pro is the most affordable Mac. In the long run; you get to upgrade various parts, while also retaining your display. Of course, when going from ADC to DVI one had to buy the $99 convertor. Now with the imminent release of the new MP this is changing a bit, as you cannot replace the GPU. Storage neither, but that wouldn't matter so much as the internal SSD will be large enough for the OS & software and one could keep their data on external SSD, connected over TB. But yes, the current MP can easily last 6-8 years for many people, providing their software will continue to run on it.

And with the Mini being such an incredible fast machine I think it would cater to the bigger audience wanting OSX instead of...whatever is out there.

So, two cheap options. I see the iMac as the most expensive and useless computer they have. Fantastic looking though, truly a work of art. All generations of it.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #169 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOtherGeoff View Post
 

hence the importance of the ASeries chip in the grand [4 year] scheme of things.  It's the only leverage against the intel tax.

 

Lower prices on an iMac really are only derived at the moment on the LED screen, Disk,  and the memory.   Moving to the high end haswell may help in making the cooling less complicated and/or the entire unit lighter (40-$50 of the cost of the unit is shipping[every piece multiple times], and less weight/volume the lower the net ship price…  An old Sun Micro Rep said, at the desktop level and volume discounts, you literally are paying by the pound…*).

 

(*hence building in the USA for some units is cost effective IFF the heavy stuff [Power supply, case, glass] are made in the US as well, given the time humans [wages*benefits] spend per unit assembling has shrunk so much.)

 

After the recent Intel conference call i now firmly believe there will be a Huge Price Cut or some very cheap lower model soon.

( They promised $299 Haswell Laptop? ) And like everyone else I have the conspiracy theory that Intel 22nm yield are too good and Haswell isn't selling as fast as expected. Hence the push or delay of Broadwell by one / half quarter.

And with the way things are going, Tablet and Smartphone will again put another dent into the PC industry dropping at anywhere from 6%-10% next quarter. So while Intel's Haswell has great margin ( Which helped Intel sustains its profits ), the whole industry is rapidly shifting to Tablet. And I guess with the Super Fast iPad that will be announced on Oct 22nd it will be even worst for Intel.

 

So it doesn't seem too far off that Apple could get that $200 or more off from Intel next year. Especially when Broadwell arrives.

 

Although I really wish Apple could use some CPU savings and put those into PCI-E 3.0 SSD in next year iMac model.

post #170 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Not in an Apple environment, it can’t. :mad::grumble:

 

Freaking… what in the world is the problem with Apple that they won’t do network attached iTunes Libraries?! I mean, yeah, they want to sell more Macs, but you’d NEED a Mac to format said iTunes Library and add content to it in the first place. Just let me plug a hard drive into my AirPort Extreme and push content to an Apple TV…

 

CONTENT PROVIDERS!!!! CONTENT PROVIDERS!!!! CONTENT PROVIDERS!!!!

post #171 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post
 

The cost different between Aluminum and Plastic casing are minimal in the grand scheme of things. The Problem is Intel doesn't offer any low cost CPU that comes with a good enough GPU for Apple to use.

 

On a $1299 iMac, at BOM cost of $900, Over 30% of that belongs to Intel. 

 

Maybe thats why Apple is going to move to a A8, A9 chip in two to three years. In order to break the barrier, Apple is going to go outside the box.

post #172 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

 

So it doesn't seem too far off that Apple could get that $200 or more off from Intel next year. Especially when Broadwell arrives.

 

 

Intel won't be cutting their prices anytime soon, revenue is down again.

post #173 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

After the recent Intel conference call i now firmly believe there will be a Huge Price Cut or some very cheap lower model soon.
See here is the problem, Intel can't afford huge cuts! The new process nodes are very expensive so the shrinkage in chip size doesn't save as much money in the past. Combined with lower sales this puts Intel in a tough position.
Quote:
( They promised $299 Haswell Laptop? ) And like everyone else I have the conspiracy theory that Intel 22nm yield are too good and Haswell isn't selling as fast as expected. Hence the push or delay of Broadwell by one / half quarter.
Broadwell is supposedly 14 nm. As for Haswell it is possibly the worst drawn out product roll out that Intel has done in years. Somebody at Intel needs to pull a Steve jobs and trim down the product lineup to a rational size. Frankly I don't know how many SKUs they now have just for Haswell based chips but it is far too many.

In a way your are right, it looks like Haswell has yet to put any steam into the i86 processor market.
Quote:
And with the way things are going, Tablet and Smartphone will again put another dent into the PC industry dropping at anywhere from 6%-10% next quarter. So while Intel's Haswell has great margin ( Which helped Intel sustains its profits ), the whole industry is rapidly shifting to Tablet. And I guess with the Super Fast iPad that will be announced on Oct 22nd it will be even worst for Intel.
Most certainly. If AMD ever gets its ARM based processors out, so that the rest of the industry has access to high performance chips, Intel will be in a world of hurt. A very low power ARM chip with AMD graphics would be very interesting in the marketplace. Then you have Qualcom and the other SoC vendors that will have 64 bit ARM on the market soon.

All of these solution run at power levels well below Intels even with Intels process advantages. Think about it this was, how long would iPhone last on its battery if it had a 64 bit Atom in the box. So yeah things look really bad for Intel. I can't see a tablet or cell phone manufacture logically going down the Intel path.

As for Apple I have to wonder what exactly they will do for the tablet processor. They are pretty far ahead technology wise, I could see them simply upping clock rate instead of a major A7 revision. Of course everyone would love to see a beefed up A7X. If A7X does happen, nobody will have anything even close to such a chip on the market.
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So it doesn't seem too far off that Apple could get that $200 or more off from Intel next year. Especially when Broadwell arrives.
Given that we agree on so much above I'm not sure why you believe this. $200 per chip discount would be massive in Intels eyes. I don't think Intel would do it even if Apple threatened to transition some Mac hardware to ARM. Broadwell promises some savings due to higher integration, that is a good thing, but I don't see the chips them selves being much cheaper if at all. Intel will want to get the same profit from each motherboard if it can. The overall cost of the motherboard will be less but that will be due to factors outside of Intel.
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Although I really wish Apple could use some CPU savings and put those into PCI-E 3.0 SSD in next year iMac model.
Funny I wish that Apple would pull head from ass and morph the physical design of the iMac into something I might actually buy. Put those SSD cards and RAM cards behind a panel I can get to and I might start to get interested in the iMac.

As to the SSD idea, I really don't know what in the hell Apple is up to with the iMac nor the Mini. If they can stick a high performance SSD in the Mac Book AIRs it ought to be easy for them to do the same in the iMac or Mini. This is just another reason why I don't see Apple as being serious with the desktop market, they through all of this developmental effort into the Mac Books and push out trivial updates for the iMac, and Mini. Thankfully the Pro is getting an update after years of neglect. The thing here is that Apple has been shipping laptops with some sort of SSD for years now, you would expect a trickle down after awhile.
post #174 of 198
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Originally Posted by Danox View Post

Maybe thats why Apple is going to move to a A8, A9 chip in two to three years.
Well we don't know that for sure yet! 😜😜😁 However A8 is likely only a year away (if Apple can keep up) so the potential is there for something sooner than expected. Frankly A7 looks like a perfectly suitable chip for a Mac like machine already. It would have to be a variant that supports the required desktop interfaces such as USB and TB but that really isn't a big deal, call it A7D for desktop/laptop. Up the clock rate a bit, say 1.8GHz, and you will have a fine processor for an entry level laptop or desktop.

So let's say Apple puts one in a Mini and ends up with performance some where around a 2011 Mini but is able to sell the box for let's say $250 dollars - hot product or not? This isn't unrealistic, a beefed up A7X(D) might cost them someplace between $30 and $60 dollars as opposed to the Intel chips at $250 plus. Yeah it won't be a performance machine, at least not with A7 derived hardware, but it would be god enough for many uses. Get the prices low enough and it is possible to see Apple hardware going into places that it hasn't gone into in years.

All of the above demands an OS as open as today's Mac OS. In fact it is an imperative for any i86 replacing machine.
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In order to break the barrier, Apple is going to go outside the box.

Well as you can see above I'm a big dreamer in this respect! A7 as it ships in an iPhone apparently doesn't have the features to permit the sort of Mac OS machine dreamed about above, but that is simply and engineering effort to correct. That is build in the I/O that desktop users still use and need and you have an interesting attack vector to address Intels high prices.
post #175 of 198

We are not talking about cutting the same chip by $200. It would be properly be a slower bin. Or a Dual Core Version

 

And Intel has always been cutting price. New Node replace the current price range. Although Intel isn't releasing a 14nm Desktop Chip next year ( 14nm will be exclusively Laptop Broadwell And Atom only ). They will very likely to continue price those 22nm Haswell lower to move them. That includes Celeron And Pentium Brands, if they continue to exist. 

 

Even the High Performance Version of Cortex A57 Implementation running at 3Ghz is no match for Sandy Bridge @ 3Ghz. Let alone Haswell. Once you move out of the low power scenario, the best Power to Performance Ratio Chips still belongs to Intel. Its hard for Intel to move into low power SoC. Its also hard for ARM as well.

 

And contrary to popular believe Intel Atom isn't a power sucking monster. It may not be the best in class in terms of low power performance SoC. But it is still very very good. The problem was the ARM market force and price, not with its technical ability. ( But I suppose one could argue not being the best is already bad enough )

 

Now back to price cutting, It is more about Fab utilization. And that is first priority. You cant have them sitting there doing nothing. And without Notebook and Atoms Chips to Fab it is very likely Intel will be moving their Chipset to 22nm as well. But with the Revenue dropping , or Sales Dropping, And as I or analyst predict ( I would say this is rather like pointing out the obvious then prediction ) with iPad and Other Tablet coming, the PC industry will shrink, and Intel will have to move those 22nm Haswell somehow. 

 

And the best indication is Intel has already said there will be $299 Haswell Notebook this Christmas.

 

I would imagine a Dual Core ( 4 Thread ) , Iris 5100 ( Not Pro ) CPU costing around $150 isn't too far off the table. Remember the Current lowest iMac Model runs 4 Core 4 Threads. So theoretically the performance difference shouldn't be that much.

post #176 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by ksec View Post

We are not talking about cutting the same chip by $200. It would be properly be a slower bin. Or a Dual Core Version
Possibly but that is why I see such a machine as futile. People with minimal computing needs are gravitating towards cell phones and tablets. Demand for low end machines just isn't the. At least not in the context of the iMac. Now a low cost Mini that could do server duty or back office support that would sell.
Quote:

And Intel has always been cutting price. New Node replace the current price range. Although Intel isn't releasing a 14nm Desktop Chip next year ( 14nm will be exclusively Laptop Broadwell And Atom only ). They will very likely to continue price those 22nm Haswell lower to move them. That includes Celeron And Pentium Brands, if they continue to exist. 
Intels problem is price doesn't make a difference. PCs are dirt cheap but not moving. Intel could do more harm to themselves by lowering prices too much.
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Even the High Performance Version of Cortex A57 Implementation running at 3Ghz is no match for Sandy Bridge @ 3Ghz. Let alone Haswell. Once you move out of the low power scenario, the best Power to Performance Ratio Chips still belongs to Intel. Its hard for Intel to move into low power SoC. Its also hard for ARM as well.
Depending upon whom you believe Apples A7 currently performs about as well as a 2010-2011 Mini.
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And contrary to popular believe Intel Atom isn't a power sucking monster. It may not be the best in class in terms of low power performance SoC. But it is still very very good.
Maybe the newest Atom but the old series Atoms where junk, frankly the worst of what was on the market. Even AMD did far better with its solution.
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The problem was the ARM market force and price, not with its technical ability. ( But I suppose one could argue not being the best is already bad enough )
I have to disagree ARM biggest advantages are technical. No other platform facilitates the engineering of custom SoC the way ARM does. Silicon today is the printed circuit board of the 70's.
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Now back to price cutting, It is more about Fab utilization. And that is first priority. You cant have them sitting there doing nothing.
This is true.
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And without Notebook and Atoms Chips to Fab it is very likely Intel will be moving their Chipset to 22nm as well. But with the Revenue dropping , or Sales Dropping, And as I or analyst predict ( I would say this is rather like pointing out the obvious then prediction ) with iPad and Other Tablet coming, the PC industry will shrink, and Intel will have to move those 22nm Haswell somehow. 
Well obviously the PC industry is still shrinking. This however highlights that Intel doesn't really have a lot of room to cut prices, they may even have to increase prices.
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And the best indication is Intel has already said there will be $299 Haswell Notebook this Christmas.
I haven't heard that one but here is the problem, it doesn't matter. If nobody wants to buy a Haswell notebook the price doesn't matter. This is the PC industries biggest problem right now, nobody is interested.
Quote:
I would imagine a Dual Core ( 4 Thread ) , Iris 5100 ( Not Pro ) CPU costing around $150 isn't too far off the table. Remember the Current lowest iMac Model runs 4 Core 4 Threads. So theoretically the performance difference shouldn't be that much.

Well like all things it depends, the performance may be there for the majority of users. In any event I just don,t see demand for a low performance iMac.

As for pricing I suspect Intel will find itself in a situation they have never been in before. That is an environment where they can't stimulate demand with price cuts.
post #177 of 198
What I would like is an IMac thats more transportable, to move between rooms or out to the patio. A 17-20 inch with kickstand, a battery that give say 8 hrs of use. So basically a laptop without a a keyboard. This may also incorporate Apple TV. It would have to be Light enough to move, easily so the handle is also the stand? A transportable 20 inch for the same price point. As current model.... After all Who has a computer hutch anymore?
post #178 of 198
Originally Posted by Grog nard View Post
So basically a laptop without a a keyboard.

 

Here you go.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #179 of 198
Interesting that you should post this because, one of my problems with the iMac is the integrated screen. It is just too big for many applications. E
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grog nard View Post

What I would like is an IMac thats more transportable, to move between rooms or out to the patio. A 17-20 inch with kickstand, a battery that give say 8 hrs of use. So basically a laptop without a a keyboard.
I guess the counter argument is just buy a laptop. Of course the 17" is gone from Apples lineup. Interestingly back in the day I felt forced into an Apple laptop for lack of decent desktop solution.
Quote:
This may also incorporate Apple TV. It would have to be Light enough to move, easily so the handle is also the stand? A transportable 20 inch for the same price point. As current model.... After all Who has a computer hutch anymore?

Between laptops and tablets I actually see demand for these low cost machines evaporating. Desktops will become more performance oriented machines. I can see the Mini going away for this reason replaced by an XMac like device. The iPads solve the needs of basic users and with TB even a rather low end laptop can do much of the work of a Mini. Mac Mini sales reflect this trend so it is hard to imagine how Apple would introduce yet another low end Mac, especially a desktop.
post #180 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by xZu View Post
 

In a little over a week, Apple's entire line up of computers that will not include one computer you can add an additional internal hard drive nor video card. Really, a mini with non-descreet graphics? iMacs with mobile graphics and a Mac Pro with fixed pro graphics.... What happened to the desktop computer? Reinvented or completely ignored? I built a hackintosh for $1800 with great graphics, multiple drives, and plenty of ram... It looks like crap but I have given up on Apple desktops after 7 iMacs... I will never buy and all-one-computer again.... it is so 1999. Their portables are amazing... but how about a small tower, two drive slots, and 3 pci slots? And really give us a choice of some monitors... 24", 27", 30" + 42" with a tv tuner.

 

I would love to see a choice again when buy apple compatible software and hardware.

 

I have considered doing a hackintosh, but ideally I would love to see history repeat itself and have apple license their s/w and h/w to Motorola.

 

When the Motorola Starmax was available back in the late 90's or thereabouts, we purchased several of them.

In hindsight, there just was NO downside to buying the Motorola "mac clone" vs a genuine apple.

 

The only problem was that Motorola did TOO GOOD of a job with its version of the apple clone.

(Apple no doubt wanted a good dependable apple clone, but not a clone that was SO GOOD that apple itself had to compete with it's own CLONE MAKER!)

 

I mean after all, apple gave a measily 1 year warranty vs the Motorola 5 year warranty. 

A 5 year warranty and the warranty was included in the price, not an add on.

 

The Motorola was about 50% to 70% of the cost of a genuine apple. You received great pricing, good savings AND it went a long way in keeping folks from having to even contemplate building a hackintosh (why build your own when a cheap, solid, dependable, 100% compatible clone was already available)

 

Every single one of those Starmax clones were retired from use in fully working condition.

After 7 years of use, the only things that had problems and got warranty replaced were 3 floppy drives and 1 hard drive.

 

The same could not be said about original apple hardware we had.

 

It is obvious apple will never re-issue a clone license under the terms that Motorola got (motorola's longer warranty, cheaper MSRP,etc)

Areas in which apple couldn't even compete with it's own clone maker, side by side,  for any feature, except "bragging rights" to say that the apple was an apple and not an licensed apple "clone".

post #181 of 198
Originally Posted by disenchanted View Post

It is obvious apple will never re-issue a clone license

 

Should also be obvious that no one makes hardware anywhere near as well as Apple, too.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
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post #182 of 198
First off, welcome back TS. Second of all, I feel the base model iMac IS the budget model though it is priced too high. They should have dropped it down to $1,199 if they were going with Iris Pro.

I guess the budget model which maybe will start at $999 will have the successor to Iris, the next model up with succeed Iris Pro, and then it will go 850M, 860M, 875M and 880M. I would think the 880M has 4 GB of memory and everything else has at least 2 GB.
post #183 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

And the best indication is Intel has already said there will be $299 Haswell Notebook this Christmas.

There already is a Haswell Notebook for sale at $199. It is the Acer C 720 Chromebook. It arrived three weeks ago for $249 but the price just dropped. I'm getting one to supplement my Linux machine. Once I have it I'll be able to access Netflix and my old Mac Book will be sold.
Netflix is the only reason I've held on to it for so long. For me OS X is getting cluttered with stuff I don't use. I love the speed I get using Linux even with low end hardware. I don't play games or make movies so low end processors work for me.

 

Apple doesn't seem to cater to the professional as much as before. Their hardware specifications aren't really superior to their competition. Yet they demand high prices. Is OS X really worth that premium? These days I don't think so. It's true that Linux won't be adopted by the masses until some of the major manufacturers grow a pair and forsake Windows in a big way. Wasn't it an HP VP who said recently that Microsoft was competing directly against them and that they weren't happy about it? Samsung already makes Chromebooks. They might be willing to make a purely Linux box and dump Microsoft. They might even build their own OS for desktops like they're doing for mobile devices.

 

Apple already makes budget machines. They just don't charge budget prices for them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post
Interestingly back in the day I felt forced into an Apple laptop for lack of decent desktop solution.

This was the case for me too in 2008. Most of the time it stayed connected to an external monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse.

post #184 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

There already is a Haswell Notebook for sale at $199. It is the Acer C 720 Chromebook. It arrived three weeks ago for $249 but the price just dropped. I'm getting one to supplement my Linux machine. Once I have it I'll be able to access Netflix and my old Mac Book will be sold.
Actually I'm sad to hear about the sale of the Mac Book.
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Netflix is the only reason I've held on to it for so long. For me OS X is getting cluttered with stuff I don't use. I love the speed I get using Linux even with low end hardware. I don't play games or make movies so low end processors work for me.
Unfortunately that isn't the case for me. I often have my machine loaded to the point that it just crawls.
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Apple doesn't seem to cater to the professional as much as before. Their hardware specifications aren't really superior to their competition.
They never have been. I'm not sure where you get this idea that they at one time had superior hardware. Even in the days of the power PC it was more marketing than real performance advantages.
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Yet they demand high prices. Is OS X really worth that premium?
For my primary computer I'd say yes. For other thing no. This isn't an all or nothing world.
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These days I don't think so. It's true that Linux won't be adopted by the masses until some of the major manufacturers grow a pair and forsake Windows in a big way. Wasn't it an HP VP who said recently that Microsoft was competing directly against them and that they weren't happy about it? Samsung already makes Chromebooks. They might be willing to make a purely Linux box and dump Microsoft. They might even build their own OS for desktops like they're doing for mobile devices.
Linux will never go mainstream due to the number of dumb people out there. They only possible way this could happen is if HP or some other large entity put a large effort into producing a modern GUI layer to isolate the user from the UnIX underbelly like Apple did. QT isn't it and neither is GNome or some of the lesser solutions.
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Apple already makes budget machines. They just don't charge budget prices for them.
Not really considering a budget machine means a machine built to hit a certain price point. My problem with Apple is not so much a budget machine but rather the lack of real differentiation of a model line line the Mini. Let's face it there isn't a lot of real difference between the base Mini and the upsell models. Certainly not enough to justify the price increases.
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This was the case for me too in 2008. Most of the time it stayed connected to an external monitor, speakers, keyboard, and mouse.
Yes and when you try to explain that to people they get all defensive about Apples desktop lineup. I'm a Linux user myself and one reason I go that route is to be able to fit the hardware to the use, you can't do that with Apple.
post #185 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

Why don’t idiots understand what the Mac Mini is? Is it the shape that throws them off? 

They aren't idiots.

A Mac Mini only appears to be a cheaper alternative.  If you are buying a brand new system, you have to consider:

 

- Mac Mini

- Keyboard & Mouse

- Display

 

It's true that you can get cheap displays, but these certainly don't come from Apple.  So if you are a consumer wanting to break into the Mac space for the first time, the bar is actually set rather high.

 

A "budget" iMac is not at all a bad idea, especially given what else is out there in the market by way of competition (that is, Apple has some really distinct advantages in the desktop space these days).

 

For those who make the comparison with iPhone 5s and 5c; it's not an unreasonable comparison in some ways, but it's not terribly valid here.  The two markets are completely different in terms of the end user experience.  I can see how there could be a lot more space to move in the desktop arena in terms of price and functionality, versus the mobile phone arena.


Edited by Ingsoc - 4/4/14 at 7:58pm
post #186 of 198

It depends what you put inside your Mac Mini. Better SSD and more Ram and a more expensive monitor and keyboard and track pad or mouse naturally the price goes higher with a faster processor also.Maybe you do have a point about the i mac model.

post #187 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingsoc View Post
 

 

A "budget" iMac is not at all a bad idea, especially given what else is out there in the market by way of competition (that is, Apple has some really distinct advantages in the desktop space these days).

 

I often suggest the mini to graphic designers, simply because you can opt for  a display that is better aligned with their work at comparable final cost. The imac used to start at $999. It's Apple that moved away from that. I have yet to see them reverse any of these pricing strategies, so I wouldn't count on a cheaper imac. I would call it extremely unlikely. I will say that the base 21.5" model seems overpriced relative to what it offers. A 21.5" panel is extremely cheap, yet the cost still went up when they switched to the laminated design.

post #188 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post
 

I often suggest the mini to graphic designers, simply because you can opt for  a display that is better aligned with their work at comparable final cost. The imac used to start at $999. It's Apple that moved away from that. I have yet to see them reverse any of these pricing strategies, so I wouldn't count on a cheaper imac. I would call it extremely unlikely. I will say that the base 21.5" model seems overpriced relative to what it offers. A 21.5" panel is extremely cheap, yet the cost still went up when they switched to the laminated design.

 

There's still a pretty reasonable gap between the Mac Mini and the base model iMac, I'd say - especially when you start optioning them up at the point of order.

 

For me, the argument against a cheaper iMac has less to do with other product options and more to do with the fact that Apple's Mac business generally seems to be pretty strong.  In other words, there doesn't seem to be an immediate [i]need[/i] to fill the space between Mac Mini and iMac.

post #189 of 198
You revived a five month old thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingsoc View Post

They aren't idiots.
A Mac Mini only appears to be a cheaper alternative.  If you are buying a brand new system, you have to consider:

- Mac Mini
- Keyboard & Mouse
- Display

It's true that you can get cheap displays, but these certainly don't come from Apple.  So if you are a consumer wanting to break into the Mac space for the first time, the bar is actually set rather high.

That's a rather bizarre loop. You lampshaded that very quickly, and I don't see if there is any reason to do that, unless you have an agenda in your argument. Apple's display is nice, but nowhere near necessary. The user's previous peripherals would generally work very well. I'm not a fan of Apple's input devices anyway, so the input devices I've gotten with other machines get stored.

I will say that I was disappointed when the $499 mini went away. They didn't necessarily raise the prices, but they removed the bottom rung. I recall that model merely didn't have Bluetooth or WiFi, it took the $599 model to get that.
Edited by JeffDM - 4/4/14 at 7:38pm
post #190 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

You revived a five month old thread.
That's a rather bizarre loop. You lampshaded that very quickly, and I don't see if there is any reason to do that, unless you have an agenda in your argument. Apple's display is nice, but nowhere near necessary. The user's previous peripherals would generally work very well. I'm not a fan of Apple's input devices anyway, so the input devices I've gotten with other machines get stored.

I will say that I was disappointed when the $499 mini went away. They didn't necessarily raise the prices, but they removed the bottom rung. I recall that model merely didn't have Bluetooth or WiFi, it took the $599 model to get that.

 

I did revive a five month old thread.  And you responded - thanks. :)

 

There's really no bizarre loop here; even if you take out an Apple display, you are still likely spending at least $199 or so for a halfway decent LCD display of a reasonable size.

 

Adding previous peripherals is a valid point to make, but we're still talking about a fair amount of BYO. What if you are upgrading from a PC to a Mac Mini? Your keyboard won't have the Mac functionality.

 

I think it's worth taking a step back and considering what type of user might buy this kind of system. If we are talking about a lower-cost entry-level desktop platform, then the Mac Mini doesn't necessarily represent the value that appears on the surface - because you are only buying the box and nothing else. The iMac is, of course, the complete solution because you don't have to seek out additional peripherals (the exception perhaps being the USB SuperDrive, of course).

 

If nothing else, I am simply suggesting that dismissing the idea of an entry level iMac because we have a Mac Mini is not [i]necessarily[/i] the straightforward and obvious solution that it sounds like.

post #191 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ingsoc View Post
 

 

There's still a pretty reasonable gap between the Mac Mini and the base model iMac, I'd say - especially when you start optioning them up at the point of order.

 

For me, the argument against a cheaper iMac has less to do with other product options and more to do with the fact that Apple's Mac business generally seems to be pretty strong.  In other words, there doesn't seem to be an immediate [i]need[/i] to fill the space between Mac Mini and iMac.

 

Imacs have started as low as $1000 in the past. Right now their entry model comes with a 21.5" screen and integrated graphics for $1300. You won't get much more entry level than that. The iris graphics add something to the cpu cost, but that cpu would otherwise be cheaper than those used in the Mini according to ark.intel.  Their strategy is most likely for the notebooks to carry the bulk of entry level purchases. They are more common among college students, which are arguably an important group. They would be a better option if they at least offered a 13" at the entry level. The most popular size worldwide is 15". For Apple the 13" is probably the more popular one. This is supported by their cautious approach with the 13" cmbp. It outlasted the 15" and remains in spite of being only $100 less than the entry 13" rmbp. If they were looking to strengthen their entry level options anywhere, that seems like the most likely place. My predictions have been off lately though, as they have broken several of their typical patterns.

post #192 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Imacs have started as low as $1000 in the past. Right now their entry model comes with a 21.5" screen and integrated graphics for $1300. You won't get much more entry level than that.
Considering how much a TV set goes for these days I'd have to say that Apple has plenty of room for a low cost iMac.
Quote:
The iris graphics add something to the cpu cost, but that cpu would otherwise be cheaper than those used in the Mini according to ark.intel.  Their strategy is most likely for the notebooks to carry the bulk of entry level purchases.
Notebooks is where most of the market is these days. It is the one reason why I don't think a low price iMac will stimulate sales all that much.
Quote:
They are more common among college students, which are arguably an important group. They would be a better option if they at least offered a 13" at the entry level. The most popular size worldwide is 15". For Apple the 13" is probably the more popular one. This is supported by their cautious approach with the 13" cmbp. It outlasted the 15" and remains in spite of being only $100 less than the entry 13" rmbp. If they were looking to strengthen their entry level options anywhere, that seems like the most likely place. My predictions have been off lately though, as they have broken several of their typical patterns.
With a whole new generation of chips coming from Intel I can see Appple offering a low end laptop that doesn't suck either this years end or next year. The market would be similar to the iPad, that is people that don't need stte of the art performance.
post #193 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Considering how much a TV set goes for these days I'd have to say that Apple has plenty of room for a low cost iMac.

 

Televisions are generally very low margin items. Most are produced by companies that are also invested in producing the panels. Many of these panels are shared across televisions and computer monitors. As for Apple, they bumped the price by $100 when they switched to the current laminated design. They went to integrated graphics in the base model, and the price remained the same. It seems likely to me that a low cost version isn't in line with their desired margins, especially when a 21.5" panel costs very little at this point.

post #194 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Televisions are generally very low margin items. Most are produced by companies that are also invested in producing the panels. Many of these panels are shared across televisions and computer monitors.
That is very true but the point remains, the screen and electronics to drive a TV is cheap. Apple can add the computer electronics for a reasonable amount and still have machine that is lower cost than their current products.
Quote:
As for Apple, they bumped the price by $100 when they switched to the current laminated design. They went to integrated graphics in the base model, and the price remained the same. It seems likely to me that a low cost version isn't in line with their desired margins, especially when a 21.5" panel costs very little at this point.
Honestly I think Apple was getting greedy over the last couple of years trying to squeeze more margin out of its products than the market was willing to pay. That is why a we saw that realignment in price of the laptops a year or so ago. This was after the 13" rMBP was introduced at what was seen as an excessively high price. The prices on the iMacs don't appear to be as wildly out of line as it has been the only desktop Mac showing strong sales for a long time. However that doesn't mean their margins aren't thicker than they should be especially for the entry level machine.

I see a need for Apple to drive adoption and the only way to do that is through more competitive pricing for entry level machines. The one thing that has always bugged me about both the iMac and the Mini's is the lack of significant differentiation between the entry level and the upsell models. Often you pay a good penny for the up sell model without getting a corresponding performance benefit. This is more true with the Mini but holds for the iMac too. I'd rather see a cheaper entry level device that maybe isn't as bleeding edge hardware wise but is salable at a lower entry price. At least then when you fork out extra cash for the upsell model you are getting a significantly better machine. Such an approach might actually increase Apples average margins if the upgrade to the up sell model is compelling enough.

In a nut shell I see a lower cost iMac as a real possibility. I can see it driving sales especially if they can market it below the $1000 point which is a real wall for many people.

As an interesting aside in another thread somewhere a college student enquirer about Apples laptops, apparently his went bonkers and the professor over seeing the research OK'ed the purchase of a new machine but requested that the total cost be kept to around $1000. I've seen this often with people locally, they just don't want to jump that hurdle cause by another digit. Unfortunately when you look at Apples product line up you have little to choose from that is solidly under $1000. Under $1000 it should be as AppleCare and other goodies will certainly blow out your costs. So I think this idea that Apple could sell a lot more hardware if they could offer sub $1000 solutions is real. Apple only needs to come up with a formula that creates a machine that doesn't suck at that price and with all the new hardware (chips) available to them I see that as very possible this year into next years.
post #195 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

In a nut shell I see a lower cost iMac as a real possibility. I can see it driving sales especially if they can market it below the $1000 point which is a real wall for many people.

As an interesting aside in another thread somewhere a college student enquirer about Apples laptops, apparently his went bonkers and the professor over seeing the research OK'ed the purchase of a new machine but requested that the total cost be kept to around $1000. I've seen this often with people locally, they just don't want to jump that hurdle cause by another digit. Unfortunately when you look at Apples product line up you have little to choose from that is solidly under $1000. Under $1000 it should be as AppleCare and other goodies will certainly blow out your costs. So I think this idea that Apple could sell a lot more hardware if they could offer sub $1000 solutions is real. Apple only needs to come up with a formula that creates a machine that doesn't suck at that price and with all the new hardware (chips) available to them I see that as very possible this year into next years.

 

Part of it is that the base offerings often feel reverse engineered to meet a price point while retaining similar margins. Most of their product line involves including a certain amount of features to justify a relatively high cost of entry. I typically urge people to consider what they actually require rather than get caught up in the various things that are added on regardless of necessity. Speaking of research I've been digging through Linux projects. Some of the coding styles that are employed give me a massive headache with people using weird methods to (sort of in a hacked in manner) encapsulate C code or the use of variables marked extern and goto statements where the project was obviously revised in someone's off time. Anyway I thought you might get a laugh from that.

 

They have as you put it gone after very high margins, but I don't see a reversal to this strategy in the near future. They have merely gone further with pushing inexpensive software to drive hardware purchases. Even when they do something that looks like an attempt at low cost hardware, it doesn't seem to go well. The 5c for whatever reason adopted the same prior year hardware approach with a less expensive method of case manufacturing, and it came in at the same price level as the 4S did alongside the 5. That made little sense to me, as it was unlikely to draw more prepaid users and users in countries where subsidized hardware is less common. I think many people also miss the reason Maverick's was a "free" upgrade. Apple wants to minimize support costs and draw developers by having everyone on the latest possible OS. It's similar to their strategy with iOS.

post #196 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

Part of it is that the base offerings often feel reverse engineered to meet a price point while retaining similar margins.
Well everybody does that if they want to stay in business. That is they engineer a product for a market, price point and like. What I have trouble with is the differentiation between the entry model and their upsell models.
Quote:
Most of their product line involves including a certain amount of features to justify a relatively high cost of entry. I typically urge people to consider what they actually require rather than get caught up in the various things that are added on regardless of necessity. Speaking of research I've been digging through Linux projects. Some of the coding styles that are employed give me a massive headache with people using weird methods to (sort of in a hacked in manner) encapsulate C code or the use of variables marked extern and goto statements where the project was obviously revised in someone's off time. Anyway I thought you might get a laugh from that.
There are some good Linux projects out there and many more bad ones. I do believe you are right, some of these projects are touched upon by their developers when they get a spare moment. For some reason C is way over used and out of place in many of these projects.
Quote:
They have as you put it gone after very high margins, but I don't see a reversal to this strategy in the near future. They have merely gone further with pushing inexpensive software to drive hardware purchases.
That appears to be the case but I really believe they are way to focused on margins and that directly impacts sales. Maybe they learned their lessons with the retina MBP machines. I really see the retina MBPs and Apple early leadership in retina as an attempt to justify high margins that customers rejected.
Quote:
Even when they do something that looks like an attempt at low cost hardware, it doesn't seem to go well. The 5c for whatever reason adopted the same prior year hardware approach with a less expensive method of case manufacturing, and it came in at the same price level as the 4S did alongside the 5. That made little sense to me, as it was unlikely to draw more prepaid users and users in countries where subsidized hardware is less common.
Yet by most reasonable measures the 5C has been a big success at least in the US. I really don't know what Apple is up to with respect to phone sizes but having a line up of slightly different sized machines doesn't jive with me. I'm still running an iPhone 4 because I like the compact size.
Quote:
I think many people also miss the reason Maverick's was a "free" upgrade. Apple wants to minimize support costs and draw developers by having everyone on the latest possible OS. It's similar to their strategy with iOS.
There are probably other reasons for the free upgrade to Mavericks but the issue with support has to be one of them. I just like the idea that Apple can upgrade an OS every year or so and maintain even old Macs at a high level of functionality. Compare that to the other commercial operating system which has to be reinstalled constantly and often requires a hardware upgrade with the newer releases.

Given that I think the real deal with the free Mavericks and the much lower software costs in general, is to undermine MicroSoft. Sure low software costs attract people to the Mac ( for those that actually buy software) but any customers they draw from the MS world directly impacts Microsofts income since it comes largely from software. Plus as you indicate, the included or low cost software impacts people perception of value.
post #197 of 198
Sorry but if the educational model of the past is any indication, this model won't be very good.
post #198 of 198
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


Well everybody does that if they want to stay in business. That is they engineer a product for a market, price point and like. What I have trouble with is the differentiation between the entry model and their upsell models.
There are some good Linux projects out there and many more bad ones. I do believe you are right, some of these projects are touched upon by their developers when they get a spare moment. For some reason C is way over used and out of place in many of these projects.
That appears to be the case but I really believe they are way to focused on margins and that directly impacts sales. Maybe they learned their lessons with the retina MBP machines. I really see the retina MBPs and Apple early leadership in retina as an attempt to justify high margins that customers rejected.

 

I was examining whether a color engine and raw photo processor would run under iOS. One is well documented but the coding style is completely wacky to someone unfamiliar with it.  I was trying to figure it out via the public api documentation. I debated stepping through the code in a debugger to try to make a flow chart out of it, but that sounded awful. The other attempts to emulate static class variables in C through the use of preprocessor macros. Then it uses odd naming conventions and had a number of goto statements. Interestingly the project itself is quite powerful. It's just that you can tell when something has been patched quite a bit. That it's one .C of 10,000 lines or so didn't help. It also makes it more difficult to get flagging help from Xcode. Anyway it was pretty funny. I'll link what I was working on if I ever finish it at any point. My concern with the use of anything open source is often whether I can fork a smaller version, due to not knowing whether a project will be abandoned. I think they use C for its simplicity, especially in things like primitive sizes. C++ has a lot of will be at least this size, so extra error checking code may be needed in debug builds.

 

Quote:

 

Given that I think the real deal with the free Mavericks and the much lower software costs in general, is to undermine MicroSoft. Sure low software costs attract people to the Mac ( for those that actually buy software) but any customers they draw from the MS world directly impacts Microsofts income since it comes largely from software. Plus as you indicate, the included or low cost software impacts people perception of value.

I am skeptical there. Most people just retain whatever OS came with the computer. In the case of Windows they have supported older versions pretty far out. I would have to look up figures as to their retail sales of Windows. Perhaps it was a little distorted going from Vista to 7, as 7 stabilized to a much nicer place than Vista.

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