Well, first I'm going to start by saying just how nice it is to be typing this in smooth, a-a text using the 'beta' browser of my choice. Safari. I love thee already.
A 'slow' but quality experience on Jaguar 10.2 (Mrs. Lemon Bon Bon has just joined the party...) and a 600 G3 with 384 megs of ram.
Clearly, Apple's current OS and software and pushing this G3 to its limits.
Not that Mrs. Lemon Bon Bon notices.
But Mr. Lemon Bon Bon does. Especially after using that Athlon Tower of mine... Hmmm. Strange how I'm using this rather than the switched off Athlon tower.
And that's the point of my experiential annecdote. We know Apple has the quality, the experience in software and hardware.
However, their performance and price (in terms of desktops) needs work. It's a moot point anyhow. We know Apple's going to address the performance issue. The question is will they address the price issue.
While I agree with many of the posts so far, I think it's to Apple that we can look for to provide answers.
Fred Anderson has gone on record regarding the 'power'Mac issue. Apple's own internal report acknowledges the 'mhz' thing has damaged sales.
Fred said or intimated that Apple will address the 'power'Mac issue, with further aggressive price reductions building on those introduced in January! And also improving the performance issue which is a big hint re: a cpu/mb boost. Now this, I gotta see. Especially as they move to 970 Cpus. Of course a version of Quark 6 may also help which he also indicated. This is Apple themselves saying this. And dropping major hints about a software blitz (which is in itself an admission that they can't just rely on hardware revenue as they chase growth...)
So, they may reduce hardware margins and compensate with more low-end and mid-range priced software and services. A good move in my opinion. Because, Apple kit is good. But Apple software? Is excellent. (I'm using Safari and thinking, 'Geez, look at those little touches...isn't that clever....this is the way it SHOULD be...)
The days of selling £2k boxes in order to get decent performance are over. Apple's top end 'power'Mac price cut was tantamount to a bucket of cold water in Apple's face. ('Hallo...we needed that...what were we thinking...') A decent PC only costs £1k ish. Apple's train track protects them up to a point...but the fact that PC buyers are going into Apple stores with cold hard numbers and news clippings of their competitors suggest that Apple Stores will bring a modicum of reality to Apple's multimillion endowed upper -echelon.
Recent Apple moves on price re: eMacs, monitors, laptops, towers suggest a trend.
Moves to assemble and buy a greater bulk of components in Taiwan suggest Apple maybe squaring up to Dell to a degree. So instead of being 50%-100-150% more pricey that a PC Apple may be able to get that down to 10-30% without monitor (
) I'd be very happy with a mere 10% Apple hardware premium. And a less rigid approach to their desktop line-up. If I want a Geforce Ti in an eMac why can't I have one?
The proof of the pudding will be the next round of tower 'updates'.
All round? I think current desktop prices should be 10% lower than they are.
As for the 970 lineup.
I'd be happy to see a single 1.6 and 1.8 making up the low-end, under and just over a K. Then dual 1.6 and dual 1.8 making up the 1.5k and 2K end.
That's four towers from just under a k to up to 2 K.
Plenty of room there. And really address the mhz thing at the 'low end'.
Lemon Bon Bon 8)