the desktop lineup is in a shambles and the situation will only get worse with each speed bump or Apple event.
I have to agree with this statement. Because I know where you're coming from.
Excluding the G5 Tower desktops(!), the consumer desktops are laughable. The iMac gets it so right and horribly wrong at the same time!
The eMac is the 'impossible' imac that many said could or shouldn't be done due to weight problems...so, how many people actually carry an eMac?
It's not often I have to clash swords with the 'Wizard', but on this occasion I'm differing to beg.
The eMac is a marshmallow lard ass. 'CRT is DEAD, LONG LIVE LCDS?'
Steve soon backpeddled on that when he realised the new iMac 2 line would leave Apple with no sub £1k Mac. Duh.
The eMac is a backwards step.
Most computer stores are offering dirt cheap 15 inch LCD monitors with cheap mini-towers for about the same price as an Apple eMac. AND with more ram, a DVD burner and a faster processor. It goes to show just how out of touch the eMac and iMac2 are! And those PC LCDs aren't crap either. (Apple's displays aren't the best on spec...eg 'brightness' being one such example...)
How long has the eMac got in the face of rising LCD shipments?
Only Apple are charging a premium for LCD machines.
The eMac's design is the 'glom' design that Steve Jobs derided upon the iMac 2's introduction. Irony, eh?
The iMac 2 is gorgeous (though not as much so as the Cube...) and it includes a monitor...er...and a chrome arm...a poxy 1.25 gig G4 and 'last year's' graphic card? A 20 inch iMac. An incredible machine...if you don't mind the fact that it's last year's (or is that three ago?) tech' or that you can a dual 1.8 gig G5 for a little more.
The iMac 2 offers little more than an eMac. Processor, ram, graphics card wise. They're pretty similar. Only the stunning iMac 2 design sets them apart.
Okay. So it's easy to whinge.
So what does iLemon iCeo Bon Bon i-a i-Do?
Scrap the eMac.
Replace with a mega-cheap iCube box. Pizza/cuboid/Nintendo Gamecube style small white box. Enough memory to run 'X' and iapps. Bundle cheaply with 15 inch LCD/or widescreen 17 inch. One model with built in agp.
Or a bigger iCuboid with upgradeable/config' cpu and graphics?
Re-design the iMac 2 into an iMac3.
iMac3 (the 'iCube') is made of cheaper components so all three models can break the sub-1K Sterling bracket.
Keep the iMac3 in current iMac2 bracket and redesign the base as a dock for monitor. The monitor and base are separable. The base, a little bigger...can take a standard graphics card and have three/four ram slots. they are currently occupying pro-territory and don't have pro-specs.
As for the G4 towers. Design looks ugly compared to the G5 tower. The G4 looks as hotchpotched as the eMac's 'hi-carb' diet looks ass-fat. When Jan/Feb/Mar's Tower speedbumps come around? Dual the towers...but have single G5 towers at 1.8 and 2 gig at the current G4 tower prices.
Good value? Yep.
Because no doubt G5s at 2.2, 2.4 and 2.6 will arrive at current price brackets.
So how we doing?
iCube £495-£695 Three models. Cheap switcher box.
iMac 3 £895-£1595 Four Models. Semi-Upgradeable pro-sumer.
Single G5 Tower £999-£1295.
Dual G5 Tower £1595-£2195.
Which is pretty much what Apple is doing right now with the G4 towers under the G5 towers...and the eMac under the iMac.
They just need to refine the line and give it the clarity and progression that the rather nice laptops have.
There's room for two pro desktop lines at a lower and higher price.
And two consumer/prosumer lines at a lower and higher price.
The problem with Apple's desktop line is that it:
Looks out of date.
The eMac and iMac2 over lap.
It's waaaaaaaay too expensive compared to the laptop line.
The G4 tower and the eMac are designs OUT OF DATE.
Poor compared to Wintel competition.
Apart from the G4 tower? Inflexible. Lack expandability. At least the graphics card!
Lemon Bon Bon