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iMac Future

post #1 of 226
Thread Starter 
From Faeylyn
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3. AIO (All In One) iMacs are bye-bye. Take the pod/base of the iMac, chop off the display, redesign it to look uber-cool as only Ives can do, plop in single G5s and impressive (albeit less impressive than PowerMac) internals, and price-points of $999/1.6GHz, $1299/1.8GHz, $1599/2.0GHz. No super-drive or oodles of memory at $999. This effectively takes care of the new cube or headless iMac rumors. But what about AIO lovers? AIO iMacs are gone, but were not done yet. Keep reading.
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This idea lacks the punch that the iMac needs to once again reinvigorate Apple Computer's consumer flag-ship machine.

What needs to happen is something that can start off inexpensive, yet be functional but have design built in for add ons, if so desired. Think if there were the spherical base of the iMac with a sort of indentation along the back of it, a cut-in line. A place where a new Apple display of any size or price could fit. But this would be designed so that if you chose to not use an Apple display, the iMac would still look very cool.

You would still be able to use a monitor of your choice with the iMacs design, not forcing the AIO concept but offering it.

Also, why not build in an iPod dock, just to further its permeation even more. That would be a great feature, a built in iPod dock...that way there would be no need to buy an external one if you were buying the iMac and it also gives iPod owners an incentive to buy an iMac. Of course, $35 is not a big investment compared to $999 but the cool factor (if done right) might make a nice bonus feature.

The Apple "optional iMac display" brings up an interesting array of possibilities. Would it be a tablet too? Would it just snap into place and be a normally functioning LCD display with no tablet-like features? Why not just instead of cut out a space for an LCD to drop in, make a hole to drop a current iMac with chrome arm into? Maybe Apple could do any of these things, I am just throwing out some "before bed ideas" and I think they sound kind of cool.

Somehow, Apple needs to play off of its design strengths, iPod, and media presence right now and deliver a really new and cool product. Something that revitalizes a rather boring and seemingly dead end product, whose design only leads to internal spec bumps and larger screens.

Oh, and bring back colors too.


From www.macrumors.com
==========================================
Apple's Focus, Digital Music and More to Come?

MacUser.co.uk's Paul Nesbitt raises some points about Apple's recent focus on music.

He reminds us that "the cornerstone of Apple's music strategy is to leverage its dominant position to sell more Macs to consumers".

That being said, Nesbitt is critical of Apple's apparent negligence of it's consumer line - specifically in regard to disappointing iMac sales and a lack of recent updates.

Readers are reminded, however, that Steve Jobs hinted at more to come this year: "We're gonna make something of this year [2004]. We are working on some incredible new products for this year. It's going to be a great Mac year. We've got some wonderful things that we'll announce throughout the year that I think you will love as much as we do. It's going to be a great 20th anniversary year for the Macintosh."

http://www.pcpro.co.uk/?<a href="htt...p?id=53130</a>

===========================================

This guy provided what I think is a fair and accurate portrayal of the current situation. A good snap shot of the time if you will.

The iMac does need to be taken care of, however it is important to note that any student can get a 1 Ghz eMac for $748 right now. How many kids have parents that know about the potential education discount?

In any case, the updates are to be "expected soon" as he says, and most of us here think they are also imminent.

Apple does need to and should be capatalizing on their market position right now, their media recognition has also never been higher. Something needs to be done soon before the window closes. With the current Apple leadership, I think they will get a lot out for us and everyone before that window closes.
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post #2 of 226
I doubt the iMac will die, but it may. Apple has had this bad habit of letting computers **COUGH** POWERBOOK!!! **COUGH** almost stop selling completely before they update them. I would say this is the case with the iMacs, they'll see an update soon, but not soon enough (they are way overdue as is). We'll see what the coming weeks bring us. My money is on an iMac update (along with others).
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post #3 of 226
Sony has an "aoi"
http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...eries&Dept=cpu

why can't apple make a pseudo AOI with separate screen that looks like it's aoi but has a wireless keyboard the monitor contains all the other guts the optical drive could be veritical contain all the ports and additional usb2 ports on the wireless keyboard

then the "base" stays the same and you buy/ upgrade the monitor
gives more flexibility to the imac, they would then creat a monitor upgrade path, which might have higher profit margins and keep people in apple displays
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post #4 of 226
The modular iMac idea is one that we discussed a few months ago on these boards, and I still think it is a good idea:

Redesign the base so that it is rounded back and front, with straight sides and flat top and bottom* - thus functioning well as a separate desktop or stacked away somewhere discreet - and engineer the base so that it can be sold with or without the Arm.

This would fulfill the need for the headless iMac, while also allowing for an AIO. Make it look cool and price it right and you have a hit. Give it a G5 and I will be lining up at the door for it.


* the shape I am thinking of is a disk, perhaps two inches thick and 10 in diameter, with squared sides
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post #5 of 226
I'd like to see the next Macintosh drop the "i" moniker and just become a Mac. Whatever form factor the base unit has (I like the idea of a pyramid shape, but a cube would do) I'd like to see an attached monitor optional.

Use the display from the Powerbook (15.2") as the low end display option to preserve the wide screen display format, then 17" and 20" as currently used, but with a redesign to compliment the aluminum look.

Design a base to plug in the adjustable arm, and equip it with all the needed ports (USB2, Firewire 400 & 800, speaker and headphone jacks).

The low end Macintosh, without the display, could sell for $599 (or so) and attract the price conscience shoppers. Adding an Apple display would be a tool-less plug and play upgrade.
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post #6 of 226
Actually the current imacs are plenty cool I think, though I think something is going to happen to them in the near future. My dad just ordered one, he got sick of waiting. But he says him and everyone at work when they think apple they think iMac. Maybe thats perception in west texas being that everything there that is any kind of cool hits there last heh. He's very excited about getting it though, and he's been a PC guy all his life.
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post #7 of 226
If Apple is to keep crippling it's AIO models without allowing true monitor spanning then I think it should be put to rest.

That, or some 3rd party company needs to build a breakout box that will make the iMac's built-in LCD more useful (i.e. usable as an external, true monitor spanning, tv tuner, etc..)
At least this way, the life span of the iMac is extended plus it'll breathe some life into current owners. The iMac just needs a shakeup of some sort.
post #8 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Chinney
Redesign the base so that it is rounded back and front, with straight sides and flat top and bottom* - thus functioning well as a separate desktop or stacked away somewhere discreet...the shape I am thinking of is a disk, perhaps two inches thick and 10 in diameter, with squared sides

Something like this, Chinney? [edit: hah! I just realized I got your request wrong: I made the front and back flat and the sides rounded Oops! Okay, mentally flip that when viewing mockup...]



Just rough and quick, but I was trying to imagine what you were saying.

Here's the thing: I used to have a Quadra 610, which was like a Domino's pizza box-sized thing. So figuring in all the advances made in the past 8-10 years (not to mention looking at the current domed iMac base), Apple could indeed get something small (but not "laptop small", requiring miniaturization, higher costs, etc.) to cram the "guts" into.

Bear in mind that the above doodle HAS NOT been run through the Ive filter, so don't get too hung up on the specifics (shape, curves, design, etc.). I was just trying to imagine Chinney's description. It ain't pretty...just a quick mechanical.

Whatever they do, however, one thing in my drawing is true (and borrowed from the G5): at least one each of FireWire and USB ports ON FRONT, easily accessible for digital cameras, camcorders, iPods, thumb drives, etc. There will be more on the back for more permanently connected devices like external hard drives, printers, scanners, etc.

Just like the G5. Not much of a "digital hub" if you constantly have to struggle to reach around to find the very ports needed to connect your digital devices. That's why the G5 rocks and the LCD iMac is a pain.



I imagine a "hole" (but a bit more elegant) that a separately sold "iDisplay" can be dropped into or connected with. The display HAS to be designed for tilt and swivel operation. That cat is now out of the bag, so any future iMac lacking this is going to suck. People LOVE being able to spin that thing around to show co-workers, friends, family, customers, etc. stuff on the screen. It's the coolest part of the current iMacs, so we CANNOT lose that!

What if the entire "disk" were on a swivel platform underneath? I don't know...then you run into "cable snag" issues. The display can just sit on top and spin around, and also, somehow, tilt back and forth. The height thing, I don't know. I'm willing to lose it. But tilt and swivel is a must.

Something like this, to be used with a matching Apple-designed display (in 15", 17" and 20" widescreen choices) OR for those who a) already have a display, b) don't like Apple's stuff or c) prefer CRTs will have that option now. You can "have a cool Apple iMac", but pair it with YOUR choice of display (or get one of Apple's). Some sort of bundle incentive would be in place, to push people to opt for the cool, matching Apple solution, of course.

post #9 of 226
pscates

The problem I see, with such a design, is IF Apple chooses to add any graphics card upgradeability or heaven forbid PCI slots, it would appear that with this design, access will have to be from the bottom.


All in all though, nice concept.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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post #10 of 226
Thread Starter 
Personally, I was thinking something more cube shaped because that way an iPod dock could be built right into its design. And the iMac does not need a whole indentation just for the monitor, just as the current one only has about a 4 inch perimiter entrance area.

I just visualize a G4 Cube looking thing, but wider, maybe bigger and it would have a holding spot dock built on top of it near the sloat load drive. In the back to middle back area of the top would be the "hole" that wouldnt even be prevalent unless a monitor was inserted into it. Imagine a door lock, the kind where you push the button in. The iMac could work like that, it just looks seamless but the monitor hole collapses in when a monitor is pushed into it.
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post #11 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by pscates
Something like this, Chinney? [edit: hah! I just realized I got your request wrong: I made the front and back flat and the sides rounded Oops! Okay, mentally flip that when viewing mockup...]

I prefer that mockup the way it is. And it definitely has something of the 'Ive factor'!
post #12 of 226
It almost has a bedpan quality to it, now that I look at it.

iPee.
post #13 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by pscates
Something like this, Chinney? [edit: hah! I just realized I got your request wrong: I made the front and back flat and the sides rounded Oops! Okay, mentally flip that when viewing mockup...]

[...]


Awesome work pscates. Your drawing and description is very much what I had in mind - with some 'Ive' factor added to it, of course. As you indicated, however, I would put the squared ends on the sides. While 'Donny1' has has since suggested that he prefers the sides 'as shown', I think it would look nicer to have the curve facing toward the user. Also, I suggest the squared sides for practical reasons: my dream is to be able to mount one of these under the desktop in an underslung mount, and squared sides will make it easier to slide this slim beauty in and out. (Suggestive wording unintentional...)
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post #14 of 226
I think the iMac is probably dead.

The iPod is king right now and Apple will not come out with sexy new hardware to take the limelight off the iPod.

Anyways, Apple is not real concerned about the "computer for the rest of us" anymore.
post #15 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by msantti
I think the iMac is probably dead.

The iPod is king right now and Apple will not come out with sexy new hardware to take the limelight off the iPod.

Anyways, Apple is not real concerned about the "computer for the rest of us" anymore.

That's bullshit, just because it hasnt come yet doesnt mean it isnt in the pipeline. Steve's a product guy, Apple designs. It is coming.
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post #16 of 226
Quote:
Apple must soon address its disappointing iMac sales if it is to capitalise on the high profile generated by the success of the iPod, writes Paul Nesbitt in the latest issue of MacUser.

'Why,' he asks, 'has Apple taken its eye of the ball when it comes to the consumer PC market? The iMac is clearly failing. Its plight is even more worse than it seems, because Apple includes sales of the eMac in the iMac's sales. Even more damning is that Apple's profile in consumer markets has probably never been higher.'

The iMac is too inflexible he argues: 'Apple's insistence on producing "all-in-one" iMacs with virtually no upgradability is partly to blame. You buy an iMac and you can kiss goodbye to any idea of using any spare monitor you might have. No wonder there have been clamours for the company to reinvent the ill-fated Cube as an entry-level consumer iMac.'

And too expensive: 'Apple's main problem has been its refusal to price the iMac as a genuine hot consumer item, rather than as a glorified executive toy.'

And his conclusion? A new 'iMac', to be announced soon.

Macuser.co.uk The extended rant is worth a read too. (Talking about Fred Anderson's admission that Apple are clearly out of reach of most with a price outside of the $999 'sweet spot'.)

That about sums the iMac 2 up. The 20 inch iMac 2 is like the Flower Power iMac. It's a last gasp signal that change is coming.

I'm with Faelyn on this one...

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #17 of 226
I like the hints that forthcoming LCDs may be dockable or aesthetic to the new iMac but can stand on their own.

This gives the iMac some much needed flexibility.

The range of monitors needn't lose the iMac 2's best feature. The 'arm'.

I don't think it need be attached to the base unit at all. A gorgeous Ive pizza, cube or other cool but upgradeable concept would be quite nice. May be mini-tower. May be cube. May be pizza.

Won't be dome.

Pudding.

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #18 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon
Macuser.co.uk The extended rant is worth a read too. (Talking about Fred Anderson's admission that Apple are clearly out of reach of most with a price outside of the $999 'sweet spot'.)

That about sums the iMac 2 up. The 20 inch iMac 2 is like the Flower Power iMac. It's a last gasp signal that change is coming.

I'm with Faelyn on this one...

Lemon Bon Bon

Precisely, because the iMac was designed in such a way (although great for a while) that is has no place else to go. It is getting bigger and faster, not more ergonimic or sophistacated. Although the screen on the 20 inch iMac is gorgeous, it just seems to me that it is ludicrously gorgeous. It is a museum piece at its current price, who would spend 2200 on the 20 inch iMac when they could get a much faster G5 and a decent display for the same price? Not to mention the iMac's lack of shipping RAM-256 MB! What a joke!

Change better be coming because right now the iMac is a nice looking but dead end product, languishing at a price nobody would seriously pay unless they had cash to burn.
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post #19 of 226
You are all hoping for too much, too soon. I'm in the Apple store near me every other day and people are STILL surprised when the sales person shows them how the LCD can be adjusted on the arm. It may seem old to us Mac faithful who obscess every other minute on what the next cool new Mac device might be, but to the general public the iMacs are still new and fresh.

Look for feature enhancements and little boosts and upgrades, but nothing very dramatic.


Of course by saying this, tomorrow Apple will reveal the G5, Aluminium iMac Sphere!
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post #20 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by pscates
Something like this, Chinney? [edit: hah! I just realized I got your request wrong: I made the front and back flat and the sides rounded Oops! Okay, mentally flip that when viewing mockup...]



Just rough and quick, but I was trying to imagine what you were saying.

Here's the thing: I used to have a Quadra 610, which was like a Domino's pizza box-sized thing. So figuring in all the advances made in the past 8-10 years (not to mention looking at the current domed iMac base), Apple could indeed get something small (but not "laptop small", requiring miniaturization, higher costs, etc.) to cram the "guts" into.

Bear in mind that the above doodle HAS NOT been run through the Ive filter, so don't get too hung up on the specifics (shape, curves, design, etc.). I was just trying to imagine Chinney's description. It ain't pretty...just a quick mechanical.

Whatever they do, however, one thing in my drawing is true (and borrowed from the G5): at least one each of FireWire and USB ports ON FRONT, easily accessible for digital cameras, camcorders, iPods, thumb drives, etc. There will be more on the back for more permanently connected devices like external hard drives, printers, scanners, etc.

Just like the G5. Not much of a "digital hub" if you constantly have to struggle to reach around to find the very ports needed to connect your digital devices. That's why the G5 rocks and the LCD iMac is a pain.



I imagine a "hole" (but a bit more elegant) that a separately sold "iDisplay" can be dropped into or connected with. The display HAS to be designed for tilt and swivel operation. That cat is now out of the bag, so any future iMac lacking this is going to suck. People LOVE being able to spin that thing around to show co-workers, friends, family, customers, etc. stuff on the screen. It's the coolest part of the current iMacs, so we CANNOT lose that!

What if the entire "disk" were on a swivel platform underneath? I don't know...then you run into "cable snag" issues. The display can just sit on top and spin around, and also, somehow, tilt back and forth. The height thing, I don't know. I'm willing to lose it. But tilt and swivel is a must.

Something like this, to be used with a matching Apple-designed display (in 15", 17" and 20" widescreen choices) OR for those who a) already have a display, b) don't like Apple's stuff or c) prefer CRTs will have that option now. You can "have a cool Apple iMac", but pair it with YOUR choice of display (or get one of Apple's). Some sort of bundle incentive would be in place, to push people to opt for the cool, matching Apple solution, of course.


@#*%$!......Put a G5 in that and I'll take two.Where do I send the check?
post #21 of 226
Thread Starter 
People need to start changing the way they think around here. The greatest detriment to many people's success tomorrow is their thinking today. If their thinking is limited so is their potential. But if people can keep growing in their thinking, they will constantly outgrow what they are doing. And their potential will always be off the charts.

Apple's potential is way off the charts because they have people that can think. They are always a step ahead of us, we think we have the answers and then we see the actual sensible solution. It isnt always our dream come true, it isnt always the best possible solution for everyone, but we usually see why they did what they did. And it makes sense.
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post #22 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Messiahtosh
People need to start changing the way they think around here. The greatest detriment to many people's success tomorrow is their thinking today. If their thinking is limited so is their potential. But if people can keep growing in their thinking, they will constantly outgrow what they are doing. And their potential will always be off the charts.

Apple's potential is way off the charts because they have people that can think. They are always a step ahead of us, we think we have the answers and then we see the actual sensible solution. It isnt always our dream come true, it isnt always the best possible solution for everyone, but we usually see why they did what they did. And it makes sense.

This pretty much sums up the equation. I think Apple will keep on amazing us. We're all lucky there are some leaks at Apple, otherwise they would take us by surprise with every single introduction of new hardware (not talking about product upgrades). Honestly: who saw the dome-shaped iMac arriving ? I sure didn't...
post #23 of 226
Think way different.

Consumers are buying notebooks in ever-increasing numbers (drive-bay and PCI-slot advocates take note: This is true on the PC side, too). What, fundamentally, separates the iBook from the iMac? At the low end, a SuperDrive and a tiny bit of screen area (14" vs. 15"). The iMac has an adjustable screen, but the iBook is portable. At the high end, the iMac can offer a screen that will never appear in a portable.

The general trend is to have everything with you at any time. This is the great appeal of the iPod, and the cellphone, and the notebook computer. So things are reversed from even a couple of years ago: It is no longer the notebook that has to be justified versus a desktop, it's the other way around. (It's not even a spec issue: Look at the sales for the PowerMac G5 last quarter.) Now, with wireless everything available, the desktop needs to offer a reason for the buyer to accept a big, essentially fixed machine. Give the iBook a SuperDrive and who cares about the 15" iMac? Some people will, but an increasing number won't.

The eMac is a special case, because it meets a particular need. But the iMac is in the awkward position of being an also-ran consumer machine by definition. So, taking a 14" iBook with a SuperDrive option as the primary consumer machine, what is left for the iMac and how can it exploit its place? I'm going to assert that any design that isn't an AIO isn't an iMac (it necessarily fails the "there is no step three" test, making it that much less attractive as a consumer device) so it seems to me that the iMac can either move a bit upmarket, with a G5 and big monitors, or down into the eMac's territory (no CRT, though), or be retired in favor of a separate desktop of some description (the least likely, IMO - unlike some here, I don't believe that Apple sticks to AIOs for some irrational reason).

Note that many of the separate consumer desktops offered by Apple couldn't be purchased without monitors (notably, the LC series) so they were AIOs for all practical purposes, only needlessly complicated by a two-part design.
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post #24 of 226
I believe the new iMac is just about ready to go. The primary factor I can think of that would be holding it back was the need to get a lot of the 90 nm chips from IBM and allocate them to the various products. Depending on memory requirements that may also be an issue with suppliers performing.

As for design - who would have thought of the current iMac before it came out? I think Apple is going to surprise us and I'll be in line as soon as they do.
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post #25 of 226
Don't get me wrong guys.

I truly hope we see a new iMac and a PB G5 this year.

I am just frightened that Apple has its sights set on the iPod too much and not enough on the stuff that got Apple to where it is in the 1st place.

And I am sick of seeing Pepsi bottles.

Well, partly because I am a Coke guy.
post #26 of 226
The 20" iMac is brilliant, it just needs a G5 processor. As soon as Apple find a way to introduce it iMac sales will revive. G4 processors are killing sales of all the machines they are sold in. The main problem is for Apple to update all of its line and the simple fact is to achieve this most will need the 90nm chips and there are probably not enough to go around right now.
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post #27 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Addison
The 20" iMac is brilliant, it just needs a G5 processor. As soon as Apple find a way to introduce it iMac sales will revive. G4 processors are killing sales of all the machines they are sold in. The main problem is for Apple to update all of its line and the simple fact is to achieve this most will need the 90nm chips and there are probably not enough to go around right now.

That is very "easy way out" thinking on your part and other people's. Not to say that it couldnt be true, but for the most part the current G4 iMac's run everything VERY well. G5's wont do that much for sales, they may spike them initially, but spec upgrades can only take you so far. The damn thing needs to be completely re-done.

It was almost perfect, at introduction I thought it was great and bought one...but had a lingering sense that something was just not perfect. Yeah, this iMac is darn near great and can satisfy just about every need for a prosumer, but it doesnt satisfy the trends as Amorph said.

AIO is dead for consumers, at least forced AIO's. Something portable, expandable and upgradeable is the way people want things. Even if Apple offers a compelling product, it still lacks (even if it is just mentally) the ability to upgrade and be portable. And that is what people want.
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post #28 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by msantti
I am just frightened that Apple has its sights set on the iPod too much and not enough on the stuff that got Apple to where it is in the 1st place.

don't be afraid: it's just marketing.
they try to sell baked air and according to your reaction your buying it
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post #29 of 226
Amorph, embedded marketteer.

I would venture however, that laptops are not popular by virtue of their AIO-ed-ness, but rather their portability, and NOT their utility. Tell you what I mean. A laptop can be very useful, I take my book everywhere. When it follows me to the office, sometimes it doesn't get used b/c I have a desktop provided for me. When I'm moving about the city, I love having access to my stuff, so much so, that I will probably replace this book when I can get the same functionality in a slimmer package, about 1 pound lighter, and with at least same battery life, but hopefully better.

However, because this is the nature of the beast, I have to say that I've opened up the PB merely to pose, and like a good many other consumer items, the pose value of laptops shouldn't be discounted. Perhaps pose isn't even the right word, unless its reflexive, or narcistic -- a creation of marketing that tells students that they're smarter, or soccer moms and wannabe beatniks that they really are writing the great American novel, like the flourish you get from businessmen flipping open their startacs over lattes. It's all so very urban(e), ha! Laptops, like cellphones, like SUVs, they're now part of a pose we make for our own egos -- where we look at ourselves and imagine that we will go anywhere at any time, think interesting things and talk to other interesting people who really need to be connected to us.

Laptops proliferate, not because of geek, but because of chic.

Desktops are geek. Apple's AIO's might be chic, but you can't lug an iMac to Starbucks, where chic counts. iMac needs more geek.
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post #30 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Matsu
Amorph, embedded marketteer.



Quote:
I would venture however, that laptops are not popular by virtue of their AIO-ed-ness, but rather their portability, and NOT their utility.

I disagree. Laptops were niche machines until they reached a certain degree of capability. When they were able to be used as fully functional machines, sales skyrocketed. And desktop sales started sagging. It's not hard to conclude from the sudden rise of the laptop that "fully functional" for most people excludes internal expandability almost completely - if it did, laptops would still be second machines, and desktops would still dominate. If more laptops shipped with WiFi on board the most common use for the PC card slot - the one nod the notebook makes toward internal expandability - would wither away.

Once a computer becomes a personal accessory, then of course design and fashion become an issue sometimes (although it hasn't stopped a whole lot of people from buying variously ugly laptops, so that isn't the whole of it). But this is just one more strength, one more thing that makes laptops more consumer-oriented, more appealing to a broader swath of people.

I allowed in my post for the possibility of a desktop that's "more geek." It's certainly a possible direction. But it's not an iMac.

assert(iMac == consumer && consumer != geek);
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post #31 of 226
I agree with Matsu's comments about image. I had a long talk with somebody today who is about to buy a computer (not an Apple, unfortunately), who intends to use it at a single dedicated workstation and is unsure how often he will actually be porting it around. Still he insists he needs a laptop - even though he will pay at least a1000 dollar premium for it over an equivilent desktop. He did not seem to know why he wants a laptop, except that it seems to be the thing to have. Strange.
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post #32 of 226
Sounds just like my parents. They wanted to have a laptop, but when I asked exactly why, she didn't have any arguments as to why. Now the laptop mostly resides on our dinner table, although sometimes one of my brothers decides to use it as it was intended and surfs the web from the couch.

To add to the discussion, I think Chinney made a point by stating that the laptop form factor is some sort of fashion argument. I would never walk around with a laptop. All my friends have computers that I could use if I needed something from the web urgently. I' rather spend more money on a desktop.
post #33 of 226
Thread Starter 
I just had a pretty wild idea, though I'm not too sure about the possibilities of it. What if Apple could make the iBook and iMac go "better together"?

Here's the idea: Sell the iBook like it is, no real expandability, just the normal iBook except one catch. It's screen can come off, not as a tablet or anything fancy and expensive. It would only come off under one circumstance...

The iMac would sell in one of two configurations (iBook Ready or Standard). The iBook ready iMac would come without a screen, but have the internal expansion that is currently missing from the iBook or iMac. It would be an iMac base kind of, but with no monitor on it. Since it is "iBook ready" it is basically a dock for the iBook, where the iBook's screen can come off and attach to the "Arm" that we all know and love. The "iBook Ready" iMac would not truly be an iMac. It would make the iBook assume the look and ergonomic capability of the iMac but it wouldnt have its own CPU. It would just be a dock and expandable portable iMac/iBook!

The standard AIO iMac could still sell as it is, maybe just the 17 and 20 inch versions as they are in the AIO configurations.

The "iBook Ready" iMac would be that unique cross-over product that would appeal to both the portable user and the stationary user who wants the ability to be portable yet desires expandability. The iMac base and Arm that this iBook would connect to would essentially just be a bulky add on of hardware to the internals of the iBook. Think of a square dock that recieves the iBook like a horseshoe base and a chrome arm extending down that latches onto the back of the iBook's now docked body. The arm of the iMac would click in to the back of the iBook, lifting off it's screen which would automatically detach from the hinges once inserted into the iMac dock.

Wild idea, I dunno....maybe I'm?

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post #34 of 226
Certainly, if a basic level of utility weren't there, then all the style in the world wouldn't mean anything, but I think style drives the notebook choice moreso than utility, and moreover, it drives the adoption rate amongst people who don't care about geek. Laptops are perfectly useable, and they add value through mobility. AIO's don't do that. They can be perfectly usable, and they embody particular values, but desktop buyers don't seem to care about those values. Laptop buyers care more about portability (and the lifestyle it represents). AIO buyer's are somewhere between the two.

I think Apple would certainly do better with a more conventional consumer desktop offering. No company besides Apple has been able to sell an AIO with sustained success. Look at how good the iMac's design has to be just to keep their limited market share? Some of it is a mac vs PC marketplace inertia issue, but that doesn't mean that the AIO itself doesn't also act as a barrier.

Get the price down, get it on a convention that people are comfortable with, and sell a lot more. Design and style are Apple strengths, but ease of use and quality are more important. Put it in a modest package at amodest price and consumers will respond.
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post #35 of 226
As others have pointed out, the laptop has really taken off because it can handle pretty much all the tasks a desktop can.

However, a day might come again when AIO's and desktops will rule. Not in the next few years but perhaps when much greater processing power is required for apps in voice, video conferencing and film distribution.
post #36 of 226
I think the new iMac should be called the...

G5 Mini. Mini Aluminum case (like that cube fake from japan) anodized to match the new iPod Mini's. The case will be small. Will have handles. It will be headless, have an upgradable AGP slot, but no PCI slot.

It will come in at 1.6ghz and sell for $999
1.8 $1299
2ghz $1599

A 15.4" widescreen will sell separately for $299
A 17" Widescreen display will sell for $499
The 20" will be $999
and the 23" will be same price as it is now.

The screens will come in basic aluminum color.

This of course would be very cool. It would bring back the colors of the iMac and the sleek design of the G5 tower. i'm just throwing out what i think would be cool.

And as far as the "three step process"

1) Plug in computer
2) Plug in monitor
3) there is no step three.

With blue tooth keyboard and mice and airport, there is no step 3.
post #37 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Messiahtosh
I just had a pretty wild idea, though I'm not too sure about the possibilities of it. What if Apple could make the iBook and iMac go "better together"?

Here's the idea: Sell the iBook like it is, no real expandability, just the normal iBook except one catch. It's screen can come off, not as a tablet or anything fancy and expensive. It would only come off under one circumstance...

The iMac would sell in one of two configurations (iBook Ready or Standard). The iBook ready iMac would come without a screen, but have the internal expansion that is currently missing from the iBook or iMac. It would be an iMac base kind of, but with no monitor on it. Since it is "iBook ready" it is basically a dock for the iBook, where the iBook's screen can come off and attach to the "Arm" that we all know and love. The "iBook Ready" iMac would not truly be an iMac. It would make the iBook assume the look and ergonomic capability of the iMac but it wouldnt have its own CPU. It would just be a dock and expandable portable iMac/iBook!

The standard AIO iMac could still sell as it is, maybe just the 17 and 20 inch versions as they are in the AIO configurations.

The "iBook Ready" iMac would be that unique cross-over product that would appeal to both the portable user and the stationary user who wants the ability to be portable yet desires expandability. The iMac base and Arm that this iBook would connect to would essentially just be a bulky add on of hardware to the internals of the iBook. Think of a square dock that recieves the iBook like a horseshoe base and a chrome arm extending down that latches onto the back of the iBook's now docked body. The arm of the iMac would click in to the back of the iBook, lifting off it's screen which would automatically detach from the hinges once inserted into the iMac dock.

Wild idea, I dunno....maybe I'm?

\


Duo's done right? Or iMac gone off its rocker?


But who wants the little iBook screne when they are at home?
post #38 of 226
Yeah, I think things are quite different now from 3-4 years ago. We've all said "but it HAS to be an AIO because..", but people on the PC side - even those not "into" computers - manage to hook displays and peripherals to separate towers all the time.

Maybe it's time the iMac goes that route. It's good for choice (as I stated in my post earlier).

And here's something I was wondering about too, but I'm not sure how "out there" it is: I wonder about the psychological impact of an AIO...do you think they're somehow seen, right or wrong, as somehow less than a "real" computer? Was that an ugly, untalked-about flipside to the original iMac's cuteness and color: now everything sporting the iMac name - and being an AIO - is somehw seen as "toyish" and not a real or serious computer? I don't know, I'm asking.

DISCLOSURE: I, of course, think the above is complete horseshit and idiotic thinking...but I'm just trying to get into the head of a PC-using Spec Whore type, and the "more is gooder" and "gotta have a tower" mentality shared by many.

I think the iMac - ALL varieties - simply rock. But I've more than a few co-workers, friends, etc. over the years kinda hint that "uh, I'm looking for something a little more substantial...".

\

So, psychologically, I wonder how a 2-piece thing would do? With ADC (and yes, evern Bluetooth for mouse and keyboard), there isn't this big hassle to connect things. Honestly - and I've said thisbefore - if someone can't connect a simple cable from the display to a CPU, then they really don't need to be spending money on a computer. They should go buy a rowboat or lawn darts or a front porch swing or something instead.

Short of Apple going on an all-out, in-your-face marketing blitz (I won't hold my breath), maybe the best, most straightforward way to go after that "other 95%" is to simply give people what they've been screaming for going on 4 years now (hey, watch Matsu glow!): a small, sexy, semi-upgradeable "headless iMac", designed, from the ground up, to be paired with cool-ass, sexy matching Apple displays OR simply used with someone's current, beloved display, be it LCD or CRT.

It's the OS and the iApps and .Mac and iLife 04 and Keynote and Final Cut Express that makes being a Mac user cool. Yes, the hardware rocks, but if it's been "getting in the way" in its current form, then you look to change that. I know Steve says "AIO", but I bet he's also said a lot of other things over the past 4-5 years he's kinda had to go back on. He doesn't know everything and he's not always 100% dead-on.

If people want choice, flexibility, a pizza box, a headless iMac, a reborn Cube (done right this time), etc. then think about giving it to them.

Besides, I have no doubts Ive can come up with something to make it extra special and dazzling, so it'll be far from your typical cheeseball, cookie-cutter "tower + monitor" thing. Some sort of previously untried "WOW!" factor to elevate above what it could be, while still addressing the shortcomings of the AIO.

What could a case, roughly the size of one of those thin Performas -or even a 7100 - be made for?
post #39 of 226
I agree with the essence of pscates post. I remember showing my sister our iMac and she saying oh, neat, I heard those were good for kids. Cringe.

That being said, I know a lot of adults who are still attracted by the AIO design and I think that the current iMac even if sales have been a bit disappointing is certainly seen as much less of a toy than the previous one. The problem with the current one is the price/performance ratio.

I think that there is still a strong market for the AIO Desktop even if it is smaller than it was before due to the advent of the laptop that Apple pretty much has this market, and should make efforts to keep it. That being said, the iMac should be made more flexible. The modular iMac which I explained above - and which pscates was kind enough to draw - would be a good seller both headless and with the arm/monitor - if the price and performance were right.
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post #40 of 226
Quote:
the least likely, IMO - unlike some here, I don't believe that Apple sticks to AIOs for some irrational reason).

Irrational in the face of cold, hard sales figures. The eMac is lumped in with iMac 2 sales and they barely break 200K.

That's pathetic. Even the last Dalmation run of the first iMac beat this by a good 100K or so.

Irrational when your Financial head honcho himself confesses that they are way over the market's sweet spot! By a good $300! Ouch.

There's something clearly wrong with your consumer line when you're taking as many pro desktop sales...

Irrational? How about the duplication of AIO lines which means you can't get a monitorless Mac for less than £1350 inc Vat?!?!? (Take your choice folks, 'Fat'Mac or 'Pudding'Mac...)

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