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post #161 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Matsu
Amorph works for Apple ...

The economical consideratoins of his post become not untrue by that.

Back to iMac Future:

Put a 970FX @ 2GHz and an ATI 9600 AiW in it and everything would be fine. The specs would justify the price and it would be a real All-in-One.

But I think the next iMac will be a complete new maschine. As the G5 a more "industrial" design but still cute for a high WAF
post #162 of 226
All this talk is interesting, but it doesn't mean a hell of a lot without knowing a few things like:

A. What does Apple (Jobs) know that we don't about their market and where they want to go.
B. Is Apple/Jobs really clueless about what consumers want, or think they want, from a computer spec and price stand point?

The point I'm trying to make is how can we see the "truth" so clearly but Apple can't? Are they doomed in the long run? Apple has never been a hardware spec company especially with Jobs. The PCs push hardware specs/price because they have nothing else to push. Apple on the other hand pushes their OS and more recently "value added software" i.e. iLife. I'm not saying they shouldn't lower their prices or give better hardware specs. I really wish they would. It's just that Apple never has and it seems counter to how Apple views themselves and their role. I guess if Apple wanted a lower priced box they would have done it before now. On the consumer end at least Apple values design and software more than raw specs.
post #163 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by imacFP
All this talk is interesting, but it doesn't mean a hell of a lot without knowing a few things like:

A. What does Apple (Jobs) know that we don't about their market and where they want to go.


Jobs knows that the #1 issue is market share, and so mauch as said so recently. Wish I remembered where he said that as it would be a good reference someday.

One problem that I see is that Apple appears t be chasing the high end it a fashion similar to SGI. We all know where that left SGI. As to the ocnsumer end of things it really looks like Apple is asleep at the wheel here. The coming weeks should clear that up a bit, but I don't have a lot of hope that they (Apple) realizes how poorly their machines are percieved by the consumer.
Quote:
B. Is Apple/Jobs really clueless about what consumers want, or think they want, from a computer spec and price stand point?

Look at the IMac, look at its price and then look at its spec sheet. Pretty much sums it up.

I know a few people that make a hell of a lot more money than I do. They do not see a compelling reason to waste money on an Apple product. To the contrary those sorts of people are very competitive, they aren't likely to do business with a company that refuses to compete. It doesn't make any difference if it is a home application or a business application, money is money and if you work hard for it you want the things that you spend it on to work hard for you. The IMac is seen as a machine that doesn't earn its keep, sort of like an intern that realizes he needs to look into another field.
Quote:

The point I'm trying to make is how can we see the "truth" so clearly but Apple can't? Are they doomed in the long run?

AS long as they continue to market consumer goods that grossly over priced than yes they are doomed. As long as the do things like ship hardware that doesn't have enough RAM to effectively run the OS then yes they are doomed. As long as the continue to feed their customers BS about the performance of their hardware instead of delivering performance hardware, then they are doomed.

The efforts though that have gone into the Towers and the XServe do show that Apple can still design electronics which is good. But even with this new hardware it does appear that they have forgotten to involve the consumer of these machines. At least in a broad sense that would allow them to distill a feature set into a workable machine.

There is a great deal of promise with in Apple, they just need a management team that can develop a vision for expanding sales.
Quote:
Apple has never been a hardware spec company especially with Jobs. The PCs push hardware specs/price because they have nothing else to push. Apple on the other hand pushes their OS and more recently "value added software" i.e. iLife. I'm not saying they shouldn't lower their prices or give better hardware specs. I really wish they would. It's just that Apple never has and it seems counter to how Apple views themselves and their role.

Well if you continue to do the same thing and you keep getting the smae negative results then maybe that is an indication of something. I think that Apple has recently come to the conclusion that they can't keep their hardware priced sky high. It simply drives away customers and market share. Apple doesn't need to market the cheapest hardware out there, but they do need to be honest when approaching the consumer and her wants and needs. When your hardware is not even in the ball park price wise you have problems, but these problems are magnified grossly when such hardware is two or three generations old.
Quote:

I guess if Apple wanted a lower priced box they would have done it before now. On the consumer end at least Apple values design and software more than raw specs.

There is nothing wrong with good design. But computers by there nature are practical machines, a pretty machine has to perform in a matter that allows it to realize its practical side. Then there is the issue of just how many people are out there that have the moeny to choose pretty over $$$$. Not many especially when pretty won't put out.

That is not a recommendation to go ugly, just a suggestion to make sure that there is more under the hood than the paint job implies.
Quote:

post #164 of 226
Thread Starter 
This thread should not go from "what do you think Apple will/should do with the iMac" to "Doom and Gloom, they are ****ed!"

ROLLEYES AT EVEN THE SLIGHTEST THOUGHT OF APPLE BEING DOOMED AS A COMPANY.
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post #165 of 226
Just because a post has been made one should not infer that that perspective is frimly based on what is possible. The PC market has demonstrated what is possible. Maybe Apple doesn't want to go quite that low end but they do need to do alot better than the current arriangements.

By the way many of those low cost PC's are coming from larger manufactures with custom cases the cost to HP or Dell for those case parts is not any differrent than the cost to Apple. After you pay for your tooling, the only thing you are paying or is the weight of the material and a little extra for labor.

I think it is fair to say that the reason Apple has to deal with expensive hardware has more to do with case design than anything else. If you're trying to manufacture an excessively complex device, then your up front tooling costs will be very high. build a simple box and your tooling costs are much lower.

As to the electronics, well not to burst any bodies bubble but much of it is the same as you would find in a i86 PC. The prices that Apple pays for this stuff is much lower than what you can get retail and is probally lower than the local PC shop can get it for.

Hey I want Apple to be sucessfull, but that won't happen if they mis whole segements of the markets. The Imac at this point is to expensive for most business to justify let alone the consumer. Maybe $500 is to low for todays technology to deliver a machine and take a reasonable profit, if that is the case then fine. The problem is we don't need a $1300 consumer machine, it really needs to be well under the $1000 mark.

The reality is if Apple doesn't find a way to deliver a $500 dollar machine buy next year they will loose big time with respect to the consumer. You erode the consumer base and you errode the business space with it. At that poitn Apple will just rust away.

Dave


Quote:
Originally posted by smalM
I hope we are through with all those who think about prices far off reallity! Where the heck do they get these ideas from?
Would you please read Amorphs post about costs and prices?
Thank you!
post #166 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by wizard69

AS long as they continue to market consumer goods that grossly over priced than yes they are doomed. As long as the do things like ship hardware that doesn't have enough RAM to effectively run the OS then yes they are doomed. As long as the continue to feed their customers BS about the performance of their hardware instead of delivering performance hardware, then they are doomed.

The efforts though that have gone into the Towers and the XServe do show that Apple can still design electronics which is good. But even with this new hardware it does appear that they have forgotten to involve the consumer of these machines. At least in a broad sense that would allow them to distill a feature set into a workable machine.

Apple has been doing quite well as a company the past few years. The G5 PowerMacs are great and should, with speed bumps sell well for quite awhile. PowerBooks are very nice; have sold well and as soon as Apple can shoehorn a G5 into them, they're going to fly out their door as fast as they can be produced.

It seems Apple has concentrated on updating PowerMacs and PowerBooks lately, perhaps at the expense of consumer desktops. I have a feeling that's going to change soon. iMacs and eMacs are certainly due for revisions and I think we'll see something new soon, but not the wicked fast $500 units you're hoping for. Very nice, moderately priced, moderately fast consumer units is what I expect. Nothing more, nothing less. And I bet they'll be popular, although not with the $500 crowd.
post #167 of 226
I don't think I'd last two weeks at Apple. Large corporations and I don't get along well. (For the record, I work for the State Health Registry of Iowa, Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Iowa. I neither have nor have had any affiliation, formal or informal, with Apple, nor do I even know any current or former Apple employees.) I do love the ironic logic that someone within the company couldn't summon a real argument about the company's reasons for doing something, though.

A few points here and there:

1) As far as can be discerned, the G4 is not a low cost processor. It should be, but the low yields result in scarcity, and scarcity increases cost. I do not find it at all hard to imagine that Apple could implement a 970fx-based board for less than the cost of a G4-based board, simply because the 970fx is tiny and enjoys high yields. The need for the fast, high-tech companion chip can be obviated by moving the memory controller onto the CPU - a relatively simple modification. Then they can design a northbridge chip that's freed from the need to keep up with the absurdly fast Elastic Bus and connect it with HyperTransport (which is, by design, inexpensive to implement). Use a single channel 333MHz DDR RAM, which is cheap and plentiful, and a notebook GPU, and you have yourself an inexpensive board. If IBM can manage to build a true SoC (excluding the GPU and RAM) then Apple can make a really inexpensive board.

It's clear, though, that they now enjoy a level of design flexibility and cost efficiency that they simply didn't have with Motorola.I think we'll be surprised by what comes out of Cupertino in the coming months.

2) Where Windows is adopted in schools there might be a fig leaf of a rationale (there's always something), but if you dig deeper the decision was almost always made behind closed doors and leaving certain crucial people (teachers and the Apple rep) out of the loop. The resulting Windows machines are two-piece by default - nobody at Dell has given a moment's thought to the suitability of the design for a school setting, and the people engineering the move to Windows are satisfied that it's cheaper because the retail price for the desktop itself is lower, and (more) satisfied that their little fiefdom is that much more like the business world now. Complete with a suddenly large and important IT department, oddly enough...

3) I've seen the argument crop up that advocating the simplicity of an AIO is tantamount to calling consumers stupid. I'm always surprised to see this argument on a Mac forum, because it's one of the oldest and most elitist arguments against the Mac generally, and its logic is hilariously skewed. Do people actually consider themselves intelligent for picking needlessly overcomplicated solutions? I tend to think the other way: Consumers consider simplicity a feature, and they are smart to the extent that they prefer to apply their intelligence toward using a computer rather than merely getting it to work - after all, we buy computers to use them. There are people out there who need everything to be an obvious test of their intelligence and competence because they have some chronic existential need to prove to everyone (and to themselves) that they're intelligent and competent), but I don't think this is a common affliction. I consider myself not unintelligent, and I prefer simplicity myself. If I didn't, I'd have a Windows box.

Elegance does not stop at the operating system level, and design does not mean making things pretty. The whole line about how Apple makes the "whole widget" is meaningless unless it means that the same philosophy that Apple applies to its software applies also to its hardware, so that the entire experience is as simple and painless as possible.
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post #168 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Consumers consider simplicity a feature

The iPod is a prime example of this thinking, forget the other mp3 players with twice as many buttons and twist and turn this and thats...from 8 yr old kids to 60 yr old mutli-national company monguls with 1000 letters after their uni degrees they can see how it works for them, neither dumb or unintelligent, the way they relate to an amazingly simple to use but sophisticated device show that the right machine/product works on many many levels.. do I think a g4 iMac is it.. no not quite ... but a fast uncrippled 2ghz 970fx powered 20" jobbie will be mighty mighty close, give it a 64mb vram 9600 mobi chip,512mb ram, 120gb HDD, USB2 and FW800 as std and you have a fair weapon of a machine.

I would love a dual 3ghz g5 with 30" screen but I cant afford it, I wonder how many people here actually upgrade machines vs just buying a new one, so what is the dif between buying a new g5 tower and buying a new iMac, sure one you keep the screen, but then how many do that and dont lust/want after a new even bigger flasher screen...
post #169 of 226
Screens are reaching something of a plateau. If you have a good, big screen, like the 20", it will still be a good big screen in 3-4 years. Cheaper to re-buy, but perfectly capable of being re-used.

Look at how long XGA remained the norm. Screens will settle into a HDTV'ish standard and stay there for some time -- except for specialized uses, which have already surpased it.

Amorph, you can speak of what the consumer should do, but if you want to sell a lot of product, you had best keep an eye on what they will do. Not that I agree with you on what this consumer should do.
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post #170 of 226
Quote:
I think that Apple has recently come to the conclusion that they can't keep their hardware priced sky high. It simply drives away customers and market share. Apple doesn't need to market the cheapest hardware out there, but they do need to be honest when approaching the consumer and her wants and needs. When your hardware is not even in the ball park price wise you have problems, but these problems are magnified grossly when such hardware is two or three generations old.

Witness the lack of £3K PowerMac tower. Only a couple of years ago you'd pay about that for Apple's best. £2K-ish for the top of the line 2 gigger seems like a bargain in comparison. Those '3K' days are gone. Apple aren't immune from downward pricing pressure.

The iMac 2 has been punished for it's brazen price point.

However, here in the UK, you can get a great PC for £1K or less. WITH monitor. I'd like to see Apple drive a single 2 gig G5 into a tower for £995 with 512 megs of ram.

I read your posts again Wizard and agree with your points. Apple doesn't need to be cheapest but they at least need to compeat a little better in my view. They tend to take their eye off the ball. Lose the plot or fail to follow through. I feel the execution of the iMac 2's development has been appalling. Maybe it stems from the R&D. From an inflexible design..? Or maybe it is 'too' bold, too different for the consumer. I like the design. But many mainstream people shy away from something that is too unusual or too different because they are used to 'the same old thing' and anything that strays too far from that standard PC design might frighten 'most' people off. I say give them something 'smart' by all means but also give them something that they know and understand. Maybe Apple needs a 'safer' or more conservative iMac design. (Gasp, a conservative iMac...)

I suppose it would look bad if they canned the iMac 2 so close after the Cube's demise. It's not like the iMac 2 isn't selling. But if the eMac's getting 50% or a best part of those 200K in sales that puts the iMac 2's sales at little over 100K! That's atrocious.

Put like that, Apple needs to get a new 'iMac' out the door as soon as possible.

I'm critical of the current iMac. But I'm dying to see what Apple does next. I do want the iMac/consumer Mac to do well.

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #171 of 226
RE: "screens"

Apple's displays are over due for a re-due. The current designs are great (I own a 17") but they have been around for quite awhile in their current form.

Permanently attaching a high quality, and high cost display to a CPU that will soon be obsolete is a non starter for most knowledgeable buyers. I think this is at the heart of the problem with the iMac.

At a minimum, should Apple continue to produce an AIO iMac, they must make the displays removable and upgradeable. But what to do with the 17" when you upgrade to a 20" display? They must also be reusable.

I think that the next step for Apple has to start with it's line up of displays. Number one should be going with wide aspect across the board. They already have them. 15" and 17" in the Powerbook, the 20" and 23" Cinema displays.

Put those four wide aspect displays in a minimalist case with a VESA compatible attachment point and give each one an adjustable arm and base. Provide both DVI and ADC connectors on all of them to be able to not only work with Powerbooks, but to sell into the Windows world as well.

Design the next Macintosh to be able to use any of the new displays and offer bundled pricing to hit that "sweet spot" of $999 that Fred Anderson let us all know is coming in the next product revision. A new Macintosh with a 15" wide display should be able to hit that mark. Standardizing the Apple displays across the line-up will result in economies of scale that would help keep costs down.

The same is true for the motherboards that Apple has to design for the next revisions of it's products. I would expect the soon to be seen replacement for the current iMac to have a motherboard that will also be seen in the next revision of the Powerbook line. Given that this new mobo will have a 970FX in it, and be a small form factor, why not make one that can be adapted to the next Powerbook? Again, economy of R&D spending to maintain margins.

It all seems so logical that it is hard to believe that the people at Apple (not you Amorph) have also given at least some thought to this.
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post #172 of 226
Just for the record, I have a rev. 1 iMac and it has served me well for just about anything that I can throw at it.

It has never crashed since I bought it new. I know of very few windows machines that can claim that.

Downtime, is something that I have not seen in a long time.

I really cannot understand those of you that cannot assign a value to reliability.

PC's are cheaper in the beginning, sure. But what about fees that you pay to the virus companies (they often don't work), and downtime and FFRs and data restoration and driver searches and downloads? Not to mention the software included in a mac, what is the cost to match that?

I don't see them as being cheaper. Someone care to explain how that is true.
post #173 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Messiahtosh
This thread should not go from "what do you think Apple will/should do with the iMac" to "Doom and Gloom, they are ****ed!"

ROLLEYES AT EVEN THE SLIGHTEST THOUGHT OF APPLE BEING DOOMED AS A COMPANY.

Oh hell. I wasn't saying they are "doomed" Did you even read my post? I was asking a question. What would happen if they allow their consumer desktops to slip even more? Apple can not afford to make many hardware mistakes or sell fewer boxes. They made a big one with the Cube and although I have and like them the iMac 2 isn't a sales winner. They need a sales winner.

I don't think Apple will do anything with the iMac. They will upgrade it and maybe change a few things but they will never produce the kind of simple, low cost tower many want. The #1 reason being they never have. Why would Apple suddenly change direction to a non AIO as their flagship consumer product? We think they should but can anybody site anything that would give the impression that Apple might even consider doing that? Don't say the Cube because that was not a standard tower. It was a great computer but not standard. My feeling has always been if Apple wanted a consumer tower they would have done it before now.
post #174 of 226
Quote:
Put those four wide aspect displays in a minimalist case with a VESA compatible attachment point and give each one an adjustable arm and base. Provide both DVI and ADC connectors on all of them to be able to not only work with Powerbooks, but to sell into the Windows world as well.

Design the next Macintosh to be able to use any of the new displays and offer bundled pricing to hit that "sweet spot" of $999 that Fred Anderson let us all know is coming in the next product revision. A new Macintosh with a 15" wide display should be able to hit that mark. Standardizing the Apple displays across the line-up will result in economies of scale that would help keep costs down.

The same is true for the motherboards that Apple has to design for the next revisions of it's products. I would expect the soon to be seen replacement for the current iMac to have a motherboard that will also be seen in the next revision of the Powerbook line. Given that this new mobo will have a 970FX in it, and be a small form factor, why not make one that can be adapted to the next Powerbook? Again, economy of R&D spending to maintain margins.

It all seems so logical that it is hard to believe that the people at Apple (not you Amorph) have also given at least some thought to this

Good post. I like your thinking...

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #175 of 226
I don't believe Apple should get rid of the iMac. Instead, they should replace the emac with an even less costly solution. Maybe this is headless.

I recently converted two different families to the mac. I regularly take my PB to my son's hockey practices to get some things done and a couple of people started asking a lot of questions. I got them all excited to buy an iMac.

Needless to say, after their shopping excursions, both bought an eMac. Price was the sole driver of the decision. Not ever being mac users, they were nervous that if it didn't work out, then they had less invested. They lusted for the iMac but couldn't see the point in dropping the extra green.

They both have been using their macs now for about 2 months. Now they both wished they had purchased the iMac instead and are contemplating selling their eMacs on eBay and getting iMacs.

The iMac is a very nice form factor. It is, to me, slightly overpriced at this time. Put a G5 in it and it would fall back into line.
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post #176 of 226
Lemon, are you the official "post grader" in this thread? It got to be comical to me after I realized how many times, in this thread alone, you've chimed in just to praise or rate a previous poster's contribution.

All from this 5-page thread:

Quote:
"Ah. A simple, elegant post."
"This is a good post."
"Two engaging posts which call it as they see it."
"Give this guy a cigar."
"I like your thinking..."
"Well said."
"A good, balanced post."
"Well said...I agreed with your post."
"Credit to PSCates for offering a fair opinion on this debate." (as if...)
"I agree...Intelligently and realistically rendered posts."
"Good post. I like your thinking..."





Sorry...just struck me as amusing. Lemon Bon Bon...the post grader!
post #177 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon
Good post. I like your thinking...

Well thank you, LBB, but it is not my thinking that is important here. It's what Apple, collectively, was thinking about this time last year.

I'm sure the die is set, and the new Macintosh is designed and ready for production, if not in production. Tomorrow may bring the Powermac speed bumps, if anything. I'm looking for the next Apple scheduled Press Conference to be the announcement of the New Macintosh.

I'm hoping for a replacement and EOL for the iMac, but it may end up being a new mobo for the iLamp. If it is I'll be disappointed, but nothing like the disappointment I had with the Flower Power and Dalmatian.
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post #178 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Matsu

Amorph, you can speak of what the consumer should do, but if you want to sell a lot of product, you had best keep an eye on what they will do. Not that I agree with you on what this consumer should do.

Where'd this come from? My argument is based on surveys of what customers actually do, and my own experiences.

It's the gatekeepers who tell consumers what they should buy.
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post #179 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Aphelion
RE: "screens"

Apple's displays are over due for a re-due. The current designs are great (I own a 17") but they have been around for quite awhile in their current form.

Permanently attaching a high quality, and high cost display to a CPU that will soon be obsolete is a non starter for most knowledgeable buyers. I think this is at the heart of the problem with the iMac.

I agree about the quality of the current displays and that there time has past. I do not agree that the "attaching" is the "heart", but rather that the high cost (and thus high price) is the "heart". I think the LCD cost is a large part of the cost, and since their prices have not come down dramatically, the iMac price has not. The design of the iMac is undoubtedly higher cost than a typical pc, thus another reason for the "heart".

Quote:

At a minimum, should Apple continue to produce an AIO iMac, they must make the displays removable and upgradeable. But what to do with the 17" when you upgrade to a 20" display? They must also be reusable.

I think all of us here would like that - but how many would do it? The iMac is not aimed at the upgrade market. 3 years after I buy an iMac I can probably buy twice as fast/big at 1/2 the cost. FPs wear out also - it's not just the processor and disks that become obsolete. So the balance is the extra cost for detachable/upgradeable vs how many would do it and pay extra for the possibility. It would be a selling point.

Quote:

I think that the next step for Apple has to start with it's line up of displays. Number one should be going with wide aspect across the board. They already have them. 15" and 17" in the Powerbook, the 20" and 23" Cinema displays.

Put those four wide aspect displays in a minimalist case with a VESA compatible attachment point and give each one an adjustable arm and base. Provide both DVI and ADC connectors on all of them to be able to not only work with Powerbooks, but to sell into the Windows world as well.

Design the next Macintosh to be able to use any of the new displays and offer bundled pricing to hit that "sweet spot" of $999 that Fred Anderson let us all know is coming in the next product revision. A new Macintosh with a 15" wide display should be able to hit that mark. Standardizing the Apple displays across the line-up will result in economies of scale that would help keep costs down.

The same is true for the motherboards that Apple has to design for the next revisions of it's products. I would expect the soon to be seen replacement for the current iMac to have a motherboard that will also be seen in the next revision of the Powerbook line. Given that this new mobo will have a 970FX in it, and be a small form factor, why not make one that can be adapted to the next Powerbook? Again, economy of R&D spending to maintain margins.

It all seems so logical that it is hard to believe that the people at Apple (not you Amorph) have also given at least some thought to this.

As far as the FPs, I think the "economies of scale" benefit is already taken - more at the manufacturer who supplies standard panels across many display makers.

As far as motherboards, I think Apple already does this as much as feasible. Having the same parts in everything is both a benefit and a risk. Having differences allows incremental changes that lowers the risk for the next product. Having different groups responsible for different product lines is just a reality of time-to-market and human communication. I'm sure Apple can do better, but I think saving money due to "common parts" is their aim.

Bottom line - no silver bullets for lowering costs significantly due to common parts. As I've stated before, Apple is great at high quality and great design, but high cost products. We all look forward to a high quality and great design but LOW cost Macintosh. I hope for the consumer single processor G5 in the $800-1600 range, with pro dual processor/dual core monsters in the 1800-3000 range.

Lemon - how'd I do?
-JD
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post #180 of 226
You did fine, kid.

To be honest, Apple's admission at the last conference call seemed to signal an admission that they needed to look again at the iMac/consumer desktop Mac. I'm sure they are aware of it and will address it in time.

Quote:
Sorry...just struck me as amusing. Lemon Bon Bon...the post grader!

Hey, somebody's got to moderate quality around here...

Lemon Bon Bon
We do it because Steve Jobs is the supreme defender of the Macintosh faith, someone who led Apple back from the brink of extinction just four years ago. And we do it because his annual keynote is...
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post #181 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon
You did fine, kid.

Hey, somebody's got to moderate quality around here...

Lemon Bon Bon

post #182 of 226
I have said it before, and I will say it again and again and again

Its the i stupid!

My last three posts address this, so I guess it is officially a soapbox. The i line does not need to be modernized. It needs to be euthanised and eulogized. The target market is dwindling. It is aimed at people who are too stupid to plug in a monitor cable. Trust me, the people who cant plug in a monitor, also cant hook up the speakers. They will still need a guru to help them. There are fewer and fewer people who know absolutely nothing about computers. They are in the work places and in the schools. Practically everyone has some encounter with them on a regular basis. It is no longer cool to be totally ignorant of computer operations. The i line was created for people who were totally ignorant and afraid of computers. They could not figure out how to get on the Internet. I do not recall it being all that difficult. Still, the i, (Internet) line of products was born for such people.

We all know that an Internet appliance is not a real computer. Furthermore, none of us think of people who use computers only for Web surfing and email as real computer users. The i line simply carries on this unnecessary stigma. Further compounding this image problem is the Power line. Having a PowerMac in the lineup is a not so subtle message that the alternative is not powerful. Fewer are the people who want a simple Internet appliance. People are buying digital cameras at a break-neck pace, as well as other types of devices. They now want computers that they perceive are powerful enough to handle there growing needs.

A coworker of mine just recently bought a PC. I advised him, (after he asked my advice), to consider an eMac. I told him why I thought that would be best for his needs. He was very interested, but for all the usual reasons, he bought a PC. I when to his house and set it up for him. I asked him why he went with that particular system. He told me, in all honesty, that he perceived the PC to be more powerful. The name of the system was Thunderbolt, or something to that affect. It had neon blue lights surrounding it, and it just gave off a feeling of power. I reminded him that he was not a power user. He said that he knew that, but he wanted to feel like he got his moneys worth. Also, he said he intended to learn and grow and he wanted something that he felt would keep pace with his future needs. Even if he never did anything more than surf the Web, he did not want to be painted into a corner.

This is typical. This is not unreasonable. And it is Apples fault. There may still be a few women and children and grandmas who dont mind being considered a non-power using, consumer who doesnt know which jack to plug the monitor into. But there are precious few men who fit this category. It is time for Apple to throw away the i, throw away the Power, and rediscover the Mac. Every Mac should be perceived as powerful.
Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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Apple has no competition. Every commercial product which competes directly with an Apple product gives the distinct impression that, Where it is original, it is not good, and where it is good, it...
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post #183 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by jwdawso
... "I do not agree that the "attaching" is the "heart", but rather that the high cost (and thus high price) is... I think the LCD cost is a large part of the cost... The design of the iMac is undoubtedly higher cost than a typical pc" ...

Attaching the display necessitated building the arm, and that arm (stainless steel and all) added significantly to the cost

Quote:
"I think all of us here would like that" - [removable and upgradeable displays] - "but how many would do it?" ... "the balance is the extra cost for detachable/upgradeable vs how many would do it and pay extra for the possibility. It would be a selling point."

Yes, it would be a selling point. That 20" FPD on the current iMac will be a fine display for years to come, unfortunately the "box" it's permenently attached to won't hold up as well over time. It doesn't even hold up well now. As far as extra cost to make it detachable, it would be minimal compared to the arm itself.

Quote:
"As far as the FPs, I think the "economies of scale" benefit is already taken - more at the manufacturer who supplies standard panels across many display makers."



The arm is a great idea and elegantly executed. expensive, but worth it. Putting that arm on all the displays would ad to their cost, but allow a very attractive redesign of the displays, that also gives the entire Apple product line-up the ergonometric advantage that the iMac has.

Economy of volume will result in lower costs per unit for the adjustable arm, and that cost being spread across all displays. Other savings would result in the ability to easily detach the screen from the box. Getting either fixed for one thing. If the backlight blew out, just unplug the thing and send it back to be fixed. You get to keep computing with your now headless Mac by plugging in a cheap CRT while you wait for Apple to ship you back your screen. Just the saving on shipping alone would be significant.

I'll mention a final savings. By using the 15" and 17" wide aspect LCDs from the Powerbooks as the new low end displays Apple will be able to buy in greater volume and thus lower costs for both displays and Powerbooks. This is something they need to pay attention to if they want to lower prices.

Quote:
"As far as motherboards,.. Having the same parts in everything is both a benefit and a risk.. differences allows incremental changes that lowers the risk for the next product... Having different groups responsible for different product lines is just a reality of time-to-market ..."

Designing a small footprint motherboard that incorporates the new 970FX seems to me to be imperative for both the next Mac and the next Powerbook. Why not save some money by having them be the same. Put your best team on it Apple! Revision "A" would be the next Mac and revision "B" would be the next Powerbook. Time to market indeed, these two things need to be released ASAP for marketing reasons.

Quote:
"Bottom line - no silver bullets for lowering costs significantly due to common parts."

I disagree, perhaps not a "silver bullet", but certainly significant savings when all factors are considered. Reduction in R&D costs, repair costs, shipping costs, volume buying from suppliers, manufacturing cost consolidation, assembly costs. All these incrementally add up to lower costs and better price points for us, the consumers.
OSX + Duals, Quads & Octos = World Domination
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post #184 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
...Its the i stupid!... It needs to be euthanised and eulogized...

Good post. I like your thinking...

Aphelion
OSX + Duals, Quads & Octos = World Domination
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post #185 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Aphelion

Designing a small footprint motherboard that incorporates the new 970FX seems to me to be imperative for both the next Mac and the next Powerbook. Why not save some money by having them be the same. Put your best team on it Apple! Revision "A" would be the next Mac and revision "B" would be the next Powerbook. Time to market indeed, these two things need to be released ASAP for marketing reasons.

Good comeback. On your last point, I think that the motherboard cost for a notebook is significantly more expensive then for a small footprint computer. This is because of space, heat, and power constraints. Trying to save money by having the same reference is like trying to buy jet fighters that satisfy the marine corp, navy, and air force at the same time. Sounds good, but the product is lame in all applications.
-JD
-- "If Apple wasn't so greedy, they would build G6's and give them away!"
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-JD
-- "If Apple wasn't so greedy, they would build G6's and give them away!"
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post #186 of 226
Quote:
Good post. I like your thinking...

Hey, that's my line...



I do like the idea of Apple's displays having chrome arms. That way every desktop Mac can be an iMac but way more flexible! (Pun intended...)

Lemon Bon Bon
We do it because Steve Jobs is the supreme defender of the Macintosh faith, someone who led Apple back from the brink of extinction just four years ago. And we do it because his annual keynote is...
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We do it because Steve Jobs is the supreme defender of the Macintosh faith, someone who led Apple back from the brink of extinction just four years ago. And we do it because his annual keynote is...
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post #187 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by jwdawso
... Trying to save money by having the same reference is like trying to buy jet fighters that satisfy the marine corp, navy, and air force at the same time. Sounds good, but the product is lame in all applications.

Is this lame?



The Joint Strike Fighter

Quote:
The Mission:

Provide the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, and the United Kingdoms Royal Navy and Royal Air Force with an affordable and stealthy tactical aircraft for the 21st century.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 JSF has been designed to satisfy the diverse needs of each of these services with a family of affordable, lethal, survivable and supportable combat aircraft.

U.S. and international aerospace leaders have come together on the F-35 JSF team, bringing direct experience in each of the key areas critical to JSF program success.

The Concept:

A common design with affordable variants that meet the individual requirements of each service.

Each variant reflects a key focus on the most critical aspect of JSF: achieving affordability while setting new standards for lethality, survivability and supportability.

The LINK
OSX + Duals, Quads & Octos = World Domination
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OSX + Duals, Quads & Octos = World Domination
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post #188 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by jwdawso
Trying to save money by having the same reference is like trying to buy jet fighters that satisfy the marine corp, navy, and air force at the same time. Sounds good, but the product is lame in all applications.

Umm, the Department of Defence is building this plane as we speak. The f-35 JSF will be used by multiple branches of the military. They were told it wouldn't work and the scientists and engineer's "Thought Different" and made believers out of doubters. Sorry to burst your bubble on that, It is no where near lame in it's applications. 8)
post #189 of 226
I'm going to re-post and pimp my "new Macintosh as a pyramid concept" post from the '04 Rollout thread that seems to be dying, just above a locked thread:

Quote:
Jubelum: "pyramids are a waste of space for their footprint."

I disagree, the square footprint of a pyramidal base allows the form factor of a 12" Powerbook to be used as it's mobo. Stacked above that would be a Superdrive, and above that, space for a 3.5" hard drive.

Amorph: "Seriously, the dome is the most functional design for the current unit. The circle implies and accommodates the arm's ability to rotate, and the lack of sharp corners and the matte finish allow it to disappear into the background, so that you get that cool effect of only seeing the monitor floating in space once you start concentrating on your work."

A pyramid shape allows for rotation of the monitor arm (if you choose to attach it). The "cool" effect of the monitor hiding the base applies equally well to a pyramid shape. A piece of aluminum sheet wrapped around the front and sides of the pyramid to create it's form would be very inexpensive to manufacture.

In my vision of the thing, the back panel (removable for servicing and upgrades) would have the "cheese grater" holes like the towers, as would the bottom surface to promote airflow and cooling. The base would sit on hidden rubber feet, giving the elevation to allow air to be drawn in from the bottom, and allow for a "cool" hovering above the desk look to it.

Speakers would be hidden in the front corners, firing downwards through the bottom grate, so as to leave the visible surfaces unbroken. A hidden panel on the lower front would rotate up and in to reveal USB, Firewire, and headphone ports. The CD/DVD would have a similar hidden door.

Mounting a display would be as simple as plugging the arm into the apex of the pyramid. Making the ADC connection inside would be easy, since the whole back panel would slide out for servicing, adding memory, swapping hard drives, ect.

Manufacturing the new Macintosh (no more "i" Mac) would be very cost effective due to the next generation Powerbook motherboard (RE:G5) and inexpensive shell. Assembly would also be cheap, as it would come down the line in a bare chassis until the final fitting of the aluminum shell. Only four steps to it's assembly: 1) Insert motherboard into chassis. 2) Install optical drive and hard drive assembly in carrier on top, 3) Drop on the shell, and 4) slide in ventilated back panel.

~ The New Macintosh $999 ~
with 15.2" wide display $1299
with 17" wide display $1499
with 20" wide display $1799
(bundled prices)

I wish I had some Photoshop skills to create a cool rendition of this idea. Whatever the next Macintosh turns out to be, it will have to be easy and cheap (relatively) to manufacture to hit the price points they need to avoid a cube redux pricing fiasco, and they know it.

The above prices assume a 1.8 or 2.0 GHz G5 and superdrive. Let the eMac continue to be the low end with a speed bump and price cut.
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post #190 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by oldmacfan
Umm, the Department of Defence is building this plane as we speak. The f-35 JSF will be used by multiple branches of the military. They were told it wouldn't work and the scientists and engineer's "Thought Different" and made believers out of doubters. Sorry to burst your bubble on that, It is no where near lame in it's applications. 8)

You guys are right But I was thinking back to the Johnson administration, with McNamara's F-111. (I think - I'm a little fuzzy, just look at my gray hair )
-JD
-- "If Apple wasn't so greedy, they would build G6's and give them away!"
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-JD
-- "If Apple wasn't so greedy, they would build G6's and give them away!"
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post #191 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by jwdawso
You guys are right But I was thinking back to the Johnson administration, with McNamara's F-111. (I think - I'm a little fuzzy, just look at my gray hair )

don't worry, I am blonde and it hides my gray very well...
post #192 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by oldmacfan
Umm, the Department of Defense is building this plane as we speak. The f-35 JSF will be used by multiple branches of the military. They were told it wouldn't work and the scientists and engineer's "Thought Different" and made believers out of doubters. Sorry to burst your bubble on that, It is no where near lame in it's applications. 8)

Actually it is not the first plane to be used by multiple branches of the military. The F4 phantom was used by the Air Force and Navy. The FA 18 was originally designed in competition for the Air Force contract against the F16, which it lost to. The design was then "hardened" to withstand the rigors of carrier based landing, so it basically covered the A and C variants of the JSF even if the Air Force award the contract for that plane. The F16 could not pass the Navy's standards because it is a single engine jet and the Navy required 2 engines for safety at the time of those contracts, I believe that the JSF is a single engine as well and would not have passed those requirements. I think that the main distinction that could be attributed to the JSF is that it will have a variant with STOVL capability on the same platform as the others. Up until this plane VTOL craft were designed specifically for that purpose (the Harrier), and the Harrier fleet is probably the most in need of replacement. An end note, this could be one of the worst mistakes that the DOD has ever made because it is possible that there wont be any other companies capable or willing to invest in the competition for the plane after the JST, thus the design of its successor may not be as advanced as it could be.
post #193 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by @homenow
Actually it is not the first plane to be used by multiple branches of the military. The F4 phantom was used by the Air Force and Navy. The FA 18 was originally designed in competition for the Air Force contract against the F16, which it lost to. The design was then "hardened" to withstand the rigors of carrier based landing, so it basically covered the A and C variants of the JSF even if the Air Force award the contract for that plane. The F16 could not pass the Navy's standards because it is a single engine jet and the Navy required 2 engines for safety at the time of those contracts. I think that the main distinction that could be attributed to the JSF is that it will have a variant with STOVL capability on the same platform as the others. Up until this plane VTOL craft were designed specifically for that purpose (the Harrier), and the Harrier fleet is probably the most in need of replacement. An end note, this could be one of the worst mistakes that the DOD has ever made because it is possible that there wont be any other companies capable or willing to invest in the competition for the plane after the JST, thus the design of its successor may not be as advanced as it could be.

Sorry I wasn't quite clear on my point, No other airframe has ever been used in so many differing fashions,the fact that the STOVL capabilities
were workable in this airframe is remarkable. This one implemenation
is truly a "Think Different" approach to solving the problem. Even for ground up STOVL capable air craft.
post #194 of 226
The next new hardware will be the new iMac and it will be next week. This is to not steal the thunder from the iPod mini expected on the 20th.

It will be a knockout design that will make Ive proud and I believe it will have a top end G5 at 2.4 GHz and a low end at 2.0 GHz....This is good.

Now the real issue will be the price from top to bottom and this is Apple's chance to shine because for the first time in 3 years they have some wiggle room.

My hope is that the 90 mm G5's are cheaper to produce and are exceeding expectations. Now Apple can go for market share with aggressive price points because the duel Power Mac G5's will come in March at 2.8 GHz top and better price margins to balance things out.

If the new iMacs are AIO then $1,599 top, $1,399 middle and $1,100 low end would be a home run.(Great power and fair price).

Non AIO iMacs would $1,299, $1,099 and $899 with new screens starting at $299 for the 17", $425 for the 19" and $599 for the 20"

Follow up with an eMac redesign with 17" screen and 10 pounds lighter with a 2 GHz G5 at $699.

Now we can get serious about market share, especially with a redesigned iBook in time for the next school cycle.


8) 8) 8) 8)
post #195 of 226
post #196 of 226
[quote]Aphelion wrote:

A pyramid shape allows for rotation of the monitor arm (if you choose to attach it). The "cool" effect of the monitor hiding the base applies equally well to a pyramid shape. A piece of aluminum sheet wrapped around the front and sides of the pyramid to create it's form would be very inexpensive to manufacture.

1) the pyramid doesn't imply the rotation, and;

2) the "cool" effect is not the monitor hiding the base, it's the base not calling attention to itself by having a matte finish and no sharp corners. The "hiding" is accomplished merely by focusing on the monitor, even if it's not hiding the base at all. Your pyramid would call attention to itself, and doubly so with an aluminum exterior.

And the pyramid is still space-inefficient. The only conceivable advantage is that it would allow Apple to use a rectangular motherboard, which might cost them a bit less.
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post #197 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
... Your pyramid would call attention to itself, and doubly so with an aluminum exterior...

Isn't that just what Apple needs for the 21st Century Macintosh?
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post #198 of 226
Maybe this guy in Japan has a better idea:

http://www.conf.co.jp/new_folder/making/cube_9.html

Have a nice day.
post #199 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by imacFP
I don't think Apple will do anything with the iMac. They will upgrade it and maybe change a few things but they will never produce the kind of simple, low cost tower many want. The #1 reason being they never have. Why would Apple suddenly change direction to a non AIO as their flagship consumer product? We think they should but can anybody site anything that would give the impression that Apple might even consider doing that? Don't say the Cube because that was not a standard tower. It was a great computer but not standard. My feeling has always been if Apple wanted a consumer tower they would have done it before now.

You are right that Apple will (IMO) never produce a cheap tower machine. That is not who Apple is and hopefully never who they will be. They can and have produced cheap, headless boxes. The LC was (for a Mac) low cost and sold incredibly well. Educational buyers snatched up a lot of them with monitors. Once it got old and tired, upgrade to an LC III and keep the display and other sundries. I never liked the LC, it wasn't right for me (I had a IIx), but, it sold like crazy.
post #200 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Aphelion
Isn't that just what Apple needs for the 21st Century Macintosh?

Yes and no.

The genius of the jellybean iMac was that it had that shape and those bold colors, but when you were using one, no matter how colorful it was, the color dropped to a few accents and the machine appeared to be a white-rimmed screen and a keyboard. So it was eye-catching to look at without being distracting to use. (This was also true of the original iBooks.)

The LCD iMac has the latter attribute, but not the former. Your revision would have the former attribute, but not the latter. I'd like to see a design that brings back the fusion of appeal and utility in the jellybean iMac. Ideally, you want the machine to catch your eye when you're not using it, and you want the machine out of the way when you are using it.
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"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

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