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iMac Future - Page 3

post #81 of 226
OK, here's the solution. But I warn you, it's unconventional...

Apple needs to institute a subscription program for the iMac/AIO line. Here's how it would work:

1. Initial purchase, $1K to 1.7K range. The only differentiation is monitor size. All have up-to-date internals and i/o. Only ram would be user upgradable.

2. Every year, the iMac owner brings her machine to a store for the annual upgrade. At that time, the unit gets a faster drive, USB 3.0, a slightly better graphics card and a slightly faster CPU. This service would cost $500 per year. This service must be paid for one year in advance. This way, the initial cost for the iMac subscription will be $500 more than the sticker price and each year you pay for next years upgrades.

2b. Another scenario would guarantee good processor, motherboard, and graphics card upgrades one year, and other internal upgrades like drives and I/O the following year. This way, you would have a completely new system every two years. The $500 subscription part would remain the same.

3. The upgrade would only be offered once a year. A person would be free to skip an update. But that would effectively cancel their subscription. They would then have to buy a new machine for future updates.

This is a win-win situation.

The consumer wins because it is much easier to pay $500 once a year than it is to pay $2000 once every four years. Also, your system never gets four years behind the times. It will never be outdated. No matter where technology goes, you will be there. Another benefit is that you will never be forced to prematurely get rid of a beloved machine because of outdated specs. It will be as great and as useful in four years as it was the day you bought it.

For education, it's "game over". For the same price that institutions pay to maintain old equipment, they can just subscribe to an always-up-to-date program. No more major purchases every few years. Naturally, onsite upgrades would be offered to institutions.

I can't even begin to calculate the benefit to Apple. They would have a predictable and sustainable base of income for future products. They would not be forced to come up with the "next big thing" so often. They would make more profit because upgrade costs would be much lower than manufacturing costs.

The best benefit yet is that with the old parts that Apple collects every year. They can finally afford to sell a bargain priced Mac that is pure profit based on last year's parts. In essence, Apple gets to sell these parts twice. Why not?

The beauty of the subscription plan is its flexibility. I am flexible on the types of upgrades you get every year, just as long as they are predictable. Perhaps they can offer a discount when subscriptions are purchased two and four years in advance. Perhaps they can offer a $50 per month subscription to those that would rather pay monthly than yearly. Either way, the actual upgrade would only happen once a year.

Clearly, I am not describing a new type of computer. Rather, I am describing a new way to sell it. With a program like this, even the 20" iMac looks pretty good. Everybody wins.
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post #82 of 226
I seem to recall in the 'last' significant iMac run, the 'pattern' iMac sold around 50K from 350, 000 (Something like that...). Not bad when you consider they're currently scraping the imac2 sales off the floor with eMac sales...

I think the colours can make a return. And have. iPod mini is here.

I see no reason why Aluminum G5 Mini-G5 towers couldn't straddle the £495-£995 price range.

Yes, I do think the colours were a little more fun, personal and loveable and exciting than the current 'clinical' white. I like white. I like the iMac 2's style. But I haven't bought one. And neither are alot of other people. Just look at the poor eMac. It lacks the iMac's charm and curves. It's rather lardy looking. With a poor crt screen. Er. iBook or eMac give or take £100. ER...('Gee, hard decision, I'll take a G4 iBook please...')

Make a chopped down G5 mini-tower and bang! Colour excitement. iPod Mini switcher fanatics can upgrade their 3 year old PC with a spanking new colour matching G5 'Mini'. (Name match!)

G5s on 0.09 have got to be so cheap...is there any reason why a 1.6-2.4 gig G5 mini range can't straddle every Dell consumer price point from £495 to £995? One case to make. Not two (eMad and iMac.)

Choose yer colour. Choose your monitor. (Price bundle for studio monitor...Cheap 17 inch LCD...few hundred, tops...) Choose your G5 speed. Choose integrated or upgradeable graphics. Choose your price. Choose your customer. Choose your switcher.

PC Shuttles are the hot 'mini' PC thing. It's happening under Apple's nose. Are we surprised consumer customers are voting with their wallets? Apple, the same company who gave us the wide choice of DVD only when the rest of the PC market was giving CDRW options away...

Clearly, Apple does NOT have their finger on the desktop consumer pulse.

If they're selling less consumer desktops then pro desktops (and that goes same for the laptops...) then they've clearly lost touch.

In that sense, they have clearly failed to build upon the original iMac's half a million per quarter sales rocket.

Problem? Apple refuse to admit they've made a mistake until it's too late.

They clung on to the iMac's 15 inch screen for too long when they should have merely offered the 'eMac' much sooner. They wait until sales dry up before they offer? Guess what? An overpriced iMac 2 which completely outstrips the previous iMac price range.

Classic Apple own goal. Brilliant but we've just blown our feet off.

Again, they haven't learned their less with the iMac 2. They wait 13 months before an update. That indicates a serious problem. Give the thing a price hike just after a debut...and kill any momentum they had. The 17 inch version should have been hot on the heals of the 15 inch LCD version and been given a few price breaks.

Look at the iBook, nice...and it was a great improvement over the clam. But I thought the clam was more colourful and exciting. The iBook is cool...but it's taking Apple far too long to get revisions out...and way too long to get a design refresh out there. When iBook sales were lifting off into the 250k range...where was the product to build on that moment. Nope. The price downward spiral has stalled. The design has stalled. The ram is stingy and the screen res' is modest. The screen isn't the brightest. The cpu bumps are still measly by x86 standards. Where's the superdrive iBooks? You can get superdrive x86 laptops for £795. Same price as Apple's ENTRY level iBook.

Look, Apple's prices are sometimes reasonable to begin with but 6 months later they look stupid.

Apple really have to improve on their product launch and ramp and refreshes.

I know they try to innovate...but sometimes I feel Apple should standardise their cases to some degree like they have the innards to more standard PC equations. Yes, Apple colours and style and smartness...but sometimes...you can be TOO far out there as the Cube and the iMac 2 have shown.

To me, the G5 case get's it right. And if it ran the gamut of price down to £795 for a single 2 gig G5 then I'm confident Apple would get loads of switchers and half a million sales per quarter easy.

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #83 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by pscates
This is the toughest issue we've ever tackled... Oh, iMac...what are you going to be?)

The iMac is DEAD ~ long live the new Macintosh!
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post #84 of 226
Unconventionally conventional.

That's what 'X' is. That's why it's getting rave press. Sure, it's not that far from what Window's users know (window column mode...) but it looks better, more stable, has more compelling innovation and it's cheaper than windows (as sold per box...minus cpu...)

And...surprise, surprise, Apple has ACTUALLY been listening to what people want in an OS by LISTENING carefully to feedback and being responsive what the customer wants instead of what Steve thinks the customer should want.

I wish Apple would sprinkle some of that on its desktop line... I don't want an eMac. I don't want an iMac 2 with an old G4 and a monitor I can't remove. I don't want to pay £1350 before I get choice and a decent desktop. AND, there's plenty of PC sales going to PC computers below the iMac's 'sweet spot' that agree with me.

I just think Apple is going to have to get real down and dirty with the Mac line. To me, they almost had all their ducks in a line and they barely broke 800K units for the Christmas quarter with 75 Apple stores.

Clearly, Apple's consumer line isn't pulling its weight.

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #85 of 226
Quote:
The iMac is DEAD ~ long live the new Macintosh!

Give this guy a cigar.

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #86 of 226
Thread Starter 
Essentially one slightly modifiable model, 3 color choices. (Alluminum because I like the idea...futurized in either White, Original Alluminum Bondi Blue, and the top selling color from the other iPod mini choices, maybe Green)

One price: $899

One speed (at first): 1.6 Ghz G5

One drive option: Superdrive

Standard RAM: 384 MB

One hard drive size: 60 GB's

All the I/O.

No LCD or CRT just a stand alone.

No Firewire 800.

No ULTRA miniaturization, because that causes price hikes.

The last thing it HAS is the option for adding an "iMac arm" if desired...for $329 at 17 inches. And those would work with PC's as well.
------------------------------

The 20th Anniversary G5 iMac

------------------------------

Made for iLife, priced so you still have one.
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post #87 of 226
My solution was to just have a headless low-cost Mac and the eMac/iMac coexist. No conundrum needs to be solved.

For the headless low-cost Mac, take the PowerMac G5, reduce its dimensions to 8x12x12 inches, have the same cooling technique and design language, chop 40% of the motherboard off that was occupied by the second processor, take out 2 slots, have only 4 DIMM slots, 1 drive, 1 optical, 1 PCI, 1 AGP, 1 1.6 to 2.0 GHz uniprocessor G5, and sell for $1200 or around there. Call it the G5 mini.

For the iMacs, stick with the G4, but make them dual processors at the same price points. Dual processors machines will stay smooth for a lot longer than single processor machines.

For the eMacs, stick with the G4, and have it as a 600 to 700 dollar specials. These are so cheap that obsolescence shouldn't become a problem.

For a super low cost Mac, take the design language of the PowerMac G4, put it in a 9x12x12 form factor, 1 processor, 1 AGP, 1 drive, 1 optical, 2 DIMM slots, and sell it for $600. Call it the G4 mini.

When the 970 derived CPU with 1 MB L2 and multithreading comes, Apple can than start the process of shifting the 970fx to low cost machines.

Big problem is, can Apple really get a 7457 G4 for $40, a graphics chip w/32MB for $40, a system ASIC for $20 and an I/O ASIC for $20 or less? They have to build low cost machines for at most $450 in order to sell at $600, and be willing to do so. I don't think they ever had a profit margin of less than 24% since Jobs came back.
post #88 of 226
Thread Starter 
Look at my above post, and one last thing. DONT CALL IT THE MINI! Apple has incalculable brand name recognition from the name iMac. They need to call it the iMac still, in some way. The G5 iMac, the iMac mini (maaaybe). Not just the Mini Mac or something.

Also, if education requires the AIO concept, have Apple just provide an extremely low cost but decently designed display that can go along with the iMac. Maybe for the $899 price plus a $199 LCD, even 12''. And for education the iMac would be $700 + the $199 LCD if so desired. Total package= $999...THE SWEET SPOT.
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post #89 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Messiahtosh
Essentially one slightly modifiable model, 3 color choices. (Alluminum because I like the idea...futurized in either White, Original Alluminum Bondi Blue, and the top selling color from the other iPod mini choices, maybe Green)

One price: $899

One speed (at first): 1.6 Ghz G5

One drive option: Superdrive

Standard RAM: 384 MB

One hard drive size: 60 GB's

All the I/O.

No LCD or CRT just a stand alone.

No Firewire 800.

No ULTRA miniaturization, because that causes price hikes.

The last thing it HAS is the option for adding an "iMac arm" if desired...for $329 at 17 inches. And those would work with PC's as well.
------------------------------

The 20th Anniversary G5 iMac

------------------------------

Made for iLife, priced so you still have one.

No it must be 512MB of ram (one chip), 100GB SATA hard drive, and the biggest catch, the 128mb videocard needs to work with all monitors instead of just Apple displays (DVI/VGA) without converter. And you can have an Apple Display with a free Adapter if you want. Lastly, don't backwards engineer it to not span multiple monitors. $949.00.
post #90 of 226
Quote:
My solution was to just have a headless low-cost Mac and the eMac/iMac coexist. No conundrum needs to be solved.

For the headless low-cost Mac, take the PowerMac G5, reduce its dimensions to 8x12x12 inches, have the same cooling technique and design language, chop 40% of the motherboard off that was occupied by the second processor, take out 2 slots, have only 4 DIMM slots, 1 drive, 1 optical, 1 PCI, 1 AGP, 1 1.6 to 2.0 GHz uniprocessor G5, and sell for $1200 or around there. Call it the G5 mini.

For the iMacs, stick with the G4, but make them dual processors at the same price points. Dual processors machines will stay smooth for a lot longer than single processor machines.

For the eMacs, stick with the G4, and have it as a 600 to 700 dollar specials. These are so cheap that obsolescence shouldn't become a problem.

For a super low cost Mac, take the design language of the PowerMac G4, put it in a 9x12x12 form factor, 1 processor, 1 AGP, 1 drive, 1 optical, 2 DIMM slots, and sell it for $600. Call it the G4 mini.

When the 970 derived CPU with 1 MB L2 and multithreading comes, Apple can than start the process of shifting the 970fx to low cost machines.

Big problem is, can Apple really get a 7457 G4 for $40, a graphics chip w/32MB for $40, a system ASIC for $20 and an I/O ASIC for $20 or less? They have to build low cost machines for at most $450 in order to sell at $600, and be willing to do so. I don't think they ever had a profit margin of less than 24% since Jobs came back.

I like your thinking...

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #91 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Messiahtosh
Look at my above post, and one last thing. DONT CALL IT THE MINI! Apple has incalculable brand name recognition from the name iMac. They need to call it the iMac still, in some way. The G5 iMac, the iMac mini (maaaybe). Not just the Mini Mac or something.

Also, if education requires the AIO concept, have Apple just provide an extremely low cost but decently designed display that can go along with the iMac. Maybe for the $899 price plus a $199 LCD, even 12''. And for education the iMac would be $700 + the $199 LCD if so desired. Total package= $999...THE SWEET SPOT.

sounds good. hopefully there will be some "discontinued" 17 inchers pretty soon maybe keep manufacturing those, and drop the resolution to 1024xwhatever. cheap, afforadbale, and something to go with any kind of headless mac idea.
post #92 of 226
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I see the only challenge being the LCD in education. If there would be a way to make it tough without adding more cost...
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post #93 of 226
Im a huge fan of the iMac2, but have I bought one?, no! (just like i didnt buy a cube). I was thinking of getting a 20" iMac as a second machine to my PB 15" mainly for iLife stuff - and lots of it!.

Long story short, Im coming around to the headless iMac concept discussed, so people who already have laptops can use second monitors when theyre available. I would love to use the 20" LCD with my PB (make more use of an already expensive product).

Instead of expensive displays tethered to badly ageing G4's?, no thanks.

Friends (PC switchers) have bought the 17" iMacs and they are wrapped in these machines, but obviously not enough people have because people prefer laptops, so if Apple wants to sell more product, the headless low cost computer will have to be an option.

This product then appeals to the value proposition to entice people to buy a 2nd machine.
post #94 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Messiahtosh
Also, if education requires the AIO concept, have Apple just provide an extremely low cost but decently designed display that can go along with the iMac. Maybe for the $899 price plus a $199 LCD, even 12''. And for education the iMac would be $700 + the $199 LCD if so desired. Total package= $999...THE SWEET SPOT.

Education doesn't require the AIO "concept." They require an AIO: A single, monolithic unit that can tolerate all kinds of abuse.

Two-part systems are more expensive to manufacture (when you have to design and build the whole thing), more expensive to ship, and less capable of standing up to the rigors of K-12 lab use.

As for the iMac: You can have a choice of monitors without leaving the AIO behind: The iMac has three choices right now, and even here they've become the primary means of distinguishing the models: We refer to the 15", 17" and 20" iMac, not the 800MHz, 1GHz ,etc. iMac. So that's not a problem with the line. The absolute monochrome nature of the machine might be a problem, insofar as it's not as personal a design as the jellybean. More generally, I think the design needs to be redone. Right now it's a bit clinical, and it can't be colored or patterned easily. And, of course, it has to hit the sweet spot, sub-$1K.

I liked Mac Voyer's suggestion at the top of page 3 just because it really showed some different thinking about the problem, and because it breaks a large, periodic expense into smaller expenses, which makes things more affordable in practice. This exact sort of upgrade system has been offered for mainframes and other large systems for decades. The technical hurdles for implementing it are actually fairly low, if you design for them, and actually in a consumer AIO it would be fairly easy to do just because everything's integrated - there wouldn't be much to swap out or swap in. You could have the motherboard in a tray whose side housed all the ports, and just take the old tray out and put a new tray in - and there, in 60 seconds, is your new board with new ASICs attached to new ports. This is the sort of thing Apple excels at.

The main problems are: Apple would be committed to upgrading a given design every year for four years, even if that model bombs. That at least doubles the amount of engineering required. Had Apple had this policy in place in 2000, they would currently be trying to figure out how to stuff G5s into Cubes. Putting that much more work on engineering (hardware and software and QA) means either less work on new models, or more engineers. Neither is heartening. Furthermore, since the number of consumers who actually take advantage of such offers is very small, Apple would have to do limited runs of the boards, which would not benefit from economies of scale, and which would not be cheap.

Also, they might run into future-proofing issues. Apple tends to design within fairly close tolerances, which allows them to create things like the PowerBook and the iMac that are amazingly compact. By implementing this system, Apple would essentially have to make sure that their designs could take the next four years' worth of technological advancements, which is a seriously tall order. Will a 1.25GHz G4 go into a Dalmation iMac?

I like the general idea, and I'd be interested in further discussion. It would have to be done very, very carefully in order to work, though.
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post #95 of 226
Amorph,

I think that eventually we will have computers that are more like home appliance purchases than current computers, a true "Digital Hub" so to speak. When that happens "long-term upgradable" systems will be needed. However I don't think that time is here yet. Probably the first sign that they are coming is when internet distribution of video becomes practice in time and cost of the bandwidth. Then it will be in the best interest of computer companies to offer "blade" style designs that they can sell either a second or third processor, or a faster replacement if the backplane is maxed out. But we aren't there in "parallelism" in home computing quite yet, though the signs are pointing there. We need better integration with AV systems than we have today and some industry standards in format copywrite protection and connectivity that are not quite there yet.
post #96 of 226
This was the core of a topic I started a while ago "Blade Runner" a Modular Mac. Check it out for some interesting concepts...

Blade Runner ~ Modular Mac

With xGrid and hypertransport it should be possible to design a PCI-X processor card that plugs in to double your processing power.
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post #97 of 226
But the AIO's big problem is this: for ~$1000 you will sacrifice a nmonitor...but if you are spending $1299 you better be able to reuse something after 2-3 years during upgrade time.

A lot of potential switchers could get over the AIO if it was cheaper. Bur for $1299 you get a PC with a 17" flat panel, a DVD burner, 512 RAM, 120GB hard drive and 128MB video card. Why switch when that 15" imac is was overpriced and under-powered. Switching to an Apple desktop is cost prohibitive for most PC users. MAny people are impressed with all of the bundled software and it will do mostly everything they want...but it cost $500 more and it is not worth it for them.


I do think it is pretty ridiculous you have to pay $1800 to get a superdrive equipped tower..and it is a really hard comparison when you can get 2x the RAM, 2x the VRAM, and 150% more hard drive space for 1/2 the cost of a powermac.

If apple is going to get serious about increasing marketshre...Apple has to get serious about readingint eh market. Bring back a CUBE!

But none of this unerpowered g4/32MB VRAM super cheap towers. Apple doesn't need to play at the super cheap end of the market..just be in the ball parks of the Sony's of the worlld..not $500 more.
post #98 of 226
Well said.

Quote:
Two-part systems are more expensive to manufacture (when you have to design and build the whole thing), more expensive to ship, and less capable of standing up to the rigors of K-12 lab use.

Not if Faeylin's idea comes to pass. ie Apple could have a line of monitors which fairly well match most of the line. (Which, in fairness, the current LCDs do, most of the time.)

Apple has a range of studio monitors that have presumably paid for their R&D (given the whopping prices...)

If said headless Mac comes sans monitor it will be cheaper to make.

The two piece design is more expensive to make, that's why PC tower prices can be had for half the price of the eMacs and still off more...

And there's no reason Apple can't offer bundle prices to make a mini-tower cheaper and more flexible than the current iMac 2. The current price of the Studio 17 inch isn't far away from the price of the Apple 17 inch CRT which looked awkward alongside price fugal Cube buyers.

Given a price cut, a redesigned 17 inch LCD and a headless mini-tower would or could look quite nice together.

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #99 of 226
When I purchased my original iMac I was drawn to it by its style, simplicity and the fact that it was an AIO. In particular I wanted to avoid separate speakers and the wiring that goes with it.

For me the iMac2 is not a true AIO because it has separate speakers. I am also suprised that the ports are all at the back and thus difficult to access - with still and video cameras, iPods etc to be attached, the ports should be more accessible.

I beleive that, in the UK at least, there is a clear demand for AIOs as most users simply do not expand or upgrade their machines. If you beleive that you need the facility to upgrade graphics cards, shouldn't you be using a tower?

[Currently using an iBook with Bluetooth keyboard and mouse pending eMac / iMac upgrade.]
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post #100 of 226
I'm telling ya...horizontally-situated "loaf of bread". Wide, include speakers on each end. It would be about 6" tall and deep and about 18" or so wide.



Squared (no funky curves), back panel opens up to access video. Plenty of room for components and lots of surface area to put vent holes.

And an LCD pivots up and down on a wide cylinder swivel, perched on top. Still all in one, just wide (as wide as monitor, so who cares?).
post #101 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon

The two piece design is more expensive to make, that's why PC tower prices can be had for half the price of the eMacs and still off more...

I am getting beyond tired of debunking this stupid line of thought.

ATX cases and boards are commodities. The ASICs on them are commodities. Anyone building ATX PCs can take advantage of economies of scale vastly larger than their own production line.

Apple can't. No comparison. Period. End of discussion.

(And I won't even go into the differences in materials and quality of manufacture...)

If Apple has to design everything, then they have to build two things instead of one; they have to ship two things instead of one; the two things will be larger than an AIO (the iMac was smaller than most 15" monitors) and thus more expensive to stock and ship; the board and power supply can't make any assumptions about the nature of the display, which adds cost and complexity... all you have to do is think through the problem, and it's obvious that there are no savings whatsoever in a two-part system. None.

There is a possibility of some savings if you only buy half a system, but a) hardly anyone does, and b) you'd save maybe $50.

The iMac isn't a counterargument, either. Everyone knows it's overpriced for its own peculiar reasons, which are not an indictment against AIOs in general.
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post #102 of 226
Amorph,

I understand your reservations about my idea. There is no easy answer except that everyone would have to be reasonable in their expectations. A G4 iMac may never be upgraded to a G5. But, it could still be upgraded within the parameters of a G4 system. If a person prepay for upgrades that are not forth coming due to a product hitting the end of its life cycle, they could just apply the subscription to the next model they buy.

On a separate note, I am frankly surprised at the number of articles now being written about the dismal state of the iMac. These are not just the usual suspects. Even places where you can usually count on a pro Apple spin are openly agreeing that the iMac has a problem. In a way, I am gratified that so many people are finally starting to agree with what I have been saying on these boards for some time. On the other hand, it brings me no satisfaction because I genuinely like the iMac, just not enough to buy one. I would, however, buy an iMac subscription as I outlined above.

I really believe that the iMac has run its course. We pretend that the iMac has always been around and is synonymous with Apple. It has not and it is not. In fact, I believe that it is time to drop the who "i" line of products altogether. It unnecessarily stigmatizes perfectly good products as being somehow sub-parr. It also requires Apple to cripple certain products in obvious ways so that they can not be mistaken for or compete with "pro" products. All product lines should cover the range of entry level to high end. If Apple wants to continue to build an AIO, fine. Offer an entry level all the way up to the high end with all the "pro" power and bells and whistles that can be crammed in there. Same with the towers. Build your best tower enclosure and offer configuration that range from the entry level to the high end. Ditto notebooks. Naturally, each level would have added features that justify the price. Professionals know who they are. They do not need Apple to tell them who they are or what they should buy. People will simply buy what they need or want without the unnecessary stigma.

An example of this would be the first 12" AL. It was so obviously a G4 iBook. The problem is that Apple could not call it an iBook and justify the price which, at the time, was quite high for what you got, as I recall. Monitor spanning would be enabled on every notebook, not just the "pro" models. The AIO would never have to be crippled with lower processors, graphics cards, and the like. Let every product line cover the spectrum of prices and features and let them live or die based on their own merits. No more iMac! Just give me a Mac. Give me an AIO Mac, or a tower Mac, or a note Mac, or a rack Mac. I believe this will go a long ways toward bringing down some of the switcher barriers. I know it will never happen, but one can hope.
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post #103 of 226
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Capt Peacock

For me the iMac2 is not a true AIO because it has separate speakers. I am also suprised that the ports are all at the back and thus difficult to access - with still and video cameras, iPods etc to be attached, the ports should be more accessible.

The iMac does have internal speakers, but they arent that great.
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post #104 of 226
It's pretty much only good for hearing the startup chime.



I think, though, he was talking more like the jellybean iMacs or eMac speakers: two, separated a bit, etc.

Those a little more picky about their sound can buy an iSub to fill it out (as I did with my iMac DV...sounded wonderful in combination with the iMac DV's built-in speakers) OR buy some Creatures, SoundSticks or whatever you want.
post #105 of 226
Mac Voyer, I'll have to agree and disagree with two of your points:
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
... If a person prepay for upgrades that are not forth coming due to a product hitting the end of its life cycle, they could just apply the subscription to the next model they buy...

... I really believe that the iMac has run its course. We pretend that the iMac has always been around and is synonymous with Apple. It has not and it is not. In fact, I believe that it is time to drop the who "i" line of products altogether. It unnecessarily stigmatizes perfectly good products as being somehow sub-parr.

About a "subscription plan", I'm sorry but that will never fly. Microsoft is not having real good luck with it's "software assurance" extortion plan, and this hardware subscription will not be viewed much better by it's intended target audience.

Besides if you want to "churn" your Macintosh with a new one every year, just set up a lease.

But I am with you in realizing that the whole "i" thing has run it's course. Time to move onto something that will be the ~ NEW MACINTOSH ~ Something completely different and insanely great. / \\
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post #106 of 226
Quote:
Apple can't.

Yes they can. How do you know they can't?

Strip away the monitor in the eMac. Make a standard case (how's that for reducing costs...) with standard configurations... Realistically price the 17 inch LCD (which, let's face it...is 6 months overdue for a price drop...)

...and you've already got a more flexible system than an iMac entry point.

Bigger screen. Or choose which monitor to go with it. A more configurable and flexible spec list. A consumer can pay for what they want.

You haven't debunked nada. PCs use standard components and have plenty of competition to make sure they're cheaper.

The only stupid thing around here is Apple's insistence on crippled consumer desktops. The achilles heel of AIO designs Apple style. And sales figures bare it out. Most PC customers go in store and see a 'computer'. Apple should make a 'computer' they recognise. With a price, mhz and flexibility and choice they recognise in the x86 equation.

It's Apple's problem to sort. They will keep losing marketshare until they recognise what consumers want from a consumer machine.

200,000 emac/imac2. Pathetic.
200,000ish ibooks? Not good either.

It isn't all down to awareness. Given a choice of two items, the Apple iApps and 'OS' should be the swinging argument. There shouldn't be hurdles of: I have to take this monitor when I already got one, I want to put a better graphics card in it, why can't I? I want a flexible spec and design? Why isn't? Why does this chrome arm cost $300 more? Why can't I use the superior trinitron monitor at home instead of the crap CRT attached to the overpriced eMac? Why is the eMac using a two year old speed bump? Why can't I run my windows apps? Why can't Apple help me become a customer? Why do I have to foot the bill for Mac versions of £500-2000 worth or software?

I'm not a PC customer, but if I was, I can see that my questions aren't being answered by great intrinsic values of Apple's duplicated AIO line...right up £1795 and I still can't get any damn flexiblility. (Chrome Arm not included...)

Instead of overblown design statements like the iMac 2 (and Cube to some degree...) Apple should focus on their OS, their iApps and getting that product out to consumers affordably. I'm not saying we return to beige cases of course. But, some of those cases must be damned expensive and tricky to make. The iMac 2 and the Cube were over the top to some degree. The Cube too small. The iMac 2 way over designed. Guess what? Priced wayyyyyyyyy over what the average consumer is prepared to pay. Once people (quickly in the iMac 2's case) get over the novelty. Once the 'loyal' Mac userbase dries up then sales dive...by 25% here and there over a quarter or two. You can't kid the consumer, Amorph.

The iMac 2 is an overpriced failure. And sales figures back me up. If it's cheaper to make the AIO then how come Apple is $300 dollars beyond the 'sweet spot' pricing of today's average consumer computer?

The iMac 2 AIO is an overpriced and underspecced piece of boutique art. It's a backward step from the Cube in many respects. It aint cheap enough, it aint specced enough and it aint endearing enough. People are voting with their wallets.

Instead of making overpriced plastic with a monitor that I may not need (another 'two piece' saving...) then why not make it easy on themselves. A nice white tower case. Standard consumer tower size. Apple logo on it. Bundle with nice white rimmed studio display.

A standard tower case has got to be wayyyyyyyyyyyyy cheaper than the iMac case (hello, expensive chrome arm! Hello limited Pudding shape dome!) or the mountain of white plastic/and bulky crt monitor of the eMac.

Or put it succintly, I agree with you Amorph, a one piece would be alot cheaper than a two piece. Which is why the iMac/eMac should lose their monitor. The 'headless one piece' would be lots cheaper.

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #107 of 226
It becomes apparent that you all have no understanding of Apple's design philosophy, nor why it's produced the best designed consumer products ever.

Your ideas are all too complicated, they expect too much of the user. Apple expects nothing of the user, except to possess an acceptable level of common sense.

I wish Apple designed every appliance and tool I use in my life (and the money required to afford them).



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post #108 of 226
Speak for yourself. Hey, there's obviously something amiss in the iMac world. We're just gathered here a bit to talk about it.

I "understand" lots of things perfectly. I could see - AND appreciate - Apple going either way on this. I see amorph's point and good arguments for the continued AIO approach. And I see and understand other's who feel a more traditional two-piece design is the way to go.

Yeah, Apple is great at making this stuff easy to use.

I get tired of the argument that people are too idiotic to figure out how to connect one damn ADC cable.



BUT...I also get tired of the argument that the iMac - in it's current form - "sucks". It's a bit overpriced and "boutique-y" and out of the reach of most. But, on its own, it doesn't "suck" and it's a beautiful piece of machinery.

But, bottom line: does Apple throw all their eggs into the "dazzle 'em with design and price it out of reach" approach (they're on strike two, counting the G4 Cube) OR go more for "plain Jane box" to get those fence-sitters curious about the Mac and OS X a wonderful incentive to make the leap.

Personally, I hope they'll figure out at way to do a bit of both. I refuse to believe that good, eye-popping design somehow excludes mass appeal affordability. I think we're on the brink of being very impressed...



My only request is that WHATEVER it is, Apple actually go to bat for it and support it with some true, captivating marketing. Otherwise, we'll all gather here next year or so and still be bitching about "3%?!?! STILL? WTF!!!"



Apple could come out with a G5-based luscious hunk of iGoodness that everyone here actually agreed on, priced for $699...but if regular, non-Mac geek people (you know, those "switchers" who were oh-so important a year or so ago and STILL get courted and spoken about in Macworld keynotes) don't know it exists, or know anything about it, well then guess what?

Exactly...

post #109 of 226
Out with the "i". In with the Mac

"i" stands for crippled. Mac stands for expensive but well designed.

I don't mind paying for expensive but well designed products. I just don't like the idea of paying for crippled, expensive, but well designed products. I remember when the Mac was just the Mac, and every Mac was great. Now we have two separate classes of Macs. In class warfare, the lower class always loses.

If that makes no sense, it is because I have been up all day and I am just getting home from work.

Good night, all.
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post #110 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by pscates

Apple could come out with a G5-based luscious hunk of iGoodness that everyone here actually agreed on, priced for $699...

Yes, they probably could but just think how many sales of $1799 G5 towers it would cost them. I don't know what the answer (to increasing market share) is, but it's clear Apple doesn't want to sell cheap computers, except to schools. Back in the days of the LCs and Performas, they were bleeding money, big time.
post #111 of 226
Quote:
bottom line: does Apple throw all their eggs into the "dazzle 'em with design and price it out of reach" approach (they're on strike two, counting the G4 Cube) OR go more for "plain Jane box" to get those fence-sitters curious about the Mac and OS X a wonderful incentive to make the leap.

Personally, I hope they'll figure out at way to do a bit of both. I refuse to believe that good, eye-popping design somehow excludes mass appeal affordability. I think we're on the brink of being very impressed...



My only request is that WHATEVER it is, Apple actually go to bat for it and support it with some true, captivating marketing. Otherwise, we'll all gather here next year or so and still be bitching about "3%?!?! STILL? WTF!!!"



Apple could come out with a G5-based luscious hunk of iGoodness that everyone here actually agreed on, priced for $699...but if regular, non-Mac geek people (you know, those "switchers" who were oh-so important a year or so ago and STILL get courted and spoken about in Macworld keynotes) don't know it exists, or know anything about it, well then guess what?

Exactly...



A

A good, balanced post.

There's no point marketing if your customers have no where to go.

I think Apple have realised this. And have created a perfect environment to sell the Mac point of view.

This is where the 75 retail stores are a Good Thing! The flagship stores, particularly in Japan and the one in London (yay, we UKers finally get a bit of Apple goodness...I'll visit if it opens in time for Christmas!) should really begin to open up a bit of Apple exposure.

Apple are getting to the point where they can finally put some money into PSCates soapbox issue: marketing. Avertising. On tv. Radio. Getting the message out.

People will finally have somewhere to shop.

Just as exciting is the news that Apple UK have teamed up with the 'Games' retail shops to have a Mac games software selection (featuring the latest and best Mac games have to offer! !) alongside PCs, PSX, Gamecube etc.

It's like the planets are slowly coming into alignment.

I have nothing against, overall, the idea of an AIO. The Cube and iMac 2 are beautiful designs.

However, they both suffered from stagnation. They close down choice and exclude a wider variety of customers who don't want their options closed for them. It's patronising. Customers aren't stupid. They do ask the annoying questions that Apple's consumer line can't answer.

To offer AIOs to the exclusion of a more flexible solution is outrageous. And you don't see Dell, Gateway, Sony or IBM doing that. Guess what, they sell bucket loads more.

I'd like to see Apple offer both. I'd put my Appleinsider credits on the table. Let sales decide. And if Apple sells 150K worth of iMac 2 and 150K worth of iWhite mini tower then Apple sells 300K consumer desktops. More than they are currently.

A standard, pretty Apple white consumer tower design that scales £495-£995 has got to be cheaper than maintaining two very different and limited AIO designs which have expensive components which are difficult to manufacture. Cheaper to include industry standard motherboard designs. One motherboard shape. R&D savings for one design. Money not lost by customers who want something different. Apple already has a line of studio line of monitors that pays for itself. So why pump money into designing eclectic monitor cases for the iMac 2 and the eMac? More money wasted. Money wasted for the customer who doesn't want a 'stuck with it' monitor when it's time to upgrade the machine.

If Apple took a blood bath on cheaper machines years ago then it was because they didn't have their webstore which does half of their business these days. Didn't have this much media exposure. Didn't have 75 retail stores with several flagship international stores in the offing. Didn't have the Pepis and iPod exposure. Didn't have this burgeoning mind-share in the media/consumer...

They need one or two more consumer products that meet different needs with prices closer to their x86 components...for when the Wintel Switcher foot patrol really starts to take off...otherwise...they'll walk into those Apple stores...and out again. If they can make G5 towers competitive with high end Dell towers...if they can out price Dell/IBM on X-Serve/X-Raid pricing and licensing then there's something very clearly wrong with Apple's consumer line. Following current trends, Apple should be selling 300K imacs and 400-500K ibooks...so, what's wrong?

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #112 of 226
Quote:
From Lemon Bon Bon:
I have nothing against, overall, the idea of an AIO. The Cube and iMac 2 are beautiful designs.

However, they both suffered from stagnation. They close down choice and exclude a wider variety of customers who don't want their options closed for them. It's patronising. Customers aren't stupid. They do ask the annoying questions that Apple's consumer line can't answer.

To offer AIOs to the exclusion of a more flexible solution is outrageous. And you don't see Dell, Gateway, Sony or IBM doing that. Guess what, they sell bucket loads more.

I'd like to see Apple offer both. I'd put my Appleinsider credits on the table. Let sales decide. And if Apple sells 150K worth of iMac 2 and 150K worth of iWhite mini tower then Apple sells 300K consumer desktops. More than they are currently.

Well that sums up my viewpoint pretty well. I happen to think the iMac2 is a magnificent design. However, I'd only be tempted to buy one if it were (a) cutting edge in performance and/or (b) very cost effective, because that's the only way I'd be willing to overlook the inherent problem of investing in an expensive FP monitor that I'll have to ditch along with the computer when I upgrade. Right now it is neither.

Keep a beautiful AIO in the product line; there are always some who will want it, and it makes a great showpiece for Apple design. But offer at least one more traditional form factor for the masses who want that flexibility. I don't see how Apple wouldn't come out ahead.

I think the real argument would come down to the details of the headless solution. A true headless iMac (read: completely non-expandable) would still leave a lot of people clamoring for something with at least an upgradeable video card. In contrast, a mini-tower with any expandability at all would likely be priced (given Apple's history) too high to really fill in the low end that many people want.

Let's face it, Apple could really use *two* additional non-AIO machines: super low-end, non-expandable, *cheap*. Sort of a headless eMac. And a mini-tower, with reduced expandability and capability relative to the PowerMac, but at least a few hundred cheaper than the low-end PowerMac. But now I'm really in fantasyland....
post #113 of 226
If Apple were to remove the LCD and maybe the CRT from their AIOs they would then open up a market for a line of monitors they currently don't have.

Widescreen 17"s would sell like hotcakes, not only to iMacs and eMacs, but to Tower owners who can't aford a 20" but want an Apple monitor. They would get powerbook and iBook people buying those monitors.

In short it would be a great way to move more product, while reducing the price of the iMac and eMac.

Widescreen 17" for $299 would sell like hotcakes. Even $399 they would sell like mad.
post #114 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by tak1108
If Apple were to remove the LCD and maybe the CRT from their AIOs they would then open up a market for a line of monitors they currently don't have.

Widescreen 17"s would sell like hotcakes, not only to iMacs and eMacs, but to Tower owners who can't aford a 20" but want an Apple monitor. They would get powerbook and iBook people buying those monitors.

In short it would be a great way to move more product, while reducing the price of the iMac and eMac.

Widescreen 17" for $299 would sell like hotcakes. Even $399 they would sell like mad.


Yes, Yes, Yes, I want another screen on my little desk so when me and my PB 15" are home, we can span two monitors and do are work in comfort. But I do not want to buy an expensive adaptor to hook it up. Give us a choice. I only have 8" of depth to play with on my desk. It has to be a flat panel.
post #115 of 226
Oh man, I'd TOTALLY buy a stylish Apple 17" widescreen (at the current 1440x900) for $399!



Either in PowerBook-matching aluminum OR glossy white. I don't care. I'd buy it and more than double my desktop space while at home (e-mail, iChat, Safari, etc. on PowerBook screen...Adobe crap on 17" wide).

post #116 of 226
Quote:
Originally posted by tak1108
Widescreen 17" for $299 would sell like hotcakes. Even $399 they would sell like mad.

I have to snicker sometimes at the dreams some of you have. If a new Apple widescreen 17" display is going to become available, it might be one or two hundred dollars less than the current 17" Studio, but not $300-400 less. Keep dreaming though. It's fun, isn't it?
post #117 of 226
Yes. Try it.
post #118 of 226
Thread Starter 
15'', 17'' and 20'' should not mean you have to pay $1299, $1799, and $2199!

People just want the computer, then they buy a display. PC users are USED to buying the 2 seperately. PC users only think of laptops as AIO's. Selling a a well designed, low cost computer (minus the display) caters to PC mentality and everyone elses financial well being.

This does not mean Apple should pack its bag with the iMac concept, but instead offer a way to drop in the "chrome arm display.'' If that is possible, then all of the bases are covered. More options dont always equal more confusion. More options would equal more sales in this instance.

Apple is famous for being able to offer the best pre-packaged solution in an AIO enclosure. This time they can offer that solution yet they wont have to be FORCING that solution. Not surprisingly, people only pay a little bit more money if they get A LOT more benefit.

In this case, Apple's premium is too much for what it gets you. Apple can still charge people those above prices for the iMac, but I think to do that they would need to bundle an iPod mini with them. THAT is how overpriced iMacs are right now.

Moral of the story: For those prices our money needs to get us more, whether it be specs, expansion, or a device like the iPod. If Apple refuses to drop the AIO then those seem to be a possible way out of having to.

Come down in price Apple, come up in specs, (macminutes G5 news may prove that this could happen as soon as next week) or re-do your product line and strategy surrounding it. Right now the current solution is not solving anyones problems, it is causing them.
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post #119 of 226
Well said.

Quote:
I think the real argument would come down to the details of the headless solution. A true headless iMac (read: completely non-expandable) would still leave a lot of people clamoring for something with at least an upgradeable video card. In contrast, a mini-tower with any expandability at all would likely be priced (given Apple's history) too high to really fill in the low end that many people want.

Let's face it, Apple could really use *two* additional non-AIO machines: super low-end, non-expandable, *cheap*. Sort of a headless eMac. And a mini-tower, with reduced expandability and capability relative to the PowerMac, but at least a few hundred cheaper than the low-end PowerMac. But now I'm really in fantasyland....

I agreed with your post. There is room for a mini-tower design that scales the 'cheap' to the 'I don't need a shredded wheat giant size' tower of the G5.

I'm not saying AIOs should be canned but rather if Apple can offer to lines of AIOs, there's alot of overlap there...why not two ranges of consumer tower that cover what PC users and many Mac users would like without having to fork out £1395 just to get a low end tower. It's absurd.

Anyhow. I'm sure we'll know one way or another in the next 3 months.

Lemon Bon Bon
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post #120 of 226
A consumer tower would compliment the consumer AIO from Apple.

As for the monitor issue.

It's about time Apple offered two low-end studio models.

Widescreen 15 and 17 inch models which could be bundled with a headless iMac/eMac/mini-tower.

Prices £195-£350 tops.

'bout time brought some more choice and sanity to their Studio line. 3 sizes aint enough. 4 models would be better. Two high end. Two low end.

'nuff said.

Lemon Bon Bon
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