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Justifying Higher Mac Prices - Page 4

post #121 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Messiahtosh
Oh, whatever. Why dont you go watch this and hopefully by the time you finish new G5's will be here.

BTW, Apple's price comparisson is out of whack right now because everything is near the end of the lifecycle.

Damn, all I got was filemaker pro 7.
post #122 of 159
Um... are there any PC makers that don't offer a "$500" computer?

I mean, is it only Apple, Dell, HP, etc. that are required to attempt to compete in that arena, or are all computer makers required to offer such a low cost computer?
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post #123 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by spotcatbug
Um... are there any PC makers that don't offer a "$500" computer?

I mean, is it only Apple, Dell, HP, etc. that are required to attempt to compete in that arena, or are all computer makers required to offer such a low cost computer?

I'd have to actually check their website to be sure, but I'm fairly certain that new Sony computers do NOT retail that low.

-Antithesis
post #124 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Antithesis
I'd have to actually check their website to be sure, but I'm fairly certain that new Sony computers do NOT retail that low.

-Antithesis

Their cheapest seems to start at $700. 2.4GHz Celeron, 256MB RAM, 80GB HDD, DVD-ROM, CD-R/W, Radeon 9200, NO monitor.... about $100 less than an eMac... but if you tack on a monitor (since it's not included) it will likely run you more than an eMac. So Sony's entry level PC is in the same ballpark as Apple's. Interesting that they have chosen to stay clear of the lower end also... especially when you're in the dog-eat-dog PC world. I think it just goes to show... you don't HAVE to go into the low end market to stay alive (of course... Sony could lose their whole computer line and probably never notice).
post #125 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
And this is in future hardware because?

And you haven't read this thread because?
post #126 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by spotcatbug
Um... are there any PC makers that don't offer a "$500" computer?

I mean, is it only Apple, Dell, HP, etc. that are required to attempt to compete in that arena, or are all computer makers required to offer such a low cost computer?

There are a lot of makers that compete in this area... such as Emachines (I'm still bitter about them trying to rip off the original iMac design)

emachines sux

 

 

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post #127 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Joey
So Sony's entry level PC is in the same ballpark as Apple's. Interesting that they have chosen to stay clear of the lower end also... especially when you're in the dog-eat-dog PC world. I think it just goes to show... you don't HAVE to go into the low end market to stay alive

I guess that's what I was getting at when I asked my question. Does anybody lambast Sony for not selling a $500 PC? If you're one of those people that believes Apple must sell a $500 Mac, you have to think Sony, likewise, must sell a $500 PC. Or is it only PC makers that are allowed to choose their market?
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post #128 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by spotcatbug
I guess that's what I was getting at when I asked my question. Does anybody lambast Sony for not selling a $500 PC? If you're one of those people that believes Apple must sell a $500 Mac, you have to think Sony, likewise, must sell a $500 PC. Or is it only PC makers that are allowed to choose their market?

Well... I actually thought about that before I made my post. Sony can really afford to do pretty much whatever they want. Their computer sales aren't going to make or break them. Apple on the other hand has to rely on it's computer sales (and iPod) to stay afloat in this market. Also... it's not so much a "name" thing in the PC side. If you can't get an inexpensive PC from Sony, you can get one from Dell, if not, eMachines, etc... You don't have that luxury with Macs. Apple sets the price and there isn't a "Mac compatible" that you can get that might be less expensive.
post #129 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by spotcatbug
I guess that's what I was getting at when I asked my question. Does anybody lambast Sony for not selling a $500 PC? If you're one of those people that believes Apple must sell a $500 Mac, you have to think Sony, likewise, must sell a $500 PC. Or is it only PC makers that are allowed to choose their market?

In addition to what Joey said (above), I'd like to add that I've never seen Sony in ANY of the top 5 with respect to:

reliability
value
profit

when it comes to PC rankings in any of the online reports I've seen.

Mind you, I've not seen EVERY report out there, but I've seen enough to know that Dell and Apple are in the rankings, whereas Sony is not.

Regards,
-Antithesis
post #130 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Antithesis
In addition to what Joey said (above), I'd like to add that I've never seen Sony in ANY of the top 5 with respect to:

reliability
value
profit

when it comes to PC rankings in any of the online reports I've seen.

Mind you, I've not seen EVERY report out there, but I've seen enough to know that Dell and Apple are in the rankings, whereas Sony is not.

Regards,
-Antithesis

Yes! This is really an arguement over whether Apple's long-term survival is best ensured by expanding market share with a low cost computer versus maintaining higher margins and an upscale image. Sony is in a different position. Interestingly, Apple looks like its trying to go the way of Sony with devices such as the iPod. However, they have a very long way to go to becoming another Sony.

Another thing that really strikes me is that we are discussing a couple of hundred bucks here between an eMac and a low end PC. I know, I know, this will affect some peoples decisions of which to buy. However, when I think of the cost of software and all the other things that go into really using a computer for anything more than e-mail and the web, really its not that much of a difference, IMHO.
post #131 of 159
Thread Starter 
I see Joey already answered this question, but I'd like to add something I already wrote.

Quote:
Originally posted by spotcatbug
I guess that's what I was getting at when I asked my question. Does anybody lambast Sony for not selling a $500 PC? If you're one of those people that believes Apple must sell a $500 Mac, you have to think Sony, likewise, must sell a $500 PC. Or is it only PC makers that are allowed to choose their market?

This is a valid point but can be misinterpreted. A Windows PC maker might decide to narrow its product line and sell to those market segments where the company is strong and profitable. This can be done because other PC makers sell to the remaining market segments, and the X86 Windows platform stays healthy and viable. The platform does not rely on one company, and is unaffected by one such decision.

The Mac OS X platform does rely on a single company, Apple. If Apple does not sell to certain important market segments, the Mac OS X platform is not represented there and buyers have just one platform choice, Windows. This in turn cuts Apple out of more sales than that particular market segment. It has a domino effect.

People and companies tend to be conformists and don't want a hodgepodge of computer systems to deal with. If Windows is the only platform that is able to meet all their needs, that is what they likely go with. Some of you know how difficult it is to get a Mac approved in a company that is essentially all Windows. I confess that I am such a conformist. I don't want a Windows PC in the house. I fill that low end segment with old, used Macs like my two Beige G3s. I'm using one right now. It runs Jaguar and is dedicated to internet and email.

So it is a little amusing to read reasons why Apple should not make a low cost Mac. I'd likely buy one to replace what I'm typing on. I'm not unhappy with the Beige G3, and its performance is acceptable. Yet something like a 1.0 GHz 750GX would be noticeably better, plus I could run Panther and get the latest Safari updates. These are not sufficient reasons for me to spend 800 dollars for an eMac however.
post #132 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
Another thing that really strikes me is that we are discussing a couple of hundred bucks here between an eMac and a low end PC. I know, I know, this will affect some peoples decisions of which to buy. However, when I think of the cost of software and all the other things that go into really using a computer for anything more than e-mail and the web, really its not that much of a difference, IMHO.

Careful, though. I see what you're saying, but it's that 'cost of software' that is often a 'deal-braker' when someone is switching platforms.

Now, if all you needed was the iApps and AppleWorks, there'd be no question of how much the move from Wintel -> Macintosh would cost you. But consider the user who has PC software that they want to use on their new $799 eMac. By the time they re-invest in PC software for the MacOS, they could very well have spent HUNDREDS of dollars (re: Microsoft, games, etc.).

Now that 'couple of hundred bucks' is suddenly closer to half a grand.

Just my $0.02,
-Antithesis
post #133 of 159
I get your point Antithesis. It also probably goes further than that when you think about the number of people taking software from their PC at work etc. I know that my move to OSX was held back by the need for not only a new computer but also the good chunk of change I had to spend on updating my software. On the otherhand, what Apple provides is pretty good for most basic tasks and you can open most MS word documents without problems. Whether people know this or not is, offcourse, an issue. If they really need that much more software, then I wonder if these are the people that are really in the low-end market to begin with. Can you, or would you, get a $500 PC to run Photoshop well?
post #134 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Antithesis
Careful, though. I see what you're saying, but it's that 'cost of software' that is often a 'deal-braker' when someone is switching platforms.

Now, if all you needed was the iApps and AppleWorks, there'd be no question of how much the move from Wintel -> Macintosh would cost you. But consider the user who has PC software that they want to use on their new $799 eMac. By the time they re-invest in PC software for the MacOS, they could very well have spent HUNDREDS of dollars (re: Microsoft, games, etc.).

Now that 'couple of hundred bucks' is suddenly closer to half a grand.

Just my $0.02,
-Antithesis

Speaking of which... does anyone know if there is something like OpenOffice for X? or Star Office? Both of these are completely acceptable alternatives to a $500 office suite from Microsoft (although... almost everyone uses MS Office instead). I guess the general thought there is if it's free (OpenOffice) it must be crap... if MS Office costs $500 it must be much better than StarOffice at <$100.
post #135 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Joey
Speaking of which... does anyone know if there is something like OpenOffice for X? or Star Office? Both of these are completely acceptable alternatives to a $500 office suite from Microsoft (although... almost everyone uses MS Office instead). I guess the general thought there is if it's free (OpenOffice) it must be crap... if MS Office costs $500 it must be much better than StarOffice at <$100.

Can't speak for everyone, but I've found that there's only ONE really good program for opening, editing, and sharing Microsoft programs cross-platform.

Microsoft Office.

I've experimented with AppleWorks and OpenOffice using PC files. My experience is that, if the Word file is SIMPLE (re: no heavy formatting), either suite will work. However, ANY complex formatting will pretty much TRASH your conversion. Likewise with Excel, etc.

Regards,
-Antithesis

P.S. Hope this didn't derail the thread TOO much.
post #136 of 159
I would think Sun could port over StarOffice 8.0 (I'd believe it's Java making it cross platform friendly)... Unfortunately... with every new version of MS Office... they add little things here and there that break compatability with other office suites.
post #137 of 159
On the topic of Sony's prices. They can sell one machine a year for a million dollars if they want. The user who buys it can still go down to compusa and pick up windows software for it. The fact that the machine was expensive doesnt affect its usability, because developers dont target Sony machines, they target windows.

If Apple sold machine a year, for a million dollars how much software would be developed for it? If you sell a lot of machines then developers will write software. It _IS_ software that makes a machine valuable. The bundled apps _are_ good, and _will_ satisfy most of most users needs. But pretty much every user will need additional software, and the _fear_ that it wont be available in any form drives users to windows and software availability, even in mediocre form.

There is a fear that no one would buy Macs if they ran windows software. People already dont buy Macs buy the million Apple could still have the best applications, just running on windows ( and only on Macs ).
post #138 of 159
Personally I don't think Apple needs to match up to the $500 PCs. Apple needs to have equvalent features for the price class it competes in.

Powerac g5s
in the cost bracket of $1800 CPUs you will get: 128-256 VRAM, 512-1gb RAM, 160-250GB hard drive and 8x superdrives/17"LCDs
on the 1.6 g5 you get 256/80/64VRAM/4x

In the $1299 price range you get
DVD-burners/120gb hard drive/128VRAM/512 RAM/17"LCD
on a 15" imac you get 256/80/32VRAM/combo drive/15"LCD

So half of the people who were on the leftside of getting a mac stick with a pc because they get more specs for the money. No the intangibles like processors and software, but compareable across platform numbers.

So for $800 the emac should give you minimum 256RAM and 80GB hard drive, and a larger percentage of the cheap people will get an emac, but for $800 on a PC you get 2x the memory and hard drive of the entry level emac.
post #139 of 159
From reading this thread it seems to me that the obstacle here is the double edged sword known as "product perception." While Wall Street and many consumers may percieve a cheap box to be a good idea, Apple sees it as demeaning to its brand and not substantial enough of a contributor to the bottom line. Whether or not the specs on the whole line is in order with the industry is an entire other story...
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post #140 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by jade
Personally I don't think Apple needs to match up to the $500 PCs. Apple needs to have equvalent features for the price class it competes in. . .


A business may have very modest needs for computers doing basic office applications, but the most they will pay, let's say, is $650 with a 17 inch CRT monitor. This business will not pay $800 for an eMac, even if Apple were to double its performance and features. Business does not pay for performance and features it does not need. Without something at the right price, Apple simply misses out on the entire market segment.

Are you saying Apple should ignore such markets?
post #141 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Carson O'Genic
Yes! This is really an arguement over whether Apple's long-term survival is best ensured by expanding market share with a low cost computer versus maintaining higher margins and an upscale image.

That pretty much sums it up, and it's fairly clear that Apple is currently going the latter route.

Which brings us back to the marketing. If you recall Apple's classic marketing, it's was very much focused on educating consumers on the Mac's superiority and trying to expand their market. The current marketing is virtually 100% aimed at selling Image and Brand Name and not at all on selling the Macintosh platform

The problem with the current marketing is that it really is only targeting the installed base, telling them they made the right choice with the "inherently better" Macintosh and hoping they'll buy another. When combined with high prices and outdated hardware, a old pattern in the computer industry appears -- Apple is soaking its installed base.

Unfortunately, this is one of the signs of the "death spiral" which computer platforms go through -- the company gives up on gaining marketshare, focuses on the high-end market exclusively, prices go up and up, the application base gets smaller and smaller, until the few remaining loyal users finally say Uncle.

However, I'm really hoping this is only a temporary strategy: Apple knew their hardware wasn't competitve, the "Switcher" campaign largely bombed, and they decided to retreat to their base. The sign will be how Apple introduces the G5 iMac (and hopefully xMac) -- If the machines are price and feature competitive with PCs and backed by a big marketing campaign, then it really means that Apple 100% behind keeping the Mac platform alive and competitive.

OTOH, if we see something meh like 1.6Ghz G5 iMac at the same price points, it's a good sign that Apple's planning on letting the Mac platform dry up for short term profits.
post #142 of 159
Snoopy is right on track with the arguments for the low cost segment Mac.

Comparisons to a single PC manufacturer are worthless, since this is about the survival and health of the whole platform, nothing less. There has to be a large installed base, so there will be software, and more users.

The only exception I can see to this phenomenon is free software, which doesn't require as big as a user base to grow. Personally I very much hope to see governments and big companies adopting OpenOffice.org, free browsers and similar software. This is the only way to platform independence, since the free software is typically multiplatform and big closed software companies couldn't care less about choice. (note to Joey: OpenOffice.org native OS X port is planned for 2005.. but the X11 version works today)

Apple actually doesn't need to go much better than the eMac specs at the ultra-low end, since the machine is already good for everyday work. But Apple really should have a desktop that has the price attractiveness of the iBook.

There is no reason Apple quality would need to suffer if they offered a cheaper machine. The components, apart from processor/mobo are standard PC stuff. An additional copy of the software is free - Apple can freely choose on which hardware they make their margins. If they can save on processor, mobo, hard drive, exotic enclosure materials and are ready to cut their own margins to promote the platform, they are well capable of making a perfectly good AIO for 600$. White plastic as before. 15" TFT screen. Good enough for running office software and surfing, surfing the web, iTunes, iPhoto. 100$ Superdrive upgrade (this is what the PC component costs, *retail*).
post #143 of 159
Interestingly I just got out of a meeting with a local PC manufacturer meeting, a research company did qualitative on their business with other whitebox manufacturers, the average amount a person spends on a computer they say is $1150..., with big box companies they estimated it was 12-1500 with a degree of 12% error on both. This taken from people who completed surveys, in malls, over the phone and online. So.....
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post #144 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by kraig911
Interestingly I just got out of a meeting with a local PC manufacturer meeting, a research company did qualitative on their business with other whitebox manufacturers, the average amount a person spends on a computer they say is $1150..., with big box companies they estimated it was 12-1500 with a degree of 12% error on both. This taken from people who completed surveys, in malls, over the phone and online. So.....


Averages like this give no useful marketing information. For example, say four people buy computers. Two of them buy a $600 model for email, internet and word processing. One as an avid gamer who buys a high performance PC for $2300. And lastly, one buys an $1100 general purpose home computer that can do home movie editing and play average games, in addition to doing things like email. The average price paid is $1150. So, if this were the true breakdown of purchases, and we needed to know what kind of computers people are buying, that average price is useless. In this example, 50 percent of the people bought the simple $600 model.
post #145 of 159
Apple needs market share to remain viable. The eMac is a disaster of a computer that is aimed at a tiny market of children of Mac fanatics. Schools shouldn't buy them as they already have investments in monitors and businesses won't buy them for the same reason. If they had made it a headless G3 for 500, they would have done much better with getting into both educational and corporate environments.

It would also provide opportunities to invade the business market with xServes by providing integrated solutions from office desk to server room.
post #146 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by TKN
Apple needs market share to remain viable. The eMac is a disaster of a computer that is aimed at a tiny market of children of Mac fanatics. Schools shouldn't buy them as they already have investments in monitors and businesses won't buy them for the same reason. If they had made it a headless G3 for 500, they would have done much better with getting into both educational and corporate environments.

It would also provide opportunities to invade the business market with xServes by providing integrated solutions from office desk to server room.


Amen. . .

And IBM already has a 1 GHz G3 with 1MB of L2 cache waiting for Apple to buy it. This chip could eventually migrate to the 90 nm process and be more of a system on a chip to cut cost even more. On board video is getting better and cheaper from what I hear. Even the original Rage Pro in the Beige G3 I'm using right now worked with OS X, but someone gave me an old PCI Rage 128 card that runs OS X beautifully. This is ancient by today's standards. Apple could easily compete in business with Dell's OptiPlex. An office Mac would not need a modem or firewire -- the OptiPlex doesn't have it. Ethernet, USB and a simple CD-ROM drive should be good enough. If you consider that Dell gets an extra $60 or $70 for Windows XP Professional, an office Mac could be very competitive and produce a reasonable profit.
post #147 of 159
I can provide a point of view from an existing PC user who builds his own systems, but that wants to buy a PowerMac G5...

I've been building my own PC systems since the mid-80's. When you do it this way, you are guaranteed that the quality of the system is exactly what is stated on your receipts. In other words, if you want a quality sound card, you order a quality sound card.

I absolutely abhor the spate of motherbaords available now that contain sound, video, and NIC on the motherboard because quite frankly, that stuff is CRAP compared to the add-on stuff that you can buy. You can indeed spend less than $500 and buy a complete PC (motherboard, case with power supply, keyboard, mouse, floppy, CD-ROM, hard drive, CPU, and memory, and it will also have USB2, sound, NIC, and video). An added downside to these built-on subsystems is that they can adversely impact performance of the machine (admittedly, only gamers would notice this particular problem).

My systems typically exceed $1000 because I don't skimp on parts. I buy retail versions of everything, only the best memory, quality motherboards, and a case that won't restrict airflow. Even with a quality 19-inch CRT, I can usually come in well below the lowest priced Mac and have a better peforming system than said Mac.

Last week, I priced a single and dual AMD 64-bit box against a similarly equipped PowerMac G5, and much to my surprise, I found the pricing to be pretty close, and mind you, this is if *I* built the box myself. In fact, the dual AMD box was about $300 cheaper than the G5/DP 2ghz. When you add the cost of the OS (XP Pro), all of a sudden we're right in line with the cost of a top-of-the-line G5. The single AMD 64-bit CPU comparison showed a slightly larger difference in price when compared to the G5/single 1.8 box, but when we're talking prices over $1500, the difference, while larger, becomes insignificant.

The problem I have with Apple's systems is that there's little room for CPU upgrades, and apples prices for memory upgrades are freakin' laughable (four times what it would cost if purchased from an outside source). One other problem is the "upgrade" price from the stock video card to the top ATI card. Their upgrade price should reflect the deletion of the nVidia card ($150), bringing the cost of the upgrade to ATI down to a more digestible $150.

Lastly, the "discounts" on new Macs are so small as to be non-existant. I mean, who can serious defend a discount of just $5? If Apple would get out of the retail business and sold systems wholesale to a dealer network, the prices might come down because all of a sudden, the dealers aren't competing WITH the manufacturer.

Don't get me wrong, I still want an PowerMac, but $3000 (yeah, I want the G5 dual 2ghz box) is a bit out of my range right now, although SWMBO gave me divine dispensation to start saving for one.
post #148 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by jsimmons
Last week, I priced a single and dual AMD 64-bit box against a similarly equipped PowerMac G5,

I don't think anyone disagrees that Apple is very price/performance competitive for high-end workstations.

The problem is that you are never going to gain marketshare in that segment -- the "Pros" who buy $2500 systems already know what platform they need (except for some Unix C/Perl users who don't care).

If anything the PMac G5 is more of an "Anti-Switcher" box -- it reassures existing PowerMac users that Apple is competitive and they don't need to spend a lot of money switching to PCs.
post #149 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by IntlHarvester

If anything the PMac G5 is more of an "Anti-Switcher" box -- it reassures existing PowerMac users that Apple is competitive and they don't need to spend a lot of money switching to PCs.

An excellent point... maybe not the full story, but a healthy part of maintaining faith in a platform with little market share... 8)
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post #150 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by jade
$500 PCs? I saw one at walmart today.

It was an emachine with a 2.6 Celeron, CD-RW drive, 256 RAM, 17" flat CRT monitor and 40gb hardrinve, all in one box. It was advertised as internet ready and included about 5 USB ports. There is also a Compaq with similar pricing and specs.

I'm still surprised that people don't know by now that eMachines and Compaq aren't actually computers. They are actually Japanese words meaning 'colorful doorstop' and 'boat anchor'.

I think by now, EVERYONE expects the Spanish Inquisition...
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post #151 of 159
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by sunrein
I'm still surprised that people don't know by now that eMachines and Compaq aren't actually computers. They are actually Japanese words meaning 'colorful doorstop' and 'boat anchor'.



People buy them with real money. Besides, Apple doesn't have to go quiet that low. Apple needs to make a profit, and the quality and reliability must be high enough to attract business and school purchases. My guess is a $500 to $575 price tag without monitor will meet these goals.
post #152 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by snoopy
A business may have very modest needs for computers doing basic office applications, but the most they will pay, let's say, is $650 with a 17 inch CRT monitor. This business will not pay $800 for an eMac, even if Apple were to double its performance and features. Business does not pay for performance and features it does not need. Without something at the right price, Apple simply misses out on the entire market segment.

Are you saying Apple should ignore such markets?

Well you have to differentiate the segments of the business market:

the big guys and the little guys.

The average cost of a machine for the large companies is more like $800-1000, a price category the emac fits into nicely

But the little guys more resemble the low to mid range consumer market with the $500-800. Barely held by the emac.

But in all honesty I think the emac is a horrible choice for most businesses, because they typically hate the all in ones. So I think they already ruled out Apple anyway, and that is a discussion for another thread. Apple doesn't have the big league support that these large clients need: onsite service, 24 hour turnaround time, and guaranteed tech support.

And although among many of Apple-fans, journalists, columninsts and posters in this forum, the idea of a lower-cost tower is sheer lunacy, I am one of those people who believe this could be an important product to round out Apple's product line. Mostly because of the flexibility it offers when compared with an all-in-one.


AS for my earlier statement about specs matching up: this is aimed clearly at the consumer market where price is a larger factor than for businesses.
post #153 of 159
Thread Starter 
From your previous post, you are right that Apple could keep their existing products more competitive. Occasional small updates, like a little more memory or a bigger hard drive, should not be a big deal.

Quote:
Originally posted by jade

So for $800 the emac should give you minimum 256RAM and 80GB hard drive, and a larger percentage of the cheap people will get an emac, but for $800 on a PC you get 2x the memory and hard drive of the entry level emac.

Then from above:

Quote:

And although among many of Apple-fans, journalists, columninsts and posters in this forum, the idea of a lower-cost tower is sheer lunacy, I am one of those people who believe this could be an important product to round out Apple's product line. Mostly because of the flexibility it offers when compared with an all-in-one.

I think your idea of a low cost tower has merit. Right now, Apple has just one type of Mac, an all-in-one, to cover every desktop market need not met by the G5 Power Mac, and it simply isn't working IMO. Apple should reevaluate this part of the product line, and ask how they can meets this wide range of needs with just two or three models at the most?

It seems obvious that two or three very diverse models of the Mac would have a better chance of meeting this goal than two models of the same thing, like the iMac/eMac twins. Adding together schools, general office applications and the simple email-internet home needs, the very low end is a large piece of the market that cannot be ignored either.
post #154 of 159
quick dell online quote today:


$979 + tax/shipping gives you

P4 2.8 (533 bus)
512 mb ram
120 gb SATA HD
128 mb ATI Radeon 9800 Pro
SB Audigy 2
Gigabit ethernet
17 inch LCD
DVD-CD/RW

no rebates.
See what desktop + monitor you can find at apple.com for $979.
Powerbooks prices are not terribly out of line (maybe %20 premium), but entry-mid level desktops are obscene.


Dimension 4600 \t Qty \t \t 1 \t
\tIntel ® Pentium® 4 Processor 2.8GHz w/533MHz FSB, Microsoft® Windows® XP Home Edition \tUnit Price \t \t$979.00
Catalog Number: \t 29
\t\t\t\tSort
Module \t Description \t Product Code \t Sku \t Id
Dell Dimension 4600 Series\tIntel ® Pentium® 4 Processor 2.8GHz w/533MHz FSB\tW285H\t[221-3725]\t1
Operating System\tMicrosoft® Windows® XP Home Edition\tWHXP\t[313-7222][420-1921][412-0409]\t11
Memory\tFREE UPGRADE! 512MB Dual Channel DDR SDRAM at 333MHz\t512M3P\t[462-1656]\t3
Keyboard\tDell® Quietkey® Keyboard\tQK\t[310-1582]\t4
Monitor\tFREE UPGRADE! New 17 in E172FPb Flat Panel Display\tE172FPP\t[462-8471]\t5
Video Card\t128MB DDR ATI RADEON 9800 PRO Graphics Card with TV-Out and DVI\t128PRO\t[320-2871][320-2575]\t6
Hard Drive\t120GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM)\t120S\t[340-9022]\t8
Floppy Drive and Additional Storage Devices\tNo Floppy Drive Included\tNFD\t[340-8688]\t10
Mouse\tDell® 2-button scroll mouse\tSM\t[310-1871]\t12
Network Card\tNew Dell Gigabit Ethernet\tGBN\t[430-0472]\t13
Modem\t56K PCI Data Fax Modem\tDFAX\t[313-2279]\t14
CD or DVD Drive\tDual Drives: 16x DVD-ROM Drive + FREE UPGRADE! 48x CD-RW Drive\tDVDCDRP\t[462-6817][313-0917][430-0594][462-7810]\t16
Sound\tSound Blaster Audigy2 (D) Card w/Dolby 5.1, and IEEE 1394 capability\tSBA2\t[313-1933][313-6010]\t17
Speakers\tNo Speaker Option\tN\t[313-2198]\t18
Productivity Software\tProductivity Pack including WordPerfect® and Money®\tCOREL\t[412-0395][412-0551][412-0555]\t22
Security Software\tMcAfee Security Center w/VirusScan, Firewall and Privacy, 90-day trial\tMCAFE90\t[412-0632]\t25
Digital Music\tDell Jukebox powered by MUSICMATCH\tMMBASE\t[412-0516]\t27
Digital Photography\tDell Picture Studio, Paint Shop Pro Trial, Photo Album Starter Edition\tDPS\t[412-0521]\t28
Limited Warranty, Services and Support Options\t1 Year Limited Warranty plus 1 Year At-Home Service\tSQ111OS\t[950-4430][950-3337][950-9797][412-0359]\t29
Internet Access Services\t6 Months America Online Internet Access Included\tAOLDHS\t[420-3224][412-0625][412-0587]\t37
Multi-Media Players\tRealOne Player, with 14 day SuperPass trial\tREALBAS\t[412-0380]\t40
FREE TurboTax Basic\tFREE TurboTax® Basic for Tax Year 2003\tTAX\t[420-4125]\t106
Dell Media Experience\tDell Media Experience\tDMX\t[412-0519]\t115
TOTAL: $979.00
\t
\t\t\t\t
Total Price
Sub-total \t\t$979.00
post #155 of 159
I'll post this one so people don't get the misconception that $500 PC's are doorstops only.

http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.html?i=2001&p=9

You can go to the beginning of the article and examine the rationale for the component choices. Bottom line, $350 for a computer that will do pretty much anything except games. Add $ for keyboard, mouse and display.
Edit: also OS is missing, but that doesn't need to break the bank - you can use free software, buy secondhand Windows licence or use the one from your previous computer, or infringe copyrights.

The computer I use to do all my work, play music and post this message is less than half that fast.
post #156 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by Gon
I'll post this one so people don't get the misconception that $500 PC's are doorstops only.

http://www.anandtech.com/guides/showdoc.html?i=2001&p=9

You can go to the beginning of the article and examine the rationale for the component choices. Bottom line, $350 for a computer that will do pretty much anything except games. Add $ for keyboard, mouse and display.
Edit: also OS is missing, but that doesn't need to break the bank - you can use free software, buy secondhand Windows licence or use the one from your previous computer, or infringe copyrights.

The computer I use to do all my work, play music and post this message is less than half that fast.

While I completely agree that building your own PC can be very cheap, and net you a great PC, there are some problems with the anandtech article. the first is that it doesn't account for shipping on all of those parts. this might seem like a minor issue, but it's not. I've built many PC's for myself and others, and am VERY budget conscious, and know that in order to get all the low prices on those parts listed requires shopping around quite a bit. meaning you'll end up buying parts from 6-10 different suppliers if you're looking to get the lowest prices. however, you're likely to pay $5 minimum shipping for any order. of course shipping charges rarely increase by much if you add items to an order, so there's incentive to buy multiple parts from a single vendor. but then you're paying higher prices for some of the items. it's basically like the supermarket game...once you drive to StarMarket to get pepsi on sale, they're going to get you on the $4.99 Fig Newtons or something.

Long story short...the "$504 system" is going to cost you at least $550 with shipping plus taxes, AND:

* $ 20 (more likely $50) for good KB and mouse (optical?)
* $199 for XP Home (if you can deal with Home vs. Pro) * $ 80+ for a good power supply (the $40 CaseEdgeTS1 doesn't include a power supply, thanks Anandtech!)

so that comes to a grand total of $849 (maybe more) for a computer with no software, no DVD drive, 40GB hard drive, marginal video card, and a 1.6 GHz processor on a 266MHz bus with 256K L2 cache.

now, that said, I'm not against building PC's (and I especially like the price/performance of Athlon XP's) but too many people are unrealistic about the $500~ PC.

oh yeah, and there are little things, like thermal paste. it isn't included in the "Anand special", and noobs might not realize they need it (or where to get it cheap). and you're sure to be missing an IDE cable, or something that wasn't sent because you bought the cheapest "OEM" product. leading to the final point, TIME! finding, buying, receiving, and putting together this machine will take quite a bit of time. fine for the enthusiast, but not for most people.
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post #157 of 159
If Apple sold some tower at a lower price point with lower specs, that may disrupt the product lifecycle.

For example, if Apple sold a G4 tower still that was priced below $1000, would that mean that lots of people who typically sell their old mac for around that and get the latest greatest G5 would no longer be able to. Afterall, who'd buy their used G4 tower (that was bought when it was latest greatest) when they can get a new one from Apple? That person is now stuck selling for much cheaper or not doing their typical upgrade.

On the flip side, I really don't give a damned and would like a cheaper Mac that I can buy. Ideally, I'd like to buy just a motherboard, and build my own Mac.
post #158 of 159
Quote:
Originally posted by concentricity
While I completely agree that building your own PC can be very cheap, and net you a great PC, there are some problems with the anandtech article. the first is that it doesn't account for shipping on all of those parts.
...
Long story short...the "$504 system" is going to cost you at least $550 with shipping plus taxes, AND:

* $ 20 (more likely $50) for good KB and mouse (optical?)
* $199 for XP Home (if you can deal with Home vs. Pro) * $ 80+ for a good power supply (the $40 CaseEdgeTS1 doesn't include a power supply, thanks Anandtech!)

so that comes to a grand total of $849 (maybe more) for a computer with no software, no DVD drive, 40GB hard drive, marginal video card, and a 1.6 GHz processor on a 266MHz bus with 256K L2 cache.
....
oh yeah, and there are little things, like thermal paste. it isn't included in the "Anand special", and noobs might not realize they need it (or where to get it cheap). and you're sure to be missing an IDE cable, or something that wasn't sent because you bought the cheapest "OEM" product. leading to the final point, TIME! finding, buying, receiving, and putting together this machine will take quite a bit of time. fine for the enthusiast, but not for most people.

Let's visit these points one by one.

I think the prices in the Anandtech article *do* include shipping. Take a look at the section where they discuss processor & motherboard.

Article says there indeed is a power supply.

$30 should be plenty for a basic keyboard and optical mouse.

You ignored my comment that there are good $0 operating systems, AND it's possible to buy a Windows license used, AND some people just go and make an illegal copy of Windows, AND as a law-abiding PC user you are likely to have an earlier license lying around. Software? You get decent office suite, browser, music and video players for any OS for $0.

The way I see it, it should be not only possible but easy to get this computer or equivalent for under $400 plus screen. If you have old parts, screen, or peripherals, or can easily buy some used parts, the price can be cut further.

You're whining about the specs? The point was to have a computer that does daily work at an acceptable speed. This is such a computer. As I said, it's twice as fast as the PC I'm sitting at, and my PC already does everything fast enough.

I'm not claiming that PC building is the best choice for everyone. Far from it. I'm just trying to establish that if you have the necessary level of skill, you can put together working computers literally dirt cheap. Even if you do not bother to hunt for special deals and pick up all the parts at a local store, and that ends up costing you about $70 more, you *still* have a $450 box, and one shop is responsible for all the warranties and possible missing parts. Assembly time... say 4 hours. Upgradeability is very high, and very little additional cash makes this mop the floor with i/eMacs in gaming.
EDIT: Misspellings.
post #159 of 159
Quote:
I'm not claiming that PC building is the best choice for everyone. Far from it. I'm just trying to establish that if you have the necessary level of skill, you can put together working computers literally dirt cheap.

Agreed. As a cross-platform user if I'm going to buy a PC - I'm going to build it. Low-end, high-end, you really can save yourself a bundle if you do. And really, it doesn't take that much technical savvy either. Patience is more important.

Being able to upgrade in piecemeil fashion will save you money in the long run too. You don't have to buy a whole new computer when all you really need is an updated mobo and cpu. You upgrade your video card when the price is right, swap out for a new cpu, slicker case and so on...
Quote:
On the flip side, I really don't give a damned and would like a cheaper Mac that I can buy. Ideally, I'd like to buy just a motherboard, and build my own Mac.

8)

Cheers,

C.
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