Originally posted by hmurchison
Well I tend to frequent Audio Production and Video Production boards and I don't really get that they are unhappy with the speed unless we're talking Powerbooks(G5 needed their and quick).
The PowerBooks do have a big problem!
Speed is interesting feature. Two things happen, one is software that takes advantage fo that spped and then could use more. The others are users adapting to that speed and then finding they can use more.
There are also the people that never have fast enough machines. Thankfully I'm not currently in that position, but there are ligitimate examples.
Frankly I don't think any of us thought it would take almost a year for RevB PMs to hit. The only people buying right now are those in a pinch. Hell Motion alone may get some people to upgrade their computers. What it takes is a new killer feature that is worth opening up the bank again. Apple could sell Powermacs up to 5k easily. There is someone at every level that needs the power.
5K for a computer, not any of the current towers I can tell you that much for sure. No matter how fast the chip is in them. Now that doesn't mean that Apple wouldn't try it, but it would be a huge mistake from the marketing point of view.
First is the issue of what to call it. Call it a PowerMac and it will feed the perception that Macs are grossly over priced and have the effect of driving sales downward even more. Apple can't afford fewer sales. Haivng 4 or 5 PowerMac models spread out over a range of frequencies, with basically the same features, is going to be very hard to pull off also.
Call it a workstation of some sort, then you end up in the same situation that all of the other workstation builders are in. That is declining sales in the face of standard hardware ---- THINK SUN ----
Even the conventional server market is beginning to reject high priced hardware. The current PowerMacs could not pass as servers anyways and it isn't to clear that the newer machines would address shortcomings here either.
The last thing Apple needs to do is to jack up the price of the PowerMacs. They are to expensive as it is the market is has been very clear about that. I don't buy the idea that All of Apples customers are sitting back waiting for the next release. That implies a few ugly things, one of which is that the customer base is shrinking. Another is that the whole of the customer base is equal to the number of PowerMacs sold to date. Which if true means that Apple really doesn't have much of a market left.
I'm disappointed that it's taken this long but I think Apple must have made the decision to skip a small refresh and hit with something big. WWDC has me very excited. I think things are just getting started. I never really expected gonzo PM sales. Creatives are willing to spend the money but the typical consumer is going to be cool with something a little less beefy.
I certainly agree that Apple has something up its sleeves. At this point they almost have to come out with a PCI-Express machine.
It is sad that Apple created a situatuion where you didin't expect good PM sales. But you do seem to have the wrong impression about consumers. The problem is that there is little beef there and consumers want that beef for thier dollar. This brings back to memeory the old where the beef commercials of some years back. When one looks at a PM in the store the first thing that comes to mind is where the beef. Or more exactly there is a nice price tag here but one isle over I can double my HD size and 4X my RAM size for less money -- so where the beef?
You may believe that "creative" are willing to spend the money but more and more shops now have PC hardware in them. Just because people are "creative" does not imply that they are foolish with their money. You will find that people are being much more selective with their PC buying dollar, Macs need a clear advantage to justify their price.
My guess is that PMs hit 3Ghz by late summer. Apple will have 4 Drive Bays and a beefier audio specification. Another Pro App is coming down the pipe as well. People have the money...you just gotta make them dig deeeeeeep.
You are very optimistic about getting people to dig deep! Apple needs compelling hardware at reasonable prices to get people to do that. As far as new machines go I'm thinking 3GHz at WWDC. Mostly because Apple needs to address sagging sales of the desktop hardware. This implies a minimal 2GHx imac or replacement and proportionally faster Towers. They also need to correct the joke that the orginal G5 release created when it was claimed to be the fastest PC available. Apple needs to be able to keep that crown for a long time to recoup from that little mistake. Further the machine needs to be marketed at PC prices, not server prices if it is going to compete in the desktop market.