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Speculations on the new iMac's specifications - Page 2

post #41 of 242
If they release a 2.0 ghz imac and it comes out before the 3 ghz power mac....i'm totally getting it instead...
post #42 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Programmer
Regardless of my accuracy I confidently predict that many users will be right back here complaining that they are too slow, too expensive, too hard to get, too late to save Apple, etc.

I will likely be one of those people if the iMac 3 does not meet certain benchmarks.

1. It needs to lose the 80 GB HD. Period! That drive has been a joke for the last two years and it had better not show up in another revision of the iMac. 120 GB should be the least that is considered in this range.

2. At $1300.00 and above, there needs to be s SuperDrive in every model. What is the point of iDVD as an entry level iApp if mid level systems can't take advantage of it?

3. MHz parity with the PM line is a must. As long as Apple is behind the PC in MHz, it does not even rate as an option. If Apple has 3 GHz chips, then they need to put them in the high-end iMac. PCs in that range are over 3 GHz with hyper-threading. You can argue all day about the OS. But the hardware is top-notch. A single 2.0 GHz G5 may be a big jump from a Mac perspective. But it is still too far behind the PC world. If they can catch up, they need to. If they hold back on this, then they just as well stick with the G4 for all the difference a low clocked G5 will make.

4. They need to quit using video cards with suffixes like "ultra" and "fx". They need to use real graphics cards. By real, I mean something that a gamer will not automatically double over with laughter immediately after seeing. It is the component that becomes outdated faster than any other. It can also never be improved. Again, PCs in this range start out with better cards and they are upgradable to cards that are better still. Since the iMac is married to its graphics card, it needs to start out with something respectable, not something that is already behind the times. It may be just a small point, but why should Mac game developers work hard on decent ports if the hardware in all but the workstation class systems can't support them fully?

In short, Apple has to quit crippling the iMac for marketing purposes. There is nothing that Apple can put in the iMac that will make it more appealing than a PM for those who want and need a PM. Nothing! The iMac is not a budget system. It is a mid to high-end system considering its price. It needs to be treated as such. It was a totally different matter when the iMac represented the low-end of computer pricing. Then it could be treated like a "grandma's first computer" starter kit. Now, the world has moved on and the eMac now has that honor. They either need to move the price of the iMac down market and leave the internals mostly unchanged. Or, they need to move the internals up market to appropriate, uncompromising levels. If they do not have the stomach for either, then they should kill it and start from scratch.
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post #43 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
3. MHz parity with the PM line is a must. As long as Apple is behind the PC in MHz, it does not even rate as an option. If Apple has 3 GHz chips, then they need to put them in the high-end iMac. PCs in that range are over 3 GHz with hyper-threading. You can argue all day about the OS. But the hardware is top-notch. A single 2.0 GHz G5 may be a big jump from a Mac perspective. But it is still too far behind the PC world. If they can catch up, they need to. If they hold back on this, then they just as well stick with the G4 for all the difference a low clocked G5 will make.


Apple is not going to put a consumer machine and a pro machine at the same speeds. An imac at 3.0 Ghz not likely unless apple surprises us with a 4.0 Ghz Powermac G5 at this years WWDC.
post #44 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Let the speculation begin!

I also think the colors were a brilliant way to appeal to consumers. That's one choice that consumers really do like to have.

The only problem is that for relatively large, expensive items like personal computers, multiple colors are a logistical nightmare. Last time Apple solved the logistical problem on its end by manufacturing equal amounts of all colors and punting the problem to the retailers, who were (understandably) outraged. Perhaps now that Apple has a significant investment in retail itself they won't try that again - but that leaves the problem of being able to rapidly and inexpensively adjust how many of which color get made for whom. The great cost saver in mass production is consistency: you can have any color you want as long as it's white. Every option introduces complexity, time and cost to the process. And those costs reappear when you have to distribute, stock and display multiple configurations.

I'm not suggesting that it's an insoluble problem, because that's absurd. It's been solved many times, in many ways - but in other industries. Apple's going to have to figure out how to crack this nut its own way, and convince its third-party resellers to play along.

All that said, though, if they can do it, great. If they don't, then they'd better have a heck of a good design.


Apple has sales logistics from the mini on what colors the consumers are appealed to. With those logistics, they can determine the quantity to produce. They don't have to worry about resellers complaining, I mean they can, but Apple has enough of a retail presence to handle it themselves if retailers don't want to touch it, but regardless, I'm sure that the new contracts that all the resellers are complaining about have some type of stipulation that implies they must carry a certain amount of different "flavors" of any given product.


Why not introduce all of these at the WWDC. Sure, it's a developers convention, but new hardware requires new software and hardware to be developed to interact properly with this hardware. Agreed, they did just upgrade the eMac, the Pbook and the iBook, but by bringing out almost all new products across the board guarantees that they will get huge media presence and response from it (free advertising), finally rising Apple above Winblows users apparent ill-conceiving attitude that Macs just don't have enough power or aren't fast enough. Who will be able to say that, with specs that match or are above that of the Wimptel offerings.

eMacs and iBooks will be the consumer grade at the $999 to $1499 offering and even though their speeds will be lower than all of the rest, "switchers" will be awed by it's power.

The iMacs will then be marketed for the "hipsters" and small to medium-sized businesses. Adding the silver color will give the "enterprise look", while the other colors will be for the arsty, colorful people and "hipsters".

Powermacs are a given, and if Jobs doesn't blow our minds by an over 3Ghz dual sys, he will at least stick to his promise from last year. He has too much riding on it.

EVERYONE wants the G5 Pbooks!! He'd be stupid not to push to get that out now, instead of the beginning of next year at MWSF.

I believe that MWSF will introduce 3.5 - 4GHz PM and PBooks and G5 eMacs and iBooks and todays speeds in the G5's.

Apple's on it's way up!!! Don't lose faith now. Now is the time to have it.
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post #45 of 242
What if new iMacs came in some of the anodized colors used in the wildly popular iPod minis?



The iMac is a consumer machine and half the buyers or more could well be females. Would the iPod minis be so popular if they only came in white? I don't think so.

I'm sort of in agreement with not crippling the power of the iMac. If you have a line of PMs that are all duals, single CPU iMacs at the same speeds would be fine. Problem is, cost and heat. Chip yields at lower speeds are much higher so the costs are lower. If the iMac is to continue having a compact base, you don't have the room for a massive heat sink.

Right now, the iMac is at 1 and 1.25 GHz with a G4. A jump to 1.4, 1.6 or 1.8 GHz G5s would be huge. There's no need to cripple it with a slower bus and memory. I hope it can keep the 512K L2 cache the current G5 has.
post #46 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
MHz parity with the PM line is a must. As long as Apple is behind the PC in MHz, it does not even rate as an option. If Apple has 3 GHz chips, then they need to put them in the high-end iMac. PCs in that range are over 3 GHz with hyper-threading. You can argue all day about the OS. But the hardware is top-notch. A single 2.0 GHz G5 may be a big jump from a Mac perspective. But it is still too far behind the PC world. If they can catch up, they need to. If they hold back on this, then they just as well stick with the G4 for all the difference a low clocked G5 will make.

I don't mean to derail this thread into a marketshare argument, but the above position is a common (though well-meaning) misunderstanding among Mac users. I completely agree that iMacs are rejected by 95% of the population because of a lack of perceived hardware parity. I also agree that a hypothetical 3GHz, HT enabled, 975 G5 iMac with a 17" Widescreen display, Superdrive and a decent graphics card would completely overcome that lack of perceived hardware parity...if it cost $1299.

That, my friends, is NOT going to happen.

My point is if Apple falls short of the price/performance ratio needed to grow marketshare, then it might as well fall short by a wide margin. This is what most in the Mac community don't understand: if the iMac can't be completely price/performance competitive with mid-range PCs (yes, $1299 is mid-range for Wintel) then it's actually better off being crippled. "Coming close" doesn't do you any good, in fact it hurts you. The 5% of people who buy iMacs do it for the industrial design and OS X. Those people will continue to buy marginally upgraded iMacs whether they are price/performance competitive with PCs or not. All a 3GHz G5 iMac for the MUCH more realistic price of $1799-1999 is going to do is create happier iMac customers, not more iMac customers.

Quote:
In short, Apple has to quit crippling the iMac for marketing purposes. There is nothing that Apple can put in the iMac that will make it more appealing than a PM for those who want and need a PM. Nothing!

I agree, but only for true professionals who absolutely require dual processors and immediate, out-of-the-box use of PCI slots: videographers, post production houses, recording studios, high-end scientific researchers, etc. This is an important subset of Power Mac customers, but they are NOT the majority.

So let's be extremely generous and say Apple could vend a 3GHz, HT enabled iMac with a competitive graphics card for $1799. Still only two groups of people would buy it:

1) the same set of of installed based iMac customers who would have bought a "crippled" iMac anyway

2) Every Mac using graphic designer, web designer, hardcore gamer and prosumer who would have all happily bought Power Macs if the iMac had remained crippled.

Guess what group is missing? That's right, switchers. Though a (ridiculously hypothetical) $1799 3GHz G5 iMac sounds great to us, it's still a big "who cares" to the average consumer. Until the day comes (if ever) that Apple can vend consumer machines with completely Wintel competitive hardware specs for only $100 more than the competition, they can forget about increasing marketshare. In the meantime, "crippled" iMacs is the best strategy available.
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post #47 of 242
I think Apple is shifting its focus to portables. The desktop hardware is becoming more of a thing relative to business and industry, whereas consumers are becoming more enchanted with portable computing. The percentage of notebooks sold to desktops sold is almost at 50% and market data has shown that the portables number is increasing.
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post #48 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
I think Apple is shifting its focus to portables. The desktop hardware is becoming more of a thing relative to business and industry, whereas consumers are becoming more enchanted with portable computing. The percentage of notebooks sold to desktops sold is almost at 50% and market data has shown that the portables number is increasing.

Ah, the old "it doesn't matter that Apple's consumer desktops suck, because everyone's buying laptops instead" argument.

When laptop sales reach 90% you'll be right.
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post #49 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
I think Apple is shifting its focus to portables. The desktop hardware is becoming more of a thing relative to business and industry, whereas consumers are becoming more enchanted with portable computing. The percentage of notebooks sold to desktops sold is almost at 50% and market data has shown that the portables number is increasing.

The thing about laptops, is that they are rising now, but when consumers find out about the additional costs over time, a lot will come back to the desktop or decide to use both.
post #50 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Ensign Pulver
I don't mean to derail this thread into a marketshare argument, but the above position is a common (though well-meaning) misunderstanding among Mac users. I completely agree that iMacs are rejected by 95% of the population because of a lack of perceived hardware parity. I also agree that a hypothetical 3GHz, HT enabled, 975 G5 iMac with a 17" Widescreen display, Superdrive and a decent graphics card would completely overcome that lack of perceived hardware parity...if it cost $1299.

That, my friends, is NOT going to happen.

My point is if Apple falls short of the price/performance ratio needed to grow marketshare, then it might as well fall short by a wide margin. This is what most in the Mac community don't understand: if the iMac can't be completely price/performance competitive with mid-range PCs (yes, $1299 is mid-range for Wintel) then it's actually better off being crippled. "Coming close" doesn't do you any good, in fact it hurts you. The 5% of people who buy iMacs do it for the industrial design and OS X. Those people will continue to buy marginally upgraded iMacs whether they are price/performance competitive with PCs or not. All a 3GHz G5 iMac for the MUCH more realistic price of $1799-1999 is going to do is create happier iMac customers, not more iMac customers.

-snip-

So let's be extremely generous and say Apple could vend a 3GHz, HT enabled iMac with a competitive graphics card for $1799. Still only two groups of people would buy it:

1) the same set of of installed based iMac customers who would have bought a "crippled" iMac anyway

2) Every Mac using graphic designer, web designer, hardcore gamer and prosumer who would have all happily bought Power Macs if the iMac had remained crippled.

Guess what group is missing? That's right, switchers. Though a (ridiculously hypothetical) $1799 3GHz G5 iMac sounds great to us, it's still a big "who cares" to the average consumer. Until the day comes (if ever) that Apple can vend consumer machines with completely Wintel competitive hardware specs for only $100 more than the competition, they can forget about increasing marketshare. In the meantime, "crippled" iMacs is the best strategy available.


Totally disagree with this one. The crippled iMac is a terrible, terrible strategy, guaranteed to shrink market share. You might not think that selling an iMac with competitive specs will attract switchers to the Mac when it is priced several hundred dollars above the equivalent PC, but I will tell one sure thing: selling "crippled" iMacs does encourage switchers -- from Mac to PC.

Since Apple introduced them Macs were always on par with the computers from the other side -- sometimes a little, faster sometimes a little slower, but always in the same performance range. Most Mac users know that they are going to spend more on a Mac than they would with a PC, but they don't mind paying for it because they think that they are getting value for their money.

When you sell a "crippled" iMac, many Mac users start feeling ripped off -- not only are they paying more for a Mac, but now it is a lot slower than a PC? That is not a tolerable situation. To a few people the use of a Mac has taken on a religious like statues, and "converting" to a PC would be unthinkable, but for most of us our preference doesn't have religious overtones, and we will switch over to PC if we feel it would be in our best interest.

Apple not only needs to encourage people to switch to the Mac, it desperately needs to hold on to the current Mac users. Anyone who thinks that trying to foster off "crippled" iMacs to the current user base is a good idea, is not thinking things through. Mac users are not easy marks waiting to be fleeced, nor religious fanatics that will flock to Apple no matter what it does. If Apples marketing department thinks we will be happy to buy computers that cost more AND preform less than PCs, then they are way out of touch with reality (and Apple is in big trouble).
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post #51 of 242
Duhh... It's an iMac... There is a PowerMac, and an iMac. PowerBook, iBook. Figure it out!
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post #52 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by quagmire
Apple is not going to put a consumer machine and a pro machine at the same speeds. An imac at 3.0 Ghz not likely unless apple surprises us with a 4.0 Ghz Powermac G5 at this years WWDC.

If so; then the original poster is right, there is no reason to go out and buy an iMac even if it has a 970FX in it. This is especially the case with respect to the PowerMacs and a total SMP line up there.

From the stand point of marketing, this is one of the things that has killed Apple in the consumer space. That is delivering crippled high cost machines to an intelligent marketplace.

Frankly I think the orignal poster hit the target squarely with his list of concerns. There is nothing worst than going out and paying top dollar for yestedays technology. I'm talking about the top of the line iMac release, which today has little to offer over the bottom of the line up.

Thanks
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post #53 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Res
Totally disagree with this one. The crippled iMac is a terrible, terrible strategy, guaranteed to shrink market share. You might not think that selling an iMac with competitive specs will attract switchers to the Mac when it is priced several hundred dollars above the equivalent PC, but I will tell one sure thing: selling "crippled" iMacs does encourage switchers -- from Mac to PC.


Yep - couldn't agree more. Apple has to realize that they are generating more switchers of the kind they don't want. It is not the price of the hardware, it is what you get for your money. That is what Apple needs to get a handle on. The iMac3 or whatever it will be called has to address the performance issue as it relates to the consumer line.
Quote:
Since Apple introduced them Macs were always on par with the computers from the other side -- sometimes a little, faster sometimes a little slower, but always in the same performance range. Most Mac users know that they are going to spend more on a Mac than they would with a PC, but they don't mind paying for it because they think that they are getting value for their money.

Very much the case for a long time, until consumer / low end machines stagnated at Apple. Once the perception set in that consumer where not getting their moneys worth sales became an issue.
Quote:

When you sell a "crippled" iMac, many Mac users start feeling ripped off -- not only are they paying more for a Mac, but now it is a lot slower than a PC? That is not a tolerable situation. To a few people the use of a Mac has taken on a religious like statues, and "converting" to a PC would be unthinkable, but for most of us our preference doesn't have religious overtones, and we will switch over to PC if we feel it would be in our best interest.

Which is a item that Apple needs to improve on. That is marketing computers that are in the consumers best interest. They have come a very long way to producing the OS that is obviously in the consumers best interest. Success now depends on having economical hardware to deliver that OS. That doesn't mean faster and cheapr than PC of the day. Rather machines that offer good performance base on contemporary comparisons and at a reasonable price.
Quote:

Apple not only needs to encourage people to switch to the Mac, it desperately needs to hold on to the current Mac users. Anyone who thinks that trying to foster off "crippled" iMacs to the current user base is a good idea, is not thinking things through. Mac users are not easy marks waiting to be fleeced, nor religious fanatics that will flock to Apple no matter what it does. If Apples marketing department thinks we will be happy to buy computers that cost more AND preform less than PCs, then they are way out of touch with reality (and Apple is in big trouble).

Huh Apple IS IN BIG TROUBLE!!!!!

The Funny thing is that the current lowcost machines are outselling the PowerMac. Now maybe they don't realize where they could be with sales if they had better hardware to sell into the low cost arena.

With respect to the 970 they no longer have the excuses of the G4, so people will not put up with machines "crippled" by marketing. It will be painfully obvious if a iMac is the result of a marketing campaign to snow the customer and fleece his wallet.
Quote:

post #54 of 242
As long as we're all speculating, I think the 15" will stay, get a 1.5GHz G4, and drop to $999. The 17" and 20" will both be either 1.8 or 2.0 GHz G5s at the same price they are today, or maybe a little cheaper.
post #55 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by cubist
As long as we're all speculating, I think the 15" will stay, get a 1.5GHz G4, and drop to $999. The 17" and 20" will both be either 1.8 or 2.0 GHz G5s at the same price they are today, or maybe a little cheaper.

Maybe something like that but I seriously doubt that there would be two different processors in any new iMac line. Different size displays and hard drives, different speeds and RAM configurations, different optical drives, but not different processors.
post #56 of 242
Let's get this through people's heads: the iMac will not split along G4 and G5 lines at the same time.

It's very inefficient to have two significantly different mainboards for the same line, especially when it's likely that you'd just drop one of them completely several months later. The 1.5 GHz G4 is also not necessarily the most inexpensive processor Apple could use (it's the highest-end G4 Motorola has to offer, where the 1.6 GHz G5 is probably quite cheap by now). And finally, having an older processor type in the same lineup is a big middle-finger to budget-conscious buyers - it's like telling them that they *have* to spend the extra money to get what they want, and it gives them the impression that the real price of entry is considerably higher.
post #57 of 242
The reason the PowerMac is not selling as much as the consumer line is because Apple is not selling a PowerMac that is very competitive vs. the PC's right now. PowerMac buyers don't want that.
I was going to buy the Dual 2GHz last year after watching the demo at WWDC, but waited to see the independent testing first. After I saw some independent tests I realized it was not as competitive as they made it out to be.
Just like the rest of the interested PowerMac buyers I am waiting for a PowerMac that is as competitive as the one they demo'd last year, but for real. And hopefully it will be better.

Probably the biggest reason for the slump in PowerMac sales in the last few months is everybody, and their brother knows that SJ, and IBM said there would be 3GHz PowerMacs at WWDC this year. Why pay XXX dollars for a Dual 2GHz powerMac today that we didn't want last year when if you wait a few, and be patient you may be able to buy a new updated 3GHz PowerMac for the same price.

Furthermore: I cant believe you guy's are complaining about crippled computers. They are not crippled. If you go to any consumer computer manufacturers site the Towers are always going to have more options over the one piece units. So don't blame, Apple, or even Dell for that. Is it suddenly a crime to charge less for parts that cost less, and more for parts that cost more?

Give it up.

The reason the G5's are in the PowerMacs first, and the reason they stay faster is because PowerMac buyers are willing to pay a premium for performance, and options that are too expensive to put into an iMac for what Apple can afford, and still be able to make a profit.
What your suggesting is Apple to give you money for nothing. Why don't you just rob them? It's not like with a 2% market share they have the luxury of being able to afford to overstock warehouses with all these configurations that are configured to give you parts for less than they pay for them.
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post #58 of 242
Since laptops are taking off - and I think this is a long-term trend that will not reverse - what the iMac has to do is justify its lack of portability by offering a machine powerful enough that you can only park on a desk and plug in to a wall.

The G5 is a good start. A big, bright monitor is a must-have. If it can be moved around like the current iMac, better still.

And I think, given the iMac's current price range, that it should be the Digital Hub. If you buy any stock iMac, you can pull it out of the box, plug it in and use every single one of Apple's advertised capabilities (given cameras, broadband, etc.). No fuss, no options, no installs. No step three. There's a big enough hard drive, enough RAM, a SuperDrive, etc. The main differentiator between models would be the screen, and incrementally better components.

I hope that's the direction they take.
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post #59 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Commodus
... And finally, having an older processor type in the same lineup is a big middle-finger to budget-conscious buyers - it's like telling them that they *have* to spend the extra money to get what they want, and it gives them the impression that the real price of entry is considerably higher.

Bingo! That is the point I have been trying to make for some time. Right now, that is true of the whole iMac line. If you want to choose your monitor, buy a PM. If you want to be able to upgrade your video card, buy a PM. If you want a bigger HD, buy an expensive external FW drive, or screw yourself, or buy a PM. If you want to do something more demanding than email and Web surfing, buy a PM. If you want a basic system and are on a budget, buy an eMac. If you want a system with PC-like specs but don't want to spend PM prices, quit bothering us and go buy a PC. That is the message the iMac sends.

By the way, the entry-level G5 system seems to only be there to make it easy to up-sell people to the next level IMO. Apple tends to do that with all of their lines.
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post #60 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Mac Voyer
Bingo! That is the point I have been trying to make for some time. Right now, that is true of the whole iMac line. If you want to choose your monitor, buy a PM. If you want to be able to upgrade your video card, buy a PM. If you want a bigger HD, buy an expensive external FW drive, or screw yourself, or buy a PM. If you want to do something more demanding than email and Web surfing, buy a PM. If you want a basic system and are on a budget, buy an eMac. If you want a system with PC-like specs but don't want to spend PM prices, quit bothering us and go buy a PC. That is the message the iMac sends.

It's the message that the iMac sends to people who consider Dell's model the ne plus ultra of personal computer design.

For anyone else, pardoning its age (because there's no point arguing that; Apple's acknowledged it) it's an elegant, full-featured system that you can buy, take home and use without having to go and chase down a bunch of additional components.

Quote:
By the way, the entry-level G5 system seems to only be there to make it easy to up-sell people to the next level IMO. Apple tends to do that with all of their lines.

Everyone does that with all of their lines in almost every industry on Earth. Upselling is the oldest trick in the book. And there are manufacturers - PC manufacturers - who are far more aggressive with this tactic than Apple is.
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post #61 of 242
With people starting to want laptops more and the average Joe is keep on saying, " We want speed and power now." We might be seeing in the future, notebooks getting the next generation processor at the same time as the desktops. The companies can be satisfied with desktops, while the consumers can be satisfied with power and speed. With the current progresses with technology we could be seeing notebooks getting the next generation processors sooner then we have to wait for them now. I don't know when and if this will happen, I am just perdicting what could happen in the future.
post #62 of 242
To address something Onlooker said about the G5 when it first came out, initial tests didn't really show the speed because nothing was optimized for the G5--not the tests or the software or the OS. That's all changed, now. Today's G5 tests faster than it did 10 months ago because the software got better. Simply coming out with a faster processor and a better architecture is only part of the story. The software has to be there, too.

This next speedbump should show its true speed right off the bat since all the limitations of 10 months ago are gone.
post #63 of 242
I should reiterate something on the subject of iMac colours.

Personally, I think that Apple might not consider it practical to do so, and I wouldn't mind if there was just one colour (whatever it may be).

If Apple did have multiple colours, I don't think they'd make the same mistake they did with the iMac G3, i.e. have 5 different shades and ask retailers to carry all of them. We already know that with the iPod mini, Apple is watching colour preferences very closely and tailoring shipments to reflect that.

One possible solution would be for Apple to have just one colour available in retail (such as silver or white), while others would have to be ordered in online or by phone (not necessarily from Apple directly). That way, Apple wouldn't end up giving retailers unnecessary stock but would still be able to offer up the exact model you want - even if you have to wait a bit longer to get it.
post #64 of 242
Another solution to that is to offer everything in white( retail and online). Then offer clip on colors. So the people who hate white can get clip on colors for their imac.
post #65 of 242
Referring to Quagmire's post above, I've long mentioned the idea of modular inserts or plates to customize Macs, color-wise. Not all Macs, of course, but let's say iMacs. If a new design came out, have it ship stock with the chrome or white plastic accent pieces.

But people could order little color kits, to replace the Apple logo, trim pieces, panels, etc. at their whim. Hardly seems like the elegant, cool solution...but it means Apple and retailers don't get into a "no, you have to buy 20 Limes before we can give you any Blueberry or Tangerines!" pissing contests.

I've said for a while now that "colors are over!", but maybe not. The iPod mini certainly showed otherwise. Maybe just different ones? Or, maybe, just bring back the ones that represented such a cool time in Apple's history: Bondi and the five fruits?

I don't mind all-white, either, so I don't really care. It's nothing I worry about too much.

Just don't ever do a black computer! U G L Y.

post #66 of 242
Quote:
Another solution to that is to offer everything in white( retail and online). Then offer clip on colors. So the people who hate white can get clip on colors for their imac.

I don't think that would work. First, of course, you couldn't clip on colours for the entire system. It would also not give off the same sense of quality that you'd expect from Apple hardware.
post #67 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Commodus
I don't think that would work. First, of course, you couldn't clip on colours for the entire system. It would also not give off the same sense of quality that you'd expect from Apple hardware.

Agreed. I've seen some low end wintel PCs with clip-on color panels which seem really cheesy. Of course, most wintel PCs seem cheesy to me regardless.
post #68 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Since laptops are taking off - and I think this is a long-term trend that will not reverse - what the iMac has to do is justify its lack of portability by offering a machine powerful enough that you can only park on a desk and plug in to a wall.

The G5 is a good start. A big, bright monitor is a must-have. If it can be moved around like the current iMac, better still.

I see things a little differently: Apple is well aware that many laptops primarily get used around the house, and their out-and-about portability is rarely used. The obvious thing for Apple to do in the long run is build a machine for this market. That means a touch-sensitive detachable display with a wireless link to the base, allowing for around-the-home portability. With something like this you'd get a larger display than on a laptop, and it would be well suited to web-browsing, etc. from the living-room couch -- this is what a lot of people end up using their laptops for anyway. And Apple's handwriting recognition would offer sufficient input options for many activities away from the base with the keyboard.

But I think it will be a few years before anything like this makes an appearance. As an aside, doesn't SGI have something called "Visual Area Network" or something, that is a step in this direction? Anyone have any experience with it?
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post #69 of 242
I knew as soon as I described the true nature of Apple's consumer desktop strategy (and the limitations that require it) there would be howls of uninformed protest. Let's take another whack at it, shall we?

Quote:
Originally posted by Res
Totally disagree with this one. The crippled iMac is a terrible, terrible strategy, guaranteed to shrink market share.

Try reading the original post. I never said it was a good strategy, I said it was the best strategy available, given the circumstances. Big difference.

Quote:
You might not think that selling an iMac with competitive specs will attract switchers to the Mac when it is priced several hundred dollars above the equivalent PC, but I will tell one sure thing: selling "crippled" iMacs does encourage switchers -- from Mac to PC.

I *DO* think a truly competitive iMac would attract switchers, even with a 10-20% Apple Tax. I said precisely that in my original post. The problem is that Apple cannot build such a machine. In fact, they can't even come close. This is exactly what the Mac installed base can't get through their heads: 95% of consumers buy on price and clockspeed ONLY. On the Windows side, $999 gets you a 3GHZ HT enabled processor with a 17" LCD. On the Mac side, $999 gets you a 1.25 GHz processor and a 17" CRT. Ouch.

Now if Apple could build a 17" flat panel iMac with a 3GHz HT 975 G5 for $1199 then, and only then, could you even begin the process of justifying the extra $200, which half of the consumers would immediately choke on anyway. Now how many of you think we're gonna see an iMac with those specs and price anytime soon? Yeah, thought so.

So here's the point of my argument: Apple knows this. They're not dumb. They flat out know that 95% of consumers are never going to buy an iMac based solely on a lack of perceived hardware parity. That's a terrible situation to be in, but the silver lining is you end up knowing a great deal about the 5% who will buy an iMac. This 5% (mostly, but not all Mac installed base) appreciate the iMac's intangible values: industrial design, ergonomics, integration with the OS and iApps, lack of virii, or just the plain old fact that it looks cool. What's important is this second 5% group thinks the iMac is a bargain at almost twice the price and half the speed of a Wintel, because they value the machine differently.

Now I also recognize that Apple can't go too far with this or risk turning off even that 5%. I also recognize that the current line of iMacs comes dangerously close to doing just this. However, and this is the main point, the new G5 iMacs can only be expected to re-establish the traditional iMac value proposition, NOT to grow marketshare. If Apple makes the specs of the new iMac "too good" in a doomed attempt to grow marketshare, then yeah, they'll sell more of them, but not to switchers. All that will happen is margins will go down, PM sales will go down and marketshare will NOT improve.

Quote:
Since Apple introduced them Macs were always on par with the computers from the other side -- sometimes a little, faster sometimes a little slower, but always in the same performance range.

Not the same perceived performance range. It doesn't matter what the machine can do once they get it home and actually use it. The only thing that matters is what the idiot consumer thinks it can do when it's still sitting on the store shelf. Once the initial fad of the original iMac as internet appliance wore off and Apple simultaneously fell woefully behind in the megahertz race the iMac has gotten murdered at this game. And again, Apple cannot currently build an iMac that will reverse that trend. Stabilize it, yes, stop the bleeding, yes, but not reverse it.

Quote:
Most Mac users know that they are going to spend more on a Mac than they would with a PC, but they don't mind paying for it because they think that they are getting value for their money.

Yeah you're right, Mac users don't mind. PC users do. So again, unless you're gonna hit that 3GHz/$999 combo, it doesn't matter how close you get. Anything in between that magic price point and the highest price the "enlightened 5%" will pay is the worst of both worlds. All a 2.0 GHz $1599 "marketshare" iMac is going to do is destroy margins and cannibalize Power Mac sales, because the only people who are going to buy it are people who would have either bought a more expensive iMac or moved up to a PM anyway.

Quote:
When you sell a "crippled" iMac, many Mac users start feeling ripped off -- not only are they paying more for a Mac, but now it is a lot slower than a PC? That is not a tolerable situation. To a few people the use of a Mac has taken on a religious like statues, and "converting" to a PC would be unthinkable, but for most of us our preference doesn't have religious overtones, and we will switch over to PC if we feel it would be in our best interest.

Apple not only needs to encourage people to switch to the Mac, it desperately needs to hold on to the current Mac users. Anyone who thinks that trying to foster off "crippled" iMacs to the current user base is a good idea, is not thinking things through. Mac users are not easy marks waiting to be fleeced, nor religious fanatics that will flock to Apple no matter what it does. If Apples marketing department thinks we will be happy to buy computers that cost more AND preform less than PCs, then they are way out of touch with reality (and Apple is in big trouble).

As I just said, you're right that Apple has to keep the iMac competitive by Mac standards or risk losing the "enlightened 5%". I fully expect the new iMac line to do just that by putting 1.6-2.0GHz G5s and better graphics cards into roughly the same form factor at roughly the same prices. What I do not expect (and Apple doesn't either) is for these machines to grow marketshare. They will only exist to keep the "enlightened 5%" happy, keep margins nice and high and protect Power Mac sales. The same thing the iMac line has always done.

I know it's a hard pill to swallow and we all sit around saying "why doesn't Apple do something", but the reality is their hands are tied, even after being "rescued" by the G5. The fact that Apple has been able to not only survive, but prosper by selling machines that are perceived as "half the speed at twice the price" is all the proof you need that the current strategy works. Can you imagine Gateway getting away with the same thing? No, didn't think so.
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post #70 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Ensign Pulver
I knew as soon as I described the true nature of Apple's consumer desktop strategy (and the limitations that require it) there would be howls of uninformed protest. Let's take another whack at it, shall we?

-JD
-- "If Apple wasn't so greedy, they would build G6's and give them away!"
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-JD
-- "If Apple wasn't so greedy, they would build G6's and give them away!"
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post #71 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by jginsbu
I see things a little differently: Apple is well aware that many laptops primarily get used around the house, and their out-and-about portability is rarely used. The obvious thing for Apple to do in the long run is build a machine for this market.

I wasn't looking at the long term, because you can't. You have to see where the markets is at any given time, figure out which markets you can best target, figure out how best to target them with the technology available, etc., and all this is notoriously difficult to predict, even over the relatively short time it takes to develop a product. You can map out a long term strategy, but you'd better be willing to drop it or modify it in response to actual data as it comes in.

An iMac redesign will last two, maybe three years. Since present trends indicate that desktops will still be majority sellers for the next two-three years generally - or close enough - the realistic choices are desktops and laptops. Given that, and given that the iMac is a desktop, the question becomes, what makes a consumer desktop PC attractive?

I believe we're a ways from detachable wireless screens. 802.15.3 is a step in the right direction, but LCDs are holding steady pricewise, and the technology to make a compelling tablet - even one that is "tethered" is not there yet. In fact, I don't think Apple will go there. You have to have some computing power locally, so you might as well have enough. Network latency is crippling, and I won't even mention network reliability. Finally, I think the perfect candidate to be this machine is... the iBook. And if you want to borrow some desktop cycles, you can use Rendezvous to your iMac/PowerMac/whatever.

Quote:
But I think it will be a few years before anything like this makes an appearance

Well then, we agree that that's past the lifespan of any putative "new iMac," and so outside the scope of this thread.
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post #72 of 242
Ensign,

I now understand your position and I agree fully. But Apple still has to do better with that product line even for the faithful because the faithful doesn't seem to like it much either. The market that it used to reach is now owned by the eMac. The iMac 2 is a different animal. Whatever strategies worked for its predecessor will not work for it. The iMac 2 is a new computer for a new market requiring a new strategy. I don't think there are enough Mac users to justify and support this new animal in the long run. I don't think the iMac will ever do better than what it is doing right now. The eMac is the original iMac's rightful heir. The iMac 2 is the bastard stepchild of the iMac and the Cube. An Apple product line should do more than serve as a placeholder between the eMac and the PM. Retire it already, and bring us something that will be worthy of the name and the legacy.
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post #73 of 242
<voice of Cartman from southpark>
I WANT A HEADLESS MAC FOR UNDER $1500, GOD_DAMN IT!!!!!!!
</voice of Cartman from southpark>
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post #74 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Ensign Pulver
I knew as soon as I described the true nature of Apple's consumer desktop strategy (and the limitations that require it) there would be howls of uninformed protest. Let's take another whack at it, shall we?
-snip-
Try reading the original post. I never said it was a good strategy, I said it was the best strategy available, given the circumstances. Big difference.

And I disagree, I think it is it is far from the best possible strategy given the current circumstances.
Quote:
Originally posted by Ensign Pulver

I *DO* think a truly competitive iMac would attract switchers, even with a 10-20% Apple Tax. I said precisely that in my original post. The problem is that Apple cannot build such a machine. In fact, they can't even come close. This is exactly what the Mac installed base can't get through their heads: 95% of consumers buy on price and clockspeed ONLY. On the Windows side, $999 gets you a 3GHZ HT enabled processor with a 17" LCD. On the Mac side, $999 gets you a 1.25 GHz processor and a 17" CRT. Ouch.

Exaggerating a little, at Dell it costs about $1300.00 for a P4 HT 3.06GHz w/533MHz FSB, 256MG ram, 80GB Ultra ATA/100 HD, 17"Flat Panel Display, 128MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200. Which still beats the pants off of what you can get from Apple at that price.


Quote:

So here's the point of my argument: Apple knows this. They're not dumb. They flat out know that 95% of consumers are never going to buy an iMac based solely on a lack of perceived hardware parity. That's a terrible situation to be in, but the silver lining is you end up knowing a great deal about the 5% who will buy an iMac. This 5% (mostly, but not all Mac installed base) appreciate the iMac's intangible values: industrial design, ergonomics, integration with the OS and iApps, lack of virii, or just the plain old fact that it looks cool. What's important is this second 5% group thinks the iMac is a bargain at almost twice the price and half the speed of a Wintel, because they value the machine differently.

The problem with this argument is that most Mac users do not think that the "iMac is a bargain at almost twice the price and half the speed of a Wintel," and Apple needs to fix the current state of affairs or it will lose a lot of customers.

Quote:
Now I also recognize that Apple can't go too far with this or risk turning off even that 5%. I also recognize that the current line of iMacs comes dangerously close to doing just this. However, and this is the main point, the new G5 iMacs can only be expected to re-establish the traditional iMac value proposition, NOT to grow marketshare. If Apple makes the specs of the new iMac "too good" in a doomed attempt to grow marketshare, then yeah, they'll sell more of them, but not to switchers. All that will happen is margins will go down, PM sales will go down and marketshare will NOT improve.

As I just said, you're right that Apple has to keep the iMac competitive by Mac standards or risk losing the "enlightened 5%". I fully expect the new iMac line to do just that by putting 1.6-2.0GHz G5s and better graphics cards into roughly the same form factor at roughly the same prices. What I do not expect (and Apple doesn't either) is for these machines to grow marketshare. They will only exist to keep the "enlightened 5%" happy, keep margins nice and high and protect Power Mac sales. The same thing the iMac line has always done.

When the iMac came out it was about as fast as the middle tower. Now it has far less then half the power of the current middle tower. The iMac used to be a viable choice for people who did not need expansion slots -- now it is not. Moving them up to G5s at 1.6-2.0GHz will just not cut it in todays market. Somewhere in the 2.4 - 2.8GHz range would do it.


Quote:

I know it's a hard pill to swallow and we all sit around saying "why doesn't Apple do something", but the reality is their hands are tied, even after being "rescued" by the G5. The fact that Apple has been able to not only survive, but prosper by selling machines that are perceived as "half the speed at twice the price" is all the proof you need that the current strategy works. Can you imagine Gateway getting away with the same thing? No, didn't think so.

Prosper with the current strategy? Lets look at the last 5 years:
Apple's Net profits
1999 - 601 Million.
2000 - 786 Million.
2001 - loss of 37 Million.
2002 - 65 Million.
2003 - 68 Million.

I would not call the above numbers prospering. Apple managed to limp along while forced to sell hardware that that was slower than the competition's -- the slow hardware was not a strategy -- it was all Apple had available at the time.

Selling hardware that is considerably slower than the competition's is not a viable long term strategy, it is a form of corporate suicide. If Apple continued this trend their market share would shrink as long term Mac users became switchers. Apple can get away with selling products that are more expensive, but it cannot survive selling inferier products. I think Apple is quite aware of this, and will come out with faster hardware as soon as the chips become available in large quantities.
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post #75 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Res
...Apple can get away with selling products that are more expensive, but it cannot survive selling inferier products. I think Apple is quite aware of this, and will come out with faster hardware as soon as the chips become available in large quantities.

I agree. The reason for the so-called crippled hardware of the past can be summed up in one word...Motorola. I believe coming new iMacs, at least the top end model will be quite speedy compared to current iMacs; which until last year kept pretty close (in clock speed) to the towers except that they didn't have dual processors.

One could argue that Apple intentionally crippled the iMac since it was only a consumer model. However, they only had so much to work with in the way of processors and the iMac case would not likely be able to handle them in pairs.
post #76 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Res
Exaggerating a little, at Dell it costs about $1300.00 for a P4 HT 3.06GHz w/533MHz FSB, 256MG ram, 80GB Ultra ATA/100 HD, 17"Flat Panel Display, 128MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200. Which still beats the pants off of what you can get from Apple at that price.

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Featured at $1,049


Quote:
Selling hardware that is considerably slower than the competition's is not a viable long term strategy, it is a form of corporate suicide. If Apple continued this trend their market share would shrink as long term Mac users became switchers. Apple can get away with selling products that are more expensive, but it cannot survive selling inferier products. I think Apple is quite aware of this, and will come out with faster hardware as soon as the chips become available in large quantities.

You guys make it sound like Apple is doing this on purpose. Of course they are not and I'm not saying they should, I'm saying they are continuing to do the best they can given the processors they have to work with.

I agree that "selling hardware that is considerably slower than the competition's is not a viable long term strategy" but it's not their long term strategy, it's their (now) short term strategy. Maybe one more year before they can let the dogs loose.

What I'm really trying to get at is this idea that Apple isn't going after marketshare because they don't want to or don't think they have to. Or the idea that if Apple magically made a headless 1.5GHz G4 for $599 switchers would buy it or that a 2.0GHz G5 17" iMac at $1599 would increase marketshare.

What I'm trying to say is that if Apple went after marketshare now, when they're still not ready, then that would be the real corporate suicide. We have to play the waiting game for at least a little while longer, and in the meantime G5 iMacs at current price points is the smart way to go.
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post #77 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Ensign Pulver
...What I'm really trying to get at is this idea that Apple isn't going after marketshare because they don't want to or don't think they have to.

The problem with that statement is that it is exactly opposite to what Fred Andersen was quoted as saying in a quarterly conference call.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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post #78 of 242
I would really like to see the eMac die, and the iMac/eMac folded into one system, detachable swingarm option, thus headless, if that's your fancy. Remember the "chameleon" color changing patent a year or so ago? I think this is a good place for it, again if that's your thing. I would just like to see a cheaper iMac with a G5. All the other specs be damned. This doesn't have to be a wicked-fast machine, like a PowerMac, just a fast machine with some degree of expandability. PCIe for PowerMacs, AGP still for iMac, but with some kind of upgrade path, regarding memory/graphics. Storage can be dealt with externally, so one open card slot and 4 memory slots.

I'm not greedy...
...we have assumed control
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post #79 of 242
Let's be honest a 2ghz G5 iMac with a 20" LCD is going top meet the needs of most people. Throw in a BTO option of a decent HD size i.e. up to 250GB and they will fly again. There are going to be a few people operating at the top end for which this would no be good enough, that is what the PM's are for, but for MOST people they would be ideal.

Adding the pastel options would be fantastic, I can see them appealing to a lot of women who would like to compliment their iPod mini's.

Wll I have my G5 so I am off to get a life; apart from this post...
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Wll I have my G5 so I am off to get a life; apart from this post...
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post #80 of 242
Quote:
Originally posted by Addison

Adding the pastel options would be fantastic, I can see them appealing to a lot of women who would like to compliment their iPod mini's.

May I see that in green, please.
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