OK then, let's have a reality check ...
The conference call clearly pointed to availability of IBM's 970FX as the reason for the iMac3's delay. Heat issues were not mentioned. This definitely makes the IA front page story about the iMac3 dubious.
A new design, as rumored by the IA story, with the CPU behind the screen would definitely create heat issues with a G5. It would also mean no 17" Apple display, once the current (I own one) 17" is cleared from the channel.
Sales for the eMac were triple that of the iMac2 for the quarter, even with full availability. 60,000 unit sales for the iMac2. The eMac outsold the towers for the past Quarter. The eMac has one more rev. (1.5 G4) and then, by 2005, it is toast, unless they continue it as an "education" Mac.
So this leads us to speculate on what will be the replacement for the iMac2 in September, and also what will be the entry level Mac going into 2005. A side issue is what display will fill the gap that the current 17" will cause when supplies run out.
Like it or not, the eMac will continue to be the entry level Mac. It's surprising numbers solidify that position. The new iMac3 will NOT hit the $999 "sweet spot". G5 heat issues will prevent it from being plastered on the back of a display, and likely prevent it from being placed in a "pizza box" as well, not without a howling blower inside to cool it. (half an Xserve?).
So what options are left? Some volume is needed to dissipate the G5 heat, We've had a Cube (twice if you count NeXt). We've had the hemisphere (iBoob), and whatever Apple comes up with, it will have to be inexpensive to manufacture and service.
We are all guessing here, and I could be way off "BASE" (get it?) here, but I'm still going with a pyramid shape. You could search up my prediction of this many months ago in this forum, but I'll repeat some of my reasons for this thinking:Cheap to build:
Wrap a piece of flat aluminum around a square base and that's it. No expensive molds (plastic fantastic?) to make. I wonder what the Cube case cost to build, or the iBoob, especially with it's round motherboard. Formed aluminum is very cheap these days (see iPod mini).Easy to service:
The rear facing quadrant (the back) could be a ventilated access panel. The components inside would be stacked in a modular manner with the square mobo (from the next Powerbook) at the bottom, an optical drive would be next, and the hard drive stacked on top of that. Replacing/upgrading either would just be a matter of sliding it out and sliding in the new one.A design that Lasts:
This form factor would be a timeless design statement that might last for decades, with Mr, Ives doing the spiffing, it would be awesome. It could float on hidden legs, providing massive airflow from the "cheese grater" bottom panel, speakers could be downward fireing from the front corners, completely hidden, but very efficient.
It just makes too much sense for Apple to do it before someone else does. Of course that doesn't mean they will, but I for one think they should.
... edit: Oh wait, somebody already has: