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New Apple eMac in the works

post #1 of 175
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New versions of Apple's educational eMac are reportedly in the pipeline, though their arrival remains a mystery.

Apple Computer is reportedly working to revamp its eMac all-in-one desktop offerings, according to reports from multiple sources.

Rumors that the company may soon refresh the education-based product line are backed by several factors, including a rare leveling of supply and demand, dwindling channel inventory, and a sharp decline in orders for the computers to Apple's overseas manufacturing facilities.

Reliable reports have also indicated that the company plans to introduce a reworked version of an existing desktop computer later this year, coinciding with due revisions to eMacs life cycle. This product, according to sources, has been under development at Apple for nearly 10 months and features slight external and major internal modifications to one of the company's current offerings.

Over the last few weeks, Apple distributors such as Ingram Micro have seen unsolicited inventory dumps of current eMac configurations--a typical occurrence just prior to imminent product announcements from Apple. Additionally, sources claim that arrival estimates for further eMac shipments have jumped into late-October even though no orders appear to be pending.

Exactly when Apple plans to introduce the new models remains an uncertainty, as the company's inventory management practices have sometimes proved to be deceiving.

According to sources, Apple has been developing a redesigned eMac based around a G5 processor and more robust graphics processor, but may still choose to introduce one more incarnation of the eMac G4 due to current cost efficiency and supply concerns associated with the G5.

Apple introduced its present generation of eMacs in May of 2003, but updated the performance of the computers only once in the 18 months that have followed. Last November the company slashed prices across the product line, allowing it to offer a low-end eMac configuration to educational buyers at just shy of (US)$600.
post #2 of 175
Would be great if they could manage to produce an updated eMac at edu institutional pricing of $599 and $649 for individual edu purchases. $699 for all others, but would be hard to do this with a G5 chip. A G4 model at a lower price point would be attractive to some switchers, but only if it was done with a reasonable profit margin.
post #3 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by AppleInsider
Reliable reports have also indicated that the company plans to introduce a reworked version of an existing desktop computer later this year, coinciding with due revisions to eMacs life cycle. This product, according to sources, has been under development at Apple for nearly 10 months and features slight external and major internal modifications to one of the company's current offerings.

What the hell could this be? Could it be a G5 light - err a G5 in a Quicksilver case? or A single G5 in a current Power Mac case? Could it be a iMac G5 in all aluminum trimmings ... read Special edition...read no white plastic??? Intrigue. Mystery. Oh, what could this be?
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post #4 of 175
The eMac is a great product, and CRTs are cheaper than LCDs. I expect the eMac has a long life ahead of it.

What about other products? Lots of people (me included) think Apple needs a headless machine. Some say it should be a cheaper pro machine for people who want to add cards. Some say it should be for gamers. But the BIGGEST market for a new headless is simply to offer the lowest possible entry-price for a Mac. (Don't expect that machine to be a high-end gamer's choice.)

To achieve that lowest price, I think Apple needs to keep a G4 desktop--maybe an eMac, maybe a headless.

After all, if the bottom-end iBook is acceptable to some (my sister loves hers) then the same exact performance in a desktop should cost even less. Especially if you don't add a CRT.

Apple could always sell their own eMac-style CRT for it.
post #5 of 175
What about the current iMac form factor but with a G4?
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post #6 of 175
Apple has a lot of options right now. If the G5 is available in large quantities then it might work for the eMac. If not then there is the Freescale option, IF it is cheaper than a G5.

Personally I do not believe that Apple will deliver a single G5 mini tower this year as the focus will be on existing platforms. There is an opportunity in January for releasing a headless entry level computer, but I believe it would be a lower priority than the eMac and iBook.
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post #7 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
What the hell could this be? Could it be a G5 light - err a G5 in a Quicksilver case? or A single G5 in a current Power Mac case? Could it be a iMac G5 in all aluminum trimmings ... read Special edition...read no white plastic??? Intrigue. Mystery. Oh, what could this be?


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post #8 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by Northgate
What about the current iMac form factor but with a G4?

I don't think Apple would want to dilute their branding of the iMac with a slower processor.

Also, I'd bet that less than 15 or 20% of the cost of a new iMac is related to the G5 processor. Most of it is wrapped up in the LCD.
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post #9 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
What the hell could this be? Could it be a G5 light - err a G5 in a Quicksilver case? or A single G5 in a current Power Mac case?

This was my thought also...

Quote:
Sources expect the company to offer three dual-processor configurations with 2.5GHz, 2GHz, and 1.8GHz PowerPC G5s, as well as an entry-level single-processor 1.8GHz model

Source: ThinkSecret
Waiting for the Power Mac G5 since Oktober 2001
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post #10 of 175
I know many who would buy a headless eMac G5 in a heartbeat, even if they cost the same as existing eMac. Particularly if it has AGP and PCI slots.
post #11 of 175
I doubt that the G5 will cost more than the G4, that would be a retrograde step. No business plan would include the provision of more expensive processors whilst the price of hardware is still falling. Consequently, I see no barrier to a G5 eMac on cost grounds. There are problems with the portables, but introducing a G5 eMac is not going to affect that.

The issue is supply, and product placement. The iMac is a premium product, even with spec parity, I can't see anyone who wants a 17" iMac going for an eMac if they could afford it. The iMac is cool the eMac is functional and schools will love it.
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post #12 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by filburt
I know many who would buy a headless eMac G5 in a heartbeat, even if they cost the same as existing eMac. Particularly if it has AGP and PCI slots.


Given the simple fact that the eMac (and the iMac) DO NOT have AGP *or* PCI slots one could hardly expect a headless eMac or a headless iMac to have them.

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post #13 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by filburt
I know many who would buy a headless eMac G5 in a heartbeat, even if they cost the same as existing eMac. Particularly if it has AGP and PCI slots.

Of course you do, there aren't any other flexible options at the pricepoint. We all know people interested in what you've mentioned..in fact you could swing a dead cat without hitting at least 5 of them.

Apple could easily offer a G5 eMac and it makes sense. The G4 isn't quickening the heartbeat of any buyer out there. Apple could easily bring the eMac in at 1.2 and 1.4Ghz conservatively and engender good will. Then the G4 would simply be the "portable" CPU.

The G4 can't be that cheap anymore now that Apple is basically only using in in less than half their lineup. Economies of scale. 1.2-1.4Gh G5 cpus should be relatively easy to yield. Heat should not be a factor.
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post #14 of 175
Could this new eMac(G5?) be the mysterious Powermac 9,1?
post #15 of 175
I think that is a safe assumption...I was thinking the same thing.
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post #16 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by quagmire
Could this new eMac(G5?) be the mysterious Powermac 9,1?

Not unless Apple suddenly abandons its appoach to even-number consumer (eMac/iMac) numbering for odd-number professional (powermac/cube) numbering. No it would probably be something like PowerMac8,2 (8,1 being the new iMac G5). Alas, nothing exists in 10.3.5, but may show up in 10.3.6.
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post #17 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by Rhumgod
Not unless Apple suddenly abandons its appoach to even-number consumer (eMac/iMac) numbering for odd-number professional (powermac/cube) numbering. No it would probably be something like PowerMac8,2 (8,1 being the new iMac G5). Alas, nothing exists in 10.3.5, but may show up in 10.3.6.

If odd numbers are pro products whats the iMac doing in the odds?


EDIT: Nevermind. I got confused with the ,1.
post #18 of 175
Prior to the introduction of the iMac G5, the eMac and iMac G4 were pretty well matched. Major differences were video (ATI vs. nVidia), screen (CRT vs. LCD) and faster RAM on the iMac. Processor speeds on the eMac were 1.25 GHz while the 15" iMac was actually only 1 GHz, with 1.25 GHz only in the 17" and 20" G5 iMacs.

Based on that, it's completely possibly that Apple could update the eMac to the 1.6 GHz G5 (same as the bottom-end 17" iMac). Video would be the ATI Radeon 9600 or nVidia 5200 with 64 MB of VRAM (both CoreImage compliant), still a CRT screen, and the same RAM as on the iMac.

Even with those specs, it wouldn't compete with the the 1.8 GHz iMacs and the fancy LCD screen, yet it would be an amazing machine if they could keep the prices exactly where they are.

The only issue is having both the PowerBooks and iBooks at G4 still. I don't know if they would be willing to give the eMac a G5 while that is still the case. But here's hoping...
post #19 of 175
I have little doubt that Apple KNOWS a headless would sell, and is working on one. (Maybe it's been awaiting G5 availability.)

But I don't expect it to have upgradable GPU or expansions slots. That will disappoint some who wanted a cheap PowerMac, but it will keep the entry cost as low as possible, and will keep the new headless from out-speccing the iMac. All a headless has to do is offer the lowest entry point for people who can't imagine spending $799 on a computer with a display.

That doesn't mean a new low-end PowerMac (same model with a single CPU) wouldn't also sell. I'm sure it would. But it would be a different product from a bottom-end consumer headless.
post #20 of 175
The new eMac will NOT be a headless unit! Get over it!
post #21 of 175
Anybody remember this ?
post #22 of 175
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't a high end G4 in an eMac run almost as fast as a low end G5? Not only that, but wouldn't the power consumption also be lower, thus needing less fans, paving the way for a simpler design? Maybe: simpler design -> cheaper?

I dunno. My 2 cents.
post #23 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by Liono
Anybody remember this ?

That's pretty cool. Remember the last CRT Professional Monitors apple made? The transparent carbon ones? Not the translucent ones. They were completely clear. Could you imagine an eMac with that plastic and the chameleon effect?! THAT WOULD BE SO RAD!!!!!! So awesome for trippers like myself

 

 

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post #24 of 175
Surely an LCD would make sense for an educational computer. Don't they have lower power demand than a CRT? That would equate to lower running costs which has to be a big issue.
post #25 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by Northgate
What about the current iMac form factor but with a G4?

Won't happen. Think more about iPod form factor and headless G5,
but i assume that - although quite possible and probably under development - would hurt current iMac sales.

best
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post #26 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by Northgate
What about the current iMac form factor but with a G4?

Actually, I could see this happening, and it definitely would be a benefit due to economies of scale. But the plastics would be opaque white plastic like the current eMac and iBook, and wouldn't have the clear layer as in the original iPod and current iMac. Plus no firewire 800 or video out to further differentiate.
post #27 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by Vox Barbara
Won't happen. Think more about iPod form factor and headless G5,
but i assume that - although quite possible and probably under development - would hurt current iMac sales.

best

There's absolutely no way the eMac will be headless. If it is, I'll suck my own... (scratch that). If it is, I'll publicly apologize on these boards. How's that?
post #28 of 175
Where has all this talk of a headless Mac come from? The article clearly states slight external revisions:

"This product, according to sources, has been under development at Apple for nearly 10 months and features slight external and major internal modifications to one of the company's current offerings."
post #29 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by DaveGee
Given the simple fact that the eMac (and the iMac) DO NOT have AGP *or* PCI slots one could hardly expect a headless eMac or a headless iMac to have them.

Damned.. How do you think the eMac shows something on screen? Of course it has a slot for a video-card! And its actually an AGP slot.
Quote:
ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor with AGP 4X support

Quote:
Originally posted by MacMatt
The new eMac will NOT be a headless unit! Get over it!

But mom... I really want it to be a cube G5..
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post #30 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by T'hain Esh Kelch
Damned.. How do you think the eMac shows something on screen? Of course it has a slot for a video-card! And its actually an AGP slot.



Read and learn: http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...expansion.html

Quote:
Does the eMac have PCI slots or expansion bays? - No. The eMac is designed to be simple and inexpensive, and consequently, there is no internal expansion other than AirPort (AirPort Extreme after May 6, 2003) and Bluetooth (after April 13, 2004). If expansion is a top priority, you would likely be better served with a model from the Power Macintosh G4 or Power Macintosh G5 series.

Is the video controller on the eMac upgradable? - No. Like the processor, the video controller is soldered to the motherboard, and cannot be upgraded beyond the pre-installed amount of SDRAM.

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post #31 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by DaveGee


Read and learn: http://www.everymac.com/systems/appl...expansion.html



Dave

Yes, do that! Its soldered to the motherboard, but still in an AGP slot!
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post #32 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by T'hain Esh Kelch
Yes, do that! Its soldered to the motherboard, but still in an AGP slot!

I think the confusion is that you say "slot" when I think you mean "bus". There is no "slot" on the emac; there is no video card to take out and replace (think Powerbook or iBook). The video card that is hard-wired to the motherboard (integrated into the mb, in fact) uses a 4x AGP bus.
post #33 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by Uberspleef
I think the confusion is that you say "slot" when I think you mean "bus". There is no "slot" on the emac; there is no video card to take out and replace (think Powerbook or iBook). The video card that is hard-wired to the motherboard (integrated into the mb, in fact) uses a 4x AGP bus.

Yes I did, oh the english language that we non-native people cant understand..
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post #34 of 175
I don't think the shape of the eMac will change much. I think some of the major changes will be a slot loading drive, and maybe new colors (which would make it look like one of the old iMacs). I hope Apple gives a few details during their Q4 financial results conference call today, like they did with their last conference call when they confirmed the new iMac would be G5 based.
post #35 of 175
I have to say the biggest complaint I have about the current eMac... that DAMN CD ROM DOOR. That is one of apple's worst designs I have ever seen. Its basically like the quicksilver tower doors but 10 times bigger. So when the cd-rom is inserted it makes this large *SLAP* sound. Its not quiet by any means. We work in a fairly large office and my boss can hear it when I use the eMacs cd-rom... Now imagine 30-50 of those in a room with students... playing with the eject button. *SLAP* *SLAP* *SLAP*... if I was a teacher I'd blow my brains out!!

A slot loading optical drive would be very wise for apple. That current design is the worst design, next to the hocky iPuck mouse.

 

 

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post #36 of 175
And no, the eMac design won't change that much.

My guess,

Up processor speed to 1.33ghz and 1.5ghz.
NVidia 5200.
Bump ram to 256 (or do they already come with 256?).
Perhaps come with the eMac stand or have a different stand built in?

Perhaps a different bay door design.

Other than those minor changes I wouldn't expect much.

 

 

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post #37 of 175
well see a...

G5 Powerbook- January I hope

G5 iBook- 2006 I hope

G5 eMac- six months after the Powermac G6 comes out in 2010

it would be the worst manufacturing failure ever if they put a G5 into the eMac when the pro line isnt completely G5 yet... although 2010 is probably unrealistic
post #38 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by ineedag5pbnow
well see a...

G5 Powerbook- January I hope

G5 iBook- 2006 I hope

G5 eMac- six months after the Powermac G6 comes out in 2010

it would be the worst manufacturing failure ever if they put a G5 into the eMac when the pro line isnt completely G5 yet... although 2010 is probably unrealistic

Please understand, that we can not break the law of physics. If the G5 isn't ready for a laptop then it isn't and they are not going to hold back the desktops due to the fact that G5 isn't in the pro laptop yet. Yeah, 2010 is way off IMO. I say around 2007-2008.
post #39 of 175
Quote:
Originally posted by quagmire
Yeah, 2010 is way off IMO. I say around 2007-2008.

I certainly hope there is a eMac replacement by then. Definitely not the iMac though.

 

 

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post #40 of 175
I can't see any eMac updates before christmas being all that significant, more along the lines of keeping it up to date with other systems (1.33-1.5Ghz, increased memory and hard drive, etc...)

It remains their introductory/educational model and they probably won't want to do anything that would significantly increase it's price (a G5 processor or any change to the display) nor would they want to beef it up too much and have eMac sales cut into iMac sales (or iMac profit margins) A little further out, after christmas, when people are not buying as much and looking for post holiday closeout deals (and the iMac has lost a little bit of it's luster now that everybody and their brother got one for Christmas) would be a good time to introduce an eMac G5 (perhaps at MacWorld SF) with a new form factor design.

I do not see Apple holding back an eMac G5 because of the laptops being stuck with G4s. Most users have already decided before they go to the store if they want a desktop or laptop. Or at least they are leaning one way or another and price and screen will probably way more on most users than G4 or G5 if they do not have a solid idea what they want out of a computer.

As for the "headless Mac", just out of due diligence I think Apple would have kept the idea on the back burner, even if they don't plan to release anything.

I cannot see them releasing one at the moment because they already have a system in place for each product level: bargain/low end is the eMac, mid range leading to the higher end they have the iMac G5 and at the upper end they have the PowerMac G5. Anything they introduce would probably just cannibalize another system's sales (and margins), increase Apple's production and support costs and make industry analysts start questioning if Apple might be over-extending themselves and loosing focus.

There is of course the obvious alternative...

Apple might be working on a "headless mac" in the truest sense of the word: a stereo component that combines a Tivo/DVR, AirPort Express, DVD/CD player and a kind of digital shoebox for displaying pictures on your TV in one device.

It would not connect to a normal monitor or let you surf the web and therefore does not pose the danger of cutting into other Mac sales, and it would fit perfectly into what I think is Steve Job's view of computer/television convergance (namely that they don't converge very well, and you end up with a very limited computer, or a TV that's too complex to just relax in front of). Mac OS has some of the technology, but the video-jukebox isn't there yet (think of a video-viewer application which works a lot like the music sharing aspect of iTunes and iPhoto) and Apple might not see the market/technology as mature enough yet.

Wow, that was a significant tangent.
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