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Apple eMac G5 on hold, G4 back in production

post #1 of 77
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Apple Computer has returned its eMac G4 line of computers to production, despite indications earlier this Fall that the company was clearing inventory in favor of manufacturing new models.

Sources close to the computer maker told AppleInsider this month that Apple had anticipated releasing a major revision to the education-centric all-in-one desktop before the end of the year. The new eMac was to include a G5 processor and a significant internal component reorganization.

Instead of making its debut in the latter half of 2004, the eMac G5 was reportedly placed on hold, while eMac G4 production was restarted in order to keep up with demand. At the root of the problem appears to be IBM's PowerPC 970 G5 processor.

Reminiscent of the recent iMac G5 fiasco, yet not nearly as dramatic, sources claim a less than ample supply of G5 processors is to blame for the minor delay. And while the new eMac was to rely on the slowest available G5 processors, currently a 1.6GHz variant, inventory of these chips are being used to reduce demand for Apple's new low-end iMac G5.

This is not the first time a lack of faster PowerPC processors has reportedly slowed the evolution of Apple's eMac. In the Fall of 2003, the dearth of PowerPC G4 processors in excess of 1GHz resulted in October price cuts for the eMac line, rather than faster models.

Last month, sources noted inventory dumps and a decline in orders for eMacs at Apple's manufacturing facility, indicating that new models could be around the corner. According to sources, Apple now plans to introduce an eMac revision in early 2005. Additional details will be published when they become available.
post #2 of 77
well I feel better for letting my sister buy a new emac just last week! I wonder what "early 2005" means though? my brother wants one as well - is it worth holding off until what... february??

if i was apple right now id be kicking some serious ibm butt - just think of where apple would be right now if they could get their ideas into production and out the door without all these delays!

so is the new emac revision to be a g5 but in mid 2005, or a cheaper/beefed up g4 in jan/feb/march 2005?? its not (like all rumours) very clear...
post #3 of 77
I think one of the major problems would be the strong sales of the base model in the G5 iMac range. While I would have expected the mid range model to have been a hot seller with the 1.8 and SuperDrive it appears that a G5 iMac for under $1,200 (educational price) is kicking out the door faster than anticipated. Actually, if you don't need to burn DVDs the 1.6 is very attractive, especially when it gives you more money to max out memory from 3d party vendors.

Another factor is that IBM might be getting better yields in the faster chips, reducing the available supply of the 1.6's.

Let Apple see how things are when the dust settles - they might end up putting in a kick @ss chip from Freescale in for 6 months.
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post #4 of 77
There was a time when IBM was our savior from the evils of Motarola. I guess the white knoght's armor is a bit tarnished about now. ow long until we here some good news, like processor yield was better than expected. It's good Apple only has atiny market share. Could you imagine the problems if they had 5% market share?
post #5 of 77
I don't get the idea of an eMac G5.

Apple's actually going to design a new motherboard and case, and order low end CRTs and keep a different processor in production for a machine they make so little profit on?

Wouldn't it be simpler to debut an iMac with a 15" LCD and put a pane of glass over the LCD to protect it from school kids?
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post #6 of 77
The G5 starts to look more and more like the G4. It is a good thing that the Intel AMDs does not scale up as fast as they did 1999-2000
post #7 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
I don't get the idea of an eMac G5.

Apple's actually going to design a new motherboard and case, and order low end CRTs and keep a different processor in production for a machine they make so little profit on?

Wouldn't it be simpler to debut an iMac with a 15" LCD and put a pane of glass over the LCD to protect it from school kids?

Good idea.
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post #8 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
I don't get the idea of an eMac G5.

Apple's actually going to design a new motherboard and case, and order low end CRTs and keep a different processor in production for a machine they make so little profit on?

Wouldn't it be simpler to debut an iMac with a 15" LCD and put a pane of glass over the LCD to protect it from school kids?

If they can make an iMac with the specs you mention and sell it for the price of the current eMac then yes.

The eMac isn't just for school kids, for many people (myself included) the eMac is the only Apple Computer thats affordable.
post #9 of 77
The problem I see is that Apple is developing a major OS release who's features will not be fully supported on all levels of their current hardware offerings.
post #10 of 77
I don't understand what niche an eMac G5 fills. I had originally thought that they were going to start doing Education iMac G5's, replacing the SATA with IDE and using a combo drive, or a plain CDROM instead of superdrive
post #11 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
Wouldn't it be simpler to debut an iMac with a 15" LCD and put a pane of glass over the LCD to protect it from school kids?

Nice idea, but it would be easier just to invent a pane of glass that can be put on top of the present iMac. A kind of shell maybe.

Quote:
This is not the first time a lack of faster PowerPC processors has reportedly slowed the evolution of Apple's eMac. In the Fall of 2003, the dearth of PowerPC G4 processors in excess of 1GHz resulted in October price cuts for the eMac line, rather than faster models.

I find this rather interesting since im in the alley for powerbooks... Powerbook G5's that is..
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post #12 of 77
Could this new G5-based eMac be Power Mac 9,1 in that plist file?
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post #13 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by DHagan4755
Could this new G5-based eMac be Power Mac 9,1 in that plist file?

Not likely. Models that start with an odd number (like Power Mac 9,1) are usually pro machines.
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post #14 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by macnut222
Not likely. Models that start with an odd number (like Power Mac 9,1) are usually pro machines.

PowerMac9.1@developer.apple.com
post #15 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
I don't get the idea of an eMac G5.

Apple's actually going to design a new motherboard and case, and order low end CRTs and keep a different processor in production for a machine they make so little profit on?

Wouldn't it be simpler to debut an iMac with a 15" LCD and put a pane of glass over the LCD to protect it from school kids?

I agree. This is like re-cannibalization of their products. iMac cannibalize powermac and then emac cannibalize imac? In education market, it is norm now to use LCD, not CRT. Anyhow, I would be tempted to buy emac G5.
post #16 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by luki_PL
PowerMac9.1@developer.apple.com

Thanks for that info. It confirms what I said.
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post #17 of 77
What I find amazing is that IBM chip manufacturing cannot keep up with demand for 2% of the computer market?.

Intel has to supply what 90%?.
post #18 of 77
IBM has been doing pretty well for Apple considering that it is all leading edge technology that even Intel is having problems with - a lot more problems than IBM.

One factor to consider is that the iMac may have been exceeding expectations. Another might be that Apple has been working with IBM in other areas and has given IBM higher priorities than a G5 for the eMac. Like a low power G5 for PBs.

IBM also has other customers for their factory - including themselves - so we really don't know how many chips they are delivering in total. I would say, however, that they are not doing too bad these days.
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post #19 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by kenaustus
IBM has been doing pretty well for Apple considering that it is all leading edge technology that even Intel is having problems with - a lot more problems than IBM.

One factor to consider is that the iMac may have been exceeding expectations. Another might be that Apple has been working with IBM in other areas and has given IBM higher priorities than a G5 for the eMac. Like a low power G5 for PBs.

IBM also has other customers for their factory - including themselves - so we really don't know how many chips they are delivering in total. I would say, however, that they are not doing too bad these days.

Even so, hasapi's point is well taken. The optics of this situation don't look good for IBM.
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post #20 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
Even so, hasapi's point is well taken. The optics of this situation don't look good for IBM.

I too agree that hasapi brought a good point in the discussion. And how much time it remains until IBM decide if their microprocessor business became profitable or not?
post #21 of 77
It's not clear to me that iMac is doing okay. Does anyone here remember what was the first quarter's sales number for imac G4? Sure, iMac sales grew at 60% this quarter, but it's new product and many has held back the purchase of iMac, since August. Apple's performance is very cyclical to the life of products and imac G5 is not an exception.

I would have to know how iMac G4 did when it was first introduced. Before such comparison, it is premature to judge iMac G5's performance. Most of powermac G5's growth in the future is pretty flat according to analyst's forecast.
post #22 of 77
Carson O'Genic had already stated my thinking - too bad if Apple wanted to double its mac business?.

The ipod has been a phenomenal success and on the back of that apple should capitalise on the ability to SHIP great computers.

Hope IBM can sort themselves out and fast! Oh, and BTW Moto ships more than half of apple's unit sales.

I hope SJ could bring some good news come MWSF (other than for stockholders). \
post #23 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by Frank777
I don't get the idea of an eMac G5.

Apple's actually going to design a new motherboard and case, and order low end CRTs and keep a different processor in production for a machine they make so little profit on?

Wouldn't it be simpler to debut an iMac with a 15" LCD and put a pane of glass over the LCD to protect it from school kids?

The idea would be to offer a compelling desktop computer at a good price; something Apple isn't really known for. Apple's market share hasn't grown any recently and I think they need to work on it.

The impression I get is that current 17" iMacs are noisier than their 20" counterparts due to the heat in a smaller case. Somehow I doubt a matching 15" model is possible with current G5 processors; the reason for the PowerBook G5 delay. Even if a 15" G5 iMac was possible it would cost more than a G5 eMac.
post #24 of 77
Then don't make the 15" iMac case any smaller than the 17". Problem solved.
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post #25 of 77
Everyone would whine about the large bezel and it would still be too expensive.
post #26 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by iDave
Everyone would whine about the large bezel and it would still be too expensive.

An unseemly large bezel would keep the eMac in low end territory, giving purchasers with the disposable income a reason to buy the more expensive machines, which is what Apple wants. There's a reason the present eMac is downright ugly.

As for the price, the cheapest iMac is US$1299. If Apple chose a smaller CRT, that probably wouldn't make up the $500. difference, but killing G4 production, and reusing the iMac motherboard and savings on product shipping would produce significant savings as well.

I have no idea how close they could come though.
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post #27 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by dehgenog
I don't understand what niche an eMac G5 fills. I had originally thought that they were going to start doing Education iMac G5's, replacing the SATA with IDE and using a combo drive, or a plain CDROM instead of superdrive

Don't they already have that for EDU? with IDE hard drive in place of the optical drive, which is blanked out and no SATA disk
post #28 of 77
The eMac is actually a very good computer for the market it addresses. Look at all the folks that buy a cheap PC with a CRT to save money - there is a market for the eMac besides education and those that buy an eMac get a better overall computer than those that spend the same money for a PC.

It is sometimes too easy to feel a low end computer would be so much better if only Apple would do this or that. It is not always necessary to have the best there is. WHile I have a nicely loaded G5 20" iMac at home my wife spends as much time (or more) on her 12" iBook and is just as happy with it. She doesn't care that it is "only" a 1.0 G4 or only has a 12" display - she likes sitting up in bed and playing Babble or checking her email. (Actually, I like her iBook as much as I like the 15" PB I have at work!)

I have a feeling that the eMac is going to chug right along as it is for some time, even if a G5 chip replaces the G4. When flat screens get down to the same price as the CRT it may change, but I don't see that happening any time soon.
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post #29 of 77
Considering that there's a hot CRT in the eMac enclosure, I wonder if adding a G5 processor will necessitate louder fans. I hope not.
post #30 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by iDave
Considering that there's a hot CRT in the eMac enclosure, I wonder if adding a G5 processor will necessitate louder fans. I hope not.

The emac will be certainly louder. The emac G4 was louder than the Imac G4, it would be logical to see the same thing with the emac G5.

Now I think that CRT emac will disapeared in the future. The production of CRT screen is slowing down all arond the world, and the prices of LCD scree are decreasing.
We will never see an emac G6 with CRT screen.
post #31 of 77
I love the idea of a G5 eMac and I hope that they don't do away with the CRT screens. They're big, sure, but they's also sturdy as a rock. I have an iBook with a dead pixel that drives me crazy and my 15" LCD screen that I was using suddenly developed bad pixel lines along the right side. I'm now using a 15" CRT screen that I bought in '96 and it works perfectly. I know that I'm now the only one who has had bad luck with LCD screens so the eMac is the only Apple solution left to me. I don't want to get another computer with an LCD screen and get stuck with dead pixels.
post #32 of 77
if apple released a eMac G5 I would sell my iMac G5 1.6 and save some cash
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post #33 of 77
Speculation: The low supply of 970 CPUs is a misdirection. Apple knows that a new eMac revision will cannibalize iMac G5 sales. They are currently having good iMac G5 sales, therefore, they are delaying the eMac revision into Q1 05 to reap the higher profit margins and revenue from iMac sales.

So if Apple releases an eMac G5 in Q1 05, they will also have to update the iMac G5 in Q1 05?
post #34 of 77
That's a good idea too THT. Even though eMac users think it may be shitty to be left off the G5 bus. They still get a great upgrade that will probably be able to offer more being that G4 processors are quite fast, and probably much less expensive than a G5.
It also puts a more distinct separation back into the lines which I always thought was a good idea. The iMac should be fast, The PowerMac should be unstoppable in at least one configuration, and the PowerBook, and iBook should use different processors as well.
I could go on as to what I think the ideal way of selling Macintosh line would look like but, I'll just leave it at that I think eMac users are better off with a really fast, (and cool (cool being colder)) G4 eMac upgrade right now.
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post #35 of 77
Dont quite get the NEED for a G5 eMac?, I think the current G4 is plenty fast.

It just needs to be in the 1.5G mark, to be competitive with the PC price/performance in its class.

Motorola are releasing faster 7448's soon so there's room for the eMac to be appropriately updated beyond the current 7447's, including the possibility of dual cores (8641D) later in 2005.

I would not intro a G5 to eMac if the iMac was <2GHz - but thats just my opinion.
post #36 of 77
Personally I think theyre better off keeping the eMac a G4 and knocking a hundred bucks off the price.
They should definitely change the color, from white to silver or something darker.

Its cheaper to buy a eMac and just buy a third party LCD and attach it to it than buying an iMac.
post #37 of 77
Quote:
Originally posted by imac600mhz
if apple released a eMac G5 I would sell my iMac G5 1.6 and save some cash

you're kidding, right?
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post #38 of 77
Well, if all other specs are equal or comprable, why not?* The eMac's horizontal orientation will certainly assist the performance of its optical drives, which was a complaint made of the iMac G5 when it was launched. If Apple decides to make all its upcoming revisions Tiger-compatible, we could see a 64-megabyte GPU inside. In the longer term, the eMac form-factor could be a great candidate for thin CRTs, making it less undesirable to thin freaks. This C|Net article deals with television sets, but some of the mentioned manufacturers make monitors as well, so who knows.

* That means, of course, that Apple should pull off an iMac G5 revision at about the same time, if it can do so. $1300 machines shouldn't be running at 1.6 gigahertz anyway.
post #39 of 77
Nit: 64 bit, not megabit (1 million bits), and certainly not megabyte.

Although I'm sure there's someone somewhere who could make an argument for 64MB precision FP math... mapping the known universe down to the smallest unit of space-time, perhaps, and leaving several quintillion orders of magnitude of leeway, just in case.
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post #40 of 77
I was actually hoping for a graphics card with 64 megabytes of dedicated memory, if you mean me. But I guess the buyers will somehow deal if Apple gets cheap. I almost bought an eMac with a mere 32 MB of the stuff anyway.

And before someone brings it up once more, what exactly makes the eMac so ugly to you all? It's unwieldy, yes, but what makes it ugly?
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