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Apple unveils Intel-based MacBook notebooks - Page 9

post #321 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Not when it has a widescreen display, at least 512 MB of RAM, 80 + GB HD, and DVD burner, no.

The $1099 Macbook has a 60GB HD and a Combo drive so it's lower end than that. Coming in with a 1.83Ghz Core Duo is a bargain at the price.

Sure, they could do an even lower end config with a 40GB hard drive and a Celeron-M and that might get them to $999 but is there a point when you can have a Core Duo 1.83 for $100 more?

After that they'd have to use things like the P4-M or a Sempron and design a completely new computer for them. They may as well stick with manufacturing G4s if that's the case.


Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
iSight requires the camera, cable and connector on the MB. Front Row requires the IR receiver assembly, cable and MB connector, and remote control (with battery).

Yes, I do think those things contribute more than $10 to the BOM.

$12? $14? Really, they aren't expensive components. A plastic fixed focal length low res ccd camera like you get in $19 web cams, an IR receiver and a simple remote. They really don't add much to the cost.
post #322 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
From Amazon:

Top Seller:
...


Eh...Top Sellers Computers:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...241318-0059916

#1 MacBook 1.83
#2 MacBook 2.0
#3 MacBook 2.0 Black
#4 Toshiba

Oh heh...MacBook isn't classified as a laptop for some reason...it doesn't show at all in the notebook list.

Kinda negates that whole line of argument when you are #1, #2, and #3...

This also shows that the cheaper MacBooks are cannibalizing MacBookPro sales. Before the MacBook I recall the MBP being #1 and #2 with other notebooks trailing.

As backtomac pointed out the MBP isn't a value machine and likely has better margins than the MacBook since the specs are similar. Even lower end laptops would likely do the same to the MacBook.

Vinea

PS backtomac is it really $800? I remember doing that since I needed a new laptop and the Dell with my discount ended up more than the MBP with my discount.
post #323 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
From Amazon:

Top Seller:

Toshiba Satellite A105-S2716 15.4" Notebook PC (Intel Pentium M Processor 740 (Centrino), 1024 MB RAM, 100 GB Hard Drive, DVD SuperMulti Drive). Price $944.99

Number 4:

Acer Aspire 3004WLCi 15.4" Notebook PC (Mobile AMD Sempron 3100+, 512 MB RAM, 60 GB Hard Drive, CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo Drive). Price $599.99

Apple doesn't even have a 15.4" MacBook model. The cheapest 15.4" Apple laptop you can buy is $1999.

I am not saying that Apple's laptops aren't worth it. They have much better specs than the machines above. But most people aren't buying them. They are buying 15.4" widescreen laptops with less powerful processors. Apple should not ignore this section of the market.

If you looked at those specs, they both have 1280x800 screens and weigh over 6lbs. One has a 1.5hour battery life. Neither have Core Duos. Both have graphics chipsets slower than the MacBook. The Acer is abysmal (A G4 would run rings around it), the Tosh is a rip off and you'd be mad to not spend the $150 extra for a MacBook.

Neither of them run OSX though so the argument is kind of silly.
post #324 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Which one did you get?

If it's the white one, can you post pictures when it arrives?

And that makes me think:

Why are Apple's product photos always so useless? Their machines have all these wonderful little design features and then they completely fail to show said features off on their website. What's that all about?

got white/superdrive upgraded to 100gig hd, and 1 gig mem. will be happy to post, tho pics of the white ones are finally starting to float around.

you're dead on with the product photos. they absolutely stink. was at genius bar today getting my g3/800 repaired, so i got a chance to look at them. black looks nicer in person than i thought it would, it doesn't photograph well. white not as nice as i thought (keyboard slightly grey), but i still like it better than the black.

oh, and the glossy screen didn't bother me nearly as much as i thought it would. and the keyboard's touch is not as much of a disaster as i thought it would be.
post #325 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by vinea

Oh heh...MacBook isn't classified as a laptop for some reason...it doesn't show at all in the notebook list.

Geez...the reason is that its a pre-order...the pre-orders are outselling the Toshibas that can actually ship.

Vinea
post #326 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign


Neither of them run OSX though so the argument is kind of silly.

The real reason the argument is silly is that because the Toshiba isn't the number 1 notebook seller. It's outsold by a machines that Amazon can't even ship yet.

The premise of his argument is flawed.

Note: Mac Mini is #7 and the #1 desktop. So much for the idea that $100 made that much of a difference in mini sales and the spin being placed on the fact it outperformed expectations.

Vinea
post #327 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
It doesn't have to sell a ton better. Look at iPod. Great design, easy intuitive user interface, models in all price points (and competitve with other MP3 players). I believe iPod has 75% of the MP3 player market. The shuffle is offered to give consumers an entry point into iPods. It may not sell the most and certainly isn't the most 'advanced' iPod but it completes the product lineup.



I think the ipod is a perfect example of my point. When it first shipped, it only came in expensive configurations. Many people complained and insisted that it wouldn't sell because it was overpriced, but it did fine. The cheaper models were only added months if not years later after the iPod had already gained a significant market share and apple wanted to expand the market further.

This is exactly the strategy I think they'll take with their computers. Their first wave of sales will come simply from having machines that way outperform the ones they replace.

Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Apple doesn't even have a 15.4" MacBook model. The cheapest 15.4" Apple laptop you can buy is $1999.

And anyone who doesn't want them should just get stuffed and buy a PC?

The 15 you mention is a celeron. Using that would require a completely different motherboard, and that's not going to happen considering that Apple is moving to an entirely new chipset. Don't forget, Apple is starting from scratch, while PC makers can simply sell machines that were higher end a year or two ago as today's budget machine. Apple doesn't have that option, but they increasingly will in the future.

I'm not sure why you're so eager for me to look at that list. There are barely any models less than the MB, and many are even more expensive. And I wouldn't use that list as an indication of market trends in general, considering Apple has 4 models in the top ten.

Products often include extras that not everyone will need. People just need to consider whether they are willing to pay extra for those features, it's a situaton presented by products all the time. "Get stuffed" is a bit theatrical for a product that simply has more bells and whistles included.

Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Even the Yonah based Celeron-M 4xx series ?

I've not seen a socket description for the new Celeron-M but I'd be surprised if it's not the same socket as the Core.

That's a big assumption to make without anything to back it up. Everything I've heard has said that the core is a new socket. If you find information showing this to be wrong, I'd appreciate the correction.
post #328 of 441
The one thing that makes the Amazon example important is the observation that someone who buys a computer from a website is at the very least computer literate and somewhat technical savvy.

Its not very likely the person who will walk into Walmart to buy a computer will be the same person who buys a computer from Amazon.

The computer literate and technical savvy are the market Apple wants to grow, not really so much the people who would be satisfied with a $300 POS from Walmart.
post #329 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by vinea

As backtomac pointed out the MBP isn't a value machine and likely has better margins than the MacBook since the specs are similar. Even lower end laptops would likely do the same to the MacBook.

Vinea

PS backtomac is it really $800? I remember doing that since I needed a new laptop and the Dell with my discount ended up more than the MBP with my discount.

Went to Dell and Apple websites and configured systems.

Dell Inspiron e1505
15.4 in xga screen
2.0 ghz ICD
Win XP Pro
1 GB Ram
100 GB Hard Drive
Wireless and Bluetooth
ATI x1300 video card with 128 MB
3 Year Dell Warranty
Win Office Basic
Price $1819.00

Apple MBP
15.4 in screen
2.0 ghz ICD
1 G B RAM
100 GB Hard Drive
iWork
Applecare
Price $2627.00

One could configure a system higher using xps machine but Dell offers comparable systems much cheaper. Apple needs to get some Merom chips ASPAP or drop prices a bit.
post #330 of 441
Even if Apple has an over all small marketshare. If Apple has a fairly significant portion of the well educated and higher income market, software developers will see this.

The well educated and higher income part of the market will more likely purchase expensive software.
post #331 of 441
These comparisons are impossible.

The Dell has a ATI x1300 while the MBP has an ATI x1600. Is the Dell an inch thick and weigh 5.6 pounds.

The Dell does not have a built in camera, remote control, or iLife equivalent.
post #332 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by TenoBell
These comparisons are impossible.

The Dell has a ATI x1300 while the MBP has an ATI x1600. Is the Dell an inch thick and weigh 5.6 pounds.

The Dell does not have a built in camera, remote control, or iLife equivalent.

The comparison is valid. The question is whether those features(Built in camera, remote, and iLife) worth $800? As far as weight and thickness, I don't know. Yes I know that design is worth something but is all that worth $800? Can't Apple come down a little?
post #333 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by minderbinder
That's a big assumption to make without anything to back it up. Everything I've heard has said that the core is a new socket. If you find information showing this to be wrong, I'd appreciate the correction. [/B]

The Celeron-M 4xx series is based on the Yonah so I'd imagine they also kept the same socket as the Yonah. As I said, I've not seen a socket description of it though so I am just speculating.
post #334 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Does that include Apple's higher-education discounts? In the UK, 3 year warranty (not full Apple Care) is standard (at no extra cost) for higher-education purchasers (makes the MacBooks and MacBook Pros a really sweet deal: can get the 1.83 GHz White with 1 gig of RAM and 3 year warranty for £703.30, or a 2 GHz MBpro with 1 gig RAM for £1,247.84)



Your link doesn't work. I didn't think the 950 was that bad a performer.



What makes you so sure that Apple could fit a dedicated GPU into the MacBook? Have you seen the take-apart photos? It's pretty tight in there. Also, there is the heat factor to take into account. Most reports I've seen state that the MacBook runs really hot as it is.

I think you should just save for longer and get a MacBook Pro.

Hey, thanks for the response. Unfortunately, the prices I quoted were with educational discounts. We do not receive any 3 year coverage without purchasing AppleCare (which on this unit costs 218 Canadian). So I am out of luck. Now about the graphics cards... Those are all integrated chipsets... and the link again is: http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2427

If the link doesn't work, check under the video section and check the archives for May 2005.

Simply looking at the performance differences is startling. What's even more appalling is that Ati's IG 200 chpset that is far older than the GMA 950 and still manages to do quite a bit better...

I don't think heat has anything to do with it. I think Apple got a cheaper rate from Intel.
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post #335 of 441
If you are going to compare hardware you have to take the software out of the equation. I know I know everyone is gonna say MacOS is what makes it special and about iLife. You have to realize that in the Windows world software is such a small cost of the product that it's irrelevant. I remember back when a court ruled that you could get a refund if you didn't want a copy of Windows with a new computer, it came out to like 9 dollars or something. Software is probaby such a low cost for the actual computer hardware I don't think it should be involved in a comparison. Since Apple and other systems run on the same hardware so you can direcly compare them to each other now.

Becuase they are on the same hardware platform you can get a good idea of the cost to build the laptops themselves. The previous Dell comparison is good. With the exception of the graphics card, but lets just assume that to move from a x1300 to an x1600 is a $200 dollar upgrade (unlikey it is that expensive) The rest of the hardware is pretty much the same.

So you have a $600 dollar premium. Alright well what about the Camera and Remote. Lets assume $50 or so for both, again this is probably much more expensive then it really is to make. Sure there is R&D involved but Dell spends alot for R&D on their supply chain operations and how to stream line them.

Then there are the suggestions about form factor and size. We all know the 1 inch thin laptops are great. However they are hot and they have to underclock the video cards to a good degree to get them to operate in that small enclosure. That is simply unacceptable. For more then $2000 dollars on a laptop I expect maximium preformance.

However, I know this comment will just be refuted with, well it doesn't run MacOSX or this or that about iLife becuase many people can see the hardware and how much Apple prices are overly expensive. I don't care about software on either platforms, I just want to discuss the actual hardware differences and cost.
post #336 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger

Becuase they are on the same hardware platform you can get a good idea of the cost to build the laptops themselves. The previous Dell comparison is good. With the exception of the graphics card, but lets just assume that to move from a x1300 to an x1600 is a $200 dollar upgrade (unlikey it is that expensive) The rest of the hardware is pretty much the same.

Actually, the Dell has a lower res screen standard too. 1280x800 on a 15.4" widescreen. The MacBook Pro is higher - 1440x900 IIRC.

Of course you could just compare the Dell to a MacBook and you'll find the MacBook is a couple of hundred cheaper.
post #337 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by macaddict74
Simply looking at the performance differences is startling. What's even more appalling is that Ati's IG 200 chpset that is far older than the GMA 950 and still manages to do quite a bit better...

At 3D gaming, many of which aren't available on MacOSX anyhow.

If 3D gaming is important to you, why even consider a Mac?
post #338 of 441
Quote:
If you are going to compare hardware you have to take the software out of the equation.

I disagree. This is an analysis of total cost. With the Mac you are getting iLife in the total cost of the computer. With the Dell you are not.

If one were to look at the cost of equivalent software for Windows and deduct that from the cost of the Mac, then I could go along with the hardware comparison.

Quote:
The question is whether those features(Built in camera, remote, and iLife) worth $800? As far as weight and thickness, I don't know. Yes I know that design is worth something but is all that worth $800?

To design a thinner lighter laptop with an integrated camera, and integrated remote control costs something.

Is there a premium for the design, yes their is.

If there wasn't Dell would not be able to sell its X-men gaming machine for $10,000.

Quote:
Can't Apple come down a little?

The MacBook.
post #339 of 441
Software Value is subjective from person to person, which is why you cannot include it if you are trying to make a fair comparision. Which is the point I was trying to make looking at a hardware prespective Apple is still overpriced.

I also disagree with the notion that making thin laptops takes alot of R&D, I don't consider underclocking the GPU R&D, whereas they could of used a less powerful GPU to shave costs, for even more margins.
post #340 of 441
The value may be subjective but the cost of development is not. To make and improve iLife costs money.

This the whole reason we have a market system. We have choices. If what Apple sold was not reasonable for the market no one would buy it.

I haven't heard that the x1600 is underclocked to the point that Apple just as well used a lower priced GPU.
post #341 of 441
But that brings on a whole new issue that we have no idea the cost of development for the software, so we still cannot make a fair comparison. We have a good idea the cost of the individual components just based on what Intel and other manufacturers give on their cost charts, so we have something to go by. Since the major costs of the laptop are are the Chipset, Processor, GPU, Screen, Ram, and Hard Drive we can get a pretty good idea of the cost to build. Things like the iSight, MagSafe, the so called "innovative" touchpad, backlite keyboard, we can estimate, but these aren't major features that cost alot of money to make, so they don't factor in nearly as much.

My point still remains however concearning the underclocked card and the heat issues that are seen in the MBPs. Apple's designs are inefficent if you have to underclock your video card (which they don't tell you at the time of purchese, we would of never known if it wasn't for Boot Camp) and the laptop gets so hot it's uncomfortable to use. This is where the design fails. This is no way to spin the graphics issue that makes it look good, it's still deceptive and hurts consumers.
post #342 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by scavanger
If you are going to compare hardware you have to take the software out of the equation.
...
However, I know this comment will just be refuted with, well it doesn't run MacOSX or this or that about iLife becuase many people can see the hardware and how much Apple prices are overly expensive. I don't care about software on either platforms, I just want to discuss the actual hardware differences and cost.

Apple has to pay for the creation and maintainence of OSX. You can certainly take it out of the equation if you like.

But then you're reduced to running FreeBSD and KDE (or whatever distro of linux floats your boat or Windows MCE).

In which case Dells are a much better deal than the MBP.

Of course there is a bit of "so what?" implied in that statement. We could figure out the part cost of a BMW vs Honda* and conclude that the Honda is a better deal. Or perhaps Acrua and Honda might be better.

The Honda represents better value. Um, so what? Neither BMW or Acura is geared toward the value market. That is the price of style and branding.

Vinea

* Yes another car analogy. Suck it up. If you want we can compare Rolex vs Timex or whatever. How about iPods and Zens?
post #343 of 441
In some ways it doesn't matter what it cost to produce. Software is sold for a profit. If someone were to create a Windows iLife equivalent they would sell it for far more than it cost to produce.

At this point MS is making at least a 75% profit from Office.

As far as Apples designs. You cannot have everything. Everyone wants faster more powerful machines. The laws of thermodynamics dictate faster and more powerful will create more heat.

You can place faster and more powerful in a large heavy case with loud fans to deal with heat. Or you can place faster and more powerful in a thin light case that will produce more heat.

You have to have one or the other.
post #344 of 441
Blimey!

It's difficult to argue/reason with people when they are misinterpreting and/or misunderstanding almost everything you are saying.

Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
No, I'm saying that in broad pricing categories there are laptops in the >2K region, around $1K region and the around $500 region.

Rubbish.

There are laptops that cost $499, $599, $699, $799, $899 and $999. It is ridiculous to suggest that those that are looking for a computer under $1000 are only those people looking at the $500 region.

Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
And Apple is a high end manufacturer. You want them to be something else.

Yes, I want them to be High-end and Mid-range, because I think it makes business sense and would benefit the platform.


Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
If it was trivial and had a high ROI I think that Apple would do it. Beating Dell in the pricing game at the volumes you want IS hard or Dell wouldn't be #1.

In the days of the original iMac, Steve Jobs said that he didn't believe in market research, and that Apple doesn't do any. Since he's never said anything about it since, I must assume that that is still the case. They just make whatever Steve thinks people want. I think that Apple are making a mistake, and are addressing only about 20% of the market when they could quite easily address 70% of it instead.


Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
That comment makes no sense. [in response to my comment: Only if "you already own a massive chunk of that market."]

You misunderstood. I meant there's only point trying to create and then dominate new markets, if you already own a massive chunk of the already existent market. In my opinion, Dell already own as much of the traditional PC market as they can. The only way for them to increase unit shipment is to diversify into other markets. On the other hand, I believe that Apple has massive potential for capturing the mid-range of the PC market. However, that can only possibly happen if Apple offer mid-range machines.

Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
Eh...Top Sellers Computers:

#1 MacBook 1.83
#2 MacBook 2.0
#3 MacBook 2.0 Black
#4 Toshiba

Oh heh...MacBook isn't classified as a laptop for some reason...it doesn't show at all in the notebook list.

Kinda negates that whole line of argument when you are #1, #2, and #3...

This also shows that the cheaper MacBooks are cannibalizing MacBookPro sales. Before the MacBook I recall the MBP being #1 and #2 with other notebooks trailing.

You have to account for the fact that Amazon offer great deals on Macs, they are the cheapest place to get them (cheaper than direct from Apple), and savvy Apple users know this. This skews the list. We all know that Apple's laptops do not really outsell PC laptops.

I have assumed that if you take the Apple laptops out of the list, what's left is a good indication of demand for PC laptops. Perhaps I am wrong. But I also look at the machines that the top five PC manufacturers offer in their line-ups to gauge demand.

Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
PS backtomac is it really $800? I remember doing that since I needed a new laptop and the Dell with my discount ended up more than the MBP with my discount.

Dell recently slashed their prices. I hadn't noticed until Backtomac's post. Backtomac's comparison was slightly flawed, though. More on that in another post
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post #345 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
Sure, they could do an even lower end config with a 40GB hard drive and a Celeron-M and that might get them to $999 but is there a point when you can have a Core Duo 1.83 for $100 more?

Give me a break! A Celeron-M and 40 GB HD would take them well below $999.

From Intel's price list: Core Duo processor, 1.83 GHz $294. Celeron-M, 1.73 GHz, $134.

Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
After that they'd have to use things like the P4-M or a Sempron and design a completely new computer for them. They may as well stick with manufacturing G4s if that's the case.

The P4-M outperforms the G4 quite significantly.

Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
$12? $14? Really, they aren't expensive componentsthey really don't add much to the cost.

I reckon it's more like $18 - $20. Yes, it's not much, but it is still something.

Quote:
Originally posted by aegisdesign
If you looked at those specs, they both have 1280x800 screens and weigh over 6lbs. One has a 1.5hour battery life. Neither have Core Duos. Both have graphics chipsets slower than the MacBook. The Acer is abysmal (A G4 would run rings around it), the Tosh is a rip off and you'd be mad to not spend the $150 extra for a MacBook.

If you'd read my post properly, you would have seen that I acknowledged that Apple's laptops are better than these machines, and worth the extra money. But this is the whole point of my argument. Most buyers choose lower specs (not bargain basement, but mid-range instead of high-end) and I don't think it makes sense to ignore that part of the market.
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post #346 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
Went to Dell and Apple websites and configured systems.

Dell Inspiron e1505
15.4 in xga screen
2.0 ghz ICD
Win XP Pro
1 GB Ram
100 GB Hard Drive
Wireless and Bluetooth
ATI x1300 video card with 128 MB
3 Year Dell Warranty
Win Office Basic
Price $1819.00

Apple MBP
15.4 in screen
2.0 ghz ICD
1 G B RAM
100 GB Hard Drive
iWork
Applecare
Price $2627.00

That is a flawed comparison. You have not made the systems comparable. I had a good look around Dell's site, and found that it was very hard to configure something to compare to a stock MacBook Pro. This is the closest I got:

Dell Inspiron E1505
2.0 GHz Core Duo
Windows Media Centre Edition
OS re-installation CDs (come standard with a Mac, but cost $8 with the Dell)
remote control (doesn't come with one as standard)
High-res. screen (Dell don't offer a 1440x900, so this is a 1680x1050)
512 MB RAM (the 1 Gig is a time-limited no-cost extra, it is not part of the standard price)
80 gig HD
DVD burner
802.11 and Bluetooth
128 MB x1300 graphics

Price: $1473

MacBook Pro:
2.0 GHz Core Duo
OS X with Front Row
512 MB RAM
80 gig HD
128 MB x1600 graphics
etc.

$1999

that's a difference of $427. To be honest, I was surprised at this. Dell have recently cut their prices, this E1505 used to be $1889.

MacBook Pro cons:

Lower res. screen
Single layer, slower DVD burner
No modem

MacBook Pro Pros:
Considerably lighter: 5.6 lbs Vs. 6.18 lbs
Considerably smaller: 135.36 Vs. 210.672 cubic inches
Higher capacity battery: 60 Vs. 53 WHr
Faster RAM: 667 Vs. 533 MHz
More powerful graphics: x1600 Vs. x1300
Built-in iSight
MagSafe
Powered Firewire port
Optical audio I/O
Gigabit ethernet
DVI out (Vs. VGA out on the Dell)

The problem we are now faced with is that is is entirely subjective as to whether this significant list of pros (taking account of the cons) is worth the additional $427. For me, it's a no-brainer. We are talking about laptops here, so size and weight are very significant, making the bulk and heaviness of the Dell a deal-breaker. The MacBook Pro is, IMHO easily worth the extra money.

Alternatively, you could have compared the E1505 to the MacBook. In my opinion, this is much better as the hardware is much closer to being the same spec:

Dell E1505
1.83 GHz Core Duo
XP Media Centre Edition
Remote Control
OS re-install CDs
1280x800 res. screen
512 MB RAM on 2 dimms (important for graphics performance with integrated graphics)
60 GB HD
Combo Drive
802.11 and Bluetooth
Integrated Graphics

Price: $1143

MacBook:

1.83 GHz Core Duo
OS X with Front Row
Remote Control
OS re-install CDs
1280x800 res. screen
512 MB RAM on 2 dimms
60 GB HD
Combo Drive
802.11 and Bluetooth
Integrated Graphics

$1099

So, already the MacBook is $44 cheaper.

MacBook cons:

Smaller screen (although, it is the same resolution)
No modem

MacBook pros:
Considerably lighter: 5.2 lbs Vs. 6.18 lbs
Considerably smaller: 123.12 Vs. 210.672 cubic inches
Faster RAM: 667 Vs. 533 MHz
Built-in iSight
MagSafe
Powered Firewire port
Optical audio I/O
Gigabit ethernet
DVI out (Vs. VGA out on the Dell)

The Dell doesn't look so great now, does it?
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post #347 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H

Dell recently slashed their prices. I hadn't noticed until Backtomac's post. Backtomac's comparison was slightly flawed, though. More on that in another post

My comparison may not be perfect but my point is this, Dell offers 90% or more of the features of a MBP for about one third less. Apple is beginning to look uncompettive on price at the high end while not even competing in laptops under 1k. They can do it. They should do it. I think we agree on thse points.
post #348 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
That is a flawed comparison. You have not made the systems comparable. I had a good look around Dell's site, and found that it was very hard to configure something to compare to a stock MacBook Pro. This is the closest I got:

Dell Inspiron E1505
2.0 GHz Core Duo
Windows Media Centre Edition
OS re-installation CDs (come standard with a Mac, but cost $8 with the Dell)
remote control (doesn't come with one as standard)
High-res. screen (Dell don't offer a 1440x900, so this is a 1680x1050)
512 MB RAM (the 1 Gig is a time-limited no-cost extra, it is not part of the standard price)
80 gig HD
DVD burner
802.11 and Bluetooth
128 MB x1300 graphics

Price: $1473

MacBook Pro:
2.0 GHz Core Duo
OS X with Front Row
512 MB RAM
80 gig HD
128 MB x1600 graphics
etc.

$1999

that's a difference of $427. To be honest, I was surprised at this. Dell have recently cut their prices, this E1505 used to be $1889.

MacBook Pro cons:

Lower res. screen
Single layer, slower DVD burner
No modem

MacBook Pro Pros:
Considerably lighter: 5.6 lbs Vs. 6.18 lbs
Considerably smaller: 135.36 Vs. 210.672 cubic inches
Higher capacity battery: 60 Vs. 53 WHr
Faster RAM: 667 Vs. 533 MHz
More powerful graphics: x1600 Vs. x1300
Built-in iSight
MagSafe
Powered Firewire port
Optical audio I/O
Gigabit ethernet
DVI out (Vs. VGA out on the Dell)

The problem we are now faced with is that is is entirely subjective as to whether this significant list of pros (taking account of the cons) is worth the additional $427. For me, it's a no-brainer. We are talking about laptops here, so size and weight are very significant, making the bulk and heaviness of the Dell a deal-breaker. The MacBook Pro is, IMHO easily worth the extra money.

Alternatively, you could have compared the E1505 to the MacBook. In my opinion, this is much better as the hardware is much closer to being the same spec:

Dell E1505
1.83 GHz Core Duo
XP Media Centre Edition
Remote Control
OS re-install CDs
1280x800 res. screen
512 MB RAM on 2 dimms (important for graphics performance with integrated graphics)
60 GB HD
Combo Drive
802.11 and Bluetooth
Integrated Graphics

Price: $1143

MacBook:

1.83 GHz Core Duo
OS X with Front Row
Remote Control
OS re-install CDs
1280x800 res. screen
512 MB RAM on 2 dimms
60 GB HD
Combo Drive
802.11 and Bluetooth
Integrated Graphics

$1099

So, already the MacBook is $44 cheaper.

MacBook cons:

Smaller screen (although, it is the same resolution)
No modem

MacBook pros:
Considerably lighter: 5.2 lbs Vs. 6.18 lbs
Considerably smaller: 123.12 Vs. 210.672 cubic inches
Faster RAM: 667 Vs. 533 MHz
Built-in iSight
MagSafe
Powered Firewire port
Optical audio I/O
Gigabit ethernet
DVI out (Vs. VGA out on the Dell)

The Dell doesn't look so great now, does it?

Apple Macbooks are very competitiv on features and price. I've never said otherwise. The MBPs on the otherhand are not, IMO. As for sub $1000 laptops, Apple has nothing to offer.
post #349 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
My comparison may not be perfect but my point is this, Dell offers 90% or more of the features of a MBP for about one third less. Apple is beginning to look uncompettive on price at the high end while not even competing in laptops under 1k. They can do it. They should do it. I think we agree on thse points.

Indeed, very much so. The problem is, that Apple don't make a laptop that's directly comparable to the higher-end E1505 (it'd be a 15.4" MacBook). Dell don't make a MacBook Pro equivalent, and that's what makes comparison with that model difficult.
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post #350 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
I posted this before, but I think it got lost in the late hour, and between out overly long posts, but it's worth posting again.

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=2397

From XLR8 your mac's front page:

Quote:
Update: Matthew spotted this post earlier today and called from a local Apple store after trying to replicate the problem. He said he used a key to try and flake off the plastic in the same area as the article's photo and could not get any of the finish to flake off. (He said it's molded in a solid color, not painted.) He also said a store employee tried the same test on a 2nd sample and wasn't able to get any finish to flake off either. (BTW - I doubt most Apple store employees are going to let you use a key on the finish of any Macs in the store - but he knew someone there and had shown them this post, so they wanted to nip this in the bud so to speak with tests on some of their MacBooks.)
Perhaps the sample mentioned in that article had a mfg defect, but if anyone else notices the finish flaking on a MacBook, let me know.

Looks like this is a non-issue. (phew)
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post #351 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. H
Blimey!

It's difficult to argue/reason with people when they are misinterpreting and/or misunderstanding almost everything you are saying.

Like when you thought the Toshiba really was the best seller on Amazon...but oh no...its because of Amazon's amazing $100 off the notebook deal that skews the results and makes all the difference in the world.

Or maybe Apple is executing well on a per product basis?

Quote:
Rubbish.

Quite. Apple is executing well. Its a strange time to whine about how terrible they are at business and how they must change their lineup to be successful.

Quote:
There are laptops that cost $499, $599, $699, $799, $899 and $999. It is ridiculous to suggest that those that are looking for a computer under $1000 are only those people looking at the $500 region.

It is not rediculous to suggest that there are different segments of market that cluster around certain price points. You can go up or down a couple hundred dollars and still service these market segments so in essense a $899, $999, $1099 laptop are competing for the same buyers.

Lower end laptops are more price sensitive because $100 is a 20%-25% difference rather than a 10% difference.

Quote:
Yes, I want them to be High-end and Mid-range, because I think it makes business sense and would benefit the platform.

They cover the mid range with the macbook. $1000 is certainly not top end, nor bottom end.

Quote:
In the days of the original iMac, Steve Jobs said that he didn't believe in market research, and that Apple doesn't do any. Since he's never said anything about it since, I must assume that that is still the case. They just make whatever Steve thinks people want. I think that Apple are making a mistake, and are addressing only about 20% of the market when they could quite easily address 70% of it instead.

ROFL, yes, they aren't doing market research and only building things Jobs wants and he's executing SOOOOO poorly that you could do better by ressurecting the Sculley/Spindler strategy of more product variations and lower prices and lower margins to gain share.

Quote:
You misunderstood. I meant there's only point trying to create and then dominate new markets, if you already own a massive chunk of the already existent market. In my opinion, Dell already own as much of the traditional PC market as they can. The only way for them to increase unit shipment is to diversify into other markets. On the other hand, I believe that Apple has massive potential for capturing the mid-range of the PC market. However, that can only possibly happen if Apple offer mid-range machines.

There is only a point to create new markets if you already dominate another one? ROFL.

1) Apple just did that with the MP3 market to a resounding success.
2) They do offer mid-ranged machines.
3) There is no indication that Apple can execute a market share strategy in 2006 any better than they did in 1996. Just because the current execs are competent executing their current strategy doesn't mean that they will be competent executing a very different one that requires a different mindset.

Apple competing with Dell on market share is about as likely as Dell competing with Apple on style and innovation. Michael Dell LIKES his business model. As does Jobs. Both excel at what they do.

Trying to get Dell to Jobs' job or vice versa is a real good way of tanking either company quickly.

Quote:
You have to account for the fact that Amazon offer great deals on Macs, they are the cheapest place to get them (cheaper than direct from Apple), and savvy Apple users know this. This skews the list. We all know that Apple's laptops do not really outsell PC laptops.

ROFL. More likely you misread the Top Seller thing because you clicked directly to notebooks or you never would have brought up Amazon and gleefully pointed out that Toshiba outsold any Apple offerings to support your thesis.

Vinea
post #352 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
Quite. Apple is executing well. Its a strange time to whine about how terrible they are at business and how they must change their lineup to be successful.

Did I say that Apple are terrible at business? No. Did I say they are making mistakes? Yes. They could be even more successful, IMHO.

Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
that you could do better by ressurecting the Sculley/Spindler strategy of more product variations and lower prices and lower margins to gain share.

I believe that Sculley actually took Apple prices artificially high and totally avoided anything below the High-End (in terms of price). Yes, in the "Performa" days, Apple's line up was a mess with a million and one different products that even Apple didn't seem to understand. It is not the strategy I am suggesting and you are repeatedly misinterpreting and twisting what I say.

I am saying that the MacBook line should start at a lower price and have a 15.4" option. That is all.

Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
They cover the mid range with the macbook. $1000 is certainly not top end, nor bottom end.

No, Apple cover some of the Upper Mid-Range with the Macbook. There is no 15.4" option, and there is no option below $1099.

All of Apple's competitors' mid-range laptops either cost less than $1099 or have 15.4" screens. Apple are therefore not addressing the Mid-Range of the market.


Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
There is only a point to create new markets if you already dominate another one?

O.K., I made my point badly. I think it is easier for Apple to enter the mid-range of the PC market than it is for them to forge new markets.

Additionally, it is worth pointing out that there is no evidence at all that Apple is attempting to forge new markets.

Quote:
Originally posted by vinea
More likely you misread the Top Seller thing because you clicked directly to notebooks or you never would have brought up Amazon and gleefully pointed out that Toshiba outsold any Apple offerings to support your thesis.

Oh man, and clicking directly to notebooks when you want to see Amazon's top-selling notebooks is such a dumb thing to do! What an idiot I am!

Are you saying that Apple outsells the PC manufacturers in Amazon's list, overall (i.e., in the market as a whole, not just through Amazon)? If you are, then you are wrong.

I was pointing towards the Amazon best-seller list as an indication of what PC buyers buy. I was not trying to use it to prove PCs outsell Macs, because we already know that.
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post #353 of 441
One point I have not seen raised in all this discussion about shaving bits off the MacBooks (which, for the record, I think are terrific): The simplest reason to stick an iSight into anything that can't run away fast enough is that the iSight is valuable in direct proportion to the total number of iSights out there. It relies on network effects to a degree most other features don't. If Apple softballed it, or kept it as an accessory, it's likely that it would never achieve critical mass.

With iSights everywhere, the odds that you'll be able to video chat with someone are relatively high, and then the feature becomes sought after.

That's a pretty good reason to make it a standard feature on every machine where it could plausibly be pointing at a human face, even if Apple has to eat a little margin to get it done. To the extent that Apple succeeds, there will eventually be pressure on that one holdout friend of yours to get with the program already. (And then, eventually, there will be enough pressure for third parties to jump on board in earnest.)

Apple seems to be coming up with other clever uses for the little bugger, as well, so that when the competition finally comes they can compete on their territory: integration and ease of use.
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post #354 of 441
Amorph. Well ain't you a site for sore eyes buddy. Missed ya during your hiatus.

I agree, with built in iSight the chances that you will have another person with video chat capability increase with each new iSight enabled model. Apple would do well to put them in every monitor they can including the ACDs.

I'm not concerned about security and all that periphery stuff. Most users will welcome the ability to video conference at some point in their computing lives.

I must admit...Photobooth sounded really corny to me but that thing is funner than it looks upon first reflection.
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post #355 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
One point I have not seen raised in all this discussion about shaving bits off the MacBooks (which, for the record, I think are terrific): The simplest reason to stick an iSight into anything that can't run away fast enough is that the iSight is valuable in direct proportion to the total number of iSights out there. It relies on network effects to a degree most other features don't. If Apple softballed it, or kept it as an accessory, it's likely that it would never achieve critical mass.

With iSights everywhere, the odds that you'll be able to video chat with someone are relatively high, and then the feature becomes sought after.

That's a pretty good reason to make it a standard feature on every machine where it could plausibly be pointing at a human face, even if Apple has to eat a little margin to get it done. To the extent that Apple succeeds, there will eventually be pressure on that one holdout friend of yours to get with the program already. (And then, eventually, there will be enough pressure for third parties to jump on board in earnest.)

Apple seems to be coming up with other clever uses for the little bugger, as well, so that when the competition finally comes they can compete on their territory: integration and ease of use.

I'm still concerned about the isuue for schools. They should, at least, haver a version without that, for those times when it won't be allowed.

Let's not forget that several of the high end smart/PDA phones are available without cameras because there are business that won't allow them on the premises. Government as well.

As I mentioned here earlier, cell phones, mp3 players, game machines, etc, are not allowed in NYC schools. The part about cell phones is being fought, but this could cause a problem in some major sales areas.
post #356 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by backtomac
My comparison may not be perfect but my point is this, Dell offers 90% or more of the features of a MBP for about one third less. Apple is beginning to look uncompettive on price at the high end while not even competing in laptops under 1k. They can do it. They should do it. I think we agree on thse points.

90% of the features? If you feel that running the operating system is a 10% feature then that a fine assessment.

Apple spends half a billion dollars on OSX, iLife, h/w design (style wise anyway), and new innovative markets.

Dell spends half a billion dollars on efficiency. No shit they sell Intel boxes cheaper en masse than anyone else. They work damn hard to do so. I have two machines at work and at home. One a Dell and one an Apple.

If all you want to do is boot Windows/Linux or Solaris Dell is the way to go, hands down, no doubt about it. If you want to boot a machine where the manufacturer also makes the OS you'll never be able to price match Dell because they wont be able to put the same emphasis on efficiency.

Not competitive on the high end when you cherry pick which models to compare. We can both cherry pick.

17" MPB, 2GB RAM, 100GB 7200 RPM SATA, Modem, Apple Care, iLife $3497

17" Inspiron 9400, 2 GB RAM, 100GB 7200 RPM SATA, GeForceGo 7800 256MB, Wireless, 100GB 7200 RPM SATA, 8x burner, Corel Album 6, Sonic DigitalMedia and myDVD Plus, SB Audigy, 3 yr limited w/onsite service, BT card. $3607.

$3278 w/ normal 3yr warranty. Knock them both back to 1 yr warranty and you end up with $3148 MPB vs $3208 Inspiron.

The difference is pretty small and you can nitpick which of the 3 yr warranty options are equivalent. That's ignoring iSight, OSX, remote, etc. and that the entertainment suite on the Dell side probably isn't as good as iLife.

The 15" Dell wins hands down. The 17" MPB is competitive. The MacBooks are competitive.

Vinea
post #357 of 441
Thanks, 'murch! Good to be back.

Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
I'm still concerned about the isuue for schools. They should, at least, haver a version without that, for those times when it won't be allowed.

Let's not forget that several of the high end smart/PDA phones are available without cameras because there are business that won't allow them on the premises. Government as well.

As I mentioned here earlier, cell phones, mp3 players, game machines, etc, are not allowed in NYC schools. The part about cell phones is being fought, but this could cause a problem in some major sales areas.

NYC schools are currently being run by control freaks who've never taught a day in their lives, as I understand things. Even if we take them as a given, the major reason that cell phone cameras are a concern is that they're relatively covert. They fit into pockets, and you can snap pictures opportunistically. With a laptop, ehhh, not so much. Not only is it large and obvious and unable to be held up like a camera without looking absurd, but anyone who can see the camera can also see their smiling face on the screen. Since the iSight has a fixed focus, their smiling face will be a big smudge unless they're sitting at the keyboard. So I really don't see an issue. The possibility exists that the MacBook will fall under some blanket ban of everything with a lens in it, but Apple can hardly be expected to plan for outright idiocy.

(For all that, I expect the cell phone ban to be crushed under a wave of wrathful parents who will not be out of touch with their precious babies for a New York minute after 9/11.)

More speculatively, this is Apple's education machine. If there were widespread edu complaints with the iSight, Apple would have heard them. For all that Steve disdains market research, he's learned to listen to educators and listen carefully. The old iBook is still available, at a lower cost and without a camera. The option of an iSight-less edu-only MacBook still exists. Apple has done things like that for education before: the eMac was an entire model intended purely for edu at the outset.
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post #358 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
Thanks, 'murch! Good to be back.



NYC schools are currently being run by control freaks who've never taught a day in their lives, as I understand things. Even if we take them as a given, the major reason that cell phone cameras are a concern is that they're relatively covert. They fit into pockets, and you can snap pictures opportunistically. With a laptop, ehhh, not so much. Not only is it large and obvious and unable to be held up like a camera without looking absurd, but anyone who can see the camera can also see their smiling face on the screen. Since the iSight has a fixed focus, their smiling face will be a big smudge unless they're sitting at the keyboard. So I really don't see an issue. The possibility exists that the MacBook will fall under some blanket ban of everything with a lens in it, but Apple can hardly be expected to plan for outright idiocy.

(For all that, I expect the cell phone ban to be crushed under a wave of wrathful parents who will not be out of touch with their precious babies for a New York minute after 9/11.)

More speculatively, this is Apple's education machine. If there were widespread edu complaints with the iSight, Apple would have heard them. For all that Steve disdains market research, he's learned to listen to educators and listen carefully. The old iBook is still available, at a lower cost and without a camera. The option of an iSight-less edu-only MacBook still exists. Apple has done things like that for education before: the eMac was an entire model intended purely for edu at the outset.

This is Mayor Mike's idea. Not Kleins, though, of course, as Chancellor, he has to go along publicly. It isn't the covert nature so much, as it is the uses. I won't go into the problems here, but a camera on a computer could be a problem because of the official nature of the machine. It is not a personal possession.

Unless you are in a position to make these decisions, then you can't really understand the pressure. The considerations sometimes override what we, not being directly involved, don't truly understand.

And please don't ridicule parents who are concerned, particularly after 9/11, about their children's safety. I am one of those parents, and I take it very seriously. If you live somewhere where you are not a target, then you are out of any meaningful loop. If you are not concerned about your childs safety after what happened, then you (the general you) are not being responsible. My daughters safety is more important to me then my own.
post #359 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by melgross
This is Mayor Mike's idea. Not Kleins, though, of course, as Chancellor, he has to go along publicly. It isn't the covert nature so much, as it is the uses. I won't go into the problems here, but a camera on a computer could be a problem because of the official nature of the machine. It is not a personal possession.

Unless you are in a position to make these decisions, then you can't really understand the pressure. The considerations sometimes override what we, not being directly involved, don't truly understand.

Sometimes, yes, and sometimes it really is nothing more than suits being dense.

At any rate, if there's a significant enough outcry to justify a production run, Apple patches together a camera-free MacBook, sells it through the edu channel only, and everyone's happy.

Quote:
And please don't ridicule parents who are concerned, particularly after 9/11, about their children's safety.

I would like to make it absolutely 100% clear that I am doing no such thing, and I apologize if that was the impression I left. I was using that language to emphasize the extent to which this is an urgent emotional issue which has a good chance of swamping any dry bureaucratic edict, however well-intended. I may be personally removed, but my brother and step-sister and my oldest friend were all there at the time.
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post #360 of 441
Quote:
Originally posted by Amorph
I would like to make it absolutely 100% clear that I am doing no such thing, and I apologize if that was the impression I left. I was using that language to emphasize the extent to which this is an urgent emotional issue which has a good chance of swamping any dry bureaucratic edict, however well-intended. I may be personally removed, but my brother and step-sister and my oldest friend were all there at the time.

Ok, no problem. We enounter this so often that it grates on the nerves.
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