Originally posted by onlooker
@homenow, If there is a price drop it will come towards the very end of the product life cycle.
I'm pretty sure Apple will be using all different processors soon in each model. Chances are more likely Apple will probably keep the speed, and quality of their new computers on par with where it is, and they will not go low cost beyond what they already have unless intel can get newly available processor prices down. Processor speeds, and cores are growing at a rapid rate right now, and if your talking about using old tech, or tech that is remaining stagnant. You could possibly buy a used one after the new versions come out, and update the processor but you'll have other technology disadvantages at that point vs. a new one for a little more. After you figure in the cost of the used one and an updated processor, it's probably cheaper just to get the new one. They are not that much anyway.
You miss my point. In the case of the iMac when it switched to LCD screens the price of the the iMac up and Apple increased the size of the screen as they came down in price. For the consumer a 17" wide screen is a good size, and the 20" is large. I don't think that there is a need to increase the size to 23" for the top end in the market that they are targeting the iMac toward. Since the iMac 17" came out the price of LCD screens, particularly the 17" monitors, have come down considerably. Also wide screen monitors are becoming more available.
In today's ads there is a Viewsonic 20.1" wide-screen monitor on sale for $349 (after rebates), a Xerox 19" windscreen for $199 (after rebates), and a Sony 17" for $199 (after rebates). A year ago these prices were a good $100 higher for similar monitors. There is probably a good $100 that Apple could cut off the price of the iMac based on the reduced parts cost of the LCD monitor alone, and from what I have read the price of LCD panels is expected to continue to drop throughout the rest of the year.
Further Apple could probably find other cost "savings" (smaller HD, Combo Drive, etc) to get a $999 iMac on the market without using "Old" processors, or they could keep the current version with an updated Yonah processor for the entry model to achieve the "sweet spot" of under $1000 while still updating the higher end $1299 and $1699 models to the newer processor. Apple has publicly stated in the past that they would like to get the iMac's price down to this level again and I think that today they can without "crippling" the iMac in terms of prcessor or memory or lowering their "original" profit margin for this model. They definatly have some room to maneuver with the reduced parts price of the LCD alone, and if you take into account the lower prices of other componets such as HD's, Super Drives, wireless networking, BlueTooth, during the same time period I would estimate that this is a realistic "entry" price for the iMac in today's market.
As for the Mac Mini, I would imagine that they will continue using the Yonah at least until the end of the year. They can achieve the $100 price drop for their entry model with the reduced parts cost of the Yonah processor that were expected a month or so ago. This might be a little less realistic than the above iMac scenerio becouse the Mini is alreay pretty bare bones but I would imagine that there is some room for lowering the entry price of the Mini even if it is only $50 on the low end model.