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Isn't it time for a plain old Macintosh again? - Page 4

post #121 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea


What evidence do you have that Apple would be more successful deviating from their current strategy of AIO with good margins?

Those who buy Windows computers are not drastically different from Mac users, and currently, a mini tower sells well and the AIO not so well. Why would it be drastically different in the Mac world of computers? Of course the only way Apple will ever find out for sure how well a Mac mini tower would sell is to introduce one to the product line.


Quote:

Why would they wish to improve low end desktop sales with small margins at the expense of higher margin iMac and Minis?

You are assuming something about profit margins. There is no reason that a mini tower must sell at a low margin. Pricing is up to Apple, not the customer. If the mini tower does not sell well enough at a reasonable profit, drop it. If a mini tower causes iMac sales to plummet, then drop the iMac. We can't have untouchable favorites if we want to operate a successful business, can we?

Jerry
post #122 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

Pricing is up to Apple, not the customer.

Pricing is up to a market, which is largely controlled by competitors and potential customers. Pricing is not up to the vendor. They could price high but wouldn't sell, or price low but go bankrupt.
post #123 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

Those who buy Windows computers are not drastically different from Mac users, and currently, a mini tower sells well and the AIO not so well. Why would it be drastically different in the Mac world of computers? Of course the only way Apple will ever find out for sure how well a Mac mini tower would sell is to introduce one to the product line.

There have been two (sorta)...the cube (a super small mini tower that was overpriced) and the last 1.8G5 tower that was effectively an iMac in a Powermac case. Both discontinued.

Quote:
You are assuming something about profit margins. There is no reason that a mini tower must sell at a low margin. Pricing is up to Apple, not the customer. If the mini tower does not sell well enough at a reasonable profit, drop it.

Evidently it didn't and they did. Perhaps they will try again later. But certainly it will not be their doom if they do not.

Quote:
If a mini tower causes iMac sales to plummet, then drop the iMac. We can't have untouchable favorites if we want to operate a successful business, can we?

Yes we can. Jobs has a specific vision for computing and seems to have a fetish for AIOs. Apple IS a successful business. It has a bigger market cap than Dell which does sell the machines you are begging for.

Have you done so much better that you continue to pretend that Apple isn't a successful business?

Vinea
post #124 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea


That's not saying there might not be a $1700-$1800 conroe Mac Pro in the future at the low end of the pro series but that's not quite the same as the mid-range Mac you spoke of earlier that spanned the $1000-$2000 range.


This kind of thinking would make the Mac less competitive. If we take the Mac Pro and remove one processor chip and make the other a less costly chip, sure, you can reduce the price tag. But it will still have some of the cost of a Mac Pro built in. The case accommodates two optical drive, and can take four HDDs, and the power supply is much more stout than it needs to be. So the price can never be as low as a mini tower.

Also, a "low cost" Mac Pro would still be big, much bigger than it needs to be. A mini tower makes more sense for a low cost workstation or professional Mac, one that does not need the computing power of a Mac Pro.
post #125 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

Pricing is up to a market, which is largely controlled by competitors and potential customers. Pricing is not up to the vendor. They could price high but wouldn't sell, or price low but go bankrupt.

You are taking it a little out of context. Apple sets the price. There has been a tacit assumption that just because some Windows vendors sell mini towers at an extremely low margin that Apple must do the same. Apple does not need to play this game and a profitable Mac mini tower should sell well and be differentiated from its Windows counterparts.
post #126 of 1658
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat

Dell's computers in that price range use integrated graphics... so the only things you can upgrade are the processor, hard drive, and RAM... oh wait, you can do that with the faster Mac mini for a lot less money.

I suggest you go take another look at the Dell XPS 400. That pretty much represents the type of system being proposed. No, it doesn't use integrated graphics. It has a good array of graphics cards. It also falls into the price range being proposed. No one is suggesting Apple market the equivalent of a Dimension B110 (that's the Mac Mini's job) nor are we asking for anything to compete with the Dimension E310 or E510 (a role filled perfectly by the iMac models). We don't need anything to match an XPS 700 (if they ever ship one...) or the Dell workstations as the Mac Pro (admittedly the best rig ever at any price) rips Dell a new one at that level. What is being proposed is that mid-range mix of power/expandability/affordability represented by the XPS 400.
post #127 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

You are taking it a little out of context. Apple sets the price. There has been a tacit assumption that just because some Windows vendors sell mini towers at an extremely low margin that Apple must do the same.

Yes, they must, in order to stay competitive.
post #128 of 1658
Depends on your definition of "plain old Mac" - the typical Mac has always been an all-in-one. That form factor has always been the most popular with the majority of users. High-end graphics professionals have preferred the "headless" Mac because they could choose a monitor that fit their work.

I hasten to add that the height of the "headless" Mac period, the early to mid- 90's, wasn't the best of times for Apple. Macs didn't sell worth a darn then, so historically, I don't see much incentive for a midrange Mac in a tower case.

Of course, the G4 Cube didn't sell worth a darn either, and who would have thought it would be re-incarnated as the Mac Mini?

Jobs has an issue with Cubes, I think. From the NeXT to the G4, to the glass cube in NY's Apple Store. What is the deal? I'm waiting for him to take his cubism to the next level and offer a "Picasso" Mac that has a monitor at a 90 degree left angle to the keyboard...
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post #129 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea

There have been two (sorta)...the cube (a super small mini tower that was overpriced) and the last 1.8G5 tower that was effectively an iMac in a Powermac case. Both discontinued.

Vinea

I'm just quoting this to get back to your response to me that the hole in Apple's price structure begins and ends with the low end, poorly received G5 tower.

I'm sure you remember that from 1999 until the intro of that G5 tower Apple was making G4 towers, for which the entry level price never rose above $1699 and at times sat at $1499.

Was Apple foolish to offer that kind of pricing for the last six years? Again, what is so different now that "it makes no sense" for Apple to make a base model tower? Why is it now that Apple's business model makes it absolutely imperative that they move the buy-in price of its pro tower line upwards by 15 to 20 percent?

Many of your arguments are very well made and fairly persuasive, but they still don't account for the recent past.
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post #130 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea


. . . Yes we can. Jobs has a specific vision for computing and seems to have a fetish for AIOs. Apple IS a successful business. It has a bigger market cap than Dell which does sell the machines you are begging for.

A few misconceptions in those two sentences. I never said Apple is not a successful company. I would not own stock in it if I believed it was not going to be successful. But Apple is not successful in all they do. They could do a lot better in the desktop market IMHO. I believe the new Mac Pro will do well, but also believe they need a mini tower. You just happen to disagree with me.

I base my view on what is selling in the Windows market. Where do you think an increased market share for Macs will come from. Obviously from Windows users converting to a Mac. What do Windows users buy? AIOs? No! Windows users buy many mini towers. Steve's "fetish" for the AIO may have influenced Mac users, and many of these folks now own an iMac.

Where is the next wave of iMac sales going to come from? If Windows users reject the AIO in the Windows world, why would they suddenly buy them as a Mac? (Well they might if they are desperate enough to switch.)

Last of all, why do you say I'm begging for a machine like the ones Dell sells? That's not true and I felt your remark was a bit unkind. If you are curious, I have three PowerMacs. I happen to dislike the AIO and make do without one.
post #131 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

I base my view on what is selling in the Windows market.

LFTFY!

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

I base my view on what I believe is selling in the Windows market.

There, better.
post #132 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyastronaut

First understand that, in Apple's view of things, "prosumers" don't exist. Either you are a regular Joe who needs a computer that's easy to use, edit your videos from your last vacation, etc. (iMac) or you're a professional who needs expandability, PCI slots, extra hard drives and whatnot (Mac Pro). Prosumers are just geeks who want great high end tech at low prices. Not happening, remember this is Apple.

Again, PCI slots and extra hard drive bays are not high end tech. A cheap crap $350 Dell has PCI slots and hard drive bays. A 12 year old Power Mac 7100/66 that you could probably get for $10 at a garage sale has PCI slots and hard drive bays. That ain't high-end tech.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_Apple

I never said it was, I only stated that someone wanted this new "Mac" to cost $800, I guess you should read abit more before you post

This is ironic, considering...

Quote:
Yes I understand your point and I do agree I would love if Apple did realease one, but to compare it to a $350 Dell that offers old pentiums, about 256 MB of Ram, Intel Inetgrated Graphics and a crt moniter is just insane... and before you ask my GF and her best friend recieve those little catalogues from Dell so I know what they offer.

I never did compare the Mac Pro to a $350 Dell. That would indeed be insane. I simply pointed out that PCI slots and hard drive bays can be found on a $350 Dell, and that therefore they are not high-end tech. Of course, comparing a quad-core Xeon workstation to a single Celeron-based machine would just be stupid. But I didn't do that, which you might have noticed if you would read a bit more before you post.

Quote:
No it doesn't all these boxes (or atleast 90%+ ) have intel integrated graphics, that right there kill any and all expandability

No it doesn't. You can still add a second hard drive or a PCI card, which can do many things, such as upgrade to new I/O standards so you don't get screwed like the people who bought USB 1.1-only Macs and then got screwed by the iPod dropping FireWire only 2 years later. Integrated graphics don't hinder these two things at all. In fact, they don't hinder upgrading the graphics card either, since you can add one via the PCI slot. Heck, if it's PCI-E, you can even add a good graphics card.

Quote:
Not true when it comes to Notebooks it's quite good in my opinion (thats why Apple has a 12% market share here) and should get better if rumors are true and in the Desktop market it's really good because theres the Mac mini which is perfect for pretty much everyone, there the Mac Pro which covers the Pro market and the iMac covers another part of the home market.

I specifically pointed out that the notebook market is good, because that is a market where expandability doesn't matter as much. You would have noticed that if you would read a bit more before you post. I'm specifically referring to the desktop market, of course, which for Apple hasn't sold that well for a long time.

Quote:
So ya while I agree one more Desktop "might" be needed, but saying that Apples line sucks for "everyone" because you don't have a computer YOU and a few others want is a bit childish.

Uh, I didn't say it sucks for "everyone". My exact words were "The point is that for a large segment of the userbase, pretty much all the options currently suck for them on the Mac platform." The word "everyone" is not in there, but rather "a large segment of the userbase" - i.e. desktop users that expect expandability - which you would have noticed if you would read even the text that you're quoting before you post.

Besides, I'm not even in the desktop market. Hell, I have an iMac, and my next purchase will probably be a laptop. So saying that it's a computer that I would want is inaccurate, but the thing is that I have a few brain cells, which enable me to realize that the desktop market is still sizable and that Apple would be better off if they could capture some of it, which means providing solutions that many desktop users need.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat

What you are looking for, a customizable tower with a shitty processor, is niche, because anyone interested in performance will just go for the Mac Pro.

Whereas anyone interested in expandability and doesn't need absolute kick-ass top-of-the-line performance will go for the customizable tower. And I don't know what your definition of "shitty" is, but if it's "anything less than a huge ultimate mega monster quad-core Xeon beast", well then, I guess you think that Conroe and Merom are shitty, not to mention Yonah. I guess that means the iMac and the entire laptop line are shitty too. Hell, let's discontinue Apple's entire lineup except for the Mac Pro, because people surely wouldn't want a shitty machine like the MacBook Pro or the iMac.

There's nothing more niche than a quad-core Xeon monster with superfast RAM and top-of-the-line everything. Who needs that much power? Very few.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gregmightdothat

Dell's computers in that price range use integrated graphics... so the only things you can upgrade are the processor, hard drive, and RAM... oh wait, you can do that with the faster Mac mini for a lot less money.

Integrated graphics don't magically make PCI slots not work. They also don't magically make it impossible to fit a second hard drive or optical drive into those empty bays. None of these things can be done with a Mac mini, but they can all be done on pretty much any desktop machine over in PC land.
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post #133 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

Yes, they must, in order to stay competitive.

So, Apple need to be price competitive with the rest of the market, but they don't need a headless Mac below $2100? Yeah, right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

There, better.

Are you seriously denying that the vast majority of Windows desktop machines cost significantly below $2100? You need to go and check out the offerings of Dell, HP, Gateway, and Acer, and you will instantly see that you are completely wrong.

Vinea:

You say many times that "Apple is executing well". Indeed, overall, Apple are doing very well. But apart from the last 12 months or so, Apple have lost market share every single year since 1996. Apple are executing well when it comes to iPods, iTunes and portables. But in the desktop space, I absolutely reject the notion that Apple is "executing well". There is a massive, gaping whole in their lineup which serves to totally ignore the market's most popular desktop configuration, and that doesn't make any business sense at all.

You point out that the cube and low-end G5 tower were both failures. That is because they were both rip-offs and were not actually anything like the $999 tower I propose. The cube was underpowered, not expandable enough and severely over-priced, the low-end G5 was also too expensive. That casework was major overkill for its specification, Apple lacked the vision for creating a true mid-range desktop, and also lacked the necessary diversity of chips. That lack of chip diversity has now changed.

Why do you and others continually make the assumption that a computer with the following specs.:

1.86 GHz E6300 Conroe processor
512 MB RAM
160 GB HDD
Draw-loading Combo Drive
ATI-X1600
2 PCI-e slots
2 HDD slots
1 optical drive bay

In a "tower" will necessarily have a "boring", "inelegant" or "meh" appearance? I would fully expect any such "mini tower" to have the touch of Apple class.

Finally, is it a risk to introduce this tower? Yes, because if all it did was cannibalise sales of iMacs (and people bought monitors elsewhere) and Mac Pros, and didn't bring any new customers, that would be bad.

However, risk is a necessary part of business. If you don't take any risks, you will get nowhere fast and I believe it is time that Apple took some risks in order to deliver a significant increase in desktop market share.
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post #134 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

Are you seriously denying that the vast majority of Windows desktop machines cost significantly below $2100?

I said nothing of the sort.
post #135 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

I said nothing of the sort.

Oh really? So what was the purpose of post #131?

Someone stated that they were basing the demand for a cheaper tower from Apple based on what sells in the Windows segment.

You quoted him and changed it to "what I believe sells in the Windows segment", implying that that is what he should have said, and that you thought the contention inaccurate. In addition, that isn't the only post where you have implied that you think that an inexpensive tower is only a small percentage of the market.

Inexpensive towers are the vast majority of the computer desktop market.
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post #136 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesS

Again, PCI slots and extra hard drive bays are not high end tech. A cheap crap $350 Dell has PCI slots and hard drive bays. A 12 year old Power Mac 7100/66 that you could probably get for $10 at a garage sale has PCI slots and hard drive bays. That ain't high-end tech.

Not a very good example. Is it?

1994 was a different time in which the computer you mentioned costed more than a... current Mac Pro. (very good)
Windows was embryotic at best.

The 7100/66 had no PCI slots whatsoever.
It came with 3 NuBus slots.
It had a SCSI harddrive.
Both were quite expensive upgrade options.

Anyway,
I agree that Apple should make a cheaper mildly upgradable whinner proof desktop computer.

A $1.499 - $1,699 Mac Pro light with a Conroe chip will do.
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post #137 of 1658
Vinea

Much of what you say is true. However, most of is in direct contention with what Apple executives have said in press releases and quarterly conference calls about increasing market share.

Protecting margins, cannibalization, offering what Apple thinks the consumer needs rather than what the want, all inhibit market share. By offering a modestly expandable mid to upper end consumer tower/SFF shouldn't threaten Apple's long term profits.

If you consider that Apple's laptops are now more than 50% of their sales and have garnered 12% of the retail market, I suspect the desktop sales are not very good, since Apple's overall US market share has only increased modestly(re: from 4.6% to 4.8% I think ????).

Apple is currently in a good position to gain market share. PR from the iPod, long delays in Longhorn/Vista, fourth version of OS X(soon to be fifth), iLife software appealing to the home user, switch to x-86, virtualization, boot-camp, general frustration among consumers with malware & Microsoft.

If Apple offers a profitable computer model that appeals to the vast majority of consumers, will they zoom to 50% market share -no. But they might double their market share and capture a significant portion of the profitable market that Dell needs to subsidize their low end boxes.
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Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
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post #138 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H


. . . Finally, is it a risk to introduce this tower? Yes, because if all it did was cannibalise sales of iMacs (and people bought monitors elsewhere) and Mac Pros, and didn't bring any new customers, that would be bad.

However, risk is a necessary part of business. If you don't take any risks, you will get nowhere fast and I believe it is time that Apple took some risks in order to deliver a significant increase in desktop market share.


Hi, I've agreed with just about everything you've been posting, but here I think you are being too pessimistic about risk. In the past, Apple has introduced products at one price and later dropped the price modestly, for example the introduction of the G5 PowerMac. I see no reason Apple could not do the same with a mini tower, if Apple has concerns about impact on other products.

The introductory price could be high enough so that it make no difference if it hurts iMac and Mac Pro sales. If it turns out to be a loser, which I seriously doubt, it can be dropped like the cube.

Apple should price a mini tower high enough so that the iMac remains a better deal than a comparable mini tower with a third party monitor, also of comparable quality. The iMac should in fact have better specifications than the lowest end mini tower, which could sell for less.

Another way to look at the desktop product lineup would be that the iMac hits the maximum demand spot, and the mini tower, with built-to-order options, covers a range from below this spot to far above it.
post #139 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea

And a $1700 conroe mac tower changes that equation how?

The examples thus far have been cheap $350-$600 Dell towers. You guys argue for the $1700 tower but what you really want is that tower to be a heck of a lot closer to $999.

How many folks that can afford a $1700 mac tower can't afford another $400 and get quad core goodness? That last $400 buys a lot of future proofing. And $1700 IS workstation pricing today. The base Dell 690 is $1729. Desktop pricing is $800 less. XPS 400 is $890.

Tell me people wont be whining to the moon if there was a $1700 Conroe mac tower when the equivalent Dell conroe tower is $900.

At best we might get a cube. There's no way that Apple is putting out a $900 tower that will kill iMac sales. There's no way a $1700 conroe workstation will fly when a quad core woodcrest workstation is $400 more.

I'd love a Conroe cube with 1 slot, a 3.5" HD, 4 DIMM slots @ maybe $1500 but I sure don't expect one. The Mac family is complete.

Vinea


Wheeee! What a flame fest we have going on! This is more fun than a party at The Rib Shack on the Fourth of July! <dons asbestos underpants>

Ok, only got to page 3 (out of 4) of the thread and finally found a post I had to qoute.

There are three very simply solutions to this whole debate:

1: Apple institutes a new Build-to-Order program called YourMac. They allow you to choose your processor, bus speed, memory type and quantity, number of USB, Firewire, ADB, Serial, Parallel and MIDI ports, number of Hard Drive bays, number and size of hard drive, Raid configuration or no, Number and type of optical drives, number of PCIe slots, number and type of PCIe16x slots,Power Supply size, Chasis material, Chasis size, cooling solution, professional artwork for your case (the artist will fly out to your place to confer with you to ensure 100% satisfaction) Display size and whether or not it is integrated, and finally the quantity of pixie dust you'd like to have dispersed into your computer room each hour (the power supply will double as the dispersion device). Then they will stop everything else they are doing, get all their engineers togeather for a giant weekend Beer/Chips/Design party, and build your motherboard and all other components from scratch. If your chosen processor does not yet exist, Steve will use his Reality Distortion Field to coerce Intel (or AMD, if you choose) to also drop everything and build your invincible processor from scratch. This will all be completed by the end of the weekend. Apple will then fly your new YourMac out to you on a specially recommissioned Concord, and pick you up for a tour around the globe at Mach 8 (Steve's the pilot, so he can use his Reality Distortion Field here too) while The Woz teaches you all about your new YourMac, including the facinatingly inticate details of how to play Beethovan's 9th using only the read/write heads on your 800TB RAID4 array. After your tour is complete, Apple will drop you back off at your home and set up your new YourMac, and get you running (that 3 ton tip of Khufu's Pyramid in Giza that Steve and Steve bought for you has to be shipped by boat, so it will come in a few weeks), and you live happily ever after. All for only $1899!

2) You go out to your local University and enroll as a freshman in the Computer Engineering program. Four years later, you graduate, design your own MoBo, including all proprietary parts from a current Mac (so the os will run, of course) and print it out using copper plated breadboard, a laser printer and transparencies. The buy a bunch of 3rd party pc hardware and build your own fully customized CrackMac.

3) You go out to your local University and enroll as a freshman in the Computer Science program. Four years later, you graduate, grab a copy of the current MacOS, spend 30 minutes looking around in it's guts, edit three lines of text, and boot it on your brand new custom configured Dell.

Oh, almost forgot,

4) Go buy a PC and run windows. It's gonna look just like MacOS in a few years anyway.



ok. On a serious note, I myself have a strong desire for an expandable machine, whether it be a desktop or a laptop. Personally, I would go with a MacPro, simply because I love having a demonically fast computer. The reason I want an EXPANDABLE box though, is that I don't want to get a year or two down the road, and see that brand spankin new game, or CAD program, or whatever on the shelf at the local computer store, buy it, and get home only to realize that it runs like carp on my computer. And, yes, I do mean carp. I think people like to be able to spend $300 on a new video card and bring their old computer up to 80-90% of what a new one can do, rather than having to go out and get a whole new box. You DO buy a new monitor every time you get a new iMac. If, because of your lifestyle, you don't have a use for an old computer when you get a new one, then that essentially becomes a waste of money (unless you can find a sucker to buy it from you. ;-D)

I suspect that this sense of economy is where the headless mac (btw, why the heck is it called headless??????) idea is comming from. True: if an iMac can't do it, you probably NEED a MacPro (no, I didn't say that first). However, if your iMac CAN do it now, but in two years it won't be able to anymore due to feature creap, needing to do different things in general, etc, then if you have an iMac, you may very well be foreced to fork over the cost of a new puter. iMacs are for those who know what they are going to be doing, and are going to be doing it for quite a while without much change. (also for those who HATE hassel). MacPro is for those who have a wide variety of things to do and need a lot of power, and whose tasks will likely change in the future. The headless Mac is the phantom that fills the void of those who don't really need a lot of power, but whose computing habbits change often (so, you're setting up a home audio studo next week? What happened to that CNC set up you had? Oh, that was LAST week. I see. So the Photo lab with 64" large format printer is next month then?)

We live, unfortunately, in a world of tradeoffs. That's particularly irritating to me because I tend to be an idealist, but I've had to accept it, and simply figure out exactly what my needs are, and then pick the best solution available at the time. If a better one gets released next week, then I go cry in the bathroom for a few minutes (ok, not really) then suck it up and drive on. Like the time I bought the G3 Wallstreet and had to get the USB cardbus adapter... then the bronze keyboard version with built in USB came out the week later. oops.

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post #140 of 1658
I don't know for sure, but from what I have gathered from watching Apple news over the years the Towers have always had a higher profit margin than the iMac, which is looked at as a higher volume consumer product.

Historically lower end towers have sold at a lower volume than the mid range towers. If I am correct, and I'm not saying that I am, then based on this a computer in the traditional price range of the low end PowerMac of $1499-1699 (which briefly hit $1299 before the final phasing out of computers capable of booting into OS 9, and as high as $1999) would not necessarily have a great impact on the iMac market, and if it did take iMac sales then Apple would make a greater profit than on a similarly priced iMac. If such a computer were able to attract were more new Mac purchases than Apple is currently attracting then this would not be such a bad thing.
post #141 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

Hi, I've agreed with just about everything you've been posting, but here I think you are being too pessimistic about risk. In the past, Apple has introduced products at one price and later dropped the price modestly, for example the introduction of the G5 PowerMac. I see no reason Apple could not do the same with a mini tower, if Apple has concerns about impact on other products.

The introductory price could be high enough so that it make no difference if it hurts iMac and Mac Pro sales. If it turns out to be a loser, which I seriously doubt, it can be dropped like the cube.

Apple should price a mini tower high enough so that the iMac remains a better deal than a comparable mini tower with a third party monitor, also of comparable quality. The iMac should in fact have better specifications than the lowest end mini tower, which could sell for less.

Another way to look at the desktop product lineup would be that the iMac hits the maximum demand spot, and the mini tower, with built-to-order options, covers a range from below this spot to far above it.

It wouldn't compete against the iMac because they are for two completely different types of customers. Think of a Conroe Mac Pro as Apple's answer to the Dell XPS400.
post #142 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Celemourn

I suspect that this sense of economy is where the headless mac (btw, why the heck is it called headless??????) idea is comming from. True: if an iMac can't do it, you probably NEED a MacPro (no, I didn't say that first).

Yes and No. Actually, if you need/want to use, let's say a UAD DSP card (available in PCI and PCIe flavor), you can't on a iMac, you can on a Mac Pro, but do you really NEED a Mac Pro just to run your favorite plug-ins in Logic Express without taxing too much your CPU? No.

I would settle for a Conroe-based Mac with a couple of PCIe slots, I'd be even better served, for the same (CPU) price I'd get 2.13 or 2.40GHz (speed is always good), I'd get a 1066FSB (speed is always good).

Some say "there are holes in the desktop line, the $999/$1499/$1999 price points... we need a mid-range desktop headless Mac...". Yes, it's true, more so, there's a big hole in the performance range, while it goes smoothly from the single core 1.5 Mac Mini and then dual-core 1.66, 1.83, 2.00GHz iMac (and 667FSB), it also jumps to quad-core 2.00GHz Xeons (and 1333FSB) and to $2199.

Even If the iMac gets a Conroe chip in the near future, I don't think it will go past 2.40GHz (cost and heat) and certainly won't have PCIe slots. I don't even think it's a good idea to go Conroe for the iMac, to keep it cool and silent as it should be/stay, I'd use Merom up to 2.16GHz to keep the cost as it is.

I think Apple did a great job with the transition of its existing products from PPC to Intel, but I believe it's market share time now (iPods and notebooks are doing OK, let's take care of the desktop lines now). More choices attract more customers (I'm not suggesting 500,000,000 choices here, just one more mid-size design: vertical, horizontal, cube, pyramid, sphere...
sphere?
why not, it's Apple).
post #143 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by gar

Not a very good example. Is it?

1994 was a different time in which the computer you mentioned costed more than a... current Mac Pro. (very good)
Windows was embryotic at best.

The 7100/66 had no PCI slots whatsoever.
It came with 3 NuBus slots.
It had a SCSI harddrive.
Both were quite expensive upgrade options.

My bad, I forgot the 7100 had NuBus. Okay, change that to the 7200/75. PCI, hard disk expansion, and you could still probably get one for $10 at a garage sale. The point remains the same. The original price is irrelevant (although the 7200 was cheaper, even it its day, than the Mac Pro), because we're talking about 2006, not 1995. PCI actually was state-of-the-art high-end stuff in 1994-1995, justifying a higher price at that time. Now, it's extremely old news. If I can get something for $10, it's not high-end tech.

And if you are going to argue that there have never been any Macs that that had internal expansion that cost less than the Mac Pro, then I can point you to other, far more recent machines, such as the 1.25 GHz MDD G4, which sold for $1299. Heck, back in the clone era, UMAX had one for under $1000 that had PCI slots. Of course, nowdays you can get internal expansion even in $350 Dells. It's a standard feature for desktops.

The points about the times changing, Windows being embryonic, and SCSI are all non sequiturs.
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post #144 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix

... pyramid...

!!! When having guests over to my small apartment, i've occasionally run out of chairs, and resorted to sitting on my tower....

ow.
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post #145 of 1658
The mid-range headless Mac addresses the upgrade path of the PC user who bought a mini to "try a Mac out" and wants to move up - but not all the way to the Mac Pro. They may have a good display they want to keep, but want more power, or the ability of installing a second HD inside the case. Right now Apple doesn't address their needs in the mid-range. Sure, Apple will be happy to sell them the $2,500 Mac Pro, but a lot in this market will say "No thank you".

I'm in another market segment. I have a 1.5 15" PB attached to my 23" display in the office. I would not consider a mini, nor can I afford the cost of the MP. The only upgrade path I can see as viable is a headless mid-range. Sure, I can go with the 20" iMac, but I have one of those at home and the 20" falls far short of the 23" in getting the work done in the office.

I believe that the market for the mid-range is there and that Apple will bring one out when they have sufficient Core 2 supplies. The main reason for the release will be to provide a profitable upgrade path for the Mac mini users - and that can turn out to be rather profitable.
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post #146 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag

Yes they are, look at the sales numbers.

No they're not. Apple worldwide has ~2% market share and in the US ~ 5%. Over half the computers Apple sold last quarter were laptops(not a niche product), which captured ~ 12% of the retail market.

Pointing out this fact has never been useful, correct or fair.

Apple is essentially a boutique company with boutique computers and a boutique OS.

No other manufacturer offers what apple does period.

Not Dell, not HP, not Microsoft.

Apple offers 5 computer models. Five.

It's just not possible to have high market share, even if they added a new tower making 6 computers.

Since everyone seems to love car analogies here's one:

Take audi for example.

Do they sell well?

Yes.

Do they offer a lot cars?

No.

Should they?

No.

They're not trying to be GM and just throw out a lot of models all the time, they don't need to, plus they're too small in the first place and even if they wanted to they're too small a company.

And none of that has anything to do with the OS.

Now make audi a personal plane manufacturer.

Are planes a good way to travel?

Yes.

Are they the only way to travel?

No, most people use cars.

Is it finanically possible to make everyone use planes instead and just drop their cars?

Not by a long shot. Especially given the number of planes they offer and supplies they could even offer.

Apple most of time has a hard time meeting the demand of the market they already have and making crazy money with it.

A mid range tower, or proper low range tower won't change the fact that these are still planes and most people want cars because they know nothing else(windows), or they think they need cars for work or school.

Apple knows they cannot have majority marketshare, computer wise unless they offered the same dirt cheap machines AND offered windows co-installed along with OSX for FREE.

But that would bury thier OS.

They know who and where the are in the market and that's why recently year over year they've been making good profits compared to the 90's.

A mid-range tower can't and won't suddenly make a huge paradigm shift.
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post #147 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

On the other hand, there is adequate evidence that people are buying mini tower to meet their computing needs. Visit any retail store. Ask the sales people what their customers are buying.

I used to be one of those guys and here's your fundamental flaw:

MAC VS WINDOWS

Not tower vs mini or tower vs AIO

because...here and say it with me...THERE IS NO WINDOWS EQUIVALENT.

Some ugly 15" POS Gateway or massive 17" VIAO is not the same.

HP slim PC is not the same as a mini and actually believe it or not reviewed quite well and sold quite well, I know I sold them.

If dell offered an imac clone and still towers we might have something to compare.

If dell offered a mimi clone and still towers we might have something to compare.

They don't. No one does.

Oh and to answer your original question: LAPTOPS, LAPTOPS, LAPTOPS.
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post #148 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chucker

Pricing is up to a market, which is largely controlled by competitors and potential customers. Pricing is not up to the vendor. They could price high but wouldn't sell, or price low but go bankrupt.

Apple pricing is higher because they control hardware that exclusively runs OS X.
post #149 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

So what about a $1500 tower, since that was the entry level tower price until recently? Has Apple's business model and economics really changed that much?

$1500 + monitor makes that comfortably more expensive than an iMac, and if we accept the notion that "most people" don't really want or need expansion capacity (which I don't necessarily, but then I'm not the one who's putting it out there) such a model wouldn't do much to cannibalize iMac sales, would it? "The demographic that Apple is chasing" would presumably prefer AIO designer goodness with its simplicity and ease of set-up, yes?

Personally I would love a mid-range $1500 apple tower. But I'd be lying if I said that would make the market go crazy. That's all I've been trying to say.

Everyone else? I dunno, they can speak for themselves.
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post #150 of 1658
I've been lurking in these forums for a while now, and I just thought I'd share my view on the mid-level Mac discussion.

There's a common argument given by the regulars here that Apple's research and previous experience shows that the headless, mid-price Mac is not profitable. Before the Intel transition that was very likely true. The switch to Intel CPUs by definition turns macs into PCs. They're well-built, beautifully designed, well-specced PCs that come with OS X preloaded, but they are PCs.

My reason for saying this is not to ruffle anybody's feathers, although I'm certain I'll do that anyway, but rather to illustrate that the transition to Intel is also a transition to a set of buyers which includes not only the 'Mac people', but also those in the market for a PC. The G4 Cube is the most referenced example of Apple's failure in this range, but in the eyes of consumers it was *only* a Mac.

Much as I feel it would be a travesty to run Windows as the sole OS on a Mac, it's a comforting possibility to those used to having a 'normal' PC. In a similar way, lets assume that 99% of people never upgrade anything in their machines. But at the same time, assume that 10% of people demand the ability to upgrade (and by upgrade I mean graphics and slot type upgrades). Calling those people a mad or deluded minority really helps nobody's cause. Those 10% are a market which are currently locked out of buying Apple. Folks here often say Apple don't care about that market, but I don't buy it - the switch to Intel makes it viable.

As far as the low margin argument, I'm not sure I see a reason why Apple's margins would need to suffer. The Intel Macs have not been priced excessively higher than equivalent systems from other manufacturers (although the last time I checked the MBP was, pound for pound, rather expensive compared to other similarly specced laptops). In fact, people are lauding the Mac Pro's pricing as being below Dell's equivalent workstation.

Even if Apple's machines are priced a little above the similarly specced Dell/HP/whatever, that won't neccessarily (sp?) dissuade buyers. The Apple brand has a great deal of appeal, prestige and momentum at present and this can very easily make up for the 'Apple tax' for the unwashed PC masses in a similar way to the Mac devotees.

I would be surprised if Apple didn't move on this segment in the near future. I certainly hope they do... I guess it's not totally outside reason that the lower end Mac Pros that people here expect in about 4 months could help to fill this void.

I've been wanting to get that off my chest for a while now... Thanks for reading :-)

/drdaz
post #151 of 1658
From drdaz, "There's a common argument given by the regulars here that Apple's research and previous experience shows that the headless, mid-price Mac is not profitable"

Before the Mac mini came out I thought that a "cheap" Mac would be unprofitable simply because of the low dollar gross margin and the cost of US based customer support. Looks like I was rather wrong as the mini seems to be doing pretty well for Apple. The same profitability argument could be applied to a Mac midi - especially if it provided a good, reasonably priced upgrade path for the mini users.
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post #152 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking

Since everyone seems to love car analogies here's one:

Take audi for example.

Oh no. You just had to, didn't you?

Car anologies like this don't work because market share for car manufacturers like Audi does not matter, but for Apple it does, for the long-term health of the Mac OS X platform.
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post #153 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking

Personally I would love a mid-range $1500 apple tower. But I'd be lying if I said that would make the market go crazy. That's all I've been trying to say.

Everyone else? I dunno, they can speak for themselves.

Oh, I completely agree with that. A $1500 tower isn't going to explode the market or nuthin'.

But, like you, speaking for myself, the $1500 buy-in point for an expandable tower really worked for me, and I'm guessing that "people like me" isn't a completely negligible segment.

As far as your car analogy goes, I see what you're saying, but cars don't scale like computers, or at least Apple's computers.

It's not that we're wanting Apple to sell cheaper computers, per se, (as in the case, say, of one demanding that Audi offer an entry level "hot hatch" or something) but rather that it's so expensive to get an Apple computer with simple expandability.

So it would be more akin to Audi withholding some basic car functionality, like, I dunno, ABS or electric windows, until you got up to their top dollar models.

You want electric windows? Fine, spend $60,000. For $30,000 manual is plenty good enough.
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post #154 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecking

I used to be one of those guys and here's your fundamental flaw:

MAC VS WINDOWS

Not tower vs mini or tower vs AIO

because...here and say it with me...THERE IS NO WINDOWS EQUIVALENT.


Not so. There are, and there have been, Windows AIOs. They don't sell well in he Windows world, where customers actually have a choice in the mid price range. In the Mac world, however, customers do not have this choice and today must buy an iMac, or shell out the bucks for a Mac Pro. Since I believe people are not all that different, Windows user versus Mac users, the preference for a mini tower over an AIO would be about the same, given a choice.

You're reference to laptops selling well is indeed true, but the discussion happens to be about desktop computers here.
post #155 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox

As far as your car analogy goes, I see what you're saying, but cars don't scale like computers, or at least Apple's computers.

It's not that we're wanting Apple to sell cheaper computers, per se, (as in the case, say, of one demanding that Audi offer an entry level "hot hatch" or something) but rather that it's so expensive to get an Apple computer with simple expandability.

So it would be more akin to Audi withholding some basic car functionality, like, I dunno, ABS or electric windows, until you got up to their top dollar models.

You want electric windows? Fine, spend $60,000. For $30,000 manual is plenty good enough.

The problem with all car analogies is that everyone drives on the same road, uses the same type of fuel (gas), and for the most part, a car in function behaves like every other car.

The same is not to be said in the Computer World. You have the Windows drivers, the Linux/Unix Drivers, and your Mac drivers. Apple wants to have a world FULL of Mac drivers.

That being said, the fact that the PC industry as a whole only grew by 4 - 5% whereas the Mac grew 12% (for laptops) is a very significant fact. That means that laptop wise, Macs grew in sales almost 3 times as fast. How can anyone say that it is not significant?

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post #156 of 1658
Two more problems with the car analogy:

1.) High quality in a car is expensive to achieve. For Audi to offer cheaper alternatives, they'd have to sacrifice a lot of their quality, and then what's the point of buying the resulting car, rather than a competitor's?

Apple don't have to sacrifice their quality to offer a $999 tower.

2.) There is no equivalent in the car analogy for the OS. I would propose that the best way to represent this is to imagine that there were two different road networks. Both road networks can get you pretty much anywhere you want. Road Network A is smooth, fast, and easy to navigate, but there are few services such as garages along the way. Network B is full of holes, difficult to navigate, there are load of services, and it goes to slightly more places.

Now, most vehicle companies make vehicles that can only run on Network B, because Network A makes their own cars, and won't let anyone else make cars that run on their network.

Now, all these other vehicle companies together make up 97% of the vehicle market.

Given that Network B is a much worse road network, why aren't more people buying Network A's vehicles and using Network A? Because Network A stubbornly refuse to offer any more than 5 different models of vehicle, they are mostly slightly more expensive than their nearest equivalents for vehicles that run on Network B, and despite the fact that Network A exists and is so much better than Network B, there is a shockingly low awareness amongst the public of Network A and what it can do.

What can Network A do about this?

Offer more models of car and advertise its road network properly. The slightly higher prices for equivalent models should stay the same in order to maintain the higher quality of the network.

Sorry that that was so seriously laboured, but I hope it demonstrates how rubbish the car analogy is and why people should just steer (oops, sorry) clear of it. No more car analogies!
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post #157 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy

They don't sell well in he Windows world, where customers actually have a choice in the mid price range.

It's been said already, but I'm confident that that is because Windows AIOs have all been seriously, seriously butt-ugly and much more compromised than the iMac. Apple is the only company that can execute this type of machine properly.

I think there is a place for both a $999 - $2499 tower and the iMac in Apple's line-up.
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post #158 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by nitewing98

...Jobs has an issue with Cubes, I think. From the NeXT to the G4, to the glass cube in NY's Apple Store. What is the deal...

Perhaps he used to be Borg...?
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post #159 of 1658
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

It's been said already, but I'm confident that that is because Windows AIOs have all been seriously, seriously butt-ugly and much more compromised than the iMac. Apple is the only company that can execute this type of machine properly.

I think there is a place for both a $999 - $2499 tower and the iMac in Apple's line-up.

I agree, and most Windows towers are "butt-ugly" too IMHO.

I also agree we need both -- the iMac providing best value for the most commonly purchased system configuration and a mini tower providing a broad range of options and monitors.
post #160 of 1658
You guys are all correct. BTW, what ever happened to the 1.6 Ghz PM G5?
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