Originally Posted by vinea
As I said...that's like saying a Porsche is cheap at $45K. It is inexpensive in comparison to their product line, not to the general market. Snoopy's argument is that Apple has competed in the consumer entry market against the likes of Dell in the past and that the original iMac was inexpensive.
As I said... it's not. I said it was dirt cheap for a Mac, which it was. If the next model up for Porsche was $100,000, then $45K would be pretty damn cheap for a Porsche.
Now, let's see if that's actually the case (that $1,300 was not affordable for a computer in 1998).
It was not. It doesn't matter how much less it is in comparison to other Mac models it still wasn't inexpensive.
Nope. But that still doesn't change the fact that the iMac was never a very affordable machine by the masses.
Let's see what people at the time
thought, without going through the 2005 filter.
"PC Finalist: Apple iMac." PC Magazine
(Dec 15, 1998): p166(1).
Priced under $1,300 at introduction, the iMac is an inexpensive machine that nonetheless redefines traditional concepts of PC aesthetics and ease of use.
"The Lazarus effect." PC Week
15.51 (Dec 21, 1998): p22(1).
Meanwhile, the iMac's trendy, retro appearance and $1,299 price caught the eye of consumers and Wall Street alike, boosting Apple stock to new heights and drawing in a bevy of new developers for the operating system.
Pope, Tom. "Eyeing the iMac." PC Magazine
(Nov 15, 1998): p42(1).
Price is another pleasing feature of the iMac. For $1,300 (street price) you get a complete computer that can run a large variety of home and office software. It comes with a 233-MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) processor, a good-size 4GB hard disk, 32MB of memory, a fast CD-ROM drive, a 56-Kbps modem, and an Ethernet network connection. The machine also has built-in surround-sound stereo speakers and a 15-inch flicker-free monitor, and it comes with 2MB of memory for its ATI 3-D Rage IIC graphics processor.
Breeden, John II. "Apple's iMac rates high on cool scale but has built-in limitations." Government Computer News
(Nov 9, 1998): p32(1).
Because of the iMac's entry-level price, I expected poor graphics. But I got a big surprise: a built-in Rage IIc 2-D/3-D graphics chip from All Technologies Inc. of Thornhill. Ontario, and 2M of synchronous graphics RAM.
Campbell, Scott. "Apple's new iMac living up to hype." Computer Reseller News
805 (August 31, 1998): p63.
The iMac, Apple's latest entry in the low-end consumer market and perhaps the first computer to vaguely resemble a warped egg, is an all-in-one system retailing for $1,299.
Jackson, David. "Apple's new crop." Time
v151.n19 (May 18, 1998): pp70(1).
Depending on your point of view, the translucent blue iMac computer introduced by Apple last week is either the coolest or the weirdest-looking personal computer ever made. It's fast, it's cheap, and if you're looking for a cute little PC to go with one of those new Volkswagen Beetles, this is the one.
Walsh, Jeff. "Apple releases innovative design PC." InfoWorld
v20.n19 (May 11, 1998): pp17(1).
The analysts said the iMac, despite Apple not positioning it as a corporate box, is in line with the price/performance of sub-$1,000 PCs, due to extras that are included in the price, such as the monitor and Ethernet being built in.
During Jobs' product announcement it was revealed that the iMac outperformed the fastest PC machines on the market in benchmark tests, despite it being Apple's low-end offering.
Some things I'd like to say about these articles:
1. I found these articles doing a search on InfoTrac for articles containing the word "iMac" in the year 1998. I didn't use keywords like "iMac cheap" or "iMac inexpensive" or anything that would get me biased results.
2. I specifically excluded Mac magazines like MacWorld or MacWEEK, as pretty much every
article from those publications mentions the inexpensiveness of the iMac.
3. Among all the articles I looked at, I found only one
complaining about the iMac's price. Contrast that with all the articles saying the contrary, which I've posted above.
The Blue and White started in the $1500 range in Jan 1999.
Huh? I thought we were talking about 1998, when the iMac was introduced. The B&W was made after
the iMac. It also didn't include a monitor. I'll agree that the B&W was
a great machine, though, one for which Apple has no equivalent today.
The G3 AIO that you DQ'd for being edu was $1500 but the Power Mac 6500 started at $1799.
The 6500 was discontinued in March 1998, several months before the release of the iMac, and half a year before the iMac actually shipped. (link
The Power Mac 5400 LC and Power Mac 4400 were discontinued sometime in 1998.
5400 LC - LC designated "edu" in Apple's old naming conventions. Everything after the LC III (the edu version of the Performa 450) with "LC" in the title was an edu machine. Besides that, I can't find a mention of that model anywhere other than Apple-History, which has questionable reliability. Everymac.com says all the Power Mac 5400s were edu-only and were all discontinued by March 1998 before the iMac was released. That jibes because the consumer versions of those machines were the Performa 5400 series, and they were all discontinued by December 1997. In addition to all of this, the 5xxx series were all-in-ones! The iMac was basically re-starting the consumer Performa 5xxx line, which had been dead for quite some time by the time the iMac shipped.
As for the 4400, it was discontinued in 1997. (linky linky
There were a plethora of Power Macs during that time period. Some under $2K.
All of them edu-only. The only Power Macs available to non-edu consumers were the Power Mac G3s. The marketing at the time was "Pro, Go, Whoa." "Pro" being Power Macintosh G3, "Go" being PowerBook, and "Whoa" being iMac.
Was there a specific model for $1500 in 1998 excluding the edu market?
Nope. Also, was there a specific model for $1300 including the monitor, excluding the edu market? Not since the death of the clones in 1997, the UMAX SuperMac C500 line being the only Mac OS machines ever to go below $1000 until the 350 MHz iMac in October 1999.
I can't show that but I can show there were models in the general price range from the history sites both before and after 1998.
Unfortunately, you're out of your league here. You admit you weren't following Apple at the time the iMac came out - I was, and I can assure you that there was nothing like it in its price range at the time it came out.
Why do you think Jobs would have admitted to not having a consumer offering at all before the iMac's release if it weren't true? Is it typical for CEOs to criticize their own companies baselessly? The fact: two years before the iMac came out, Apple quit selling consumer machines, leaving that market to the clones. After the death of the clones, there was nothing
until the release of the iMac. Hence the re-entrance of Apple into the consumer market in 1998.