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DigiTimes reiterates claim of 15.4-inch Apple 'MacBooks' in Q2

post #1 of 91
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A technology publication situated in Taiwan is reiterating its claim that Apple Inc. next quarter will expand its consumer line of 'MacBook' notebooks to include a 15.4-inch model.

Citing industry sources, the publication said the new model will fill the gap between the company's 13.3-inch MacBooks and the 15.4- and 17-inch MacBook Pros in an effort to boost shipments of the Intel-based notebooks.

MacBook shipments, which enjoyed substantial gains in the second half of 2006, will reach 700,000 units in the first quarter of 2007, according to the report. Meanwhile, expectations for unit shipments for the remainder of the year are said to be 'even greater' following the introduction of the 15.4-inch model.

"Prices for the 15.4-inch MacBook models are likely to be more competitive than their 13.3-inch counterparts, due largely to the relatively lower cost of 15.4-inch LCD panels, and will therefore help push further sales of MacBooks," the publication said.

While iPod and electronics maker Foxconn (Hon Hai) was rumored to have been in the running for the lucrative 15.4-inch manufacturing contract, it was eventually unsuccessful, DigiTimes added. Instead, MacBook Pro maker Quanta Computer is reported to have landed the winning bid and will join Asustek Computer as a second supplier of MacBooks.

The accuracy of the report is currently unknown, as DigiTimes has historically been inaccurate in its predictions on Apple's future hardware directions. However, it should be noted that one of the publication's most recent claims, regarding the use of LED backlit displays in a future MacBook Pro designs, is reportedly accurate.

According to AppleInsider's own sources, Apple next quarter will introduce a revision to its 15-inch MacBook Pro that will mark a gradual transition away from cold cathode fluorescent backlights (CCFLs) and towards LED backlights.

The LED backlight implementation will allow for improved notebook battery life and displays that will maintain their initial levels of brightness longer into their respective life-cycles.
post #2 of 91
Maybe I am being dense but I just do not see a large demand for this product. I know I have heard a lot of grumbling for 12 mbp but have not heard anyone asking for a 15 mb.
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post #3 of 91
This is good news, I think. Some prospective switchers I have talked to were not in the market for a pro $ystem but thought 13 inches might be smaller than they wanted. Since I was showing them on my 15 inch Ti book, its harder for me to say "13 is enough..."
I hope the price is right!
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post #4 of 91
Wonder if the 15,4" MacBook will come with integrated graphicscard too? That's sort of what's kept me from buying the MacBook, i'm not convinced yet if the 13,3" MacBooks graphicscard is powerful enough. I sort of wish the MacBook will get revised too, or that there will be a 13,3" MacBook Pro
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post #5 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Maybe I am being dense but I just do not see a large demand for this product. I know I have heard a lot of grumbling for 12 mbp but have not heard anyone asking for a 15 mb.

It will be the best selling product in Apple's lineup. That's the best selling size of laptop. Apple is the only vendor that only offers 'pro' model in this size and it is quite expensive.
post #6 of 91
Apple needs to GET SMALLER with its laptops or it will continue to have lackluster sales in the #2 consumer market in the world - Japan.

These overweight machines, while fast, just don't cut it here, with so many fast and small Windoze laptops on the market.

If ASUS can do it -why can't Apple?
post #7 of 91
I agree. I haven't heard much from people about wanting a bigger Macbook, but I hear plenty of people who want a 12" MBP.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Maybe I am being dense but I just do not see a large demand for this product. I know I have heard a lot of grumbling for 12 mbp but have not heard anyone asking for a 15 mb.
post #8 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackSummerNight View Post

I agree. I haven't heard much from people about wanting a bigger Macbook, but I hear plenty of people who want a 12" MBP.

They should do both - this kind of thing ain't exactly rocket science


If this is Santa Rosa-based, then it should offer much better graphics than the current MacBook.
post #9 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

It will be the best selling product in Apple's lineup. That's the best selling size of laptop. Apple is the only vendor that only offers 'pro' model in this size and it is quite expensive.

Although, when Apple did 12 and 14" iBooks, the 12" was the bigger seller since the screen resolution was the same on both. I can't imagine they'd stick a 1440x900 screen on a MacBook from the Pro so I'd guess 1280x800 like the 13" MacBook and most other cheap Windows 15" laptops.

So, we're back to the same situation as before except for the fact lots of people find the 13" MacBook too big already.
post #10 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Maybe I am being dense but I just do not see a large demand for this product. I know I have heard a lot of grumbling for 12 mbp but have not heard anyone asking for a 15 mb.

That's because you've been listening to only the high end, large budget people around here. A new ultra portable isn't going to lure sales and users away from Dell and HP. A consumer 15" model will.
post #11 of 91
There is a demand for the bigger screen 15.4" but with a MacBook price tag. I have had three family members comment on this and two purchased iMac's because they couldn't justify forking out the 15.4" MBP.

Apple needs to make a 10" subnotebook in a bad way. I will glady order first.
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post #12 of 91
Good news, but digitimes???

the entire macbook thingy will look good if they can put some graphic card ...

same resolution as 15.4" MBP as well

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post #13 of 91
If it has a low end video card in it, and a decent screen... it could sell good.

If it has a GMA950 and a 1280x800 screen, then well... damn....
post #14 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by backtomac View Post

It will be the best selling product in Apple's lineup. That's the best selling size of laptop. Apple is the only vendor that only offers 'pro' model in this size and it is quite expensive.

It's the best selling size because of the screen, or cost?

Often times the 14" and 15" laptops can be had for cheaper than the 12" or 13" laptops from the same manufacturer. The challenges involved in making a compact computer drive up the cost.

We know Apple isn't likely to price 15" MacBook below the 13". And we also know iBook 12" outsold 14", despite the fact 12" isn't a popular size (in US anyway). I'd say this is largely due to the lower price point.
post #15 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCE10 View Post

It's the best selling size because of the screen, or cost?

Both. 15" notebooks are replacing entry level PCs.
post #16 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

That's because you've been listening to only the high end, large budget people around here. A new ultra portable isn't going to lure sales and users away from Dell and HP. A consumer 15" model will.

Actually an new ultraportable WILL outsell DELL and HP... OUTSIDE the US, where these brands aren't king and people want compact - particularly in Japan.

A consumer 15" will be so heavy that nobody in Japan will want it, unless they drive everywhere like you do in the US.

And the chatter about 'high end, large budget' being associated with ultraportables is nonsense.

Lot's of Windoze laptops makers are putting out sub-2 kg laptops (under ~4lbs) that are both fast and relatively inexpensive. Even ASUS does, and I think they are the OEMs for MacBricks.... errr MacBooks.
post #17 of 91
No 15" MacBook - will bring in the switchers by the hoards IMHO. It further brings the Mac in line with the PC market.

You will have a direct comparison: 15" clunky PC or swish 15 Macbook at +$100-200.

The 14" iBook was not highly specked enough in the eyes of the average potential switcher. Old processor/old screen.

Intel C2D/15" 1280x800 glossy screen, the next Intel IG card - got to be another big chunk of buyers - probably same price as Sony.

The lighter smaller MacBook Pro. Well there's no need for a graphics card on a small machine (you guys will argue there is but you are insane!). There is a niche market of peeps who want less than 1.5kg - but not so many switchers.
post #18 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCE10 View Post

It's the best selling size because of the screen, or cost?

Often times the 14" and 15" laptops can be had for cheaper than the 12" or 13" laptops from the same manufacturer. The challenges involved in making a compact computer drive up the cost.

We know Apple isn't likely to price 15" MacBook below the 13". And we also know iBook 12" outsold 14", despite the fact 12" isn't a popular size (in US anyway). I'd say this is largely due to the lower price point.

Think they are usually best selling cuz they are a really good price for the specs. The smaller ones usually cost the same or more, and have lower specs.
post #19 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Maybe I am being dense but I just do not see a large demand for this product. I know I have heard a lot of grumbling for 12 mbp but have not heard anyone asking for a 15 mb.

You're kidding, right? Lots of people want a 15" MB, myself included.

In fact, one of the few problems with Apple's notebook lineup is that there are relatively inexpensive 15" notebooks on the PC side (i.e. sub-$1000), whereas to get an Apple notebook with that screen size you have to cough up $2000(!).

If Apple does releases a 15" MB, expect it to sell like hotcakes.

.
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post #20 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by umijin View Post

Apple needs to GET SMALLER with its laptops or it will continue to have lackluster sales in the #2 consumer market in the world - Japan.

These overweight machines, while fast, just don't cut it here, with so many fast and small Windoze laptops on the market.

If ASUS can do it -why can't Apple?

Apple needs BOTH- a 15" MB, and a 'subnotebook' as they're called. You're right, it is an increasingly popular segment of the market.

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post #21 of 91
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Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

Wonder if the 15,4" MacBook will come with integrated graphicscard too? That's sort of what's kept me from buying the MacBook, i'm not convinced yet if the 13,3" MacBooks graphicscard is powerful enough. I sort of wish the MacBook will get revised too, or that there will be a 13,3" MacBook Pro


of course it will come with integrated graphics. otherwise, who would buy MBP? remember that MB is for consumers and MBP is for prosumers.
post #22 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post

Although, when Apple did 12 and 14" iBooks, the 12" was the bigger seller since the screen resolution was the same on both. I can't imagine they'd stick a 1440x900 screen on a MacBook from the Pro so I'd guess 1280x800 like the 13" MacBook and most other cheap Windows 15" laptops.

So, we're back to the same situation as before except for the fact lots of people find the 13" MacBook too big already.

Maybe not. Dell now offers cheap 15" notebooks (sub-$1000) that do 1680x1050. Apple would have to frak things up pretty extensively to not offer an equivalent res what is likely to be a considerably more expensive product.

That said, I, like you, have seen them be arrogant/complacent before on matters such as this.

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post #23 of 91
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Originally Posted by syklee26 View Post

of course it will come with integrated graphics. otherwise, who would buy MBP? remember that MB is for consumers and MBP is for prosumers.

Maybe they could use a lower performing discrete video chip than the MBP uses w/ smaller video memory? MBP has several other selling points for pro/prosumer use that it doesn't need to rely on just screen size and graphics chip to sell.
post #24 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Apple needs BOTH- a 15" MB, and a 'subnotebook' as they're called. You're right, it is an increasingly popular segment of the market.

.

They also need a normal desktop... thats a very popular market... but they dont, just an all-in-one, a very low end machine, and a workstation. I dont see them caring about covering most of the laptop market either.
post #25 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by doh123 View Post

They also need a normal desktop... thats a very popular market... but they dont, just an all-in-one, a very low end machine, and a workstation. I dont see them caring about covering most of the laptop market either.

If they want more sales, they'll start to care.

Seriously, its not rocket science or huge strain on resources for them to release a 15" MB or a subnotebook. The one thing that would keep them from doing so would be Apple's fear of cannibalizing sales from a more profitable product (which is what has kept them from releasing a minitower desktop, btw).

But at some point you are just losing so many potential Windows switchers (who can get 15" PC notebooks with 1680x1050 res for under $1000 these days, btw) and somewhat-fed up established Mac users that you have to start thinking about doing the product anyway.

Because a business truism, if there ever was one, is that if you refuse to ever cannibalize your own products, someone else will do it for you.

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post #26 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by syklee26 View Post

of course it will come with integrated graphics. otherwise, who would buy MBP? remember that MB is for consumers and MBP is for prosumers.

They could put in something like a x1300 64mb + hypermemory GPU.. low power, cheap, and much faster and more capable than the GMA950
post #27 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

If they want more sales, they'll start to care.
Because a business truism, if there ever was one, is that if you refuse to ever cannibalize your own products, someone else will do it for you.
.

Exactly so!

And with a 3% market share, Apple should be focusing on appealing to the 97% of customers who don't buy Apple - by having a range of Notebooks & Desktops that appeal to a wide range of tastes & budgets. This means having a sub-notebook or two, a range of consumer models, a range of pro-sumer models, a desktop between the iMac & Mac Pro (i.e. a Mac) etc

... but what do I know?!
post #28 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by syklee26 View Post

of course it will come with integrated graphics. otherwise, who would buy MBP? remember that MB is for consumers and MBP is for prosumers.

So what you're saying is that this is the reason people buy a MBP instead of an MB! That' just ridiculous!! Whatever..One just need to check the specs to know the difference between them, plus what the "revised" MBP still might get (like led-lcd), there will be enough to separate the 15" prosumers from the 15" consumers8)
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post #29 of 91
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Originally Posted by samurai1999 View Post

Exactly so!

And with a 3% market share, Apple should be focusing on appealing to the 97% of customers who don't buy Apple - by having a range of Notebooks & Desktops that appeal to a wide range of tastes & budgets. This means having a sub-notebook or two, a range of consumer models, a range of pro-sumer models, a desktop between the iMac & Mac Pro (i.e. a Mac) etc

Well, you don't want Apple's line-up to get TOO sprawling and TOO confusing, because then you a Dell-type situation where you're going WTH do I buy? Also, Apple, unlike Dell, has to worry about things like inventory issues, since unlike Dell they have physical stores.

That said, Apple could easily fill its major product line holes without going over-the-top complex with the release of just three products: 15" MB, subnotebook, expandable midrange minitower.

Of course, you do have purists who think that doing even that much is Apple 'trying to be all things to all people', lol. For those folks, I imagine heaven is walking into an Apple store and seeing Apple's entire Mac lineup on one table- there'd be exactly two products, one generically marked 'desktop', and the other, 'laptop'. The end, lol. And no BTO either.

(Or actually, there'd just be one product, 'laptop', and next to it a sign reading, "Whaddya need a desktop for anyway?")

.
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post #30 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

So what you're saying is that this is the reason people buy a MBP instead of an MB! That' just ridiculous!! Whatever..One just need to check the specs to know the difference between them, plus what the "revised" MBP still might get (like led-lcd), there will be enough to separate the 15" prosumers from the 15" consumers8)

What differences are there? size and case material? backlit keyboard? most of the differences other than the video are more like 'extras' to sell the deal, not the main specs.
post #31 of 91
Although I doubt anything from Digitimes is even 1% accurate regarding Apple, it makes sense for Apple to go after the mainstream Windows laptop buyer who typically buys a 15" unit. The Asian market is quite different and a 15" MacBook isn't targetting customers there.

The key will be not repeating the mistakes made with the 14" iBook. That beast was seriously lame because the screen, although much bigger, did not offer any more pixels than the 12" model and it was ridiculously heavy, weighing significantly more than the larger 15" PowerBook of the day.

At the small pro end of things, should Apple choose to compete there again, they need to avoid all the mistakes made with the 12" PowerBook, namely the fact that it was essentially an iBook with an aluminum shell and 50% price increase. Sure the graphics were marginally better as was the HD, but it was a seriously crippled PowerBook and anyone with the ability to read specs could see that.

I use public transit. My current company supplied Mac is a 17" PowerBook. It's not too heavy when carried in a backpack and I really enjoy the large screen. I know other transit users in the company who've opted for MacBooks, but I don't think I could handle anything smaller than a 15" screen.
post #32 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vulcan1 View Post

So what you're saying is that this is the reason people buy a MBP instead of an MB! That' just ridiculous!! Whatever..One just need to check the specs to know the difference between them, plus what the "revised" MBP still might get (like led-lcd), there will be enough to separate the 15" prosumers from the 15" consumers8)

Y'know, is it just me, or is the whole 'MacBook' vs 'MacBook Pro' thing is getting a tad old? \

If Apple increased its BTO flexibility, perhaps the needs of both consumers and pros could be met with one line of laptops? You'd basically buy a screen size, and then dress it up how you wished. Though there'd be 'Good', 'Better', 'Best' suggested configs for those who don't want to hassle with the details.

Apple Stores would simply carry the 'recommended' mainstream/midrange config for each screen size, but if you didn't like 'off-the-rack' you order online, or go over your options with an Apple Store rep, who then places your order.

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post #33 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by doh123 View Post

What differences are there? size and case material? backlit keyboard? most of the differences other than the video are more like 'extras' to sell the deal, not the main specs.

The "pro" market is more likely also going to want to have the extra Firewire port (FW800), extra USB port and the add-in card slot. No one is saying that it has to be the exact same screen and video chip either.
post #34 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Well, you don't want Apple's line-up to get TOO sprawling and TOO confusing, because then you a Dell-type situation where you're going WTH do I buy? Also, Apple, unlike Dell, has to worry about things like inventory issues, since unlike Dell they have physical stores.
.

Yeah, I agree, keep the sprawl to a minimum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

That said, Apple could easily fill its major product line holes without going over-the-top complex with the release of just three products: 15" MB, subnotebook, expandable midrange minitower.
.

Yes, that's about it
- plus revamp the existing lines, give 'em a new coat of paint, update the iMac, etc
- don't dilute the brand too much
- add a tablet (UMPC?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Of course, you do have purists who think that doing even that much is Apple 'trying to be all things to all people', lol. For those folks, I imagine heaven is walking into an Apple store and seeing Apple's entire Mac lineup on one table- there'd be exactly two products, one generically marked 'desktop', and the other, 'laptop'. The end, lol. And no BTO either.

(Or actually, there'd just be one product, 'laptop', and next to it a sign reading, "Whaddya need a desktop for anyway?")
.

I don't think Apple ever wanted to only appeal to 'purists'
- they/it used to want to take over the world and bury the competition!
- those days are probably passed, but I don't see why they/it shouldn't be able to hit 10-20% of the market with the right product mix
post #35 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post

Y'know, is it just me, or is the whole 'MacBook' vs 'MacBook Pro' thing is getting a tad old? \

If Apple increased its BTO flexibility, perhaps the needs of both consumers and pros could be met with one line of laptops? You'd basically buy a screen size, and then dress it up how you wished. Though there'd be 'Good', 'Better', 'Best' suggested configs for those who don't want to hassle with the details.

Apple Stores would simply carry the 'recommended' mainstream/midrange config for each screen size, but if you didn't like 'off-the-rack' you order online, or go over your options with an Apple Store rep, who then places your order.

.

Now that would be a f-ing good idea!! I think that is one of the coolest things you can do when you buy an Apple computer (me being an boring ex-Windows user), is the possibility to build (yes i know Dell etc. does it too) the machine(s) you want. So i want a white 13.3" MBP in white, i thank you very much!!
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post #36 of 91
Sounds cool to me. It will likely be using GMA X3000. Apple could have done this last year. I'm sure this is all a strategy to keep new products in the pipeline to keep sales energized.

Having or not having a 15" MacBook isn't what keeping Apple from having 10% of the market. Not having Windows plays much more part in that.
post #37 of 91
Quote:
Y'know, is it just me, or is the whole 'MacBook' vs 'MacBook Pro' thing is getting a tad old?

No its not, look at the difference between Apple and Dells revenues and profits. That tells the whole story of who is performing best.

People here are quick to point out what Dell does but ignore that Apple is executing much better than Dell.
post #38 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Sounds cool to me. It will likely be using GMA X3000. Apple could have done this last year. I'm sure this is all a strategy to keep new products in the pipeline to keep sales energized.

Having or not having a 15" MacBook isn't what keeping Apple from having 10% of the market. Not having Windows plays much more part in that.

But they do have Windows now, thanks to the Intel switch.

Some of things that actually are hurting them aren't readily changeable, such as market inertia or the fact that Apple will never compete at the low-end (which is just as well actually). But there are some things they could do to help themselves, such as filling product line holes, increasing BTO flexibility, and more aggressive pricing.

.
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post #39 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

No its not, look at the difference between Apple and Dells revenues and profits. That tells the whole story of who is performing best.

I don't think its that simple. Dell's entire focus and business model is different.

.
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post #40 of 91
No Mac ships with Windows you have to buy a copy and install it. Something no one has to do when they buy a Dell.

I don't think any of these things are necessarily hurting Apple. There are advantages to not having to support a huge user base.

The strategy Apple seems to understand is to continue to introduce new and exciting products that people desire.

Quote:
I don't think its that simple. Dell's entire focus and business model is different.

A business model that is predicated on people buying a lot of computers. But what happens when the market becomes saturated, your business model runs out of steam.
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