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Will Apple ever make this machine? - Page 3

post #81 of 362
To Splinemodel:

I don't think the market most of us are suggesting with a low-end tower is necessarily for enthusiasts that want to experiment and swap out things to feel like they built their computer. Rather, I believe the low-end tower fills the market that needs or DESIRES expandability. The Mac Pro is the ONLY computer apple offers that provide expandability without the loss of desk space from external HDs, airport express, usb splitters, etc.

What I tried to explain earlier is that the consumers are starting to understand technology a lot better. We are seeing HD in peoples living rooms, ipods all over the place, and ALL sorts of add-ons for computers (they wouldnt keep being built if people werent buying them). It is just a rising trend that more and more people know more about technology. Because of that...this would be a good market for those who understand technology.

On the other hand, it does not mean this computer is only for people who know what they are doing either. Believe it or not, there are consumers that want a mac, are attracted to the mac mini, yet are not convinced to buy because they want something more. The whole BYOKDM (bring your own keyboard, display, and mouse) with the mac mini wouldnt be much of a marketing ploy if apple didn't realize people already have this stuff and don't need them (plus it saves cost). But take it to the next level, and there are still people that have a display and don't want to get rid of it yet or don't need to if it will save them some extra cash while getting them better components. I believe people would easily make this trade, I would!

We live in a consumer world where people want more cheaper, and that is what we are talking about here. It isn't about what we NEED. Maybe for some but not most of us. It's about what we demand from apple to make our lives easier...and it could logically happen if enough show they want that. I think many have already stated that on the PC side that is a huge market, why would it be any different for apple?
post #82 of 362
irahodges

I would only add that if the question is, if Apple wishes to expand market share, they will have to gain switchers. By default, switchers have computers the vast majority of which are towers that have PCI slots and are not AIO.

Why would they fear a similar computer? Why would they place an extraordinary premium on saving space, as does the Mac mini and iMac? The use of laptop parts add expense at the cost of speed and flexibility, BOTH OF WHICH ANY CURRENT SWITCHERS HAVE NOT PLACED A PREMIUM. The proof of this lays in the fact that on the PC side AIOs have existed for a long time, have been tried by most of the major manufactures, yet still lag miserably in sales.

Someday when the hardware so far exceeds the demands of software this may change and will all run around with star tek like tricorders, but not in my lifetime. The desktop will remain a viable option due to lower costs and greater speeds/cost and flexibility. The AIO has most of the disadvantages of a laptop but lacks the greatest advantage, it is not portable and requires an outlet.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
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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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
post #83 of 362
It's been interesting lurking on this thread...

I believe irahodges has the right of it regarding what many folks would like to see out of Mac.

Lemme 'splain...

Personally, I'm a PC user who is desperately trying to get into a Mac but I really don't like my VERY LIMITED options. Being a card carrying, Rat Bastard Capitalist I'm not really into a company telling me what my options are. That is the very reason why I'm leaving PC's and Microsoft; They are trying to make consumers buy Vista. Not me.

I then come over to look at the Mac side of the world and all looks really nice. Very inviting...

Right up until I see that in order to get into a Mac I must either:

a) Buy an iMac with very limited options and no real future expansion.

b) Spend about 25-30% more to get a stripped Mac Pro.

When I look at the financial metrics of switching to Mac they really aren't there. If Apple had something like a mid Mac Pro that could compete w/ the PC contemporaries like the configurable Dell XPS line that would seal the deal right there. I would pay a bit more for a comparably equipped Mac, but as of right now that is just not an option.

Why Apple doesn't try for an obviously large market (it is where most PC manufacturers make their money) is beyond me.

I would love to know why.

Thanks!

FOXPhotog
post #84 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOXPhotog View Post


Why Apple doesn't try for an obviously large market (it is where most PC manufacturers make their money) is beyond me.

I would love to know why.


Many of us would love to know why. It makes no sense, and yes, it is very obvious.

By the way, welcome to the discussion.

post #85 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOXPhotog View Post

If Apple had something like a mid Mac Pro that could compete w/ the PC contemporaries like the configurable Dell XPS line that would seal the deal right there. I would pay a bit more for a comparably equipped Mac, but as of right now that is just not an option.

Why Apple doesn't try for an obviously large market (it is where most PC manufacturers make their money) is beyond me.

I would love to know why.

Thanks!

FOXPhotog

Would you pay $1300 for a $1000 machine? Do you think that Apple would sell a lot more thousand dollar machines for $1300 than they do iMacs? Because that doesn't sound too competitive and reviews would trash Mac towers I would think. AIOs have the advantage that they aren't towers and its not an "apples to apples" comparison (no pun intended).

Apple has the best ASPs and margins in the business with a positive growth rate, good branding and mindshare. They make as much as larger companies but with lower infrastructure needs for inventory and support.

An Apple tower would cost more to make (lower volumes than Dell or HP, higher component costs because Apple is a "premium" brand and must have better fit and finish), have higher margins than its competitors (35% average Apple vs 18% average Dell) and would have to sell more units than iMacs (which has a higher ASP) to maintain total revenue stream and doesn't contribute to Apple's total notebook component buys (like the current iMacs do).

Name a premium brand tower maker. Not Sony. All their VAIO towers are gone. Nothing left but an AIO and a "Digital Living System"...a Core 2 Duo TiVO on steroids that is typically attached to a 200 DVD jukebox. Not IBM. Not Toshiba. Not Fujitsu. Heck, even Alienware is now Dell. There are a few boutique game tower makers like Voodoo but not a premium brand like has existed in the past with VAIO. Apple is a premium brand and has expended a good amount of effort to build that branding.

Why SHOULD Apple enter a mature highly competitive commodity market with entrenched combatants who's business models are built around high volume, low ASPs and thin margins? Especially with a product that would be judged much like the VAIO towers of the past...pretty case and accessories but overpriced and underpowered.

Compare that to what reviewers say of the Mac Pro...surprisingly competitive with Dell's offerings, expensive but good value, great workstation, editor's choice, yadda yadda yadda. Now with 8 cores.

Better to invest in product lines like Apple TV and iPhone where real market share gains and dominance can be achieved. Besides, Apple is sufficiently not a PC maker anymore that they dropped computer from the name. That should have clued folks in that a commodity PC market wasn't anywhere in Apple's future plans.

Vinea
post #86 of 362
Slight addition:

IMHO a $1499-$1699 Cube might fit in the product line but the thrashing Apple took from the last cube makes this an unlikely possibility.

The only tower like thingy you're likely to see from Apple is an Apple branded NAS. Probably an Apple TV class machine with Mac Pro like drive bays using ZFS to support TimeMachine and storage of more iTunes content that sits wirelessly on a bookshelf (needing only power).

Vinea
post #87 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splinemodel View Post

Realistically, we're talking about a very small chunk. Not everyone who buys a low-end tower PC is interested in altering its components. I'd say that less than 2% of the PC market buys low-end towers with plans to modify them. Office buildings full of boilerplate PCs account for massive amounts of the overal market. The enthusiast market is quite small.

rickag: And which PCI cards do you need?


Anyway, I proposed a challenge to come up with real reasons why you need a low-end tower. So far, no real answers.

I wasn't referring to low-end towers. Someone who wants a low-end tower will most likely be interested in the Mac mini. What is missing is a mid-range tower between the iMac and the Mac Pros. I'm a long time Mac user and have no interest in AIOs or closed boxes like the Mac mini. I want to have the option to upgrade as new technologies are introduced. With the iMac and the Mac mini you are locked in. We aren't talking about enthusiast here, we are talking about those of us that do not want a closed box. There's a huge consumer market here that Apple is missing.
post #88 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Slight addition:

IMHO a $1499-$1699 Cube might fit in the product line but the thrashing Apple took from the last cube makes this an unlikely possibility.


A Cube isn't a tower. The Cube was overpriced and had limited expandability. That's why it only catered to a few. Apple's consumer Macs are well designed and do have a market, but there is also a market for consumer towers, just look at the PC market.
post #89 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Would you pay $1300 for a $1000 machine?

For the same machine no, would you?

That was not at all of what I was speaking...


Quote:
Do you think that Apple would sell a lot more thousand dollar machines for $1300 than they do iMacs?

Um, no, but using those figures as the basis for a discussion is not realistic.

While I'll not speak of "ASPs" (I have no idea what that is) "margins" , "mindshare" or other industry-specific language what I will say is that the relative benefits for Apple to expand into a Mid market seem to be plentiful.

No not in the terms of a Dell or an HP, but in the terms that Apple likes, smaller areas of untapped growth.

Why make an iPod? The answer now is self evident. But rewind to pre-2001 and I'll bet you didn't see everyone walking around with a CD player. Why?

And what of the iPhone? Steve Jobs very strategy for getting into the overly saturated mobile phone arena is to get only 1% of the 20 million phones in use. (Taken from a recent Newsweek article with Steve Jobs)

That is a HUGE amount of cash coming to Apple if his goals are realistic, and clearly they are.

I think all of those folks, myself included, who are wanting another option are not wanting Apple to change itself or its business model. Much to the contrary, I like what Apple offers and I have a need/want in my computing life for something they do not yet make, but could.


Quote:
Apple has the best ASPs and margins in the business with a positive growth rate, good branding and mindshare. They make as much as larger companies but with lower infrastructure needs for inventory and support.

They have snakes? :^)


Quote:
An Apple tower would cost more to make (lower volumes than Dell or HP, higher component costs because Apple is a "premium" brand and must have better fit and finish), have higher margins than its competitors (35% average Apple vs 18% average Dell) and would have to sell more units than iMacs (which has a higher ASP) to maintain total revenue stream and doesn't contribute to Apple's total notebook component buys (like the current iMacs do).

Then by using that model, the current MacPro platform would be a just dandy jumping off point for a smaller midsize type computer. They already make an 8 core, 16g of RAM beast. Why not allow that to be paired down for those of us who have no desire for a beast that big yet want to be able to add components as we see fit?

Quote:
Why SHOULD Apple enter a mature highly competitive commodity market with entrenched combatants who's business models are built around high volume, low ASPs and thin margins?

Yes, I think they would be better served entering the very minimally competitive world of Broadcast Newsroom intergration.


Having re-read what I wrote I can see how one could read that I was advocating for Apple to go tete-a-tete with the Dell's of the world. No. I believe that Apple is missing a larger market for cross over defectors who don't want to buy an all-in-one and aren't even going near the MacPro.

Quote:
Better to invest in product lines like Apple TV and iPhone where real market share gains and dominance can be achieved.

Dominance in the mobile phone market? Is that what one would really consider a more viable and "open" avenue for dominance? Hmmm... that is a tough sell.

Quote:
Besides, Apple is sufficiently not a PC maker anymore that they dropped computer from the name. That should have clued folks in that a commodity PC market wasn't anywhere in Apple's future plans.

Really. That's not at all what I got from it. But what do I know...

Thanks!

FOXPhotog
post #90 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post


Apple . . . have higher margins than its competitors (35% average Apple vs 18% average Dell) . . .


Using your figures, Apple should compete just fine with a small tower. Say a particular Dell tower is equipped to sell for $799. Apple could sell a comparable Mac tower for $999. At that difference, the Mac price seems reasonable, considering that you get a professional OS, not a lite home edition. Plus you get iLife software that is equivalent to what you pay extra for with a Windows PC.

If Apple's Mac Pro can compete with Dell, a Mac mini tower can also compete.


Quote:

Why SHOULD Apple enter a mature highly competitive commodity market with entrenched combatants who's business models are built around high volume, low ASPs and thin margins?


Sounds like you speak of the iPhone, rather than a mini tower. A highly competitive market is usually a big market, and therefore an opportunity to increase market share.

post #91 of 362
I think that there is a market for a smaller non-AOI in the mac pantheon.
It should be a single chip model
2 non externally accessible drive bays
2 externally accessible drive bays (dvd, BD, tape drive)
4 Memory slots (1GB Ram Standard)
2 PCI slots (one for the video card and one extra)
Assorted ports (USB, FireWire a & b, Sata, Digital Sound, Hdmi, Ethernet)

Selling price $1300-1400 Base with 20" monitor $1900-2000.

This price range and capability put it above the iMac (the combo cost the same or a little more than a 24" iMac) keeping Apples margins, Lowering price to consumers who want more versatility, and hopefully not cannibalizing iMac sales.
post #92 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by REM#1 View Post

I think that there is a market for a smaller non-AOI in the mac pantheon.
It should be a single chip model
2 non externally accessible drive bays
2 externally accessible drive bays (dvd, BD, tape drive)
4 Memory slots (1GB Ram Standard)
2 PCI slots (one for the video card and one extra)
Assorted ports (USB, FireWire a & b, Sata, Digital Sound, Hdmi, Ethernet)

Selling price $1300-1400 Base with 20" monitor $1900-2000.

This price range and capability put it above the iMac (the combo cost the same or a little more than a 24" iMac) keeping Apples margins, Lowering price to consumers who want more versatility, and hopefully not cannibalizing iMac sales.

One of those PCI slots would have to be PCIx16 for a video card.
post #93 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoganT View Post

One of those PCI slots would have to be PCIx16 for a video card.

They could both be PCIx or what ever version of the Spec is current or needed. The ports should be of the latest spec but somewhat backward compatible.
post #94 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

...
Apple has the best ASPs and margins in the business with a positive growth rate, good branding and mindshare. They make as much as larger companies but with lower infrastructure needs for inventory and support.
...Vinea

Apple's growth rate is a result of laptop sales. Desktop sales were stagnant again this quarter.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
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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just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
post #95 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

...
An Apple tower would cost more to make (lower volumes than Dell or HP, higher component costs because Apple is a "premium" brand and must have better fit and finish), have higher margins than its competitors (35% average Apple vs 18% average Dell) and would have to sell more units than iMacs (which has a higher ASP) to maintain total revenue stream and doesn't contribute to Apple's total notebook component buys (like the current iMacs do).
...Vinea

Regarding your post concerning costs, the Mac Pro actually costs less than an equivalently configured Dell, splain that, since their components obviously don't effect Apple's overall component laptop costs.

I've have yet to find a single customer that went into a store and thought gee, I guess I'll buy an Apple computer because their margins are 35% and Dell's is only 18%.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
post #96 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Slight addition:

IMHO a $1499-$1699 Cube might fit in the product line but the thrashing Apple took from the last cube makes this an unlikely possibility.

The only tower like thingy you're likely to see from Apple is an Apple branded NAS. Probably an Apple TV class machine with Mac Pro like drive bays using ZFS to support TimeMachine and storage of more iTunes content that sits wirelessly on a bookshelf (needing only power).

Vinea

A $1499 - $1699 Cube would be another failure, guaranteed. Another overpriced niche market item that consumers would avoid.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
post #97 of 362
Apple's just released quarterly results prove one thing.

Apple's growth in computer sales is overwhelmingly a result of laptop sales. "Why?" you ask. Because they are configured with what the consumer expects in a laptop. People are in fact switching to Mac OS X.

Apple's desktop sales are stagnant again. Apple is not gaining market share with desktops. Why? IMHO it is obvious. Apple doesn't offer anything, and I mean anything, that the consumer considers of value in their current line up.

I like the iMac, I have an iMac, but even I value Mac OS X over the iMac. I settled because I like OS X. Switchers aren't so inclined.

edit: To add emphasis, Apple's growth rate was 30%, let that sink in a minute. It blows away other manufacturer's results. Then, when it becomes apparent the the growth is exclusively in laptops, I mean wow, really wow. No one on any board has come up with anything remotely logical to explain this other than consumers are not buying AIO and Mac minis because they are considered odd.
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
just waiting to be included in one of Apple's target markets.
Don't get me wrong, I like the flat panel iMac, actually own an iMac, and I like the Mac mini, but...........
Reply
post #98 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by FOXPhotog View Post

For the same machine no, would you?

So you answered the question. Apple wouldn't sell many mid range towers because they would be uncompetitive.

Quote:
Um, no, but using those figures as the basis for a discussion is not realistic.

Why? Which part do you disagree with?

That Apple maintains higher margins?
That Apple typically needs higher build quality to maintain brand image?
That these two factors results in a machine that would be more expensive than their Dell/HP counterparts?

Quote:
While I'll not speak of "ASPs" (I have no idea what that is) "margins" , "mindshare" or other industry-specific language what I will say is that the relative benefits for Apple to expand into a Mid market seem to be plentiful.

ASP = Average Sales Price.

And I say that those "relative benefits" are illusory rather than plentiful. If they were not then there would be premium tower manufacturers still.

Quote:
Then by using that model, the current MacPro platform would be a just dandy jumping off point for a smaller midsize type computer. They already make an 8 core, 16g of RAM beast. Why not allow that to be paired down for those of us who have no desire for a beast that big yet want to be able to add components as we see fit?

Sure. And I have never objected to the idea that Apple can and possibly should offer a single Xeon 2.66GHz BTO in their Mac Pro line for $1,699...something $50 less than the equivalent Dell Precision 490.

I do not believe that Apple would be successful trying to compete with Dell's Precision 390 line. Dell enjoys a lot of cost savings becuase it moves a lot of Conroe based machines in the lower tiers.

Quote:
Yes, I think they would be better served entering the very minimally competitive world of Broadcast Newsroom intergration.

A market segment that Apple does already compete in (content creation).

Quote:
Having re-read what I wrote I can see how one could read that I was advocating for Apple to go tete-a-tete with the Dell's of the world. No. I believe that Apple is missing a larger market for cross over defectors who don't want to buy an all-in-one and aren't even going near the MacPro.

And no one has shown that these folks exist in any large number.

Quote:
Dominance in the mobile phone market? Is that what one would really consider a more viable and "open" avenue for dominance? Hmmm... that is a tough sell.

Smartphone market.

Vinea
post #99 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy View Post

Using your figures, Apple should compete just fine with a small tower. Say a particular Dell tower is equipped to sell for $799. Apple could sell a comparable Mac tower for $999. At that difference, the Mac price seems reasonable, considering that you get a professional OS, not a lite home edition. Plus you get iLife software that is equivalent to what you pay extra for with a Windows PC.

If Apple's Mac Pro can compete with Dell, a Mac mini tower can also compete.

An Apple mini tower looks like a Precision 390. Compare this to the Dimension E520 and ask yourself how many Precisions does Dell sell in comparison the Dimensions. Now ask yourself how much more Core 2 Duo (Conroe) parts cost Apple vs Dell due to the volume discounts differences and attach that to the Precision's price and wonder how well this machine would review.

No, I dunno that I would agree that Apple would appear very competitive vs the Precision 390 much less the Dimension line simply because Dell has significant competitive advantages in the cost of the 390.

Quote:
Sounds like you speak of the iPhone, rather than a mini tower. A highly competitive market is usually a big market, and therefore an opportunity to increase market share.


The iPhone is fighting in a limited Smartphone market. This market is a good match for Apple since a) its underserved in the usability department and b) the demographic is time poor and cash rich.

Apple has the opportunity to dominate the smart phone market because of perceived limitations of the current offerings and the lack of a very strong dominant player. RIM is no Del, HPl or Microsoft. A lot more like Creative. The smartphone market is still emerging, not quite mature but mature enough that there is enough demand that the iPhone can move good volume if Apple does a good job. The push into true mainstream use hasn't quite happened.

They say they delayed Leopard to make iPhone happen. That tells you Apple's priorities.

Thus far no one has answered the challenge:

Name one premium brand tower maker.

Vinea
post #100 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

A $1499 - $1699 Cube would be another failure, guaranteed. Another overpriced niche market item that consumers would avoid.

Another niche market item that apple would have high margins and ASPs and compete with a company like Shuttle and not a company like Dell.

The SFF market is said to be growing. A larger SFF computer (with more drives) used to feed the apple TV fits within the product strategy better than the current Mini.

Vinea
post #101 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

Apple's just released quarterly results prove one thing.

Apple's growth in computer sales is overwhelmingly a result of laptop sales. "Why?" you ask. Because they are configured with what the consumer expects in a laptop. People are in fact switching to Mac OS X.

Arguably, notebooks are an area where Apple can be price competitive and is a high growth area where gains can be made without trying to take share away from an incumbent.

Quote:
Apple's desktop sales are stagnant again. Apple is not gaining market share with desktops. Why? IMHO it is obvious. Apple doesn't offer anything, and I mean anything, that the consumer considers of value in their current line up.

600,000 people per quarter disagree with this assessment.

Quote:
edit: To add emphasis, Apple's growth rate was 30%, let that sink in a minute. It blows away other manufacturer's results. Then, when it becomes apparent the the growth is exclusively in laptops, I mean wow, really wow. No one on any board has come up with anything remotely logical to explain this other than consumers are not buying AIO and Mac minis because they are considered odd.

What it says to me that Apple has optimized its entire product line to support the pc growth area where it is price competitive and this has paid handsome dividends.
  • Intel has stated it offers no pricing discounts except on the basis of volume. Apple has a strategy that by accident or plan maximizes its mobile parts volume by leveraging an additional 600K desktop sales as much as feasible to reduce its notebook component costs.
  • The notebook market is not as price sensitive as the desktop market. Yet.
  • Dell, HP and other commodity makers have not engaged in the pricing war to make the notebook market a commodity one. Yet. Premium brand notebook makers still exist. Don't expect this condition to last more than a few years. In time we will be having the same discussion about traditional notebooks and how Apple only offers UMPCs, ultrathin notebooks and phones. I suppose some folks already gripe that Apple has no desktop replacement notebook offering so this has already started.
  • Rather than conceed the desktop market entirely as Sony has effectively done, Apple offers SFF and AIO products that are sufficiently competitive that they have significant sales. It then uses these sales to optimize its ability to compete in the notebook market.
  • Apple is not a commodity manufacturer and therefore wisely avoids the commodity tower market.

Vinea
post #102 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by REM#1 View Post


I think that there is a market for a smaller non-AOI in the mac pantheon. . .

Selling price $1300-1400 Base . . .


I believe this price is too high, and Apple could sell the machine you describe starting at $999, even $899, with a low cost but fast consumer chip and a reasonably good graphics card. Offer maybe three choices of CPU and several graphics cards, with at least one good for gaming.


Quote:

2 PCI slots (one for the video card and one extra) . . .


Empty slots don't cost much. I'd say provide 3 empty slots. Otherwise you are describing just what I have been asking for in a mini tower, something noticeably smaller and cheaper than a Mac Pro.

A big argument that is raised against such a mini tower is that it would cannibalize sales of the iMac and Mac Pro. This is true, but I'd guess that iMac and Mac Pro sales would drop only 20 percent due to a mini tower. The reason this effect would be relatively small is price. Feature for feature, a Mac mini tower would not be cheaper.

What a mini tower does, however, is give Mac customers a choice, and those who prefer a headless, expandable prosumer tower could actually buy one from Apple.

Also, a mini tower would undoubtedly increase Mac desktop sales greatly. I'd say that 60 to 80 percent of a Mac mini tower sales would be to customers who would not buy a new Mac desktop today. This would include myself, who has been purchasing older Power Macs on eBay. If such a mini tower is not forthcoming from Apple, my next purchase will likely be a Mac Pro on eBay.

post #103 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

Regarding your post concerning costs, the Mac Pro actually costs less than an equivalently configured Dell, splain that, since their components obviously don't effect Apple's overall component laptop costs.

I did. Dell makes its margins in the workstation and server markets. Not the lower end tower markets. The 18% is the average of its gross profits across all product lines.

We know that they aren't making 18% in the entry market where their volume is largest. Therefore the margins in the workstation and server markets are far higher than 18%. This is also why IBM is still competitive in the medium server markets.

Quote:
I've have yet to find a single customer that went into a store and thought gee, I guess I'll buy an Apple computer because their margins are 35% and Dell's is only 18%.

No, but I bet there are plenty of examples where folks have stated "I guess I'll buy this cheaper HP tower rather than this more expensive VAIO tower with the same specs".

The tower market completely ignored Sony's out of box advantage in DVD recording/authoring, digital media hub and integration with Sony lifestyle products (video cameras, digital camera, etc). Does that sound like the Windows version of iLife and Apple's own ecostructure (only iPod vs cameras)?

If those advantages mattered Sony would still be in the tower market and I would agree with you that a premium tower market exists and Apple should have an offering since Sony is succcessful there.

Instead Apple appears prescient in its AIO and SFF strategy for staying in the desktop market with good margins where Sony's VAIO tower strategy failed.

You can argue that Sony didn't do as good a job as Apple can and I would agree. But enough that the outcome is significantly different?

Quote:
But DVD recording isn't the only area in which Sony is bringing together computing and consumer electronics. Only Apple bundles as many company-branded digital media applications--for music, photos and movies--with its consumer PCs. But many of Sony's applications are tightly tied to unique hardware features. For example, Sony's SonicStage software for managing and listening to MP3s also can record music from FM radio stations on models that come with a built-in FM receiver.

Sony's GigaPocket Personal Video Recorder software offers TiVo-like features for models packing TV tuners. Consumers can use the software for scheduling programs that can be recorded to the PC's hard drive. Sony also provides software that can be used for, among other things, editing out commercials. The consumer could then convert the show to MPEG2 and burn it to a DVD.

"One of the things Sony is going to do, being it's Sony, is to add extra value to its products to set them apart from the commodity PC market," Baker said. "Emphasizing specialized software or style gets them out of the speeds-and-feeds area and focuses the market on what Sony does best."

http://news.com.com/2100-1001-930802.html

Vinea
post #104 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

If those advantages mattered Sony would still be in the tower market and I would agree with you that a premium tower market exists and Apple should have an offering since Sony is succcessful there.

I could have sworn I saw a Vaio tower at a Sony store last week, but it's not online.

For whatever Sony offers, usually the Apple counterpart is better and cheaper.
post #105 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

I could have sworn I saw a Vaio tower at a Sony store last week, but it's not online.

For whatever Sony offers, usually the Apple counterpart is better and cheaper.

Do they still have the RC Digital Studio? I know there was a new rev in 2006 but it disappeared from the online SonyStyle store and I didn't see it at the Tysons Corner SonyStyle store. Wasn't looking for it either. I did play with their UMPC...rather cool.

http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/category/desktops

No more RC link although the page for it still exists on the server:

http://b2b.sony.com/Solutions/subcat...tops/rc-series

http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...Dept=computers

Heh, forgot all about their $1600 round mini...

There are still a nice number of VAIO notebooks. I like their ultra-portable TX line and wish Apple had a model in the same product space.

Vinea
post #106 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

There are still a nice number of VAIO notebooks. I like their ultra-portable TX line and wish Apple had a model in the same product space.

I do agree on that. Even though I expect such an Apple model to go for $2k, I think Apple could still sell a lot of ultralights just because of the size and being half the weight of their more powerful models.

I know that the computer market in Japan is depressed, but even so, I think Apple's sales there are disproportionately low there because they don't offer such a model. From what I hear from people in Japan is that the ultralight is pretty much the only type of computer that's in demand.

I think it's also possible that Apple may just be leapfrogging the ultraportable and trying to sell the iPhone to that market instead, because cell phones are where the Asian market does most of its electronic communication. iTunes' uptake is low because more people in Asia are using their phones to play music. They are also doing their text communications using their phones rather than buying computers to do the job.
post #107 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Another niche market item that apple would have high margins and ASPs and compete with a company like Shuttle and not a company like Dell.

The SFF market is said to be growing. A larger SFF computer (with more drives) used to feed the apple TV fits within the product strategy better than the current Mini.

Vinea

Hello Vinea, nice to see you're back

I don't think Apple should or want to compete with Dell, I think they are happy seeing Dell, HP and others fight themselves for .x% of the market.

But I like your comparaison with Shuttle, and I would like Apple to bring some models in that category as, like you said, the Mac mini doesn't cut it. In fact, nobody outside Apple knows how many minis are sold each quarter and how much it does for the current margin profits.

I really don't care which platform Apple should use for this kind of computer (Xeon or Conroe), but I really believe that a Conroe-based computer will cost Apple less to manufacture than a single CPU Xeon one, because of the cost of the chipset and RAM.

Taken in account Intel's last price cuts on desktop chips and that the Xeons have never seen their prices cut since the 5100 series launch, and that most of the components are already in Apple's inventory (HD, OD, Video cards, etc.), I really think Apple could make a "shuttle" for $999-$1999 depending on the CPU used. If Apple can manufacture a $2500 workstation with $1400 worth of CPUs inside, I really believe they can make a smaller computer for $1000 with a $200 CPU.

For what market, should you ask? I'll tell you that I am no gamer, but I really believe that it would increse sales in the small and not so small office/enterprise market. While Apple growth may be 3x the overall PC growth, it didn't change their market share a lot this quarter.

And while I think that the Mac Pro is an exceptionnally great and priced computer, it is still too expensive for most. Just think about all those creative offices, small and medium, that use (or could use) Adobe CS, FCP, Logic Pro and other solutions, that currently have no choice but the Mac Pro for real "desktop performance" and other features like easy access to internal components, maintenance, upgradability, the ability to have 2 identical displays of any size they want (try this with a 17", 24" or even a 20" iMac or any notebook), etc.

I've just visited the Shuttle web site an found a G2-3200H with a 2.40GHz Conroe, 1066FSB, 1GB RAM, 250HD, Superdrive, basic ATI PCIe video card, wireless for $1300, with room for another HD and another PCI card, and there are more models with less or more features... This is basically a more powerful computer than the currently faster iMac (2.33GHz/667FSB).

...
post #108 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjteix View Post

Hello Vinea, nice to see you're back

Thanks.

Quote:
But I like your comparaison with Shuttle, and I would like Apple to bring some models in that category as, like you said, the Mac mini doesn't cut it. In fact, nobody outside Apple knows how many minis are sold each quarter and how much it does for the current margin profits.

Probably wouldn't exite too many companies...besides Shuttle.

Quote:
I really don't care which platform Apple should use for this kind of computer (Xeon or Conroe), but I really believe that a Conroe-based computer will cost Apple less to manufacture than a single CPU Xeon one, because of the cost of the chipset and RAM.

I would guess Merom if I had to for a Shuttle sized Mini. Not saying they couldn't go Conroe or Xeon but I would think they'd try to stay the same as the iMac.

Quote:
I really think Apple could make a "shuttle" for $999-$1999 depending on the CPU used. If Apple can manufacture a $2500 workstation with $1400 worth of CPUs inside, I really believe they can make a smaller computer for $1000 with a $200 CPU.

If they had 1 16x PCIe slot I think most folks would be estatic...Merom, Conroe or Xeon...

Quote:
And while I think that the Mac Pro is an exceptionnally great and priced computer, it is still too expensive for most.

No disagreement. A single Xeon priced like the comparable Dell Precision 490 ($1,749 for a single 2.66Ghz Xeon) would go a long way to fix this without doing anything more than adding a single BTO option to the Mac Pro line. A single 1.6 Ghz Xeon only costs $1,229from Dell...but I doubt Apple would want to go there.

Quote:
I've just visited the Shuttle web site an found a G2-3200H with a 2.40GHz Conroe, 1066FSB, 1GB RAM, 250HD, Superdrive, basic ATI PCIe video card, wireless for $1300, with room for another HD and another PCI card, and there are more models with less or more features... This is basically a more powerful computer than the currently faster iMac (2.33GHz/667FSB).

...

Yah...but I doubt Apple would offer something like that for less than $1499 and use a 2.16Ghz Merom vs 2.4Ghz Conroe. Just from what it might do to the iMac and PowerMac lines.

That Shuttle should destroy the 20" iMac in a head to head comparison (and benchmarks) even given you need to tack on a $200 20" widescreen flat panel from somewhere for the Shuttle. The expandability alone is to me worth $200....much less the faster Conroe.

The iMacs just aren't very good values when comparing specs.

Vinea
post #109 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post


The SFF market is said to be growing. A larger SFF computer (with more drives) used to feed the apple TV fits within the product strategy better than the current Mini.


Here is something I think we agree upon. Yet, Apple seems to have painted itself into a corner. The Mac Mini is too small to house a very large HDD. I'd say Apple should redesign it and make it big enough to house a standard 500 GB drive. In addition, it should have room for a good cooling system, capable of handling a higher performance CPU. On-board graphics would be adequate for this market IMHO. The HDD capacity and CPU performance should be an option for the customer. Since this redesign would be larger, Apple should go ahead and include a full size optical drive as well.

The problem with this approach as I see it, is that many customers may have locked in the current Mac Mini dimensions. So, Apple may not be able to discontinue the current Mac Mini anytime soon. As demand for it decreased, Apple could eventually discontinue it, offering a last time buy for those who need something that small.

post #110 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy View Post

Here is something I think we agree upon. Yet, Apple seems to have painted itself into a corner. The Mac Mini is too small to house a very large HDD. I'd say Apple should redesign it and make it big enough to house a standard 500 GB drive. In addition, it should have room for a good cooling system, capable of handling a higher performance CPU. On-board graphics would be adequate for this market IMHO. The HDD capacity and CPU performance should be an option for the customer. Since this redesign would be larger, Apple should go ahead and include a full size optical drive as well.

Sure. Or you can take the aTV board, remove video related hardware and stick 4 drives with it, use ZFS and sell it as the iNAS.

I dunno which way is better.

Quote:
The problem with this approach as I see it, is that many customers may have locked in the current Mac Mini dimensions. So, Apple may not be able to discontinue the current Mac Mini anytime soon. As demand for it decreased, Apple could eventually discontinue it, offering a last time buy for those who need something that small.


Yah...there are a lot of 3rd party products designed for the mini dimensions. But they could do a lot of what you want with just height.

Vinea
post #111 of 362
I agree, with all of what everyone said aside from the several manufacturers one. To be honest, IMAC is perfect for just about everyone. Do you really need 4 processors? NO!!!! It's a BSD based system and unless you have VERY specific needs, IMAC or MacBook is all you need. Why is it that we always need better? We don't if we are doing the same tasks like web browsing, and basic programming. 3gb on my 2.16 GHz intel duo is all I will need for a very long time. Sit back, and enjoy technology because it will never end until the very earth stops breathing. Wait till forever my friend, it will never stop.
2.16 GHz 20" IMac w/ 3 Gb of RAM
2 GHz MacBook w/ 2 Gb of RAM
2 GHz MacBook w/ 4 Gb of RAM
1.83 GHz MacMini w/ 1 Gb of RAM (Hooked up to LCD 42")
Palm LifeDrive running LINUX (That was a pain in...
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2.16 GHz 20" IMac w/ 3 Gb of RAM
2 GHz MacBook w/ 2 Gb of RAM
2 GHz MacBook w/ 4 Gb of RAM
1.83 GHz MacMini w/ 1 Gb of RAM (Hooked up to LCD 42")
Palm LifeDrive running LINUX (That was a pain in...
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post #112 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Feartec View Post

I agree, with all of what everyone said aside from the several manufacturers one. To be honest, IMAC is perfect for just about everyone. Do you really need 4 processors? NO!!!! It's a BSD based system and unless you have VERY specific needs, IMAC or MacBook is all you need. Why is it that we always need better? We don't if we are doing the same tasks like web browsing, and basic programming. 3gb on my 2.16 GHz intel duo is all I will need for a very long time. Sit back, and enjoy technology because it will never end until the very earth stops breathing. Wait till forever my friend, it will never stop.

It's perfect if you can afford to replace a $2500 system after every refresh.

Do you want to see the perfect specs for a prosumer system than go here:
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1173577735222

High build quality (this is a high end boutique brand, not Dell), stylish brushed metal case, the newest technology, capable video card, large 320GB hard drive, 2GB of memory with the option to add an additional 2GB later, fast 20x desktop optical drive, not shortage of USB2 and firewire ports, 5.1 audio, and lot of of room for expansion so you don't need a large surge protector and an army of external devices/ The only thing its missing is OSX and an Apple logo. I'd be willing to spend an additional $200 to get this system in a Mac Pro case. What I'm not willing to do is spend $1000 more on a laptop with a 24" display that I'll have to replace in a much quicker time frame.
post #113 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Arguably, notebooks are an area where Apple can be price competitive and is a high growth area where gains can be made without trying to take share away from an incumbent.



600,000 people per quarter disagree with this assessment.



What it says to me that Apple has optimized its entire product line to support the pc growth area where it is price competitive and this has paid handsome dividends.Vinea

No, what it says is that when offering what people want Apple gains market share. When they offer what is considered odd and unacceptable they maintain what meager market they have.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

  • Intel has stated it offers no pricing discounts except on the basis of volume. Apple has a strategy that by accident or plan maximizes its mobile parts volume by leveraging an additional 600K desktop sales as much as feasible to reduce its notebook component costs.
  • The notebook market is not as price sensitive as the desktop market. Yet.
  • Dell, HP and other commodity makers have not engaged in the pricing war to make the notebook market a commodity one. Yet. Premium brand notebook makers still exist. Don't expect this condition to last more than a few years. In time we will be having the same discussion about traditional notebooks and how Apple only offers UMPCs, ultrathin notebooks and phones. I suppose some folks already gripe that Apple has no desktop replacement notebook offering so this has already started.
  • Rather than conceed the desktop market entirely as Sony has effectively done, Apple offers SFF and AIO products that are sufficiently competitive that they have significant sales. It then uses these sales to optimize its ability to compete in the notebook market.
  • Apple is not a commodity manufacturer and therefore wisely avoids the commodity tower market.

Vinea

Absolutely nothing you posted in your list explains Apple's desktop offerings other than milk the faithful. Not my problem, not the consumers problem.
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post #114 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

I did. Dell makes its margins in the workstation and server markets. Not the lower end tower markets. The 18% is the average of its gross profits across all product lines.

We know that they aren't making 18% in the entry market where their volume is largest. Therefore the margins in the workstation and server markets are far higher than 18%. This is also why IBM is still competitive in the medium server markets.Vinea

So, we know that Dell sells one heck of a lot more towers than Apple and according to your hypothesis, Apples margins on the tower are lower than Dell's because they obtain lower pricing on the cpus.

Then it follows that for Apple's premium low volume brand, the Mac Pro, Apple is willing to sacrifice margins for sales, BUT for the largest volume desktop market Apple is going to extraordinary effort to use HIGHER PRICED cpus, hard-drives and ram in desktops to maintain margins on laptops(milk the faithful).


Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

No, but I bet there are plenty of examples where folks have stated "I guess I'll buy this cheaper HP tower rather than this more expensive VAIO tower with the same specs".

The tower market completely ignored Sony's out of box advantage in DVD recording/authoring, digital media hub and integration with Sony lifestyle products (video cameras, digital camera, etc). Does that sound like the Windows version of iLife and Apple's own ecostructure (only iPod vs cameras)?

If those advantages mattered Sony would still be in the tower market and I would agree with you that a premium tower market exists and Apple should have an offering since Sony is succcessful there.

Instead Apple appears prescient in its AIO and SFF strategy for staying in the desktop market with good margins where Sony's VAIO tower strategy failed.

You can argue that Sony didn't do as good a job as Apple can and I would agree. But enough that the outcome is significantly different?

And their desktop market share is stagnant. Bet the current market on their prognostications, that's not prescient that's a gamble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinea View Post

Quote:
But DVD recording isn't the only area in which Sony is bringing together computing and consumer electronics. Only Apple bundles as many company-branded digital media applications--for music, photos and movies--with its consumer PCs. But many of Sony's applications are tightly tied to unique hardware features. For example, Sony's SonicStage software for managing and listening to MP3s also can record music from FM radio stations on models that come with a built-in FM receiver.

Sony's GigaPocket Personal Video Recorder software offers TiVo-like features for models packing TV tuners. Consumers can use the software for scheduling programs that can be recorded to the PC's hard drive. Sony also provides software that can be used for, among other things, editing out commercials. The consumer could then convert the show to MPEG2 and burn it to a DVD.

"One of the things Sony is going to do, being it's Sony, is to add extra value to its products to set them apart from the commodity PC market," Baker said. "Emphasizing specialized software or style gets them out of the speeds-and-feeds area and focuses the market on what Sony does best."

http://news.com.com/2100-1001-930802.html

Vinea

So now there is possibly a huge corporation that is going to try and go head to head against Apple's target market AND IS WILLING TO DO SO AT LOWER MARGINS. Not a good thing.
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post #115 of 362
Quote:
# Apple is not a commodity manufacturer and therefore wisely avoids the commodity tower market

But that is making an assumption that anyone wanting a medium tower style machine is looking for it to be the absolutely cheapest option on the market . . . which isn't the case.

Most folk acknowledge that in some cases, a premium on a product is acceptable. Apple are often viewed in that of category. So if they were to release a mid-sized desktop that placed itself inbetween the mini and the macpro, then if it were more expensive than the equivalent from the commodity manufacturers, then i dont think that many folk would be surprised or even bothered provided that the premium was reasonable.


I do think there is a reasonable market out there for a mid sized desktop. I dont think i'm alone. The MacPro is too much but i love the style of it, the Mini too little capacity but again i like the style, and the iMac to stylised for my personal liking and i dont want the all in one.


If apple could release a product that could take 3.5" HDD for large capacity, and a bit of a beefier graphics card then i'd be all for it. Heck . . . i'd even take a MacPro cut down.

Throw the iMac internals into a MacPro case ( not hard ) offer it for a little less than the equivalent iMac ( so that its a small jump to get the all in one with a display ), possibly limit the number of drive slots ( not hard ) and your sorted.

To me, that would sit just right to fill the hole. Something powerful enough to do decent basic video work and photo work, but also allow my own choices of external hardware. ( monitors )
post #116 of 362
It is painfully obvious that posters trying to defend Apple's desktop strategy have to go to extraordinary, often irrational lengths to explain this oddity.

I fear it is Steve Jobs obsession with the concept that for the consumer a computer should be like an appliance. Regrettably, it is not and in the foreseeable future will not be.

I can almost accept the rationalizations of protecting margins for certain products, but when Apple announces 35% margins, then I can only remember reading stories of Apple past, chuckling to themselves at their high margins of long ago which resulted in losing the computer and OS wars.

5% market share won't cut it in the long run. Maybe that's why Apple is so bent on the iPod and iPhone projects.
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post #117 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by fisha View Post

But that is making an assumption that anyone wanting a medium tower style machine is looking for it to be the absolutely cheapest option on the market . . . which isn't the case.

Most folk acknowledge that in some cases, a premium on a product is acceptable. Apple are often viewed in that of category. So if they were to release a mid-sized desktop that placed itself inbetween the mini and the macpro, then if it were more expensive than the equivalent from the commodity manufacturers, then i dont think that many folk would be surprised or even bothered provided that the premium was reasonable.


I do think there is a reasonable market out there for a mid sized desktop. I dont think i'm alone. The MacPro is too much but i love the style of it, the Mini too little capacity but again i like the style, and the iMac to stylised for my personal liking and i dont want the all in one.


If apple could release a product that could take 3.5" HDD for large capacity, and a bit of a beefier graphics card then i'd be all for it. Heck . . . i'd even take a MacPro cut down.

Throw the iMac internals into a MacPro case ( not hard ) offer it for a little less than the equivalent iMac ( so that its a small jump to get the all in one with a display ), possibly limit the number of drive slots ( not hard ) and your sorted.

To me, that would sit just right to fill the hole. Something powerful enough to do decent basic video work and photo work, but also allow my own choices of external hardware. ( monitors )

agreed.

I highlighted your statement concerning premium placed on certain brands. Just the fact that Apple has sold ~600,000 computers this last quarter proves it. The logical extension of that is how many more computers could Apple sell if they offered what people either want or PERCEIVE what they want.

And, what is the WORST CASE SENARIO? Apple's profits tumble, the iMac and Mac mini sales drop. Apple's reaction, and it could be very swift, could be to discontinue the mythical xMac. Apple is taking a much larger risk with the iPhone.
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post #118 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

agreed.

I highlighted your statement concerning premium placed on certain brands. Just the fact that Apple has sold ~600,000 computers this last quarter proves it. The logical extension of that is how many more computers could Apple sell if they offered what people either want or PERCEIVE what they want.

And, what is the WORST CASE SENARIO? Apple's profits tumble, the iMac and Mac mini sales drop. Apple's reaction, and it could be very swift, could be to discontinue the mythical xMac. Apple is taking a much larger risk with the iPhone.

Yes we are looking for a premium product at a premium price. Companies like Alienware, Velocity Micro, Polywell, etc. also offer premium products at a premium price. what to do not do is force the user to buy a type of computer the buyer is not interested in.
post #119 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickag View Post

So, we know that Dell sells one heck of a lot more towers than Apple and according to your hypothesis, Apples margins on the tower are lower than Dell's because they obtain lower pricing on the cpus.

Then it follows that for Apple's premium low volume brand, the Mac Pro, Apple is willing to sacrifice margins for sales, BUT for the largest volume desktop market Apple is going to extraordinary effort to use HIGHER PRICED cpus, hard-drives and ram in desktops to maintain margins on laptops(milk the faithful).

No. Dell's margins are comparable to Apples in the workstation market. Dell's volume sales in Conroe based machines and motherboards are much higher than their volumes in servers and workstations that are Xeon based. This is pretty well accepted. THIS is why the Mac Pro is competitive. Mac Pro volumes are not so much lower that Dell can have a huge cost advantage.

Apple is NOT sacrificing margins for sales in the workstation market. Its just that all the competitors have the same or higher margins within that bracket and don't have a huge cost advantage.

That Apple is using Merom vs Conroe in the iMacs are I think a combination of heat and the ability to maximize Merom buys. It makes them appear much larger to Intel when ordering mobile parts.

Quote:
So now there is possibly a huge corporation that is going to try and go head to head against Apple's target market AND IS WILLING TO DO SO AT LOWER MARGINS. Not a good thing.

Of course. Dell and HP aren't stupid...they know the notebooks are the next battleground and they will use their corporate strengths to their advantage. When you see folks like Toshiba, NEC, etc drop from the plain jane notebook market expect Apple to follow not too distantly.

Folks wonder what Apple is going to do with that huge warchest. I think they know that they need to get multi-touch tablets or something that will diffentiate them from Dell and HP within one or two generations. Notebooks are approaching commodity items but moving into the commodity tower market is not helpful.

Edit: No I misread your comment. Sony DROPPED OUT OF THE TOWER MARKET. How is that hard to miss? They TRIED THE STRATEGY YOU WANT WITH MANY OF THE SAME ADVANTAGES THAT APPLE HAS AND FAILED MISERABLY.

Sorry for yelling but I've made this point several times and somehow you keep not reading it.

Vinea
post #120 of 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by BenRoethig View Post

Yes we are looking for a premium product at a premium price. Companies like Alienware, Velocity Micro, Polywell, etc. also offer premium products at a premium price. what to do not do is force the user to buy a type of computer the buyer is not interested in.

In all fairness, no one is forcing anyone to buy anything, but I do agree that Apple's product line is a tad limited, leaving not many good options to a home power user that might consider an Apple. How big that market is kind of hard to guage though. Apple used to have a $1500 UP tower, but then, performance wise, it wasn't allowed to be much better than an iMac of the same price.
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