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Apple plans mystery "product transition" before September's end - Page 14

post #521 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

That is all your suggesting, right? Pretty much an exact replica of the current MacBooks, just aluminum.

What I'm expecting Apple to do is change the MacBook casework to aluminium, upgrade to faster Penryn CPUs and the Cantiga chipset (GM45), increase HDD and RAM across the board, and have a DVD burner in the bottom end.

What I think they should do is detailed in my earlier post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

It'll happen organically when the Air becomes affordable enough for everyone and Apple simply retires the entry MacBook altogether.

It's not a matter of the MacBook Air becoming affordable enough. To make it lighter than other machines it will always lack a built-in optical drive, always have limited peripheral support, always have no user-replaceable battery. It will always have limited appeal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

in terms of DVDs, very few people have any interest in watching them on computers (b/c they have a dedicated DVD player hooked up to a TV for that purpose).

People like to be able to watch DVDs on the move. Students like to watch DVDs on their computers and like to be able to choose a laptop. Many people like to be able to burn their own CDs and DVDs, and despite online distribution, CD sales are a long, long way from drying up and people like to be able to rip said CDs. In addition to this, if the optical drives were upgraded to blu-ray (which presumably will happen in the Mac at some point), it's going to be a long time before most people have an internet connection fast enough to compete with HD movies on blu-ray.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Price will then be the only thing keeping the Air from being considered "mainstream."

What about the very limited peripheral support and slower performance? Sure they'll get faster, but they'll always be slower than the mainstream laptops.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Everything else about it facilitates the needs of the mainstream user - web browsing, music listening/buying/downloading, writing docs/email.

The thing with computers is that a lot of people buy what they think they need, or what the geek/spec-whore teenager next door told them they should have rather than getting something whose power fits the bill. Having said that, many high-profile software vendors (*cough* Microsoft *cough*) have this amazing ability to make their new software slower than their old software, always requiring you to have the fastest machine to stop you going insane when using Word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Once the Air's price drops, and its internal storage and speeds naturally increase with time, the entry MacBook will cease to be necessary and will be naturally replaced by the Air.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

It's like how the iPod classic will be organically replaced by the iPod touch as its flash storage increases thanks to economies of scale, rather than Apple making a hard drive-based iPod touch.

As it happens, I was very surprised when the iPod touch was launched and it didn't have HDD storage. Touch controls are nice and all, but the click wheel is hardly cumbersome; the real beauty of the iPod touch over the classic is its larger, wide aspect ratio screen, making it a much better portable video player. But if you want to keep your entire music collection and your entire video collection on it? Oops, sorry you can't, there's not enough storage.
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post #522 of 735
is the biggest single transition in the consumer electronic's space since television moved to Color.

Apple's going to want in on it.
post #523 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

electronic's

You put that apostrophe there just to annoy me, didn't you?
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post #524 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

is the biggest single transition in the consumer electronic's space since television moved to color.

Apple's going to want in on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr. H View Post

you put that apostrophe there just to annoy me, didn't you?

I don't think so. I think he was trying to show how the "space" that the "electronic" had possession of, was in for a major transition. Of course, I could be wrong and he might just be trying to annoy the hell out of you.
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post #525 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

...I just don't think the Air can be reduced in price by that much yet... Most of the Air's components haven't reached the economies of scale Apple's "normal" laptops benefit from.

what components are those, exactly? it's got a smaller HD, the screen's the same, it has fewer port interfaces. As you pointed out, it lacks the optical drive. There isn't any more costly vid chip, is there? So realistically, what components are there to be lacking the economies of scale, other than the case?
post #526 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by rtdunham View Post

what components are those, exactly? it's got a smaller HD, the screen's the same, it has fewer port interfaces. As you pointed out, it lacks the optical drive. There isn't any more costly vid chip, is there? So realistically, what components are there to be lacking the economies of scale, other than the case?

For starters, it employs a miniaturized, custom chip from Intel, which hasn't been mass produced. Also, if the Air' 1.8" 80GB HDD is dropped in favor of SSD storage, which would have to be a 128GB capacity drive as the current, optional 64GB SSD is too small, especially when you factor in the size of Leopard and the user's own documents, pictures, music, movies, etc. The 64GB SSD recently dropped to a more reasonable $600, but 128GB are still rather pricey, like in the $1500-$2000 range. Yeah, don't forget, the optional 64GB SSD debuted as a $1000 premium option. While Snow Leopard has already been announced as featuring applications that are less than half the size of their current Leopard cousins (due mainly to Apple stripping them of better localization, a.k.a. they're getting rid of all the unnecessary language packages that come with each app), Snow Leopard ain't out yet. So, I just don't see how they could get a 128GB SSD in the Air AND drop its price significantly. I'm not sure if they can get a 1.8" 160GB hard drive in there because the smallest 160GB hard drive they use for the iPod classic is definitely thicker than the 80GB iPod classic hard drive.

The Air also uses a very compact system board and miniaturized components, all of which don't have the economies of scale that the far more prevalent "normal" sized components of the "normal" sized MacBooks and MacBook Pros have. Hope that makes sense.
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post #527 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

What I'm expecting Apple to do is change the MacBook casework to aluminium, upgrade to faster Penryn CPUs and the Cantiga chipset (GM45), increase HDD and RAM across the board, and have a DVD burner in the bottom end.

Right, that's what I said. An aluminum MacBook w/ logical component upgrades; a SuperDrive in the low-end would make sense too (why can't they just retire the darn Combo drive already? ).

That's it? I understand, the under-the-hood upgrades would make it faster and all, but those are not marketable features, not major ones anyway. The switch to aluminum sounds likes a simple cosmetic change for no apparent reason, other than perhaps uniformity's sake. When Apple released the new aluminum iMacs last year, they didn't just take the same case and switch out the plastic for aluminum. They contoured the back of it to make it appear much more sleek and they introduced the similarly sleek aluminum keyboard.

Apple differentiates their budget computers (Mac Minis and MacBooks) from their premium high-end computers (MacBook Airs, MacBook Pros, iMacs, and and Mac Pros) by both specs (CPU speeds, HDD space, etc.) AND hardware design elements that are exclusive to the Pro line. All the premium laptops feature backlit keyboards, Multi-Touch trackpads, and sleek, light-weight, aluminum enclosures. The iMac was moved to aluminum both to push new sales AND to signify it's status as a Pro model that could compete with their entry-level Mac Pro.

I feel like I'm repeating myself here...ok I know I am. No offense, but you didn't really respond to my original comment. You just reiterated what I already knew and didn't present a counterpoint. Did you skip over that part, or not understand what I was saying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

It's not a matter of the MacBook Air becoming affordable enough. To make it lighter than other machines it will always lack a built-in optical drive, always have limited peripheral support, always have no user-replaceable battery. It will always have limited appeal.

Most of those shortcoming aren't highly valued enough by the mainstream, casual computer user, who makes up the majority of Apple's consumer market. Most mainstream users NEVER buy a replacement battery and those that do RARELY use them. By the time their stock battery runs out, they've already bought a new laptop. Most mainstream users only ever connect ONE USB device at a time. I've even seen people swap one USB device out for another when they have a second USB port. I'll get to why the lack of a built-in SuperDrive is not really a major deal breaker for most and while it'll be a non-issue in the future. Otherwise, the only thing holding back the Air from becoming Apple's new entry-level notebook is price, which will go down thanks to economies of scale, and storage space, which will doubtlessly be increased either by a 1.8" 160GB HDD or more likely, a 128GB SSD in the not too distant future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

People like to be able to watch DVDs on the move.

Sorry, but that's really not an accurate assessment. People generally watch DVDs on dedicated DVD players and game consoles with built-in disc drives while sitting stationary on the couch, OR they watch them in transit. In transit, as in, on a plane flight or maybe, if they don't get motion sickness and aren't the primary driver, on long road trips. But at the coffee shop? In the mall? At a friend's house? No, nobody carries around their DVD collection, nor even a handful of flicks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Students like to watch DVDs on their computers and like to be able to choose a laptop.

Replacing the MacBook with the Air doesn't take away students', or anyones' choice of laptops. Not if it's priced around $1200-$1300, only a hundred or so more than the current entry-level MacBook model. Shoot, with time Apple could match the MacBook's current $1100 price tag.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Many people like to be able to burn their own CDs and DVDs, and despite online distribution, CD sales are a long, long way from drying up and people like to be able to rip said CDs.

The Air has an optional SuperDrive for those people. But commercial CD sales are falling and have been for a while now. iTunes has become the #1 music store in the U.S. (if not the world) ahead of Wal-mart and Best Buy brick-and-mortar stores. So, on the few occasions people actually end up buying a CD, they can plug in the SuperDrive, rip it, and leave the drive at home, rather than having to lug around a considerably heavier laptop w/ a built-in disc drive. Burning DVDs is abosolutely NOT something the average consumer, or even most students want or know how to do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

In addition to this, if the optical drives were upgraded to blu-ray (which presumably will happen in the Mac at some point), it's going to be a long time before most people have an internet connection fast enough to compete with HD movies on blu-ray.

Totally not happening. You've followed Apple, right? Last year they overhauled the iLife suite, except for one exception: iDVD. What super-sleek notebook did they launch this past January? The MacBook Air, which drops a built-in SuperDrive entirely. Apple is aggressively moving towards the future. Discs are not part of that future. Jobs even made note of the reasons for not overhauling iDVD like the rest of the iLife apps - essentially "people really use, or need DVDs these days. they can use things like .Mac's (this was obviously before MobileMe was announced) Web Gallery and YouTube, which lets family members share movies easily without having to mail discs to each other." He outlined during this year's Macworld why discs aren't necessary for the mainstream user because "you can buy music and rent movies from iTunes, and for those rare applications that require a disc, Remote Disc is there."

A couple other reasons Apple will likely never put Blu-ray drives in any of their Macs is due to its draconian DRM (much more restrictive than DVDs are) and more importantly, allowing blu-ray viewing would TOTALLY UNDERMINE APPLE'S OWN iTUNES MOVIE OFFERINGS/DEALINGS WITH THE RELUCTANT MOVIE STUDIOS!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

What about the very limited peripheral support and slower performance? Sure they'll get faster, but they'll always be slower than the mainstream laptops.

So? MAINSTREAM USERS DON'T CARE ABOUT PERFORMANCE. Again, what do they mainly do on their computers? Web browsing, listening to music, IM-ing, typing text documents and emails. None of those tasks benefit from the power a Mac Pro can offer, let alone the mainstream, budget priced consumer-oriented MacBook! All they'll notice is slightly faster start-up times and the initial opening of apps. We're talking a few seconds different.

You're also ignoring where the budget-priced MacBook can't compete with the Air: storage medium. The MacBook is using a hard drive while the Air will soon come standard with the much faster reading SSD. These solid-state drives can enable a lower-clocked-CPUs-porting Mac to be considerably more responsive than a higher-clocked Mac coupled with the far slower reading HDD. Check out THIS video comparison of two 1.8GHz MacBook Air's, the one on the left using an HDD, the one on the right using the optional SSD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

The thing with computers is that a lot of people buy what they think they need, or what the geek/spec-whore teenager next door told them they should have rather than getting something whose power fits the bill. Having said that, many high-profile software vendors (*cough* Microsoft *cough*) have this amazing ability to make their new software slower than their old software, always requiring you to have the fastest machine to stop you going insane when using Word.

Most people generally don't invest in something like a laptop without actually going to the store and trying them out for themselves. And what is the one thing they usually do first? Ha, they try to web browse, or use a text editor to see if they like the keyboard. And if the notebook's thin enough, they generally pick it up and weight it with their hands to get an idea of what it'll be like carrying it around.

So if they're in an Apple Store, Mac reseller, or more recently, a Best Buy with a little Mac Shop inside, what would they encounter if my predictions play out? A single, simplified, aluminum array of sleek MacBooks that range from the ultra-light MacBook Air w/ a $1200 price tag, a "15 MacBook Pro (with a new case that resembles the Air's tapered edges) for $2000 (though man, they aught to lower its price to the student discount $1800 if they can), and the 17" for $2800 (which, again, they could certainly drop that to the student price of $2500). That's at least my envisioning of the future.

But, as I stated in my earlier post, I think Apple will simply leave the current MacBook alone in terms of case design/material for now, while giving it the necessary CPU, GPU, HDD improvements to keep it competitive. The Air will potentially get a faster CPU, maybe a 160GB 1.8" HDD (though that seems unlikely) and/or a new, optional, 128GB SDD, while keeping the 64GB option as well (because it's now about half the price it was at launch, $600 vs. $1000). The Pro line is most likely to get a case redesign to match the style of the Air, but they'll probably keep the built-in SuperDrive and of course, make the usual CPU, GPU, HDD, etc. improvements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

IAs it happens, I was very surprised when the iPod touch was launched and it didn't have HDD storage. Touch controls are nice and all, but the click wheel is hardly cumbersome; the real beauty of the iPod touch over the classic is its larger, wide aspect ratio screen, making it a much better portable video player. But if you want to keep your entire music collection and your entire video collection on it? Oops, sorry you can't, there's not enough storage.

Why do think Apple picked flash storage over an HDD? To be "trendy?" The iPhone and iPod touch use solid-state flash because of HDDs inherent latency and higher energy usage. If they had gone with the old HDD medium, every time the user woke the device from sleep, there'd be lag. CoverFlow album art would pop-in slowly, just like it does on the iPod classic and just like it does NOT on the smaller iPod nano. So, they'd have to have the HDD spinning constantly, which would drain the battery much faster than the always-on flash storage.

Also, for most people 8GB is more than enough for their entire music collections. I have nearly 4600 songs in my library, which is massive to most of my friends and family. Mostly encoded in 128kbps mp3s (though for the past year or so, I've switched to VBR 256kbps AACs for importing new stuff) it takes up 23GB. What was Apple's best selling iPod at Macworld '07? The iPod nano (the model before the fatty iPod nano launched in late 2007). In Apple's recent report that this "mystery product transition" thread was started on, what were their top selling iPods? The touch and the shuffle. If 8GB is enough, 16GB is even more hard to fill for the mainstream music listener and 32GB? Don't even go there, that's just too much to know what to do with. In less than a year, a 64GB model will definitely be out and a 128GB will come soon after. That's more than enough for me, which is loads more than the general populous could ever dream of filling up.
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post #528 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

For starters, it employs a custom system-on-a-chip from Intel, which hasn't been mass produced.

Air merely uses smaller packaging for the same chips. IIRC, the die itself is a standard Core 2 Duo. I'm pretty sure it's not an SoC.
post #529 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Air merely uses smaller packaging for the same chips. IIRC, the die itself is a standard Core 2 Duo. I'm pretty sure it's not an SoC.

Oops, you're right! Could of swore it was an SoC.

From the MacBook Air's Features page:

MacBook Air performance is as impressive as its form, thanks to its 1.6GHz or 1.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. This chip was custom-built to fit within the compact dimensions of MacBook Air.



I'll correct the original post. Thanks for catching that.
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post #530 of 735
Maybe it's the transition of the MacBook Pro line from an overpriced consumer laptop to a performance one?
post #531 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

I feel like I'm repeating myself here...ok I know I am. No offense, but you didn't really respond to my original comment. You just reiterated what I already knew and didn't present a counterpoint. Did you skip over that part, or not understand what I was saying?

I just seemed to me that you hadn't appreciated that what I was expecting Apple to do and what I thought they should do were two different things. I was trying to make that clearer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Sorry, but that's really not an accurate assessment. People generally watch DVDs on dedicated DVD players and game consoles with built-in disc drives while sitting stationary on the couch, OR they watch them in transit.

By "on the move", I meant "in transit".

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Replacing the MacBook with the Air doesn't take away students', or anyones' choice of laptops.

Of course it does. It removes the choice of the entry-level laptop having an optical drive. You can't watch DVDs on the Air, and my point was that students like their only computer to be a laptop and they like to use their computer as their HiFi and their movie player.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Totally not happening. You've followed Apple, right? Last year they overhauled the iLife suite, except for one exception: iDVD. What super-sleek notebook did they launch this past January? The MacBook Air, which drops a built-in SuperDrive entirely.

Everything Steve said about optical drives when launching the MacBook Air was just marketing hyperbole (aka Steve's Reality Distortion Field) used to gloss-over the fact that the Air has no built-in optical drive whilst other ultra-portables do.

I'm guessing neither of us have hard data on this, but I'm confident that the vast majority of users still want, need or expect a built-in optical drive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

So if they're in an Apple Store, Mac reseller, or more recently, a Best Buy with a little Mac Shop inside, what would they encounter if my predictions play out? A single, simplified, aluminum array of sleek MacBooks that range from the ultra-light MacBook Air w/ a $1200 price tag, a "15 MacBook Pro (with a new case that resembles the Air's tapered edges) for $2000 (though man, they aught to lower its price to the student discount $1800 if they can), and the 17" for $2800 (which, again, they could certainly drop that to the student price of $2500). That's at least my envisioning of the future.

Damn, that's even less flexible than what Apple's got at the moment! Only one laptop below $2000, are you nuts?

Look, once the MacBook Air can be made for $1200, Apple's competitors will be able to make a laptop with the same computing power, more HDD storage, more RAM, more ports, larger screen and built-in optical drive for $600. Yes, said laptop will be considerably bigger and heavier, but people will still be left with the choice they are left with for the current MacBook Air:

Is the compromise in storage, RAM, peripheral support, smaller screen, no built-in optical drive, and (most importantly) price, worth it to get the slimness and light weight?

Most people will answer "no".


Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Why do think Apple picked flash storage over an HDD? To be "trendy?" The iPhone and iPod touch use solid-state flash because of HDDs inherent latency and higher energy usage. If they had gone with the old HDD medium, every time the user woke the device from sleep, there'd be lag. CoverFlow album art would pop-in slowly, just like it does on the iPod classic

Exactly, there'd be a slight delay when starting cover-flow browsing. Big whoop. Doesn't stop people buying the classic. The classic doesn't have to spin its HDD constantly, so neither would an HDD-based touch.
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post #532 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by paprochy View Post

Apple makes probably the highest margins on hardware than any other computer manufacturer. So obviously the high cost is still worth it. Remember that it's not always about volume, sometimes higher margins are a better strategy.



It's more complicated than that, the drivers have to be recognized by the OS. It takes a lot more than just telling the OEMs to provide drivers.





Nike, BMW, Best Buy and Circuit City are NOT direct competitors. (BB and CC being distributors actually).

I mean, it would kind of be like Jaguar going to Ford and saying, hey look, how about you produce cars under our brand name and design because it's just so much cheaper and easier if you do it since you are a much bigger company. That way we can make more by volume.

It just doesn't make sense now does it? Well, we all know what happened to Jaguar. They don't actually exist anymore, now Jaguar is just a division of Ford. And guess what? Most Jaguar enthusiast will agree that the new cars pale in comparison to what Jaguar used to offer. Now they are just fords with shiny jaguar logos.

It's a bit of a far fetched analogy, but you can see what I mean.

Why would drivers have to be recognized by an O/S? Isn't the point of drivers is that they are written to an O/Se's API so the hardware or software will work with the O/S? Anyone can write drivers for an O/S so it's not complicated at all. It's not about telling the OEMs to write drivers, it's telling them "In order to sell OS X on your systems, you have to make sure all the drivers work according to our certification standards." It's no more different or complicated than what Microsoft does for their "Designed for insert Windows O/S here" label program that you see on just about every branded Windows PC product.

It may not of worked for Jaguar, but it's certainly worked for many other brands that took the same approach - Mazda, Volvo, SAAB, Hummer (until gas hit $3+ dollars a gallon) etc.. so that's not exactly a good example. Jaguar was always overpriced for what you got and that is what ultimately led to their demise, not simply a partnership with Ford.

I would disagree that Circuit City and Best Buy wouldn't be considered competitors. Apple is more a distributor these days with all their Apple Stores and online sales. All their manufacturing happens overseas and then they package them here and sell mostly direct. Until Apple approached Circuit City and Best Buy to acquire equal in-store visibility against Windows PC sales, all they sold was Windows PCs and big box store sales account for a large percentage of the Windows market share. Now consumers have another choice when they walk into a big box store. They could probably be called a passive competitor, as they'll sell whatever is the hot item of the day, and that can work for and against Apple, hence the Apple Store strategy, where they have more control over the product being sold.

Higher margins worked when they had a unique product, but that is no longer the case. The guts of a Mac these days are the same thing that's in a Windows PC, so they have to compete with better packaging and more value in what's included with it, ie: software.

There will always be people who will buy a Mac because it is a Mac, but that group is shrinking. People are buying Macs these days because they are the hot brand. The question is what happens when there not the hot brand any more? Apple needs to stay diversified for this reason, and securing a base in low-end desktop sales would help that to a great degree. Cool iPods and iPhones are working to keep the brand hot, but that won't work forever.
post #533 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by paprochy View Post

That is just rebranding.

No, that is licensing their hardware to 3rd parties to sell and make a profit on and HTC gets a piece of. The very same argument that some of us support for OS X, just on hardware instead of software. Rebranding is just another word for licensing. In HTC's case, because their brand isn't visible on the end product, they get a higher royalty to compensate for the loss of brand awareness.
post #534 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

By "on the move", I meant "in transit".

Exactly. That means most people don't need a DVD player with them at all times. Many mainstream users NEVER watch a single movie on their laptops. And we're not talking about the 15" and 17" Pros, but the much less roomy 13". Sure, some students watch movies on their laptops, even the entry-level MacBook. And when they want to watch those movies on their MacBook Air...THEY CAN. Just grab the external SuperDrive, plug it in and insert movie. When they're on a long plane flight, they can do the same thing. But when they don't need it, which is oh...95% of the time for most, they won't have to deal with the unnecessary heft.

The Air's lack of a built-in disc drive is a FEATURE because it makes it VERY light, which is a MARKETABLE TRAIT. CD sales are similarly IN THE TOILET. They have been FOR YEARS. On the occasions people actually rip CDs, they can grab the SuperDrive, rip em, and leave the otherwise useless deadweight at home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

Everything Steve said about optical drives when launching the MacBook Air was just marketing hyperbole (aka Steve's Reality Distortion Field) used to gloss-over the fact that the Air has no built-in optical drive whilst other ultra-portables do.

Pfft, I guess the fact that they gave no attention to iDVD the year earlier and made a serious effort to point out real alternatives to disc media have no bearing?

Remember, Jobs and Co. worked hard to kill floppies. They run the most successful legal digital distribution platform. CDs and DVDs represent the past, not the future. While they're keeping disc drives in most of their Macs now, the MacBook Air lacks one for a reason and it's not just to reduce weight and make it sleek, it's to side line disc-based media entirely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

I'm guessing neither of us have hard data on this, but I'm confident that the vast majority of users still want, need or expect a built-in optical drive.

Let's see, CD sales are falling and have been for quite some time, iTunes just became the #1 legal music distributor ahead of brick and mortar stores, iPods and iPhones are tremendously popular, most people mainly use CDs in the car where they can't yet directly integrate their mp3 player and for sharing music with friends. That last one does happen fairly often, but people generally don't rip CDs everywhere. They take them to their apartment and rip 'em one after the next and then sync their mp3 player and leave.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

Damn, that's even less flexible than what Apple's got at the moment! Only one laptop below $2000, are you nuts?

So was I crazy...BEFORE APPLE INTRODUCED THE AIR!? I guess the guys from Cupertino were out of their minds when they were...just selling the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, with the MacBook being the only sub-$2000. Obviously, that logic falls flat. If Apple replaces the MacBook with the Air (again, in the future), they would be...right back where they were BEFORE they had three laptop choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

Look, once the MacBook Air can be made for $1200, Apple's competitors will be able to make a laptop with the same computing power, more HDD storage, more RAM, more ports, larger screen and built-in optical drive for $600. Yes, said laptop will be considerably bigger and heavier, but people will still be left with the choice they are left with for the current MacBook Air:

Is the compromise in storage, RAM, peripheral support, smaller screen, no built-in optical drive, and (most importantly) price, worth it to get the slimness and light weight?

Ok, let's see. RAM isn't an issue: both the MacBook and Air ship with 2GB. Oh and what does the entry MacBook have!? 1GB. Oh ma God, what will the web browsing, text document writing, iTunes listening mainstream computer users do!? Smaller screen? Are you kidding? 13" 1280x800 vs. 13" 1280x800. Same screen size as the MacBook. Price, as I have said NUMEROUS times, would be $1200-$1300 thanks to economies of scale improving over time. Let me reiterate, this will not happen in the next few months, but in the next year or so. Storage space will, as I've said, increase on the Air. You think Apple will keep it at 80GB w/ 64GB optional SSD indefinitely!? Of course not, they're competing in the ultra-light market. A 128GB SSD will be more than enough space for most users and be affordable by this time next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H

Exactly, there'd be a slight delay when starting cover-flow browsing. Big whoop. Doesn't stop people buying the classic. The classic doesn't have to spin its HDD constantly, so neither would an HDD-based touch.

You do realize the iPod touch, running OS X, is just a tad more complex than the iPod classic, right? Let alone, the touch has a large, touch screen to power and the iPhone has even more to deal with. It's not just latency of HDDs, but the fact that the iPhone WOULD have to spin it almost constantly.
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post #535 of 735
TV's \
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #536 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

snipped stuff

Dude, you attributed someone else's posts to me.
post #537 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

I agree with you about the desirability of tablet computers. Well, at least I don't think I want one.

Back to OS X... Yes, I can understand that there's probably a demand for the product apart from Apple computers themselves. What I don't think has been sufficiently demonstrated is why it's in the interest of Apple's shareholders for Apple to sell OS X for computers other than the ones on which they already make a considerable profit.

By the way, Carniphage, have you thought about my question on why Apple is not already selling software for Windows-based computers?

This is business 101 - A public company's fiscal duty to it's shareholders is to earn a profit.

Basically if there is anyway for a public company to make a profit, they are legally bound to do so. So if a market appears and they don't take advantage of it, the CEO has some explaining to do to the shareholders for why they didn't go after it. The issue is why doesn't Apple go after the largest market segment, low-end desktops. There are basically two approaches here, sell a low-end desktop or license the OS to just the low-end market.

To understand this market is to also understand the consumer group buying these products: These consumers are generally not tech savvy, their budget is $500, and they typically buy a new computer every two years (or whenever their current computer breaks) vs. the typical 4 year window. So they buy a lot more computers. They also typically only use the software that comes with the computer.

Given the price for a computer for this market maxes out at $500, can Apple be profitable in it if it has to design and build the hardware? Given Apple has made no attempt, I would say the answer is no. However would they make a profit if they licensed the OS on a LIMITED basis to a 3rd party who already produces hardware in that segment. The answer is a most definite yes. So the shareholders should be (and I'm sure are) asking why aren't we doing this? Up to the Intel era it was easy to dismiss, Apple was on a different platform. However now, not so much. So as a shareholder I ask why aren't we doing it?

Here's how I would do it if I was in the CEO seat:

1) Set up a certification program - Computers qualifying for the program would be the computers that this market is seeking and supports, typically a 20% slower and less capable computer than the average Apple computer buyer. This computer would be no competition for the current Apple computing lines. Notebooks would not be a part of the program which is Apple's biggest profit center. Apple could further set the market apart by adding Blueray and SSDs to their primary computer lines. Those wanting a more powerful desktop or a notebook computer would have to buy Apple hardware.

2) Limit the program partners - Keep it to a Dell or HP so if they try to offer a more powerful computer than the program allows, it's very public and leaves lots of room for legal recourse. This also allows Apple to control the program and if it isn't working out they can hit the kill switch quickly.

3) Lock the OEM install to the program systems - Retail copies of OS X won't install on the machines, and the locking mechanism can be hardware based so it's hard for hackers to get around the restrictions. This also locks hardware cloners out of the market further protecting Apple's IP.

I think this is all doable, gives Apple a slice of the mass-market, quells shareholders, and helps to increase Apple's market share giving choice to the consumer which is never a bad thing.

I think you make an interesting point on making their existing software work on Windows machines. I think the reasons are: 1) The software adds value and creates exclusivity for their OS, 2) OS X and Windows uses two different GUI frameworks for their OSes and it would be very time and resource intensive to code for both. Safari on Windows is an example of this, it looks horrible and does not fit in with the system whatsoever.
post #538 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by trboyden View Post

This is business 101 - A public company's fiscal duty to it's shareholders is to earn a profit.

Basically if there is anyway for a public company to make a profit, they are legally bound to do so. So if a market appears and they don't take advantage of it, the CEO has some explaining to do to the shareholders for why they didn't go after it. The issue is why doesn't Apple go after the largest market segment, low-end desktops. There are basically two approaches here, sell a low-end desktop or license the OS to just the low-end market.

To understand this market is to also understand the consumer group buying these products: These consumers are generally not tech savvy, their budget is $500, and they typically buy a new computer every two years (or whenever their current computer breaks) vs. the typical 4 year window. So they buy a lot more computers. They also typically only use the software that comes with the computer.

Given the price for a computer for this market maxes out at $500, can Apple be profitable in it if it has to design and build the hardware? Given Apple has made no attempt, I would say the answer is no. However would they make a profit if they licensed the OS on a LIMITED basis to a 3rd party who already produces hardware in that segment. The answer is a most definite yes. So the shareholders should be (and I'm sure are) asking why aren't we doing this? Up to the Intel era it was easy to dismiss, Apple was on a different platform. However now, not so much. So as a shareholder I ask why aren't we doing it?

Here's how I would do it if I was in the CEO seat:

1) Set up a certification program - Computers qualifying for the program would be the computers that this market is seeking and supports, typically a 20% slower and less capable computer than the average Apple computer buyer. This computer would be no competition for the current Apple computing lines. Notebooks would not be a part of the program which is Apple's biggest profit center. Apple could further set the market apart by adding Blueray and SSDs to their primary computer lines. Those wanting a more powerful desktop or a notebook computer would have to buy Apple hardware.

2) Limit the program partners - Keep it to a Dell or HP so if they try to offer a more powerful computer than the program allows, it's very public and leaves lots of room for legal recourse. This also allows Apple to control the program and if it isn't working out they can hit the kill switch quickly.

3) Lock the OEM install to the program systems - Retail copies of OS X won't install on the machines, and the locking mechanism can be hardware based so it's hard for hackers to get around the restrictions. This also locks hardware cloners out of the market further protecting Apple's IP.

I think this is all doable, gives Apple a slice of the mass-market, quells shareholders, and helps to increase Apple's market share giving choice to the consumer which is never a bad thing.

I think you make an interesting point on making their existing software work on Windows machines. I think the reasons are: 1) The software adds value and creates exclusivity for their OS, 2) OS X and Windows uses two different GUI frameworks for their OSes and it would be very time and resource intensive to code for both. Safari on Windows is an example of this, it looks horrible and does not fit in with the system whatsoever.

And I always thought that business 101 was to keep a profitable company profitable, as opposed to letting it be run by internet forum posters with no rtack record.
post #539 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by trboyden View Post

This is business 101 - A public company's fiscal duty to it's shareholders is to earn a profit.

Basically if there is anyway for a public company to make a profit, they are legally bound to do so. So if a market appears and they don't take advantage of it, the CEO has some explaining to do to the shareholders for why they didn't go after it. The issue is why doesn't Apple go after the largest market segment, low-end desktops. There are basically two approaches here, sell a low-end desktop or license the OS to just the low-end market.

To understand this market is to also understand the consumer group buying these products: These consumers are generally not tech savvy, their budget is $500, and they typically buy a new computer every two years (or whenever their current computer breaks) vs. the typical 4 year window. So they buy a lot more computers. They also typically only use the software that comes with the computer.

Given the price for a computer for this market maxes out at $500, can Apple be profitable in it if it has to design and build the hardware? Given Apple has made no attempt, I would say the answer is no. However would they make a profit if they licensed the OS on a LIMITED basis to a 3rd party who already produces hardware in that segment. The answer is a most definite yes. So the shareholders should be (and I'm sure are) asking why aren't we doing this? Up to the Intel era it was easy to dismiss, Apple was on a different platform. However now, not so much. So as a shareholder I ask why aren't we doing it?

Here's how I would do it if I was in the CEO seat:

1) Set up a certification program - Computers qualifying for the program would be the computers that this market is seeking and supports, typically a 20% slower and less capable computer than the average Apple computer buyer. This computer would be no competition for the current Apple computing lines. Notebooks would not be a part of the program which is Apple's biggest profit center. Apple could further set the market apart by adding Blueray and SSDs to their primary computer lines. Those wanting a more powerful desktop or a notebook computer would have to buy Apple hardware.

2) Limit the program partners - Keep it to a Dell or HP so if they try to offer a more powerful computer than the program allows, it's very public and leaves lots of room for legal recourse. This also allows Apple to control the program and if it isn't working out they can hit the kill switch quickly.

3) Lock the OEM install to the program systems - Retail copies of OS X won't install on the machines, and the locking mechanism can be hardware based so it's hard for hackers to get around the restrictions. This also locks hardware cloners out of the market further protecting Apple's IP.

I think this is all doable, gives Apple a slice of the mass-market, quells shareholders, and helps to increase Apple's market share giving choice to the consumer which is never a bad thing.

I think you make an interesting point on making their existing software work on Windows machines. I think the reasons are: 1) The software adds value and creates exclusivity for their OS, 2) OS X and Windows uses two different GUI frameworks for their OSes and it would be very time and resource intensive to code for both. Safari on Windows is an example of this, it looks horrible and does not fit in with the system whatsoever.

OSX would get cracked in 5 minutes in that case, about the only copy-protection scheme I've that works pretty well, is something like Steam, even though it's not perfect, and has issues too.

At best, it would be the OSx86 project all over again, and people would be figuring out ways to patch updates and replace kexts.

And I don't see the use in putting OSX on slower hardware, the low-end Mini is bad enough when it comes to features. A GMA 950? 80 GB HD? Pfff. The form-factor is great and all, but by using an mATX/ATX form factor, you can use faster, cheaper parts. I can't even build a desktop as cheap as this Dell (and it would dual-boot Leopard for sure), and the specs, other than RAM are impressive:

post #540 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

So was I crazy...BEFORE APPLE INTRODUCED THE AIR!? I guess the guys from Cupertino were out of their minds when they were...just selling the MacBook and MacBook Pro lines, with the MacBook being the only sub-$2000. Obviously, that logic falls flat. If Apple replaces the MacBook with the Air (again, in the future), they would be...right back where they were BEFORE they had three laptop choices.

You need to fix your quotes. You've attributed things I've said to JeffDM.

The MacBook Air spans a smaller range than the MacBook. Apple don't currently have only one laptop below $2000, they've got all the different MacBook configurations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Smaller screen? Are you kidding? 13" 1280x800 vs. 13" 1280x800. Same screen size as the MacBook. Price, as I have said NUMEROUS times, would be $1200-$1300 thanks to economies of scale improving over time.

You missed the bit where I said Apple's competitors. By far the most popular screen size in the consumer space is 15" widescreen. You also missed the bit where I said that $1200 - $1300 is a major issue when people can get something more powerful and more fully-featured for $600.

The Air will never be able to compete with mainstream because the mainstream will always be more powerful, more flexible, and cheaper.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

You do realize the iPod touch, running OS X, is just a tad more complex than the iPod classic, right? Let alone, the touch has a large, touch screen to power and the iPhone has even more to deal with. It's not just latency of HDDs, but the fact that the iPhone WOULD have to spin it almost constantly.

I don't think they should put an HDD in the iPhone. I was just very surprised (and I wasn't the only one) that the touch didn't have, or didn't have the option, of HDD storage. Yes, it would have to have a bigger battery, yes, that would make it much bigger and heavier, but it'd still kick the crap out of anything that Archos makes.
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post #541 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

You need to fix your quotes. You've attributed things I've said to JeffDM.

Fixed. That's what happens when I rush and don't give my writing a once-over. I had JeffDM's quote with name and number on my clipboard and totally didn't notice. Sorry for any confusion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

The MacBook Air spans a smaller range than the MacBook. Apple don't currently have only one laptop below $2000, they've got all the different MacBook configurations.

Three MacBook configs vs. two Air configs and most people opt for the only slightly more expensive $1300 configuration anyway. So it's really more like two configs vs. two configs. If the the Air replaced the $1300 MacBook (just go with my hypothetical for a moment), you would want a third Air configuration, correct? Well, if Apple thinks adding another Air configuration would help give consumers more choice, I'm sure they'd do it. Technically though, other than the recently launched Air, they only really have one sub-$2000 notebook. And shoot, the black MacBook comes at a premium just for the different color.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

You missed the bit where I said Apple's competitors.

No, I understood your point, but it wasn't relevant. Why? Because, as I've reiterated, the Air's replacement of the MacBook as Apple's new sub-$2000, consumer-oriented notebook isn't likely to happen in the next few months. It's my hypothetical future because I know it is not currently feasible to up the Air's storage to a 128GB SSD (and while a 160GB would be fine, Apple's own 160GB that they use in the iPod classic is too big to fit in the Air's sleek case), and a slightly zippier processor while simultaneously dropping its price to $1300. That would be crazy talk! If they did it now, would they shut out the competition in the ultra-light category? Yeah.

In reality, as I've said, that ain't likely to happen for another year or so. Right now I believe Apple will simply make the usual under-the-hood enhancements for the MacBook to stay competitive, but leaving its case and materials alone. There's no pressing justification to make such a non-essential, on-the-surface change. It's unique style is there for a couple reasons: plastic's cheaper than aluminum and differentiates Apple's lower-end, budget computers (Mac Mini and MacBook) from their premium computers (MBA, MBP, iMac, Mac Pro).

The Air will maybe get another optional SSD at 128GB, and it would be awesome if Apple could replace the stock 80GB HDD with a 160GB HDD, but I kind of doubt it. Maybe they'll give the Air a slightly faster processor too.

Finally, the Pros will get a case redesign, making them thinner and sleeker, with tapered edges and whatnot, to resemble the Air's style.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

By far the most popular screen size in the consumer space is 15" widescreen. You also missed the bit where I said that $1200 - $1300 is a major issue when people can get something more powerful and more fully-featured for $600.

Huh!? So now 15" laptops are favored by consumers? So Apple's very popular MacBook for $1100 isn't "mainstream" and the $2000 15" MacBook Pro is? I'm lost. Apple is outpacing the industry 3 to 1 and one of their best selling (if not the best selling) computers, the budget-priced MacBook, isn't popular?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I don't think they should put an HDD in the iPhone. I was just very surprised (and I wasn't the only one) that the touch didn't have, or didn't have the option, of HDD storage. Yes, it would have to have a bigger battery, yes, that would make it much bigger and heavier, but it'd still kick the crap out of anything that Archos makes.

See, no offense, I don't think you get what Apple's main market is: the mainstream, casual computer-using consumer. The iPod touch launched at 8GB and 16GB sizes not just because of the premium price of flash at the time, but because their most popular iPod up until that point was....THE iPOD NANO. The average, mainstream music listener has no need for 40, 60, 80GB of storage. They can't even dream of how to possibly fill that space. I'm a serious music lover and I only have 23GB of music. That number's sure to grow, but it will likely take more than a year to find half, or even a fourth as much new music to add to my collection. Apple updated the iPod classic for what is likely the final time last year for any music collectors, who make up a much smaller portion of Apple's customer base.

Once the 64GB touch debuts for $400 or $500, they could easily drop the classic altogether because most music enthusiasts, like myself, already have a big enough iPod video or classic. The iPod touch would replace the classic because with a 64GB touch on the market, the classic has very few features the classic doesn't. Very similar to...my hypothesis about the Air replacing the MacBook. Price and HDD storage space are the major differentiators between the two. They both have the same screen size, RAM, and the Air's slightly slower processor will no doubt get a bump just as storage space will be increased in the coming months.
False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #542 of 735
I haven't read every post in this thread, but I've been keeping tabs on it since it first started, and I don't think anyone has come up with the point I'm about to make, so here goes.

Before I start however, lets take a look at Apple and what they've been doing the past years. They've come out with 3 very distinct, very popular products:

1)iPod

2)iPhone

3)MB(P)

Let's take a look at these 3 products. What makes them all successful? They're innovative, of course, but lets take a look at history of products.

PMPs have been around forever. The walkman was the champ for a very long time. Then CD players came around, and everyone had one of those. Then MP3 players came out, and they didn't really catch on. Until the iPod came.

Cell phones have been around forever. Motorola, Nokia, LG, Samsung, Kyocera, Ericsson(sp?), et al ruled the scene. No one could touch them. For a long time, cell phones stayed the same. With time however, screens started getting bigger and cell phones became more capable. Then along came the iPhone, which changed the game.

Laptops, like the other two devices have been around a long time as well. Sony, Dell, IBM(Lenovo), Toshiba, Sony, et al dominated the top positions. Now, Apple is the 3rd biggest laptop maker. What happened?

The similarity with all three products starts with:

STAGNATION

From the very first walkman to the very first MP3 players, the interface never changed. They all had 4 buttons (Play, Stop/Pause, Rewind, Fast Foward).

Cell phones. Two major designs, the clamshell and the candy bar. The biggest change in cell phones for all the years they had been around was the inclusion of a (shock) CAMERA!!

Laptops. Ugh. Big, bulky, ugly. Need I say more? No wonder most people hate them.


Apple takes a look at these products, and adds one single, beautiful ingredient:

INNOVATION

iPods popularity can be attributed to a few simple factors. The click wheel, iTunes, and iTMS. People have discussed this for years, and I'm pretty sure we can all agree on that.

iPhone was the single biggest leap in functionality cell phones had ever seen since... since... well, I don't know. I can't imagine ever going back to that thing hunk of metal I used to call a cell phone.

MB(P)s are successful because they bring beauty combined with a SFF and innovative features. Think of the magnetic latch, magnetic power cord, ambient light sensing.

This is what Apple does best folks. Most of you know this. I probably could have done without all the typing above.

Armed with this knowledge, why don't you use it? I ask you know to quit bickering about what Apple will do next. There's no way to tell. Instead, look around at your every day electronics. What do you despise the most? What object do you hate with every fiber of your being but you can't survive without. That, my friends is what Apple is going to come out with next.


If you're convinced that its touch screen tablets, take a look at it. Why does it suck? How could it be improved?

Of course, I may be completely wrong. Apple's new transition product could be just a retooled Macbook. I don't know. But I can guarantee you that sooner or later they will improve the most hated thing in your life.

PS: The electronic device I hate the most is my remote. Long shot, I know, but heres to hoping for the impossible. (And no, I do not believe that this will be Apple's new product. I don't own a tablet pc, so I can't hate that. Although I'm sure that I could hate that just as much as my multitude of remotes. )
post #543 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Huh!? So now 15" laptops are favored by consumers?

They sure are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

So Apple's very popular MacBook for $1100 isn't "mainstream" and the $2000 15" MacBook Pro is?

No, neither are mainstream. Certainly they're both less niche than the Air.

The MacBook is close enough to mainstream that its "nicheness" (in this case 13" rather than 15" widescreen) entices many people over. Rest assured however, that its "nicheness" also scares plenty of people away.

The MacBook Pro is an unashamedly high-end laptop and I think it's great; it'll be even better when it gets a MacBook Air-esque case and keyboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

I'm lost. Apple is outpacing the industry 3 to 1 and one of their best selling (if not the best selling) computers, the budget-priced MacBook, isn't popular?

Apple's growth is indeed outstripping the market, but that doesn't make the MacBook "popular" relative to 15" consumer laptops. Apple still has "only" 8% share of the laptop market.

If Apple wanted to see their market share really explode, they should produce 15" and 17" MacBook non-pros. I keep on getting the impression that you still haven't read this.
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post #544 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by xc3ll View Post

PS: The electronic device I hate the most is my remote. Long shot, I know, but heres to hoping for the impossible. (And no, I do not believe that this will be Apple's new product. I don't own a tablet pc, so I can't hate that. Although I'm sure that I could hate that just as much as my multitude of remotes. )

Apple already has two remotes. The minimalist Apple Remote, which ships with the iMac. And atleast for controlling your music...any iPhone or iPod touch running with Apple's free Remote app available on the iTunes App Store. There's little doubt they'll expand the Remote app's functionality in the future to include video and such.
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post #545 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

No, neither are mainstream. Certainly they're both less niche than the Air.

The MacBook is close enough to mainstream that its "nicheness" (in this case 13" rather than 15" widescreen) entices many people over. Rest assured however, that its "nicheness" also scares plenty of people away.

Considering Apple's outpacing the industry 3-to-1 and they're doing even better in the laptop department (with the MacBook being their best seller) obviously the MacBooks have serious mainstream appeal, regardless of whether they fit your definition of "mainstream" or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

The MacBook Pro is an unashamedly high-end laptop and I think it's great; it'll be even better when it gets a MacBook Air-esque case and keyboard.

Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Apple's growth is indeed outstripping the market, but that doesn't make the MacBook "popular" relative to 15" consumer laptops. Apple still has "only" 8% share of the laptop market.

Market share is not a good indicator of what's currently popular/selling well. Windows PCs make up 96% of the computers, but these beige-box ewaste PCs from HP, Dell, and others have been flat-lining. Market share is also a rather inaccurate metric because it doesn't factor in PCs no longer in use and more importantly, it doesn't account for new sales of Macs that are eating into the over-saturated, stagnating PC market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

If Apple wanted to see their market share really explode, they should produce 15" and 17" MacBook non-pros.

Jobs has publicly recognized Apple may only ever reach 30% in the dead-and-dying desktop PC market, which makes up the vast majority of the computers in the world. Apple has no interest in doing so. In the profitable consumer market, however, they already have around 16% and in the laptop portion, which is expanding at a much faster rate than the desktop arena, they've got probably 25%, maybe more.

Apple doesn't jump into large, established markets in an attempt to clean up through any and all means, legal or otherwise (like Microsoft did successfully in the '90s by illegally bundling Windows with third party PC hardware vendors; success they haven't been able to replicate in any major way since then). Apple goes into emerging markets, where they can surpass what little competition exists with better hardware, software and especially, the cohesive nature of the two combined that make their products greater than the sum of their parts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

I keep on getting the impression that you still haven't read this.

Honestly, at this point, I don't remember exactly which posts of yours (or anyone's, for that matter) I have read, haven't read, skimmed over, etc. I'm pretty sure I read it though and going over it again, it sounds like we're in consensus on some things (like that most of Apple's computers are not overpriced compared to similarly speced competitors) and not on others (an xMac, if I'm not mistaken, is the fabled headless Mac mid-tower, which Apple has shown no interest in producing because...the beige-box tower PC market is unprofitable due to over-saturation by ewaste competitors from HP, Dell, etc.).
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post #546 of 735
I think there is demand for a 15-inch consumer laptop from Apple. And the fact that Apple is not delivering one is disappointing. 13-inch displays are too small for the average person.

I think that the prototype pictured in leaked photos a few weeks ago maybe a much needed consumer-oriented 15-inch Macbook NOT a prototype for a new 15-inch MacBook Pro. If that is indeed the case I think Apple's going to sell tons of them.
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post #547 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Considering Apple's outpacing the industry 3-to-1 and they're doing even better in the laptop department (with the MacBook being their best seller) obviously the MacBooks have serious mainstream appeal, regardless of whether they fit your definition of "mainstream" or not.

Growth is outstripping competitors. Total sales of non-apple laptops still dwarf sales of Apple laptops. The MacBook has limited mainstream appeal and that's why Apple has 8% share not 50%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Market share is not a good indicator of what's … selling well.

Sorry, you fail today's logic test.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Market share is also a rather inaccurate metric because it doesn't factor in PCs no longer in use and more importantly, it doesn't account for new sales of Macs that are eating into the over-saturated, stagnating PC market.

I think you are confusing market share with installed base. Or something.

It's very simple. With the quarterly market share numbers we see from Gartner etc., they first calculate the total number of PCs sold in the last three months. A given company's market share is then that company's sales in those three months, expressed as a percentage of the total. Apple's latest data was that they had 8% share of the US market. That means in three months, the rest of the market sold 11.5 times as many computers as Apple did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

and not about others (an xMac, if I'm not mistaken, is the fabled headless Mac mid-tower, which Apple has shown no interest in producing because...the beige-box tower PC market is unprofitable due to over-saturation by ewaste competitors from HP, Dell, etc.).

Headless mid-towers are unprofitable for everyone else because the only way they can differentiate from each other is price. Apple would have OS X as the major unique selling point, and the fact that they'd be able to make something that wasn't hideously ugly and devoid of any design taste whatsoever as a secondary USP. This would enable Apple to charge that little bit more for the same (internal) specification as the competition.

As time passes, the need for the xMac does diminish. The Mac Mini should never have been and instead Apple should have launched the xMac. But that was almost four years ago now.
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post #548 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

The MacBook is close enough to mainstream that its "nicheness" (in this case 13" rather than 15" widescreen) entices many people over. Rest assured however, that its "nicheness" also scares plenty of people away.

The MacBook Pro is an unashamedly high-end laptop and I think it's great; it'll be even better when it gets a MacBook Air-esque case and keyboard.

Well said.
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post #549 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Growth is outstripping competitors. Total sales of non-apple laptops still dwarf sales of Apple laptops. The MacBook has limited mainstream appeal and that's why Apple has 8% share not 50%.

I think you are confusing market share with installed base. Or something.

It's very simple. With the quarterly market share numbers we see from Gartner etc., they first calculate the total number of PCs sold in the last three months. A given company's market share is then that company's sales in those three months, expressed as a percentage of the total. Apple's latest data was that they had 8% share of the US market. That means in three months, the rest of the market sold 11.5 times as many computers as Apple did.

Hmm... read the following and see if we're on the same page:

The number of installed PCs worldwide has surpassed 1 billion units, according to market research firm Gartner, Inc., which estimates the global install base to be growing at a 12 percent annual rate on its was to surpassing 2 billion units by early 2014.

Gartner defines the installed base of PCs as the estimated number of PCs in use as opposed to the number shipped over a given a period, The world’s installed base of PCs remains heavily concentrated in mature markets. However, the firm believes emerging markets will claim an increasingly larger share of the world’s installed base going forward.


SOURCE

Can't remember which philosopher said this, but it seems pretty relevant :
The beginning of knowledge is the defining of terms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Headless mid-towers are unprofitable for everyone else because the only way they can differentiate from each other is price. Apple would have OS X as the major unique selling point, and the fact that they'd be able to make something that wasn't hideously ugly and devoid of any design taste whatsoever as a secondary USP. This would enable Apple to charge that little bit more for the same (internal) specification as the competition.

Definitely re-read my post, which I've edited. I didn't edit it after reading your subsequent response, just saying, I made additions on Apple's marketing strategy vs. it's competitors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

As time passes, the need for the xMac does diminish. The Mac Mini should never have been and instead Apple should have launched the xMac. But that was almost four years ago now.

The Mac Mini wasn't meant to drive major sales; not everything Apple makes is meant to be the "next big thing." It's purpose is to entice hesitant Windows PC owners who already have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, but aren't quite ready to take the full Mac plunge, so to speak. Once they buy it, it can be a stepping stone to one of their fully-fledged and more profitable computers like the MacBook or iMac.
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #550 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carniphage View Post

Vinea, your arguments are well thought-out, but your underlying argument is this:

Apple's hardware is vulnerable without the unique-selling-point of OS X. And Apple relies on hardware sales for its profitability.

AND

The demand for OS X is not that great.

These seem a little contradictory.

Let me clarify then:

The demand for OSX is insufficient to make Apple as much money selling low margin software (commodity OS) as it does selling high margin hardware.

Quote:
I'd say this:

The demand for a better-than-Windows-OS *is* great. Not 90%-of-the-market great ... but more than the 8% high-end ghetto it finds itself in. Particularly now, demand for OS-X is larger than demand for Mac computers. The mis-match creates a sort of pressure.

We agree. Where we disagree is that the pressure is sufficient to change business models to the extent that some folks desire. Even quadrupling OSX market share is unlikely to make Apple as profitable as it is today if the hardware sales are significantly impacted.
post #551 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

Hmm... read the following and see if we're on the page:

SOURCE

Yes, that explains what installed base is. Market share is different and is as I defined it in my previous post.

Market share is, contrary to what you said, the best indicator of what's selling well. You are right however, that it's not necessarily the best indicator of what's most popular.

Installed base is what developers, hardware makers and web people should look at when determining whether to support a given platform. However, reliable installed-base share numbers are not, to the best of my knowledge, available anywhere and everyone unfortunately goes on market share instead.

The problem is this:

Imagine the number of Macs in use equaled the number of PCs in use.

Macs would have a 50% share of the installed base.

However, if the PCs are replaced twice as often as the Macs, Macs will only have a 33.33% market share.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wobegon View Post

The Mac Mini wasn't meant to drive major sales; not everything Apple makes is meant to be the "next big thing." It's purpose is to entice hesitant Windows PC owners who already have a monitor, keyboard, mouse, but aren't quite ready to take the full Mac plunge, so to speak. Once they buy it, it can be a stepping stone to one of their fully-fledged and more profitable computers like the MacBook or iMac.

And it would do that job better if it used proper desktop components instead of having all the compromises of a laptop with none of the advantages. Using desktop components Apple could produce a much more powerful machine with more storage for the same price and the same margins. The only reason they didn't do it was misplaced (IMHO) fear of cannibalising Mac Pro (or Power Mac as it was then) sales.
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #552 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by xc3ll View Post


MB(P)

PMPs

with a SFF

)

xc3ll, I really enjoyed your post, and it got me thinking. In fact, I'm still thinking about it and will get back to you when I've considered what I hate most that I use every day. However, while it used to be my phone, the truth is I absolutely loved my blackberry when I got it. I had one of the very first ones - that product was a game changer without doubt. I now love my iphone even more, but I wouldn't say that I hated my blackberry. My point is only that I'm not sure I agree that Apple's products all were in stagnant fields. Sure, the iPod was, but the iPhone is in a dynamic field, with serious competition that isn't sitting on its laurels. Rimm is no joke.

ps - I'm not trying to pick, but it's really hard to read a post filled with abbreviations or acronyms. I still can't thing of what a PMP or SFF is...
post #553 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodman View Post

PMP

Portable Media Player, or sometimes Personal Media Player.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mgoodman View Post

SFF

Small Form Factor.

Wikipedia can often help with acronyms. In the case of the two above there's only one possible meaning that makes any sense out of the list of all possible meanings provided by wikipedia.
it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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it's = it is / it has, its = belonging to it.
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post #554 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Yes, that explains what installed base is. Market share is different and is as I defined it in my previous post.

Market share is, contrary to what you said, the best indicator of what's selling well. You are right however, that it's not necessarily the best indicator of what's most popular.

Yeah, I can be an airhead sometimes. But doesn't marketshare have an effect on installed base?

Market share = # of computers sold in a given time period, which is then used to figure out the percentage each company has of the whole

Install base = # of computers actually in use

So, while they don't directly correlate, indirectly, the former can inadvertently affect the latter, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

Installed base is what developers, hardware makers and web people should look at when determining whether to support a given platform. However, reliable installed-base share numbers are not, to the best of my knowledge, available anywhere and everyone unfortunately goes on market share instead.

Right. It's straight in my mind now. And yeah, while installed base is a better measuring tool, it can't really be calculated on things like different OS web usage and similar metrics that don't tell the whole story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

And it would do that job better if it used proper desktop components instead of having all the compromises of a laptop with none of the advantages. Using desktop components Apple could produce a much more powerful machine with more storage for the same price and the same margins.

Haha, but then where would be the consumer's drive to buy one of Apple's profitable computers? By doing as you say, the xMac would then become a much more capable, worthwhile computer, defeating the need to move to a full-fledged and far more profitable Mac. Using standard, full-sized, user-replaceable components would also make the job of PC cloners even easier.

Also, while Apple could sure as hell make a prettier mid-tower compared to the competition - essentially a slightly smaller Mac Pro - the Mac Mini provides a DRAMATIC, STARK contrast to what the competitors offer. Just envision an isle of a Best Buy computer department. Walking along, people would see a bunch of mid-towers, some silver, some shinny black, some white, some blue (god, so tasteless), and a brushed metal mid-tower Mac Pro-ish xMac. Now certainly they'd say "oooh." But then they'd say "but look at this little Dell. It's like $400 less and offers a lot of the same specs." And they buy the cheaper PC based on price or fear of the commitment a tower PC gives most people.

Then imagine the same average consumer shopping around and discovering Apple's current Mac Mini:

Consumer: "Mid-tower, mid-tower, mid-tower, mid...WAIT, WHAT THE [EXPLETIVE]!!?? Excuse me sir, is this an Apple hard drive or something?"

Clerk: "No, that's a compu.."

Consumer: "That's a computer? That little thing?"

Clerk: "And it works with your standard monitor, mouse, etc."

Consumer: "Hey honey, come look at this. [wispers] Hey, we could just hook our mouse, keyboard and monitor to this thing. It even comes with this little remote. Just look at it, it's tiny."

Consumer's Significant Other: But can it web browse fast? Can I write Word documents? Email? Can I play music on it?"

Clerk: [eavesdropping on their conversation] Yes, it does all those things fine.

SOLD

I question if it was merely a fear of Power Mac/Mac Pro cannibalization. Don't underestimate the real marketable value of compactness. It costs money to make things abnormally small. The small, portable nature of something is often seen by consumers as impressive. Like Euro-style cars for instance. Americans generally laugh at them when compared to their SUV's and mini vans they use to shuttle their kids and their kids' friends around in. At the same time, no matter how attached and pleased they are with their large automobile, most won't deny how their amazement at how small they can make a car that offers rather decent head and leg room. Miniaturization is a feat that captivates people.

When Snow Leopard ships next year, one of its promoted "features" is that it "dramatically reduces the footprint of Mac OS X, making it even more efficient for users, and giving them back valuable hard drive space for their music and photos."
http://www.apple.com/macosx/snowleopard/
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False comparisons do not a valid argument make.
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post #555 of 735
Although I still like my two guesses (1: bundled Windows + Parallels (or VMware); 2: Touch for all Macs), two more possibilities have occurred to me:

3. A two-disk disk drive, with the second disk mirroring the first to provide automatic backup.

4. Some sort of hardware key to make it harder to port OS X to a PC.

PS: Possibly this second disk surface could be used to provide a disk partition for Windows.

PPS: If Windows was running in its own "core" of the CPU and from its own disk surface, then instantaneous switching between it and OS X would be possible, and the possibility of one of the systems messing up the other would be reduced. It would be a tremendous selling point, enabling a painless, gradual migration to OS X.

PPPS: A few years ago, in the aftermath of the shift-to-Intel announcement, John Dvorak, spurred by a lengthy speculative e-mail from a reader, opined that the Mac and Windows were moving toward some sort of merger with each other. If Apple were to provide the two-in-one set-up I suggested above, and if MS were to be flexible on its licensing terms (for instance, by charging Apple only for the amount of actual use of Windows, as determined during OS X point-updates by checks of a usage meter in Windows), then this cohabitation would fulfill his prediction.
post #556 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post

You put that apostrophe there just to annoy me, didn't you?



Someone's, at least, still paying attention.

It's the details. It's all in the details!
post #557 of 735
I still stand by my earlier statement regarding an electronics transition and/or merger between Consumer TVs and LED Monitor Displays from Apple.
post #558 of 735
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

I still stand by my earlier statement regarding an electronics transition and/or merger between Consumer TVs and LED Monitor Displays from Apple.

Howabout a laptop/multitouch/keyboard tablet that wirelessly transmits to any tv/led screen, enabling the user to travel with a very small but potentially very powerful machine with no inbuilt screen of its own.
MATTE MATTERS
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MATTE MATTERS
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post #559 of 735
Not going to happen any time soon but my dream device has to be an Apple TV + Time Capsule + DVD Player + Safari all in on box. With connections to the internet, your TV and computers the possibilies are endless. Control it with a wireless keyboard or even better an iphone/ ipod touch! All the data from your computers backed up and available on your TV Throw in cable/sky connections and they could name their price.

Just my 2c.
post #560 of 735
it has to go across platforms that others can do well lets see
ssd across the board, do those crash??
touch across the board
home server / raid/ backup--better intergration
iTV with home server, iphone inegration
lower prices across the board to build market share.
i think apple feels it's at critical mass to make some huge platform expansio
the more people have macs, and the integration is vertical WOW, iphone etc
big gains .
what's the critical mass for a platform to get more software and hardware attention
i want a single page scanner usb powered to travel with that's mac compatible, i had a visioneer strobe for os 9 but why not do it for mac

just another gripe --better power management for the iphone, i should have one button that turns off 3g, network, bluetooth without having to go to several screen. power management button that gives me options, 2g network, no bluetooth, 3g, no bluetooth, no network etc.\
I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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I APPLE THEREFORE I AM
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