I suspect the "sound mind and body" of Apple bashers that spend their time on Apple forums.
Well, there is that.
No. There's a few things wrong with Apple's approach. I can't say many people on these boards would deny Apple's 'good things'. (And you'd need more fingers on hands and toes on feet to count them all...)
However, there are things that Apple could fix.
For example. 'WHEN' they come out. Apple's kit is near enough within a certain % competitive. Eg the Mac Pro's with all Octo line up. Cheaper than the nearest Dell equivalent by a mile.
But here's the rub. Apple waits for nearly a year for an update...or longer(!) And then the tower (or anything else in its line up...) ends up looking ridiculously overpriced. The Octo line up? Great. Xeons. But the GPU is now ridiculous! 2600 XT. Compare that to www.overclockers.com
where you can get a x2 dual GPU Radeon chip with 2 GIGS of RAM! on the card...in a rig costing £1000 with 4 gigs of ram. Heh. You can get a PC rig with as much ram on the gpu as Apple's 'workstation' has system ram!
Apple does this great big thing...and sits on it...too long patting themselves on the back...but PC land to its credit doesn't sit still.www.overclockers.com
If Apple offered the quad mid-tower with 4 gigs of ram and a 4800 x2 with 2 gigs of ram for a £1000? I'd be all over it.
Plain and simple. Apple doesn't offer incremental updates. And how difficult is that for something like the Mac Pro? The 7600GT stuck like sh*T with the Mac Pro for ages. As did the Radeon 1900. That was poor! It shouldn't be like this with a system starting at £1450 for a quad version. And you get stingy ram, hd drive and crap gpu.
In short, Apple takes the p*ss over ram prices, standard gpus always being underpowered for the supposed 'Pro' systems...and add insult to injury you have to pay EVEN more to get a decent one.
You can get PC laptops with far cheaper and with bigger screens. It's about time we had a 'Mac book Pro' breaking the £1000 barrier. And a Mid-tower for between £799 and £1200 with a decent gpu. It's brain gawkingly obvious. Again. I can't see any reason why we can't have a Mac Book starting at £500. I can't see why we can't have the Mac Mini at £199 inc Vat. It's far too pricey. No kb, no monitor, no mouse. And whither an iMac for a couple of hundred cheaper. Yeesh.
There's a bright spot. Apple's iMac does well compared to any PC all-in-one...but the lack of mid-tower only serves to make the Mac Pro look more ridiculous than it is towards the end of it's product cycle.
I can't understand why Apple doesn't bump the ram/hd or the GPU. Where are the 4800 series GPUs? Do they have to wait ages to update the tower 'skin'? Do they have to offer out of date monitors with outrageous prices when you can get non-Apple brand monitors with higher size and spec for less money? The five year up date cycle for monitors just about sums up the 'bad' side of Apple.
No. I guess they aren't perfect, eh?
Point is. For me, leastways. Apple aren't going to get a much better window of opportunity to 'do' Microsoft. Vista is getting hammered in the press. They have Balmer leading them for now. Aging monopolies. Their browsers are getting basted on all sides. Apple are hammering Windows Mobile with iPhone OS X and Apple's 'cool' ads have got Bill Gates storming out of tv studios. Clearly. Microsoft are concerned now. Apple are at 10% plus US marketshare. Now is the time to execute the doomsday machine. Get more aggressive. Really aggressive. If Apple can do in Mac market what they did in the iPod, iPhone markets then it's game on for 'critical' mass for Mac computers.
They've moved to Intel CPUs. They have a pretty good line-up of computer. They've got iPod and iPhone leading traffic for hands on experience of Macs in Apple stores, they have mountains of good press, OS X is miles ahead of Vista and importantly allowed people to protect their software investment with Boot Camp. What's left?
The 'price' for the 'rest of us' Mac computer. AND to fill the 'one or two' holes in their desktop and laptop computer range.
This means. (For me, I guess...) A cheaper £1000 mid-tower (With Radeon 4800!) to restore sanity (puh-lease, prices starting at £1700 and you don't even get the out of date GT as standard...2 piffals of ram and a diabetic hd...) and an upsale, jaw dropping entry level Macbook starting at £500 to really give switchers no more excuses.
Apple have a chance to reach more people, drive down quality into the 'lower' markets like they did when they brought out an 'iPod Mini' to compliment the more expensive iPod of the time. But they haven't quite executed that strategy in their Mac market. This doesn't have to mean cheapest but perhaps 'cheaper'. But they definitely could squeeze their margins to put pressure on HP and Dell who probably have much lower margins and have to do much more volume to match Apple's profits. Which would leave many PC vendors with no place to go but out of business. This period is Apple's best opportunity to chase some marketshare as ever more Apple stores are opened. And they need to introduce some 'ticket' price Macs for skinflints and it produces benefits of upsale. Apple have 3 times market growth momentum. But with the credit crunch and other factors...how long until this momentum slows? A really aggressively priced entry level laptop and mid-tower could only bolster that momentum. Yes. prices trimmed across the board. The PPC days are over. Apple has to compete these days. They're doing pretty good. But there are areas which infuriate me and others.
Score card? B. Good. But no A grade yet...
Lemon Bon Bon.
PS. Apple are on for a historic 3 million sales this quarter. At 3 times growth, next year that could turn into a 4.5 million Mac sale quarter. Think about the numbers they could do if they got REALLY aggressive on price...AND when iPhone 'Halos' and Snow Leopard opens Macs into Business with the Exchange move. Personally. I can see a tipping point as a bright light now. At the end of the tunnel.