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Apple details new MacBook manufacturing process - Page 2

post #41 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Dude, Seriously. Go buy a Dell and install Leopard. There are people who will pay these money for such computers. Just like people buy expensive Houses, Cars, Boats and phones. If you don't understand the differences I feel bad for you.

This new process will pay off in years to come. No other computer can do this. NO ONE!

My buying a Dell and installing Leopard is not going to have any impact on what it costs Apple to make their notebook computers.

The new process will not pay off in years to come. The process has a high per-unit manufacturing cost, due to the high cost of the machines and the time that each machine spends producing one unit. Those costs will likely come down by some amount over time, but this technology has been around for several decades, and there is not going to be any drastic reduction in per-unit cost at any time.
post #42 of 110
My 5 year old TiBook is getting to the point that I need to consider replacing it. At work I need to have the ability to move around. These new MacBook Pro's are now what I consider a step up and they look nice.

This weekend I will be down at the Apple store to examine the new MacBook Pro, most likely I WILL be walking out with a new computer. I personally like what I have seen so far, it is impressive.

Apple has never followed the crowd and I like that. They have followed what is best for Apple. So what if the process is more expensive, what is nice is the speed bumps in the products and in the world I work in a rugged computer is a blessing.

Most of the guys I work with have Dells and end up getting a new one every two years. I have gone double and some more on my Apple. For me that is actually saving money.

So off to the Apple store on Saturday I go.
post #43 of 110
Could this guy possibly be any more obnoxious?
post #44 of 110
Some notebooks have fallen in price ... some have gained market share.
post #45 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

THEY HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS!!! IN ORDER FOR APPLE'S STOCK TO APPRECIATE IN VALUE, IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY THAT THEY START MANUFACTURING AND SELLING NOTEBOOK COMPUTERS WHERE THE PRODUCTION COSTS HAVE BE REDUCED, NOT INCREASED! WHAT APPLE HAS DONE HERE, SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK FOR APPLE! PEOPLE WHO HAVE PURCHASED STOCK IN APPLE HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO DEMAND THAT APPLE MAKE DECISIONS THAT ARE ORIENTED TOWARD INCREASING MARKET SHARE AND INCREASING PROFIT, SO THAT THE VALUE OF THE STOCK WILL INCREASE! IT IS THE RIGHT OF STOCKHOLDERS TO DEMAND THIS, AND MOST CEO's UNDERSTAND THIS AND TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. INCREDIBLY AS IT SEEMS, JOBS EVIDENTLY DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THIS, AND THAT IS WHY HE SHOULD BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY!

Herr, Soze.

Obviously there is no need to shout. We can read what you've written regardless of the case of letters chosen.

In response to your, er, soapbox statement, I appreciate your perspective, but while the high-tech industry is one of the fastest growing and most nimble industries, it can't turn on a dime. Indeed, if GM, Ford and Chrysler were as nimble as Apple, they would have products consumers want right now.

If Apple wanted to gain market share by virtue of quantity, they would quit the hardware business and license OSX to Dell, HP and other manufacturers. But I don't think this is the philosophy of the company. What makes Apple an Apple, is their innovative use of technology, award winning product design, quality of service, etc.

In other words, Apple (aka Jobs) has decided to go for quality vs quantity. Indeed, it's like comparing a Ford Focus to a BMW Mini. The Ford is practical and reliable, but it's nothing special compared to the Mini, which is smaller, more expensive and yet for some, more desirable... It has exclusivity.

I too have had a long-term look at the financial profile of Apple and at the end of the day, they have a solid growth rate. Will it continue at the double digit rate in the past, probably not. But I'd rather they move forward at a single digit rate, in this economy, rather than the truly downward slope (spiral?) of the likes of Dell.

Now, don't get me wrong, there are a few omissions on the latest notebook products that I think they're going to regret. For example, no matte screen option on the new MBP and no FireWire port on the new MB. Having said that, overall, I think the new products are moving in the right direction in terms of innovation. Especially the possibilities of using the two GPUs and OpenCL on the new MBP, which I hope will be an architecture adapted to the next refresh of the iMac.

In conclusion, I think Jobs and the Apple board do understand what the stock holders want (i.e. market share and profit), but there are other ways to reach these goals. After all, there are those in the financial market who went for the short, quick, quantitative profit vs those institutions that stayed with prudent fiscal policy, with slow but progressive growth... I don't have to point out who's still standing these days.

- YipYipYipee
post #46 of 110
@ kaiser soze

You know you've been incredibly rude to everyone on this thread and ranted and raved for a while now, but it's worth noting that you haven't actually backed up a single thing you've said, and you've really only said one thing over and over again. This is it here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

... instead of finding ways to lower the production cost, they adopted a production method that substantially increased their production costs.

While on the face of it this seems like an obvious statement, I'm sure you would agree (if you actually do know anything about this stuff), that the cost of production includes many different factors and the base level cost of machining a single part (out of hundreds) is only one of those. There are also costs of assembly, shipping, and a bunch of other factors.

If you want to keep ranting about this, how about coming up with an argument, or some facts and figures as to how this one single change to the rather complicated fabrication, production and delivery of a MacBook is "certainly" going to sink them or even significantly inflate production costs?

I was all set to make some great counter arguments to your rant, when I realised that you haven't actually made an argument at all. You've just screamed and screamed about how the world is ending, Apple is doomed, etc.

So go ahead, make an actual argument for cripes sake. And please include costs of shipping, assembly and all the costs of producing all the various bits. Maybe a couple of spreadsheets to show the difference in all areas between the previous production methods and the current.

If you can't do that (possibly because like most of us you ARE NOT ACTUALLY PRIVY TO THE DETAILS), then please shut up.
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post #47 of 110
Quote:
This is terribly simple. Some of you don't get it, and Jobs obviously does not get it, but he has obviously gone insane. So let me spell it out to you in black and white:

1. The investment community has factored into the price for Apple's stock, the assumption that Apple will continue to gain market share.

Oh my. Sounds like the pot is calling the kettle black.

Criticizing Apple's price point is an old tune. The iPod wasn't the cheapest option when it was released. In fact, it was lambasted in a very similar way. And yet, Apple sold a couple. The same can be said for most of Apple's products, including the iPhone. And again, I think they've sold at least a couple.

If Steve Jobs, Jonathan Ives and the hordes at Apple are insane, then so am I. I may not get it, but I'll buy it, because I'll pay more to buy more. As for the investment communities' demands, well, current situation considered, I think I'll ignore their brilliant insights for the time being.

Steve and company gave new strength to Apple by truly thinking different. They don't run with the crowd, even when it's a rambunctious group that's obsessed with capitalization and stock prices. And thank goodness, because otherwise, that Apple store that I'm buying my new unibody Macbook from, wouldn't be there.

Have a little faith, be a long-term investor and quit screaming fire when there isn't one. Sweep off those chip crumbs, wipe the froth off your mouth, shower and head down to your nearest Apple store. Just look and see for yourself. The insanity, it's spreading.
post #48 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

Leonard, you are obviously clueless, and as such, you really should not bother to share your naive opinions with other people. Please go find yourself an engineer who has experience and knowledge with cost accounting for fabrication processes. Someone in the aerospace industry would be a good place to look. Talk to some of them, and ask them to explain to you some of the factors that determine the difference in fabrication cost for different processes.

But you don't really have to do that, because it should be apparent to you and to anyone else who has half a brain, that the notebook computers made by manufacturers who have not chosen to apply this process to the production of their notebook computers cost about half what these Apple computers cost.

This simply the most unbelievably stupid decision that Apple could have made. If you don't understand that, it is only because you understand very little.


OK I'll bite the troll

you work in the aerospace industry, what as?

engineer ?

chief scream monger?

what are you doing wasting your time here, clearly none of us that disagree with you are worthy of spending time in your "presence"

but then you forget yourself and burden us with your ranting anyway.

you forget that you dont run Apple

you forget that your not employed by Apple {fank thuck}

you forget that Apple can do whatever the hell they want to make the most desirable looking gear in whatever industry they want.

you forget that they havent sold the stocks and they havent given the money back to the shareholders.

--

seriously, where the hell is Mel? We need to set Mel on this guy
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #49 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post


seriously, where the hell is Mel? We need to set Mel on this guy

Amen, brother... amen.
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post #50 of 110
Is Apple milling these enclosure themselves or is that outsourced like all of their manufacturing? It would have been neat if they brought back some of their manufacturing in-house.
post #51 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by YipYipYipee View Post

Yes, it's about half a pound (~225g) lighter compared to the now still available 13" white polycarbonate MacBook.

In other economic times, the importance of this technology would be better appreciated. Unfortunately, price and "value for money" (i.e. features) rule the roost now.

Still, from an engineering stand-point, it is impressive. Not sure if it's revolutionary if Apple's hyperbole is to be believed. The manufacturing techniques are well known and applied to other military grade components (e.g. avionics modules on fighter aircraft) for years, but not necessarily a "consumer grade" notebook computer.

Will this new aluminium MacBook be any more tougher than the polycarbonate one? On paper should be, but we'll have to wait for some real-world tests, erm... accidents.

-YipYipYipee

I used to work in the office furniture industry and we did this exact same manufacturing process (for well over 8 years) for many different desk and file cabinet parts. It's definitely not revolutionary in even the tiniest definition of the term, maybe new(er) to the computer industry, but nowhere near revolutionary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iVlad View Post

Dude, Seriously. Go buy a Dell and install Leopard. There are people who will pay these money for such computers. Just like people buy expensive Houses, Cars, Boats and phones. If you don't understand the differences I feel bad for you.

This new process will pay off in years to come. No other computer can do this. NO ONE!

1. I know this wasn't directed at me since I didn't post in this thread yet, but I am typing this from my Dell Mini netbook running Leopard.

2. Any company could do it if they wanted to, ANY, Apple just happens to be the company that did do it.

Honestly, I have not read one single person who is happy about the new notebooks out of the thousands of posts I've read today over several message boards. It seems like Apple seriously fudged up on SEVERAL different fronts with these new notebooks.
BUT, honestly the aluminum cases are for sure the one thing they did right. They are ridiculously sturdy, look stupid nice, scratch much less than plastic or paint, and just look piff.

There are tons of different things to complain about on virtually every area of these new notebooks, but the casing is NOT one of them.

EDIT: There is atleast 1 person(s) that is going to be extremely happy at this whole fiasco. Microsoft.
post #52 of 110
I remember almost the exact same rant when Apple dropped the floppy disk from their hardware. Really, virtually word-for-word.
post #53 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by YTV View Post

Honestly, I have not read one single person who is happy about the new notebooks out of the thousands of posts I've read today over several message boards. It seems like Apple seriously fudged up on SEVERAL different fronts with these new notebooks.
BUT, honestly the aluminum cases are for sure the one thing they did right. They are ridiculously sturdy, look stupid nice, scratch much less than plastic or paint, and just look piff.

I would not at all in any case use the fickled people in the interweb to gauge the wider consumer market.
post #54 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

You are absolutely right that they are not interested in the sub-$1000 notebook crowd. That is evident. But the problem is that if they want to do what is right for the people who own their stock, they have to make smart business decisions, and this is probably the worst business decision that they could possibly have made.

Perhaps part of the reason we are in the current economic mess we are in is because companies paid too much attention to their stock price (sometime managing the businesses as nothing more than a stock manipulation scheme) and not enough attention to their business and their customers (note: despite what many people think, stockholders are not customers). Too many business (and too many individuals for that matter) are run on credit, borrowed money which these days is hard to come by, all in the pursuit of low-cost and market share.

If you don't like the way they build computers, don't buy them. If you don't like the way they run the company, don't by stock. Personally, I think it's a bit silly to build computers this way. But they have $20 billion in the bank, no corporate debt, and a 10% market share in the US (vs 2-3% a couple of years ago). I'm not going to argue with that.
post #55 of 110
I find the new design and manufacturing process absolutely impressive. I know the tech is decades old, but no one has used it for notebooks before. It kinda sucks that low end model wasn't updated this time around, but I'm sure that we'll see a $999 model of the new design in 6 months or so.

Also, many of those notebooks that you find in the $600 range are using celrons and have 1GB of RAM. Not exactly a fair comparison, especially when the new Macboks are packing Nvidia's graphics.
post #56 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I would not at all in any case use the fickled people in the interweb to gauge the wider consumer market.

Indeed. Every time I see an angry crowd after an Apple keynote I think of Henry Ford quote "If I'd asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a better horse.".

This company did succeed to increase their revenue and their market share over the years when these same people were yelling and screaming. One may know if this manufacturing process is more expensive or cheaper than the old one, which is totally irrelevant unless one knows how much the new look will effect the sales of the computers. Apple always designed nice looking gadgets, that's their "thing" if you like. And they will always go into the lengths to make their products "look" better beyond everything else. That policy will and has annoyed many people who demanded more expandability or configurability but it's quite obvious that for the majority of its consumers, it's working as more and more people switch to Apple. You cannot blame them for putting design before function/price. And you shouldn't be stupid enough to act like you actually know more than a multibillion dollar company CEO about which manufacturing process he's gonna choose for his next lineup. That goes for Kaiser Soze obviously.
post #57 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by YipYipYipee View Post

Still, from an engineering stand-point, it is impressive. Not sure if it's revolutionary if Apple's hyperbole is to be believed. The manufacturing techniques are well known and applied to other military grade components (e.g. avionics modules on fighter aircraft) for years, but not necessarily a "consumer grade" notebook computer.

Many of the car's engine blocks are manufactured using digital milling machines too. I took the BMW manufacture tour in Munich Germany back in 1991, and they had a farm of milling machines to mill their engine blocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by codachrome

Regarding the amount of aluminum lost during milling...it's aluminum! One would think they'd have set up shop to reclaim most of that and return it to the process. I'd be interested in knowing if that's not feasible or possible.

Yeah it is definitely recyclable, but it has to be dried, shipped, and re-melted. Which wastes energy and some resources.
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post #58 of 110
So what if this case costs $50 more or so to build than a plastic injection molded case?

Apple does sell their computers for more than the competition and if they want to charge a premium they should deliver a better product. I, for example, do care a lot more about the build quality, the materials and the design than about notebook performance (CPU, GPU, memory, HDD...) because for my use, anything that is built in 2008 is plenty fast (but lots of notebooks look garish and are flimsy crap).

There are plenty of premium products in the marketplace where the manufacturer didn't choose the cheapest (or an economically good) process. This creates, or cements, an image of high quality and this will translate in sales.
post #59 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I would not at all in any case use the fickled people in the interweb to gauge the wider consumer market.

Trust me your singing to the choir. It takes ALOT of confirmation and re-confirmation for me to believe anything. I don't believe hardly anything I read and only half of what I see.

The moon landing, US history books, plane hitting the Pentagon. Pfff. Anyone who believes shit like this deserves to be brainwashed.

The thing that sticks out to me though, is I have been following these Apple closely for the last several years, and usually there is a vocal minority and sometimes even a vocal majority (60-70%) who are complaining about this or that.

With this update, in my eyes, it has been very different. Virtually everyone is pissed off. For one reason or another, wether its the supposed cost of the casing, no blu-ray, firewire gone from macbook, virtually no price breaks, glossy screens, Steve pretty much closing the door on any type of tablet for atleast the next few years, loss of overall ports, etc, etc........

It seems Apple really missed the mark here.

If you really step back and think about why it is that Apple has been so successful the last 5-7 or so years, it is the fact that Apple customers have been EXTREMELY happy with Apple, they like the innovation, they actually like and believe in the company. I feel this has changed over the last year, there has been a shift, and I think it is going to hurt Apple in the near future. I think Apple has lost sight of what made them that company that everyone has loved and looked up to.

Thats just my humble opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tails View Post

Indeed. Every time I see an angry crowd after an Apple keynote I think of Henry Ford quote "If I'd asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for a better horse.".

This company did succeed to increase their revenue and their market share over the years when these same people were yelling and screaming. One may know if this manufacturing process is more expensive or cheaper than the old one, which is totally irrelevant unless one knows how much the new look will effect the sales of the computers. Apple always designed nice looking gadgets, that's their "thing" if you like. And they will always go into the lengths to make their products "look" better beyond everything else. That policy will and has annoyed many people who demanded more expandability or configurability but it's quite obvious that for the majority of its consumers, it's working as more and more people switch to Apple. You cannot blame them for putting design before function/price. And you shouldn't be stupid enough to act like you actually know more than a multibillion dollar company CEO about which manufacturing process he's gonna choose for his next lineup. That goes for Kaiser Soze obviously.


Sorry I don't and anyone should not even read or consider posts by anyone with less than 30 posts or who has been a member less than 60 days.

If Appleinsider implements a feature to completely block people by their join date, I will donate $30 to the board. If you take the hundreds of posts just today from brand new users that joined in the last 2 days, you could trace half of them back to Cuppertino and the other 25% to dummy accounts of current users who are embarrassed to say what they want under their real name, and the last 25% to actual new users.
post #60 of 110
I think this will make Apple money in several ways:
1. First, this new computer has a definite coolness factor, especially for the $1299 MacBook. Coolness sells Apple's products.
2. Second, a one-piece design saves money in repair costs, both during the original warranty period and in the extended warranty (I don't think AppleCare will get cheaper, but repairs will still go down.) 3. A more reliable computer helps Apple's image as trouble-free, which also improves sales.

As for the economy argument: 1. Most people I know is just as well off this year as last year. To the extent that holds true for the population, most people are just as able to buy a MacBook now as they were a year ago (during which time Apple's sales have skyrocketed). 2. Apple reduced the low-end prices by $100 for those who are worse off. 3. Apple should not change its entire business strategy because of a temporary economic change. By that logic, Apple should change to Dell's model for a year, then change back when the economy is better. This makes no long-term sense. It would be like Rolex deciding to make $99 watches for a year because of the economy.
post #61 of 110
I'm not going to spend time trying to say that the new process is less expensive, or allows Apple to build the $800 or $900 laptop. What I will say is that their past performance bodes well for the future. Most importantly the bit about the parts taking 10 times longer to make and the machines required costing 10 times more, and on, to all of that I will say that they can count just as well as you and I. So maybe they are seeing things in the not too distant future that we have not factored into the whole equation. What about the windmill power generating rumor that floated around for awhile? If Apple can pull that off, they could, offset more cost, maybe even paying the salaries of the people that work at the plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

The new process will not pay off in years to come. The process has a high per-unit manufacturing cost, due to the high cost of the machines and the time that each machine spends producing one unit. Those costs will likely come down by some amount over time, but this technology has been around for several decades, and there is not going to be any drastic reduction in per-unit cost at any time.
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post #62 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by DWS-2 View Post

3. Apple should not change its entire business strategy because of a temporary economic change. By that logic, Apple should change to Dell's model for a year, then change back when the economy is better. This makes no long-term sense. It would be like Rolex deciding to make $99 watches for a year because of the economy.

Heh. Methinks I've lived in the Twin Cities too long as what you've said certainly resonates with me.

You don't work Piper Jaffrey, do you?

-YipYipYipee
post #63 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

Last edited by kaiser_soze; Today at 04:40 PM. Reason: grammer

Grammar.

Quote:
Originally Posted by YTV View Post

...
Sorry I don't and anyone should not even read or consider posts by anyone with less than 30 posts or who has been a member less than 60 days.
...

Never mind.
post #64 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

You know, I really, really do not like myself when I am overtly rude to a total stranger, but I find myself unable to avoid being overtly rude to you, because there is simply no way that any person who has any insight at all into the differences in cost of different manufacturing processes could believe what you represent yourself as believing. You have absolutely know idea what you are talking about. The part that is the end result of the machining of that billet of aluminum is the equivalent of a part that could otherwise be stamped out on a different sort of machine at a rate of about one per second. The cost of such a machine is probably less than one-tenth the cost of a CNC machine, and the production rate is probably at least ten times greater than the production rate that they are going to get with this process. It is quite simply ludicrous.

You say you do not like to make yourself overtly rude to complete strangers, but anybody who disagrees with your opinion is immediately blasted with insults to their intelligence, and there are numerous instances that I can quote if you would like. Your opinion is exactly that: your opinion. We do not have to agree with you, and we do not have to take your blatant attacks simply because we don't agree. Take your anger elsewhere, because people on these forums prefer to have rational debates and not have to defend themselves against somebody who obviously cannot take any criticism. Just a suggestion.
post #65 of 110
Apple is doing right, what Starbucks did wrong - and so I'll explain:

Starbuck (I'm from Seattle :-) introduced us to coffee that was a little more complex than the regular "cup o' Joe" and we all bought into it. What Starbucks has missed is that their drinks have never been all that great. They are not boutique coffees in the sense of "fine made" or "well crafted." Now most people know what a great latte tastes like because of all the boutique coffee shops that opened up in our neighborhoods. The beans are roasted locally. The machine is calibrated daily by a barista who loves the espresso and thinks of it as a fine art.

Now Starbucks is confused about why we're going to the boutique shop and enjoying our double short latte - they introduced us to the wonderful world of great coffees, but kept the quality bar low.

Through the lower end MacBooks - the world has been introduced to a truly great computer. It's a computer that has a complete environment and experience.

And now Apple has done exactly the right thing. They have the "teaser" laptop to get people in the door. They can have a great and full Apple computer experience with the $999 MacBook. Then - when they're satisfied and in need of a new computer, they will do one of two things: buy another entry model $999 MacBook (which is now 2 or 3 years old), or buy the nicer, newer one. They are happy that their notebook lasted them 3 or more years with little to no trouble and are willing to shell out $1300 for a newer one.

Simple

My G3 iBook lasted 7 years with little to no trouble. My iMac G4 Flatpanel is over 5 years old and still going strong.

I'll NEVER go back to a pc. I'll happily pay more for a good computer.
post #66 of 110
*poof*

Good riddance.
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post #67 of 110
I really dont understand the big advantages to this new manufacturing process other than being from a solid piece of aluminum. If my kitchen table was carved out of a solid piece of wood, I dont think that it really would be that much better, but it would have required a lot more effort to make.

I kind of concerned about the extra energy that making these new cases from a solid piece of aluminum will require rather than from a stamped piece of aluminum.

What am I missing?
post #68 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by euler View Post

I really dont understand the big advantages to this new manufacturing process other than being from a solid piece of aluminum. If my kitchen table was carved out of a solid piece of wood, I dont think that it really would be that much better, but it would have required a lot more effort to make.

I kind of concerned about the extra energy that making these new cases from a solid piece of aluminum will require rather than from a stamped piece of aluminum.

What am I missing?




over time and volume, the cost will go down while quality increases. Now it costs more because they had to "create" the system.
post #69 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by YTV View Post

With this update, in my eyes, it has been very different. Virtually everyone is pissed off. For one reason or another, wether its the supposed cost of the casing, no blu-ray, firewire gone from macbook, virtually no price breaks, glossy screens, Steve pretty much closing the door on any type of tablet for atleast the next few years, loss of overall ports, etc, etc........

It seems Apple really missed the mark here.

If you really step back and think about why it is that Apple has been so successful the last 5-7 or so years, it is the fact that Apple customers have been EXTREMELY happy with Apple, they like the innovation, they actually like and believe in the company. I feel this has changed over the last year, there has been a shift, and I think it is going to hurt Apple in the near future. I think Apple has lost sight of what made them that company that everyone has loved and looked up to.

Thats just my humble opinion.

A lot of this is months of inflated expectation fueled by unsubstantiated rumor. Unless Apple released a notebook with a long list of new features that cost $1000 their is no way they could have lived up to the hype.

I think Apple is consistently doing the same as its always done.

Somethings just weren't going to happen. Such as Blu-ray and price cuts.

Apple has continually consolidated the design of its products. That's no surprise.

FireWire is a surprise. But its still consistent with Apple. People raised the same ire when they stopped using floppy disks and P2 ports.

I'm not casting judgment one way or they other. We will have to see how it all works out.
post #70 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by euler View Post

I really dont understand the big advantages to this new manufacturing process other than being from a solid piece of aluminum. If my kitchen table was carved out of a solid piece of wood, I dont think that it really would be that much better, but it would have required a lot more effort to make.

I kind of concerned about the extra energy that making these new cases from a solid piece of aluminum will require rather than from a stamped piece of aluminum.

What am I missing?

I'm no expert. All I know I read on the Internet - and from the presentation. But here's what I think Apple is saying:
1. The old process involved far more parts. That means more things to keep track of. More stuff to buy from suppliers. More things that can be defective. More bits that need to be handled delicately when performing repairs. In short, more complexity.

2. The new process provides greater strength for less weight.

3. It's cool and cutting edge- or at least Apple is selling it as such. As has been pointed out in this thread, other industries have been using this process for a long time. Apple is just the first to make laptop frames with it.

4. It's better environmentally. Apple really pushed how green these new machines are. Someone smarter than me will have to do the energy cost calculations, but I'll take (with a grain of salt) Apple's word that in the balance this process is "greener" than the previous one.

5. If you watch the video of the manufacturing process, it looks they are carving far more detailed features in the case than can be done with stamping - I'm guessing.

6. As someone else pointed out, the toughness of these new frames may reduce failures in the field - cracks, dents, etc. and thus lower return rates enough to make up for some added up front expense.

Personally, I think the new machines look great. I have the aluminum keyboard and love it - I bought two, one for home and one for work - and I write code for a living = lots of typing. I have a glossy screened MacBook and have never been particularly bothered by the glare/reflections. I think the dual GPUs is a great idea to extend battery life - an area where Apple kicks butt - and sets the stage for some spiffy things in 10.6. I am disappointed by the loss of Firewire on the MacBook, though. I'm glad to see they FINALLY made the hard drive easy to replace.

Are there things that could be better? Sure. They could shoot rainbows and come with a puppy, but I think they are decent machines and will sell well to those looking for a sturdy machine.

- Jasen.
post #71 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by euler View Post

I really dont understand the big advantages to this new manufacturing process other than being from a solid piece of aluminum. If my kitchen table was carved out of a solid piece of wood, I dont think that it really would be that much better, but it would have required a lot more effort to make.

I kind of concerned about the extra energy that making these new cases from a solid piece of aluminum will require rather than from a stamped piece of aluminum.

What am I missing?

The new process has a couple of advantages over stamping. First, stamping forms the desired shape by stressing and deforming the metal. The corners are especially stressed, and to compensate you need to use a slightly thicker sheet of metal to compensate. To further strengthen the piece and protect from unwanted flexing and warping, you may need to add an internal frame to support the skin.

Look under your kitchen table at how the legs are attached to the table. There are probably extra angled pieces helping to attach the legs to the table top and keep them aligned properly. Even with this extra reinforcement, this joint is probably the first part to loosen and possibly fail as the table gets older. If you carved your table out of a single piece of wood, you wouldn't need those extra pieces and you'd have a stronger table because you've eliminated a joint which is a natural weak spot.

That said, I didn't realize this was such a huge concern for laptops. I guess I take better care of my equipment than most people. The lighter weight is a plus, and maybe the new glass trackpad button need a stiffer frame to prevent cracking. Remember, they switched the original iPod nano back to the iPod mini form factor in part as a response to the weak case of the original nano design which lead to screen cracking.
post #72 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

Sure, you can make notebook computers this way, and sure, people are going to like it.

But what Apple needed to do, above all else, was lower the production cost of their computers, especially their notebook computers, to make them more competitive with other notebook computers that run Microsoft's OS.

Instead, THEY DID EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF THE ONE THING THAT ABOVE ALL ELSE, THEY NEEDED TO DO!!!!!!!!!

THIS DOES NOT MAKE A WHIT OF SENSE!!!!!!!!!!!!

IT IS A FIASCO OF INESTIMABLE MAGNITUDE!!!!!!!!!!!

WHAT IN HEAVEN'S NAME WERE THEY THINKING?????????????

IT IS JOBS MENTAL HEALTH, NOT HIS PHYSICAL HEALTH, THAT PEOPLE SHOULD BE QUESTIONING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ANYONE AND EVERYONE WHO HAD ANYTHING TO DO WITH THIS SHOULD BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!

Yes, there are some apparent flaws. But do you want to bet the farm that these things WON'T sell? I wouldn't bet that if I were you.
post #73 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

Damnit to hell, this method for mass production of notebook computers is utter insanity!!

It is one of the most absolutely ludicrous things that i've ever heard of!

If it weren't true, and someone told me that apple was going to try to remain competive in the notebook computer market by milling the cases out of billet aluminum, i would assume that it was a joke, because that is how utterly preposterous this is.

If his goal was to run the company completely into the ground, this is exactly the sort of thing that would promote that goal!

But if the goal is to compete in the notebook computer market and continue to take market share from wintel while not lowering margins, this is the worst imaginable thing that they could possibly have come up with!! It's absolutely insane!

There are no words to adequately convey just how utterly asinine this truely is. These people have completely lost their minds, and they should be removed from their positions and replaced by people who have a modicum of sense before they completely run Apple into the ground. I don't care how long Jobs has been running this company or how many smart decisions he has made. This insanity has got to be brought to an end.

umm.........you mean the same insanity that brought Apple from the brink of destruction to now the top of the industry?
Lets wait and see how this plays out then we will access everyone's sanity......including perhaps your own.
post #74 of 110
First people go on and on about Apple's quality control going down, and them making products that have too many parts that fail, and are hard to service, especially for the premium you pay. The failure rate on Apple notebooks have been quite high in the past. Now Apple addresses this, makes all of their new notebooks with a sturdy outer frame made in utmost precision manufacturing, which will cause less wear, and fewer parts to break, will have better and easier servicing, and quite possibly have less servicing overall because of a lower failure rate, and people are bitching that Apple doesn't use a cheaper cost-cutting manufacturing process. I think that people need to straighten their heads. When other companies are afraid and are reducing their development, Apple is investing. This is a good sign. In this economy, Apple can only survive by raising the quality of their products in order to differentiate themselves.

P.S. I still don't like that Apple has removed FireWire, though. I have a very nice HDV camera. I need a new notebook, and the MacBook Pro is just too pricey for me. I don't like the white MacBook because it now has yesteryear's specs, and maybe still some palmrest cracking problems. Still, it may be my only choice. Damn you Apple!
post #75 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post

kaiser_soze: Yes we get the point, stop posting the same rant over and over.

Gawd. I'm reading through this thread. Kaiser doesn't act this way through the entire thread does he?

Kaiser, were you called in by Steve Jobs and given a hard copy report and briefed on the costs for the new manufacturing procedure and how it factors into company profits?
If not, then please wait to see how this plays out. Remember, Apple did warn us some time ago about a product transition that will lower margins. This is it.
post #76 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaiser_soze View Post

You know, I really, really do not like myself when I am overtly rude to a total stranger, but I find myself unable to avoid being overtly rude to you, because there is simply no way that any person who has any insight at all into the differences in cost of different manufacturing processes could believe what you represent yourself as believing. You have absolutely know idea what you are talking about. The part that is the end result of the machining of that billet of aluminum is the equivalent of a part that could otherwise be stamped out on a different sort of machine at a rate of about one per second. The cost of such a machine is probably less than one-tenth the cost of a CNC machine, and the production rate is probably at least ten times greater than the production rate that they are going to get with this process. It is quite simply ludicrous.

Oppenheimer WARNED you about something that would lower margins weeks ago (or is it months). Why are you ranting about it now on D-Day? You should have sold stock weeks ago. If I were you I would hold on to any Apple stock that you might have....if you are an investor I mean.
post #77 of 110
I plan to buy a MacBook Pro with the 15" screen. I like the machined aluminum case idea. I think the Kaiser character isn't aware of what modern machining processes can do these days. Machining aluminum parts like the lap top case with a combination of ultra high speed spindles and laser cutting and perforating is amazingly fast and economical in mass production. The benefits of a one piece case and the much stiffer material combined with the quality feel and durability are the selling points that made the iPod such a hit and the quality of the iPod got a lot of cheap PC users to look at what a quality product Apple builds. I work in high speed manufacturing of metal. The statements about "stamping" and injection molding being vastly cheaper are wrong. "Stamping" is not a complete solution and is beside the point and not relevant. I think Apple has a brilliant solution by taking advantage of the latest technology in machining and machine tools which are blindingly fast these days and extremely flexible by the way as only a CNC program is changed and not hugely expensive injection molding mold systems. First time poster who likes Mac's but usually does not like groups of goo goo head Mac users.
post #78 of 110
Wow! Did this discussion get highjacked by Steve Ballmer?

Can we get back to the discussion and ignore the fool?

So where is this Apple's facility at? The rumor was that Apple had it's own plant. Is this true?
post #79 of 110
Awesome Master. Thank you! That is what I came here for, to read posts such as yours that give us insight into the process.

Welcome aboard.
post #80 of 110
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPeon View Post


So where is this Apple's facility at? The rumor was that Apple had it's own plant. Is this true?

I would assume in China, but who knows. There's probably 30 shops within 15 miles of my house that could do this, but I am sure China is most likely the cheapest option.
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