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Apple seen with new iMacs, Chinese iPhone soon into 2009

post #1 of 35
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Even as it's besieged by a weak world economy, Apple is expected to bounce back with new iMacs at the start of 2009 and to launch the iPhone in China soon afterwards.

Though sharing the now widespread belief that Apple was badly hurt in November by an overall down market and a late Black Friday that cut back on post-Thanksgiving holiday shopping, analyst Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital expects Apple to make the iMac one of its first updates in the new year as part of an effort to revitalize its lineup that will likely include the rest of its Mac desktops as well.

The financial expert doesn't venture an estimate as to how much the absence of a new iMac has hurt Apple's holiday sales but provides tracking data that shows Apple's desktop sales virtually hinging on the all-in-one computer. The system continues to be Amazon's bestselling desktop of any kind and the third-strongest Mac on Apple's own online store charts, sitting just behind the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

The NPD Group, which is responsible for the very data producing a slew of analyst reports this week, has itself blamed the iMac for much of Apple's sales decline in November and has noted that the lack of updates likely accelerated a 38 percent drop in desktop sales year over year.

Countering the negative impressions of Apple's desktop performance, Reitzes believes that Apple should shore up some of its weaknesses with the Mac by launching the iPhone in China.

The far Eastern country is due to start handing out government licenses for its TD-SCDMA wireless technology in early 2009. As the format is virtually the de facto 3G standard in China due to government support, its absence is suspected of being the primary obstacle to introducing an iPhone model; Apple has had no trouble offering iPhone 3G as-is in more Westernized regions where the established HSPA standard dominates, such as Hong Kong and Taiwan.

This paves the way for a launch in China by the mid-point of next year, Reitzes says.

Apple is commonly thought to be negotiating almost exclusively with the Chinese government's preferred carrier, China Mobile, and as a result may be dependent on its choice of network standards. One as yet uncorroborated report has suggested that the American company may have been asked to strip out 3G and Wi-Fi for a one-off iPhone model to promote the use of TD-SCDMA and prevent defections to carriers supporting foreign 3G standards.

Until then, Barclays' researcher believes Apple faces a tougher climate for iPhone sales and may have to make do with expanded US sales at Walmart to "help fill the void" of business from the world's most populous nation.
post #2 of 35
I can't believe stores are disappointed that they didn't sell many electronic products during Black Friday!! The discounted prices where ridiculous, why should anyone rush a purchase only to end up saving less than 10%, especially in this crap-ass economy.
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post #3 of 35
But the most important question is, "will it love you long time?"
post #4 of 35
Especially when Apple continually fails to bump processor speeds in line with the organic changes in Intel's processor output. As it sits, I'm constantly analyzing mean-time-between-refresh to ensure that I get *this years* fastest Mac. Instead, if Apple speed bumped on the fly, I could purchase with the knowledge that I'm getting, at worst, this *quarter's* fastest Mac.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

I can't believe stores are disappointed that they didn't sell many electronic products during Black Friday!! The discounted prices where ridiculous, why should anyone rush a purchase only to end up saving less than 10%, especially in this crap-ass economy.
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post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by godrifle View Post

Especially when Apple continually fails to bump processor speeds in line with the organic changes in Intel's processor output. As it sits, I'm constantly analyzing mean-time-between-refresh to ensure that I get *this years* fastest Mac. Instead, if Apple speed bumped on the fly, I could purchase with the knowledge that I'm getting, at worst, this *quarter's* fastest Mac.

Excellent point.

Apple's rare updates, including speed bumps, pretty much guarantee that if a model hasn't been updated in a while, potential buyers with a clue are going to delay their purchase until the next update. Does Apple really benefit from updating so infrequently that they are encouraging their sales pattern to be big spikes and big dips?
post #6 of 35
iMac - No Quadcore - No Sale.



is that unrealistic? pfft I don't care.
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post #7 of 35
Congratulations to this analyst for getting paid to re-read the speculation occurring on the internet.

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post #8 of 35
"Apple seen with new iMacs"

Who saw them?
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

iMac - No Quadcore - No Sale.



is that unrealistic? pfft I don't care.

I think it is a possibility, there will be a 4 core version of i7 intended for laptops.

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post #10 of 35
Since the Intel transition. When Apple has refreshed its processors, it has consistently used the most expensive chipsets and processors and in some cases using specialized processors that it got Intel to invent.

With Apple having smaller economy of scale than Dell or HP, Apple likely has to amortize the expense over a longer period. To then again refresh with the most expensive components.

Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Excellent point.

Apple's rare updates, including speed bumps, pretty much guarantee that if a model hasn't been updated in a while, potential buyers with a clue are going to delay their purchase until the next update. Does Apple really benefit from updating so infrequently that they are encouraging their sales pattern to be big spikes and big dips?
post #11 of 35
actually, for most of 2008 the Mini was the best selling desktop on Amazon, not the iMac. Mini sales have undoubtedly dropped off for the last month because many buyers (including me) are waiting for the significant upgrade that will presumably be released in January.

the same anticipation effect is also impacting iMac sales, with new models due soon. this happens at the end of every hardware update cycle. so all the reports about slow Mac sales in November are really flawed by ignoring it.

Apple likely feels that the holiday season is really not that important for desktop sales, and wants to tie its 2009 desktops instead with the coming of Snow Leopard as a marketing push. that makes sense.

the new popularity of the netbook is a whole other thing, competing very little if at all with the desktop market but definitely helping PC sales totals (even Linux!). Apple is falling behind the market right now with no such product, but could certainly leap ahead quickly with an iTouch tablet ...
post #12 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

I think it is a possibility, there will be a 4 core version of i7 intended for laptops.

Yes late 2009.

Apple needs to move away from laptop parts in the iMac. They cost more and deliver less performance than the desktop parts.

Stop making the GD computer so thin and this is easy to do.
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post #13 of 35
Probably not in Apple's case. They sell far more MacBooks than iMacs. it likely costs them less to use mobile components in all of these machines, rather than a few hundred thousand desktop components.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Apple needs to move away from laptop parts in the iMac. They cost more and deliver less performance than the desktop parts.
post #14 of 35
I doubt Apple is missing much with netbooks. I doubt their is much of a proportional increase in revenue and profits with increased sales in netbooks.

At the end of the day the better business is the one with more revenue and profits.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

the new popularity of the netbook is a whole other thing, competing very little if at all with the desktop market but definitely helping PC sales totals (even Linux!). Apple is falling behind the market right now with no such product, but could certainly leap ahead quickly with an iTouch tablet ...
post #15 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

Probably not in Apple's case. They sell far more MacBooks than iMacs. it likely costs them less to use mobile components in all of these machines, rather than a few hundred thousand desktop components.

Shouldn't the commerce deal take "my" needs equally into account? If it cost more to use desktop parts (which it doesn't) then simply charge me more money. Regardless I need every bit of speed I can muster if I'm allowing Apple to attach an LCD to the deal.
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post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

But the most important question is, "will it love you long time?"

That's a Vietnam reference, not a China reference.

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post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

"Apple seen with new iMacs"

Who saw them?

They're just being clever again, trying to make it look (at first glance) like they have a scoop. It's really annoying.

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post #18 of 35
I'm not sure why you would absolutely "need" Conroe over Merom.

To amortize the same components over a larger number of products over a longer length of time does lower the over all cost. This is how every manufacturer works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Shouldn't the commerce deal take "my" needs equally into account? If it cost more to use desktop parts (which it doesn't) then simply charge me more money. Regardless I need every bit of speed I can muster if I'm allowing Apple to attach an LCD to the deal.
post #19 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I doubt Apple is missing much with netbooks. I doubt their is much of a proportional increase in revenue and profits with increased sales in netbooks.

At the end of the day the better business is the one with more revenue and profits.

Don't agree. the "netbook" is taking off as a significant new market niche, a 'laptop lite.' it's not for everyone, but certainly will sell in the many millions thanks to its convenient portability in our new age of ubiquitous wifi and online services/media. Apple would be stupid to forfeit this new market segment by ignoring it. those are just sales and profits it won't ever get, and brand loyalty it will lose. the Air is no answer, it costs way too much.

an enlarged Touch with the few improvements everyone asks for would be a killer product here. it is so much easier to set up, operate, and maintain than any Windows or Mac OS laptop. we have all gotten used to learning complicated full-featured conventional software programs over the last three decades that need a conventional OS to run - like all the netbooks so far. but targeted, simplified, easy to install and cheap single-purpose apps could be the wave of the future for mobile computing, and only Apple is really ready for that.
post #20 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I'm not sure why you would absolutely "need" Conroe over Merom.

To amortize the same components over a larger number of products over a longer length of time does lower the over all cost. This is how every manufacturer works.

Hell I don't really "need" a computer but it's nice to have. Conroe vs Merom wasn't a big issue but Core I7 is going to be more of an issue because the mobile quad core parts aren't due for a while and they will not be cheap.

Tier 1 vendors shipping desktops over a grand have to be shipping Quad Core now. Apple can ship a dual core iMac refresh and it will have a short sales bump but I could see sales tailing off fast.

Apple has to be competitive here. Sharing components with the Macbooks made sense when the were attempting to adhere to the quadran lineup. Today laptops are outselling desktops by a good margin so when someone decides they want a desktop. They're looking for the primary advantage a desktop offers over a laptop. Speed.
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post #21 of 35
Wow, by the time they actually 'release' the iPhone in China will anyone there (who wants one) not have it yet? The volume of black market iPhones headed into China through Hong Kong was absurd two years ago and must have continued... I just figured they were as cheap as dirt over there by now.
post #22 of 35
I'm not denying that netbooks are useful for some segment of people. I'm saying that their isn't much money in them for the computer maker.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfiejr View Post

Don't agree. the "netbook" is taking off as a significant new market niche, a 'laptop lite.' it's not for everyone, but certainly will sell in the many millions thanks to its convenient portability in our new age of ubiquitous wifi and online services/media. Apple would be stupid to forfeit this new market segment by ignoring it. those are just sales and profits it won't ever get, and brand loyalty it will lose. the Air is no answer, it costs way too much.
post #23 of 35
I see your point. It'll be interesting to see how this works out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Hell I don't really "need" a computer but it's nice to have. Conroe vs Merom wasn't a big issue but Core I7 is going to be more of an issue because the mobile quad core parts aren't due for a while and they will not be cheap.
post #24 of 35
The new iMac will obviously have mini-DisplayPort instead of the present mini-DVI.

This poses an interesting dilemma for (pre-Unibody) MacBook users:

Is there a mini-DisplayPort to mini-DVI adapter available?
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post #25 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I see your point. It'll be interesting to see how this works out.

Either way Core I7 is the way to go. I read the blog from an engineer at Cineform and he basically stated that he knew that Nehalem was going to give a nice boost but even he was shocked about how fast that eventual boost was.
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post #26 of 35
Oh please, I dont think opening up the iPhone in China will switch the sales mood. China people dont care about brand loyalty, get the iPhone there and it will be cracked and hacked.
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post #27 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post

I'm not denying that netbooks are useful for some segment of people. I'm saying that their isn't much money in them for the computer maker.

well, if Apple is making a good profit now on the 3.5" Touch, a 7" version should be a good money maker too. essentially the same parts and software inside. bigger case, bigger screen, bigger battery. hopefully "n" wifi. so maybe $50 more to manufacture. at a price at least $100 more to buy. should work.
post #28 of 35
I'm not upgrading my iMac until I can have Nehalem and if I have to wait until late 2009, then so be it. Having said that - it's always fun to speculate and anticipate what Apple products will arrive at Macworld ...w00t.
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post #29 of 35
As I am of half-Chinese half-Indian* descent, I could be offended. Actually I had a chuckle though. A Mac definitely loves you a hell of a lot longer time than a virus-infected PC.

*as in India, not native American

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

But the most important question is, "will it love you long time?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

That's a Vietnam reference, not a China reference.
post #30 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

iMac - No Quadcore - No Sale.
is that unrealistic? pfft I don't care.

I've seen the desktop i7 at an Intel demo recently, and as exciting as it is, no offense to anyone, but F*K quadcore in iMac. Core 2s and 4GB RAM with 7200rpm drives as it is can drive quite some intense apps.

Heck, keep everything the same, but GIVE ME A Nvidia 9600GT IN THE ENTRY LEVEL IMAC !!! And I shall be mighty pleased.
post #31 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cubert View Post

But the most important question is, "will it love you long time?"

God you're an idiot. Not only is that not funny, it's insulting, and furthermore the reference is completely wrong!
post #32 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordmorgul View Post

Wow, by the time they actually 'release' the iPhone in China will anyone there (who wants one) not have it yet? The volume of black market iPhones headed into China through Hong Kong was absurd two years ago and must have continued... I just figured they were as cheap as dirt over there by now.

Correct, so many people here already have the iphone, and the mass amounts of grey market imports have led to very competive pricing. Look no further than Taobao to see that 3G iphones are about $580 at the moment, which is just above the average smart phone cost over here. 2G iphones are much cheaper (and IMO far more practical considering the 3G is useless).

It will be interesting to see what Apple will do. I really hope they DON'T support the soon to be failed TDSCDMA standard and opt for real 3G that will be going on China Unicom in the not too distant future. Selling a nerfed wifi-less 3g-less device will also be a big fail, unless it's for a steep discount over the grey market devices.
post #33 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

I've seen the desktop i7 at an Intel demo recently, and as exciting as it is, no offense to anyone, but F*K quadcore in iMac. Core 2s and 4GB RAM with 7200rpm drives as it is can drive quite some intense apps.

Heck, keep everything the same, but GIVE ME A Nvidia 9600GT IN THE ENTRY LEVEL IMAC !!! And I shall be mighty pleased.


Now you said it I'm waiting for the iMac refresh to finally go Mac (I'm still trapped in Windows ), and to be honest, I'm not that interested e processor power...I'd rather have better graphics cards and the option to put more ram being a a bit cheaper

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post #34 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by godrifle View Post

Especially when Apple continually fails to bump processor speeds in line with the organic changes in Intel's processor output. As it sits, I'm constantly analyzing mean-time-between-refresh to ensure that I get *this years* fastest Mac. Instead, if Apple speed bumped on the fly, I could purchase with the knowledge that I'm getting, at worst, this *quarter's* fastest Mac.

If Apple updated on a reasonable schedule, we'd have to read even more posts by morons handwringing about their brand new Mac being "obsolete."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

iMac - No Quadcore - No Sale.

That's a reasonable possibility, but only if Apple ditches mobile processors and uses the low-power Core 2 Quads Intel is introducing in January. Core i7 is not likely, it's too hot and too expensive, and the few mobile quads available are too slow and too expensive.
post #35 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by lidofido View Post

God you're an idiot. Not only is that not funny, it's insulting, and furthermore the reference is completely wrong!

Really? I guess you've never been to a massage parlor - a Chinese one.

Now, go look up how to have a good laugh.
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