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Apple to sell $899 20-inch aluminum iMac to schools

post #1 of 65
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Apple this week quietly announced plans to begin selling an aluminum 20-inch iMac configuration to qualified educational institutions for just $899, effectively closing the book on the white 17-inch legacy model that had previously assumed a similar role.

Buyers authorized to make purchases for their educational institution can begin pre-ordering the new aluminum systems today for delivery in about a month. Each $899 20-inch iMac includes a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 1GB of memory, 160GB hard drive, 8x double-layer SuperDrive, and a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics subsystem.

The new offering replaces a $899 version of Apple's white 17-inch iMac that the company had held over since 2006 in an effort to allow institutions hit hard by tax revenues declines to continue to factor Macs into their refined budgets.

Interestingly, the move comes less than a month after the Mac maker issued an eNews letter promoting updates to the legacy 17-inch systems, suggesting something in the last three weeks prompted the company to upgrade the specialized $899 offering to the latest aluminum designs, which feature a display with a 3-inch wider viewing area.

The news also means that the white iMac casing, introduced in August of 2004 as the enclosure for the then cutting-edge iMac G5, has now officially been put to rest. All iMacs, both education and consumer, now use the Aluminum design introduced alongside updated iMacs in August of 2007.

Apple's new iMac lineup for educational institutions.

The new $899 iMac is available for order from the Apple Store for Education Institutions but is not available to individual educational buyers or students with access to the Apple Store for Education.
post #2 of 65
I thought we had seen the last of 1GB Macs. Oh well. Someday....
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post #3 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcarling View Post

I thought we had seen the last of 1GB Macs. Oh well. Someday....

Do school computers really need more than 1GB?
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post #4 of 65
That was what i thought too!
The only Uni in my country that use iMac and not PC are the art related and 1Gb can not be good for 3D modeling!
post #5 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Do school computers really need more than 1GB?

Browser today like Firefox can eat up 200MB easily, especially when running several Web 2.0 apps or running the useless Flash at the same time.
post #6 of 65
Great price point, but I always think a 20" monitor is just too big for students. It reminds me of the "Easy" internet cafes you would see in Europe... almost like a factory with the ratio of human space to computer space.
post #7 of 65
I hope to god those kids get a universal numeric keyboard so they're not put at a disadvantage.
post #8 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The news also means that the white iMac casing, introduced in August of 2004 as the enclosure for the then cutting-edge iMac G5, has now officially been put to rest. All iMacs, both education and consumer, now use the Aluminum design introduced alongside updated iMacs in August of 2007.

Wow! My white iMac (24 inch) became a "classic" today!
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Journalism is publishing what someone doesn't want us to know; the rest is propaganda.
-Horacio Verbitsky (el perro), journalist (b. 1942)
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post #9 of 65
What would the disadvantage be?
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post #10 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaarrrgggh View Post

Great price point, but I always think a 20" monitor is just too big for students. It reminds me of the "Easy" internet cafes you would see in Europe... almost like a factory with the ratio of human space to computer space.

A 20" monitor is fine, especially when the screen isn't as close to you as a laptop would be.
post #11 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

A 20" monitor is fine, especially when the screen isn't as close to you as a laptop would be.

Agreed, the article does not say what they will be using the computers for. With those specs I would assume nothing more than internet, word type programs.
However, they could be used to run Photoshop and other programs. Our college runs Photoshop CS3 on similar set up. Its not great but you can teach the students how to use the program, if you start doing to many high res layers... its all over.
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post #12 of 65
Though not with an identical hard disk drive (same capacity, though), this edu-only iMac is basically a new mini in a current generation iMac body.
post #13 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

What would the disadvantage be?

Entering numbers at a faster rate i.e., anything mathematical/statistical/ accounting/ finance. Look at any calculator -even the one on the iPhone to see the layout for fast entry. Dropping the numeric section off a keyboard was a BIG mistake for a Mac, the "educational" computer.
Fine for home - dumb for education
post #14 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechengit View Post

Browser today like Firefox can eat up 200MB easily, especially when running several Web 2.0 apps or running the useless Flash at the same time.

<tangent>

Google Chrome will solve that problem once it's available for Mac.

Each tab is its own individual process and when you close it, the memory it used is released back to the system.

I hate how Firefox and IE get "bloated" and just hog more and more memory as you use them.

</tangent>

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

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post #15 of 65
"Now, about your starting salary....."

"Sorry, we didn't learn no numberin' in high school, so your so called 'offer' is meaningless to me."
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post #16 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Entering numbers at a faster rate i.e., anything mathematical/statistical/ accounting/ finance. Look at any calculator -even the one on the iPhone to see the layout for fast entry. Dropping the numeric section off a keyboard was a BIG mistake for a Mac, the "educational" computer.
Fine for home - dumb for education

Yes, it's a pity Macs don't accept any other kind of keyboard.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

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post #17 of 65
I would love to see a 17" iMac in the aluminum body style.
I think it would make sense with the smaller keyboard too.

A 15" iMac thin client machine would also be cool.(I work on a 15" MacBook Pro everyday)
No Hard drive.
No Optical drive.
Integrated graphics.
They should be sold in 10-packs to schools and businesses.
This would be the perfect complement to Apple's NetBoot technology in OS X Server.
post #18 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Entering numbers at a faster rate i.e., anything mathematical/statistical/ accounting/ finance. Look at any calculator -even the one on the iPhone to see the layout for fast entry. Dropping the numeric section off a keyboard was a BIG mistake for a Mac, the "educational" computer.
Fine for home - dumb for education

How many millions of laptops are used every day for mathematical/statistical/ accounting/ finance...and don't have a keypad?
How do they do it?
post #19 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

I would love to see a 17" iMac in the aluminum body style.
I think it would make sense with the smaller keyboard too.

A 15" iMac thin client machine would also be cool.(I work on a 15" MacBook Pro everyday)
No Hard drive.
No Optical drive.
Integrated graphics.
They should be sold in 10-packs to schools and businesses.
This would be the perfect complement to Apple's NetBoot technology in OS X Server.

Interesting ideas, all of them.

However, if Apple implemented these, they'd be creeping into the mid to low-end market which is contrary to their current business model.

What kind of profit margins would there be on 10-packs of 15" iMac thin client machines?

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #20 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Entering numbers at a faster rate i.e., anything mathematical/statistical/ accounting/ finance. Look at any calculator -even the one on the iPhone to see the layout for fast entry. Dropping the numeric section off a keyboard was a BIG mistake for a Mac, the "educational" computer.
Fine for home - dumb for education


Most laptops don't have them either, and a lot of business is done on laptops. Not saying I don’t see where you’re coming from, I would call it more of an inconvenience, rather than disadvantage. I like the slim minimalistic design that apple created with its keyboards; however, I prefer my Logitech keyboard and mouse with all my extra customizable buttons and quick links. Maybe it is just me but the more buttons that are offered the more I like it (With-in reason of course). If apple came out with a full sized highly customizable keyboard with their current style, I would most likely get it. Also on the mouse, I like how mine is curved and allows my hand to rest comfortably in it, the might mouse just doesn’t do it for me.
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post #21 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

How many millions of laptops are used every day for mathematical/statistical/ accounting/ finance...and don't have a keypad?
How do they do it?

Well, up until the release of the second generation MacBook Pro, Apple laptops did indeed have a numeric keypad, under the 789/uio/jkl/m keys, accessed using the function key. I certainly miss it whenever I'm using a calculator or inputting more than a few numbers on my MacBook Pro, it's one of those 'step backwards' design decisions Apple make from time to time.

As for Apple's move to the aluminium iMacs, perhaps it is nothing more than Apple continuing their environmental commitment - although, they still do make the white MacBook, so maybe it's nothing more complex than it being cheaper for Apple to discontinue manufacturing the 17" iMac and make a low-end 20" aluminium version in its stead?
post #22 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MsNly View Post

Do school computers really need more than 1GB?

Nowadays I'd say 1 gig is an absolute bare minimum on any OS. I wouldn't want that little.
post #23 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Yes, it's a pity Macs don't accept any other kind of keyboard.

So does the $899 model offer a choice of keyboard, or does it only ship with the one without numeric keypad? It's not really so great if it ACCEPTS the other keyboard but you have no option to actually get it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

How many millions of laptops are used every day for mathematical/statistical/ accounting/ finance...and don't have a keypad?
How do they do it?

Unhappily?
post #24 of 65
if only they sold this to everyone else, chuck in your own ram for £30 and sorted, would help cut down the rip off price of the current line up. Before people message me about how the current line up is not a rip off having to pay £949 for the "entry level" machine is far too much, sure the £1499 24" iMac can play games well and is a pretty good alround performer but the price is too high for most.

The education model bumped up to 2gb of ram would perform pretty much on par with the £949 iMac, much better deal.
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post #25 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

I would call it more of an incontinence, rather than disadvantage.

That could get messy.
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post #26 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

So does the $899 model offer a choice of keyboard, or does it only ship with the one without numeric keypad? It's not really so great if it ACCEPTS the other keyboard but you have no option to actually get it.



Unhappily?

I'm guessing any educational institution ordering a significant amount of these machines can have Apple replace the standard keyboards with the numerical keyboard ones for a marginal cost.
post #27 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

if only they sold this to everyone else, chuck in your own ram for £30 and sorted, would help cut down the rip off price of the current line up. Before people message me about how the current line up is not a rip off having to pay £949 for the "entry level" machine is far too much, sure the £1499 24" iMac can play games well and is a pretty good alround performer but the price is too high for most.

The education model bumped up to 2gb of ram would perform pretty much on par with the £949 iMac, much better deal.

Macs are not "entry level" machines.

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(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

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post #28 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

Not saying I dont see where youre coming from, I would call it more of an incontinence, rather than disadvantage.

I'm sorry to hear about your lack of bladder control

Even at home I appreciate the numeric keypad so I'm puzzled why Apple has opted to ship all retail iMacs with the reduced size keyboard.

Space is certainly more of a concern in your average classroom than at home or in business so that's one point in favor of shipping the smaller keyboard with education models.
post #29 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by akhomerun View Post

I'm guessing any educational institution ordering a significant amount of these machines can have Apple replace the standard keyboards with the numerical keyboard ones for a marginal cost.

I would hope they'd give them the option of getting the full keyboards for NO extra cost considering both are the same price.
post #30 of 65
I think it's a little unfair of Apple to only offer these deals to educational institutions. I can understand a discount model given that there would likely be bulk buys but the difference between it and the entry-level consumer model is $300.

This $300 gets you 0.66GHz per core extra, 1GB Ram, 200GB drive space. Now what if a consumer doesn't need this? The lower model is fine and clearly Apple are still making a profit at that price. Even if they offered it at $999 for non-educational buyers.
post #31 of 65
While I applaud Apple for cutting the price for education, it's still cheaper to buy from MacMall / ClubMac / etc. And I'm sure you could further haggle a price for a semi-volume order. The one thing that I don't believe is easily possible from a place like MacMall is customizing the computer (say with extra memory, keyboard swap).
post #32 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Yes, it's a pity Macs don't accept any other kind of keyboard.

They don't. I tried a Dell bluetooth keyboard on my Mac and it worked just fine. I was only testing the keyboard because one of our Windows people couldn't seem to pair it up with their pc.

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post #33 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

They don't. I tried a Dell bluetooth keyboard on my Mac and it worked just fine. I was only testing the keyboard because one of our Windows people couldn't seem to pair it up with their pc.

I guess you mean they do?

And I think he was being sarcastic.
post #34 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

Interesting ideas, all of them.

However, if Apple implemented these, they'd be creeping into the mid to low-end market which is contrary to their current business model.

Their current business model wasn't developed during the great depression.
As the global economy keeps heading south, Apple better have lower priced options available.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzguru View Post

What kind of profit margins would there be on 10-packs of 15" iMac thin client machines?

Not much but thin clients don't run in a vacuum.
They will make the profit on XServes and the accompanying service contracts.
Apple has a great thin client solution and no thin clients to sell...go figure.
post #35 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechengit View Post

Browser today like Firefox can eat up 200MB easily, especially when running several Web 2.0 apps or running the useless Flash at the same time.

So you're saying that a school computer DOESN'T need more than 1 GB, right?
post #36 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

I think it's a little unfair of Apple to only offer these deals to educational institutions. I can understand a discount model given that there would likely be bulk buys but the difference between it and the entry-level consumer model is $300.

This $300 gets you 0.66GHz per core extra, 1GB Ram, 200GB drive space. Now what if a consumer doesn't need this? The lower model is fine and clearly Apple are still making a profit at that price. Even if they offered it at $999 for non-educational buyers.

What amount of profit are you willing to allow Apple to make on a computer? I'll be sure to send this info along to them so they know what the limit is.

Let me know the next time you buy 500 computers at once, too.
post #37 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

Their current business model wasn't developed during the great depression.
As the global economy keeps heading south, Apple better have lower priced options available.

Possibly, but they also have a lot of money in the bank and a fair suspicion that downturns don't last forever.

The problem with lowering your pricing structure is that it's all but impossible to raise it again. If Apple migrates its price points downward in response to the current economic climate, they'll have trouble recapturing their margins once things get better.

I'm not saying I'm fond of Apple's prices; just that it probably makes sense for them, given their business model, to just ride it out. I would guess if things get too dire (some kind of complete collapse of desktop or notebook sales) they would feel forced to bite the bullet, but as long as they seem to be holding up reasonably well I can't see the incentive, from Apple's perspective.

Now, to be sure, the PC world seems to be converging on some kind of $100 appliance that isn't very powerful and makes you a nickel per sale, and which relies on the deep pockets of MS and Intel to provide whatever innovation is to be had. Apple can never compete with that, which may be part of the reason why they're not even pretending to try.

But once everyone has a "good enough" netbook or whatever, what happens to the entire PC ecosystem? How does MS sell OS upgrades? How do developers leverage every more powerful machines to sell apps that do new things, better?

My impression is that the PC commodification game is close to having run its course; "most people" settle on email/web/word processing devices that they get as cheaply as possible, leaving almost no room for value added sales in the space.

Apple knows this, which is why they're feverishly pouring resources into the emergent platform, the iPhone and its siblings.
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post #38 of 65
Does anyone know the part number for the new 20" school iMac?

I tried contacting Apple Japan and they tell me they don't know of any special school mac, but if I had the part number they could find out if it was coming to Japan.

Thanks!
post #39 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsteeno View Post

While I applaud Apple for cutting the price for education, it's still cheaper to buy from MacMall / ClubMac / etc. And I'm sure you could further haggle a price for a semi-volume order. The one thing that I don't believe is easily possible from a place like MacMall is customizing the computer (say with extra memory, keyboard swap).

As an educator and education technology specialist in a very large (400,000+ students) district, I can say that Apple has exceptional customer service for my district-- including providing custom-installed software configurations, with backup images (a tremendous time and TCO savings when rolling out large numbers of computers across a relatively huge geographical area...) I haven't asked MacMall nor ClubMac if they can do that sort of service for us (and negotiating that sort of deal is handled by my central office, anyway), but I kind of doubt it...
post #40 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

How many millions of laptops are used every day for mathematical/statistical/ accounting/ finance...and don't have a keypad?
How do they do it?

We're talking desktops. How many desktops in the corporate, financial, & scientific worlds do not have a number keypad section?
A numeric keypad on a laptop is not only infeasible but highly impractical.
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