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Briefly: more affordable iMacs from Apple expected by fall

post #1 of 209
Thread Starter 
Apple, which recently shaved down the cost of its popular Mac notebook lines, remains on track to pass on similar treatment to its all-in-one desktop line by this fall.

Back in April, AppleInsider reported that the Mac maker, determined to grow its share of the personal computer market during the worst economic backdrop in its corporate history, was gearing up to introduce more affordable versions of both its MacBook and iMac computers.

Roughly six week later at its annual developers conference, the Cupertino-based company announced price cuts of between $100 - $300 on its 13- to 17-inch unibody aluminum notebooks, all of which are now dubbed MacBook Pros.

iMacs were just recently refreshed in March but will see another update by fall, at which time they'll also be repositioned as more affordable offerings. Apple is reportedly mulling similar 7% - 10% price reductions alongside the introduction of those models, people familiar with the company's thinking say.

Thus far, Apple's move towards more affordable notebooks appears to be paying dividends. Citing market sources in Taiwan, DigiTimes reported Friday that Quanta this month is picking up momentum in its notebook shipments "due to increasing orders from Apple."
post #2 of 209
The iMac is already quite reasonable, the Mac Pro has the sticker shock.
post #3 of 209
Seems for the time being Apple can afford to give a little on price. As the economy gradually recovers (which is aonyone's guess as to when), expect prices to freeze or slowly climb.

Apple deals in margins, and that won't change anytime soon. But they're looking to have a good Christmas in light of the economic conditions, so it's understandable.

More affordable Macs with Snow Leopard. Seems alright to me . . .

(I've got my eye on a Macbook Air, myself, or a tablet if they'll ever announce one.)
post #4 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The iMac is already quite reasonable, the Mac Pro has the sticker shock.

AnandTech has been doing some major testing and deconstructing of the Nehelam Mac Pros. I thought the article was going to be released yesterday but its looking like week is more likely. Hopefully he details why the price has changed so much.
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post #5 of 209
I know a price drop of the Mac mini is rather unlikely, but is there any chance they receive an update before the end of this year? I am travelling to Hong Kong in December and hopefully pick one up there.
post #6 of 209
It always seems bizarre to me that Apple updates their 'school' line (namely iMac's) in late September or October. To me, it seems to make more sense to do it late August/early September, you know, when people are buying things for school.
post #7 of 209
me... im hoping for this and ... apple finally adding blu-ray integration. hell even cheap dell's have BD-rom for their cd/dvd burning drives.
post #8 of 209
Sounds like a perfect opportunity to announce the
iMac Extreme

26" IPS monitor
Dual 2.5" drive bays
SSD options
fast GPU

$2299

Shift everything down 7-10 %
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post #9 of 209
I don't care about a price reduction in this current iMac at all. I prefer an complete overhaul with a matte screen, an option for blu-ray perhaps, and of course a new mouse.
I suppose for others a price reduction is great.
post #10 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I don't care about a price reduction in this current iMac at all. I prefer an complete overhaul with a matte screen, an option for blu-ray perhaps, and of course a new mouse.
I suppose for others a price reduction is great.

It is kind of weird that the mighty mouse doesn't sport any aluminum yet. Personally, the mouse tolerable, but only if you turn off the wicked sensitive side sensors.
post #11 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The iMac is already quite reasonable, the Mac Pro has the sticker shock.

My sentiments exactly.
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post #12 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

AnandTech has been doing some major testing and deconstructing of the Nehelam Mac Pros. I thought the article was going to be released yesterday but its looking like week is more likely. Hopefully he details why the price has changed so much.

That is good to know, I am in the Market for one, waiting until October or so for a refresh + Snow Leopard as it will scream on that machine but it's still pricey (and this coming from a guy who own's XServes, XServe RAID, G5 Dual, iMac's, & MBP)
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post #13 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by O4BlackWRX View Post

That is good to know, I am in the Market for one, waiting until October or so for a refresh + Snow Leopard as it will scream on that machine but it's still pricey (and this coming from a guy who own's XServes, XServe RAID, G5 Dual, iMac's, & MBP)

I have a feeling that AI staff will post it, but Ill try to remember to send you a link when it posts.
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post #14 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by nace33 View Post

It is kind of weird that the mighty mouse doesn't sport any aluminum yet. Personally, the mouse tolerable, but only if you turn off the wicked sensitive side sensors.

I agree - odd for a company so dedicated to the form of their products that the mighty mouse doesn't match the wardrobe. I've been using an MS mouse for years that, in addition to better ergonomics IMHO, compliments the all-aluminium motif much better than the mighty mouse (that rarely comes out of the drawer). Hopefully the next iMac refresh will take the peripherals (keyboard included) into account.
post #15 of 209
Which begs the question, what about the mac mini?

I can see the Mac Pro not coming down that much in price. It's a pro machine and really not that unreasonably priced but the mini is going to seem out of place from a pricing perspective if the iMac joins the laptops in being made more attractive from a pricing perspective. Already, here in Canada, the base iMac, running a 2.66 GHz processor retails for $1,399. A mini with a 2.26 GHz processor lists for $1,129. Drop the price of the iMac and the question for a consumer is, why is a computer with no monitor or keyboard or mouse retailing for about the same price as one with all of those and on top of that a significantly faster processor?

What is puzzling is that Apple has chosen to offer in the desktop space two products, one overpriced and the other overkill in terms of expandability and the like. Neither makes sense for the average desktop customer and not all of us what an all-in-one like the iMac.

It's cool that the mac mini has such a compact form factor but if delivering such a unit means a poor value proposition, it seems like a rather odd choice. It's logical that if Apple can't bring the price of the mini down to get it more in line relative to its other products. Apple needs to rethink it's desktop strategy. Perhaps sacrificing a compact form factor could allow the use of less costly desktop components. Simply stop making the mini and intro a new product that is somewhere between the mini and Mac Pro.

I just can't imagine Apple will try to sell minis that are priced virtually the same as iMacs and at that offering inferior performance.
post #16 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

It's cool that the mac mini has such a compact form factor but if delivering such a unit means a poor value proposition, it seems like a rather odd choice. It's logical that if Apple can't bring the price of the mini down to get it more in line relative to its other products. Apple needs to rethink it's desktop strategy. Perhaps sacrificing a compact form factor could allow the use of less costly desktop components. Simply stop making the mini and intro a new product that is somewhere between the mini and Mac Pro.

I just can't imagine Apple will try to sell minis that are priced virtually the same as iMacs and at that offering inferior performance.

For me the problem is the 20" iMac isn't quite as well spec'd as I'd like. I prefer a monitor that's 22" and up. So thus I think a 20" iMac should be a single model and priced at roughly
---------------------------------------------------------------

$899 20"

That way you can bring the 24" model down to

$1299 24" entry

$1499 24" discrete graphics faster CPU

$1999-2299 26" Hero Config iMac in dual-core and quad-core

Dovetails nicely into what will become a

$2499 6-core Mac Pro in 2010
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post #17 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to announce the
iMac Extreme
26" IPS monitor

I hate it when you tease me like that.
post #18 of 209
I actually don't feel that the iMacs are overpriced for what you get. It's a very well-integrated all-in-one that offers most of the connectivity features that I think people look for. It's got 802.11n, Bluetooth, Firewire, USB, iSight, etc., which means you can pretty much set it up in any spot in the house and do what you need to do with it. Then add on the fact that you basically get a 20" or 24" LED-backlit screen with it (at least on the 24" you do), and it all fits inside a clean package that requires only a single cord (assuming you use a wireless keyboard/mouse).

What I'm more concerned with is the fact that we are on the cusp of moving to Nehalem-based systems now. From what I've seen over at Anandtech and other sites, the new architecture offers a dramatic step in performance per watt, so I'm more excited to see when Apple begins shifting the rest of the lineup to Nehalem. With the Mac Pro already on that track, it's about time for the MacBooks, iMacs, and Mac mini to catch up. If Apple updates the iMacs this September/October with nothing more than a speed bump and reduced prices, I think I would still hold off. While it's true that there's always something better around the corner, it's not often that you get a full step-up in terms of architecture generation. Apple has been running the Core/Core 2 Duo architecture for a few years now, so I think I'll pull the trigger when we move to Nehalem irrespective of a price cut.
post #19 of 209
Price cuts are one thing, margins are another.

In my view, Apple is wiling to accept lower margins on Macs because they are experiencing margin expansion in other products lines such as the iPhone and products/services such as MobileMe.
post #20 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

Sounds like a perfect opportunity to announce the
iMac Extreme

26" IPS monitor
Dual 2.5" drive bays
SSD options
fast GPU

$2299

Shift everything down 7-10 %

Agreed, only it will be a 30" iMac Extreme and also introduce the new 30" monitor!

You heard it here first!

Best
post #21 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

It always seems bizarre to me that Apple updates their 'school' line (namely iMac's) in late September or October. To me, it seems to make more sense to do it late August/early September, you know, when people are buying things for school.

Perhaps it's tied to purchasing schedules/planning... or something. I could never make heads or tails of their logic either.

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post #22 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Perhaps it's tied to purchasing schedules/planning... or something. I could never make heads or tails of their logic either.

It always seems to fall right after the Back To School selling off of older HW and a month or so before the Holiday rush sets in.
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post #23 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

It always seems bizarre to me that Apple updates their 'school' line (namely iMac's) in late September or October. To me, it seems to make more sense to do it late August/early September, you know, when people are buying things for school.

Actually, the back to school buying helps to clear out their inventory.
Meanwhile, Sept./Oct. release is early enough to gain press coverage, adequate inventory and work out bugs before Black Friday.

As the main consumer desktop, it, along with iPods, are important for Christmas.

Finally, education purchases happen when budgeted and requisitioned between January and May for the fall school year (mostly iMacs & Mac minis).

Hope this helps.
et. al...please add corrections or comments to Apple's product refresh timing!

ugh...solip beat my post!
post #24 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

..determined to grow its share of the personal computer market during the worst economic backdrop in its corporate history...

Can we get that in English, please?
post #25 of 209
Quote:
Back in April, AppleInsider reported that the Mac maker, determined to grow its share of the personal computer market during the worst economic backdrop in its corporate history, was gearing up to introduce more affordable versions of both its MacBook and iMac computers.

Not to beat the glossy/matte horse any more, but a option for both would go a long ways in making a lot of people happy.
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post #26 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post

Which begs the question, what about the mac mini?... I just can't imagine Apple will try to sell minis that are priced virtually the same as iMacs and at that offering inferior performance.

Because Apple actually sells a lot of them. They are very popular with design firms and media production houses because their small form factor allows them to be used as cheap servers. There are several places that are commercial server farms that use minis in the thousands.
post #27 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Seems for the time being Apple can afford to give a little on price. As the economy gradually recovers (which is aonyone's guess as to when), expect prices to freeze or slowly climb.

Apple deals in margins, and that won't change anytime soon. But they're looking to have a good Christmas in light of the economic conditions, so it's understandable.

More affordable Macs with Snow Leopard. Seems alright to me . . .

(I've got my eye on a Macbook Air, myself, or a tablet if they'll ever announce one.)

Why the air and not the mbp 13"?
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post #28 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

It always seems bizarre to me that Apple updates their 'school' line (namely iMac's) in late September or October. To me, it seems to make more sense to do it late August/early September, you know, when people are buying things for school.

Its an apple trick of light .
YOU boy the old model but get the updated one instead .

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post #29 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

agreed, only it will be a 30" imac extreme and also introduce the new 30" monitor!

you heard it here first! :d

best

with a uni body imac
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post #30 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Not to beat the glossy/matte horse any more, but a option for both would go a long ways in making a lot of people happy.

Wow I guess that person was right when he said you really must believe you're in the majority who care about matte over glossy when you're obviously in the minority. However, I got to give you A+ for effort on this piece of misinformation. A lot of people happy is, the case, still means just you.
post #31 of 209
iMac pricing is definitely way off base right now. A $200 across the board price cut would be a good first start but I think Apple needs to reconsider the whole product line including the Mini & Pro. It may be time to stop focusing on the iMac as the mainstream Mac desktop entirely. It's a fine machine but desktop sales are in decline year after year. We're reaching the point where people who still buy desktops typically have a good reason for wanting one. I don't see the iMac as serving that market in either performance or price.

I would argue that the Mini & Pro are better suited for where the desktop market is heading. The iMac is a nice machine but it's increasingly caught in the middle. It's either too expensive or too slow for the desktop market. The easiest solution is to either ditch the 20" iMac or get the price under $1k to exist along side the Mini as the cheap option and get an entry level MacPro using an i7 out there for $1499 for the higher end crowd. That puts the entry level 24" iMac at about $1299 as the MacBook Air of desktops -- something consumers choose to spend a premium on for its industrial design.
post #32 of 209
As far student's buying Macs, the education has become much more trimester than it used to be. Meaning individual student purchases are basically year round. University buying is still in Apple's timeline.
post #33 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Not to beat the glossy/matte horse any more, but a option for both would go a long ways in making a lot of people happy.

DUDE
You need help/
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post #34 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by ascii View Post

The iMac is already quite reasonable, the Mac Pro has the sticker shock.

Absolutely!

Of course, in places where space is a premium the more compact iMac is sometimes preferred. Even so there are caveats to the iMac that do not stem from the price, as mentioned by this poster...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Not to beat the glossy/matte horse any more, but a option for both would go a long ways in making a lot of people happy.

Quite frankly, Gloss/Glare is horrible. I know because I have a new 2009 iMac 3.06GHz sitting on my desk at work, and I've done my darndest to cut light sources from behind me. I use this Mac for at least 9 hours each day, M-F. It's wicked fast and according to MacWorld it bests even a Harpertown Mac Pro with 3GB of RAM. And I love how colors pop and how sharp the IPS screen is. But oh the glare!

But there is yet one other problem that in my book matches the "glare" problem in terms of sheer annoyance:

iMac Uneven Backlight: Photo & Problem Description

Don't forget to read through the Macintouch Reader Report that I have linked under the photo.


A lower price is always nice, but the major problems need addressing too.
post #35 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDW View Post

Quite frankly, Gloss/Glare is horrible. I know because I have a new 2009 iMac 3.06GHz sitting on my desk at work, and I've done my darndest to cut light sources from behind me. I use this Mac for at least 9 hours each day, M-F. It's wicked fast and according to MacWorld it bests even a Harpertown Mac Pro with 3GB of RAM. And I love how colors pop and how sharp the IPS screen is. But oh the glare!

I've never owned a glossy screen.
Maybe that's why I've never understood the big deal over the glossy iMac.

In the print world, it's fairly standard to use a monitor hood to shield the screen from distracting lights and colours. Given the fairly common complaints about the iMac's glossy screen, couldn't some enterprising third party develop a hood for the iMac?
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post #36 of 209
This is fantastic news. I have always felt the iMacs hit a nice sweet spot for value/performance. Now they'll be even more compelling. Bring it on!

A few months ago, when some of us nagged Apple to lower prices, many thought they'd never sacrifice margins. Well, as predicted, here come the lower prices! See, Apple DOES adapt to market realities. I give them kudos.

Since a few are listing some of their wants, I'll ask for a few too:

Affordable 500 GB SSD option. Or dual drive - an SSD AND an HD.
SD Card Slot somewhere on the thing, maybe under the CD slot. I'm not picky.
Desktop chips?
Even larger monitor. Keep chipping away at the rim around the monitor. Each update looks less and less like an iPod on steroids. We could end up with a floating monitor with nary a bevel. That would be cool!
I'm fine with glossy and lack of blue ray.
post #37 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugsnw View Post

SD Card Slot somewhere on the thing...
I'm fine with glossy and lack of blue ray.

As a 2009 iMac owner, I agree 100% with the SD card slot suggestion, and I would add to it by asking for a CF card slot too. The iMac 24" is enormous and there is plenty of space for such slots. And with the SD slot on the MacBook Pro now, no one can argue that Apple doesn't approve of such things. It is a great convenience and you don't have to string an unsightly cable across your desk with an external reader that way. An internal flash card reader is therefore a "no brainer" in the iMac.

But as to your comment on being "fine with glossy," you apparently glossed over my previous post here where I mention something that you have not considered: the Uneven Backlight. And no, that is not something you once read about that "only affects older 2007 iMacs." Apple seems to have improved the screens since then, but there is now noticeable dimness at the left/right edges. Again, look at my photo to see for yourself. It is subtle, but it is there. And some of us look at our screens enough to care. (Sorry, I just love rhymes.)

The Uneven Backlight will also not be remedied by the poster who recommends a "hood." That may address glare, but it won't magically improve the backlight consistency.

"Glossy/Glare" and "Uneven Backlight" are two separate problems.

I don't say all this to in any way slam the iMac. Again, there are many, many things I absolutely love about it. But at the same time, I feel it only proper to bring attention to legitimate iMac caveats so that some won't be let down after they purchase one. And perhaps some of you iMac owners may be further compelled to even write Apple about the screen issues, especially the backlight. It seems like Apple doesn't improve things sometimes UNTIL there is an outcry among its user base.
post #38 of 209
Quote:
Back in April, AppleInsider reported that the Mac maker, determined to grow its share of the personal computer market during the worst economic backdrop in its corporate history, was gearing up to introduce more affordable versions of both its MacBook and iMac computers.

Roughly six week later at its annual developers conference, the Cupertino-based company announced price cuts of between $100 - $300 on its 13- to 17-inch unibody aluminum notebooks, all of which are now dubbed MacBook Pros.

iMacs were just recently refreshed in March but will see another update by fall, at which time they'll also be repositioned as more affordable offerings. Apple is reportedly mulling similar 7% - 10% price reductions alongside the introduction of those models, people familiar with the company's thinking say.

Thus far, Apple's move towards more affordable notebooks appears to be paying dividends. Citing market sources in Taiwan, DigiTimes reported Friday that Quanta this month is picking up momentum in its notebook shipments "due to increasing orders from Apple."


It's not a moment too soon. Apple doesn't licence Mac OS X (and why not?) or iPhone OS (again, why not?), so no matter how good the system software is, you must buy Apple Macs or iPhones to use them.

But the prices and the profit margins are outrageous. That's what is keeping people from buying Macs and iPhones. Prices are outrageous right now. Why wait untill the Fall?


post #39 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokken View Post

I know a price drop of the Mac mini is rather unlikely, but is there any chance they receive an update before the end of this year? I am travelling to Hong Kong in December and hopefully pick one up there.

I too would love to see either a price drop or a throughput boost, or at least a lower price for the 2.26 GHz CPU upgrade option.

Or all three, woo-hoo!

Come on Apple, make your "affordable" computer more affordable -- don't leave them out of your plans.
I've been holding off a bit, hoping for a stronger incentive (to part with the meager/modest computer upgrade 'fund' ).
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post #40 of 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by whatisgoingon View Post

It always seems bizarre to me that Apple updates their 'school' line (namely iMac's) in late September or October. To me, it seems to make more sense to do it late August/early September, you know, when people are buying things for school.

Agreed! I'm a bit upset at the timing. As my daughter is going to England for school, she'll need a new iMac 24" for her photographic studies. The new machines should be Nehalem based, with better graphics cards as well. I'd love to get one of those. but it seems that I'll likely have to get one of the current models at most a month before the new ones come out. Very frustrating! It wouldn't be a problem if she was going to school here, as she could continue using her current one in the beginning of the term. I'm not shipping her early 2008 model overseas.
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