Serving Two Masters: DIgital Hub vs. Graphics Pros

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Can Apple serve both of these markets?



The parameters that drive these two markets have very different underlying pricniples.



Digial Hub - At the center of the digital hub lies a computer, whose speed is not of paramount concern, as long as it is 'fast enough' (and I think 700+ MHz G4's qualify). Furthermore, the hub is driven by software tools that are easy to use, practical, and functional. The digital hub incorporates things that consumers do with their digital toys, and creates a way touse those tools and the internet to theri advantage. The primary driver in digital hub design philosophy is size (small), ease of use (OS X and iEverything), price (not quite there yet ), connectivity (USB, FW, Airport, etc.).



Graphics Pros - Flat out speed. 3rd party software (a notable exception is FCP). The Graphics Pro demands that the computer serve as a competitive device that can get work done, and also interface with ubiquitous NT networks as well. Power (will Motorola keep up? Will Apple incorporate the latest thru-put tech--GB ethernet is nice, but where are DDR, Hypertransport, etc.), expandibility (bays, drives, slots, etc.), and stability (OS X) are the key.



Now, the main point of contention around here is that Motorola is dropping/has dropped the ball on the processor front. I for one, don't disagree. That may or may not be a bad thing though. The growth market is the digital hub angle. Selling people that one widget philosophy seems to be working, and iBooks and the new iMac fit that to a tee.



The graphic market is a tougher proposition. Many forces conspire to make this a tough market. In many ways, the market doesn't have a breakout killer app. The prices come down, but there is no proof, IMO, that suddenly there is a paradigm shift so that suddenly everyone is a graphic designer/photoshop/illustrator genius or a 3D modeling or DV or so on. The growth rate there, while positive, seems pegged to the growth of the digital graphics industry, and frankly, there already seem to be too many experts and not enough jobs. Dramatic inroads by Windows-based computers, plus the unlimited access to computational power has eroded Apple's once dominant postiion to that of worthy competitor. It was once said media was produced on Macs, and consumed on PC's, but that is no longer the case. While certain interface preferences and installed markets still exist and should be tended, it's not clear that anything you can do on a Mac, you can't do on a PC. In that sense, unless more Mac-only (or at least Mac-superior) software titles appear, Apple will fight long and hard to defend current market share, and probably faces a decade-long slide to SGI-land.



Is it possible for Apple to serve both of these markets? If not, would Apple be wise to choose one over the other?



Jet
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    kidredkidred Posts: 2,402member
    Yea, they serve both with the iMac and the towers.



    btw- this should be in general discussion



    [ 01-21-2002: Message edited by: KidRed ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 32
    buggybuggy Posts: 83member
    jet,

    While I agree with you on ost parts of your post...I don't think that Apple has to choose. The power users that are with Apple are the equvalent to the Indy/formula 1, etc. Racers for auto companies. While the average person can not own a datonna/indy, etc. car, they can own a lower end car made by the same manufacturer.

    Same can be said of computers. While most home users can not afford a dual G4 with a Cinema LCD, they can maybe aford an iMac and then feel connected to those that can and feel the confidence that their company of chioce really is the "real deal". These are not the type of customers who buy an eMachine at costco.

    But on the point of Pro Users.. Apple needs to work harder to push the limits. The Cinema Display was a great step. Duals are good, giga wire is good. But they still need more. The pro user will paymore than the consumer but for that they expect the best. The iMac cross over is temporary, but in the meantime the prouser feels left out. Pro users also felt left out when Apple spent Sooooo much time making OSX look pretty but forgot to make OSX work with NT (I lost track of the hours I wasted trying to get that one to work before finally switching back to 9)



    Apple must keep their pro-users to keep their home/digital lifestyle users. They go hand in hand.



    Currently Pro-Users have been left out. I hope that they have not been amputated.
  • Reply 3 of 32
    Since the focus is on whether Apple can/should write off the Powermacs over the next 5-10 years, I'd say that it's Future HArdware.



    But I ain't picky.



    I think SGI lost it's business when Windows made a big push into it's space. I feel like Apple faces the same situation, albeit slower, in the graphic space. Eventually the price and size of wintel pushes Apple over the edge. Luckily, Apple has had better vision than SGI, and has made a big push on the digital hub bunch.



    Commodroe was run by idiots, and Atari never really understood what it was selling, so they are hard to compare to Apple.



    Jet
  • Reply 4 of 32
    giantgiant Posts: 6,041member
    Don't forget audio.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    Right, Apple has a similar market share in pro audio, to what they have in graphics/publishing.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    I think the best way for Apple to serve the consumer market it to keep the high end machines on the current edge of technology. What advances they can make there do trickle down with a lower cost for the consumer machines. By the time they do, they're usually still not common on Windows machines.



    So, the current setup is pretty good, all things considered. They just need to update their PowerMacs now to keep a nice distance between those machines and iMacs plus high end Windows machines.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    Ive decided that my next computer (about July) will be a PC. "Hearing shouts of troll....from the background ."



    I've stayed loyal to Apple for about 5 years, I came in on the premise that Macs were more reliable, easier to use, the OS and the PowerPC was the chip with the most potential.



    Sadly I feel the case is now that Apple's are no more reliable, not easier to use (because Im now an expert, although I agree with the statement for casual users), the OS, well I don't have a problem with 9, don't particularly like OSX much, but XP or 2000 is good enough, and well PowerPC, enough said.



    But the reason why im going to buy a PC, is simple. You can guarantee that development in the PC arena will be constant and aggressive, meaning that if I want to upgrade my dual XP2000 to XP3000's I will be able too. And I'll only have to wait a short time. Like &lt;1 year.



    Since I've had my G4 400 (which I bought especially thinking I would be able to buy a 1ghz G4 upgrade within a year of purchase) There have been few upgrade possibilities. FVCK Sonnet & XLR8, for their money I could buy a brand new mac, what is it Dual 500 MAX. (I know its not their fault particularly)



    If Apple want to keep my custom (and I guess many others must be in the same position) they had better release a Dual G5 2GHZ before MWNY, and it better perform atleast 50% better than the XP2xxx of the time. Because you could bet your life that that will be the highend machine for atleast 2 years.



    Im very sad to go PC, but Ive waited, waited and waited some more, I have given up waiting, I'd like Apple to rule the world, but they need to DUMP Moto. Its not a case of FVCK Apple, but FVCK the chip suppliers.



    But maybe Apple are just as bad. A thinking person could forgive Apple for Moto's problems, but come to think about it, What is THEIR excuse for Out-of-date Motherboards, ditto Graphics Cards, ditto ATA controllers, havn't they got the biggest R&D of all the computer manufacturers. If you can spend several hundred milliion developing iPOD, 14" books, FlowerPower plastics, etc..etc, why cant they spend a few bucks to give us DDR?



    Dell may be right, Apple will go out of business, not because they spend to much on R&D, but because the've spent the last 3 years developing shit that I and most pros don't need in a hundred years.
  • Reply 8 of 32
    gustavgustav Posts: 823member
    [quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:

    <strong>Ive decided that my next computer (about July) will be a PC. "Hearing shouts of troll....from the background ."</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Enjoy your PC. No, I don't think you're a troll, but I think you are forgetting the point of having a Mac in the first place. If you buy a PC, remember: while you are busy reinstalling your OS, spending hours analyzing price lists, reviews, and spec sheets for your latest and greatest upgrade, I'll be getting my work done on my Mac.



    If you bought a Mac to upgrade it constantly so you can brag about having the highest specs, then you made a mistake. A Mac is for working on tasks, not for working on the Mac itself.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    [quote]Originally posted by Kevin Hayes:

    <strong>



    Enjoy your PC. No, I don't think you're a troll, but I think you are forgetting the point of having a Mac in the first place. If you buy a PC, remember: while you are busy reinstalling your OS, spending hours analyzing price lists, reviews, and spec sheets for your latest and greatest upgrade, I'll be getting my work done on my Mac.



    If you bought a Mac to upgrade it constantly so you can brag about having the highest specs, then you made a mistake. A Mac is for working on tasks, not for working on the Mac itself.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I didn't buy a mac to shout about anything, I mean If I was a speed geek penis envying dork, why would I have bought a G4 400 Rage 128 PC100 etc, when I could have bought an Athlon 1200....I am trying to work on my Mac, but the simple fact is I could do it currently 8 times faster on a high end PC. And Ive been spouting all that "Reinstalling windows 3 times a day" bullshit aswell, But the fact Is simply not true. And I don't tinker with machines either. As long as it runs my work Applications fine, Ill never touch the workings of it.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    [quote]Originally posted by MarcUK:

    <strong>I didn't buy a mac to shout about anything, I mean If I was a speed geek penis envying dork, why would I have bought a G4 400 Rage 128 PC100 etc, when I could have bought an Athlon 1200....I am trying to work on my Mac, but the simple fact is I could do it currently 8 times faster on a high end PC. </strong><hr></blockquote>





    EIGHT times faster? Exactly what are you trying to do with your computer that any Athlon/P4 can do EIGHT times faster than a DP800?



    Besides which, the DP800 isn't likely to be the high-end Powermac much longer.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Well it's too bad for you. If you bought an Apple expecting to always have the fastest machine available, I'd say at the time you made the right decision. The G4 slumped and so has Apple's speed lead.



    But, just as Apple was on top before, it'll end up there again. So, if you jump ship to Windows for speed, you'll be disappointed later.



    Plus, it's ugly, in more than just a visual sense. It's 360 degrees of ugly.
  • Reply 12 of 32
    leonisleonis Posts: 3,427member
    I totally understand what MarcUK feels. We both are pretty much on the same boat



    ps. I haven't yet experienced 8x of speed increase on PC though. 3x is the max I have encountered
  • Reply 13 of 32
    [quote]Originally posted by Leonis:

    <strong>I totally understand what MarcUK feels. We both are pretty much on the same boat



    ps. I haven't yet experienced 8x of speed increase on PC though. 3x is the max I have encountered</strong><hr></blockquote>



    MarcUK hasn't experienced an 8x increase either, unless he's comparing an Athlon versus a Performa 6200 or something.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    spookyspooky Posts: 504member
    I agree with some of the posts here. If apple is to succeed it must keep kicking ass at the top end for developments to trickle down to the consumer level. The Mac looks cool, whatever the incarnation. What else can u say about it? Mobo is cr*p, DDR? (What's that? say the top bods at apple), AGP 2 ooh!, GeForce 3 AaaH!



    I still don't quite understand what the hell is going on at apple. Steve Jobs by all accounts always wants his own way - no matter what. So how come he's put up with this MOTO thing for so long? Unless he wanted to. Macs are no longer easier to use by a big distance, they cost too much for ancient cut down technology and the software for X still isn't there (remember how easy it would be for developers to port?) - wither Macromedia?



    Its not about Mhz penis envy. Surely during a global economic slowdown people are going to be even more conscious of value for money. The mac does not represent value for money at all. Apple, makes its real profit margins from the powermacs and this would be fine if the hardware was actually worth it. If they stop making money out of them then where does the cash come from for continued mac development?



    The worst problem is the mac apologists who somehow alwazys manage to find a way to justify the cr*p allowing apple a false sense of security. You know what I mean "So go buy a PC already . . . " and "Apple is doing a grand job" etc.



    Apple users are the most demanding computer users there are. Its our job to keep apple on its edge and ensure that the company never becomes complacent or allows itself to sink. 2.9% market share means that you HAVE to have the best gear at the correct prices
  • Reply 15 of 32
    I have to disagree here. The Mac does present a great value when you look at the appropriate points:



    the iMac is a good value. compared to PCs at similar price points, it's offers a tremendous value... and at $1800, it offers a flat screen and a DVD burner.



    the iBook is also a good value. it's also priced to compete. the TiBook is also at the head of it's class.



    it's true that the PowerMacs are a bit anemic. but for other products in the 2x2 matrix, apple is offering good value and just by looking at last quarter's sales, you can see that the consumers agree. that's why apple sold as many iBooks and TiBooks as they did.



    new PowerMacs will hopefully help out with the last segment.



    na
  • Reply 16 of 32
    if Apple releases dual G5 2 GZ machines before MSNY, there won't be anything that can touch them...I can't even conceive of what the PC market is going to have to do by then to try and match Apple if those are the specs you expect . I realize you may have been making a vast exageration to make a point, but really try to keep it a bit undercontrol.



    I don't count my time in MHZ or GHZ, I count my time in work done in a period of time.

    If the phone rings and interupts me then I loose time,

    if I have to look in a manual to figure out how to do something,,,time lost

    if I have to tinker with my system = time lost

    If I have to reinstall all my software, copy all of my files to a new HD not to mention having to go out and buy new software, and research and buy that new computer, and configure those drivers (yes you will have to do this, I have never met a PC person who has not ahd to fiddle with their machine to get it fully working) = MAJOR TIME LOST



    Processor power is not everything. I agree it may be a bit frustrating as you watch that bar creep along. But it is not the only thing that make a computer fast or slow.



    If you are planning to leave Apple then try for a better reason than you want to compare the speed of your 2 year old G4 400 to a brand new Athalon.



    If you are convinced that a dual 800 G4 (or what ever comes out in the next day or two is slower than an Athalon + all of the lost time I have mentioned previously then go ahead switch. But don't do it just on the spec on a broucher.
  • Reply 17 of 32
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    MarcUK is comparing my computer I use now to a Dual XP1800.



    My G4 400 scores 5 on the Cinebench benchmark

    A Dual 1800XP scores just shy of 40. 5x8=40 in my book.



    Cinebench is a realworld benchmark of the Cinema 4d 3d rendering software. Which I use everyday. FYI a dual PM800 scores 18. I could buy a Dual800, and complain that the benchmark is only half as good as an Athlon System, but why the hell am I going to blow £3600, when I could get double the performance at half the price.



    I hate Pc's, Microsoft etc. But I am not going to suffer myself because of a moral duty to stay Apple. Im going to make a living out of 3d (even if It kills me), and 99% of my clients arn't going to wait 2x as long, pay 2x as much because I have a moral obligation to stay Apple.



    But As I said before, The deciding factor for me, Is that It is virtually guaranteed that Intel/Amd will deliver agressively better performing systems, on time, in budget and regularly. NO-0NE could guarantee the same with Motorola
  • Reply 18 of 32
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    [quote]Originally posted by Buggy:

    <strong>if Apple releases dual G5 2 GZ machines before MSNY, there won't be anything that can touch them...

    </strong><hr></blockquote>





    For how long? What evidence, have we from Motorolas past 3 years that the G5 won't creep above 2.5 GHZ over a period of 3 years. Where is the visibility. Sure 2GHZ G5's will blow away Athlons next month, but what about 6months time. And I'd have to buy a new $3500 computer every 6 months to keep ahead of the PC game (not that its important to me) when I could buy a couple of new Athlons for $600.



    If I remember correctly the G4 blew away the competition in Late 99. What a debacle this has turned into.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    marcukmarcuk Posts: 4,442member
    By the way, when I buy my PC, I will try (financially depending) to keep my Mac, I'll still post here and I will still wish that Apple could get the other 95%. Ill still wist for 10GHZ g6's, wish that M$ goes under and Intel drop a bollock on IA64.



    But I am not going to suffer now for all of Apple/Motorola's constant failing to deliver
  • Reply 20 of 32
    spookyspooky Posts: 504member
    [quote]Originally posted by Buggy:

    <strong>if Apple releases dual G5 2 GZ machines before MSNY, there won't be anything that can touch them...I can't even conceive of what the PC market is going to have to do by then to try and match Apple if those are the specs you expect . I realize you may have been making a vast exageration to make a point, but really try to keep it a bit undercontrol.



    I don't count my time in MHZ or GHZ, I count my time in work done in a period of time.

    If the phone rings and interupts me then I loose time,

    if I have to look in a manual to figure out how to do something,,,time lost

    if I have to tinker with my system = time lost

    If I have to reinstall all my software, copy all of my files to a new HD not to mention having to go out and buy new software, and research and buy that new computer, and configure those drivers (yes you will have to do this, I have never met a PC person who has not ahd to fiddle with their machine to get it fully working) = MAJOR TIME LOST



    Processor power is not everything. I agree it may be a bit frustrating as you watch that bar creep along. But it is not the only thing that make a computer fast or slow.



    If you are planning to leave Apple then try for a better reason than you want to compare the speed of your 2 year old G4 400 to a brand new Athalon.



    If you are convinced that a dual 800 G4 (or what ever comes out in the next day or two is slower than an Athalon + all of the lost time I have mentioned previously then go ahead switch. But don't do it just on the spec on a broucher.</strong><hr></blockquote>





    I have a compaq deskpro at home just for pc stuff (once a P75 with 8MB Ram, 450MB HD, no cd, no modem etc and ran win 3.1)



    I upped the ram to 148MB - 3 mins

    I changed the Hd to 1.2GB - 5 mins

    I added a CD Rom drive and installed drivers - 5 mins

    I installed a modem - 1 min

    I upgraded to win95 then win98 - no probs

    I changed the processor to a PII 200MMx - 2 mins (for £60 when upgrading my macs processor was almost as expensive as buying a new mac)



    what I'm trying to say is that when people complain about how troublesome PCs are - are they really any more trouble than a Mac in that sense? BTW this is a 6 year machine.



    My G4 is fabulous - a dream to use. My PC is a dog. However I can now buy a PC that kicks the cr*p out of my G4 for less money. If people like me are questioning the faith then what future does apple have? Apple needs to build untouchable machines - not to satisfy the MHz envy gang but so that people keep buying mac - thus guaranteeing macs for everyone for years to come.
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