Apple warns of near-term iMac, Mac mini constraints

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  • Reply 121 of 136
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    Apple didn't put in the engineering effort to put SD drives on laptops and make them bootable for nothing.

    The MacBook Air ditches the CD drive already.

    A newer, faster SD is around the corner.



    Yes, it's conjecture. But that's why this is "Future Hardware"



    It's conjecture based on pure fantasy. Rumpy has already stated the reasons why optical media is going nowhere in the consumer market. MAYBE Apple will start delivering software via digital downloads and SD cards, but BRD, DVDs, and general PC software are here to stay for the next few years.



    Is the SD-reader/writer in the current MBPs even capable of streaming/writing BRD data of up to 50mbps anyway?



    The Air is not a conventional machine and has an external SD designed specifically for it. Since the Mini and the iMac are Apple's "mainstream" computers, I can't imagine their being without DVD/BRD for the foreseeable future. If anything else, the MB and MBP will be the first to obviate the optical-ROM.
  • Reply 122 of 136
    The appeal of Apple's products has never been that they outspec the average PC. Apple readily would concede that for the cost of a Mini you could get yourself a PC with more impressive specs. But when you buy an Apple, you're also buying an excellent software package, one that is much easier to work with than the mess that is found on the PC side.



    If you don't buy in that Apple's software is better, you simply don't buy Apple. What works in Apple's favour and what makes the Mini viable in a way it wouldn't have been five years ago is that even the lower end of the hardware range is quite capable. With each revision modest or otherwise, the Mini gets that much more capable. Right now, in absolute terms it's a very useful device. It will continue to get progressively more useful but already you can buy a Mini do a ton of neat stuff with it and not feel that you have a painfully underpowered piece of junk.



    Under Snow Leopard, I can now run H.264 files straight from my HD hybrid camera and enjoy decent, smooth playback. If a 1.83 running Intel's poor integrated graphics and with only 1 gig of RAM can handle HD playback, the current Mini, I'm sure is a very solid performer. The revision coming in a week or two will be even better and by Spring the Mini will be quite the useful little powerhouse.



    Apple doesn't have to outspec PCs, just give customers an enjoyable ownership experience. As we have seen with the iPod, this is a winning formula. It's one the competition is having a tough time responding to.
  • Reply 123 of 136
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    Because there's no point. They're not going to shave any more volume off the Mini until the SuperDrive is replaced by an SDXC card. Which won't happen until next year.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    Apple didn't put in the engineering effort to put SD drives on laptops and make them bootable for nothing.

    The MacBook Air ditches the CD drive already.

    A newer, faster SD is around the corner.



    Yes, it's conjecture. But that's why this is "Future Hardware"



    More like Fantasy Hardware if you seriously believe they will ditch the optical drive next year.
  • Reply 124 of 136
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Carmissimo View Post


    The appeal of Apple's products has never been that they outspec the average PC. Apple readily would concede that for the cost of a Mini you could get yourself a PC with more impressive specs. But when you buy an Apple, you're also buying an excellent software package, one that is much easier to work with than the mess that is found on the PC side.



    If you don't buy in that Apple's software is better, you simply don't buy Apple...



    Apple doesn't have to outspec PCs, just give customers an enjoyable ownership experience. As we have seen with the iPod, this is a winning formula. It's one the competition is having a tough time responding to.



    No, they don't have to out-spec PCs, but they also can't be seen as lagging behind. If they were to follow a strategy of providing the absolute minimum specs deemed to provide an "acceptable" user experience (a strategy your argument essentially reduces to), regardless of where the hardware goes, they won't exactly maintain their positive image. (People arguing this "good enough" proposition seem to forget the time in Apple's history when their hardware was perceived by many as lagging behind, and that's not something that would be good to repeat.)



    While Apple's software is better, the premise that a rational appreciation of that fact is the only reason people buy Apple is mistaken. Public perception of Apple as a company is just as, if not more, important to many people making that choice, especially those new to the platform. Fortunately, I think they understand that very well.
  • Reply 125 of 136
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    No, they don't have to out-spec PCs, but they also can't be seen as lagging behind. If they were to follow a strategy of providing the absolute minimum specs deemed to provide an "acceptable" user experience (a strategy your argument essentially reduces to), regardless of where the hardware goes, they won't exactly maintain their positive image.



    While Apple's software is better, the premise that a rational appreciation of that fact is the only reason people buy Apple is mistaken. Public perception of Apple as a company is just as, if not more, important to many people making that choice, especially those new to the platform. Fortunately, I think they understand that very well.



    Agreed. Everything changed when they started offering Boot Camp. They may have an excellent memory conscious product in Leopard or Snow Leopard, but they also have to spec for the ability to run Windows. Although a stock mini with a GB of ram is adequate in Snow Leopard, it is noticeably 'laggy' at times running Windows 7. Upgrading the ram in my '09 Mini to 4GB took care of that as well as perked up the integrated graphics score which was also pretty low.



    I would expect a bump in base memory and processor speed, even if it's just a faster Core-2 for the Mini. Lets face it, it's bottom of the barrel, but it's fallen far behind the curve.



    iMac is not bottom of the barrel, so I'm expecting more there. Possibly much larger SSD options, Quad-Core options, I'm not sure if more than 8GB is needed, but if they are planning for the next 2 years, I'm betting on a bump to the Max Supported Ram, and a BD-Rom option. I know there's also talk of a larger display, and LED backlighting, which would be nice.
  • Reply 126 of 136
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,755member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post


    Right, the sooner Apple moves to other carriers the faster the price will come down for both the iPhone and the service. People like myself who can't justify it's high monthly cost or need it will buy one because they want one.



    You do realize that right now the iPhone is just as cheap or cheaper then other smartphones, right?



    And that the data plan is lock-step with the other three carriers - $30 a month for "unlimited"?



    So I don't know why there is all this perpetual whining about the price of the iPhone. It's priced exactly as every other carrier prices their smart phones. If anything, as restricted as the other carriers are with what you can do with your smart phone vs. the iPhone I'd say it's the non-AT&T and non-iPhone users who are getting ripped off. I used data one tenth the amount of time I do on my iPhone when I had a windows mobile smartphone from Sprit - and my monthly cost was about the same, and I paid $100 more for the phone!



    If anything, the whole net neutrality debate will finally get carriers to drop the fake "unlimited" clams and start charging everyone for actual usage. With my previous smart phones, that probably would have saved me money since they were almost useless and I hardly used them for the mobile data. With the iPhone I will probably end up paying more \
  • Reply 127 of 136
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post


    More like Fantasy Hardware if you seriously believe they will ditch the optical drive next year.



    I believe Apple will move to make the optical an accessory on some of their lines, hastening its demise.
  • Reply 128 of 136
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    I believe Apple will move to make the optical an accessory on some of their lines, hastening its demise.



    And how exactly would they install software, like the OS itself, and every piece of software for sale in any software store around the world? The only option for people with 'SD only' during such a transition would be online and penetration for broadband isn't high enough for that. Do you think a software publisher would willingly cut off half of it's target audience?



    Until the brick and mortar stores and software distributors embrace and accept a new standard to the point where this new standard is available for a majority of software packages, then your living a pipe dream. It took 14 years after the CD-Rom before vendors even began shipping computers without a floppy drive. SDXC was announced this year. Do you seriously think they will be replacing optical drives next year with a technology that was only announced this year?
  • Reply 129 of 136
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post


    And how exactly would they install software, like the OS itself, and every piece of software for sale in any software store around the world? The only option for people with 'SD only' during such a transition would be online and penetration for broadband isn't high enough for that. Do you think a software publisher would willingly cut off half of it's target audience?



    Until the brick and mortar stores and software distributors embrace and accept a new standard to the point where this new standard is available for a majority of software packages, then your living a pipe dream. It took 14 years after the CD-Rom before vendors even began shipping computers without a floppy drive. SDXC was announced this year. Do you seriously think they will be replacing optical drives next year with a technology that was only announced this year?



    And SD cards are also far too expensive to replace CDs. Software prices would have to raise $20-30. In addition, using your Mac as movie player goes out the window unless you want to re-buy your entire collection on iTunes or carry around an external device. It will happen sooner rather than later, but doing to now would alienate the majority of users to please a fringe group of Mac users.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    Apple didn't put in the engineering effort to put SD drives on laptops and make them bootable for nothing.

    The MacBook Air ditches the CD drive already.

    A newer, faster SD is around the corner.



    First off, the Macbook Air is designed for portability. It is not meant to be a be a primary computer. Second, 4.7GB DVDs cost about 35 cents per GB retail. SD cards are about $4.50 per GB. As I said above using SD cards would require a substantial price increase due to the cost of the media. You and a few others might be wiling to accept this. Most will not.
  • Reply 130 of 136
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,755member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post


    And how exactly would they install software, like the OS itself, and every piece of software for sale in any software store around the world?



    USB flash drive? 512 MB drives are extremely cheap, especially in quantity.
  • Reply 131 of 136
    djrumpydjrumpy Posts: 1,116member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    USB flash drive? 512 MB drives are extremely cheap, especially in quantity.



    So instead of paying pennies for a 700MB CD, you'd rather they pay $7 - $8 dollars just for the media itself?
  • Reply 132 of 136
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DocNo42 View Post


    USB flash drive? 512 MB drives are extremely cheap, especially in quantity.



    What exactly can fit on a 512mb flash drive?
  • Reply 133 of 136
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    I hate optical media. In fact, **** optical media. The idea of something having to mechanically spin, like I said before, is so 20th century. I mean, it's based on the principle of a gramophone, or worse, ancient civilisation writings in a concentric circular pattern.



    How many times do you burn a disc and it works 4 times out of 5? Be honest. And burn times? Long, long, long, long, long waits.



    Scratch a disc and crucial, random parts of the content (movies, data, whatever) gets wiped. Not fun.



    But the "fact" remains CDs will be with us for another 5 years, DVD's another 7 years or so, BluRay 10 to 15 years. The diversity of Internet connectivity would mean that distributed optical media, at least read-only, still plays an important role where reliable 10mpbs+ connectivity does not yet exist.



    For home entertainment and gaming consoles, optical media can't be avoided. Even the next gen after Xbox360 and PS3, I don't think they would risk anything but BluRay drives backwards-compatible with DVDs and CDs.



    The only thing I could think of is if the tech existed or was developed over the next 10 years of 1TB to 5TB rewritable or read-only optical media, supporting access speeeds of 10 to 100 gigabitpersec (let's say LightPeak equivalents). And here's the killer feature: scratch-proof data writing. In otherwords, data is not written in a concentric pattern but some sort of RAID-like writing and error-compensation mechanisms/ parity/ etc. so that scratched disks retain 99.99999% of their content. Now tha;ts future hardware. And that's cheaper than hoping for Terabyte level SD/flash media.



    But I bet though that there is *something* in a research lab somewhere that will demolish hard drives, SD and optical media in cost per GB and robustness... Which maybe on the next "boom" of the financial cycle will be produced in quantity and be the next platform for digital storage.
  • Reply 134 of 136
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    I hate optical media. In fact, **** optical media. The idea of something having to mechanically spin, like I said before, is so 20th century. I mean, it's based on the principle of a gramophone, or worse, ancient civilisation writings in a concentric circular pattern.



    How many times do you burn a disc and it works 4 times out of 5? Be honest. And burn times? Long, long, long, long, long waits.



    Scratch a disc and crucial, random parts of the content (movies, data, whatever) gets wiped. Not fun.



    But the "fact" remains CDs will be with us for another 5 years, DVD's another 7 years or so, BluRay 10 to 15 years. The diversity of Internet connectivity would mean that distributed optical media, at least read-only, still plays an important role where reliable 10mpbs+ connectivity does not yet exist.



    For home entertainment and gaming consoles, optical media can't be avoided. Even the next gen after Xbox360 and PS3, I don't think they would risk anything but BluRay drives backwards-compatible with DVDs and CDs.



    The only thing I could think of is if the tech existed or was developed over the next 10 years of 1TB to 5TB rewritable or read-only optical media, supporting access speeeds of 10 to 100 gigabitpersec (let's say LightPeak equivalents). And here's the killer feature: scratch-proof data writing. In otherwords, data is not written in a concentric pattern but some sort of RAID-like writing and error-compensation mechanisms/ parity/ etc. so that scratched disks retain 99.99999% of their content. Now tha;ts future hardware. And that's cheaper than hoping for Terabyte level SD/flash media.



    But I bet though that there is *something* in a research lab somewhere that will demolish hard drives, SD and optical media in cost per GB and robustness... Which maybe on the next "boom" of the financial cycle will be produced in quantity and be the next platform for digital storage.



    It might not be a good option, but its the best option currently available. Too much greed in digital distribution right now and after seeing how Apple has handled the iPhone App store, I'm not sure I'd want it on the Mac.
  • Reply 135 of 136
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,755member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DJRumpy View Post


    So instead of paying pennies for a 700MB CD, you'd rather they pay $7 - $8 dollars just for the media itself?



    Where are you getting $7 to $8? In volume you will be in the sub $1 range easy....
  • Reply 136 of 136
    Even in voulme SD cards are a lot more than optical media. CDrom/DVDroms are pennies when purchased in bulk.

    Physical scratching aside, they are more robust as well.

    sd cards can be wiped by magnetic fields.

    But more to the point, where does the OP get their refresh dates from ? The macbook line was just done over what, a year ago? The mac minis are a bit long in the tooth, but the iMacs cant be more than 2 years old.
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