At the risk of beating the dead horse yet again...

1235712

Comments

  • Reply 81 of 224
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver View Post


    You geeks just don't get it, do you? Consumer desktops are dead, have been for years. Apple was way ahead of the curve on this and their quarterly earnings prove it.



    Their earnings prove nothing because the only solution for people wanting a decent desktop machine is to go the hackintosh route. If Apple offered a decent desktop and it failed in the marketplace that would prove something but they haven't.

    Quote:



    It's not 1999 anymore. Buy a MacBook or an iMac. That's all you need for your consumer workflows.



    How in he'll do you know what my workflows are? From the consummer side of the equation I have to think Apple is crazy because they don't offer hardware to support their media businesses. The number one reason we want a xMac isn't cost it is expandability and specifically expandability of disk storage. Oh please don't give me any crap about USB or Firewire drives, both of them suck for modern hardware. A close second to expandability is the ability to drive a decent monitor from a reasonably high performance graphics card. As nice as the Mini is it really isn't up to the task of doing graphics well.

    Quote:

    And how do I know all you mid range tower whiners are just consumers? Because if you were actually pros you'd be happily working on your $2500 Mac Pros rather than wasting your time complaining on AI.



    You have no idea do you? Many professionals actually have a limited budget for hardware, especially when you consider the cost of software and support equipment. If money wasn't an issue I wouldn't see all the liquidations, and office auctions around town.



    Now we both know of professionals that have paid for their entire office with one job. That does happen but you don't see these people going out and buying an entire office for every job. The reality is there is always competition for the work and sometimes you end up with work that barely pays for the can of Coke sitting on your desk. A wise businessman always judges the value of any purchase made.









    Dave
  • Reply 82 of 224
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    Anyone who says desktops are dead is an idiot.



    Their are not idiots... but they are prone to over exaggerating.



    The desktop market is not dead but it's shrinking.



    Quote:

    Yes, laptops outsell them now, and will continue to do so. But over 40% of the computers sold are still 'normal' desktop towers.



    You guys need to quit with the 40% figure. It's way too high!



    How many of your 40% figure are PC towers bought by Windows/Exchange dominated enterprise customers.



    How many of the 40% are PCs similar to Apple's offerings. eg. AIOs, High end gaming rigs etc, mini desktops. (Yes I know.. that figure is probably pretty low... but it's still relevant)



    With whatever is left from your original 40%... how many are low-end, low-priced, low-margin boxes?



    I suspect that, in reality, that 40% is closer to 10% and could conceivably be less... and it's shrinking year by year. You then have to factor in how many of those buyers would switch to the Mac.



    I know that some of you guys love to label Apple as elitist or stupid or both but the simplest reason why Apple doesn't build the computer you want could just come down to plain economics.
  • Reply 83 of 224
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    You made some interesting points.



    I would like to know more about why people really buy laptops. A machine's performance is not the only decision making factor.

    From my own experience with friends and family, they switched to laptops mainly because they didn't want to dedicate a whole desk in their home to a stationary computer system. As simple as that. They wanted a system they can pack away, out of sight, when not in use. No midrange desktop will ever give them that. Even if they buy an iPhone/tablet at some point, they'd still prefer a companion system to be out of sight when not in use.



    Well I don't have that problem, that is I have a room for the computers.



    As to why I purchased a laptop, it was simple I got tired of dial up and affordable high speed Internet isn't happening around here. So now if I need a large file I have to go down to the library or other WiFi hot spot. Hopefully this is tolerable until they can get DSL out here.



    It was like 6 months after that that I got an iPhone. I did not expect it to be the great web and E-Mail machine it is. I read all the hype but I've learned to discount that marketing crap, however this time a product exceeded my expectations. In any event it does drastically reduce the need for a laptop as it is my first choice for E-Mail and even modest web browsing. When the day comes that DSL is available I might not have a need for a laptop at all.

    Quote:



    You also pointed to the unfortunate trend of the widening gap in performance between desktops and laptops.



    Yes this is huge but will be more important when SL optimized software hits. Right now my dual core MBP will crawl when modestly loaded. Once you actually try to do multiple things at once dual cores just aren't enough. Unfortunately OpenCL might not be of much help at all in these situations.

    Quote:

    16 vs 2 threads is certainly something to worry about.

    But this gap will close soon I think once denser and lower power CPUs hit laptops. Once 24 threads are introduced in desktops, laptops should have at least 4 if not 8 threads. 24:4 or 24:8 is already a much better ratio than 16:2.



    Well it is a somewhat better ratio. The problem is these mobile CPUs just don't perform as well as desk top CPUs with good cooling.

    Quote:



    Yet do consumers really need all that power?



    Well they need more than what they have no to deliver the next generation of interactive software. As noted above I have my moments with my MBP wear the slugish performance just isn't tolerable. Granted some this may be in part due to one well known program that does not execute well on Mac platforms. Flash isn't the only software that leads to poor performance though.

    Quote:

    If a 600MHz iPhone/tablet (or a netbook) is sufficient for most tasks, the few remaining tasks should be fine with a dual-core at 3GHz, and even more so with 4 and 8 threads.



    To this I have to say no! An iPhone or a tablet vs a desktop, represent two different use cases. One simply doesn't use a desktop in the same way a tablet is used.



    One of the things that disturbs me about the "I want a tablet crowd" is that many seem to think it will actually work well as a document creation device. They won't and likely would only be used in an emergency for bulk creation.



    The iPhone is a big win for me because it handles what I currently need while mobile. So the question is what do you do when it is time to buy another computer? Well I have to be honest and say a desktop would be high on the list. If you don't need a laptop, desktops are a much better value. It isn't just costs either as ergonomics plays a big role in preferences here.

    Quote:

    Unless you are a professional video editor. At which point you buy a high-end desktop and are not interested in an xMac either.



    I like to think of the xMac as an expandable low end Mac. Disk expansion is what comes to mind here and frankly it is because of video. Not for bulk production of video but for storage and management of such. With a company like Apple so focused on digital music and video it just shocks me that they don't offer up a machine optimized for such usage. An xMac with a raidable set of expansion slots would be ideal in this situation. Of course such a PC could find lots of other uses too. The point is there is a market for such and Apple is a major software supplier, so why the disconnect?



    Besides Mac Book AIR kinda proves that a PC doesn't have to be a run away success to stay in Apples catalog. Maybe xMac only moves 500,000 a year, that might not be great when compare to MBP but it isn't peanuts either. It does allow Apple to offer a complete product matrix covering the PC and the media (software). The fact is people are storing their libraries on non Apple hardware now due to the lack of a viable Apple solution.



    Note all of the above is focused on just one usage of an xMac. Their are numerous other justifications and a well designed XMac could handle them all.

    Quote:



    To me it also seems that most laptop 'upgraders' just want a bigger screen. At which point an external second display is probably enough. Or an iMac.



    Don't get me wrong an iMac is nice but you get exactly one screen to choose from. As to an external monitor on a laptop, that is OK if you can accept a laptops limited ability to drive large screens. XMac greatly reduces the compromises.

    Quote:

    There are statistics about what consumers actually upgrade in their mid-range desktops. Turns out that the vast majority never upgrades anything and makes no use of the internal expansion slots for HDs or PCI cards. So why offer them?



    I'm nit sure where you hot that info because I don't believe it is accurate at all. Here is a list of things that I see on a regular basis:

    1.

    RAM upgrades

    2.

    Disk upgrades, both for repair and for the lack of storage. The external drive market for the Mac should highlight demand right there. The problem on the Mac is that most external drives are a terrible solution for the problem at hand.

    3.

    Graphics card upgrades. I actually thought this would slow up but it hasn't, the tech gets better at a rate fast enough to justify upgrading video cards for many users. What is notable on the Mac is how difficult this is to do.

    Quote:



    Of course there are users who will use them, there will also be Mac users who have good reasons for getting an xMac, but the question remains will these be enough for a niche computer maker to introduce a product for a niche user group?



    Oh come on now Apple introduced AIR and keeps it in the product catalog. That is a niche machine for those with more money than brains. Here we are talking about filling the needs of a large user segment with a small form factor expandable machine. Well much smaller than the Mac Pro, it is not exactly a niche product at all.

    Quote:



    Two other trends working against a midrange desktop machine:



    Cloud computing

    Yes the term has been abused and ridiculed ad nauseam, but I know people who actually started using this to get more performance on demand. Their decision was to stay with a laptop and use the cloud for 2D/3D render performance. Whenever they need some heavy number crunching they rent a cloud service that does this for them. That way they get 256 or more cores if they need them.



    That is a great move if you need a render farm. However Intel's processors allow for a significant boost in performance at little to no increase in cost. That is if Apple where to add a properly configured desktop to the line up. A cloud server nay be ideal for abulk rendering job but there is much that can and should be done locally before the work is shipped off to the farm.



    In any event I really have to wonder about this organization as laptops just don't seem to fit the demand. I would also have to wonder how often and for which projects the use the farm. The ability to do the work locally improves every few months, there has to be a productivity and cost issue with shipping every project out to the farm.

    Quote:



    So instead of your future scenario of tablet plus desktop I see a tablet which can plug into a desktop monitor for more screen real estate and tap into the cloud for more heavy lifting on demand. Mobile Me could easily offer this service for iMovie and iDVD.



    Frankly I don't foresee cloud services ever being cost effective for a single user. For businesses that is a case by case situation. As much as I like Mobile Me, I can't ever see it as serving my computational needs. The number one issue being current connection speeds, which are a huge bottle neck which becomes even larger when faster mobile processors are used.



    Put GCD on a tablet and you have a parallel processing machine that works somewhat like Libraries on that computational farm you talked about. In effect we should have in a year or two a parallel processing (GCD) and OpenCL compatible iPhone along with a similar but faster tablet. The hardware power will be there.



    What won't be there is bandwidth. Let's face it the RF spectrum for data transfer is extremely limited and always will be. Conversely wired connections are far less limited if you can get the wire to your house. The cloud sounds nice in a pure digital world but real world is a very rough and tumble analog reality.

    Quote:



    Light Peak

    Apple clearly has some interesting design ideas in mind for pushing Light Peak.



    Once SSDs become cheaper and more popular it is quite imaginable that soon 3.5" HDs are a thing of the past and 2.5" will be the new standard even for most desktops.



    2.5" drives are the standard for many servers these days so the old 3.5" drives are on the way out. What I don't get is why Flash solid state storage is stuck housed in these old mechanical formats. All you really need for SSD is a PC card and a slot to plug it into. Why can the industry move forward here.

    Quote:



    So imagine a 30" Apple Cinema Display with built in bays for 2.5" HDs and a Superdrive/Blu-Ray drive connected to your laptop via a single Light Peak cable.

    This merges a display plus TimeMachine backups plus DVD drive into a single monitor.



    As long as those drives in the monitor are for time machine backup we are OK with this. Light Peak actually inspires several ideas in my mind so I would suspect that there are hundreds of ideas floating around Apple.

    Quote:

    And without the Superdrive laptops could finally have enough room for a user-upgradable GPU or even dual GPUs.



    Well I suppose some would like that but I'm looking for more internal secondary storage. Ideally SSD on PC cards optimized for thin laptops. Invariable the first limitation I run nto on any machine I've owned has been the lack of disk space. It was an issue on my heathkit, Mac Plus, every Linux machine I've built and now my MBP. The problem with the MBP is that I hit that limit faster than any machine I've owned. Much of that due to iTunes and a couple of SDKs. Which brings up Apples lack of attention to this detail that frustrates their users. The only Mac with sound high quality secondary storage expansion is the Mac Pro which is far to expensive.

    Quote:

    A laptop with upgradable GPU plus 'bay monitor' could be a much more appealing solution to most potential xMac buyers.



    I really doubt that, after having this MBP and experiences with laptops at work the inescapable conclusion is that there are to many compromises with these machines. Disk drives fail at an alarming rate, hinges break, cases crack and the units are hard to service. Interestingly the iMac and to a lesser extent the Mini are also hard to service and the recent MBP is a much nicer machine to service.



    With one crack Apple could have an xMac that is as easy yo service and upgrade as the current MBP is. They could move forward with the adoption of 2.5" drive modules and at the same time setup the machine to accept a new standard SSD card format. This doesn't have to be a huge box and I might even accept a mobile processor in the box if it has at least four cores or threads. In anyevent I want to see at least three bays of storage and you can skip the internal CD drive which does little for me. Frankly this doesn't have to be much bigger than todays Mini. With the drives on edge the cabinet needs to be a bit more than 2.5" high and a little deeper. It is otherwise a small machine that can serve multiple purposes but should have a HDMI port for multimedia use.





    Dave
  • Reply 84 of 224
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Again, really good points.



    I totally agree that it would be good if there is an xMac and you're a good example for a user who would benefit from such a machine.



    But to be honest I'd be really surprised if Jobs would OK such a product.





    I don't think that the MacBook Air can serve as an example that Apple is prepared to introduce models for niche customers. If anything it is turning more into an example against niche products.



    Firstly I don't think it actually sells that well. Without actual numbers most analysts seem to agree that it is not selling very well. Some say it is an outright failure.

    So why is it still sold? Simply so Apple doesn't lose face. If they'd kill it so soon after introduction they'd admit failure. Apple doesn't want another 'Cube' stigmata. Better let the product slowly fizzle out...



    Secondly Apple is selling more and more laptops (compared to desktops) so they might have hoped the MBA would pick up in sales along with the trend - which didn't happen due to the poor economy. Yet this hope of sales picking up some day might be another reason for it still being sold.





    But to me the biggest stumbling block against an xMac are laptop product margins.

    If Apple wanted to maintain their laptop margins (or not destroy them) with an xMac, they'd likely have to offer it at ridiculously high prices akin to the Mac Pro.

    All we'd get is another Cube disaster where people actually wanted to buy the product - yet the product failed as it was priced way too high for what it offered.

    Unlike with the Mac Pro where users have no alternative and must pay the high prices, an overpriced xMac would just divert users to iMacs or laptops and xMac sales numbers would be disappointing. As they did with the Cube.





    But there might be hope for an xMac if:



    a) Apple gains so much market share that the xMac's product segment would still be viable.



    b) Companies like Psystar keep popping up to fill the xMac niche to the oint where Apple introduces such a product - as product segment protection.



    Yet in either case I'd still be worried about Apple's high laptop margins, which they'd want to protect at all cost.

    So an xMac will only happen if they find a way around this. Currently I don't see one.
  • Reply 85 of 224
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    Again, really good points.



    I totally agree that it would be good if there is an xMac and you're a good example for a user who would benefit from such a machine.



    More importantly Apple benefits as there is one less reason for their product to be dismissed out of hand.

    Quote:

    But to be honest I'd be really surprised if Jobs would OK such a product.



    That would be sad because he has approved many a senseless design. What we are asking for is a more functional design.

    Quote:



    I don't think that the MacBook Air can serve as an example that Apple is prepared to introduce models for niche customers. If anything it is turning more into an example against niche products.



    Well I wouldn't exactly call an XMac a niche product. Especially if the XMac was passable as media center PC/Server, a decent graphics machine or a more potent computational platform.

    Quote:



    Firstly I don't think it actually sells that well. Without actual numbers most analysts seem to agree that it is not selling very well. Some say it is an outright failure.



    I thought it was a failure the day it was delivered. It was priced to high considering all the compromises. The thing is you can target the wealthy if you want, but the wealthy have standards of acceptability too. If the wealthy think it is a joke and it is to expensive for a good portion of the public then you become extremely limited with respect to who you can sell to.

    Quote:

    So why is it still sold? Simply so Apple doesn't lose face. If they'd kill it so soon after introduction they'd admit failure. Apple doesn't want another 'Cube' stigmata. Better let the product slowly fizzle out...



    I'm not sure I buy this though. In business it is far better to admit you mistakes early. People will respect you for that.



    The bigger problem with AIR is that Apple doesn't learn from it's mistakes. Form & function go together. It is like having a beautiful girl friend, one with brains is great, one with mash potatoes between the ears is constant trouble. AIR is a mashed potatoes design that is to limited to serve a useful number of customers.



    Properly designed an XMac would be like a hot chick on a motor cycle working on her PHD. Such a Mac could fill several roles that Apple currently has unfilled.

    Quote:

    Secondly Apple is selling more and more laptops (compared to desktops) so they might have hoped the MBA would pick up in sales along with the trend - which didn't happen due to the poor economy. Yet this hope of sales picking up some day might be another reason for it still being sold.



    The problem is you will have a hard time convincing me that AIRs problems are related to the economy. In my mind AIR is a great concept that got smothered by an obsession with form over any sort of function.

    Quote:





    But to me the biggest stumbling block against an xMac are laptop product margins.

    If Apple wanted to maintain their laptop margins (or not destroy them) with an xMac, they'd likely have to offer it at ridiculously high prices akin to the Mac Pro.



    This I have to disagree with on several fronts. First; these are entirely different products, the people that need an XMac need it beyound and exclusive of any need for a laptop. Second; I'm positive such a machine can be built at high quality levels and keep the price under $1100 for a well equiped base model. It actually might be possible to maintain margins on an even lower cost model.

    Quote:

    All we'd get is another Cube disaster where people actually wanted to buy the product - yet the product failed as it was priced way too high for what it offered.



    Cube was an interesting machine and even though the price was outrageous I still think it failed more due to the lack of function.

    Quote:

    Unlike with the Mac Pro where users have no alternative and must pay the high prices, an overpriced xMac would just divert users to iMacs or laptops and xMac sales numbers would be disappointing. As they did with the Cube.



    Again I tend to disagree. First the whole point of XMac is to offer up a reasonable priced machine that offers feature not found on other machines in the line up. As to Cube itin nany ways was the prototype for failure of AIR. It had a poor feature set, poor cooling and questionable design trade offs. They don't need to make these mistakes on XMac.

    Quote:





    But there might be hope for an xMac if:



    a) Apple gains so much market share that the xMac's product segment would still be viable.



    Market share is huge as it gives Apple more money to invest in the Mac lineup and a justification to do so. The problem is Cash hasn't been an issue for Apple for a couple of years now, it is past time to pay attention to the Mac lineup.



    For example the iMac could use refactoring. It needs to be easy to service and frankly could use more drive bays. Adding drive bays to the iMac could reduce demand for the XMac. With the combo of the new 2.5" high capacity drives and the higher integration intel chips this ought to be a snap.

    Quote:



    b) Companies like Psystar keep popping up to fill the xMac niche to the oint where Apple introduces such a product - as product segment protection.



    The AutoCad people just lost a law suit that may not help Apple. This couple with other first sale doctrine wins recently means that Apple is going to have a hard time wining. They are thus in a position of having to compete with other platforms running their software. Platforms that come in towers with lots of Room for disk drives.



    Not to mention companies like HP that have media servers and disk arrays on the market.

    Quote:

    Yet in either case I'd still be worried about Apple's high laptop margins, which they'd want to protect at all cost.

    So an xMac will only happen if they find a way around this. Currently I don't see one.



    Again laptops and desktops are two different animals. People that really need laptops will still buy them. You however seem to assume that an XMac would have no margin at all. This isn't the case at all, it is just a matter pricing. If Apple can get an XMac out the factory door for $600 or less the they can keep their margin without issue. A mother board with processor is likely to be less than $300 at the volumes Apple does, so the rest of the machine can easily go together for 300.









    Dave
  • Reply 86 of 224
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    The number one reason we want a xMac isn't cost it is expandability and specifically expandability of disk storage.



    But that's not exactly true, is it? You can get 4 TB of disc storage in a Mac Pro. It's the price of the Pro that you don't like.





    Quote:

    Many professionals actually have a limited budget for hardware, especially when you consider the cost of software and support equipment. If money wasn't an issue I wouldn't see all the liquidations, and office auctions around town.



    The reality is there is always competition for the work and sometimes you end up with work that barely pays for the can of Coke sitting on your desk. A wise businessman always judges the value of any purchase made.



    That argument seems a little convoluted too. If pros have a budget of thousands for software and additional equipment... that doesn't mean that, conversely, they need to save money on their computing hardware. Spending the extra $1000 or maybe even $ 1500 only amounts to a few dollars a week, over the life of the machine. (Tax breaks+resale value)



    If a business is facing liquidation... I suspect it has had much larger problems than spending too much money on a computer. How many of those "office auctions" were PC users?



    There are professionals and professionals. Sure there are some pros who's business doesn't generate as much turnover and they could benefit from lower capital costs... but once again you are splitting the market.



    Apple has started (tentatively) to lower the ASP of their Macs. (Let's see what the next update brings). There is a possibility that, in a year or 18 months, there might be a $2000 Mac Pro. It might not be as cheap as you want but it makes the purchasing decision easier for some of the pros out there.
  • Reply 87 of 224
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Besides Mac Book AIR kinda proves that a PC doesn't have to be a run away success to stay in Apples catalog.



    The MacBook Air is certainly a good example of Apple taking a punt at a niche market. However it's not comparable to Apple introducing an xMac.



    The Air was priced higher than the majority of all the notebooks that Apple sold. Cannibalising sales of the other notebooks would probably result in more dollars for Apple.



    The people on this forum want an xMac to be priced cheaper than a Mac Pro (fair enough!)... but also cheaper than most iMacs. Any lost sales of Pros or iMacs is going to result in less income for Apple. The xMac only becomes viable if it attracts new customers... and those customers need to be 'switchers'.





    Quote:

    Maybe xMac only moves 500,000 a year,



    What price would you put on your xMac?
  • Reply 88 of 224
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    I see really @ least 2 arguments here:



    What are the advantages of either AIO or desktop tower and what is best for Apple.



    AIO

    advantages

    -easier initial setup

    -footprint



    disadvantages

    -only user friendly updrade is ram (kind of)

    -any upgrades for hard/optical drives = cable clutter

    -uses expensive laptop parts

    -monitor choice is limited to what comes on the computer

    -if any part fails the option of adding card to take up this function not an option





    xMac

    advantages

    -uses less expensive desktop parts

    -choice of monitor from inexpensive to outragously expensive

    -upgrades available for internal hard/optical drives

    both for swapping drives or adding drives internally

    -upgrades to video cards

    -instant ability for Apple to provide upgrade path for models sold @ the time of the sale

    -footprint (kind of) if computer is under desk or inside cabinet of desk

    -cable clutter (kind of) if upgrades are internal

    -if something fails there is chance card can be added to take up functionality

    -as standards change (wifi, communication:USB/Firewire/SATA, etc) add a card



    disadvantages

    -a couple more cables to plug in during initial set up





    Maybe it is time to ask, what is best for the consumer?



    To those who argue, who needs slots, I ask who cares. The cost for having slots is negligable and for those consumers that don't use them, they don't care nor may even know they are inside the computer. Ask yourself, has anyone in the history of computing refused to buy a computer because it contained the dreaded slots, but there are consumers that refuse to buy AIO without them.



    As for what is best for Apple, most consumers don't care, stockholders yes. Apple now, or was, the 3rd largest computer seller in the US and still refuses to sell a consumer desktop tower computer which is the most popular configuration.



    Yes Apple dominates the consumer market in the >$1000 computer desktop market. To bad that is no longer the mid - high end consumer desktop market range. While the % of laptops sold increases, that does not nullify the fact that the consumer desktop market is still huge and will continue to be huge.



    Didn't I read somewhere that most Mac users have multiple compters in their home, many of the them desktops and shudder many of those are Windows machines (re: I wonder why? I don't know and there are probably a plethora of reasons - but makes you thnk)
  • Reply 89 of 224
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    If Apple can get an XMac out the factory door for $600.



    They won't sell an xMac in the price range you imagine.



    Apple doesn't build cheap machines. And they don't want to. Apple's use of aluminum, their components, their milling process, these are all expensive.

    A base system for $600 is unrealistic - unless it has a Mac mini motherboard with integrated graphics and 3.5" HD bays... Which I doubt is a product worth buying.



    Their base system would more likely be around $800-1000.

    Add to that the 30-35% margin Apple wants on each machine then we're talking a $1,300 price tag for the base system with a quad-core CPU. At a minimum (using higher-end components).





    Yet at that price Apple has another problem: this will kill sales of the single CPU Mac Pro.

    There will still be buyers, but likely a lot less.

    As a result the single CPU Mac Pro will no longer be a viable product. And with that the dual CPU Mac Pro sales on their own might no longer be viable either. Not good.

    A $1,300 xMac will have a ripple effect seriously affecting the whole Mac Pro line.

    Apple will try to avoid that.





    Apple's whole product range is built on 'upselling'. They want you to dish out more than you initially intended by making you go one price range up.



    A $1,300 xMac is just too far from a $2,500 Mac Pro starting price for Apple to ever be able to 'upsell' these customers to a Mac Pro, like they do with the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

    So the xMac price will have to be higher. More in the $1,800-$2,000 range.



    I bet this is where Apple will price an entry level xMac.

    And at that price it would still have less features than the single CPU Mac Pro!





    But with that price tag potential xMac buyers will simply say, nah' I'll get a laptop instead. Or an iMac.

    And very few will buy an xMac.

    It will just not be a viable product at that price.



    But I do not see an xMac priced in a way that will kill the single CPU Mac Pro sales either.

    Nor do I currently see Apple lowering their Mac Pro prices.





    It's a conundrum.
  • Reply 90 of 224
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VirtualRain View Post


    I'm starting to think that the only people here that could want an xMac are those who want a gaming machine but just aren't happy about paying the price for a Mac Pro.



    Exactly. I have a four year old iMac Core Duo that runs everything I need, along with a nice, new 13" unibody MacBook. At this stage of my life (late 40s) I thought about wanting a more powerful rig for my occasional gaming needs, but gave up and simply bought a PS3 instead. Powerful, beautiful stunning games on the later, my real work on the former. Perfect.



    I think the poster would be happy with a maxed out mini and a console.
  • Reply 91 of 224
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    I don't think that the MacBook Air can serve as an example that Apple is prepared to introduce models for niche customers. If anything it is turning more into an example against niche products.



    No it's the perfect example. There was already a market for a "thin and light" notebook. Sony, Panasonic etc. Despite the Air's lack of features, it competed well with the market. It actually had better specs, bigger screen and was cheaper than some of it's competitors.



    Niche market or not, the Air was Apple's grab for their small slice of that pie.



    Quote:

    Firstly I don't think it actually sells that well. Without actual numbers most analysts seem to agree that it is not selling very well. Some say it is an outright failure.



    Agreed. We just don't know the figures. The problem with the analysts is that some of them pronounced the Air "a failure" the day it was released.



    The reality is that even if the Air was a runaway sales hit, it was never going to sell more than the Macbook Pros... or the Macbooks. It was always meant to be a niche product. Niche sales figures (especially at $1700 a pop) doesn't necessarily equate to a failure.



    Quote:

    So why is it still sold? Simply so Apple doesn't lose face. If they'd kill it so soon after introduction they'd admit failure. Apple doesn't want another 'Cube' stigmata. Better let the product slowly fizzle out...



    Or it could be that it's still making money? We can only guess... but how many MacBook Airs does Apple sell? In a few days time Apple will announce that they have sold 10 million Macs. Around 6 million of those will be notebooks. If The Air accounts for just 10% of those... that's a One Billion dollar business.



    I will agree that the economy hasn't helped the Air! The product was released about 8 months prior to the shit hitting the fan in the banking sector. (Even worse timing was Dell's $2000 Adamo!) These thin and lights had a ready made market in highly paid, high expenses executive bods. Just a few months later these guys were losing their jobs.



    Quote:

    But there might be hope for an xMac if:



    a) Apple gains so much market share that the xMac's product segment would still be viable.



    b) Companies like Psystar keep popping up to fill the xMac niche to the oint where Apple introduces such a product - as product segment protection.



    I really don't think Psystar, or anyone else like them is going to force the issue. Particularly if Apple wins their case against Psystar.



    There are a couple of other scenarios where an xMac could be a possibility.



    1. If Apple ever made a serious push into the enterprise market.

    2. Similarly, if they targeted the BRIC nations.



    Don't think either of those is going to happen any time soon.
  • Reply 92 of 224
    irelandireland Posts: 17,783member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    Firstly I don't think it actually sells that well. Without actual numbers most analysts seem to agree that it is not selling very well. Some say it is an outright failure.

    So why is it still sold? Simply so Apple doesn't lose face. If they'd kill it so soon after introduction they'd admit failure. Apple doesn't want another 'Cube' stigmata. Better let the product slowly fizzle out...



    Think again, all signs point to the Air selling much better than anticipated. I have one and I know two people with one. This is far from another cube. The difference here is having your laptop be ultraportable is a good thing (lighter, thinner etc.), having a desktop shaped like a cube is of no use to anyone.
  • Reply 93 of 224
    Quote:

    But to me the biggest stumbling block against an xMac are laptop product margins.

    If Apple wanted to maintain their laptop margins (or not destroy them) with an xMac, they'd likely have to offer it at ridiculously high prices akin to the Mac Pro.

    All we'd get is another Cube disaster where people actually wanted to buy the product - yet the product failed as it was priced way too high for what it offered.

    Unlike with the Mac Pro where users have no alternative and must pay the high prices, an overpriced xMac would just divert users to iMacs or laptops and xMac sales numbers would be disappointing. As they did with the Cube.





    But there might be hope for an xMac if:



    a) Apple gains so much market share that the xMac's product segment would still be viable.



    b) Companies like Psystar keep popping up to fill the xMac niche to the oint where Apple introduces such a product - as product segment protection.



    Yet in either case I'd still be worried about Apple's high laptop margins, which they'd want to protect at all cost.

    So an xMac will only happen if they find a way around this. Currently I don't see one.



    I'm enjoying the combative posts from Dave and Rick. Very strong points amongst very thorough points.



    And I noted this post above also. Apple did intro the Cube back when their marketshare was much lower.



    It will be interesting to see, with sales approaching 3 million a quarter no less(!) if Apple will introduce another desktop model to serve the gap between the Mac Pro (stupidly overpriced) and the iMac (again, stupidly overpriced since the UK price jack...)



    It's interesting also...that Dell offers regular towers alongside their all in ones. And I'm sure they sell plenty of towers and laptops, eh?



    I think the Cube (other than the G5 introduction and the classy engineered chassis...) was the last time that Apple's desktop saw any real innovation.



    I can see the point of the mini. But it's way overpriced by £200-300.

    I can see the point of the iMac. But the entry model is stupidly overpriced by £300.

    I can see the point of the Mac Pro. But the entry model is stupidly over priced by £1000.

    (ie no way a quad core tower with a crap GPU should cost more than £800.)



    There's room for another product.



    The problem, historically, is that Apple reintroduced the 'Cube' as the mini. And placed it under the iMac.



    And I'm afraid...the product just isn't as good as the first one. Sure, it's cheaper...but it's the other extreme of limited specs...in a laptop biscuit tin. £500 and what do you get? It aint quad core. It doesn't have a decent discrete gpu.



    Meanwhile, the iMac is the 'catch all' consumer desktop with laptop parts. Limited by thermal constraints...yet occupying a prosumer price point.



    Sure they're all nice machines in their own way. But they don't offer good value. The specs are way out of date. The gpus suck in the mini, iMac and Pro. You can't get quad core in anything short of £1800. And Apple's 'cheap' display is £600. Pushing prices for the Mini and Pro ludicrously higher.



    Keep the mini under neath but push the price much, much lower. £195-£295. Tops.

    I think Apple should push the iMac to its former 'low end' emphasis...and really cut the price on it. £695-£995.

    Intro the Cube tower/mid-tower. £795-£1395.

    Mac Pro. Deep price cut. £1495-£2495.



    And given the price points, I can't see how Apple couldn't still be profitable. But it would make a real difference to consumers, prosumers and second chasers alike.



    Yeah. It's a dead horse. But it keeps cropping up. I sometimes wonder if we could put all these whine threads together and carpet bomb apple's feedback page. ...other PC companies can do it ie make a mid-tower. Even a crap company like Pystar can make one. Sure it's 'another desktop'. But the laptop range has 3 models. The desktop has a bigger range of Cpus and gpus to serve more markets. It's not a million new models. Just one to plug the gap between the mini and Pro. Because the iMac sure aint it. It's alot of nice things. But it's not a mid-tower replacement.



    It's not difficult. It's 'only Apple'.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 94 of 224
    Quote:

    It's a conundrum.



    It sure is. Or so it seems. But only Apple is making it difficult..?



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 95 of 224
    Quote:

    As for what is best for Apple, most consumers don't care, stockholders yes. Apple now, or was, the 3rd largest computer seller in the US and still refuses to sell a consumer desktop tower computer which is the most popular configuration.



    Yes Apple dominates the consumer market in the >$1000 computer desktop market. To bad that is no longer the mid - high end consumer desktop market range. While the % of laptops sold increases, that does not nullify the fact that the consumer desktop market is still huge and will continue to be huge.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 96 of 224
    Quote:

    What are the advantages of either AIO or desktop tower and what is best for Apple.



    AIO

    advantages

    -easier initial setup

    -footprint



    disadvantages

    -only user friendly updrade is ram (kind of)

    -any upgrades for hard/optical drives = cable clutter

    -uses expensive laptop parts

    -monitor choice is limited to what comes on the computer

    -if any part fails the option of adding card to take up this function not an option





    xMac

    advantages

    -uses less expensive desktop parts

    -choice of monitor from inexpensive to outragously expensive

    -upgrades available for internal hard/optical drives

    both for swapping drives or adding drives internally

    -upgrades to video cards

    -instant ability for Apple to provide upgrade path for models sold @ the time of the sale

    -footprint (kind of) if computer is under desk or inside cabinet of desk

    -cable clutter (kind of) if upgrades are internal

    -if something fails there is chance card can be added to take up functionality

    -as standards change (wifi, communication:USB/Firewire/SATA, etc) add a card



    disadvantages

    -a couple more cables to plug in during initial set up



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 97 of 224
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,754moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Think again, all signs point to the Air selling much better than anticipated.



    You and that magic 8-ball.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I have one and I know two people with one.



    That's all of 'em.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    This is far from another cube. The difference here is having your laptop be ultraportable is a good thing (lighter, thinner etc.), having a desktop shaped like a cube is of no use to anyone.



    I agree that lighter and thinner laptops are much more desirable but having a cube desktop is very useful. You get your own choice of display, you can send it away easily for repairs, you can upgrade it while keeping your screen or vice versa, you can access the internals more easily and it's more affordable as it's not welded to an Apple IPS screen. You can possibly get a quad-core i7 in it and get great performance at a reasonable price and it will cost less to repair.



    It's not just for gamers remember, games don't benefit hugely from the CPU upgrade. We're talking about people getting into high end computation or who are in fields that need it but don't make a lot of money. Students doing medical research or GPU development - the CUDA developments came from a graduate student y'know and one day we will all benefit hugely from this.
  • Reply 98 of 224
    irelandireland Posts: 17,783member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    agree that lighter and thinner laptops are much more desirable but having a cube desktop is very useful. You get your own choice of display, you can send it away easily for repairs...



    Oh, so that's why it's shaped like a cube.
  • Reply 99 of 224
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    I asked you how much your xMac would cost.



    I missed this.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    If Apple can get an XMac out the factory door for $600 or less the they can keep their margin without issue.



    But it's not without issue.



    You stated Apple could sell half a million xMacs...... (now) at $600 apiece.

    At, say, 30% profit that's.... 90 Million dollars.



    How many Mini's and iMacs (and the odd Mac Pro) sales would be lost? Apple might sell 500K xMacs but if they lost 200K sales of their other desktops then that 90 million profit just disappears.



    Side Note: You call the Macbook Air a failure, yet it only needs to sell around 200K units a year to be more profitable than your xMac strategy.
  • Reply 100 of 224
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rickag View Post


    As for what is best for Apple, most consumers don't care, stockholders yes. Apple now, or was, the 3rd largest computer seller in the US and still refuses to sell a consumer desktop tower computer which is the most popular configuration.



    It's a shame that profits and shareholders have to come into the equation... but that is the argument that you xMaccers keep making! You keep saying that Apple is missing out on a large and lucrative market yet you consistently fail to offer any evidence that either is true.



    Offering a "consumer desktop tower"... or not is NOT A MEASURE of a company's success. Neither is position in a league table. Dell is currently the number one computer manufacturer in the US. They have dozens of towers for sale... and their sales have DROPPED by 20%. What does that prove?





    Quote:

    Yes Apple dominates the consumer market in the >$1000 computer desktop market.



    You are repeating yourself. And you are being inaccurate. The figures you are quoting came from NPD and were not for desktops ONLY.



    Quote:

    While the % of laptops sold increases, that does not nullify the fact that the consumer desktop market is still huge and will continue to be huge.



    But the increase in laptop sales has been rapid. You have no idea when that is going to slowdown or stop. The fastest growing sector at the moment is those bloody netbooks! The least powerful, least capable, least upgradeable systems out there.



    The PC tower market may still be a reasonable size, but it swamped by machines costing $400 or even $300. The biggest single reason that people buy these machines is not because they are expandable... or easily upgradable... it's because they only cost $400 or $300!



    It may not be in your interest but unfortunately Apple wants to make a bit more profit on the machines they sell. They have chosen not to join the race to the bottom. Why is that so hard to understand?



    Quote:

    Didn't I read somewhere that most Mac users have multiple compters in their home, many of the them desktops and shudder many of those are Windows machines (re: I wonder why? I don't know and there are probably a plethora of reasons - but makes you thnk)



    Yes it makes you think... but you don't have to think very hard. If windows is on 90% of all computers sold than, of course there are going to be more PCs than Macs in peoples homes. Those figures also came from NPD. Why don't you ask them how many homes, with multiple computers didn't own a Mac at all five years ago.



    It's an interesting statistic but the number, and type, of computers used in peoples homes... that were bought in the past... doesn't really shed a lot of light on what people are going to buy... tomorrow.
Sign In or Register to comment.