Does no one care about iMacs anymore?

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 93
    mjteixmjteix Posts: 563member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


    Thunderbolt, same form factor, same screen sizes, Sandy Bridge chips, same RAM/HDD, GPU from the Radeon 6xxx family.



    It may look not that much on "paper", but if they can do for the iMac something similar to what they did for the MBP: all 15/17" went from DC 2.40/2.66 to quad-core + ATI 6000 graphics + Thunderbolt at similar prices, it will be significant. Currenty, only the $1999 iMac has a quad-core cpu, and only the 27" models can get a 3rd (SSD) storage device.



    If Apple can move all models (or at least the 3 better) to quad-core cpus + a graphics bump, a Thunderbolt port... and offer an optional SSD (blade) on all models, it will change the landscape a lot, especially when the MP will probably not be updated before very late in the year or early next year.



    iMacs with quad-core cpus, good graphics, additional internal (and fast) storage, and Thunderbolt, will be capable of effectively replace a lot of the entry-level MPs (except the 6C model) for the very same usages:

    - even faster cpus (up to 3.40 vs 3.20)

    - up the 16GB RAM

    - SSD+HDD internal storage

    - external storage thru TB as fast as internal storage on the MP

    - "PCie" devices thru TB. Since many PCIe cards are "just" 1x cards (most of AVID's, all Apogee's and Universal Audio's, for example), one will be able to connect up to 4 of those devices at full speed (something you can't even do on a MP with only 3 free slots).



    No disrespect to all xMac fans (I was one of them when I was "younger"), but the future iMacs+TB or even the future MM/MMS+TB, cut most of the "reasons" to offer an xMac.



    But what Apple could do is a total rework on the Sandy Bridge MP, to keep it relevant (especially the single cpu models).
  • Reply 62 of 93
    mactacmactac Posts: 316member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mjteix View Post


    No disrespect to all xMac fans (I was one of them when I was "younger"), but the future iMacs+TB or even the future MM/MMS+TB, cut most of the "reasons" to offer an xMac.



    I don't see that it does. Even though each of us has a slightly different idea on what an XMac should be two things seem to be on everyones wish list.



    Internal expansion in an easy open case that is quite a bit smaller than a Mac Pro.

    No built in screen.



    TB will not correct these short comings on either the iMac or the mini.



    Now that everyone is abbreviating Thunderbolt as TB I wonder what marketing genius came up with this name. Last year one of my co workers had TB and we all had to get tested. My skin test was positive but my chest x-ray was clear. I had to take medicines for 9 months to kill the virus in my system before it became active.
  • Reply 63 of 93
    luphluph Posts: 14member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    Now that everyone is abbreviating Thunderbolt as TB I wonder what marketing genius came up with this name. Last year one of my co workers had TB and we all had to get tested. My skin test was positive but my chest x-ray was clear. I had to take medicines for 9 months to kill the virus in my system before it became active.



    Yeah, I didn't get that either. Light Peak sounds a lot cooler too...
  • Reply 64 of 93
    rnb2rnb2 Posts: 61member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    Internal expansion in an easy open case that is quite a bit smaller than a Mac Pro.

    No built in screen.



    TB will not correct these short comings on either the iMac or the mini.



    And it's already been explained, several times, why that's not going to happen, and why Thunderbolt expansion is going to be your best bet. I'm not saying you shouldn't dream, but the Xmac dream is getting pretty played-out.



    Before the quad-core + 16GB 27" iMac hit the scene, I was right there with you, as there really was no substitute for a Mac Pro for certain tasks. I bought the cheapest Mac Pro I could find (the 2GHz 1st-generation model) for just those tasks - things that benefited from more than two cores and more than 4/8GB of RAM.



    The quad-core iMacs now accomplish those tasks in a much more modern, integrated fashion. They take up less desk space, they use MUCH less power, kick out much less heat.



    If you're anything like me, once you have an iMac, you'll no longer feel that,"I want to upgrade, but I don't need a new monitor" feeling that you think about so much before you get one. It's a unit, plain and simple, and you no longer see the screen as a separate entity. Every time you upgrade, you get a new monitor - simple.
  • Reply 65 of 93
    rnb2rnb2 Posts: 61member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Luph View Post


    Yeah, I didn't get that either. Light Peek sounds a lot cooler too...



    The now-common abbreviation for Thunderbolt is unfortunate, but if I had to guess, I think Light Peak was dropped when the initial roll-out moved away from optical connections. No light in the connection, no light in the name.
  • Reply 66 of 93
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    ThB or TBolt would do.TB also means 'talkback' in audio-land.



    If the next iMac update is gonna be as major as last month's MacbookPro's, it may tick a lot of boxes for me. Just hope that they'll make top spec available with the smaller display as well. If they can do that for the 15" and 17" MBPros, why not for the 21.5" and 27" iMacs?



    Still plenty of reason to go with a MacPro, though. No TBolt peripherals on the horizon yet, no dual display support, PCI and internal HDD continue to rule supreme for now. But if TBolt lives up to the hype it may well suffice for me, one day soon.



    But what I really hope for, is a $1999 base-spec MacPro with the 3.2 Quad Xeon! \



    Or a $2999 6-core...



    Or a rackmount MacPro...
  • Reply 67 of 93
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post


    And it's already been explained, several times, why that's not going to happen, and why Thunderbolt expansion is going to be your best bet. I'm not saying you shouldn't dream, but the Xmac dream is getting pretty played-out.



    It has also been explained more times than I care to count, external expansion is often a poor choice. The issues are pretty straight forward cost, reliability and foot print all suffer. A surprising number of people can not consider the Apple ecosystem with out such hardware available. To put it in business terms, the lack of the right hardware is a drag on Apples earnings.

    Quote:

    Before the quad-core + 16GB 27" iMac hit the scene, I was right there with you, as there really was no substitute for a Mac Pro for certain tasks. I bought the cheapest Mac Pro I could find (the 2GHz 1st-generation model) for just those tasks - things that benefited from more than two cores and more than 4/8GB of RAM.



    All well and good if you grok the all in one approach. The fact remains the all in one is a poor choice for many. The problem is the one size fits all approach doesn't actually fit all.



    It is sort of like trying to wear one size fits all socks when you have size 15 feet. no matter how stretchy those socks they don't do the job as well as properly sized socks.

    Quote:

    The quad-core iMacs now accomplish those tasks in a much more modern, integrated fashion. They take up less desk space, they use MUCH less power, kick out much less heat.



    There is nothing modern about the current iMacs, it is the same basic platform that has been around for ages. In any event your points are bogus, put the same parts into an XMac and they will use the same power.

    Quote:

    If you're anything like me, once you have an iMac, you'll no longer feel that,"I want to upgrade, but I don't need a new monitor" feeling that you think about so much before you get one. It's a unit, plain and simple, and you no longer see the screen as a separate entity. Every time you upgrade, you get a new monitor - simple.



    Yes simple, if Apple has the type and size monitor you want. Don't mis-interpret me here the iMac is a great platform when it fits the requirement, it is a terrible platform when it doesn't. The problem for Apple is that the Mac Pro is often a worst solution. Thus the growing demand for an XMac.
  • Reply 68 of 93
    One feature I wish would come to the iMac and the Mac mini is user replaceable harddrives. It's in the MacBook, MacBook Pro and Mac Pro, but never for the Mini or the iMac. Come on it can't be that hard to do. Just put it by the RAM slots in the iMac.
  • Reply 69 of 93
    rnb2rnb2 Posts: 61member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    It has also been explained more times than I care to count, external expansion is often a poor choice. The issues are pretty straight forward cost, reliability and foot print all suffer. A surprising number of people can not consider the Apple ecosystem with out such hardware available. To put it in business terms, the lack of the right hardware is a drag on Apples earnings.



    If this was really the case to any measurable extent, Apple would do something about it. The fact that they haven't suggests that they probably know more about their business than you do. What part of "Apple is succeeding wildly in the market by not emulating the rest of the PC industry" do you not understand?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    All well and good if you grok the all in one approach. The fact remains the all in one is a poor choice for many. The problem is the one size fits all approach doesn't actually fit all.



    It is sort of like trying to wear one size fits all socks when you have size 15 feet. no matter how stretchy those socks they don't do the job as well as properly sized socks.



    Apple is not, and will never be, a company that is going to try to hit every market segment with a particular model of Mac - they've been there before, and that way lies inventory madness.



    Two simple facts:



    1) Apple has OS X



    2) Apple is only going to make a limited number of Mac configurations



    If you want 1), you will buy some version of 2) (or do a Hackintosh, but the people willing to put up with the pain and uncertainty of that approach are far from Apple's real target market).



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    There is nothing modern about the current iMacs, it is the same basic platform that has been around for ages. In any event your points are bogus, put the same parts into an XMac and they will use the same power.



    The iMac is a form factor that no other manufacturer has been able to duplicate with any success. Why? Because it goes against the licensed-and-cobbled-together ethos of commodity PC companies, where everything is a slave to the slim profit margins of the business. The iMac looks great, it's a very functional, practical design for a wide swath of the market, and it's good value-for-money.



    And if they put the same components in an Xmac, Apple has no way of ensuring that they make the money on a display purchase, so the incentive to do it is nonexistent.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Yes simple, if Apple has the type and size monitor you want. Don't mis-interpret me here the iMac is a great platform when it fits the requirement, it is a terrible platform when it doesn't. The problem for Apple is that the Mac Pro is often a worst solution. Thus the growing demand for an XMac.



    Growing demand for an Xmac? No, sorry - shrinking demand for an Xmac is the reality. Just about everyone clamoring for a powerful desktop that isn't a Mac Pro was silenced the minute the late 2009 iMacs were announced.



    What size monitor are you looking for that the available choices don't satisfy? Whatever it is, the number of people who won't buy an iMac without that particular size being available probably numbers in the hundreds.



    Your best bet going forward is the mini, but you'll have to get over your aversion to external expansion, and hope that Apple decides to make it more powerful. You can stomp your feet all you want, maybe even hold your breath until your face turns blue, but Apple has no interest in making an internally-expandable Mac smaller than the Mac Pro - that is, anything that looks like a mass-market PC. It doesn't fit their business or who they are as a company going forward.
  • Reply 70 of 93
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post


    If this was really the case to any measurable extent, Apple would do something about it. The fact that they haven't suggests that they probably know more about their business than you do. What part of "Apple is succeeding wildly in the market by not emulating the rest of the PC industry" do you not understand?



    Apple is doing very well with it's laptop line but the results are highly mixed on the desktop. You should realize this at this point.

    Quote:





    Apple is not, and will never be, a company that is going to try to hit every market segment with a particular model of Mac - they've been there before, and that way lies inventory madness.



    It is rather silly to point that out because hitting every market segment was never suggested. In fact that would be rather stupid. However leaving a huge hole in you line up is the same thing as giving up on a very large market segment.

    Quote:

    Two simple facts:



    1) Apple has OS X



    Which has nothing to do with this discussion! Further software is useless without the right hardware to run it on.

    Quote:

    2) Apple is only going to make a limited number of Mac configurations



    Which is fine no one asked for an unlimited number of Mac models. In this regards I'm not sure why you try to twist the discussion in such a way. Focus on what is being discussed instead of what your imagination comes up with.

    Quote:

    If you want 1), you will buy some version of 2) (or do a Hackintosh, but the people willing to put up with the pain and uncertainty of that approach are far from Apple's real target market).



    Nope! Where it is a problem I can just run Linux. In some cases I'd rather run Mac OS but it is easier to simply follow the path of least resistance.

    Quote:

    The iMac is a form factor that no other manufacturer has been able to duplicate with any success. Why? Because it goes against the licensed-and-cobbled-together ethos of commodity PC companies, where everything is a slave to the slim profit margins of the business. The iMac looks great, it's a very functional, practical design for a wide swath of the market, and it's good value-for-money.



    Please don't drink the koolaide in public, it makes you look foolish!



    By the way the iMac can be good value for the money if it fits the users requirements. I often reccomend the machine when people ask. The point you can't seem to get through your head is that iMac is an extremely poor choice for many users and that Apple has no economical alternatives.

    Quote:

    And if they put the same components in an Xmac, Apple has no way of ensuring that they make the money on a display purchase, so the incentive to do it is nonexistent.



    They don't make money on a display purchase with the iMac either. This is an entirely bogus arguement. For that matter they seldom make money on display purchases for the Mini, Mac Pro, AppleTV and even the laptops. Most importantly what Apple us missing is sales to people who want a reasonably priced platform, with a powerful GPU, that supports the display of their choice. You may not think that is significant niche but I simply disagree.

    Quote:





    Growing demand for an Xmac? No, sorry - shrinking demand for an Xmac is the reality. Just about everyone clamoring for a powerful desktop that isn't a Mac Pro was silenced the minute the late 2009 iMacs were announced.



    Not at all, the 2009 iMacs offered up nothing to the people seeking a flexible platform for their PC needs. Sadly you seem to want to believe this is all about the CPU, it isn't at all. Interestingly I do believe Apple could turn the iMac around and actually make it more flexible in some ways, however up til now they don't seem to be willing to do so.



    This has been mentioned by others but one thing they could do in this regard is to make access to the secondary storage easier with the provision for multiple devices. Today's iMacs are huge devices, Apple has access to the technology to make them at once more powerful and flexible platforms. Instead they seem to focus on making high margin machines that leave a lot to be desired.

    Quote:

    What size monitor are you looking for that the available choices don't satisfy? Whatever it is, the number of people who won't buy an iMac without that particular size being available probably numbers in the hundreds.



    Are you even remotely in touch with the greater PC market and the types and variety of screens available? I ask because I can't possibly rationalize your question as their are hundreds of monitors for sale where as iMac gives you two options. See the problem there!

    Quote:

    Your best bet going forward is the mini,



    I didn't ask for your advice
    Quote:

    but you'll have to get over your aversion to external expansion, and hope that Apple decides to make it more powerful.



    I don't have an aversion to external expansion when it makes sense. What I do have is an aversion to hardware that doesn't support the type of flexibility I want. Some things simply belong in the primary chassis.

    Quote:

    You can stomp your feet all you want, maybe even hold your breath until your face turns blue, but Apple has no interest in making an internally-expandable Mac smaller than the Mac Pro - that is, anything that looks like a mass-market PC. It doesn't fit their business or who they are as a company going forward.



    Sadly if Apple doesn't have a change of heart we will see the Mac Pro going the way of the XServe and other low volume Apple hardware. The writing is pretty much on the wall here as the Pro is a terrible hardware deal beyond the fact that it is simply massive.



    As to your concern about mass marjet PCs since when does anything Apple look like the competition? With today's tech the XMac does not need to be huge or in anyway bulky. Think about it we are asking for a desktop machine with a real GPU, internal storage expansion capability and possible a PCI express slot. Apple puts most of that into a laptop. Now granted a desktop would/should user faster desktop parts but intel has a very nice lineup of lower power parts coming that will allow for a rather compact but sound performing XMac.



    In a nut shell it is sad that you are so willing to take whatever Apple throws your way. Personally I'm convinced that Apples desktop lineup is slowly going down the tubes. Much of the hardware is neglected in favor of the laptop line up and even when the hardware is touched the updates are uninspired.
  • Reply 71 of 93
    mactacmactac Posts: 316member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post


    Two simple facts:



    1) Apple has OS X



    2) Apple is only going to make a limited number of Mac configurations



    If you want 1), you will buy some version of 2) (or do a Hackintosh, but the people willing to put up with the pain and uncertainty of that approach are far from Apple's real target market).



    That argument is getting weaker all the time. Windows isn't as bad as it used to be. I would love to stay with OSX and am even willing to accept the "Apple tax". But purchasing a computer design that I don't want is something I won't do. Apple has a huge gap between the $699 mini and the $2499 Pro. An all in one doesn't fill that gap.



    Apple needs to realize that Windows has closed the gap and some are close to jumping ship to get a computer that has the features they want.



    You know, after years and years of people griping about not being able to easily reach certain items on vehicles the automakers finally listened. It is easier now to get to fuses, oil filters, etc. Things that need to be changed out from time to time. other than the Mac Pro Apple has been making its computers harder and harder to get into and reach those things that might need to be changed out from time to time.



    And then think about the iMac. Can you imagine a mechanic telling you that you ought to throw out a perfectly good engine because your transmission went out?
  • Reply 72 of 93
    rnb2rnb2 Posts: 61member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Nope! Where it is a problem I can just run Linux. In some cases I'd rather run Mac OS but it is easier to simply follow the path of least resistance.



    Please tell me you didn't just offer Linux as an option for anything but a vanishingly-small portion of the market!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    They don't make money on a display purchase with the iMac either. This is an entirely bogus arguement. For that matter they seldom make money on display purchases for the Mini, Mac Pro, AppleTV and even the laptops. Most importantly what Apple us missing is sales to people who want a reasonably priced platform, with a powerful GPU, that supports the display of their choice. You may not think that is significant niche but I simply disagree.



    How can you say that Apple doesn't make money on a display purchase with an iMac or MacBook? Apple doesn't give anything away - there is extra profit in an iMac over a mini, and in case you haven't noticed, there's a display in every MacBook, and MacBook margins are pretty healthy. I've already stated why the mini exists (for switchers on a tight budget, or people who don't need more) and why Apple doesn't care about selling displays with Mac Pros (very healthy margins without). MacBook Pros and iMacs are Apple's mass market machines, and they make a healthy profit on every one of them.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Not at all, the 2009 iMacs offered up nothing to the people seeking a flexible platform for their PC needs. Sadly you seem to want to believe this is all about the CPU, it isn't at all. Interestingly I do believe Apple could turn the iMac around and actually make it more flexible in some ways, however up til now they don't seem to be willing to do so.



    This has been mentioned by others but one thing they could do in this regard is to make access to the secondary storage easier with the provision for multiple devices. Today's iMacs are huge devices, Apple has access to the technology to make them at once more powerful and flexible platforms. Instead they seem to focus on making high margin machines that leave a lot to be desired.



    I'll cover these with my reply to MacTac below.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    As to your concern about mass marjet PCs since when does anything Apple look like the competition? With today's tech the XMac does not need to be huge or in anyway bulky. Think about it we are asking for a desktop machine with a real GPU, internal storage expansion capability and possible a PCI express slot. Apple puts most of that into a laptop. Now granted a desktop would/should user faster desktop parts but intel has a very nice lineup of lower power parts coming that will allow for a rather compact but sound performing XMac.



    Anything that needs space for even one PCIe card and internal storage expansion locks the form factor into a box of some description, and I have not seen any indication that Apple has any interest in selling a consumer PC that is a box any bigger than a mini.



    Would such a machine be desirable? Of course! I might even be in the market for it. Would some version of Apple, in some alternate dimension where they didn't have the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, make such a computer? Quite possibly! But not this Apple in this dimension, and continuing to pine for such a machine is tilting at windmills.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    That argument is getting weaker all the time. Windows isn't as bad as it used to be. I would love to stay with OSX and am even willing to accept the "Apple tax". But purchasing a computer design that I don't want is something I won't do. Apple has a huge gap between the $699 mini and the $2499 Pro. An all in one doesn't fill that gap.



    Apple needs to realize that Windows has closed the gap and some are close to jumping ship to get a computer that has the features they want.



    Yeah, you and your eight friends go buy Windows boxes. The number of people switching from Mac to Windows is such a small percentage that it's basically a rounding error. The people switching because they really want some sort of box for a computer instead of the elegance of the iMac is even smaller.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    You know, after years and years of people griping about not being able to easily reach certain items on vehicles the automakers finally listened. It is easier now to get to fuses, oil filters, etc. Things that need to be changed out from time to time. other than the Mac Pro Apple has been making its computers harder and harder to get into and reach those things that might need to be changed out from time to time.



    And then think about the iMac. Can you imagine a mechanic telling you that you ought to throw out a perfectly good engine because your transmission went out?



    I'm sure you thought you had a great analogy there, but it falls apart if you think about it. Sure, some maintenance items on new cars may be located in more convenient spots than they used to be, but just about everything else is now impossible to work on in your own garage - you can't even see the engine in most new cars; all you see is a huge plastic shield over everything. The number of things that are considered 'owner serviceable' on a new car is much, much lower than it was 10-15 years ago.



    So, in this case, the iMac is very similar to a modern car - think of the RAM as the oil filter or fuses. Everything else is out of sight and not considered 'user serviceable'. It would, admittedly, be nice if the hard drive was also easy to get at, but Apple hasn't found a way to do that and manufacture and arrange the case to allow it. It's not so different from a modern automobile at all. Instead of the big, loud tower cases that we can open and swap components in and out of to our hearts' content (I built most of my PCs between '96 and '05), we have an elegant, quiet iMac that we can't do much work on ourselves.



    Times change, markets change, consumer tastes change. Apple has brought the market to them, and I don't see any indication that they're likely to go back in any way. Everything about the company's products, in fact, says that they will move toward more integration, not less.
  • Reply 73 of 93
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,275moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    That argument is getting weaker all the time. Windows isn't as bad as it used to be.



    Well I'm sure not everyone feels that way. The biggest problem with Windows is the design - aesthetic and technical. Even Windows 7 doesn't really feel right when using it. The filesystem and UI aren't structured logically. The Mac OS is very clearly designed by people adhering to strict Human Interface Guidelines, with only the odd lapse here and there.



    Microsoft have improved on their previous efforts but not enough IMO. Apple's best OS decision they made was to throw out the old system entirely and rethink it and Microsoft need to do the same.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTac View Post


    And then think about the iMac. Can you imagine a mechanic telling you that you ought to throw out a perfectly good engine because your transmission went out?



    I agree with that but from their point of view, they probably have a different perception of what item value is considered 'appliance-level'. These days, you wouldn't expect to service a toaster, microwave oven, kettle etc. You throw it out and get a new one.



    While it's much harder to do that with an iMac (sell it for spares/repair), their 3-year warranty softens the blow a little. I think it would be a nice gesture to offer 3-year standard warranty on their iMac and laptop line. They charge $169 for it so if 1/3 of people buy it then why not just add $50 to the cost of every machine and give a 3-year warranty to everyone? if you spend $1200, what's an extra $50 to ensure you get an extra 2-years warranty?



    The alternative would be an affordable repair program. Even if Apple had a reasonable price list for repairs e.g if the display is damaged outside warranty, it will be $400 to fix, motherboard $600 or whatever.



    The most annoying iMac model for me is the 27" because given the choice, I'd never buy a 27" IPS screen anyway. Almost no consumer would drop $1,000 on a computer screen but to get an 'affordable' quad-core Mac you have to.



    The way processors are going, I think it makes sense for Apple to just go with 24" 1080p across the lineup and pull the price of the highest end down by $400-500.
  • Reply 74 of 93
    zephzeph Posts: 133member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The biggest problem with Windows is the design - aesthetic and technical.



    While I agree on the aesthetical bit, I think that technical argument has become moot.



    Where OSX scores is efficiency and stability. From all that I have read on the net, Windows 7 offers noticeably better raw performance.



    In terms of user experience, no contest. OSX rules with its ease of use, elegance and hassle-free environment.
  • Reply 75 of 93
    allanmcallanmc Posts: 53member
    You know the future of iMac is going to be like a 3 chip design (CPU, GPU, FlashRAM) with a screen, running a cloud computing online apps platform, infact I envisage within a very few short years nearly all computing devices will evolve into this new format.



    Hardware is virtually already perfected possibly over-bloated, all that needs to change to open pandoras box is the ISPs constraint on limiting connection speed.

    If you haven't already noticed Apple have already bought into and adopted this future.



    That means the iMac et al are already set on a fixed path of change along the lines of the macAir as we have already been intimated too, and all that is left is the case of when the next major redesign accures, I reckon that will be possibly 2012 when SSDs become cheap enough to be viable and the momentum of demand takes over.



    Of course cloud computing will eventually put an end to desktop peripheral storage devices, only leaving the professional creative (television channels) and service provider (Cloud) markets in need of the "Xmac" (redesigned MacPro) type of PCIe computer.



    My games designer son came out with quite a statement the other day having his feet in both camps said there really isn't that much of a divide between MacOS and Windows 7 to decide between today, and he wonders if such large OS systems will be displaced by emerging mobile platforms in virtually all domestic cloud devices, even the iMac.
  • Reply 76 of 93
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AllanMc View Post


    You know the future of iMac is going to be like a 3 chip design (CPU, GPU, FlashRAM) with a screen, running a cloud computing online apps platform, infact I envisage within a very few short years nearly all computing devices will evolve into this new format.



    Hardware is virtually already perfected possibly over-bloated, all that needs to change to open pandoras box is the ISPs constraint on limiting connection speed.

    If you haven't already noticed Apple have already bought into and adopted this future.



    That means the iMac et al are already set on a fixed path of change along the lines of the macAir as we have already been intimated too, and all that is left is the case of when the next major redesign accures, I reckon that will be possibly 2012 when SSDs become cheap enough to be viable and the momentum of demand takes over.



    Of course cloud computing will eventually put an end to desktop peripheral storage devices, only leaving the professional creative (television channels) and service provider (Cloud) markets in need of the "Xmac" (redesigned MacPro) type of PCIe computer.



    My games designer son came out with quite a statement the other day having his feet in both camps said there really isn't that much of a divide between MacOS and Windows 7 to decide between today, and he wonders if such large OS systems will be displaced by emerging mobile platforms in virtually all domestic cloud devices, even the iMac.



    Count me out of that future. None of this server-side nonsense. The applications I own reside on my machine. The files I own reside on my machine. Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with C and that stands for Cloud.
  • Reply 77 of 93
    reganregan Posts: 474member
    Hey, Im all for "cloud computing" but I don't think it is going to become as ubiquitous as y'all think. Sure, it'll be helpful in accessing your info across multiple devices....but I don't believe standard storage and hardware will be COMPLETELY replaced.



    Sure, I think the optical storage of CDs and DVDs and physical hard drives will be replaced, because they are big and take up space....but not ALL of them will be taken over by the infamous cloud.



    SSDs will become cheaper and standard eventually.



    CDs and DVDs will go away in time, much like the floppy discs. More people will stream and download movies directly to their devices like they do with music already. More and more software is being downloaded. Future MacBook pros, some say as early as the next big redesign will do away with the optical drive like the MacBook airs have. I think this is totally possible...and inevitable....HOWEVER....I think people are forgetting the small SD cards that have become standard across the Mac line. With the new SDXC sd cards being able to hold a TB of data, they will become the new removable media of choice.



    Let's face it, with telecom companies getting rid of unlimited data and going with tiered pricing....NOBODY will want to be locked into relying on wireless access to their data alone!!!



    Also, one might not always be in range while traveling....especially abroad to the all powerful "cloud".



    So all this talk about being a slave to the cloud is simple fear mongering. Ain't gonna happen. The cloud will become more and more important. YES. And Apple will eventually phase out optical drives and standard hard drives....YES.



    But they will be replaced with SSDs and SD cards. The need to store data on physical devices WILL NEVER go away. People need to have that back up and access to their info. Otherwise if their cable goes out, or they arr not within range of wifi or 3G and can't access their data....they are CRAP OUTTA LUCK.



    The general public may grumble about losing CDs and DVDs or regular HDs but once they realize SSD drives are better and SD cards save space, they will relax.



    But they would REVOLT if they became a slave to the cloud. People already grumble about the iPods, ipads and iPhones being locked out....there ain't no way they would accept their computers, iMacs and macbooks being locked out too. They need that freedom. And anyone who thinks it is going away is mistaken. Changes? Sure. Change is inevitable....but use some common sense. Some things will never go away. :-)
  • Reply 78 of 93
    I do think the time is coming to ditch internal disk drives on the iMac and laptops. Those who really care can always buy an external one. Maybe another year or two, but we're definitely almost there.
  • Reply 79 of 93
    Quote:

    Tallest Skil: Count me out of that future. None of this server-side nonsense. The applications I own reside on my machine. The files I own reside on my machine. Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with C and that stands for Cloud.



    You already have your Bank and Credit accounts council details electric gas water rates tax medical and census records and a dozen other pertinent things about you accessible online in the clouds, so are you worrying about your diary and photos going missing I'm sure tomorrows security will evolve too and new apps will be designed to work in the cloud environment.

    It will be far cheaper not having to buy DVD players and mountains of little used CDs & DVDS and the technical hassle of maintaining proprietary double backup storage with associated electric usage cost at home when you can access all your music films and files from any computer online, there is also more safety in storing on secure server space than on a machine that is more likely to suffer breakdown, get lost or be stolen.

    like all new things you'll moan about it at first, then when you see its not such a big deal to change, then you'll just get on and enjoy life.



    The first of the next generation cloud machines is already here and selling like hot cakes... The MacAir, just a matter of time before the rest of the Macline follows and then gets into smart TV convergence, Oh thats a whole new ballgame coming to Mac.



    Quote:

    regan: The general public may grumble about losing CDs and DVDs or regular HDs but once they realize SSD drives are better and SD cards save space, they will relax.



    their is a misconception about SSDs (Solid State Drive) these cards are brought out to be a plug-in replacement convenience for SATA Hard Disks and unfortunately inherit the limited SATA bottleneck, the next generation of memory cards will be PCIexpress interface based Flash chip memory cards as fast as RAM with a at least 10x speed bump,

    SDXC cards are upto 64GBt so far and have 3hrs of HD1080i streaming Video storage capability abiet at a cost today, but like Flash mem chips once they become popular the price will rapidly come down and they will make bluray and all disk media obsolete, but they may also become obsolete themselves by cloud computing, or at least may find a niche requirement for those needing reassurance in an ever changing world we live in,

    Cameras & phones will use wi-fi to transfer video and photographs in future so little need for the fledgling SD card.



    Quote:

    regan: But they would REVOLT if they became a slave to the cloud.



    Your already a slave to buying copious amounts of technology and interconnects to a whole world of profiteering peripherals you didn't know you needed, by comparison surely the Cloud computing experience harkens to set you free of such chains and put the buck back in your pocket to decide where you would prefer to spend it.
  • Reply 80 of 93
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rnb2 View Post


    Please tell me you didn't just offer Linux as an option for anything but a vanishingly-small portion of the market!



    It isn't as small as you might imagine. However it is a better path to take than building a Hackintosh which was my point.



    Frankly I ran Linux for years and for many things it is a very good OS. What has me on a MBP right now is iTunes and other media services. Well that and one gets tired of a new distro every 6 months.

    Quote:

    How can you say that Apple doesn't make money on a display purchase with an iMac or MacBook? Apple doesn't give anything away - there is extra profit in an iMac over a mini, and in case you haven't noticed, there's a display in every MacBook, and MacBook margins are pretty healthy. I've already stated why the mini exists (for switchers on a tight budget, or people who don't need more) and why Apple doesn't care about selling displays with Mac Pros (very healthy margins without). MacBook Pros and iMacs are Apple's mass market machines, and they make a healthy profit on every one of them.



    It is true that Apple doesn't give anything away but at the same time the margins are not dramatically different form on model to the next. I would imagine those margins are greatest on the Mini based on estimates of raw parts costs. Of course no body knows what Apple really pays for those LCD screens and other parts in the iMacs that are generic. This Mini on the other hand is made up mostly of off the shelf Intel parts assembled in a minimalist design, then sold at a high price.



    As to healthy profits that is not something that the Mini is immune to. Obviously on a dollar basis they are less than the other machines but percentage wise I suspect that they are the same or better than the iMacs. It is all about low end hardware sold at high prices

    Quote:

    I'll cover these with my reply to MacTac below.







    Anything that needs space for even one PCIe card and internal storage expansion locks the form factor into a box of some description, and I have not seen any indication that Apple has any interest in selling a consumer PC that is a box any bigger than a mini.



    I hate to say this but you are thinking small here. Modern hardware offers up all sorts of potential possibilities. For example consider storage, if you stay with old tech, that is 3.5" drives you use a lot of space and a lot of power. The question you have o ask is that even wise for a fresh hardware design, I'd say it is not. Looking at storage again Apple could build such a platform with hybrid slots that take both laptop drives and any of a number of new card standards for solid state memory.



    The Mini currently takes two drives with the qualification that they aren't easy to get to. A little thought would lead to a machine that could take four such drives or a combo of traditional drives and SSD cards. Add a fractional sized PCI -Express slots or one of the other standards and you end up with a lot of functionality in a box that isn't by any means huge.

    Quote:



    Would such a machine be desirable? Of course! I might even be in the market for it. Would some version of Apple, in some alternate dimension where they didn't have the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, make such a computer? Quite possibly! But not this Apple in this dimension, and continuing to pine for such a machine is tilting at windmills.



    You see things like IPod, IPad and iPhone are what make such a platform even more desirable. It is the box that becomes Apples digital hub that they speak of so much. One thing that hub needs is lots of storage. It is no mystery, to me at least, that Apple needs a platform that can more easily support all of those portable devices with their backups, apps, and media files.



    The Mini comes close here but frankly isn't the most powerful platform going.

    Quote:



    Yeah, you and your eight friends go buy Windows boxes. The number of people switching from Mac to Windows is such a small percentage that it's basically a rounding error. The people switching because they really want some sort of box for a computer instead of the elegance of the iMac is even smaller.



    Getting stuck with Windows software is a reality these days as some stuff will never get ported to the Mac. The solution for that is a VM and a Windows install.

    Quote:

    I'm sure you thought you had a great analogy there, but it falls apart if you think about it. Sure, some maintenance items on new cars may be located in more convenient spots than they used to be, but just about everything else is now impossible to work on in your own garage - you can't even see the engine in most new cars; all you see is a huge plastic shield over everything. The number of things that are considered 'owner serviceable' on a new car is much, much lower than it was 10-15 years ago.



    Last year I went to Maker Fair in Detroit which was held at the Ford museum. Of course Ford took advantage of this to show off all the new tech going into their vehicles. Some of those vehicles where so tight under the hood that you couldn't leave a pencil in there without causing problems. At the current time I was driving a ten year old truck and frankly was shocked.



    I won't argue about ones ability to service such beasts but the days of doing a spark plug change in a half hour are gone. I'm not to sure you could do such in half a day because simply reaching the component would require a major disassembly effort.

    Quote:



    So, in this case, the iMac is very similar to a modern car - think of the RAM as the oil filter or fuses. Everything else is out of sight and not considered 'user serviceable'. It would, admittedly, be nice if the hard drive was also easy to get at, but Apple hasn't found a way to do that and manufacture and arrange the case to allow it. It's not so different from a modern automobile at all. Instead of the big, loud tower cases that we can open and swap components in and out of to our hearts' content (I built most of my PCs between '96 and '05), we have an elegant, quiet iMac that we can't do much work on ourselves.



    Times change, markets change, consumer tastes change. Apple has brought the market to them, and I don't see any indication that they're likely to go back in any way. Everything about the company's products, in fact, says that they will move toward more integration, not less.



    The move to higher integration is being driven by the shrinking of electronic components. It is the only way to get to markedly improved hardware these days. However one thing that tech has had trouble keeping up with is storage demands. I don't see this going away because the trend is for data to expand much faster than storage.



    Just look at the average computer user and video. Apple started out with Quicktime video that used up very little bandwidth and user storage space, that worked well with the computers of the time. As technology progressed and normal users began to adopt it we have continually ran out of storage space with users often resorting to less that desirable tertiary solutions. Demand goes beyond video but it is certainly something all users understand.
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