in one sense...apple can't win

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
i kinda feel sorry for apple. they're always put in the unique and unenviable position of having to appeal both to home and pro users simultaneously.



when apple releases state-of-the-art kickass, professional-grade hardware, inevitably some home user/reviewer will complain that "macs are too expensive" and then we get the "apple is blowing it. i can get a gateway blah blah blah with a celeron blah blah blah for $899...macs are overpriced and they'll never get anywhere until they're cheaper." comment.



when apple DOES makes a consumer machine that has a good feature set at an affordable price, inevitably some pro-user/reviewer will complain that "macs don't pack enough firepower" and then we get the "apple is blowing it. where are the expansion bays? why didn't they use a GeForce 3 card? why should i buy a computer that doesn't even use DDR? give me a REAL machine!" comment.



it's a catch 22.



i know there are always people (myself included) who want more features than they can afford and it's always great to see pro features filter down into consumer machines...but i wish just once that people would figure out into which category they fall into and then adjust their expectations accordingly.



...if you spend part of each day debating the merits of level3 cache with your co-workers or can stripe a SCSI RAID without breaking a sweat, guess what? the imac isn't for you. get a pro machine and get on with life.



if however, if your idea of number crunching is launching the OSX calculator app...then don't lose any more brain cells worrying about the speed of your system bus. get an imac and get on with life.



apple makes an appealing array of machine for all kinds of people. pick one that suits your needs and just get down to it.



this is my opinion. mileage may vary
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    [quote]Originally posted by koffedrnkr:

    <strong>i kinda feel sorry for apple. they're always put in the unique and unenviable position of having to appeal both to home and pro users simultaneously.



    when apple releases state-of-the-art kickass, professional-grade hardware, inevitably some home user/reviewer will complain that "macs are too expensive" and then we get the "apple is blowing it. i can get a gateway blah blah blah with a celeron blah blah blah for $899...macs are overpriced and they'll never get anywhere until they're cheaper." comment.



    when apple DOES makes a consumer machine that has a good feature set at an affordable price, inevitably some pro-user/reviewer will complain that "macs don't pack enough firepower" and then we get the "apple is blowing it. where are the expansion bays? why didn't they use a GeForce 3 card? why should i buy a computer that doesn't even use DDR? give me a REAL machine!" comment.



    it's a catch 22.



    i know there are always people (myself included) who want more features than they can afford and it's always great to see pro features filter down into consumer machines...but i wish just once that people would figure out into which category they fall into and then adjust their expectations accordingly.



    ...if you spend part of each day debating the merits of level3 cache with your co-workers or can stripe a SCSI RAID without breaking a sweat, guess what? the imac isn't for you. get a pro machine and get on with life.



    if however, if your idea of number crunching is launching the OSX calculator app...then don't lose any more brain cells worrying about the speed of your system bus. get an imac and get on with life.



    apple makes an appealing array of machine for all kinds of people. pick one that suits your needs and just get down to it.



    this is my opinion. mileage may vary</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I agree with you...but Apple has only itself to blame for their "catch 22" problem (hence the reason why everybody does blame them).



    Apple desperately needs a line of computers between the iMacs and PowerMacs. PowerMacs are geared for professionals. Professionals can easily justifiy the cost of hardware because they make money by using a computer. Likewise the iMac is designed for people who want a computer but don't want the hassle of a computer.



    That leaves a very large segment of Mac users left hanging. Either they b*tch at the prices of the PowerMac or b*tch at the lack of features in the iMac line.



    Remember, what Apple computers were before the iMac was introduced (Pre-Jobs era). Beige computers. A lot of beige computers. Most of the computers were some what upgradable. Some older Macs had six PCI slots, while other (like the Performa line) usually had least one PCI slot. Users were also able to upgrade their processors. Mac users back then only b*tch about Apple's poor marketing of its products.



    Jobs (and the rest of NEXT Computer) has to realize that there are millions of legacy Mac users that really don't have a Mac to purchase. And this is a VERY dangerous problem.



    Because Jobs wasn't here for the "other" years, he isn't worried about Apple's legacy customers. And is shows.



    Thanks. Good post.



    Dave



    [ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: Dave K. ]



    [ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: Dave K. ]</p>
  • Reply 2 of 29
    cobracobra Posts: 253member
    [quote]Apple desperately needs a line of computers between the iMacs and PowerMacs. PowerMacs are geared for professionals<hr></blockquote>



    The Cube was this magical machine and it failed.



    I don't buy this "need a middle range" machine crap.



    Why?



    Apple is still selling the CRT Macs as well. Check the site.
  • Reply 3 of 29
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    [quote]Originally posted by Cobra:

    <strong>



    The Cube was this magical machine and it failed.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The Cube was NOT this magical machine. If it were, it wouldn't have cost more than their pro machine.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,458member
    Exactly, the real complaining isn't because Apple has a consumer machine and a pro machine, it is because they have no prosumer machine.



    This is exactly the area where all the Wintel wackos build their machines and it irritates Mac users to no end to hear about the ever-present $1250 dollar towers available for Wintel users.



    I don't need gigabit ethernet. I wouldn't mind a geforce2mx as long as I could replace it later. I already own a 19 inch and 17 inch monitor. Some people say I need a tower, but I will never need 4 pci slots. A mac with twinview video would be good enough (hence I really only need an AGP slot)



    The problem, Apple refuses to make a reasonably priced machine you can plug a monitor into.



    How long have people been waiting for this? Since before the cube. (since the cube was not the answer people had been seeking) Thus there are groups Mac users out there sitting on older machines like me. We would even buy into Apple's new idea of expandibility (Firewire and USB versus tons of cards and PCI slots) except we need our external monitors and Apple won't give us that option for less than $1699.



    Apple, do we really need to still add $100 for a cd-r when they were introduced over a YEAR ago. Couldn't we at least go back to $1599??



    Nick
  • Reply 5 of 29
    With Apple, you're either a beginner who only wants to check their email, use Word, and play around with camcorder footage. Or a ultra-high-end user who wants to work with Photoshop and Maya all day.



    That's one hell of a gap.



    I'm sure a lot of users would gladly trade DVD burning for a Geeforce 3.



    [ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: DoctorGonzo ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 29
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    [quote]Originally posted by Cobra:

    <strong>



    The Cube was this magical machine and it failed.



    I don't buy this "need a middle range" machine crap.



    Why?



    Apple is still selling the CRT Macs as well. Check the site.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Why do people still say this about the Cube. The Cube was a failure from day one. Yeah. Let's create a computer that isn't upgradable (can't even add one PCI expansion card) and then price it $100 above an expandable tower. The Cube was a VERY stupid move by Jobs and company. VERY stupid.



    If they would have priced the Cube at least $200 dollars below the low-end PowerMac tower, it probably would have sold very well (I don't want to hear that crap about design costs. I can show you a PC that is nearly the size of a external CD-ROM that has more I/O and costs next to nothing).



    Like I said before. Apple does not have a product line for its experienced home users (if want to call them legacy users, prosumers, or whatever). Apple has nothing.



    Here is a question for you. What Apple product will win over Wintel users. A $1700 PowerMac without a monitor won't. What about the iMac that offers no expansion except for RAM and Airport (most Wintel users probably don't know what Airport even is).



    Dave



    [ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: Dave K. ]</p>
  • Reply 7 of 29
    ferroferro Posts: 453member
    I think alot more people would have bought cubes if it came with a monitor...



    I liked the cube but there was no way in heck i was going to shell out another grand for it...



    E PLURIBUS UNIX

    -----------------------------

  • Reply 8 of 29
    nebrienebrie Posts: 483member
    [quote]Originally posted by Dave K.:

    <strong>



    Why do people still say this about the Cube. The Cube was a failure from day one. Yeah. Let's create a computer that isn't upgradable (can't even add one PCI expansion card) and then price it $100 above an expandable tower. The Cube was a VERY stupid move by Jobs and company. VERY stupid.



    If they would have priced the Cube at least $200 dollars below the low-end PowerMac tower, it probably would have sold very well (I don't want to hear that crap about design costs. I can show you a PC that is nearly the size of a external CD-ROM that has more I/O and costs next to nothing).



    Like I said before. Apple does not have a product line for its experienced home users (if want to call them legacy users, prosumers, or whatever). Apple has nothing.



    Here is a question for you. What Apple product will win over Wintel users. A $1700 PowerMac without a monitor won't. What about the iMac that offers no expansion except for RAM and Airport (most Wintel users probably don't know what Airport even is).



    Dave



    [ 01-07-2002: Message edited by: Dave K. ]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Problem is, after they made the cube cheap, much cheaper than used Macs of the same speed, they sold even worse.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    macaddictmacaddict Posts: 1,055member
    Apple can please both pro and consumer customers. How?



    I think they should have made the iMac with a G3 instead of G4, no Superdrive, and made a CDROM drive so they could at least keep the 999, 1299, 1499 linup. The iMacs priced the way they are are for Prosumers, who want more expandability...I bet they'll be popular, but I think they would have done better with the original pricing structure. Then they could have introduced bumped G4s to a faster clock and improved HD, GPU, expansion, etc. It's not that hard.



    I can't believe they spent 2 years developing a TFT iMac. Come on.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    spindlerspindler Posts: 713member
    As would be expected in our culture of disrespect, everyone moans and complains like sissy girls.



    First of all, Apple had the Cube available at $1299 for more than three months and it did not sell. I don't know why, but it did not. It was a G4 at 450 MHZ which was fast at the time. You could add any monitor you wanted, buy it with a fast Radeon card, and add anything through Firewire and USB. That covers most of the prosumer market. They made it available and people did not buy it. It was always their plan to eventually lower the cost and use it as a midrange computer. You guys seem to just conveniently forget that Apple DID HAVE a midrange computer with a G4. What can they do if it does not sell? You can't blame the Cube form factor. It's not going to kill you even if you don't like it. The Cube at $1299 was a great value.



    Trumptman wrote:



    "The problem, Apple refuses to make a reasonably priced machine you can plug a monitor into. How long have people been waiting for this? Since before the cube. (since the cube was not the answer people had been seeking)"



    What does that mean? The Cube was not the answer people were seeking? You could add a monitor and it was a fast G4 for $1299. What more do people want? Apple makes it's profits off the high end machines and this keeps them in business. If you want a PCI slot you have to buy a pro machine and you can even get them cheaper after they are no longer current. Apple offered a prosumer machine and people didn't take it.

    They can not come up with another computer in six months so now the iMac will hopefully soon be given a 17 inch LCD and moved into the midrange.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    dstranathandstranathan Posts: 1,716member
    Apples stock after Monday



    22.90 -0.79
  • Reply 12 of 29
    Apple invented it's Consumer vs. Pro strategy after many years of Macs directed at no one and everyone. Sure, way back, there was the Mac II, which added color and processing power. This contrasted with the then-current SE all-in-one.



    But after that, the waters got muddy. Today's direct, if simplistic, strategy helps segment the audience. And if you're a "Pro" consumer, you buy the top of the line consumer iMac or the bottom of the line PowerMac.



    True, these machines are fairly black and white in their differences, but to find that gray area between is a finer edge to hone. I think each individual Mac user could probably describe their perfect Mac, but Apple has to draw broader strokes than that.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    [quote]Originally posted by Nebrie:

    <strong>



    Problem is, after they made the cube cheap, much cheaper than used Macs of the same speed, they sold even worse.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    You are right. Once the Cube was cheaper it had even a hard time selling because of:



    1). The initial coolest factor was gone. Users had come to realize that while the cube was nice looking, it was still non-upgradable.



    2). The unit had some problems that were super magnified by the media. That cause hesitation by potential Cube users that were waiting for "fixes".



    I really wish Apple would have created a G3 Cube and sold it for around the same price of a low-end iMac. I think it would have sold much better there.



    Dave
  • Reply 14 of 29
    kidredkidred Posts: 2,402member
    Uh hello? The new iMac is the prosumer machine. 800mhz G4-that's faster then my G4 tower. I would be UPGRADING if I got the iMac. (I can't get to get a tower tho)



    You guys need to relax and have faith the Steve and comp actually KNOW what they are doing. And while individually or maybe even collectively you may think you know what Apple needs, you don't. Apple sells millions of computers, you have no idea what millions of people want, sorry, face it.



    Get the computer you want, enjoy and hope Apple stays around for a long time. Otherwise have fun will Billie Boy.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    [quote]Originally posted by DoctorGonzo:

    <strong>With Apple, you're either a beginner who only wants to check their email, use Word, and play around with camcorder footage. Or a ultra-high-end user who wants to work with Photoshop and Maya all day.



    That's one hell of a gap.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Funny, because I consider myself a "prosumer" because I fall smack in the middle of those two descriptions. The new iMac is perfect for what I want and need. I don't need any PCI slots, additional drive bays, etc., but I DO want the Superdrive, G4, and LCD display.



    It's perfect.



    Oh, I have a question: What are your suggestions for a machine that's not as consumer as the iMac or Pro as the PowerMac? I'm at a loss.
  • Reply 16 of 29
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    [quote]Originally posted by KidRed:

    <strong>Uh hello? The new iMac is the prosumer machine. 800mhz G4-that's faster then my G4 tower. I would be UPGRADING if I got the iMac. (I can't get to get a tower tho)



    You guys need to relax and have faith the Steve and comp actually KNOW what they are doing. And while individually or maybe even collectively you may think you know what Apple needs, you don't. Apple sells millions of computers, you have no idea what millions of people want, sorry, face it.



    Get the computer you want, enjoy and hope Apple stays around for a long time. Otherwise have fun will Billie Boy.</strong><hr></blockquote>





    You are right. We are all a bunch of arm chair computer CEO's just having fun.



    Dave
  • Reply 17 of 29
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,458member
    First Apple only started offering this price on the cube when it was practically on its deathbed. Secondly, just as Apple is inclined to do, they stripped out anything of value to give you that price. If I recall correctly that $1299 also got you a G4/450,5400 rpm HD,Rage 128 and a cd-rom. Since you couldn't just find the parts to upgrade it anywhere. (It had a special short AGP card) and you essentially had to toss out the cd-rom as well (and find a special slot loading dvd or cd-r) most peope chose simply not to buy it.



    [QUOTE]Originally posted by spindler:

    [QB]As would be expected in our culture of disrespect, everyone moans and complains like sissy girls.



    First of all, Apple had the Cube available at $1299 for more than three months and it did not sell. I don't know why, but it did not. It was a G4 at 450 MHZ which was fast at the time. You could add any monitor you wanted, buy it with a fast Radeon card, and add anything through Firewire and USB. That covers most of the prosumer market. They made it available and people did not buy it. It was always their plan to eventually lower the cost and use it as a midrange computer. You guys seem to just conveniently forget that Apple DID HAVE a midrange computer with a G4. What can they do if it does not sell? You can't blame the Cube form factor. It's not going to kill you even if you don't like it. The Cube at $1299 was a great value.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    I don't know if I'm called a "Prosumer" or whatever, but there are a few things that I'd like to see in a machine.



    An upgradeable graphics card. MHZ don't matter WHEN you can update some of the other parts of your machine.



    An upgradeable monitor and the ability to have dual monitors. The iMac might be nice, but a 17" screen would be better. Dual monitors would be even better than that. And whatever money I invest in screens, I should be able to carry over to my next machine.



    The box itself should be priced at a point that it can be easily replaced. At almost $2000, the PowerMacs are a serious investment for most people. A $999 box is still double the cost of a PC.



    How would Apple sell a $999 box? That's a tough one. The Cube was pretty damn close. It COULD have sold for that little, with the right processor. Maybe $1299.



    Is this magic? No. It's the iMac in a different case. Realistically it would cost Apple LESS to put those parts in a normal tower with off the shelf upgradable pieces. So, judging by the new top of the line iMac, Apple could easily offer a tower with a superdrive, a 'slow' G4, a simple graphics card and a 15 inch flatpanel screen for less than $1799.



    Drop the screen and it's what, $1199? Downgrade the superdrive and it's what, $799? That's $799 with Apple's profit margins in tact mind you. I'm not even worried about that and the box is still cheap.



    Damn, I didn't even realize it would be THIS cheap. There's a market for machines like this and Apple ignores it on purpose.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    I think this new iMac is poised to cover the gap that used to exist between the iMac and the towers.



    The cube could have done it, but it was overpriced. It should have cost 999-1499, instead Apple got greedy and the cube was doomed to failure.



    But this iMac, it appears that Apple could easily offer it with larger display sizes. If so, then it's a perfect midrange computer. Imagine for a moment two iMac models, one 15" display model, and one 17" display model.



    Then, offer the 17" model with a GeForce 3 chipset. Suddenly it's a bitchin' gaming computer, and with an Apollo G4 it's performance is on par with a Powermac. The only difference is that the iMac is not expandable.



    I think this is what Apple should be aiming for. Put the same performance into their consumer machines as they do the Powermac towers, and differentiate the two by expandability.



    I think this is the most likley strategy we'll see from Apple. What I'd like to see myself, is something between the zero expandability iMac, and the towers. If the iMac had an AGP slot, and I could update the video card, then it would be perfect. The cube had this, but Apple blew it.



    Anyways I believe the iMac will be very successful, and we'll see new versions with larger displays. It's a great design with lots of potential. In many ways I think it's far superior to the original iMac design.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Yes, Junkyard, if only it were a little more expandible.



    I don't see any conflicts or reason that the iMac can't have the same processor sets as PowerMacs. The difference should be in slots, bus speeds and multiple processors...and of course the iMac is all-in-one...mostly. Those speakers come standard with the iMac right?



    Unless the Cube came back as a home server sitting on a shelf, there really isn't much of a need for a middle desktop though, if we get that 17" iMac. They might even make a version with 20"?
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