Editorial: New Mac Pro highlights the gap Apple isn't filling

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  • Reply 81 of 151
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,508member
    Normally I don’t like skipping all the posts before posting something that’s not a response on my part, but I’m going to do it here.

    we’ve discussed the business case here, to some extent. But I ran two companies for 37 years, and I, along with partners, had to make the case for new products and services. Unless you’re the one in the hot seat, it’s hard to understand how difficult some decisions are. Often, we received requests from customers (sometimes, demands). We always considered them, if they weren’t off the wall, as some always are.

    some were reasonable, and we put some work into seeing if they were also viable, because not every reasonable request is viable, which is something to remember. Some were too expensive, some would take too much time, and others weren’t technically feasible. But there’s another reason why not everything was considered past a certain point. That’s because, and read this carefully, most customers will choose a product, or service, that they’re saying they would not prefer to have, in favor of another, if that other isn’t available. That’s very important.

    so if there are, say, a million customers that are asking Apple for an xMac, almost all will buy an iMac, or Mini instead, if the xMac isn’t available. That’s a very important point. Yes, there will be a very small number that may leave the platform because of it, but it really is a very small number, though you may find that hard to believe because of all the fuss they make over it. People on the edge always seem to be more numerous, because most satisfied people don’t bother commenting anywhere, they just go about their business.

    apple has likely researched this a number of times, and found the case for it wanting. I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there would buy it. But I am saying that Apple likely feels that the number isn’t big enough to be profitable, given what I just said above. Remember, this is Apple. They are not likely to make a cheap case of sheet metal and plastic. The last one was the MirrorDoor, and that wasn’t a cheap metal/plastic case. It was a fairly expensive one. I’m not so sure Apple wants to go back to sheet metal and plastic. Remember that the PowerMac G5, and following Mac Pro, were made out of 1/8” anodized aluminum plate. Very expensive.

    so the question is that given their subsequent practices, can Apple even make a mini tower for $2,500? I’m not sure. Would it pay for them to do,so, let’s not be sure about that either.
    edited June 2019 StrangeDaysdewmefastasleepmuthuk_vanalingamjdb8167
  • Reply 82 of 151
    This so-called "gap" is filled by the Mac mini. They may be small, but they can be equipped to be very powerful. Problem solved.
  • Reply 83 of 151
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,387member

    Or just to drive this disparity home, look at it another way. From $0 to $999, Apple sells one desktop Mac. From $1,000 to $1,999, it sells one desktop Mac.

    From $2,000 to $4,998, it sells none.

    If this were just about how much money you'd like to give Apple, please, then you could configure different models. Or you could buy MacBooks in their various forms. The starting cost of those is $1,199 for the MacBook Air, $1,299 for the MacBook and also for the base MacBook Pro.

    There are no desktop Macs or MacBooks with a base entry price between $1,300 and $4,998.
    This entire premise is flawed. The 27" iMac 5k starts at $1800-2300, and from there you can configure it with beefier hardware options -- CPU, GPU, SSD... Excluding RAM since people like to buy third-party and DIY, but here we go:


    ....and no, it's not "just about how much money you'd like to give Apple", it's about the computing resources you get in return. You know, the whole thing you're complaining about? 

    If configuring the iMac 5k into a beefier computer ins't the solution, then it sounds like what you really want is a hobbyist tower. I'm not sure we'll ever see that from Apple.
    Do you consider HP workstations, as the Z6 and Z8, "a hobbyist tower"?  Those devices have a lot of internal expansion, and you can customize them at your needs / budget.  Don't you think Apple could do something similar for their customers?
  • Reply 84 of 151
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,387member
    dewme said:
    noelos said:
    Not going to happen. With all the BTO options now available, there actually is a pretty smooth gradation from low-end to high and a reasonable cross-over point from the iMac to iMac Pro.

    There’s also that nice 4-quadrant view of entry/pro and modular/all-in-one. Like it or not the Mac Mini is your modular option with external components fleshing out anything you can’t build to order. I would love if that also included a midrange display but I’m pretty sure it won’t. 

    The Mac range is in a better state than it has been for ages (particularly if they replace the MacBook Pro soon with something slightly more flexible). Expect incremental upgrades across rear of the line only for the next couple of years.
    Yeah, the BTO options certainly allow buyers to option-up MacMini, iMac, and MacBook Pro based models to fill in a lot of what this article identifies as gaps in price-performance targets. The price deltas mentioned are in-fact filled with BTO configurations, except on the very low end, e.g. 0-$999. However, I do agree that Apple does not currently offer, and hasn't offered for a very long time, a mid-range internally expandable Mac that competes head-to-head with Windows towers and mini-towers. Even then, I suspect that the vast majority of Windows PC buyers never pop the lid on their towers and mini-towers after selecting the base set of components at the time of purchase. There are still post-purchase benefits of having internally modifiable and replaceable components from a repairability and upgradeability standpoint, but again, you're probably into a very small percentage of buyers who actually take advantage of this capability.

    Apple is doing its best where it needs to be doing its best at serving a broad base of customer's needs. There will always be niches that Apple goes after to bolster its public image and flex its muscles as a technology leader even when the numbers don't add up. However, there will always be some unfilled niches that Apple can afford to overlook because the ROI, financially and from a street cred standpoint, just don't make it worth their investment. Apple doesn't expect to have 100% market share, so why chase the law of diminishing returns in a strive for perfection when it is always unattainable? 
    Exactly - Apple already sells a very profitable line of computers (the most profitable, I believe). They don't need to compete with Dell and DIY hobbyist towers. Those aren't the machine's they'd build for themselves, so they don't feel the need to compete in that space.

    EOS.
    Maybe they don't need to compete with Dell, but would be nice that they offer what customer needs, as HP, Dell and Lenovo do.  
  • Reply 85 of 151
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,693member
    mr lizard said:
    AppleInsider said:
    Or just to drive this disparity home, look at it another way. From $0 to $999, Apple sells one desktop Mac. From $1,000 to $1,999, it sells one desktop Mac. 

    From $2,000 to $4,998, it sells none.


    Wrong. You forgot about the iMac 5K, which has three base configs one of which starts at $2,300 and can be configured as necessary all the way up to $5,300. That’s actually more expensive than the base model iMac Pro!

    Once you factor the iMac 5K in, there’s no gap here, just a seamless transition from iMac > iMac 5K > iMac Pro > Mac Pro, with something at every price point. 

    What’s missing is a first party display similar to the built in iMac 4K or even 5K panels. Not every pro is going to need 1000 nits of continuous brightness offered by the new $6,000 XDR display... app developers, web developers, musicians, and so on. Lots of professions there who Apple instead points to LG’s offerings, which is a shame.  
    Of course, there is a gap, the iMac's are not upgradeable.  That's the whole point.  If you don't want or need that's fine get an iMac but self-employed graphics guys need upgradeability without paying for the Mac Pro's amazing power which is more than they need.  I have a 2013 Mac Pro and I've already upgraded the RAM and SSD but that's all I can do.  It has TB2 and USB 3 and outdated GPUs and CPU.
    gatorguyrunswithfork
  • Reply 86 of 151
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,693member
    This so-called "gap" is filled by the Mac mini. They may be small, but they can be equipped to be very powerful. Problem solved.
    Oh, come on.  I love the Mac mini I have several but they are toys. The Gap is between an iMac/iMac Pro and Mac Pro.  The iMac Pro is there but not upgradeable.
    edited June 2019
  • Reply 87 of 151
    danvmdanvm Posts: 1,387member
    The people upset about this machine are really upset. My question is how big is the market for those who don’t want an iMac Pro or Mac mini but the Mac Pro is too much machine/too expensive for them. I’m talking about people who need this for their job, not hobbyists/enthusiasts who just want to tinker. I don’t think Apple will waste time on the tinkerer market. If you can get your work done with an iMac Pro or Mac mini that’s what Apple expects you to use.


    ...

    And similarly, Apple does not honestly offer real 'Pro' class product support after purchase - - they're still very much a "consumer"-class corporation.  For example, Apple doesn't sell at any price an on-site repair/warranty service plan, let alone an <8 hour one instead of a <24 hour one. 

    ...


    Apple does in fact offer "Pro" class support. It's called "Apple Care for Enterprise"

    https://www.apple.com/support/enterprise/

    They offer next day on-site support through IBM. (If same-day on-site support is required, there are authorized 3rd party providers).
    The only thing is that the service starts at 1000 devices, so a lot of small and medium business won't have that option.  Compare that to HP, Lenovo and Dell, that include a three year onsite warranty, that can be upgraded to 5 years.  Would be nice to see Apple doing the same for the benefit of small and medium business.  
  • Reply 88 of 151
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,771member
    crowley said: [...] A 40% margin on a computer that costs $2000 to build would be $2800.
    No, 40% margin on a cost of $2000 is $3333 retail.

    The “40%” figure is 40% of the retail price, not the cost. 40% of 3,333 is 1,333.

    Subtract that from the retail price and you’re left with the cost: 3,333 - 1,333 = 2,000.
    muthuk_vanalingamgatorguyroundaboutnow
  • Reply 89 of 151
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,307member
    jdw said:
    A long-winded defense of the status quo intended to make Mac-loving readers feel ashamed for wanting more.

    How awful!
    Read the article for comprehension next time. That is 100% not the point.

    FTA: "If there's any other characteristic that identifies a demanding Mac user, too, it's how they have no single identifying characteristic. This is a market that is wildly fragmented and you know where this is going -- mid-range users need a modular Mac that they can customize to their work."
     I did read it comprehensively and my comment was based upon my personal interpretation of it,  in light of other articles here on AppleInsider which tend to defend Apple over and above the consumer.   That one paragraph is but a pearl in the snout of a pig.  

    As a Mac fan since 1984 and an AppleInsider reader for as long as I can remember, I’m not normally this harsh. But I felt compelled to state how insulted I felt after reading the article and pondering the overall thrust of it, not being sidetracked by one single positive paragraph. 

    The article, in the eyes of me the reader, is not a call for a change at Apple, but rather a statement that says, “Apple knows more about consumer wants and needs than you do as a consumer, so suck it up!“

    Again, that’s my overall feeling after having comprehensively read and pondered it. And it doesn’t matter to me if others disagree. We all have our own personal takes on the media that we consume. 
  • Reply 90 of 151
    fastasleepfastasleep Posts: 6,393member
    Seems like a stackable PCIe box that fits neatly beneath the Mac mini (even if it were slightly deeper) would be a solution for much of the perceived gap here. Throw in a GPU, or other I/O card. There are already stackable USB storage solutions from OWC for bulk 3.5" drives, make a TB3 enclosure for SSDs in the same style... I dunno. Apple doesn't even need to make these, this is an area where 3rd parties fill the gaps. You could have a pretty beefy setup in a cleanly stacked "modular" configuration. OR even better, a single box that could house a GPU and some m2 storage.

    I don't however know if the 40Gbps is shared between all four TB3 ports, and whether that would get in the way of building this kind of thing out much, but seems like for most people you could do quite a bit here.



  • Reply 91 of 151
    lorin schultzlorin schultz Posts: 2,771member
    jdw said:
    [...] We all have our own personal takes on the media that we consume. 
    So you’re saying that you may interpret whatever I say however you want, regardless of my intent?

    Misunderstandings happen, but when someone tells you “That’s not what I meant” you don’t get to decide “Yes it is.”

    What I mean when I say something is NOT subject to your interpretation, and neither is what media outlets report.

    muthuk_vanalingamroundaboutnow
  • Reply 92 of 151
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,270member
    This so-called "gap" is filled by the Mac mini. They may be small, but they can be equipped to be very powerful. Problem solved.
    or Second hand Mac Pro, iMacPros or just plain high spec iMac.

    Apple wants the whole to keep the resell value of the other machines high in turn keeping the brand value high.
  • Reply 93 of 151
    GG1GG1 Posts: 483member
    MacPro said:
    lmac said:
    The old MacPro fits the gap pretty well for this missing machine, if Apple would price it realistically. A desktop better than the mini but not as capable as the pro, priced in the middle. It could sell. All they'd need to do is update the ports.
    Excellent idea.  In fact, they could even offer a way to update the existing 2013 Mac Pro ports with a replacement motherboard with the latest chips on it and I/O.  I'd pay for that. It would not compete with sales of the new Mac Pro at all.
    Yes! Perfect idea. Target it for primarily number crunching (not video performance), so for the scientific or SW developer communities (without the need for powerful graphics). Limit the Xeon selection purposely to below the new Mac Pro. If you need better graphics (gamers, prosumer video editors), use an eGPU to get you there. So it will be similar to Mac Mini, but a notch or two better in computational ability. I think there is still a lot of value in that design within its thermal envelope (very compact and quiet), especially if updated with USB-C.
  • Reply 94 of 151
    AppleZuluAppleZulu Posts: 1,934member
    jdw said:
    jdw said:
    A long-winded defense of the status quo intended to make Mac-loving readers feel ashamed for wanting more.

    How awful!
    Read the article for comprehension next time. That is 100% not the point.

    FTA: "If there's any other characteristic that identifies a demanding Mac user, too, it's how they have no single identifying characteristic. This is a market that is wildly fragmented and you know where this is going -- mid-range users need a modular Mac that they can customize to their work."
     I did read it comprehensively and my comment was based upon my personal interpretation of it,  in light of other articles here on AppleInsider which tend to defend Apple over and above the consumer.   That one paragraph is but a pearl in the snout of a pig.  

    As a Mac fan since 1984 and an AppleInsider reader for as long as I can remember, I’m not normally this harsh. But I felt compelled to state how insulted I felt after reading the article and pondering the overall thrust of it, not being sidetracked by one single positive paragraph. 

    The article, in the eyes of me the reader, is not a call for a change at Apple, but rather a statement that says, “Apple knows more about consumer wants and needs than you do as a consumer, so suck it up!“

    Again, that’s my overall feeling after having comprehensively read and pondered it. And it doesn’t matter to me if others disagree. We all have our own personal takes on the media that we consume. 
    Of course, Apple does empirically know more about consumer wants and needs than you do as a consumer. 

    You know what you want. You can imagine what you think others may want. 

    Apple, on the other hand, has hard data on what consumers buy and what consumers do with what they buy. They no doubt have terabytes of data from sales and market research. They also have inside knowledge of what they have under development and in the pipeline. 

    Apple has been quite successful at figuring these things out and producing what consumers want. In fact, it’s often said they produce things that consumers didn’t know yet that they want. 

    So everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, but it’s probably a bit of a stretch to assert that you know more about what consumers want than Apple does. 
    edited June 2019
  • Reply 95 of 151
    gordoncygordoncy Posts: 22member
    This article makes a cunning argument but still makes little sense. You can configure an iMac from $1,099.00 up to $5,249.00 or a Mac mini from $799.00 up to $3,599.00 for a range of performances. That nullifies the argument that Apple is missing the xMac based on "starting price." What's left for the xMac is basically a customizable mini-Atx tower, essentially a PC that even PC brands want to leave to general OEMs...
  • Reply 96 of 151
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,084member
    MacPro said:
    The $2K I'd save over an entry-level Mac Pro would go on the new Sony 200-600mm G lens :)
    @MacPro ; Heck go for the gusto, 600mm F4 GM. Sony's MacPro equivalent? :)
    edited June 2019
  • Reply 97 of 151
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    crowley said: [...] A 40% margin on a computer that costs $2000 to build would be $2800.
    No, 40% margin on a cost of $2000 is $3333 retail.

    The “40%” figure is 40% of the retail price, not the cost. 40% of 3,333 is 1,333.

    Subtract that from the retail price and you’re left with the cost: 3,333 - 1,333 = 2,000.
    Aww shucks  :#
  • Reply 98 of 151
    plovellplovell Posts: 824member
    I'm waiting for Mac Mini Pro - an upgradeable Mac Mini. My current one is the last of the upgradeable ones, from 2013, with quad i7 and [now] a 1 TB SSD, plus a regular HDD for movies/music. Apple's pursuit of "thin" has gone too far - even new iPhones and iPads are slightly thicker than some earlier versions. So it is with the Mini so beef it up a bit and make space for two 2.5" drives, or one plus a replaceable SSD.
  • Reply 99 of 151
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,043member
    maestro64 said:
    What this article is saying is people are looking for a Lego Mac, plan and simple. People want to reach into a box of pretty color pieces and assemble exactly what they think they want, they do not want Apple making the decision for them. 
    If a get a mb pro with a 256 GB SSD today, I might think that's all I need. But years from now, my usage patterns may change, and SSDs on the market may have dropped so much in price that buying a 2 TB SSD is economical.  Say I don't need anymore processing power, but just a larger SSD.  I won't be able to upgrade my internal storage using a 2018/19 mbpro.  But I could upgrade a 2009 mbpro's storage.  Why does the lack of expandability make sense to some people? Yeah there's thunderbolt 3, but having to attach external storage is not necessarily ideal for everyone.  I just want apple to bring expandability back...

    make macs expandable again.
    See the point you miss the tend is not to have local storage it all in the cloud. Here is the other issue, less than 10% closer to 5% of the people upgrade their computers. Most everyone just goes to the next platform verse upgrading. Plus, if you think you need more morning just get it up front. Apple has made conscious decision to make things smaller and light means you give up the ability to modify and upgrade in the future. If the ability to explain is important you have to go bigger. You just have to realize you not in the mainstream market for want Apple is doing. The other issue you have your 09 MB -pro is not longer support with any of current software updates. It will be come a brick. 
    edited June 2019
  • Reply 100 of 151
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,307member
    jdw said:
    [...] We all have our own personal takes on the media that we consume. 
    So you’re saying that you may interpret whatever I say however you want, regardless of my intent?
    Misunderstandings happen, but when someone tells you “That’s not what I meant” you don’t get to decide “Yes it is.”
    What I mean when I say something is NOT subject to your interpretation, and neither is what media outlets report.
    Every word anyone says is subject to our interpretation.  You could say the words "have a great day" with a pissed off look on your face and your facial expression will nullify any good feeling your words would otherwise have generated.  You could write an article that's 95% negative and then emphasize the 5% that's positive in an attempt to convince me the article is largely positive and I'm wrong for interpreting the 95% as being negative.  I dare say I won't be convinced.  That's not to say a mind cannot be changed by persuasive explanation regardless of what was originally said, but in the end I decide how to interpret what I read in light of your remarks.  And like I said in my opening post, AppleInsider and most folks here in the forum are so pro-Apple that the general consensus is that Apple is infallible insofar as Apple knows so much more than any of us do.  I disagree with that thinking but I still can appreciate many of the articles posted here.  I just don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling about the current article in question even after that explanation was given to me.

    I am, as the article states, "beyond help."  At least, until the day Apple begins to Think Different about The Rest of Us once again.
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