The Market Share Mac

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Okay so my "headless iMac" thread didn?t go over so well. People got caught up with the iMac idea and failed to focus on the point of the thread.

IMO what Apple needs to do is increase market share. That?s what the iMac did for them. Year of the PowerBook is not going to increase market share. I can?t see anything they are selling now bring in a significant number of new customers to increase market share.

So what would a market share Mac be like? All in one or not. Mini tower or thin slab or something else One CPU or two or more? Price? Features?

Market share is the key to Apple's future and they aren?t headed there right now. So what should they do?


  • Reply 1 of 77
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    I think the Mac that will gain market share will have to be 'disposable' the next year.

    This is commonplace in the PC market and it means Apple has to put out a cheap computer with decent specs.

    I would say the eMac is the best machine to meet this challenge.

    Here would be the specs:

    700 MHz G4

    17" CRT

    128 MB RAM

    40 GB HD

    2 Firewire 400 port

    3 USB ports

    10/100 Ethernet

    56k modem

    Airport Ready

    Combo Drive

    NVIDIA GeForce4 MX 64 MB (for Quartz Extreme)


    In other words, it would be the exact same model with a better graphics card and a $300 price cut.

    I don't see Apple dropping the price $300 and raising any of the other specs. I also don't see Apple downgrading the drive to less than a combo drive (as that's what they are at right now).

    I think the eMac has a good amount of potential and could be a good machine to target at those looking to get into Mac OS X and not such a bad machine for gamers either.

    A 17" CRT is, surprsingly enough, a good monitor. I don't see why Apple couldn't put out a machine like this at this price (besides the fact that they like their high margins). But since we're talking about what Apple would do to gain market share, we have to assume that Apple wouldn't want to make too much on this Mac.

    This would be a machine that would encourage some 'switchers' to make the plunge without a huge investment either which is definitely a plus.
  • Reply 2 of 77
    Apple must release a new cube. With a high speed G3, it also must be under 600. I dont know how but Apple MUST find ways to get cheaper components. Cuby (cube-E) ,i like this name, MUST have a vga port sorry if this offends you or, "Apple has to sell their own monitors to make additional profit" people wont switch if there is fine print. No fine print, regular ram slots, 4 REAL usb ports, firewire. Last but most important MARKETING good comercials and a test drive program 30day/cash back/no BS trial "if your not convinced the Apple way is better dont keepm it". If Apple can create this computer then their market share will increase.
  • Reply 3 of 77
    Nice thread idea.

    I'll bite

    First of all. In light of the 'power'Mac re-alignment, I see similar things happening to the iMac2.

    iMac 2 - deep price cuts.

    Low end for £795 15 incher. Bargain of the century.

    £995 for next up. 17 incher.

    But both under a K. This brings the imac 2 range back to the original iMac mandate.

    Affordable consumer machine.

    Two models above a K. With the top of the line just over the entry level 'power'Mac. Circa £1,350 inc VAT. Stacked out with features.

    iCube. Headless. White plastic box. Limited but capable box. Great for edu'. Great for skinflints and even better for Switchers who want to reduce the 'risk' of buying Apple. 'Only £495? I'll give it a whirl. I can sell it on ebay nine months later for £250 if it don't work out...' Will run 'X' acceptably. Has on board Geforce2mx/Geforce 4 mx onboard. 128 megs of ram. Bare bones HD. 1 gig G3. Priced to go. Bundled 'iLife', Appleworks and a handful of games. eg Bugdom.

    Price. Two models. £495. £595. Riots brake out. Apple stores can't cope.

    iPods. Aggressive price cuts. 5 gig model now under £150 inc VAT. People start buying big time. Top end. Apple launch a model with a colour screen. Maybe one or two games begin to appear for it? Aqua pod gel interface. Not 'X' but all gelled up and ready to play 'Mini-me' movie trailers? Attach to your Dig' Camera? Store photos...view them. Your digital wallet.

    Apple launch a new DLD. Maybe my last idea. A 'SuperPod'.

    Apple bump the iBooks. Yet deeper cuts to the entry level. Now going to £695 inc VAT. Pitchforked 'Switchers' outside Apple stores, they say, 'We want our Mac...'

    Apple launch 970 powerered Pro macs in the fall. They trim a further hundred off the price of the 'power'Macs.

    Meltdown at Redmond as 'Tower' buyers everywhere swarm to Apple Retail.

    To be continued...

    Lemon Bon Bon :eek:
  • Reply 4 of 77
    An 800 MHz G4 mini-tower for 800 dollars. A 1GHz G4 mini-tower for 1000 dollars. One PCI slot one AGP slot. The case design should be compact, but not cramped. RAM slots and hard drive should be easily reachable. I don't care if the average consumer doesn't ever open their case. First, Apple lost the average consumer LONG ago, and second, the average consumer now gets purchasing advice from a more experienced computer user. Video card and CD drive should be completely configurable, although they should have suggested packages. Apple should be able to make a simple classy case that would hold all this stuff if they weren't so obsessed with stuffing electronics into inappropriate shapes.

    They shouldn't have discontinued the 15 inch lcd. That and the 17 inch lcd would make good companions. They could offer small bundling deals with the monitors.

    But we've been saying that for years. We know that clones are history. But it is guaranteed that if a clone maker were allowed today, they would release this type of machine tomorrow. Why won't Apple? I think it has something to do with image. Good is never enough-- only great is. To be honest, I don't really understand it. I thought this was the direction they were going when they first brought out the ADC connector.
  • Reply 5 of 77
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    Lemon Bon Bon, let's use US dollars in terms of price point since 799 pounds = $1315.97.

    The majority of people (at least in the US) aren't going to 'switch' to a Mac if they are going to spend more than $1000 on a new machine.

    $799 = 485 pounds, btw, which *has* to be a good enough deal for people to want to switch.

    The 15" LCD (for those who are looking to buy them) are $399 at places like PowerMax that still have them in stock. Not a bad deal but I can see why Apple wants to focus on the 17", 20", and 23" monitors (as the margins will be higher).

    I don't see Apple making any type of tower or headless Mac after how the Cube did.

    The last machine that really made people excited about the Mac was the original Bondi Blue iMac.

    At the time, you got a fairly decent computer and monitor at a good price.

    Apple needs to do something like this again, something that will turn heads. I still see the All-in-one being the machine to do this.
  • Reply 6 of 77
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    To get many switchers ... who are awash in monitors and don't need an AIO ... Apple needs to make a box that can get them to the Jaguar experience for $500.

    Other switchers should be aimed toward the iMacs.

    PC folks aren't a one-size-fits-all group, that's why there are a dozen manufacturers out there. A "market share Mac" can't be just one size.
  • Reply 7 of 77
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Fran441:

    [QB]Lemon Bon Bon, let's use US dollars in terms of price point since 799 pounds = $1315.97.

    The majority of people (at least in the US) aren't going to 'switch' to a Mac if they are going to spend more than $1000 on a new machine.

    $799 = 485 pounds, btw, which *has* to be a good enough deal for people to want to switch.

    No point in using straight currency conversion-at Apple Store(UK/USA) £799 = $999 (base iBook)

    $799 = £649 (classic iMac) <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

    ...sure is great to live in UK!?
  • Reply 8 of 77
    Apple should really either discontinue the eMac or lower its price to $599.

    The iMac at its current specs could be priced at $899.

    Those would sell. <img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[surprised]" />
  • Reply 9 of 77
    petepete Posts: 2member
    I ask you. Look at the what the "Market uses" they all use MS Outlook with an exchange server. Apple needs to build the mini cube for $499 and have an OS X exchange client that will work with anyone's Exchange server. I know 90% of the home users don't care but 90% of the home users bitch about a $100.00 a year .Mac account.

    Apple needs to recommit to the business market by doing everything they can to have software that will work very well with the MS products that business folks use. Just get people on a Macintosh and life will be good again. Prove me wrong.
  • Reply 10 of 77
    well first off OS X also could use some fix's for the average consumer, remember for some people its a world of difference for a windows person to switch to mac, and all their time learning windows will have gone to waste. I think it'd be nice if they threw in a OS X version of 'wine' enhanced with altivec, even though that'd piss off virtual pc. Corel linux did a wonderful start on that and its too bad microsoft bought them out. It costs a lot to survive nowadays. On the hardware front, I think sub $500 is too cheap, sub 1000 tower now thats the ticket. I think we'll see this realized when the 970 comes out. I'm hoping they'll split the powermac line into a consumer tower/pro tower model. They should also just buy move2mac, and put that standard on all macs.
  • Reply 11 of 77
    the 700mhz eMac should have been the iMac two years ago... the LCD iMac never should have been in the first place.

    The iMac was a great concept in 1998, and it still is a great concept, however it MUST evolve with the market.

    Consumer Wintel PC's aren't $1299 No-Name Celerons anymore.

    Look no further than the iBook, when Apple takes the war into PC terriroty they can win.

    the success of the iBook and absolute stagnation of damn near everything else isn't a coincidence
  • Reply 12 of 77
    I agree with Fran but if Apple really wants switchers then $699 would be a better price point because every dollar matters. It's already a big jump to a new platform so the expense has to be as painless as possible.

    The eMac would be the perfect machine because it doesn't have a lot of style. Apple is selling lots of more expensive LCD iMacs, which shows that loyal Mac fans will pay more for a machine they want. Since the eMac is not that cool, it would cannabalize more expensive Mac sales as little as possible. Also, if Apple hopes to hang on to the educational market, they need a cheaper machine anyway.

    Once a person buys a $699 eMac and gets hooked on Apple, they'ed move on to other products. If they wanted a notebook for their next computer they'ed still have to pay Apple's current prices. Use the eMac to get them in the door and then they'll move on to notebooks or LCD iMacs. Also, Apple should throw in as much software as possible, including Keynote for free.
  • Reply 13 of 77
    Apple has to practically give away all of its software just to soften the blow of the pathetic hardware offerings. Its actually almost a fair trade off in my opinion.
  • Reply 14 of 77
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    If the eMac could get down to the $600 area, that would be nice. Would certainly give the "but Macs are too expensive!" brigade something to shut up about.

    BUT getting a nice, zippy and attractive Mac down to that cool price isn't going to matter if no one but us knows about it.

    Apple might have to - gasp! - focus on its marketing a bit more.

    Let's be honest: anyone who sits down with a Mac for any amount of serious time (especially with OS X and the iApps) would probably be very impressed. They kinda sell themselves. That's been my experience anyway.

    But people just often don't think to give them a chance or serious look.

    Apple needs to dispel myths and tout the things they're simply not touting.

    They had that "myths" section on their website a while back. Buried, of course, where no casual, potential switcher just cruising to <a href=""; target="_blank"></a> would EVER find it.

    They could - and should - have made a commercial or two just on the "myths" thing alone! Instead they film 20 doofuses rattling on about their new happy computing lives (when 10 or 12 would've done the trick) and don't address what most PC-users I talk to think and wonder about the Macs (and Apple).

    The people aren't hitting, the AI forums and 20 times a day like we are, so Apple HAS to make an effort to reach out and grab them.

    So yes, an eMac for $600 with the living hell marketed out of it (sell it in Target, for crying out loud!!!) combined with a serious of cool-looking, myth-debunking commercials and print ads in non-Mac magazines (no sense preaching to the choir, right?) featuring some well-known/well-liked celebrities (or simply shot in a memorable, quirky and unique style) might do wonders for Apple.

    ...and they'll never do it, of course.

    <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

    Makes too much sense.

    "Let's stay 'niche-y'!"

  • Reply 15 of 77
    murbotmurbot Posts: 5,261member
    Paul, please make your posts short. My blood alcohol level just hit .17 and it's really hard to get through it with all the line breaks, smileys on lines all by themselves.. etc.

    Thanks, sugar.

  • Reply 16 of 77
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    So it seems everyone thinks price is most important. One thing that always bothered me was the cost of MS Office. Most cheap box PeeCees have some version of Word or Office or something.

    I think Apple should look at total cost of entry (TCoE) and work on some kind of bundle that would include some or all of Office.

    I wish at times too that Apple would realize that they don't have to go balls crazy top of the line on all the towers. Why not make a cheap tower in the current box? Have a base with some good BTO options. Hook up your old PeeCee monitor (mentioned above) and boom your a mac user for life. Using the current tower box would make it seem not to be cheap.

    The all in ones are cheap (could be cheaper) but don't fit everyone?s needs. The towers are more flexible but cost too much. Apple needs something in-between.
  • Reply 17 of 77
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    I think it'll all work out when they have a new chip for the high end machines. Once a 970/G5 machine is available, there's more room to play with. A low end tower could even have dual G4s if you have high end machines with dual/dual core 970 processors.

    Until then, Apple needs to artificially keep the product lines apart.
  • Reply 18 of 77
    snoopysnoopy Posts: 1,901member
    To raise market share, Apple needs a little broader product line, so there is a Mac that will sell in every significant market. There are too many big holes today, markets where none of Apples products are competitive. An argument often raised is that Apple needs fewer products, to stay efficient. Yet Apple appears to be breaking that rule for PowerBooks and iBooks. Maybe there will be broader coverage in desktops next? The AIO, iMac and eMac, simply does not cover nearly enough market needs below the PowerMac market.

    I believe Programmer described a nice flexible Mac in the 'Kits, Clones and Low Cost Macs' discussion, on page two. It has a processor slot and a graphics card slot, so the same design can cover a wide range of needs. It's a worthy idea.

    [ 01-30-2003: Message edited by: snoopy ]</p>
  • Reply 19 of 77
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Apple broke the rule with the PowerBooks and I bought one.
  • Reply 20 of 77
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    [quote]Originally posted by snoopy:

    <strong>I believe programmer described a nice flexible Mac in the 'Kits, Clones and Low Cost Macs' discussion, on page two.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Well, I am not programmer , but here goes:

    Let me share my events from the past week. I setup and installed 4 PowerMacs (Dual 1.25s) for our Marketing dept all with 17" ASDs. While the end users and everyone who walked past my office noted, they are beautiful - they loved the looks, the small innovative features, the OS, everything about them. My boss wrote the purchase order, and his gripe was about price. To quote, "I could've bought 20 PCs for the price of those 4 Macs." While that is true, the intended market for the types of PCs he is talking about is quite different. The end users struggled for at least the 3 years I have been employed here, and probably more. It took me 3 years of convincing and showing my boss and that it would be a wise investment.

    No matter what the end user wants or gripes for, it is, in the end, the person who approves the purchase that decides whether to buy a $599 Dull or a $2000 Mac. And those are the types of people who Apple needs to target. I like the switch campaign, but it's goal cannot be to edge further into business environments. I think it would be wise for Apple, once the Xserve is well entrenched and stable and all, and once they have a decent and stable product supply chain (read: NOT Motorola), to target IT managers, not end users or office types. The IT manager needs to understand the wonderful abilities that a Mac opens up. And Apple needs to understand the wonderful opportunites they could have, if only they produced a proper business machine. Do you want to buy an iMac for business. It is probably the closest thing they have to a general business computer, but that just isn't where an iMac fits.

    I can see a small (I hate the term but what the hell) pizza-box type desktop to do that. Small, smaller, smallest works for me. LCDs are getting to be the purchase norm, so no need for an AIO to muck up the design. These are businesses who won't buy an AIO or an expensive Apple display. Apple needs to realize and accept this. They are going after cheap, cheap, cheap ways of thinking, so screw the monitor altogether. Let the IT manager buy his own brand, or release a cheap 17" LCD with DVI only. ACD is for the Mac - subtle innovation. DVI or DB15 for business.

    That said, 1 (whatever is cheap and fast) processor, 256MB of RAM, 2 DIMM slots, options for HD sizes, CD (no RW or Superdrive needed), integrated NIC and optional Airport. That's it - businesses don't need firewire, modems, etc. Plain-jane. And don't, I repeat DON'T call it anything-Mac. Xstation, XPC, Xclient, whatever - it needs to be distinguished as completely different than a Mac and it's way of thinking.

    An iMac just would not work.

    Xserve serves a purpose and so should this machine - and market it so that you do not cannibalize your Mac lineups (laptops included, although that's another topic). No iApps and the other software goodies. This isn't a Mac - if you want a digital hub, oh yes, we've got that for's called a Mac. This is a plain-jane machine, that runs OS X, but a no frills version.

    That would work!
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