Are external monitors a Pro Feature?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
After today's update of the iMac and last weeks Powermac update, it seems as if Apple has no plans to offer afordable desktops. The $999 eMac just doen't cut it, it is dated technology with a $100 price drop. Apple is implementing agressive pricing with the noebooks and displays, but the desktops are still very overprices, as if they are taking advatage of desktop computer users. Going back to the topic of this thread, does Apple really beleive that consumers do not want to choose their own monitor. I like Apple monitors, btu they are too expensive for my budget. All I want is a sub $1000 Mac, without a built in display. It is very frustrating when on the PC side one can pruchase a well-configured PC for under $1000, when Mac users are offered last years scraps at slightly discounted prices. I don's know what Apple was thinking when they updated the iMacs, especially if they wanted to be more agressive. They raised the price! If they won't lower the price, then at least offer the same exact monitor without the monitor for $999. I don'd understadn why Apple can't get it through their thick head that we want a cheap headless Mac. AIO as far as I am concerned, is a niche market. If Apple wants to expand, they must offer such a model.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Apple will not offer an affordable, expandable desktop because it would eat into its high-margin Powermacs. No need to whine about the necessity of market share, the Mac is a very well established brand. In the short term, it behooves Apple to make as much profit as they can off people who MUST buy pro machines and concentrate on their true strengths (portables, iLife, Mac OS X).



    You can project your needs onto Apple all you want, but the truth is, a 'headless iMac' or 'cube redux' would not be a wise step for them, at least until they can compete in on the high end.



    Don't get me wrong, I WOULD like to see the Powermac line starting at $999 or $1199 US at most. But that way will not make Apple any profit, so they aren't going to do it. Not now. Probably not ever.
  • Reply 2 of 22
    I can't believe someone hasn't jumped in yet and said, "Quit your bitchin', if you don't like Apple's prices, go buy a PC." Perhaps people are just tired of The Great Apple Price Debate. Before you get upset Jdbon, I'm not saying you're wrong. In fact, I know how it stings to get your hopes up for a product and then get crushed when Apple seems to arrogantly price it above people for whom money is a factor. For me, it was the Cube's price that made my heart sink.

    But for now, I'm not bitching. Considering Apple's limitations, I think the new prices for the monitors, Power Macs, and the mid-level iMac are realistic. Yeah, I want a modern cube at $999 too but it aint gonna happen. But the mid-priced iMac or the low end tower are at least close.
  • Reply 3 of 22
    thttht Posts: 3,249member
    I'd like to see a cube redux, actually a taller cube, err square tower, with a horizontal optical drive. Just make it like an iBook and limit the features:



    1 CPU (lowest MHz G4)

    1 RAM slot

    1 AGP slot

    1 PCI slot

    1 hard disk bay

    1 optical bay

    1 Firewire port

    2 USB ports

    <$1000 and hopefully silent running



    If Apple wants a "marketshare" Mac, they need a $500 to $800 range of machines. The eMac needs to be in this space, not quite there though. I think a desktop should also be in this space. Graphics and monitors are preeminent items in a computer, and they should make this affordable to consumers without having to spend extra money on the features of the PowerMacs.



    There are plenty of differentiating features. Like, all Power Macs should be duals, RAM capability, backside cache, clock rate, PCI card length, Firewire 800, USB 2, etc. The main thing is to let consumers buy the high profit margin 17" and 20" LCD monitors. I think it may even higher profit margin than iMacs.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    mcqmcq Posts: 1,543member
    Eh, why is this in Future Hardware?
  • Reply 5 of 22
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    you can't make a cheap cube.



    why must a potential "cheap" expandable headless mac be a cube shaped computer.



    the cube failed because it was A FCUKING cube!



    let's go build another cube.





    personally, i'd rather see apple do one of two things

    1. split the power mac line into 2 lines once the 970 comes. low end line would be a true minitower with maybe 2-3 PCI slots and a AGP slot, 2 hard drive bays and an optical drive. use g4s.. single processors..... 1199-1699



    2. beef up the lowend powermac and keep the current pricepoint
  • Reply 6 of 22
    jdbonjdbon Posts: 109member
    My statements may come of as sounding "bithcty", but I am more frustrated with the situation. I love Apple and I think they make great products, is just that they have yet to release a machine which fits my needs. I emphasize me because I realize what I want is not the same as the customer population as a whole, but I think that there are enough people like me to warrant such a machine. Even if such a machine had lower margins than a Powermac or iMac, I think many of the buywers of this machine would be switchers who would have not considered a more expensive mac (ie no sales at all). Apple just seems a bit arrogant with their own user segmentations in that they are deciding what type of machine fits what type of user. I think that Steve's image of what computers should be like is sometimes incongruent with what the user wants.
  • Reply 7 of 22
    [quote]Originally posted by THT:

    <strong>If Apple wants a "marketshare" Mac</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The old nail on the ****ing head here, eh? Apple doesn't. They don't need it. They don't want low-margin market share that they will end up losing money on.



    It's kind of the chicken and the egg. Apple could afford to produce low-margin computers if its market share were bigger. And the only way the market show could grow is through low-margin computers.



    Apple isn't ready for more market share right now. I firmly believe that. Give OS X another three years, and a better chip-supplier situation, and better third-party hardware support. These things need to be set before they go after the mass market, not the other way around. We don't need another Amiga.
  • Reply 8 of 22
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    [quote]Originally posted by applenut:

    <strong>you can't make a cheap cube.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Amen. Just like the Shuttle mini PCs cost more than their more expandable tower counterparts, a cheap cube is an oxymoron.



    [quote]personally, i'd rather see apple do one of two things

    1. split the power mac line into 2 lines once the 970 comes. low end line would be a true minitower with maybe 2-3 PCI slots and a AGP slot, 2 hard drive bays and an optical drive. use g4s.. single processors..... 1199-1699



    2. beef up the lowend powermac and keep the current pricepoint<hr></blockquote>



    I like the $999 pricepoint because it's a fairly round number. The specs above seem like a good starting point...like a typical MicroATX board...3 PCI, 1 AGP, 2 DIMM, 2 U-DMA... External I/O should be the same as the current Power Macs...2 USB (2.0?), 2 FireWire (800?), gigabit E, modem, line-out, line-in... I figure Apple's current Power Mac cases command a bit of a premium...Mabe they should go with something cheaper on the low-end to shave the bucks off. It's okay to leave the drive bezel exposed...it's okay to not have polished metal on the front...
  • Reply 9 of 22
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    Ahem.



    [quote]Originally posted by MCQ:

    <strong>Eh, why is this in Future Hardware?</strong><hr></blockquote>
  • Reply 10 of 22
    gargar Posts: 1,201member
    [quote]Originally posted by Eugene:

    <strong>

    ...Mabe they should go with something cheaper on the low-end to shave the bucks off. It's okay to leave the drive bezel exposed...it's okay to not have polished metal on the front...</strong><hr></blockquote>



    so in your opinion a mac may look like the motorola/umax/powercomputing-clones of 1997/1998 if it's a $100,00 cheaper?



    even pc-box manufacturers don't build it that way anymore. they all look at apple how to build a great computer (with little succes).

    imho people want something that looks nice on their analoge desktop as well.
  • Reply 11 of 22
    thttht Posts: 3,249member
    <strong>Originally posted by KeilwerthReborn:

    The old nail on the ****ing head here, eh? Apple doesn't. They don't need it. They don't want low-margin market share that they will end up losing money on.</strong>



    I agree with you. It was a bad idea to couch a comment on. I do agree with jdbon that I'm much more apt to spend $2000 on a cheap desktop and a 17 or 20 inch monintor than buying an iMac. That is, I'm not buying an iMac, so I'm not buying anything from Apple.
  • Reply 12 of 22
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    [quote]Originally posted by gar:

    <strong>



    so in your opinion a mac may look like the motorola/umax/powercomputing-clones of 1997/1998 if it's a $100,00 cheaper?



    even pc-box manufacturers don't build it that way anymore. they all look at apple how to build a great computer (with little succes).

    imho people want something that looks nice on their analoge desktop as well.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    They most definitely do not do what you say. PC manufacturers and most stateside brand cases all come from overseas. Most are just different plastic around the same steel chassis. Take the Antec on my floor right now. It's just a Chenming. So are all the Alienware, Chieftec, Uneec, etc. cases.



    Hell, you can go to Directron and buy the very case HP used for years. You can buy old Dell Dimension XPS cases direct from Palo Alto, who also does Gateway's cases.



    These cases are off the shelf parts. They probably cost the OEMs &lt;$20 per unit. How much do you think a Power Mac case costs, and how much mark-up do you think it adds to the final price of the machine?



    Like it or not, lots of people are penny pinchers. They don't care if their optical drive has a polished mirror trapdoor.



    And as for the clones...they were more popular than Apple's offerings because they offered more bang for the buck, so yeah, if Apple did it themselves they'd probably be more popular too.
  • Reply 13 of 22
    An important question to ask yourselves is, "where is the market?"



    If it's just us, dedicated Mac users who would PREFER to pay $799-999 for a headless iMac but will buy a Mac anyway, THEN IT'S NOT WORTH APPLE'S TIME.



    Where would the market for a headless consumer machine come from?



    From low-end consumers? The people who buy their $399 PCs at Wal-Mart probably don't even know what a Mac is, or why it's different. They will only look at the price tag.



    From "I built it myself" PC enthusiasts? Nope, they hate Apple, always have, always will. They want the right to slap the cheapest motherboard in the cheapest case, Apple won't give that to them.



    From business users? IT hates Apple because it's not Microsoft. Yeah, Linux has made a few inroads...replacing UNIX servers. There is no evidence that it's displacing Windows in any signficant way. Since it requires entirely new hardware, Apple has even less of a chance.



    Soooo...where is that market? It simply doesn't exist outside the existing Mac world. A headless, expandable Apple machine would DESTROY Powermac sales, cannibalizing their entire high-margin line.



    As an Apple stockholder, I am firmly opposed to a 'headless consumer' machine. Not only would it be a waste of resources, but it would end up costing them huge amounts in lost profits.



    The solution to a 'headless consumer' question is the G5, plain and simple. Once that is on the market, they can simple start the Powermac line at 1Ghz G4, but at $999 US. No costly new designs, no sales cannibalization, no half-baked, pie-in-the-sky designs like the Cube...it's a no-brainer.
  • Reply 14 of 22
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,278member
    Apple is screwing itself by painting the company into a tight corner as always.



    Without decent increases in sales you're just on a holding pattern that will never get better. Each machine they don't sell to guys like THT because he refuses to buy and iMac and doesn't want to shell out for a PM system is one less iPod...one less .Mac account. One less computer for 3rd party developers to hawk products to.



    Apple needs to develop a Product/Service ratio that is profitable and beneficial to it's users. They will not survice on hyped up margins and OSX pipedreams.



    They were first to popularize the GUI...they better be first on another trend..their survival is at stake.
  • Reply 15 of 22
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    [quote]Originally posted by Gizzmonic:

    <strong>The solution to a 'headless consumer' question is the G5, plain and simple. Once that is on the market, they can simple start the Powermac line at 1Ghz G4, but at $999 US. No costly new designs, no sales cannibalization, no half-baked, pie-in-the-sky designs like the Cube...it's a no-brainer.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I think this is what applenut and I were referring to. Not right now, but at least when 970 or 7457-RM based Power Macs come out, a slimmer tower or desktop could fill in the gap. I don't imagine PPC 970 based Macs would be cheap...
  • Reply 16 of 22
    jdbonjdbon Posts: 109member
    [QUOTE]Originally posted by Gizzmonic:

    [QB]An important question to ask yourselves is, "where is the market?"



    If it's just us, dedicated Mac users who would PREFER to pay $799-999 for a headless iMac but will buy a Mac anyway, THEN IT'S NOT WORTH APPLE'S TIME.



    This is probably par of Apple's thinking. In a way it sounds like a drug dealer raising his or her prices because their customers are "hooked" and are willing to pay whatever the seller demands in order to get their drugs. I am indeed addicted to Macs and therefore am loyal to my dealer, Steve Jobs. With the drug references aside, a cheap headless mac would increase the frequency of sales per customer. I typically buy a new mac every four years. I ususually spend about $1500 to $2000 on a new computer. However if Apple were to release a cheaper mac I would be willing to upgrade every 2 years. Instead of making $1500 every four years, they get $2000 for the same period. Lets not forget the thousands of OS 9 users out there. There are plenty of Performas and beige Powermacs that cannot run OS X. Many people are "reverse switching" (I know a number) because they have no loyalty to Apple in terms of "loving" Apple products, and are attracted to the cheaow windows machines. Lets face it, OS X is better than Windows XP, but from a user standpoint, the difference is not as dramatic in terms of the difference between Mac OS 7 and Windows 3.1.
  • Reply 17 of 22
    [quote]Originally posted by jdbon:

    <strong>I typically buy a new mac every four years. I ususually spend about $1500 to $2000 on a new computer. However if Apple were to release a cheaper mac I would be willing to upgrade every 2 years. Instead of making $1500 every four years, they get $2000 for the same period.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The flaw here is that while they may $500 more (Am I to assume you adjust for inflation?), their outlay is probably $800 more. Gross doesn't mean sh¡t. Apple's gross profits may look bad compared to the rest of the industry, but their net is great.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    [quote]Originally posted by jdbon:

    <strong>Originally posted by Gizzmonic:

    [QB]This is probably par of Apple's thinking. In a way it sounds like a drug dealer raising his or her prices because their customers are "hooked" and are willing to pay whatever the seller demands in order to get their drugs. I am indeed addicted to Macs and therefore am loyal to my dealer, Steve Jobs. With the drug references aside, a cheap headless mac would increase the frequency of sales per customer. I typically buy a new mac every four years. I ususually spend about $1500 to $2000 on a new computer. However if Apple were to release a cheaper mac I would be willing to upgrade every 2 years. Instead of making $1500 every four years, they get $2000 for the same period. Lets not forget the thousands of OS 9 users out there. There are plenty of Performas and beige Powermacs that cannot run OS X.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    So, you prefer to pay more? Why? I enjoy shiny and new things, but my B & W G3 handles things just fine, and it's very close to 4 years old. "Pay a lot now, and don't worry about it later"-That's the Mac way, and it's why I bought my first in 1999. And I have no regrets.



    If your argument is begging Apple to force you to spend more by dropping their prices, I gotta just shake my head.



    Apple is NOT in a desperate situation. They are NOT losing market share. They are in a much better financial situation than Gateway, HP, eMachines, Micron and lots of other beige box makers at this point.



    When they have a better high-end offering, maybe they could experiment with a cheap machine. Until then, they had better stay with what makes them the most money. Or would you rather that they go out of business?
  • Reply 19 of 22
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    [quote]Apple is NOT in a desperate situation. They are NOT losing market share. They are in a much better financial situation than Gateway, HP, eMachines, Micron and lots of other beige box makers at this point.<hr></blockquote>



    Apple's worldwide marketshare was at 2.3% last quarter. They are losing marketshare.
  • Reply 20 of 22
    While Apple's gross margins on Powermacs are undoubtably high, it is unlikely they are currently making any money selling computers. Excluding one time charges, Apple's profit for Q4 was announced at 11 million dollars.



    Drilling down in to the financial statements, "Peripherals & Other HW" were $193 millon in revenue and aside from the Powerbook category, the only product category to show sequential growth in Q4. These numbers added together comments from the CFO that iPod sales have been strong, it's clear to me that Apple was probably more than 11 million dollars in the black on the iPod and their computer business was losing money in the last quarter. The iPod is also a high margin item and has much lower development costs than the Macs and all the software that comes with them.



    If low volume on high priced PowerMacs was such a brilliant strategy for profits, Apple would be showing better numbers and getting better ratings from stock analysts.



    All the above numbers can be found on <a href="http://biz.yahoo.com/rc/030115/tech_apple_table_1.html"; target="_blank"> Yahoo! Finance</a>.
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