Prosumer Line

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
A few people have mentioned that once Apple uses the 970 in the professional line, it would be cool to relegate the current powermacs to prosumer status.



What if Apple did everything to make this prosumer tower as cheap as possible? Use ordinary casing, remove couple of PCI slots, drop the DVD drive etc. If it was cheap enough there would be many windows and *nix prosumers who would convert.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 41
    I don't know about that. I think Apple is going with the status quo as far as towers go. The G4, of course, will move into consumer status.
  • Reply 2 of 41
    [quote] What if Apple did everything to make this prosumer tower as cheap as possible? Use ordinary casing, remove couple of PCI slots, drop the DVD drive etc. If it was cheap enough there would be many windows and *nix prosumers who would convert. <hr></blockquote>



    Reading around on other Mac sites as well as this one, there's quite an interest in this idea. I am all for lower priced systems, but I have big doubts about seeing an expandable, consumer priced tower come from Apple in the future.



    Apple wants to keep things simple for the average Joe consumers. The iMac is the consumer machine that you just pull out of the box, plug in, and get going. It's not consumer priced, but it's what Apple wants for the average consumer, and that is simplicity. There's simplicity in the iMac lineup as well, with three models and not a lot of customization. But not everyone needs it.



    The PowerMacs are where everyone else needs to turn. They're more expensive of course, so if people want the options, naturally it'll cost a bit more. If Apple drops it's margins even more and offers a fully expandable consumer tower, they may find themselves with a very slim base of users who will pay for the PowerMac. Maybe they'll get a few cheapskate PC converts, but Apple will lose money when a horde of people buy the cheapest system that nets Apple the least amount of money. Bad idea for Apple, that is if they are still interested in making a profit every few quarters or so.



    Right now it's best for Apple to not complicate matters by adding something dirty and cheap (a, 'ordinary' case from Apple? Never). Some may say Apple is already spreading itself a little thin by having so many different products, and adding something in between Pro and Consumer would be even worse. eMacs for the cheapskates, iMac for the consumers, and PowerMac for everyone else covers all the bases?maybe not perfectly?but makes Apple money by forcing people who want expandability to pay the price for a tower.



    Rather than hope for a consumer tower, why not just find a PowerMac system from 2001 or 2002? They're still pretty solid and will come by pretty cheap.



    [ 02-16-2003: Message edited by: FrostyMMB ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 41
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    I tend to think of the current Powermacs as "Prosumer" machines.



    Someone looking for a Workstation is looking for a wee bit better Motherboard and Graphic Card tech than what the current Powermacs offer.



    I see the PPC 970 finally being able to return some respectability to the Powermac lineup and give the low to midrange computers a boost without cannibalizing Powermac sales.
  • Reply 4 of 41
    tkntkn Posts: 224member
    Apple has no room for this line.



    Look at the current lineup with processor speed:



    eMac/iMac --- 700Mhz+ --- $1299+

    PowerMac --- 1Ghz+ --- $1499+



    Where are you going to stick a new tower at this point that won't cannabalie iMac sales or PowerMac sales.



    Let's say you make a 700Mhz tower, simpler styling, whatever. How much do you charge?



    iTower --- 700Mhz --- ????



    Charge $1099... Not really low enough to draw more consumers, but maybe more business people. Any lower and I think you will start eating into low end PowerMac sales. Even at this price you are going to lose some.



    The problem is not the price of the hardware that Apple puts into their systems. The problem is that they are not going to cannabalize their sales in pursuit of thin-margin/loss-leader pricing. They could probably sell a Mac for $499 if they stripped the crap out of it and sold it in a cheap enclosure. They would make $15 a unit tops and would cheapen the Mac name with the low quality parts they would have to put in. Plus they would have to replace all those crappy parts for warranty all the time.



    Just one man's opinion

    TKN
  • Reply 5 of 41
    Apple sells its machines by this law: If you are a professional, you know that G4s are faster than P4s. If your an iMac computing newby, you don't know what the hell a megahertz is. But a middle person knows what clock speed is, but doesn't know the higher clock speed to performance ratio that makes the G4 special. Then those people would buy a Dull instead of a Mac. It is strange logic but it is true. On the other hand, if Apple advertized their machines with Equivalent Pentium Clock Speeds, like AMD does with their chips, they would be OK.
  • Reply 6 of 41
    [quote]Originally posted by os10geek:

    <strong>If you are a professional, you know that G4s are faster than P4s.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    I hate to tell you this, but the G4 is nowhere near the speed of a P4.
  • Reply 7 of 41
    kidredkidred Posts: 2,402member
    [quote]Originally posted by Eupfhoria:

    <strong>

    I hate to tell you this, but the G4 is nowhere near the speed of a P4.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    You're wrong, a P4 runs windows, a G4 runs X, so he's right, a G4 is greater then a P4
  • Reply 8 of 41
    kidredkidred Posts: 2,402member
    [quote]Originally posted by TKN:

    <strong>Apple has no room for this line.



    Look at the current lineup with processor speed:



    eMac/iMac --- 700Mhz+ --- $1299+

    PowerMac --- 1Ghz+ --- $1499+



    Where are you going to stick a new tower at this point that won't cannabalie iMac sales or PowerMac sales.



    Let's say you make a 700Mhz tower, simpler styling, whatever. How much do you charge?



    iTower --- 700Mhz --- ????



    Charge $1099... Not really low enough to draw more consumers, but maybe more business people. Any lower and I think you will start eating into low end PowerMac sales. Even at this price you are going to lose some.



    The problem is not the price of the hardware that Apple puts into their systems. The problem is that they are not going to cannabalize their sales in pursuit of thin-margin/loss-leader pricing. They could probably sell a Mac for $499 if they stripped the crap out of it and sold it in a cheap enclosure. They would make $15 a unit tops and would cheapen the Mac name with the low quality parts they would have to put in. Plus they would have to replace all those crappy parts for warranty all the time.



    Just one man's opinion

    TKN</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Not to argue (because I don't condone), just to say a point that an iTower would need to be around $800 to be effective and that doesn't eat any iMac/eMac sales because it don't have a monitor and not as fast or expandable as a tower. Wow, sounds like the cube. So basically, Apple needs to re-think the cube and make it cheaper.
  • Reply 9 of 41
    [quote] Apple sells its machines by this law: If you are a professional, you know that G4s are faster than P4s. <hr></blockquote>



    Only the OS is superior, the processor sure as hell is not. P4s are beginning to embarass the G4 most real world tetsts.



    [quote] On the other hand, if Apple advertized their machines with Equivalent Pentium Clock Speeds, like AMD does with their chips, they would be OK. <hr></blockquote>



    I fear that, considering how Apple works when it comes to benchmarking, the claim would be that 1420mhz times two is similiar to an aprox 2840mhz P4, and then Apple would consider that a 3200+ . A single 2.8ghz Pentium will take the lead in many of the real world simulation tests. Take a look at AMD now. Their new Barton Athlon XPs run a lower mhz than the previous generation of XPs and have a higher xxxx+ rating, even though the rating doesn't match up to the performance. The 3.06 ghz P4 blows the 3000+ XP out of the water, but AMD rates it with simliar performance. I'd hate to see Apple give in to this sort of marketing scheme.
  • Reply 10 of 41
    costiquecostique Posts: 1,084member
    [quote]Originally posted by KidRed:

    <strong>So basically, Apple needs to re-think the cube and make it cheaper.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Yes, the Cube idea should be recycled. As for the cost, the low-end iMac minus its monitor is about $800. By the way, most of potential switchers own a white box and a separate monitor. Why make them throw away the working display?
  • Reply 11 of 41
    [quote] Not to argue (because I don't condone), just to say a point that an iTower would need to be around $800 to be effective and that doesn't eat any iMac/eMac sales because it don't have a monitor and not as fast or expandable as a tower. Wow, sounds like the cube. So basically, Apple needs to re-think the cube and make it cheaper.



    <hr></blockquote>



    Yep.



    And the last poster above made the point about many switchers not wanting to throw away a perfectly decent monitor.



    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 12 of 41
    [quote]Originally posted by TKN:

    <strong>Apple has no room for this line.



    Look at the current lineup with processor speed:



    eMac/iMac --- 700Mhz+ --- $1299+

    PowerMac --- 1Ghz+ --- $1499+



    Where are you going to stick a new tower at this point that won't cannabalie iMac sales or PowerMac sales.



    Let's say you make a 700Mhz tower, simpler styling, whatever. How much do you charge?



    iTower --- 700Mhz --- ????



    Charge $1099... Not really low enough to draw more consumers, but maybe more business people. Any lower and I think you will start eating into low end PowerMac sales. Even at this price you are going to lose some.



    The problem is not the price of the hardware that Apple puts into their systems. The problem is that they are not going to cannabalize their sales in pursuit of thin-margin/loss-leader pricing. They could probably sell a Mac for $499 if they stripped the crap out of it and sold it in a cheap enclosure. They would make $15 a unit tops and would cheapen the Mac name with the low quality parts they would have to put in. Plus they would have to replace all those crappy parts for warranty all the time.



    Just one man's opinion

    TKN</strong><hr></blockquote>



    First off the 700 mhz eMac is $999, the 800 mhz iMac $1299. Assuming the price of a monitor + extra parts, labor and larger enclosure add about $150 to the price of the eMac, Apple could offer a headless eMac for about $749. If they sold them for $799, then it is actually a higher profit margin product for Apple than the eMac, so Apple makes out better for every eTower sold. They might also sell more of those high priced 17" LCD's they have, which have to be one of Apple's highest profit margine products thay have right now ($699 for a 17" LCD....come on). But if Apple came out with this product, their starting price would most likely be $899, so that makes it even more profitable for them. Sure they might loose some iMac sales, but if the profit margine is greater than the iMacs, then Apple makes more for every eTower sold than eMac or iMac then it is better for Apples bottom line to sell the eTowers.



    Second, without a full commitment, Steve has stated that they want to increase market share. To increase market share they have to find new customers. Part of that strategy is at work with the Xserve. The iBooks are doing their job, as are the powerbooks. Apples desktops are loosing ground, I'm sure that we can all come up with reasons for this, and a large part of it is slow G4's making the price performance ratio SUCK. The AIO's are good for consumers, or at least some consumers. There in lies the problem with Apples strategy, SOME not ALL. Apple needs to have a consumer product that appeals to the customers that dont want AIO's if they want to get their buisness, and they dont have this in the $1499 PowerMacs due to cost.



    And last, there is a sales strategy that car dealers know very well...advertise the lowest possable priced model to get customers in the doors. Apple is in the retail buisness now, and I would hope that they take a lesson from this. A $799 price tag is more attractive than a $999 one, and will bring more people in the door. Once they are there, It is the salesmans job to try to get the customer to buy more, weather it is a RAM upgrade, a higher profit margin computer, or a copy of Quicken (Apple still makes money on the non-Apple items due to mark-up).



    The bottom line, Apple could do this and make it successfull while becoming more competative than they currently are if they took the right aproach (and kept inventories low, so that they are more flexable with the markets movemnts)
  • Reply 13 of 41
    bigcbigc Posts: 1,224member
    [quote]Originally posted by @homenow:

    <strong>



    .....

    And last, there is a sales strategy that car dealers know very well...advertise the lowest possable priced model to get customers in the doors. Apple is in the retail buisness now, and I would hope that they take a lesson from this. A $799 price tag is more attractive than a $999 one, and will bring more people in the door. Once they are there, It is the salesmans job to try to get the customer to buy more, weather it is a RAM upgrade, a higher profit margin computer, or a copy of Quicken (Apple still makes money on the non-Apple items due to mark-up).

    ......

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    That is the best and only reason that I have seen for making a cheap headless iMac/eMac box...
  • Reply 14 of 41
    nevynnevyn Posts: 360member
    [quote]Originally posted by @homenow:

    <strong>And last, there is a sales strategy that car dealers know very well...advertise the lowest possable priced model to get customers in the doors. Apple is in the retail buisness now...)</strong><hr></blockquote>



    This has _always_ been a big piece of Apple's strategies. The 'lowest price' iMac has never been the _best_ selling model (in at least three of the incarnations of the iMac).



    For exactly the reason you state:

    The paper (or web, or whatever) ad screams 'Only 1299' (or whatever). Then people say "Well, I'd add _fill_blank_ to it..."
  • Reply 15 of 41
    tkntkn Posts: 224member
    I have no problem with the headless iMac/eMac deal, that makes more sense, but the moment you add slots, I think you are going to kill low end PowerMac sales.



    I think they should just take the eMac, cut off them monitor off the top and sell it as a desktop configuration Mac. It would look great in my stereo rack as an MP3 server anyway. That they could sell for maybe $700 and that would be damn cool.
  • Reply 16 of 41
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    I'm not going to carefully read or consider the "what Apple can and can't afford to do" responses. There is only what they "need to do." The AIO will be a casualty of the notebook unless Apple makes them radically cheaper, it's already happening, iMacFP is making nowhere near the impact of the original, the entry level home computer has gone MUCH MUCH lower in cost than Apple is willing to admit, they can adapt to this reality or they can continue to lose sales. Towers also need to come down substantially for the same reasons.



    What Apple should do is KILL the eMac and drop the 15" iMac down to it's level while knocking another 200-300USD off the price of the 17" model. Instead of an Emac the should sell a headless cube-redux, simpler, slightly larger than the original, replaceable drives, AGP slot, and CPU-daughtercard, minimum. FAST firewire 1600+ or at least an cut down PCI slot to allow for future I/O needs. Same CPU speed and drive options as the iMac line minus the cost of integrating the LCD, the arm, the compact components in he dome, etc etc... so that the lineup looks like this:



    iMac 15 Combo-drive 899-999



    iMac 17 Combo-drive 1499



    iMac 17 Superdrive 1699



    eCube Combo-drive 899-999



    eCube Superdrive 1399-1499



    Want expansion and choice of video/display, choose eCube. Want AIO, choose iMac.



    I guarantee you that such an eCube would slaughter the iMac in sales, and ultinately that's an excellent thing because it would have a much higher margin than an iMac not only because it's headless but also because it would use standard components.



    PM sales would be entirely safe.



    It's time for someone in Apple's exec to put their hands around Jobs' waist and pull hard untill his head comes out of Ives' ass. Great plastic won't keep 'em in business forever.
  • Reply 17 of 41
    i think i need to up my meds or something...i agree with matsu....yikes....i like an iMac2/ecube idea for the consumer models....

    and keep an iMac1 for education at low low cost....eCube sounds nice...the cube was great, just ahead of its time and too much money....g
  • Reply 18 of 41
    kidredkidred Posts: 2,402member
    [quote]Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon:

    <strong>



    Yep.



    And the last poster above made the point about many switchers not wanting to throw away a perfectly decent monitor.



    Lemon Bon Bon</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Yea, as costique said, and I really never thought of it that way. I have a client that recently switched to a dual gig. He loves it and X, and when I told him I got the 23" HD her sai 'cool'. However, he'd have to keep using his Sony CRT (or whatever) because he can't see spending that much on a monitor.



    I never thought about that whne considering a stripped down tower. Very interesting view as most switchers would still have a monitor and would be fine switching to Apple hardware. That saves them some extra cash that can be used to upgrade their software.
  • Reply 18 of 41
    [quote]...and too much money <hr></blockquote>



    dang, first i agree with him, now i am posting like him...ieeeeeeeeeeeee, i am unclean, wash it off







    g
  • Reply 20 of 41
    kidredkidred Posts: 2,402member
    [quote]Originally posted by TKN:

    <strong>I have no problem with the headless iMac/eMac deal, that makes more sense, but the moment you add slots, I think you are going to kill low end PowerMac sales.



    I think they should just take the eMac, cut off them monitor off the top and sell it as a desktop configuration Mac. It would look great in my stereo rack as an MP3 server anyway. That they could sell for maybe $700 and that would be damn cool.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I don't see an issue with killing off low end pMac sales. Apple doesn't amke as much on them anyway. Even so, Apple could always drop the low end tower and go with 2 lines.
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