Should Apple announce a 970 machine early?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
The stage: Macworld New York.

The date: July 16, 2003.



To start out, all of this is purely hypothetical. We don't even know if the Power PC 970 will be used in Macs, even though we are hoping it will be. Heck, we don't even know if there will be a MWNY.



So this is the big question:



If IBM could commit a good number of processors to Apple that could be put into machines that would ship in late September or early October, should Apple announce the 970 Power Macs at Macworld this summer? Apple would also be showing off a new 64 bit version of Mac OS X to ship concurrently with these new boxes.



Apple would start taking pre-orders for the new machines starting that day on it's website and at Apple retail stores. To appease 3rd party vendors, they would have a seperate stock set aside for them as well.



Power Mac G4 towers would still be immediately available for customers that cannot wait for the new Power Macs and possibly be available at a cheaper price.



Also assume that the PowerBook would not get the 970 at this point either (kind of going against the 'year of the laptop' thing).



The first question would be, would Apple be losing Power Mac sales. The answer to this, I think, would be no. First of all, I think we are seeing Apple losing ground in the desktop market fairly quickly. We've seen laptop sales really pick up as Apple's big business which is why we saw the major laptop releases at MWSF. But in the desktop market, it looks as if more and more people are going out and buying 'more powerful and less expensive' PCs.



So I think this would stop the trend, at least initially, of people running out and buying Dells.



Second of all, I think that this talk of Power PC 970 machines from Apple has many people sitting on their wallets for now. It's not that people don't want a new Mac, it's just that they see the future of the platform and it looks a lot better than it does now. So you give the people that want the 970s a chance to buy them. You announce them early and start taking preorders ASAP. You get a buzz generated around the industry of Apple's new machines and how powerful they are supposed to be.



Not only that, but again you stop the flow of people who might spend the money on a 3.03 GHz PC isntead.



There is also the fact that Apple has done this type of plan before. Look at the original iMac as an example. They announced these machines would be shipping August 15 in May, they started taking preorders as fast as they could, they generated a buzz about the computer with it's bondi blue color and radical design (without a floppy drive), and it was a success.



There was also the original iBook and the original G4 towers that didn't ship right away. The iBooks were launched with a ship date of 'late September' when they really started to get delivered. On the other hand, many G4s didn't reach customers until November (after being released on the last day of August) and that left people upset. But I think they were more upset because Apple couldn't deliver the promised machine (500 MHz G4s) in the window they promised.



The other thing to consider is the educational market. I know many schools finish planning their budgets for the upcoming school year before the summer starts, but the majority of schools are so mismanaged, their budgets (especially technology budgets) aren't finalized until just before school starts. If that's the case, Apple could generate some good sales by offering the machines over the summer instead of announcing them in late September or early October where they would have missed the window.



By announcing early, you are also allowing people to save their pennies to buy the latest and greatest Mac by giving them a few months notice. That way, after you've saved up for your dream machine, it's about to be released rather than old news where you are already waiting for the next revision.



If Apple plays this right, I think they might see people checking them out over new PCs. Sure, it's a good amount of time to wait for a new Mac to ship, but they could really get some good sales going, they could compare it to the PCs out early this summer rather than PCs out next fall, and people who are looking to buy new Macs don't switch to PCs.



So 'Yes' or 'No', should Apple be looking to set themselves up for a grand slam at Macworld New York and build up preoders, or should they be looking at a fall release when there are machines that would ship within a few weeks?



[ 02-27-2003: Message edited by: Fran441 ]</p>
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 68
    Apple should announce the 970 Mac NOW!!!!!
  • Reply 2 of 68
    tjmtjm Posts: 367member
    [quote]Originally posted by Derrick 61:

    <strong>Apple should announce the 970 Mac NOW!!!!!</strong><hr></blockquote>



    There is precedence for this. Remember how Jobs unveiled the iMac in what, April, May? when it wasn't going to ship until August. Generated enormous interest and preorders. It would be way cool if he were to do it again for the 970s.
  • Reply 3 of 68
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,145member
    Hell why not. Apple could gauge demand and avoid the "I just bought a dual 1.4Ghz and now you just announced a computer twice as fast" scenario.



    Provided IBM shows good yields ...why not.
  • Reply 4 of 68
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    [quote]There is precedence for this. Remember how Jobs unveiled the iMac in what, April, May? when it wasn't going to ship until August. Generated enormous interest and preorders. It would be way cool if he were to do it again for the 970s. <hr></blockquote>



    I couldn't have said it better myself. Oh wait a minute, I did.
  • Reply 5 of 68
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    Hummmmm? I don't think it's a good idea. I'm still not sure that the 970 roll out with be that smooth and great. If they don't announce then they can keep pushing the date back if they need to. If they do then they are locked in.
  • Reply 6 of 68
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    ... but I do think that if the 970 is to ship this year Apple will tell developers about it at WWDC. Unless they want to be prick and only tell the major players. Haven't they pissed developers off enough already?
  • Reply 6 of 68
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Ain't no one with a half a brain gonna buy a PM now. I certainly wouldn't, I'd buy a laptop, something to get me through untill the 970 but basically, I wouldn't touch a G4 based PM unless it was a VERY CHEAP 1.25 or greater dual. Might aswell announce and get my pre-order, rather than get nothing. At the very least drop 500USD from each PM now on the market and throw in some free software.
  • Reply 8 of 68
    Fran I see your logic.



    I hope apple annoucnes them to generate buzz. May gives 5 months of life to powermacs and only 4 to top end. I guess that doesn't much matter cause they probably weren't expecting them to sell well. Even thought the Prices were dropped on the powermac line they still seem inflated for the compared to powerbooks.



    I think now the powerpc970 chip is the g5 if it wasn't it is now. APple can't be ignoring the high clock speed and everyone is pretty much expecting to be this chip they can't dissapoint.



    For those who are saying yeah big deal it goes up to 2.5 ghz when intel will be doing 4. Obviously you haven't seen the bus speeds for this chip cause it will destroy intel. I can't wait to see what this chip will do when its moved to .09 process. If its at 2.5 tops now....



    [ 02-27-2003: Message edited by: O and A ]</p>
  • Reply 8 of 68
    The problem is that just like the original G4 there is the chance Apple will not be able to deliver the computers at the original specs when they finially ship. Four months is a long time in the technology industry and a lot of things can happen (especially right now with terrorism, the war in Iraq, ect). For a company it is much better to be recieving a constant flow of sales rather than big ups and downs. Far more sales can happen if the day after a product is announced you can go into a store and buy one.



    What would be a cool idea is to hold Apple Store Events the day the new Power Mac is launched and offer demos to people. Offer rebates and such for everyone who orders a 970. Have 10 computers in stock for the first 10 buyers and ship the rest by the next week.



    Now this gimick would generate buzz. I bet people would start camping out days ahead of time, just like when Star Wars is released. Local media would jump on the story to cover the crazed Mac fanatics willing to do anything to be the first person to buy the first 64 bit Mac. Maybe there could even be a riot at one of the stores to generate even more publicty (I am joking on this point).



    When the 970 is released Apple should create a big as specticle as possible, but only when the 970 can be shipped soon.
  • Reply 10 of 68
    [quote]Originally posted by jante99:

    <strong>The problem is that just like the original G4 there is the chance Apple will not be able to deliver the computers at the original specs when they finially ship. Four months is a long time in the technology industry and a lot of things can happen (especially right now with terrorism, the war in Iraq, ect). For a company it is much better to be recieving a constant flow of sales rather than big ups and downs. Far more sales can happen if the day after a product is announced you can go into a store and buy one.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Then apple can give a conservative look and if the positive doens't pan out no one knows and if the postive does turn out then all the better. Frankly i dont' think anyone cares what speed the powerpc970 is introduced at as long as its introduced. 1.6 ghz 970 still way more friggin powerful then the g4.



    And like fran said they did this to the iMac. It can be done. look at the buzz there is now and no one even knows the 970 will be used. If apple confirms this the buzz will be even greater in my opinion. Sales the day after or four months later will be the same. Those who can't afford a machine will say i ahve four months to save. Those who were gonna go buy that pc will say i'll wait four months.



    I think the demos aren't neccesary and havnign just a few powermacs a week in advance to sell to generate buzz won't work. you can't generate buzz in a week. Apple wants to be on the cover of every pc magazine with this annoucnement just like the imac was on every magazine (albeit it was on non pc related magazines too). Four months will do this.



    [ 02-27-2003: Message edited by: O and A ]</p>
  • Reply 11 of 68
    No need to announce actual final shipping specs... just announce that its coming... generate some excite... i would guess most people that really need a new Mac now would go ahead and buy a PowerMac G4 - just like they go to Walmart/Kmart/Target on the weekends looking for huge discounts... all that's needed is some PR spin trumpeting sales on the high-end of G4 towers - a slow rolling back of the prices until the 970 rollout...
  • Reply 12 of 68
    [quote]Originally posted by heaven or las vegas:

    <strong>No need to announce actual final shipping specs... just announce that its coming... generate some excite...</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I couldn't have said it better myself...oh wait i did.



    hehe Fran don't quote me on that!
  • Reply 13 of 68
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    [quote]Originally posted by O and A:

    <strong>For those who are saying yeah big deal it goes up to 2.5 ghz when intel will be doing 4.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Intel won't be doing 4.
  • Reply 14 of 68
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    I would think the only reason to give it an iMac-like slo-mo rollout is if the the design and plastics were just as revolutionary as the iMacs. Then again the LCD iMac came out with a relatively quick shipping time.



    I just think that just the release of specs wouldn't generate that much excitement on its own to the non-Mac public.
  • Reply 14 of 68
    [quote]Originally posted by Amorph:

    <strong>



    Intel won't be doing 4.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I know its an example. Its for those uninformed ones who don't know what they are talking about.
  • Reply 16 of 68
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    They might, they'll be doing 3.6HT and if they feel threatened they will crank a few extra Hz out of that beatch, damn the heat. If there's one thing Intel can do, it's fab at will.
  • Reply 17 of 68
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    I don't know for a fact, but I would bet Apple announces this in one of two ways. Bear with me; IBM is going to show the prototype Blade at CeBIT in a few weeks. Apple could announce them at WWDC (May) and for sure have them ready by July. No doubt in my mind. Or, they could do an Apple event, similar to the iMac DV intro with the special event from Cupertino.



    I am betting on announcing at WWDC and depending on IDG, they will intro them at either Macworld or through their own Special Event.



    Matsu, I agree that it makes sense for no one to touch a PM who is in the know. Those who don't....oh well. Your lack of info is going to haunt you.



    I do feel that hype is generally large already, since the IBM presentation at the Microprocessor Forum last October, and since every major Internet News sources has had articles on it, I would be very surprised if ANY current Mac business user isn't keen on the subject.



    Since the hype is there, the knowledge is damn near concrete, I certainly don't feel it would be out of line for Apple to pre-announce something this large. Especially when the 970 is public knowledge and almost assuredly coming our way soon.



    I see no solid financial reason to wait, when Powermac sales are so dismal as it stands! Announce them already, dammit!
  • Reply 18 of 68
    Couple of questions:



    How long do you think that Apple has had final design specs on the 970? I thinking about how difficult it will be for them to design the mobo/bus/memory interface/blah dee blah for this NEW chip. Yes,it is a PowerPC of sorts, but it has a lot of new stuff on it. My concern is that if Apple rushes to get this thing out that it might have bugs. Hardware bugs. I think this new computer combined with OSX will definitely generate some new switcher activity and Apple can't afford any trouble with the thing. They'd better be dang sure it is bulletproof before selling it.



    Another: How many potential Apple buyers read any of these rumor/info boards? If the bulk of Apple's customers (old and new) don't know a thing about this chip then why bother pre announcing it?

    Seems like they can wait to announce when it is ready to go and current desktop sales have flattend out or declined on their own. I mentioned the 970 just today to a long time Mac user and he had never heard of it.



    Of course I personally want it to be announced tomorrow. My beige bomber is getting tired, very tired (but my just ordered Minibook should hold me over until the 970 is ready)
  • Reply 19 of 68
    tjmtjm Posts: 367member
    [quote]Originally posted by Fran441:

    <strong>



    I couldn't have said it better myself. Oh wait a minute, I did. </strong><hr></blockquote>



    [homersimpson]

    DOH!!!

    [/homersimpson]



    My eyes skipped right over that paragraph <img src="embarrassed.gif" border="0">
  • Reply 20 of 68
    fran441fran441 Posts: 3,715member
    Don't worry about it. Great minds think alike.
Sign In or Register to comment.