Time to ditch the AIO?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I had to buy some office supplies today. While in the office place I spotted a PC AIO computer. It wasn't too bad. ATI Radeon graphics, 17" TFT, DVD-burning drive, and a 120GB HDD. Functionally, about the equal of an iMac. The design wasn't even too offensive, it had the guts glommed on the back but was on a nice pedastle mount and clean overall, better looking than the Gateway effort of a few months back for sure, not as pretty as an iMac. But that's all really besides the point. It had all the goods, and nice clean design. And the price?



...



Same as a 20" iMac!!! (Canadian 2999)



Oi VEY!



Rack one up for Apple, but is winning the AIO battle a hollow victory?



The iMac is a better deal than the generic PC AIO I played with today, but how does either stack up against consumer towers?



The same PC spec in a tower + display setup is easily attainable for 800-1100 Canadian less.



People like to talk about how PC AIOs have continually failed while the iMac has continually succeeded (at least enough to keep on keeping on). Is that really a fair comparison? Any PC customer need only look to the Tower section of the store for far better deals. Mac customers have never had that option. 25-33% cheaper machines are hard to argue against whether you buy PC or Mac.



For a long time we've been debating whether mac prices are too high. But with decent prices on just about everything except the eMac and iMac, and similar issues in the few PC copies that we see, it may actually be an issue with the AIO formula itself.



Apple tax? or, AIO tax? hmmm...



Is it time for a headless machine, what would that look like, and could Apple call it an "iMac"
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 29
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    I wouldn't say ditch the AIO, but I do agree about having a consumer desktop. Basically an iMac without the display. It's a mystery to me why Apple doesn't offer it.
  • Reply 2 of 29
    imacfpimacfp Posts: 750member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by iPeon

    I wouldn't say ditch the AIO, but I do agree about having a consumer desktop. Basically an iMac without the display. It's a mystery to me why Apple doesn't offer it.



    Because Apple wants you to buy the display too. That's why Apple (Jobs) likes the iMac. In many ways it's what Jobs wanted the Cube to be but wasn't.



    If Apple figured out a way to allow access to the iMac's video card that would provide the kind of expanson most people want. A headless iMac would be great but Apple loves those high margins. I beat you that Apple would find someway of making you want or need to use one of their displays even if they had a headless iMac. I'm also sure a headless iMac would have the same specs and prices of the current iMac. Let's say a headless iMac was $1,000 for the box.



    $1,000 + $399 15" LCD =1400 (I'm guessing at the 15" price)



    $1,000 + $699 17" LCD=1699



    $1,000 + $1299 20" LCD=2299



    Yes you could use you current display or a less $$$ one but most people wouldn't. Given the way Apple is I just don't think that a headless iMac would, like magic, give people any savings or increase in specs. It might not be a popular idea, but given how Apple seems to think it makes sense.
  • Reply 3 of 29
    One thing about the current iMac - it is iconic. The dome, the arm, 'the floating' - hugely original. True, the original iMac was distinctive, so maybe they can do it again. But how out-there can you get with a non-AIO? If I had ever seen a Cube in real life (I haven't), I doubt it would have made such a huge lasting impression. PC manufacturers turn out mini-PCs that look similar. Nothing upon nothing, though, looks like an iMac and ever can without landing its designers in the patent courts. I say again: How out-there can you get with a non-AIO? Aesthetic innovation and Apple's design credentials are an important consideration.
  • Reply 4 of 29
    bigcbigc Posts: 1,224member
    You continually say that it costs to much buy a Mac while ignoring the resale value of their equipment...



    It's one thing to buy a $2000 computer that is worth $500 in two years versus one that has a resale value of $1300 in two years. You need to compare costs per year to make an economic evaluation, at least IMHO.



  • Reply 5 of 29
    ryukyuryukyu Posts: 449member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by SonOfSylvanus

    I say again: How out-there can you get with a non-AIO?



    How about removing the display and putting a volume knob on top. The iBoob.

  • Reply 6 of 29
    Don't ditch the AIO, but also have a more affordable desktop without a monitor, what we've been saying for years. If Apple wants to compete, that's what has to be done.
  • Reply 7 of 29
    rageousrageous Posts: 2,170member
    I'd like to see a mini-iMac instead of ditching AIOs. Nothing groundbreaking internally. Just the basics. Make the footprint about the size of an Airport Basestation (although obviously the base would be a bit taller) and have a 12-14" screen or on it (with a res better than 1024x768 ). That'd make a nifty little machine. Probably not a terribly practical idea, but it'd be interesting to see.
  • Reply 8 of 29
    I think that an AIO design done right and priced appropriately could continue to be a worthwhile product for Apple, but I just don?t get the 20? iMac. It seems contrary to the AIO concept.



    I speak as a former AIO owner (Tangerine iMac DV) that I bought for $1,200 and used for four years. I had no qualms about the price or life expectancy. That machine moved on to its second life as basic e-mail and internet tool for my mother-in-law when I decided to upgrade to a used 800 MHz PowerMac because I was no longer able to play newer games on the iMac. I also bought a 20? flat-screen Sony CRT from a friend that is going into its sixth year of life and still looks great.



    I think that this sort of upgrade cycle might be fairly typical for Mac users, but it really changes the equation to shell out $2,200 for a machine with a built in $1,200 screen that becomes a dinosaur by default along with guts of the machine in 3 to 4 years. Folks spending that kind of money on a computer are going to want some upgrade options to increase the life expectancy of their investment.



    An AIO seems to work really well as a lower cost consumer machine, as I think the iMac I versus iMac II sales have proved. I?d like to see Apple go back to that model with the oft dreamed of ?headless? iMac filling the intermediate space between the AIO and PowerMac.
  • Reply 9 of 29
    all yes the weekly AIO apple conspiracy thread

    its a self-affirmation group!



    its ok that you don't like the AIO's let it all out man... take deep breaths and drink lots of water.



    I think if stevie wants people to switch over it had better on his terms. Not the PC's el sucko machine for dirt cheap rules. Once you get out of the pig race, and stand in our stall (Racehorse), its on our rules. I don't think apple wants to me much bigger immediately, but better.
  • Reply 10 of 29
    Think different. The PowerBook is an AIO, all laptops are. Screen permanently connected to computer = AIO. In fact, laptops are more AIO than the AIO's you are talking about. Laptops have the keyboard and mouse integrated into the system. Talk about AIO.



    There are many topics commingling here. AIO, consumer desktops, consumer towers.



    As the proud owner of a new eMac, I chose the most _affordable_ consumer desktop. For only $1500, I have a G4 1Ghz, 1GB ram, 160GB HD, Swivel Stand, SuperDrive, and AppleCare. I am happy as a pig in mud.



    An entry level iMac would have cost close to $500 more, and that's with only a 15-inch display. I used part of that savings to purchase an iPod. I'm one happy consumer.



    So you want a tower? The entry level PowerMac is $1,799. Buy it and shut up already.
  • Reply 11 of 29
    addisonaddison Posts: 1,185member
    I don't understand why people start threads like this. I used to have desktop machines and the sheer bulk of the boxes under the desks and screens on top drove everyone mad. Space is a precious resource. The iMac is the best soloution for office workstations for a whole host of reasons.



    Some of you will remember this:--



    Before







    After



  • Reply 12 of 29
    Apple still has a lower tier PowerMac in the line-up if you want a headless Mac, it's the PowerMac G4. The G4 has been lost in the attention we are giving to the G5 but it is still in the lineup and you can even upgrade it to a dual. Since more than 50% of Apple's Mac base is still on OS9 or older, Apple will have a G4 in their PowerMac line-up for some time.
  • Reply 13 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally posted by FormatC2



    So you want a tower? The entry level PowerMac is $1,799. Buy it and shut up already.




    The entry level PowerMac is 1299 and it is a G4 like your eMac. It is more powerful for a number of reasons than the eMac and iMac basis and actually let's you have more Optical and Hard drives in it.
  • Reply 14 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally posted by FormatC2

    So you want a tower? The entry level PowerMac is $1,799. Buy it and shut up already.



    What if you don't have the cash for a big-ass tower like that? Or don't need that much power, but still want some of the upgradeability of the tower?



    I know a lot of people personally that wants exactly this. A lot of people, and they buy PCs.
  • Reply 15 of 29
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    I shouldn't even comment since this only gives this thread more life than it really should have.

    The iMac FP will be here for at least another 6-8 months...and it'll remain G4 for awhile. The AIO concept is here to stay too. It serves a niche but so does every other product line.

    Until Apple can bring the G5's down in price, the G4 mirrored towers are still available. So what's the problem?
  • Reply 16 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Zapchud

    What if you don't have the cash for a big-ass tower like that? Or don't need that much power, but still want some of the upgradeability of the tower?



    I know a lot of people personally that wants exactly this. A lot of people, and they buy PCs.




    www.ebay.com
  • Reply 17 of 29
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eupfhoria

    www.ebay.com



    Sorry, but ebay isn't actually the best place to look when you're getting the hottest, newest hardware.



    Apple doesn't have a product for the kind of people that doesn't want a tower, but wants cheap upgradeability and acceptable hardware.



    No, the G4 towers aren't that product. They are too large, heavy, make a lot of noise, and aren't exactly 2003 tech.
  • Reply 18 of 29
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    No one doubts that Apple makes a good AIO, probably the best. Even the PC guys have trouble making an AIO for less than Apple (at least a credible one).



    The question is whether this concept can grow much beyond its current base. And if it can't, then being the best at it may not be as economically advantageous as it might be to bring a similar level of competence to a formula with far greater acceptance -- the consumer headless machine. These are mostly towers, but they don't have to be -- think cube redux.



    I think that Apple should offer both an AIO and a consumer headless machine rather than two AIO's with essentially the same target market. Reach some new customers with that second model.
  • Reply 19 of 29
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Zapchud



    Apple doesn't have a product for the kind of people that doesn't want a tower, but wants cheap upgradeability and acceptable hardware.



    No, the G4 towers aren't that product. They are too large, heavy, make a lot of noise, and aren't exactly 2003 tech.




    With all due respect, what the heck are you looking for?

    It sounds like you want an inexpensive expandable AIO. But before you go too far, think about product lines and how overlapping one, may kill the other.



    BTW, the G4 towers may not be the latest, but they're still just as fast as the current iMacs.
  • Reply 20 of 29
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by satchmo

    With all due respect, what the heck are you looking for?

    It sounds like you want an inexpensive expandable AIO. But before you go too far, think about product lines and how overlapping one, may kill the other.



    BTW, the G4 towers may not be the latest, but they're still just as fast as the current iMacs.




    Apple offers an AIO G4 for $799.00, the eMac. So why can't they offer one even if at the same price but without the display? I would buy an eMac or an iMac except I don't like the display. I prefer to have Apple's 20" or 23" display. The iMac's display is just not as good as the stand alone displays. That is the only reason I don't want the AIOs. So my next choice is to get an expensive tower plus the 20" display.



    So instead of Apple getting a sale from me for a $799.00 CPU and $1,299.00 for a 20" Cinema Display, they get nothing because I don't want the AIO offers nor do I want to spend that much for a tower.
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