Will the eMac soon retire as well?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
What if, at some point between now and September, Apple also retired the eMac.



I'm of the thought that there's really no good reason for the eMac to exist, besides cost. It's pretty easy to make a durable LCD based system, I haven't noted any problems with all of the LCD based systems we have in elementary schools in our area.



Anyway, in the case of the iMac, if the AIO formula is not the problem, but cost is, then should the iMac get cheap enough, the eMac needn't exist.



Some have said the iMac is $300 USD too costly, I would say $500 is much closer to the mark.



So simplify. Something more like an LCD display with the guts hidden on the back. Less adjustability. Simpler, shares bits with Powerbooks, isn't the fastest, might not (probably doesn't) have a G5. Might get whatever E600-700 mobile CPU freescale cooks up, when that arrives. More like an eMac-LCD, but branded as iMac, because that's the name people really recognize.



But you win it back on a reliable, simple system, THAT'S ACTUALLY AFFORDABLE, not just in Apple terms, but in industry terms.



Two models only:



15.4" 1280x800 LCD (or 1280x854 15.2") combodrive, 1.25Ghz G4 (or whatever's possible), adequate RAM, GPU, HDD, typically complete Apple IO.



$799 -- straight replacement for CRT eMac



17" (1440x900) LCD, superdrive, slightly faster CPU/GPU, same RAM an HDD compliments.



$999-1099



No more need for an eMac, unless you're going to sell a stripped down edu-only model.



Between 1099 and 1999 (of the PM) Apple might be better served by a cube replacement (or other headless machine), more pro than consumer, the 20" iMac can be retired in favor of a machine that comes to about 2199 when bundled with the 20" ACD.



Thoughts?
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    I think that the eMac will become an Education Apple Store only product again : after all, it was its first goal.
  • Reply 2 of 60
    I think everyone would welcome a cheap iMac that displaces the eMac as you propose. I've just lost faith in the ability of Apple to deliver such a beast. Maybe they'll update the eMac with an LCD and still call it an eMac, but make the iMac a G5 mid-range AIO.
  • Reply 3 of 60
    Kill the eMac, make that the iMac. Mid range becomes THE MAC. I like it.
  • Reply 4 of 60
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,807member
    I've never had an LCD monitor, so the eMac dilemma has always confused me.



    Jobs said the eMac was created because school districts wanted a computer with a sturdy screen that could take a beating. It's also been said that the sheer bulk and weight was the reason Apple didn't want to introduce it to consumers.



    Couldn't Apple have just put a piece of glass over the LCD (just like a CRT) to protect the monitor? Why was the eMac created at all?



    Seems to me a slightly thinner "gumdrop" iMac with a protected LCD was the way to go from day one. But then again, what do I know?



    I do agree with Matsu here: kill the eMac, do the price dance () and get the low end to $799. and simplify into Pro and Consumer lines again.



    And for everybody's sake, commoditize the low end iMac and sell it in bulk to Walmart and Costco. The dealers will hate you for it initially, but they'll thank you for it in two years.
  • Reply 5 of 60
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carson O'Genic

    I think everyone would welcome a cheap iMac that displaces the eMac as you propose. I've just lost faith in the ability of Apple to deliver such a beast. Maybe they'll update the eMac with an LCD and still call it an eMac, but make the iMac a G5 mid-range AIO.



    It may be a good idear :



    LCD emac : kind of pizza box IMAC without the "magical" arm

    LCD I mac : new sophistaced design with a variation of the magical arm



    As Matsu said, the prices of the LCD screen have dropped so much, that there is no reason to avoid such screens.

    CRT will disappear in the next comign ten years.
  • Reply 6 of 60
    gsxrboygsxrboy Posts: 565member
    If lcds are so fragile and thats what the schools are worried about, why on earth are so many of them purchasing lcd screened ibooks !
  • Reply 7 of 60
    Actually, a LCD screen is not more fragile than a CRT, it's just that LCD screens usually lead to more fragile enclosures (thinner, etc...) while the CRTs impose massive form factors, due to the cathodic tube.

    Anyway, a solid computer can be built around a LCD display! That would be a nice homework for mister Ive!
  • Reply 8 of 60
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Looking at some of the news (rumor) page articles lends some weight to this as the real avenue where the iMac is going.



    1.) iMac orders halted (we all know that) and new model annouced (but not revealed)



    but it leads to ...



    2.) eMac's in short supply. This only makes sense, as it's now the only semi-affordable desktop Apple sells. It's buying time in edu. They place orders, channels will clear.



    It's entirely possible, that at some point near September, "Apple will no longer be taking orders for eMacs."



    go back to 1.)



    For the iMac to be announced (though not revealed) it has to be in some form of production already. This may be the first model to launch in quantity in quite a while. No, "taking orders today, shipping in 4-6 weeks" nonsense. "Shipping immediately."



    Expect sealed crates to arrive at local Apple stores before the announcement.



    3.) Rumor of Apple pushing powerbooks. I'm not sure how much stock I'd put in that, but from a production standpoint, it might make sense -- iMac has been, and might be expected to continue as, a cheaper, desktop Powerbook. Could be that if a new iMac is ready, a new Powerbook might also be nearing readiness shortly thereafter?
  • Reply 9 of 60
    lemon bon bonlemon bon bon Posts: 2,383member
    Quote:

    What if, at some point between now and September, Apple also retired the eMac.



    There IS a GOD!



    Thanks Matsu, somebody FINALLY said it. But it's obvious, isn't? Given the freefall in 17 inch LCD prices everywhere (well, apart from the Apple store... ) then it's only a matter of time.



    What was there in Matsu's post that didn't make sense?



    Time for Apple to play the semantic game.



    New prosumer Mac. It's called? 'The Mac'.



    Headless. Like Cube but waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more sensible and practical. Single G5 power and agp slot for value money. Good bundle deal on 17 and 20 and 23 inch alu displays. Price £895-£1295. Three models.



    iMac. Stronger brand. Returns 'home' to original price bracket. £995 and under and where the eMac models now occupy. Three models.



    LCDs fragile? Well, they're surved at our school better than the 'smudge zone' crts did. Look better with smudges on them than the crts did... Still look vibrant. Still read text without eyestrain. Non got a finger through screen...so... Nonsense.



    Nice one, Matsu. Post this to Apple. See if they buy themselves a desktop clue. The POWERMac is great. But Lampstand and the fatMac have GOT to GO-GO-GO!



    Lemon Bon Bon
  • Reply 10 of 60
    auroraaurora Posts: 1,142member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Frank777

    I've never had an LCD monitor, so the eMac dilemma has always confused me.



    Jobs said the eMac was created because school districts wanted a computer with a sturdy screen that could take a beating. It's also been said that the sheer bulk and weight was the reason Apple didn't want to introduce it to consumers.



    Couldn't Apple have just put a piece of glass over the LCD (just like a CRT) to protect the monitor? Why was the eMac created at all?



    Seems to me a slightly thinner "gumdrop" iMac with a protected LCD was the way to go from day one. But then again, what do I know?



    I do agree with Matsu here: kill the eMac, do the price dance () and get the low end to $799. and simplify into Pro and Consumer lines again.



    And for everybody's sake, commoditize the low end iMac and sell it in bulk to Walmart and Costco. The dealers will hate you for it initially, but they'll thank you for it in two years.




    I agree, Apple has no presence except at those 20 Apple stores in california hence loosing more market every Qtr. No reason Emac shouldnt be in your local walmart along with some software or Apple only display. Guess they dont care about expanding their market . Out of sight is out of mind. But Pcs are everywhere. many people dont even know Apple exist.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    gsxrboygsxrboy Posts: 565member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Lemon Bon Bon



    LCDs fragile? Well, they're surved at our school better than the 'smudge zone' crts did. Look better with smudges on them than the crts did... Still look vibrant. Still read text without eyestrain. Non got a finger through screen...so... Nonsense.



    Lemon Bon Bon




    Thats what I was getting at, if lcds were going to fall apart at the drop of a hat then the ibooks would *never* had been able to stand up to the school dishout efforts so far.
  • Reply 12 of 60
    zenarcadezenarcade Posts: 126member
    interresting thoughts, Matsu.



    I agree, it is hard to love an eMac. But the thing is darn cheap. And compared to the iMac, it really delievers on price/performance/features.



    If iMac 3G doesn´t deliever, eMac should be the new iMac.



    "2.) eMac's in short supply. This only makes sense, as it's now the only semi-affordable desktop Apple sells. It's buying time in edu. They place orders, channels will clear.



    "It's entirely possible, that at some point near September, "Apple will no longer be taking orders for eMacs."



    go back to 1."




    hmmm... intriguing.
  • Reply 13 of 60
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Carson O'Genic

    I think everyone would welcome a cheap iMac that displaces the eMac as you propose. I've just lost faith in the ability of Apple to deliver such a beast.



    Amen.

    Yes, Macs are positioned differently than cheap Wintel systems, but it seems like as the rest of the industry is lowering prices, Apple's is going up. Yeah, I know, they're one of the few who are also profitable. But they also have a shrinking market share.



    All I ask is to give us "value". Or at least perceived value. Something which is currently not evident in the iMac and even PowerMac lines.

    Unfortunately, this will go unchanged. My fear is that Jobs' already big ego has gotten even larger with the success of the iPod.
  • Reply 14 of 60
    peharripeharri Posts: 169member
    Far from dropping the eMac, they ought to be promoting the hell out of it at the moment. The economy isn't right for a mid-range and premium only range, and the idea Apple can produce, making a decent margin, a $799 LCD Mac is hard to believe.



    In order to ensure third party support continues to be strong, Apple needs a mass-market consumer Macintosh, and right now the eMac is the only mass-market consumer desktop Apple sells. What's really galling is that Apple doesn't do anything to improve sales with it, it's still butt-ugly, it's pretty much never advertised, it's obvious Apple considers it an embarassment.



    My prefered solution would be:



    1. Make the eMac seperatable. I know a lot of people who'd be willing to buy a $799 Mac but would prefer to use a seperate monitor and not have to have a huge box. This isn't to say sell it seperated, I just mean you buy a unit, it comes, as standard, as a single unit including CRT. But pull some clips, turn a screw, and the top half, the monitor portion, becomes seperated from the base. The machine remains perfect for grandma and schools, but doesn't look like a ball and chain to other potential buyers.



    2. Replace the iMac, which is aimed at a very narrow market at the moment, with a bundle that includes the CPU unit from high-end eMacs (which could be G5 based) and an LCD monitor, and make the base a decent design.



    3. Increase the range so the eMac starts at ($799, something that's three digits and doesn't start with a 9 anyway) with a lower end processor spec and connected 17" CRT and goes right up to $2000 with the G5-base/LCD bundle.



    4. Promote the hell out of it.



    Whether you call that the iMac or eMac or jMac I'm not really bothered about. But dropping the CRT would essentially destroy Apple's ability to create an AIO mid-end ($500-$999 - that's what mid-range in today's market means. A low end machine is $200-400, not $799) machine.
  • Reply 15 of 60
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by peharri

    Far from dropping the eMac, they ought to be promoting the hell out of it at the moment. The economy isn't right for a mid-range and premium only range, and the idea Apple can produce, making a decent margin, a $799 LCD Mac is hard to believe.





    Why is it hard to believe?



    I'm not talking about a blinding fast CPU-GPU combo, or a giant LCD. I doubt 15" panels are much more expensive than 12" panels. Widescreen 15.4" panels are appearing in 999 USD notebooks. They're cheap. Cheap enough, that they ofset the manufacturing and shipping weight penalties imposed by bulky (and heavy CRTs)



    Combo drives are commodity items.



    Apple builds a pretty nice iBook for 999.



    This machine would lack expensive laptop drives, a battery, and the greater manufacturig tolerances required to produce a reliable notebook.



    Besides, pretty much every major manufacturer can sell a 15" LCD equipped desktop at the proscribed price of 799 USD.
  • Reply 16 of 60
    peharripeharri Posts: 169member
    It's hard to believe because Apple wants to make a significant margin. Their cheapest laptop is a 12" iBook, and that's $1,000. Yes, other companies produce fractionally cheaper laptops with slightly larger screens, but laptops with 15.4" widescreen LCDs for $799? And for a non-commodity machine? (Apple doesn't make commodity hardware, that's a game it's proven time and time again it's unwilling to enter) If you can find a 15.4" laptop for $799 by a company that's obviously making a significant profit on the unit, then that would surprise me immensely.



    And LCD panels are in free-fall, but are they seriously anywhere near CRT prices right now? How much is Apple paying for the CRT in the eMac? $50? Probably less!



    Maybe I'm overly pessimistic, but I cannot see Apple undercutting lower spec commodity laptop prices for mid-end hardware any time soon. Apple doesn't want to, and even if they did want to, Apple's focus on PowerPC and other unusual specifics gives them very little room for movement.
  • Reply 17 of 60
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    If the panels are appearing in the notebooks at all, they aren't the limiting factor.



    There's nothing to establish that a 15.4 costs much more tham an XGA 15", and a lot of desktop systems sell for 799 with a 15" LCD. There's no stretch.



    If certain laptop makers aren't making a high margin on the machine, it's other components that are the cause. Not to mention difficulty of manufacture.



    Once again, No battery, no expensive laptop opticals or HDD's or RAM modules. No expensive laptop grade manufacturing tolerances to content with either. As for the panel itself, again, the microthin backlight systems of most laptops are also not needed, thicker (cheaper) desktop grade backlighting can be used.



    It's eminently doable.
  • Reply 18 of 60
    tofutoddtofutodd Posts: 30member
    The new iMac form factor should reduce the price by $100 at least without that damn arm. Maybe even $200 with less surface area, etc if the mobo is behind the screen.



    I think these would be nice:



    15" LCD iMac3

    Geforce 4mx

    1.6ghz G5 or maybe 1.5 G4 to make price

    combo or cd-rom

    $999



    what was the single 1.6 G5, $1799? somewhat of a stretch, eh? that powermac tower case must cost $200-300 easy though.



    17" LCD iMac3

    1.8ghz G5 or 1.6ghz to make price/marketing happy

    Geforce 5200 ultra or whatever

    super or combo if necessary for price

    $1499



    20" LCD iMac3

    2.0ghz g5

    radeon 9600

    superdrive

    $1999



    Maybe axe the $999 model and drop the price on the 17 by 1 or 2.



    NONE with upgradale gfx. lcd is integrated.



    I don't understand why people demand an AGP or PCIe slot on a machine with a soldered on CPU. Detaching the LCD maybe... in that case we'll see a 17 and 20 in wrapped in plastic maybe at $500 and $1000. Still a big hit as the headless iMacs would have to run maybe $700 and $1000, whoa. That seems like a pipe dream. But then again perhathat's justification for a disposable AIO.



    People who buy iMacs don't give a damn about running games at max detail. The people on AI represent <1% of apple's customers. Forget the upgradable gfx. The iMac is for peeps who want a good computer that is easy to use, to surf the net, send email, use apple works, use iLife, and maybe play some occasional games. They also want the G5. People on here wanting the Mac to be a versitile upgradable machine won't see it under $2000. There'd be no reason to buy a g5 if the iMac offered everything the G5 had sans 3 pci slots. Buy a console or a G5.
  • Reply 19 of 60
    Quote:

    Originally posted by TofuTodd

    The people on AI represent <1% of apple's customers.



    Probably less than .1% of Apple's customers.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    What does the 15" LCD on those $799 machines look like? Analog crap? If so, no sale.



    Apple's great claim to fame is interface, and there's hardly a more important part of the interface than the display.



    I'd expect Apple to use the PowerBook's panel, with a brighter backlight, for the same volume purchase advantage they use with by sharing the 17"'s screen.



    As for the eMac, it'll exist for as long as Apple's educational customers insist on it. Apple would be foolish to announce its cancellation with the next iMac's introduction, because if education rejects the next iMac as well then they'll just have to bring the eMac back &mdash; after spending the considerable amounts of money to do so, and waiting months for the lines to open up, be retooled, and start running. If education embraces the iMac, then Apple can retire the eMac.
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