Too good to be true?

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Anybody else thinks there are too many "big" rumors floating around for all of them to be true?



As a long time Apple fan and Mac user, I can't remember a time more exciting than this one, not only because we're at the dawn of a new era for Apple and the Mac (the Intel switch), but also because Apple has never been doing better both in terms of strategy and execution.



However I think we all need to bring our soaring expectations of Apple back into check. I don't think Apple's switch to Intel will solve all of the Mac's problems in one stroke of magic. Neither do I think the first batch of Intel-based machines and first production release of OS X for Intel will be trouble-free. Yes Apple might seem to be doing everything right these days, but if their recent track record with the quality of their products (Macs and Mac OS X updates) is any indication, we're in for multiple painfully long iterations before we get to a solid hardward and software release for Intel. Unfortunately that's just the reality of the business.



The only way I might be wrong is if Apple is truly rethinking their entire hardware and software making strategy with this switch. However every indication from them so far is that they're not. Steve Job himself said as much: nothing changes, but the CPU inside our Macs. I want to believe there'll be more, much more to this story than he's willing to currently reveal, but I think it's setting oneself up for disappointment to think reality will stray too far from the official pronouncements. Yes, SJ might seem more flexible these days (and thus ironically less trustworthy), but that doesn't mean he's all of a sudden turned into a chronic liar. Apple IS a public company after all, and can't repeatedly and intentionally deceive its customer base, investors, and analysts.



So I don't know.. I just feel like too much is being predicted at once for MacWorld San Francisco. This cornucopia of announcements and products would require not one, but literally a dozen different "One more thing..." Too much to be believable. Too good to be true. But I am still holding out hope on the Intel side of things.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 32
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    My opinion is that I give a big credit to the rumors of an intel mac in january for a simple reason.



    Apple wanted to get his hands quickly on Merom, but Intel refuse to make such a special favor to Apple. The merom was the only thing who pushed apple to deliver a computer as late as june.

    The yonah will be soon here, Apple did not have any arguments to wait. Afterall, Intel is able to deliver all the componements necessary for an Intel mac mobo.
  • Reply 2 of 32
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    well the pieces really are there falling into place, i agree, really almost too good to be true.... particularly some new tests on hardware decoding AND ENCODING of h.264 with ATi's avivo X1nnn line which may be in the media center macintel mini...!!
  • Reply 3 of 32
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by cygsid

    ....



    The only way I might be wrong is if Apple is truly rethinking their entire hardware and software making strategy with this switch. However every indication from them so far is that they're not. Steve Job himself said as much: nothing changes, but the CPU inside our Macs.




    This is an almost total misinterpretation of what Steve said. If Apple were not going to make changes to its hardware, it would have continued to use the PPC. Steve explicitly said that Apple could not build the new products it wanted if it used the PPC. It is new and different products that motivated the switch. Without doubt, we will see future Macs that look an awful lot like the Mac mini, iMac, PowerBook, iBook, Xserve, and PM G5. But, we will also see new computers that will marvel. The thing that is not going to change is the familiarity of MacOS X.
  • Reply 4 of 32
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    well i think the heart of the switch to intel is this: apple had almost all the pieces in place, but it needed to address one of its greatest weaknesses -- depending on expensive, limited-in-quantity and low performance-per-watt CPUs made by partners who time after time demonstrated that they did not always have apple's best interests at heart. 2006 and 2007 should be quite the blowout year now that apple is fully unleashed. particularly if the movie and tv studios come on board..... ROCK ON.
  • Reply 5 of 32
    dfilerdfiler Posts: 3,420member
    I think it was almost entirely motivated by the R&D budget behind each architecture. By going with intel, Apple no longer needs to push development on their own. Instead, they can piggyback on the work of the rest of the industry. They no longer have to worry about falling behind because they'll be using the same components as everyone else.



    My bet is that the choice had almost nothing to do with technological considerations. While steve used a heat/power example as evidence to support the switch, I feel that this was just supporting evidence, That the decision had entirely economic motivations.



    I suspect that rumors of sooner than expected intel Macs are true. This part of the transition is relatively painless. Apple can very easily design and produce intel based macs. What I think will take longer than expected is the porting of major legacy apps. Did someone say quark? It might be forever Rosetta bound.
  • Reply 6 of 32
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfiler

    ...My bet is that the choice had almost nothing to do with technological considerations. While steve used a heat/power example as evidence to support the switch, I feel that this was just supporting evidence, That the decision had entirely economic motivations...



    I believe that Apple chose the PowerPC archetecture becouse it was easier to transition from their Moto chips and it showed greater promis than the x68 archetecture did at the time. I seam to remember a "BIG" problem (errata?) with one of the original Pentiums during that time that called into question all of the major reasearch being done on these system at the time.



    For a while, during the days of the AIM alliance the PowerPC archetecture lived up to this promis and Mac systems were even to ahead of their Windows counterparts up through the initial release of the G4, which if I recall was the first chip to hit 500 mhz. Up through this time the bet paid off, and Apple's extra R&D costs were justified. Then things fell apart, and PowerPC chips have not lived up to expectations since.
  • Reply 7 of 32
    murkmurk Posts: 935member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by sunilraman

    particularly some new tests on hardware decoding AND ENCODING of h.264 with ATi's avivo X1nnn line which may be in the media center macintel mini...!!



    Link?
  • Reply 8 of 32
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Rumors on a Mac rumor web site being exaggerated? No way!



    It seems to me that there are two types of unrealistic expectations from Mac rumor sites that I've seen over the years:



    1. Exaggerated specs: Apple is going to release the next great 5 Ghz computer! I can't remember for how many years the G5 was supposed to come out, or the G4 was going to get above 500 Mhz for that matter.



    2. Exaggerated product lines: Apple is going to release a new Newton and a satellite TV service and a tablet and a DVR and a projector and a camera and a cell phone!



    The problem for many years was too-high hopes for specs. The problem right now is more the second. Apple under Jobs is a conservative company, at least as it comes to releasing new products and getting into new markets. They tend to take small steps. My guess is that hopes are currently exaggerated with respect to getting into new product categories.
  • Reply 9 of 32
    Mactels in January? Probably as the rumors are so strong that a failure to introduce something would impact the stock price. With OS X running on a Mactel for 5+ years I don't see a problem with the OS, Intel & Apple will ork out the engineering side and Mr. Ive will have us drooling.



    The question is then what will be released. Everything is up for grabs, except the PMs, and Apple is very capable of releasing anything from one to four lines. People tend to put the PB in the "pro" line, but I put it right beside the iMac - and I have both. I won't even bet what Apple will release in the way of hardware, but I would like to see all 4 lines in January.



    On the software side the issue is how much iWork will fill out for the 06 version. I would love to see it totally replace AppleWorks, but we'll have to wait on that one. iLife 06 - will it include Front Row? Probably, with an option to buy the remote and the IR receiver. Personally I would like to see Aperture Express as I can't justify the full version's cost.



    January is going to be interesting. I believe Apple will hit it like gang busters, but not deliver everything we want to see. We'll also see the traditional moans and groans about part of the hardware side - especially on the graphics RAM if tradition holds true. At least it won't be integrated RAM in the Mac mini like the cheapo PCs.
  • Reply 10 of 32
    satchmosatchmo Posts: 2,699member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by cygsid

    Yes, SJ might seem more flexible these days (and thus ironically less trustworthy), but that doesn't mean he's all of a sudden turned into a chronic liar. Apple IS a public company after all, and can't repeatedly and intentionally deceive its customer base, investors, and analysts.





    There seems to be different school of thought on Steve Jobs' misleading statements i.e. no one wants to watch video on a tiny screen.



    1) He's a marketing genius in making competitors think Apple's not interested in entering a market.



    2) He's a marketing idiot speaking out of his a**, and having to back pedal on promises and keynote proclaimations.



    It's probabaly somewhere in between the two.
  • Reply 11 of 32
    cygsidcygsid Posts: 210member
    Well we're talking about ThinkSecret and AppleInsider here, not macosrumors.. ThinkSecret does have a stellar track record after all, remarkably even more so after Apple started suing their a** off.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    [B]Rumors on a Mac rumor web site being exaggerated? No way!



  • Reply 12 of 32
    cygsidcygsid Posts: 210member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kenaustus

    The question is then what will be released. Everything is up for grabs, except the PMs, and Apple is very capable of releasing anything from one to four lines. People tend to put the PB in the "pro" line, but I put it right beside the iMac - and I have both. I won't even bet what Apple will release in the way of hardware, but I would like to see all 4 lines in January.





    I think you hit it right on the nail. I just don't see, say, the iBook or Mac mini product lines come out of the PPC closet first, with the PowerBook or the iMac respectively being left behind. Unless the first iterations are Celeron-equipped... but then we'd all be crying come January.. God I seriously hope not. A Pentium M maybe. A Celeron? No way!
  • Reply 13 of 32
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    Rumors on a Mac rumor web site being exaggerated? No way!



    It seems to me that there are two types of unrealistic expectations from Mac rumor sites that I've seen over the years:



    1. Exaggerated specs: Apple is going to release the next great 5 Ghz computer! I can't remember for how many years the G5 was supposed to come out, or the G4 was going to get above 500 Mhz for that matter.



    2. Exaggerated product lines: Apple is going to release a new Newton and a satellite TV service and a tablet and a DVR and a projector and a camera and a cell phone!



    The problem for many years was too-high hopes for specs. The problem right now is more the second. Apple under Jobs is a conservative company, at least as it comes to releasing new products and getting into new markets. They tend to take small steps. My guess is that hopes are currently exaggerated with respect to getting into new product categories.




    With the second, to bring some reality to what might be on Apple's mind, we need to look at where we think might come out and figure out how Apple might make it "better" with their experience and talents and what might make a profitable market to be in both in terms of the initial product as well as ancillary products and services. This is what they did with iTunes and iTMS, looked at an emerging market and found a way to outshine the competition in both products.



    Video: Here we have rumours of TV's, DVR's, Media Computer's, Set-top Boxes, AirPort Xpress "Xtreme". What can Apple briing to the product that no one else has to offer, or has though to. What are some of the things that would hinder Apple's entry in this product arena.
    • TV: Pro-Unified Design philosophy with other Apple products.

      Con- high price.

    • DVR: Pro-User Interface experience and track record. AirPort communication with computer. Integration with iCal, iMovie, iTunes, and .Mac. Controlled via AppleScript, Automator.

      Cons-market increasingly supplied by cable/satelite companies.

    • Media Computer:Pro-same as DVR + OS X and Mac compter built in.

      Cons-Cost of DVR and Computer in a product which is increasingly supplied by cable/satelite companies.

    • Set-Top Box: (Assuming that this is just a streaming reciever) Pro's-low cost way to distribute and view audio/video throughout the home. Integration with computer network. User Interface experience and track record. Integration with iCal, iMovie, iTunes, and .Mac. Controlled via AppleScript, Automator.

      Cons-Integrated (relies on) computer network and software.

    • AirPort Xpress "Xtreme": Pros-Low Cost evolution of existing product.

    Other's can add to these, but I think that the best place to start is the Set-Top Box model then add features on in the future, either to the Mac or the Box, such as DVR. I don't think that a full blown computer, even a cheap one like the MacMini, would be a great idea to add to the Box becouse of added cost. It's functions would be beter served by lower cost by highly optamized circutry that will do the job while keeping the price down as close to the price of DVR's and DVD's as possible so that consumers will be more likely to buy multiple Boxes for each of their TVs. There is no need to store the video on these units, and it makes more sense not to. A central storage means that there is easier distribution throughout the house and unified parental controls via software.



    Note, I'm not saying that the DVR is a bad idea, or that we won't see it. I just think that the video spoke of the hub does not need to have this built in, and it might be better to have it on the Hub.
  • Reply 14 of 32
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by cygsid

    I think you hit right on the nails.



  • Reply 15 of 32
    flounderflounder Posts: 2,674member
    I don't know what it will be, but I definitely agree we'll be seeing at least one line of intel macs in January.



    The rumors have gotten so big, and so many analysts are taking this as a given, that if there wasn't at least one line of intel machines coming out at MWSF apple would have come out and said so.
  • Reply 16 of 32
    cygsidcygsid Posts: 210member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by wilco





    sorry, typo (fixed).
  • Reply 17 of 32
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kenaustus

    People tend to put the PB in the "pro" line, but I put it right beside the iMac - and I have both.



    Ummm... I tend to disagree there. The fact that the PowerBook is portable puts it in an entirely different category. The kind of performance it delivers, (and I 'm not only talking about speed but also screen resolution, peripheral connectivity, etc) is geared towards a different purpose.



    I don't know what kind of work you do, kenasutus, but being in the creative field, I much prefer a PB than an iMac. Simply trying to work on Photoshop for 3 hours straight with the kind of LCD screen the iMac G5's have would be quite painful. Something happened, in that transition because the G4 iMacs had better screens, although they couldn't touch the PB as far as performance.



    Plus you can't connect a Cinema display to an iMac, can you? There is a reason why a 17" iMac is $1200 less than a 17" PB.
  • Reply 18 of 32
    programmerprogrammer Posts: 3,409member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kenaustus

    Mactels in January? Probably as the rumors are so strong that a failure to introduce something would impact the stock price.



    This kind of reasoning is always flawed. A company does not ship product because there are "strong" rumors that they will, they ship product because it is ready.



    Moving to Intel has many advantages:
    • No worries that their chip supplier isn't going to build desktop, notebook, and server processors

    • Apple has always had to build their own chipsets, now they can just use Intel's, nVidia's, etc.

    • No worries that their processors will be slower than Intel's

    • Intel has and will have the best process technology, and will have it sooner

    • Intel may have taken a while to realize that clock rate isn't the answer, but they have now

    I'm guessing that Apple's design teams came to the realization that building Intel-based machines is a lot cheaper, easier, and faster than building PPC machines because Intel has been doing all the hard stuff for 20+ years.
  • Reply 19 of 32
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    here is the hardmac link for x1000 line HARDWARE encoding h.264 i suggest you get ready a fresh pair of pants before clicking



    http://www.hardmac.com/news/2005-12-02/#4818
  • Reply 20 of 32
    tednditedndi Posts: 1,921member
    WOW,



    on the fly encoding!!



    where are my fresh pants?



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