Apple needs a $399 desktop and a $699 laptop now

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Once upon a time there were solid reasons why Apple couldn't nearly match Dell and HP in the low end. But these reasons are gone now and Apple has the perfect opportunity to really grab some market share. Let's look at some factors.



- My plan is that Apple should come out with a cheap desktop, like Dell has. It doesn't have to be small or beautiful, and can even be as big as a Dell, but should sell for $399. They should also come out with a laptop for $699, even if it has to weigh 6.5 pounds and not have Firewire. Now I know that some will argue that this is not what Apple is about and this won't impress people, but let's not forget that most of the magic of a Mac is in using OS X, not how the iBook looks. So if a bulky $399 Mac can get Windows users onboard, then the next machine they might buy can be more stylish and high end. OS X is impressive no matter what the box looks like.



- Now that Boot Camp and Parallels virtualization is here Windows users have an easy way to try the Mac. If they could buy a Mac for $399 and an OEM copy of Windows for $89, they would have a cheap way of trying the Mac. According to the graph in this URL, Apple's entry level starts at where not that many people are buying PCs:



http://news.com.com/Researcher+Macs+...3-6072837.html



Simply put, while the $1299 iMac is cool, only like 10% of the market will even consider that price range.



-It is well known that current Mac users are really not that price sensitive. If Apple comes out with a big bulky desktop or laptop, they will get switchers, but won't lose sales of their prime stuff because current Mac users will pay more for an exciting machine.



-Now that Macs use standard Intel parts, you can't claim they cost any more to make than PCs.



So it's the perfect time to get a really low cost model out, no matter what it takes, and get those Windows users to try OS X. They just aren't going to grow marketshare too much with expensive machines. They need one desktop and one laptop at the same low end price as PCs.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 109
    nebagakidnebagakid Posts: 2,692member
    yes, they need it now, otherwise they will fall into obscurity.
  • Reply 2 of 109
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by spindler

    They should also come out with a laptop for $699, even if it has to weigh 6.5 pounds and not have Firewire. Now I know that some will argue that this is not what Apple is about and this won't impress people, but let's not forget that most of the magic of a Mac is in using OS X, not how the iBook looks.



    And that's exactly why they're not doing this.



    A FireWire-less laptop wouldn't be able to use iMovie.



    An iSight-less laptop wouldn't be able to use Photo Booth.



    And so on. The reason all Intel-based Macs come with these premium features, regardless of how low end they are, is to show off OS X's strengths, without compromise.
  • Reply 3 of 109
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by spindler

    Once upon a time...



    You must be in need of adventure to engage in such a game. Comparing Apple to such as Dell. Oh my!! Good luck.
  • Reply 4 of 109
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    Firewire is like $5 extra. Putting in a Celeron takes away $300. You may notice that all budget PC laptops are Celeron powered. Given that the MacBook is 1099, I'd expect that a 799 celeron version could be made, but they clearly haven't done that, presumably because they spend millions of dollars a year of market analysis and realize better than all of us that it wouldn't sell very well, and runs the risk of cheapening the brand.
  • Reply 5 of 109
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Hi Spindler,



    Agree with you (almost) 100%. I don't think a $699 laptop would have to leave out Firewire, and cheap machines do not have to sacrifice elegance in their appearance.



    If you have a look at the Mac Mini thread here, you will note that I partook in a very lengthy debate about the possibility of Apple procducing a $399 desktop machine.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chucker

    An iSight-less laptop wouldn't be able to use Photo Booth.



    And so on. The reason all Intel-based Macs come with these premium features, regardless of how low end they are, is to show off OS X's strengths, without compromise.




    It was less than a year ago that iSights were included in iMacs. Are you suggesting that the iSight has become a conerstone of the "Mac experience", and that if you don't want one, you might as well just use Windows?



    Really, give potential customers some credit. They know that if they buy a computer with no built-in iSight, that they won't have an iSight, and therefore won't be able to video chat or take craaaaaaaazy pictures of themselves with photobooth. Ditto Front Row and other features. Let the customer make that decision for themselves. Is it really so inconcievable that people want a computer to surf the web and send e-mails with, without having to put up with Windows and all its shit every day?
  • Reply 6 of 109
    chris cuillachris cuilla Posts: 4,825member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    Are you suggesting that the iSight has become a conerstone of the "Mac experience",



    I'd say that Apple is intent on making it one. I'd say that it is a "cornerstone of Apple strategy". I think we need to look two or three (chess) moves ahead on this one. Apple is doing this for a reason. I think they are trying hard to setup the playing field for a ubiquitous (IP-based) "video phone" experience. When everyone has a camera (conviently located and integrated) suddenly having a video chat is a simple button push...with anyone! IM is almost there (almost everyone has it, and multi-network clients make life even easier).



    Expect other companies to follow suit (2-3 years from now).
  • Reply 7 of 109
    bentonbenton Posts: 161member
    This really is a joke thread.
  • Reply 8 of 109
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,698member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Benton

    This really is a joke thread.



    Wow, Benton, what a useful post.



    And why is this a joke thread? If you don't agree with something in it, you could add to the discussion instead of being pointless.
  • Reply 9 of 109
    placeboplacebo Posts: 5,767member
    If this joke thread did standup, it would be booed off the stage and then raped through its pants.
  • Reply 10 of 109
    formerlurkerformerlurker Posts: 2,686member
    This thread has all the value of a $399 Dell desktop.
  • Reply 11 of 109
    benzenebenzene Posts: 338member
    Seriously, if Apple thought they could make money on a $399 desktop and a $699 laptop, they'd sell them. Apple is a corporation, and (last I checked) corporations are about maximizing profitability.



    I'm sure plenty (and that's a relative word, girls and boys) of people would buy these bargain-basement products. However, Apple's projected overhead in designing and releasing new designs is either too great, or the projected sales volume is too low for them to take the plunge.



    Apple has a whole department, I'm sure, checking on the demand for particular products, and they evidently don't think that a ultra-cheap desktop/laptop line would see enough volume to make it worth the necessary R&D.

    They've made mistakes in the past, (a la the Cube), but they've done a pretty admirable job on covering the necessary markets so far.
  • Reply 12 of 109
    sunilramansunilraman Posts: 8,133member
    Bingo.
  • Reply 13 of 109
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by benzene

    Seriously, if Apple thought they could make money on a $399 desktop and a $699 laptop, they'd sell them. Apple is a corporation, and (last I checked) corporations are about maximizing profitability.



    I'm sure plenty (and that's a relative word, girls and boys) of people would buy these bargain-basement products. However, Apple's projected overhead in designing and releasing new designs is either too great, or the projected sales volume is too low for them to take the plunge.



    Apple has a whole department, I'm sure, checking on the demand for particular products, and they evidently don't think that a ultra-cheap desktop/laptop line would see enough volume to make it worth the necessary R&D.

    They've made mistakes in the past, (a la the Cube), but they've done a pretty admirable job on covering the necessary markets so far.




    +1
  • Reply 14 of 109
    bentonbenton Posts: 161member
    Bingo 2!
  • Reply 15 of 109
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,227member
    I'm not sure Apple is really after marketshare.



    Steve Jobs has become quite pragmatic in his ways and he knows that chasing the $399 desktop client or $699 laptop crowd just isn't something Apple is equipped to do.



    Apple is a boutique brand. It's for people who look computing as more than some sullen task.
  • Reply 16 of 109
    facelikefacelike Posts: 12member
    if you make a better product, people will pay more money for it.



    apple just tries to make better products.
  • Reply 17 of 109
    ipeonipeon Posts: 1,122member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by hmurchison

    I'm not sure Apple is really after marketshare.



    Steve Jobs has become quite pragmatic in his ways and he knows that chasing the $399 desktop client or $699 laptop crowd just isn't something Apple is equipped to do.



    Apple is a boutique brand. It's for people who look computing as more than some sullen task.




    I don't think it has to do with being equipped to do so. You just can't sell a $399 desktop or $699 laptop that will do what it needs to do well. For that price you are selling a crippled product. That's just plain trickery designed to fool the buyer. Bluntly, if you expect a $399 computer to do anything well you are stupid.
  • Reply 18 of 109
    skatmanskatman Posts: 609member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chucker

    And that's exactly why they're not doing this.



    A FireWire-less laptop wouldn't be able to use iMovie.



    An iSight-less laptop wouldn't be able to use Photo Booth.



    And so on. The reason all Intel-based Macs come with these premium features, regardless of how low end they are, is to show off OS X's strengths, without compromise.




    Photobooth and iMovie are not OSX's strengths. They're bells and whistles that have nothing to do with OS.



    Quote:

    It is well known that current Mac users are really not that price sensitive.



    Do you have any data to back that up?



    Quote:

    When everyone has a camera (conviently located and integrated) suddenly having a video chat is a simple button push...with anyone!



    You're about 10 years behind the times, my friend.

    AT&T already tried the whole video phone idea back in the 90s and it failed not because people didn't have the hardware, but for other obvious reasons... I'll let you think about those...



    I used to tele-chat way back in college... it was cool the first few times, but then it just got old... some people just didn't want to see me all messed up and hung over chugging gatorade while I was on the phone.





  • Reply 19 of 109
    netdognetdog Posts: 244member
    Maybe Apple have not chosen to get into a market sector that has razor-thin margins and leaves little to no possiblity for creating a machine that inspires anyone. Just a thought.
  • Reply 20 of 109
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by spindler

    Once upon a time there were solid reasons why Apple couldn't nearly match Dell and HP in the low end. But these reasons are gone now and Apple has the perfect opportunity to really grab some market share. Let's look at some factors.



    - My plan is that Apple should come out with a cheap desktop, like Dell has. It doesn't have to be small or beautiful, and can even be as big as a Dell, but should sell for $399. They should also come out with a laptop for $699, even if it has to weigh 6.5 pounds and not have Firewire. Now I know that some will argue that this is not what Apple is about and this won't impress people, but let's not forget that most of the magic of a Mac is in using OS X, not how the iBook looks. So if a bulky $399 Mac can get Windows users onboard, then the next machine they might buy can be more stylish and high end. OS X is impressive no matter what the box looks like.



    - Now that Boot Camp and Parallels virtualization is here Windows users have an easy way to try the Mac. If they could buy a Mac for $399 and an OEM copy of Windows for $89, they would have a cheap way of trying the Mac. According to the graph in this URL, Apple's entry level starts at where not that many people are buying PCs:



    http://news.com.com/Researcher+Macs+...3-6072837.html



    Simply put, while the $1299 iMac is cool, only like 10% of the market will even consider that price range.



    -It is well known that current Mac users are really not that price sensitive. If Apple comes out with a big bulky desktop or laptop, they will get switchers, but won't lose sales of their prime stuff because current Mac users will pay more for an exciting machine.



    -Now that Macs use standard Intel parts, you can't claim they cost any more to make than PCs.



    So it's the perfect time to get a really low cost model out, no matter what it takes, and get those Windows users to try OS X. They just aren't going to grow marketshare too much with expensive machines. They need one desktop and one laptop at the same low end price as PCs.




    The platform does, Apple doesn't.
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