Apple developing new Mac for education

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Exclusive: Apple Computer is working feverishly on the design of a new Macintosh computer that the company hopes will strengthen its position in the education sector when it goes on sale later this year, AppleInsider has learned.



The new low-cost PC, which will act as a replacement for Apple's now defunct eMac line, appears to be on track to catch the latter half of the 2006 educational buying season.



Based on a series of proprietary checks, it's believed that the Cupertino, Calif.-based company is aligning component suppliers for a manufacturing ramp of the computers that it plans to initiate around the September timeframe.



Technically, this means that Apple's much anticipated professional line of Intel-based Power Mac computers -- expected to make their debut this summer under the "Mac Pro" moniker -- won't be the last of the company's PC offerings to make the transition from PowerPC to Intel chips.



In keeping true to its roots of designing educational Macs as plug-and-play solutions, people familiar with Apple's product roadmap say the company is building the new Mac around an all-in-one enclosure. Though unlike the eMac, which employed cumbersome CRT-based displays, the new educational computer will follow a design pattern similar to the company's LCD-based iMac Core Duo desktops, these people say.



The departure away from CRT displays and towards pricier flat-screens means that Apple will have to carefully balance its component costs and shave as much as possible off the computer's bill-of-materials if it plans to hit a home run with educational institutions.



Although the Mac maker said its U.S. educational channel sales increased by approximately 16 percent during the first quarter of 2006 compared to the first quarter of 2005, the company has come under tremendous competitive pressure in the sector over the last several years.



"Uncertainty in this channel remains as several competitors of the company have either targeted or announced their intention to target the education market for personal computers, which could negatively affect the company?s market share," Apple has repeatedly stated in regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. "Although the company believes it has taken certain steps to strengthen its position in the education market, there can be no assurance that the company will be able to increase or maintain its share of the education market or execute profitably on large strategic arrangements."



But just as Apple's is expected to incur increased costs associated with transitioning its educational Mac to more modern technologies, the computer's new industrial design is expected to eliminate some of the financial complexities of the eMac. One of the pitfalls Apple discovered while building the unwieldy CRT-based Mac was that its bulbous enclosure quickly became one of -- if not the most -- expensive part of the computer to manufacturer.



In using its new iMac design as a blueprint for the eMac replacement, Apple will also save on freight and packaging costs that will result from the computer's substantially smaller footprint and lighter weight . It's also believed that the Mac will borrow industry standard components already employed by Apple's Mac mini and MacBook line of consumer PCs, enabling further cost reductions.



In April of 2004, the last time Apple introduced a major revision to the eMac, it priced models at $799 and $999. While pricing for the new educational Mac has yet to be determined, it should fall well below the company's low-end consumer iMac offering, which fetches $1299.



It's still unclear whether the computer will be made readily available for purchase by the average consumer.



When Apple introduced the eMac as a low-cost alternative to the flat-screen "sunflower" iMac in April 2002, it initially restricted sales to educational buyers. However, demand for the computers amongst consumers proved to be so strong that a month later the company made the educational Mac available to the general public.



On October 12, 2005, shortly before the computer met its ultimate demise, Apple once again restricted sales to educational institutions and returned to its "E is for Education" marketing scheme that had been attached to the product from its inception.



After exhausting much of its remaining eMac inventory to educational buyers later that year, Apple began offering its higher-margin all-in-one iMac as a replacement for the eMac. The company plans to continue to offer the iMac to its educational customers until the new Intel-based eMac successor makes its debut in the fall.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 102
    shanmugamshanmugam Posts: 1,200member
    sounds like



    iMac Mini is coming up



    15"/17" iMac Mini, no frills computer



    17" ->19"

    20" ->21"

    and one more

    24" iMac
  • Reply 2 of 102
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    I'm glad they're going to do it. Intel is cutting prices of their Netburst chips. Maybe it's time for a pent d in a Mac. Pent d 820 now for $113. Link below for Intel summer sale.



    http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060526-6923.html
  • Reply 3 of 102
    zedraczedrac Posts: 42member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by shanmugam

    sounds like



    iMac Mini is coming up



    15"/17" iMac Mini, no frills computer





    That would interest me greatly, I would love a cheap(ish) Intel Mac desktop.
  • Reply 4 of 102
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by shanmugam

    15"/17" iMac Mini, no frills computer



    17" ->19"

    20" ->21"

    and one more

    24" iMac




    There isn't much to the iMac as it is, what do you think you would strip? It could go without the iSight, remote and Bluetooth, and a 15" screen but is that enough to get it down to the price of the old eMac?



    Are there any 19" or 21" widescreen displays? Usually 19" and 21" screens are 4:3.
  • Reply 5 of 102
    syklee26syklee26 Posts: 78member
    yes there are some 19 and 21 inch monitors that are widescreen.



    and here is my prediction for whatever mac that is:



    17 inch widescreen



    1.66ghz core solo

    40gb HD

    integrated video (well this is pretty obvious)

    512mb ram

    no wireless tech

    slot loading combo drive



    for price of $799
  • Reply 6 of 102
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    I'm seeing:



    looks like a cross between the orignal imac g5 and the current slimmer imac

    17"

    anywhere from 80-120 3.5" 7200rpm hd

    intel gma 950 graphics

    1.66 core duo

    2gb ram max (512 2x 256 standard)

    no isight

    no bluetooth

    no wireless?



    799-899



    edit: oh yeah and the base will be plastic instead of imac/cinema display aluminum, but still probably the same design and sturdy.
  • Reply 7 of 102
    fuyutsukifuyutsuki Posts: 293member
    It'll be Core Duo ... as the iMac and MacBook Pro should be Merom / Core 2 Duo by then!



    Core Solo's save virtually nothing, and OS X multitasks so smoothly on multiple cores: the reason the MacBook is Core Duo exclusive too. It makes for a low cost great upgrade in user experience, always something Steve's picky about.
  • Reply 8 of 102
    rminklerrminkler Posts: 50member
    I don't see why people are anticipating the removal of wireless networking. It probably costs apple almost nothing to get wireless with all the other intel chips that they would be ordering, so they only reason I can see wireless being dropped is if it's something that schools would pay not to have / don't want in their computers, which isn't something I know about.
  • Reply 9 of 102
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,864member
    I wonder if Apple has any pressure to compete with the much vaunted "$200" MIT computer for the world's childrens educational market...



    It sure would put a nice polish on the halo effect they have now... maybe make an iPod core for an ultra low cost computer. Basically an iPod nano that docks with a small functional keyboard and tablet styled screen. That would be one heck of a winner.
  • Reply 10 of 102
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by rminkler

    I don't see why people are anticipating the removal of wireless networking. It probably costs apple almost nothing to get wireless with all the other intel chips that they would be ordering



    Almost nothing is not nothing. It could cost $2. To ship and fit the part could cost another $8. That equates to $40-$50 dollars by the time it reaches the end user.
  • Reply 11 of 102
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Why does and education computer need a core duo chip? iSight? Why not a pent d 820 for $113, intel integrated graphics, a 17 in lcd screen,40 gb hd,and 512 mb of ram. Easily for $799, maybe $750.
  • Reply 12 of 102
    boogabooga Posts: 1,077member
    May I be the first to sound skeptical about an educational-specific machine being released approximately 1 month after the normal educational buying season ends? I wouldn't be at all surprised at an eMacintel, but the timing seems strange, and unfortunate if true.



    I'd see it as more likely that this machine would be released NEXT May with what would, at that point, be a super-cheap Core Duo while everything else went Core 2 Duo.
  • Reply 13 of 102
    commoduscommodus Posts: 270member
    backtomac:



    The Pentium 4 also chews up a lot more power and generates more heat. Apple also doesn't need a Core Duo, at least not in the base model.



    A realistic possibility for the eMac replacement, if it were to be released today:



    1.66 GHz Core Solo
    • 17" widescreen display with glass cover

    • 512 MB of RAM

    • 80 GB 3.5" drive

    • Combo drive

    • GMA950 graphics

    • $699

    1.66 GHz Core Duo
    • 17" widescreen display with glass cover

    • 512 MB of RAM

    • 160 GB 3.5" drive

    • Superdrive

    • GMA950 graphics

    • $899

    The glass cover's reason is obvious: younger kids love to poke at screens, and that would be an accident waiting to happen with an LCD.



    As for the 3.5" hard drive, it would make the Mac mini look bad but is probably necessary for cost reasons.



    Also, in either system I think the omission of Airport, Bluetooth, the Apple Remote and the iSight would be necessary (moreso the wireless chipsets than anything). Like it or not, Apple has to face especially cutthroat pricing in the education market. I think Apple would need to trim every last bit of non-essential hardware. The cost could still be higher than what I listed above.



    The shape we can't really speculate on properly. It could be near-identitical to the iMac; it could involve a cheaper, bulkier stand; there could be no stand at all. It depends on how worried Apple is about cost or students tipping the systems.
  • Reply 14 of 102
    Concur on dropping wireless, BT, iSight, and IR remote. None of those are things that teachers are going to want. Yeah, maybe the wireless and BT are cheap, but they're totally useless in a classroom. A teacher won't use a BT keyboard, and there are generally plenty of wires in the average school network. Front Row's not gonna be needed in a school, and what class assignments rely on webcams?



    However, I see an all Core-Duo line. I think the Mini will be bumped to both models with a Duo late this summer, and I expect the Macbook and MBP to go Merom (if only for the battery life), so there's no reason not to see a Core Duo. But what about a low clocked Conroe? I mean, if the heat works out (and a lot of people think it will for the iMac), a Conroe would be a great choice, because they range from 1.86 GHz to 3.xx (EE stats not out), and the low end ones are cheapish, while still a strong desktop chip. And that's prolly what Apple's competing against.
  • Reply 15 of 102
    pmjoepmjoe Posts: 565member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Commodus

    backtomac:

    The shape we can't really speculate on properly. It could be near-identitical to the iMac; it could involve a cheaper, bulkier stand; there could be no stand at all. It depends on how worried Apple is about cost or students tipping the systems.




    One really has to wonder about the form here. A nice thing about the eMacs was that they were rather theft resistant due to sheer bulk. I can't picture what these new Macs would look like.
  • Reply 16 of 102
    Quote:

    The Pentium 4 also chews up a lot more power and generates more heat. Apple also doesn't need a Core Duo, at least not in the base model.



    He's not talking about the Pentium 4. He's talking about the Pentium D which is a part of the Intel Centrino platform. This is the processor the Core series of processors borrowed a lot of ideas from. The pentium D is far more powerful than the P4 with less power consumption and heat. It's a mobile processor.



    I think that using the Pentium D wouldn't be a bad idea. The prices have been slashed and the processors are darn good. Education is not all about power, its the right mix of power and price with more emphasis on price.



    You say it yourself here..

    Quote:

    Like it or not, Apple has to face especially cutthroat pricing in the education market. I think Apple would need to trim every last bit of non-essential hardware. The cost could still be higher than what I listed above.



    The Core processors are much more expensive than the pentium D for a much lower performance increase when you consider the applications education users are going to be using.
  • Reply 17 of 102
    The Pentium M is the mobile chip, the Pentium D is the first dual-core one. I don't forsee Apple using Pentiums if they can avoid it, because they've mocked them so much, and at least totally avoiding Netburst and Pentium altogether lessens some of that contradiction.
  • Reply 18 of 102
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,145member
    Get past it folks, Apple ain't gonna use anything older than a Yonah in any of it's computer products?



    And the Yonahs were nothing more than transitional CPUs, their usage designed to get Apple through a period of virtually zero PPC sales until the next-gen Intel architecture came along?
  • Reply 19 of 102
    sandausandau Posts: 1,230member
    Oh, AI is digging deep on this one. Pretty obvious but no details, imho. Somehow I think they [they] are feeling kinda low after no stories for awhile...this is pure speculation.



    but gonna happen. Apple is always about education...



    6/6/06...steve will bring something out, he's a numerologist. check all his releases all the way back to the $666 Apple I.
  • Reply 20 of 102
    I hope Apple releases the new eMac using a design similar to the iMac G4. I loved that computer, it had so much personality!



    Component-wise I'm betting on the same technology as the Mac mini with a 15-inch LCD included.



    eMac Core Solo with 1.5Ghz/512MB/Combo Drive/Airport/Bluetooth/Integrated Graphics at $899



    eMac Core Duo with 1.66Ghz/1GB/Super Drive/Airport/Bluetooth/Integrated Graphics at $999
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