Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini

1101113151629

Comments

  • Reply 241 of 575
    vineavinea Posts: 5,585member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robbyx View Post


    Fair enough, but I'd argue that the majority of consumers aren't really concerned with upgrading from a 23" display to a 30" one. Like I said, there's a small niche of people who want the latest and greatest everything, who want to live on the bleeding edge, who want extreme upgrade flexibility, etc. The vast majority of users, however, don't care. For them, the iMac is an amazing design - compact, somewhat portable, quiet, stylish, and still a very capable performer.



    When the MB goes SantaRosa most folks would be better off with a MB + dock* + monitor than an iMac IMHO.



    Vinea



    * Dock
  • Reply 242 of 575
    idaveidave Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robbyx View Post


    Fair enough, but I'd argue that the majority of consumers aren't really concerned with upgrading from a 23" display to a 30" one. Like I said, there's a small niche of people who want the latest and greatest everything, who want to live on the bleeding edge, who want extreme upgrade flexibility, etc. The vast majority of users, however, don't care. For them, the iMac is an amazing design - compact, somewhat portable, quiet, stylish, and still a very capable performer.



    I don't disagree. The iMacs are very nice computers and Apple sells a lot of them. But I think you underestimate the number of people like me who don't want one.



    To use another analogy, there are a lot of people who have a simple television in the corner of their living room. There are a LOT of others who have a TV monitor connected to a home theatre system with seven speakers, etc., etc. I feel most of those people would never be happy with an iMac as their computer and I think Mac market share helps demonstrate the truth to that.
  • Reply 243 of 575
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,951member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robbyx View Post


    Fair enough, but I'd argue that the majority of consumers aren't really concerned with upgrading from a 23" display to a 30" one. Like I said, there's a small niche of people who want the latest and greatest everything, who want to live on the bleeding edge, who want extreme upgrade flexibility, etc. The vast majority of users, however, don't care. For them, the iMac is an amazing design - compact, somewhat portable, quiet, stylish, and still a very capable performer.



    I don't think the desire to re-use the display is necessarily extreme. What is extreme is the inflexibility in the iMac design. Display technology does not advance anywhere nearly as quickly as most other computer technologies. I think iMac is fine for anyone that upgrades every six years, after that, display quality on even a decent display might suffer noticiably anyway, but if you upgrade every three years, then it really doesn't make as much sense, you have to trade out the entire unit no matter what.
  • Reply 244 of 575
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Wow! 300-400% percent more. Please provide example(s) with supportive links.



    Thank you.



    Uhh... this is hard for you, especially since I already mentioned the sites in question? Um, okay:



    Step 1: Go to Apple Store online, check out RAM upgrade pricing for Mac Mini. Going from the standard 512MB to 1GB is $75:



    http://store.apple.com/1-800-MY-APPL...Uq4UB0B/2.?p=0



    Step 2: Go to http://www.ramseeker.com/ . Check out the prices on memory modules for the Mac Mini. Note that Crucial, a very well-regarded RAM supplier, offers the following prices on memory modules for the Mac Mini:



    512 MB RAM: 25.99

    1 GB RAM: 43.99



    Note that its only $18 more to go from 512MB to 1GB for them. Note also that their prices aren't even the cheapest on Ramseeker, they were chosen because of their reputation and lifetime warranty.



    Step 3: Whip out a calculator and realize that $75 really IS 300% more than $18... 316.66% more, to be exact. Feel free to note that shipping costs would reduce that, but that even so the Apple Store price is blown away.



    This is not news. Most anyone tech-savvy that I know understands that Apple Store RAM upgrade pricing is a rip-off, and orders and installs RAM themselves. Even in a situation where your comp has only one RAM slot and you'd have to TOSS RAM, you still come out ahead by NOT going with the Apple Store.



    If it makes you feel better, places like the Dell Store have ridiculous RAM upgrade pricing also, just not quite as ridiculous. \



    Oh, and you're welcome.



    .
  • Reply 245 of 575
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robbyx View Post


    Part of being an Apple customer (and I've been one for 25 years now) is accepting that Apple doesn't always deliver everything you want. You have a choice, though. There are plenty of PC makers out there who will satisfy your requirements. For a small niche of people, being part of the Apple product ecosystem means trading a few requirements for a much better user experience. And that's not about "listening to customers"; it's about market realities.



    The thing is, I've been an Apple customer for nearly as long as you, and I can definitely see the argument about Apple being out of touch and not always listening to their customers. It's actually a continuing theme with them, in an on-again off-again sort of way, and its one of the few things that holds them back. And saying, "Don't like it? Go get a PC then!" is a decades-old, tired defense, and has never been particularly helpful. \



    I remember one year, under Spindler I believe, that Apple nearly bankrupted themselves, by trying to shove low-end machines down everyone's throats, when at that particular time everyone was screaming for high-end machines. Apple didn't listen to its customers, and wound up with some pretty horrendous losses as a result.



    Things have gotten a bit better under Jobs, but let's be honest, Steve likes to think in terms of what 'should be', and not necessarily 'what do people want'. Hence the failure of the G4 Cube, for example.



    Don't get me wrong, I think he's somewhat interested in what the customer wants, but not as much as he is in what he wants, aesthetically and otherwise. And sometimes it pans out... spectacularly well, even (I'd say the iPhone is a great example of this). But other times, it doesn't.



    The 'market reality' is that Apple's margins have gotten a bit fat lately, and with that and their growing mindshare and marketshare, they're in prime position to expand their product line-up, which would be listening to both their existing fan base and their potential fan base, aka Windows switchers who are on the fence, but who'd hop on over if Apple only offered products more like what they're used to (15" notebooks that cost less than $2000, minitowers*) and more aggressive pricing in general.



    ( * yes, desktops are still relevant. Apple still gets about 40 percent of their Mac revenue from them).



    I think when Apple was struggling to survive (late '90s), Steve's very limited 'magic square' product line-up made a ton of sense. But its a decade later now, and things are changing.



    Sure, Apple should NOT attempt to become like Dell, and offer a zillion different generic-looking computers in a manic attempt to try to be all things to all people. Nor should they go after the low-end, 'eMachines/ ghetto' segment of the market (and no, the Mac Mini was really not in that segment).



    But even respecting those facts, there's still definitely room to fill in some gaps in Apple's current product line up, such as a reasonably-priced 15" notebook, a subnotebook, a minitower, and a sub-$1000 notebook. And I'm sure their marketshare would improve more than it has as a consequence. Apple seems to agree, as there are credible rumors that they are indeed working on some of those products. But really, they should've had those things out awhile ago.



    Apple, for all of its unconventional design brilliance, is actually quite conservative in a lot of its moves. And that does get frustrating for many of its customers and potential customers, who'd buy a new Mac in a heartbeat "if only" Apple would give them something even close to what they want. \



    Bear in mind here that we are differentiating between 'fanboy wishes' ("I'd like a CRAY please. And it should look like the Mona Lisa."), and reasonable product requests that are actually quite common, would do well in the marketplace, and are in no way 'niche'.



    The G4 Cube, at what it was priced at, can't say the same. So, I guess its okay to be a niche Apple product, so long as your Steve's niche product? Huh?



    This is why I can't get too down on 'folks with requests'. Yeah, a lot of said requests don't make sense, but some of them definitely do, especially the ones that come up again and again and again (which should tell you something). And some of them make more sense than some of the stuff Apple has done in the past, eh?



    Finally, don't tell people who are unhappy in some way with Apple's product line up to "go get a PC". Too many of them do already, out of frustration. Obviously, what they really want is not some 'consolation prize' PC, but a Mac that meets their needs.



    So the real question then is, "Are those needs reasonable?". If you're very pro-Apple, its tempting to define as "unreasonable" any need that's not met by Apple's current line-up. "Apple knows best", and all that. But that would be short-sighted and inflexible.\ Bad companies try to tell customers that what they happen to have to sell is what customers want, good companies adapt to what customers want.



    Sure, I can understand Apple wanting to have a conversation with its customers in which it tries to CONVINCE customers of what they really want, if Apple honestly believes that its way is better (and they do, its called marketing). But if you've tried and you've tried and you've tried to convince your customers that they don't want something, and they're still saying, "No, we really do want that", then you should very seriously consider giving it to them.



    Unless of course, you, as a company, just find it really annoying to sell tons more product than you were before. Because, even as good as Apple's doing now, they could easily be doing even BETTER (as amazing as that is to contemplate).



    .
  • Reply 246 of 575
    wilcowilco Posts: 985member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    ...I would have to guess that you are a flamming idiot.



    Ahhhh, irony.
  • Reply 247 of 575
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 760member
    I'd have probably bought a Mini buy now (pun intended) if it only had a 3.5" drive. A Slightly bigger case and a HDMI connector would rock, however I do agree it's dead.



    Apple Store in Cheltenham had none on display yesterday.
  • Reply 248 of 575
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 760member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Apple do this a lot though. They bring out a really nice innovative product and they let it stagnate until it's worthless. I can see them doing the same thing with the iphone.



    Worryingly they seem to be letting the iPod stagnate too. Can't Apple work on multiple independant projects in parallel?
  • Reply 249 of 575
    mrtotesmrtotes Posts: 760member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by robbyx View Post


    So what's not to like? Right now the biggest disappointment for me is how long it takes to convert video to H.264 on my iMac G5. Glacial is the only word to describe it. Hopefully when I make the switch to an Intel Mac (when the next iMacs are released), things will improve.



    http://www.elgato.com/index.php?file...e771c7f7656526



    EDIT: Boy, that took me 4 hours to read this post!!!
  • Reply 250 of 575
    dm3dm3 Posts: 168member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    ...I can definitely see the argument about Apple being out of touch and not always listening to their customers. It's actually a continuing theme with them, in an on-again off-again sort of way, and its one of the few things that holds them back.

    ...

    The 'market reality' is that Apple's margins have gotten a bit fat lately, and with that and their growing mindshare and marketshare, they're in prime position to expand their product line-up, which would be listening to both their existing fan base and their potential fan base, aka Windows switchers who are on the fence, but who'd hop on over if Apple only offered products more like what they're used to (15" notebooks that cost less than $2000, minitowers*) and more aggressive pricing in general.

    ...

    Finally, don't tell people who are unhappy in some way with Apple's product line up to "go get a PC". Too many of them do already, out of frustration. Obviously, what they really want is not some 'consolation prize' PC, but a Mac that meets their needs.



    Great post. I second that.



    Some folks think anything Apple makes is awesome. I have a more pragmatic opinion. I think Apple's recent success is because they've come out with some products which hit the sweet spot of the market. Take the Macbook. I think its an excellent compromise. The 13" display is small, but big enough in widescreen to look excellent. Add in an Intel processor, Mac OS X, and a price that's lower than the competition with a good feature set including 802.11, gigabit ethernet, bluetooth, iSight, etc. Hard for the consumer to lose.



    The Mini on the other hand has been a product wandering aimlessly for a market. Is it a dirt cheap PC? No not really, its very small with expensive laptop components in it. Is it a Media PC? No not really. In its original form it didn't even have digital audio output. Its still hampered with a 2.5" drive which can't really handle being a media server.



    I've seen a series of missteps from Apple recently. I think the Macbook is/was awesome (now its overpriced), Macbook Pro is reasonably good, Mac Pro seems more of a niche high end product but a worthy product.



    The much hyped Apple TV has missed the mark. Its a good price for a small computer, but it provides too little value. Can only watch iTunes content... which isn't even HD, but you're REQUIRED to have an HDTV... huh?! What gives. Either provide HD content from somewhere, or don't require an HDTV. Other problems abound. Sure you can make it better, but so can anyone else.



    Apple still doesn't have a reasonable media center solution. They need a slightly bigger Mini that accepts a 3.5" drive or two but is still quiet and smallish, the much requested minitower which could also be cheaper which is definitely a factor for switchers (it was for me).



    They also need to release an iPhone without the phone, ie the long rumored true video iPod. They also need to release a lower cost iPhone if there's any hope of selling the million(s) Jobs predicted.



    And it wouldn't hurt if they'd actually finish Leopard and put some really neat new features into it such as a new 3D gesture based UI.
  • Reply 251 of 575
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBaggins View Post


    Oh, and you're welcome.



    Thank you.



    So you are telling me that if I send you a Mac Mini you could double the RAM and save me big bucks. What about labor costs? Overhead? Testing? Do you guarantee the new RAM? For how long? Will you send me a prepaid shipping carton and and also pre-pay the return delivery if my machine breaks down? And since my Apple warrantee is now nul and void by installing the third-party RAM, will you take over the service and support for the remainder of the term?



    And just how much liability insurance coverage do you have just in case I want to sue you if my computer fails to work as it should?
  • Reply 252 of 575
    idaveidave Posts: 1,283member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    And since my Apple warrantee is now nul and void by installing the third-party RAM...



    Just for the record, you do not void your warranty on a Mac mini by installing third party RAM. If you are uncomfortable installing it yourself, perhaps you should pay the Apple premium and buy it with extra RAM pre-installed.



    There's really no need to get snippy on either side of the discussion over Apple's overpriced RAM. Some people prefer to get their machines pre-configured and some prefer to save money and do it themselves after the purchase.
  • Reply 253 of 575
    dm3dm3 Posts: 168member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iDave View Post


    ... Apple's overpriced RAM.



    Overprice hard drive upgrades too...
  • Reply 254 of 575
    tbagginstbaggins Posts: 2,306member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Thank you.



    So you are telling me that if I send you a Mac Mini you could double the RAM and save me big bucks. What about labor costs? Overhead? Testing? Do you guarantee the new RAM? For how long? Will you send me a prepaid shipping carton and and also pre-pay the return delivery if my machine breaks down? And since my Apple warrantee is now nul and void by installing the third-party RAM, will you take over the service and support for the remainder of the term?



    And just how much liability insurance coverage do you have just in case I want to sue you if my computer fails to work as it should?



    No, I'm telling you that you can install high-quality RAM with a lifetime warranty yourself, in about 5 minutes with ease, and save yourself a great deal of money over what Apple charges. I'd file that in the 'obvious' category, right along with the sun rising in the east, and Dick Cheney having no soul.



    However, if you'd be happier inventing problems, you are welcome to screw up the simple process of installing your own RAM, can then sue yourself, and then post on Internet forums "not to use Abster, he's incompetent, and provided a terrible user experience." Whatever makes you happy.



    Oh, and as iDave stated, you don't void your warranty by installing your own RAM. According to Apple:



    "You may install memory (RAM, VRAM), and other customer-installable parts without voiding your Apple warranty."



    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=13946



    Don't fear DIMMs, Abster. They don't bite.



    .
  • Reply 255 of 575
    drmotodrmoto Posts: 15member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Thank you.



    So you are telling me that if I send you a Mac Mini you could double the RAM and save me big bucks. What about labor costs? Overhead? Testing? Do you guarantee the new RAM? For how long? Will you send me a prepaid shipping carton and and also pre-pay the return delivery if my machine breaks down? And since my Apple warrantee is now nul and void by installing the third-party RAM, will you take over the service and support for the remainder of the term?



    And just how much liability insurance coverage do you have just in case I want to sue you if my computer fails to work as it should?



    I think most will agree that installing RAM is no brain surgery, but if you cannot do it yourself or find someone to do it for you, then don't complain about paying more. And I'm pretty sure you don't need to have a liability insurance policy or lawsuit over a $600 computer. C'mon.



    However, the fact stands: Mac Mini is too limited when it comes to upgrades, at too high a price, with too slow a hard drive, and my biggest pet peeve - a power brick that is half the size.



    If Apple discontinues it, I will not be sad. I've owned one myself for a year and re-sold it on eBay for almost as much as I bought it - kudos to Apple products holding their resale value.
  • Reply 256 of 575
    nvidia2008nvidia2008 Posts: 9,262member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by vinea View Post


    When the MB goes SantaRosa most folks would be better off with a MB + dock* + monitor than an iMac IMHO.



    Vinea



    * Dock



    OMFG I have to say that Dock is absolutely hideous.



    I'd rather swallow live frogs than let that within one mile of my

    beaaauutiful, beautiful, preccciousss MacBook Core2Duo 2.0ghz 2gbRAM BLACK.
  • Reply 257 of 575
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    TBaggins, I would hate to count the number of Macs I have serviced and supported, though I never opened a MIni. And I don't contest your point that it could take 5 minutes to install more RAM. And I never contested your RAM prices. It is just that you tend to leave out a few things:



    Important, what is the total cost for the time it takes to order, acquire, install, test, and retest. Thirty-forty minutes. Sorry, but at my hourly rate suggess I don't do it.



    More important, what is the cost if you have never done it before, as is the case of most Mac Mini purchasers. It would be the last thing I would recommend doing.



    Most important, history tells us that if you install third-party RAM you just voided or caused to avoid your Apple warranty or AppleCare! And that is priceless.



    Now, I have installed third-pary RAM and many other things in my own 86+ Macs since 1984, but never while they were under warranty or AppleCare, (as I wouldn't in my BMW). Sure, I used to begrudged the RAM prices, until I owned and ran my own companies. At first, my prices were some of the lowest in the business. However, after a few terrifyingly sleepless nights I realized that to survive, grossing 25-35% profit was manditory because after deducting operating costs and taxes, there wasn't much or anything left. Certainly less and less to invest in equipment and research to do the jobs in hand or in the future. And that comes out of the net profits.
  • Reply 258 of 575
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


    OMFG I have to say that Dock is absolutely hideous.



    I'd rather swallow live frogs than let that within one mile of my

    beaaauutiful, beautiful, preccciousss MacBook Core2Duo 2.0ghz 2gbRAM BLACK.



  • Reply 259 of 575
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iDave View Post


    Just for the record, you do not void your warranty on a Mac mini by installing third party RAM.



    Interesting and yet,



    PRODUCT WARRANTY

    All Apple hardware products, including clearance and refurbished products, carry a one-year Limited Warranty against defects in materials and workmanship. You may review a copy of the Limited Warranty on new products, including its limitations and exclusions, before you purchase, by clicking the appropriate link below.



    Non-Apple-branded/Third-party products are sold "AS IS" by the Apple Store, but may be accompanied by their manufacturers' standard warranties. "AS IS" products are sold by Apple as is, where is, and with all faults, and without express or implied warranties from Apple. If you have questions about any manufacturers' warranties that accompany such products, please contact the manufacturer directly.



    Note: Products sold through this Web site which do not bear the Apple Brand name are serviced and supported exclusively by their manufacturers in accordance with any terms and conditions packaged with the products (unless the third-party product is preinstalled in an Apple-branded computer). Apple's Limited Warranty does not apply to products that are not Apple-branded, even if packaged or sold with Apple products. Please contact the manufacturer directly for technical support and customer service.
    http://store.apple.com/Catalog/US/Im...uct%20Warranty
  • Reply 260 of 575
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,822member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    Interesting and yet



    Um, was what you posted meant to prove that putting third-party RAM into a Mac voids the warranty for that Mac? Because it didn't.



    It's really very simple. If you buy a Mac from Apple and RAM from someone else, and install the RAM in the Mac, the Mac minus the RAM is under warranty from Apple, and the RAM is under warranty from whoever you bought it from.
Sign In or Register to comment.