Goldman: Apple prepping redesigned iMacs, full-screen iPods

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Comments

  • Reply 41 of 70
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Neil Anderson View Post


    The iMac's non-adjustable height has incorporated one less thing to go wrong. The iMac's screen tilts, so there is some adjustment possible.



    On a smooth surface, the entire thing also swivels well.
  • Reply 42 of 70
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Haggar View Post


    I would like to see the iMac hardware designers locked in the repair center and forced to repair all iMacs themselves.



    Apple is by no means the only one to design products this way.



    There is a reason for it.



    Several decades ago, most everything was far less reliable than it is today. For younger people, that may seem hard to believe.



    But, electronics often had a 25% chance of not working out of the box, and many things could, and would, go wrong shortly after setup.



    It's been forgotten, but most warrantees were for 90 days.



    Because of this, most products were designed to be easy to repair.



    Back in the late '70's, I did a stint at a professional color lab in NYC. I was the technical manager. We had a large number of Kodak auto printers (auto by the standards of the day). These were very expensive machines. They still used tubes.



    At the back was the drive mechanism, a very complex affair. On the spindles of the roll paper take-ups were clutches with felt pads. The pads had to be changed every few miles of paper, or so.



    Problem was that you had to disassemble most of the drive system to get to the pads, almost an hours work to take apart, and put back together.



    Why did they design it that way?



    The first reason was because it was more efficient for the working of the machine. The clutches worked better when the pads were closer to the load (the heavy rolls of printing paper).



    The second reason was because it was easier to manufacture that way.



    The truth is that when most equipment is designed, esp. consumer equipment, it is designed first for ease of manufacture,



    That keeps the cost down. Repair is often a secondary concern, particularly these days, when reliability is high, and people are complaining about cost, which is something we didn't see much of many years ago, when even cheap things were expensive by todays standards.



    It could very well be that re-designing iMacs to be easier to repair as the first models were, could add a hundred or two to the final cost.



    From a design and manufacturing front, in my experience of doing just that, I've found, and industry publications agree, that design and manufacture for ease of service rather than for ease of manufacture adds a burden of cost to the consumer that the consumer is rarely willing to assume.



    If the iMacs cost an additional $200, people then would complain about the cost, without thinking about the ease of repair. Most of them would complain that they would prefer the cost to be lower, and damn the repair difficulties.



    After all, repair is not their job. The people doing the work don't particularly care about how complex it may be, as long as it isn't dangerous. And considering that most iMacs (and other models) will never have to be repaired, it is an unfair burden for the rest of the customers to have to assume.



    Sorry this post is so long for what seems to be a simple complaint, but, it really is a complex question.
  • Reply 43 of 70
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member


    OK, I am starting laughing even before saying it. I had a dream last night with S. Jobs introducing the new iMac in a show like MWSF. Unfortunately I don't remember the details, I can only recall that the new iMac was something like a strange base or stick on which you could attach the display.



    I don't believe in... prophetic dreams, especially when you see them after a long period of overfatigue, but for those of you that you do, here it is.

  • Reply 44 of 70
    irelandireland Posts: 17,685member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post




    OK, I am starting laughing even before saying it. I had a dream last night with S. Jobs introducing the new iMac in a show like MWSF. Unfortunately I don't remember the details, I can only recall that the new iMac was something like a strange base or stick on which you could attach the display.



    I don't believe in... prophetic dreams, especially when you see them after a long period of overfatigue, but for those of you that you do, here it is.





    If it is true you better be wrong about timing. \
  • Reply 45 of 70
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    If it is true you better be wrong about timing. \



    Do you mean MWSF (2008)? I referred to MWSF just to demonstrate it was a show like that or WWDC and not a special Apple event. Anyway, it matters not. And to come down to earth again, I don't believe too much this 7 August prediction.
  • Reply 46 of 70
    irelandireland Posts: 17,685member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    Do you mean MWSF (2008)? I referred to MWSF just to demonstrate it was a show like that or WWDC and not a special Apple event. Anyway, it matters not. And to come down to earth again, I don't believe too much this 7 August prediction.



    I bet you are changing your mind now that this keyboard has appeared?
  • Reply 47 of 70
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I bet you are changing your mind now that this keyboard has appeared?



    Not yet. How Apple would introduce a completely new design for the iMac? Certainly not silently, like routine updates. It would require some kind of special event, no? Is there any special event scheduled for August 7?
  • Reply 48 of 70
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I bet you are changing your mind now that this keyboard has appeared?



    What keyboard appeared, and where? It would help to provide a link, this is one I've found:



    http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/27/i...imac-keyboard/
  • Reply 49 of 70
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    What keyboard appeared, and where? It would help to provide a link, this is one I've found:



    http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/27/i...imac-keyboard/



    That's exactly what he means, the keyboard under discussion in the other thread.
  • Reply 50 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    I bet you are changing your mind now that this keyboard has appeared?



    Here's hoping if the keyboard is ready, the iMac is ready too. September is too far away.
  • Reply 51 of 70
    irelandireland Posts: 17,685member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PB View Post


    Not yet. How Apple would introduce a completely new design for the iMac? Certainly not silently, like routine updates. It would require some kind of special event, no? Is there any special event scheduled for August 7?



    August 7th is 11 days away.
  • Reply 52 of 70
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BigMcLargehuge View Post


    How much useful information is there in that opening sentence? NONE! They would have been just as informative had they said "Apple Inc. is gearing ip for several majopr product releases because they are a company and that's what companies do, most of the time, we think, I guess."







    Is this Magic 8-Ballery of the highest order? "All signs point to yes!" No wonder "the analyst" didn't cite sources... most places frown if you say "In a recent question and answer session with my own ass..."







    So that in 11 months they can revise their estimate to more closely match actual sales figures.







    Nice that he identified the supply chain... is it manufactuing supply chain? Retail supply chain? Made it up as I went along supply chain?



    Guess which one I think it is...







    a .13 change? Yet he's baffled by the maxim "what goes up must come down"?







    Yeah, buy high...







    Commissions are hard to come by if no one sells or buys stock.



    zzzzzzzzz



    We get it. Analysts are stupid. Yet for some reason, AI keeps running their reports, and "clever" people keep commenting on them.
  • Reply 53 of 70
    pbpb Posts: 4,233member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    August 7th is 11 days away.



    And what this tells about event schedule? Is there still time to organize something?
  • Reply 54 of 70
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,982member
    This keyboard hasn't appeared. Right now, we don't even know if it's real.



    It might be, and it might not.



    Let's not use as evidence, a series of photo's that may, or may not be, from Apple.
  • Reply 55 of 70
    badtuxbadtux Posts: 40member
    One thing that confuses people is why product refreshes invariably hurt revenues. First is that either you run out of your old product and lose sales while waiting for the new product to arrive at the stores, or you produce more of the old product than you need and lose margin because you have to sell the old product at fire-sale prices to get them out of your warehouse after your resellers return the old product under terms of their contract (which generally includes the right to exchange old product for new when you do a product transition). Second, there is the usual rollout expenses needed for a new product -- new marketing materials, new ads, paying for booze and nibbles for all the press shindigs, new review machines to send out to all the usual suspects, etc. Finally, in the case of Leopard, Apple is going to get a *lot* of machines back from retailers that have Tiger on them once Leopard is released, and is going to have to either heavily discount them in the closeouts area of the Apple Store website, or spend the money to refurb them (install Leopard, re-validate them, re-package them) and send them back to resellers.



    Of course, you do have to refresh your product, or else your sales sag anyhow. So it's a necessary expense. It still has to be accounted for as a necessary expense tho, which is all that Apple is doing for the Leopard transition.
  • Reply 56 of 70
    haggarhaggar Posts: 1,568member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Apple is by no means the only one to design products this way.



    There is a reason for it.



    Several decades ago, most everything was far less reliable than it is today. For younger people, that may seem hard to believe.



    But, electronics often had a 25% chance of not working out of the box, and many things could, and would, go wrong shortly after setup.



    It's been forgotten, but most warrantees were for 90 days.



    Because of this, most products were designed to be easy to repair.



    Back in the late '70's, I did a stint at a professional color lab in NYC. I was the technical manager. We had a large number of Kodak auto printers (auto by the standards of the day). These were very expensive machines. They still used tubes.



    At the back was the drive mechanism, a very complex affair. On the spindles of the roll paper take-ups were clutches with felt pads. The pads had to be changed every few miles of paper, or so.



    Problem was that you had to disassemble most of the drive system to get to the pads, almost an hours work to take apart, and put back together.



    Why did they design it that way?



    The first reason was because it was more efficient for the working of the machine. The clutches worked better when the pads were closer to the load (the heavy rolls of printing paper).



    The second reason was because it was easier to manufacture that way.



    The truth is that when most equipment is designed, esp. consumer equipment, it is designed first for ease of manufacture,



    That keeps the cost down. Repair is often a secondary concern, particularly these days, when reliability is high, and people are complaining about cost, which is something we didn't see much of many years ago, when even cheap things were expensive by todays standards.



    It could very well be that re-designing iMacs to be easier to repair as the first models were, could add a hundred or two to the final cost.



    From a design and manufacturing front, in my experience of doing just that, I've found, and industry publications agree, that design and manufacture for ease of service rather than for ease of manufacture adds a burden of cost to the consumer that the consumer is rarely willing to assume.



    If the iMacs cost an additional $200, people then would complain about the cost, without thinking about the ease of repair. Most of them would complain that they would prefer the cost to be lower, and damn the repair difficulties.



    After all, repair is not their job. The people doing the work don't particularly care about how complex it may be, as long as it isn't dangerous. And considering that most iMacs (and other models) will never have to be repaired, it is an unfair burden for the rest of the customers to have to assume.



    Sorry this post is so long for what seems to be a simple complaint, but, it really is a complex question.





    That's funny, I thought clunky products in the old days were designed that way because the designers didn't know any better. For example, changing the pickup roller in an HP Laserjet 3 required removing several dozen screws, unplugging a bunch of cable connectors, and completely taking off the top housing of the printer. 10 years later, HP came up with the idea of designing the rollers for their newer Laserjets so users could just press on a tab, slide out the old roller, and snap a new one back on without having to disassemble the entire printer. Yet today's Laserjet printers are rated for much longer time between maintenance compared to those old Laserjet 3's.



    Many of Apple's earlier Macs were far easier to take apart compared to PC's at the time. Typical PCs in the early to mid 90's required removing a dozen screws just to open the case. In contrast, Apple's beige G3's used snap on latches for their cases, hard drive brackets and even the logic boards. By making their earlier Macs so easy to take apart, was Apple admitting that their Macs were far less reliable than PC's at the time?



    When questioned about the relatively higher prices of Macs compared to PC's, one of Apple's typical responses is "We charge what the market will bear". And we both know that there are people who will buy Macs regardless of what Apple charges. So for Apple to suddenly become sensitive about manufacturing costs and use that as a defense for poor hardware serviceability seems a bit hypocritical to me.
  • Reply 57 of 70
    xflarexflare Posts: 199member
    I wonder how much Apple make on the current Mac Mini? Those Core Duo chips can't be very expensive at all. 512MB RAM, Combo Drive and Intel GMA 950!! They must make a fortune on them... probably why they havent to update them and why Apple made so much money this quarter.
  • Reply 58 of 70
    ajhillajhill Posts: 81member
    Kudos to the Piper Jafferies analyst who put a price target on a stock that actually is significantly higher than right now. All those analysts who have $150, $160 price targets, even $165, are really brave, oooh. The Piper analyst actually gets it. Mac sales (which are 60% of revenue are up 33% year over year. Show me another PC manufacturer who has sales growth in the 33% range.



    Best of all Apple has a lot of potential market share to GAIN. The others are fighting each other for an ever dwindling market share, due to Apple's increasing market share. Let's see Dell increase their sales 33% yoy. It's not going to happen.



    We hit 150 briefly this last week. And those analysts who put out those $150 price targets did so about 10 days ago. Apple's going up so fast they don't even call them 12 month price targets anymore they just say price target of $XXX dollars.



    One thing for sure, Apple stock will be higher next year. It's been averaging about 100% gains each of the last 5 years. And with iPhone it can only get better.
  • Reply 59 of 70
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,982member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ;1118505


    That's funny, I thought clunky products in the old days were designed that way because the designers didn't know any better. For example, changing the pickup roller in an HP Laserjet 3 required removing several dozen screws, unplugging a bunch of cable connectors, and completely taking off the top housing of the printer. 10 years later, HP came up with the idea of designing the rollers for their newer Laserjets so users could just press on a tab, slide out the old roller, and snap a new one back on without having to disassemble the entire printer. Yet today's Laserjet printers are rated for much longer time between maintenance compared to those old Laserjet 3's.



    Many of Apple's earlier Macs were far easier to take apart compared to PC's at the time. Typical PCs in the early to mid 90's required removing a dozen screws just to open the case. In contrast, Apple's beige G3's used snap on latches for their cases, hard drive brackets and even the logic boards. By making their earlier Macs so easy to take apart, was Apple admitting that their Macs were far less reliable than PC's at the time?



    When questioned about the relatively higher prices of Macs compared to PC's, one of Apple's typical responses is "We charge what the market will bear". And we both know that there are people who will buy Macs regardless of what Apple charges. So for Apple to suddenly become sensitive about manufacturing costs and use that as a defense for poor hardware serviceability seems a bit hypocritical to me.



    My friend, that wasn't the old days. The old days were the days of tubes and transistors.



    Once IC's came around, the new days were upon us.



    What you are taking about is when a new mechanically complex technology comes out. Those are always a bother in the beginning. First they have to get the things to work. Then they have to sell enough of them. Once that happens, they have to make them cheaper. That means making them simpler. That means modularizing everything.



    Even the first Hp's were pretty simple for their time. They used, as they still do, the all-in-one Canon cartridges. Everyone else had all of those parts separate.



    Now, THAT was a real bother.



    Apple's first Mac's could hardly be taken apart at all. PC's were always easy. I don't know why you think they were hard.



    Mac's got easier with the II series, and then got harder again. Finally, with the 8600 and 9600, Apple wised up. But, it was still a pain, as you had to put the machine on its side in order to unfold the parts.



    With the B/W series, Apple made a great move, except for the HD's which were at the bottom, it was the easiest machine to service of any I've worked on.



    The G5 and now the Untel Mac Pro's are a bit of both.



    As long as you don't have to get at the CPU's they are great. But, replacing those CPU's is a REAL pain.



    But, again. Repair isn't our problem, so it doesn't matter.



    Apple has made choices here which some don't agree with, but it has nothing to do with repair, it has to do with upgrading, which is very different.



    Apple has likely looked at those who bought the first iMacs, and decided that not enough people cared about upgradability, but would like to see thinner models instead, so they complied.



    Most companies work that way. Most iMacs are being sold into markets where upgradability isn't important. That doesn't mean that some people buying them agree, but the majority don't.



    In the school market, one of the biggest areas that Applle sell them into, simply does not upgrade machines. I can tell you that from plenty of experience.



    The business market that Apple sells them into, and they do have a following there as well, also does not upgrade.



    Most home owners don't upgrade either.



    That's just the way it is.



    And, Apple seems to be avoiding the market that may have an interest in an relatively inexpensive upgradable machine. We all have our suspicions, but none of us have the answers.
  • Reply 60 of 70
    gqbgqb Posts: 1,934member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post




    The truth is that when most equipment is designed, esp. consumer equipment, it is designed first for ease of manufacture,



    You're dead-on correct.

    Unfortunately, the biggest side effect is that products designed this way are destined for a quick trip to the landfill as the model becomes 'replace, don't repair.'
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