Apple execs address Apple TV, iMac in event Q&A

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
The more personal setting of Apple's auditorium gave Apple chief Steve Jobs and other top executives an opportunity to sit down and answer questions about current hardware and future directions in the wake of its summer Mac event.





Jobs, marketing VP Phil Schiller, and chief operating officer Tim Cook spent much of their time addressing the design decisions for the new iMac.



Despite selling nearly two-thirds of all its Macs as portables, Apple's product line still needs desktops for many users, according to Jobs. Desktops are still important: the extra size allows for faster and inexpensive parts as well as larger displays, he said. Many buyers also look to own two different systems, promising a "bright future" for the computer.



A multi-touch interface like that of the iPhone was off the table for the iMac and other systems, however. The Apple chief was "not sure it makes sense" for a computer and would not rule it out, but said that for now it would only be studied within Apple's engineering labs.



Discussion also shifted to the Apple TV and its relation to the Mac platform. Jobs again took charge of answering concerns and said his company would "have some news" for the media hub soon but that a Mac-focused event was not the place for discussion.



The prevalence of Google in Apple's new iLife suite for certain features, such as AdSense ads built into iWeb sites, was also addressed in an indirect fashion. Jobs contended that Google's "back end services" were appealing and were being integrated into Apple software, and that the respect was mutual from the search engine giant.



The tone of the question and answer session was also characterized by direct jabs at the Windows PC market's budget-conscious design philosophy. Schiller in particular addressed the long-standing question of why Apple had not once used the Intel logo; everyone already knows Macs use Intel chips, he said, and there were far too many stickers and labels on most Windows computers. Jobs also emphasized that Macs were designed to be easily recommended and that this meant including features many other companies would leave out.



"There is some stuff in our industry we wouldn't be proud to ship. We can't ship junk," he told the gathered press. "We want to make the best personal computers in the industry."
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple's product line still needs desktops for many users, according to Jobs. Desktops are still important: the extra size allows for faster and inexpensive parts



    So why don't you use any of those parts, Steve?
  • Reply 2 of 52
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    Exciting stuff, all around.
  • Reply 3 of 52
    msnlymsnly Posts: 378member
    Make a real desktop, thats not just for pros...
  • Reply 4 of 52
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MsNly View Post


    Make a real desktop, thats not just for pros...



    So list the specs and your proposed pricing.
  • Reply 5 of 52
    macsharkmacshark Posts: 229member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Discussion also shifted to the Apple TV and its relation to the Mac platform. Jobs again took charge of answering concerns and said his company would "have some news" for the media hub soon but that a Mac-focused event was not the place for discussion.







    And I thought Apple TV was the cheapest Mac one could buy!



  • Reply 6 of 52
    macsharkmacshark Posts: 229member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    So list the specs and your proposed pricing.



    If the new iMacs came with a couple of e.SATA ports and an ExpressCard slot, there wouldn't be much need for a desktop form factor...
  • Reply 7 of 52
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    The iMac is a decent computer and this new evolution of the brand makes me happy. I'm glad they're silver now rather than white. FW800 on all models means they can bridge the gap between Consumer and Professional. The AIO form factor is dead easy to setup and reduces clutter.



    I would like a minitower configuration but my only reasoning for that is the ability to utilize faster GPU and more storage. I think the more storage will be less of an issue and consumers move to networked storage. The GPU might not be an issue in a couple of years as the GPU functionality begins to appear on the same die as the CPU (AMD and Intel are working on this with Fusion and Nehalem)



    Perhaps we have the vestiges of the perfect modern computer and we're not giving it it's just due.



    I'm looking forward to seeing the Apple TV evolve. I'm guessing the next update will be software related.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    So list the specs and your proposed pricing.



    Why do some people find this so hard to grasp? Apple sell iMacs for a profit. However, iMacs use almost exclusively laptop components, which are slower and/or more expensive than desktop counterparts.



    So, you take out all the laptop parts (CPU, motherboard chipset, RAM, optical drive) and the screen, replace the laptops bits with faster and cheaper desktop components, put them in an attractively styled mini-tower enclosure, and hey presto, you've got a profitable desktop Mac that's much cheaper (and correspondingly less powerful and less flexible) than a Mac Pro.
  • Reply 9 of 52
    astroastro Posts: 22member
    i'm not really sure why this article is titled "Apple execs address Apple TV, iMac..." when the article is only about the iMac, and mentions that the ATV was *not* discussed...



    perhaps it was too silly to say "Apple talks about iMac at iMac event?"



    I thought Apple was using parts that use less power and produce less heat - a noted and seemingly continuous problem in their history. Hence the slightly more expensive laptop parts?
  • Reply 10 of 52
    mr. dirkmr. dirk Posts: 187member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Why do some people find this so hard to grasp? Apple sell iMacs for a profit. However, iMacs use almost exclusively laptop components, which are slower and/or more expensive than desktop counterparts.



    So, you take out all the laptop parts (CPU, motherboard chipset, RAM, optical drive) and the screen, replace the laptops bits with faster and cheaper desktop components, put them in an attractively styled mini-tower enclosure, and hey presto, you've got a profitable desktop Mac that's much cheaper (and correspondingly less powerful and less flexible) than a Mac Pro.



    While I'm sure that for the most part that's true, you're forgetting a key part of the equation: economies of scale. In addition to the individual cost of each component that goes into the computer, each product/product line comes with fixed costs (e.g. designing the product, testing it, setting up the production line, etc.) that must be overcome before the product can be considered truly "profitable."



    Apple only just recently crossed the 1.5 million unit sales barrier. Even with that, 2/3 were laptops. So 500,000 were desktops; let's say for simplicity that 200,000 were Mac Pros and 300,000 were iMacs. Selling 300,000 iMacs a quarter generates enough profit margin to overcome the product's fixed costs. But let's say Apple introduces a new mini-tower Mac, that's pretty popular and sells 150,000 units; now let's say that Apple's market can only grow so fast, and that those aren't 150,000 ADDITIONAL units, but rather 150,000 units that would have gone towards iMac sales.



    So as it would stand then, there would be sales of 150,000 iMacs and 150,000 mini-towers, meaning that Apple would have to deal with roughly double the fixed costs (for maintaining the two separate product lines). All the sudden, despite lower component costs, things become far more complicated. So, Apple has two options: either (1) scrap the iMac and only make a mini-tower, or (2) wait until Apple's doing enough desktop mac volume to justify introducing another product line.



    Apple's obviously choosing (2). Doing (1) would be incredibly risky--Apple knows it has a market for AIO desktops like the iMac, so why risk such a vast sea change?
  • Reply 11 of 52
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Dirk View Post


    So 500,000 were desktops; let's say for simplicity that 200,000 were Mac Pros and 300,000 were iMacs.



    Apple sold over 600,000 desktops last quarter. No way that anywhere near 200,000 of them were Mac Pros. Back when Apple were still breaking out the sales figures, they repeatedly stated the "hope" that they'd be able to get the G5 tower sales back to 100,000 per quarter.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Dirk View Post


    those aren't 150,000 ADDITIONAL units, but rather 150,000 units that would have gone towards iMac sales.



    I don't think that the xMac would canabalise iMac sales to anywhere near that extent. Seriously, who in their right mind buys an iMac when what they really want is an xMac? Potential xMac purchasers are either potential Windows switchers who currently are saying to themselves "oh well, Apple still don't make the machine I want, guess I'm sticking with Windows", or Apple fans who currently buy second-hand Mac Towers from eBay.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Dirk View Post


    So, Apple has two options: either (1) scrap the iMac and only make a mini-tower, or (2) wait until Apple's doing enough desktop mac volume to justify introducing another product line.



    Apple don't have the correct line-up to do (2). They need additional models (an xMac) in order to expand desktop market share.
  • Reply 12 of 52
    imacfpimacfp Posts: 750member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Why do some people find this so hard to grasp? Apple sell iMacs for a profit. However, iMacs use almost exclusively laptop components, which are slower and/or more expensive than desktop counterparts.



    So, you take out all the laptop parts (CPU, motherboard chipset, RAM, optical drive) and the screen, replace the laptops bits with faster and cheaper desktop components, put them in an attractively styled mini-tower enclosure, and hey presto, you've got a profitable desktop Mac that's much cheaper (and correspondingly less powerful and less flexible) than a Mac Pro.



    Clearly Apple does not agree with you. Have you watched the video of the event? If you did you'd note that Jobs shows a picture of a desktop PC tower with a bunch of wires, etc. and then switches to the iMac with fewer wires and exclaims that the iMac is the better option. Jobs really does think the iMac is as good better than the mini tower concept. You clearly disagree, and there is merit to your ideas, but Apple will never build a mini tower while Jobs is there. It just won't happen.



    Here's what Jobs said in response to a question at the event.



    Is Apple’s goal to overtake the PC in market share? Jobs said, “Our goal is to make the best personal computers in the world and make products we are proud to sell and recommend to our family and friends. We want to do that at the lowest prices we can.

    “But there’s some stuff in our industry that we wouldn’t be proud to ship. And we just can’t do it. We can’t ship junk,” said Jobs. “There are thresholds we can’t cross because of who we are. And we think that there’s a very significant slice of the [market] that wants that too. You’ll find that our products are not premium priced. You price out our competitors’ products, and add features that actually make them useful, and they’re the same or actually more expensive. We don’t offer stripped-down, lousy products.”
  • Reply 13 of 52
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,797member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by imacFP View Post


    Clearly Apple does not agree with you. Have you watched the video of the event? If you did you'd note that Jobs shows a picture of a desktop PC tower with a bunch of wires, etc. and then switches to the iMac with fewer wires and exclaims that the iMac is the better option. Jobs really does think the iMac is as good better than the mini tower concept. You clearly disagree, and there is merit to your ideas, but Apple will never build a mini tower while Jobs is there. It just won't happen.



    Yes, I know that "Apple" disagrees. I wouldn't say it'll "never" happen whilst Jobs is there. I mean, if he really believed what he's saying, Apple wouldn't have the Mac Mini or the Mac Pro.



    It is just about within the realms of possibility that Steve may one day see the reality that Apple's laptop market share is shooting through the roof, but their desktop market share is doing nothing (hey, at least it's not going down ). He may one day be forced to admit that maybe that's got something to do with the desktops that Apple is selling.
  • Reply 14 of 52
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Yes, I know that "Apple" disagrees. I wouldn't say it'll "never" happen whilst Jobs is there. I mean, if he really believed what he's saying, Apple wouldn't have the Mac Mini or the Mac Pro.



    It is just about within the realms of possibility that Steve may one day see the reality that Apple's laptop market share is shooting through the roof, but their desktop market share is doing nothing (hey, at least it's not going down ). He may one day be forced to admit that maybe that's got something to do with the desktops that Apple is selling.



    Maybe they think the mini and Pro are incidental. The mini they want to keep so they have a lower-priced hook and try to upsell to the iMac, and keep the Pro to keep their higher end pros happy.
  • Reply 15 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    So why don't you use any of those parts, Steve?



    So, you think that an iMac costs as much as a MBP? It has the better specsas well.



    You think that a 20, or esp a 24" screen costs the same as a 15, or 17" screen?



    If we can assume that the iMac screens cost more, because of their much larger size, then the rest of the parts must cost MUCH less to make up for it, considering that the new 24" iMac costs $1799, and the newest 17" MBP costs $2799, a cool thousand more, I would say that Jobs is right on the money. Wouldn't you?
  • Reply 16 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macshark View Post


    If the new iMacs came with a couple of e.SATA ports and an ExpressCard slot, there wouldn't be much need for a desktop form factor...



    I have been calling for an E-SATA port. One is all that is needed if it conglomerates several drives into one port as many external card tower combo's do.



    I'm not entirely sold on the Express slot though. For a portable it's a good idea, but for this, I'm not so sure. Though one could add a SATA card through one.



    I would have liked to see either a Display port or HDMI port.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Why do some people find this so hard to grasp? Apple sell iMacs for a profit. However, iMacs use almost exclusively laptop components, which are slower and/or more expensive than desktop counterparts.



    So, you take out all the laptop parts (CPU, motherboard chipset, RAM, optical drive) and the screen, replace the laptops bits with faster and cheaper desktop components, put them in an attractively styled mini-tower enclosure, and hey presto, you've got a profitable desktop Mac that's much cheaper (and correspondingly less powerful and less flexible) than a Mac Pro.



    While some of the parts are from the laptop, most are not.



    The mobo is not a laptop mobo. We've seen enough of them in the stripdowns to know that. They are specifically designed for the iMacs.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. H View Post


    Apple sold over 600,000 desktops last quarter. No way that anywhere near 200,000 of them were Mac Pros. Back when Apple were still breaking out the sales figures, they repeatedly stated the "hope" that they'd be able to get the G5 tower sales back to 100,000 per quarter.









    I don't think that the xMac would canabalise iMac sales to anywhere near that extent. Seriously, who in their right mind buys an iMac when what they really want is an xMac? Potential xMac purchasers are either potential Windows switchers who currently are saying to themselves "oh well, Apple still don't make the machine I want, guess I'm sticking with Windows", or Apple fans who currently buy second-hand Mac Towers from eBay.









    Apple don't have the correct line-up to do (2). They need additional models (an xMac) in order to expand desktop market share.



    I agree with you on this posting.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 32,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by imacFP View Post


    Clearly Apple does not agree with you. Have you watched the video of the event? If you did you'd note that Jobs shows a picture of a desktop PC tower with a bunch of wires, etc. and then switches to the iMac with fewer wires and exclaims that the iMac is the better option. Jobs really does think the iMac is as good better than the mini tower concept. You clearly disagree, and there is merit to your ideas, but Apple will never build a mini tower while Jobs is there. It just won't happen.



    Here's what Jobs said in response to a question at the event.



    Is Apple?s goal to overtake the PC in market share? Jobs said, ?Our goal is to make the best personal computers in the world and make products we are proud to sell and recommend to our family and friends. We want to do that at the lowest prices we can.

    ?But there?s some stuff in our industry that we wouldn?t be proud to ship. And we just can?t do it. We can?t ship junk,? said Jobs. ?There are thresholds we can?t cross because of who we are. And we think that there?s a very significant slice of the [market] that wants that too. You?ll find that our products are not premium priced. You price out our competitors? products, and add features that actually make them useful, and they?re the same or actually more expensive. We don?t offer stripped-down, lousy products.?



    While I generally agree with what Apple does lately, that doesn't mean that they are always right. Sometimes Jobs has some "thing" against an idea that makes sense.



    But, never say never. It may happen yet.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    murphywebmurphyweb Posts: 295member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    While some of the parts are from the laptop, most are not.



    The mobo is not a laptop mobo. We've seen enough of them in the stripdowns to know that. They are specifically designed for the iMacs.



    I am sorry Mel but the motherboard is not most!

    Please explain to use exactly what you would find in the new iMac that you will not find inside a MacBook Pro? of course with exception to the screen size.



    I was waiting to buy the new iMac but ended up going out and getting a MBP last month as i discovered (through this site) that the only way i could get a Apple desktop was to shell out for a Mac Pro and i was not prepared to spend that kind of money on a computer. So wanting very much to stick with Mac i got what i thought was by far the best deal, powerful notebook specs in a notebook package.



    Now here is the rub, if i was not prepared to buy a notebook and really wanted a desktop i am not sure i would have bought an iMac, it just does not make any sense at all. Why is the iMac so thin and full of notebook components? Why cant you swap hard drives and add a second monitor to it?



    A desktop should be fat! it is supposed to be fat! If i buy a desktop i want a desktop CPU, i want a PCI graphics card that i can swap out if i require a faster one, i want 3.5" drives that can be swapped out easily, i want the ability to add hardware. This is what a desktop is and this is what the majority of desktop PC buyers out there are used to. There is no doubt at all that this strategy is not helping to win switchers over from PC's when a PC user looks at the Apple website and sees the only computer that resembles anything like what they have on their windows machine is a Mac Pro. In fact i would go as far as saying that Apple only have one desktop computer in the Mac Pro and everything else are just different styles of notebooks.



    So when Steve Jobs says
    Quote:

    Desktops are still important: the extra size allows for faster and inexpensive parts



    you really have to ask yourself what the ell is he going on about???
Sign In or Register to comment.