New iMacs offer more value than competition - report

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
While some industry watchers are incessant in their pleas for Apple to trim the cost of its Mac computer line in order to better compete, a fresh analysis argues that new iMacs introduced Tuesday already compare quite favorably with their Windows-based counterparts and are likely to boost sales of the sluggish Mac desktop segment.



In a report released to clients on Tuesday, Oppenheimer analyst Yair Reiner compliments Apple for its sweeping overhaul of its much-neglected desktop business -- which includes new iMacs, Mac minis, and Mac Pros -- and commended its efforts to engineer and market greener products.



"We believe the product refreshes announced today will bring renewed momentum to Apple's flagging desktop sales," he wrote. "While the much anticipated update did not break new ground in terms of form factor (as we had hoped), the extent of the hardware improvements is a positive surprise."



Reiner, who's modeling Apple to generate second-quarter per-share earnings of $1.02 on revenues of $8.017 billion, made no changes to his estimates but said "pent up demand" for the new systems could drive upside to his March and fiscal year 2009 desktop predictions. He's currently modeling quarterly shipments of 619,000 desktops and 1.437 million notebooks for the three-month period ending March, while his fiscal year estimate has the Mac maker selling 2.776 million desktops and 6.371 million notebooks.



iMacs deliver more for less



The Oppenheimer analyst also used his report Tuesday to perform a side-by-side comparison of the new iMacs against all-in-one desktops from Dell and HP. He found that the mid-range $1,499 model sports faster CPU and RAM while delivering better or comparable graphics than its rivals while still coming in $100 to $250 cheaper.



He noted that even though the iMac lacks a TV tuner, the $60 to $100 upgrade price for that part doesn't negate the full savings.



A comparison of the low-range models on the market gave a slight edge to the HP TouchSmart IQ500t's two-inch larger and touch-sensitive screen, but the iMac wins handily in the processing, memory, and graphics segments. Reiner gave kudos to Apple for its iLife digital lifestyle suite, which comes with every new Mac and lacks a strong rival. The iMac and HP are priced at $1,199, while the Dell XPS One 20 sells for $899 as configured.



A side-by-side comparison of low-end all-in-one desktops | Source: Yair Reiner of Oppenheimer & Co.



Comparing the mid-range 24" iMac ($1,499) with the Dell XPS One 24 ($1,599) and HP TouchSmart IQ800t ($1,749) reveals a similar pattern. While the iMac's screen is just an inch and a half smaller than the TouchSmart's, Apple's all-in-one desktop with Intel and NVIDIA technology again stands out in terms of performance.



A side-by-side comparison of mid-range all-in-one desktops | Source: Yair Reiner of Oppenheimer & Co.



Oppenheimer & Co. is a New York-based investment bank and full-service investment firm in business for more than 125 years. Coincidentally, the firm – located in lower Manhattan's Financial District just blocks away from Wall Street – shares its name with Apple chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer.



Reiner reiterates his Outperform rating on shares of Apple with a 12- to 18-month price target of $120.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 218
    while i appreciate articles that debunk the "Apple tax" myth, the fact that they highlight NVIDIA's integrated graphics over discrete graphics is laughable.



    I admit that i haven't seen any benchmarks comparing the 2, but if you gave me a choice, I'd always choose discrete over integrated, unless they were multiple generations apart.
  • Reply 2 of 218
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    They forgot to highlight one slight Dell advantage: 0.7 more megapixels of webcam resolution.



    (Of course, the usual webcam broadcast size of 320x240 is only 0.076 megapixels anyway, while a 1024x768 emailable snapshot is 0.79 MP. So even the Mac and HP are overkill at 1.3 MP.)
  • Reply 3 of 218
    The iMac 24-inch uses LEDs for backlighting?

    I don't think so.
  • Reply 4 of 218
    macosxpmacosxp Posts: 152member
    While I agree that you get more value for your money overall with an iMac, this study makes no sense. For one thing, it didn't note anything about the HP having more RAM or the Dell having a bigger webcam. For another thing, the XPS One 20" costs more like $1300, not $900. And the study isn't mentioning if the memory is DDR2 or DDR3. And there isn't mention of RESOLUTION -- I personally don't care as much about 24" vs 25" if the 24" one has the same or greater resolution. And when the only software in the comparison is "iLife" it's looking a bit subjective not objective. IMHO, things like Mac OS X which doesn't get viruses, longer lived hardware, and goodies like a motion sensor or internal serge protector are good things to consider. I mean, the study didn't mention how frequently the various computers need to be repaired. The bottom line really is:



    For the same kind of computer, Apple does not charge more, yet they over-deliver on specs and quality of hardware. The study gets the right result, wrong method.
  • Reply 5 of 218
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,341member
    The iMac isn't a bad computer but it's important to realize one salient fact.





    The iMac is your ONLY solution for Macs $1200-2200. They are Apple's high volume computing line.



    If you asked HP or Dell about their AIO they'd say that they serve a portion of their clientele that desire AIO form factor but would probably state their minitower desktops are their high volume.



    You can view almost any product through the right lens and get the answer you want.
  • Reply 6 of 218
    jcw5002jcw5002 Posts: 37member
    Yeah, no LED!
  • Reply 7 of 218
    originalgoriginalg Posts: 383member
    22" Touchsmart also has 4GB of memory
  • Reply 8 of 218
    ouraganouragan Posts: 437member
    Quote:

    Comparing the mid-range 24" iMac ($1,499) with the Dell XPS One 24 ($1,599) and HP TouchSmart IQ800t ($1,749) reveals a similar pattern. While the iMac's screen is just an inch and a half smaller than the TouchSmart's, Apple's all-in-one desktop with Intel and NVIDIA technology again stands out in terms of performance.





    I'm sure that everyone noticed how the comparaison is limited to only 2 models of all-in-one computers, the most expensive on the market.



    But, when I open the weekly flyer from Staples, I see an HP tower with an Intel quad-core Core 2 Quad Q8200 CPU, a Blu-Ray drive, a 19 inches screen, a 500 GB hard drive and 4 GB of RAM for only $949 Canadian dollars (regular price is $1219).



    iMacs are not competing with the most expensive computers on the market, but quad-core desktop computers that sell for much less.



    The same Staples flyer quotes a price of $1699 and $2299 for 2 different models of HP Touchsmart all-in-one computers with Core 2 Duo CPUs and a Blu-Ray drive for the most expensive model.



    If you could get a Core 2 Quad HP desktop tower computer with a Blu-Ray drive for only $949, would you really prefer a mid-range iMac model selling for $1799 in Canada? On the Canada AppleStore, iMacs sell for $1399, $1799, $2099 and $2599. See:



    http://store.apple.com/ca/browse/hom...ac?mco=MTE2NjM





  • Reply 9 of 218
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    I consider this a bogus comparison, as it ignores any comparison between the iMac and available headless PCs in that price range - those are ALSO the iMac's competition, and those compare much more favorably to the iMac.



    This comparison is only of value in a universe in which there doesn't exist a customer who wants a $1200 computer and only considers the iMac because there is no comparable headless mac option in the price range.
  • Reply 10 of 218
    gtl215gtl215 Posts: 242member
    the article clearly states it is comparing the iMacs to other "all in one" computers. Of course Dell and HP make a thousand different computers, each with thousands of different variations. Apple keeps it simple, and gets it right. Any "apple tax" is clearly outweighed by the intangible value of Macs over PCs (hardware design, reliability, OSX, iLife, etc).
  • Reply 11 of 218
    minderbinderminderbinder Posts: 1,703member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GTL215 View Post


    the article clearly states it is comparing the iMacs to other "all in one" computers. Of course Dell and HP make a thousand different computers, each with thousands of different variations. Apple keeps it simple, and gets it right. Any "apple tax" is clearly outweighed by the intangible value of Macs over PCs (hardware design, reliability, OSX, iLife, etc).



    Not the headline.



    "New iMacs offer more value than competition"



    Since it ignores headless machines, it should be something like "New iMacs offer more value than PC All-in-one's". And that's a far less impressive claim.



    And I'd strongly dispute that offering dual core machines when the competition has quads for hundreds less is "getting it right".
  • Reply 12 of 218
    duecesdueces Posts: 89member
    I stopped reading, when after seeing about 5 bisased mistakes in the chart, I came across the golden nugget where they listed iLife and compared it against the 2 windows machines of course with the iMac being at the advantge. Yet no mention of the thousands of other software titles that the other 2 all in ones can run natively(sp?) that the iMac cant.



    Yea this article isn't biased at all. It's actually the exact type of article I expect to find now on Appleinsider.



    Take a nice long drink of that kool-aid.
  • Reply 13 of 218
    wheelhotwheelhot Posts: 465member
    yea, sheesh....then some people will start coming in saying Apple should produce those ugly tower desktops for the consumers (well the MacPro is an expectance cause consumers will definitely not own it unless they are professionals or know that they will need that much horsepower ).



    Its a comparison between AiOs!!! Remember before Apple become all popular, people laughed at the idea of AiO, and when Dell and HP see that Apple is making lots of money from their AiO, they decide to join in but of course Apple years of experience in making AiO, frankly toast its competitors.
  • Reply 14 of 218
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,607member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post


    The iMac isn't a bad computer but it's important to realize one salient fact.





    The iMac is your ONLY solution for Macs $1200-2200. They are Apple's high volume computing line.



    If you asked HP or Dell about their AIO they'd say that they serve a portion of their clientele that desire AIO form factor but would probably state their minitower desktops are their high volume.



    You can view almost any product through the right lens and get the answer you want.



    Agreed, this article is just doing its best to put Apple in the best possible light -- I mean, what do you expect from a website called "AppleInsider."



    That being said, you are totally correct; Apple is very limited with its desktop offerings for consumers whereas competitors like HP and Dell offer a wide range of desktops covering a wide range of price points.



    All-in-one Dell/HP machines are by no means their bread and butter and IMHO are just a poor attempt at trying to cash in on what Apple has done with the iMac computers. However, that's not what they excel at -- they are excellent in value with their standalone tower + monitor combos which the overwhelming majority of PC desktop users go for.



    With Apple, you're either stuck with pricey, somewhat powerful iMacs or less expensive, underpowered Mac minis. Just because Apple doesn't give you many options on what to choose on the desktop doesn't mean that it's the "RIGHT" or that somehow PCs get it "WRONG" for giving users a wide variety of options to choose from.



    I just went to Dell's website and just did a quick pricing run on a Dell Studio machine with a 24" 1080p monitor for $1,049.



    Quote:

    Intel® Core? 2 Quad processor Q9400 (6MB L2, 2.66GHz, 1333FSB)

    Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit

    2Yr Ltd Hardware Warranty, InHome Service after Remote Diagnosis

    Dell S2409W 24" Full HD Widescreen Flat Panel Monitor

    6GB Dual Channel DDR2 SDRAM at 800MHz - 4DIMMs

    640GB Serial ATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) w/DataBurst Cache?

    16X DVD+/-RW Drive

    ATI Radeon HD 3650 256MB supporting HDMI

    Integrated 7.1 Channel Audio

    Dell Wireless Desktop Keyboard & Mouse




    Apple just can't compete with that if all you're after is a fast desktop machine for ~ $1,000. And who cares about the actual tower -- stick it under your desk and forget about it. The only time I could really see it being an issue is if you want to have the computer in the kitchen or something like that where you can't hide the tower.
  • Reply 15 of 218
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,607member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post


    yea, sheesh....then some people will start coming in saying Apple should produce those ugly tower desktops for the consumers (well the MacPro is an expectance cause consumers will definitely not own it unless they are professionals or know that they will need that much horsepower ).



    Its a comparison between AiOs!!! Remember before Apple become all popular, people laughed at the idea of AiO, and when Dell and HP see that Apple is making lots of money from their AiO, they decide to join in but of course Apple years of experience in making AiO, frankly toast its competitors.



    So just because Apple only offers limited choices on the desktop, computer buyers should limit themselves to the same choices?
  • Reply 16 of 218
    abster2coreabster2core Posts: 2,501member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ouragan View Post


    I'm sure that everyone noticed how the comparaison is limited to only 2 models of all-in-one computers, the most expensive on the market.



    But, when I open the weekly flyer from Staples, I see an HP tower with an Intel quad-core Core 2 Quad Q8200 CPU, a Blu-Ray drive, a 19 inches screen, a 500 GB hard drive and 4 GB of RAM for only $949 Canadian dollars (regular price is $1219).



    iMacs are not competing with the most expensive computers on the market, but quad-core desktop computers that sell for much less.



    The same Staples flyer quotes a price of $1699 and $2299 for 2 different models of HP Touchsmart all-in-one computers with Core 2 Duo CPUs and a Blu-Ray drive for the most expensive model.



    If you could get a Core 2 Quad HP desktop tower computer with a Blu-Ray drive for only $949, would you really prefer a mid-range iMac model selling for $1799 in Canada? On the Canada AppleStore, iMacs sell for $1399, $1799, $2099 and $2599. See:



    http://store.apple.com/ca/browse/hom...ac?mco=MTE2NjM









    Supple references please.



    From what I see just perusing it quickly, the processor is really light and I can't find reference that it includes a Blu-Ray drive (reader). Although It does say that it supports Blu-Ray.



    What is the 'flyer' number?
  • Reply 17 of 218
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dueces View Post


    I stopped reading, when after seeing about 5 bisased mistakes in the chart, I came across the golden nugget where they listed iLife and compared it against the 2 windows machines of course with the iMac being at the advantge. Yet no mention of the thousands of other software titles that the other 2 all in ones can run natively(sp?) that the iMac cant.



    Yea this article isn't biased at all. It's actually the exact type of article I expect to find now on Appleinsider.



    Take a nice long drink of that kool-aid.



    Yes well you seem to have missed that the iMac comes with iLife included and the PC's do NOT come with all the software that they can run. List the comparable software that is included for free on the PC's please?
  • Reply 18 of 218
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,538moderator
    I saw a comparison recently that compared processors between the iMac and a high end AIO and it even had a quad 2.33GHz in it and they gave the 2.66GHz dual core iMac the points. For certain tasks, the dual core will be faster but not in general.



    There is also a laptop showing on Engadget that has a Core i7 in it so if they can put a Core i7 desktop chip in a laptop, Apple could have at least put Core 2 Quad in their iMac.



    Not to mention in a few months, we get Grand Central. It will be used for OpenCL presumably but for software that isn't written to take advantage of OpenCL, it will be largely a worthless addition for the iMac.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hmurchison


    The iMac isn't a bad computer but it's important to realize one salient fact.



    The iMac is your ONLY solution for Macs $1200-2200. They are Apple's high volume computing line.



    If you asked HP or Dell about their AIO they'd say that they serve a portion of their clientele that desire AIO form factor but would probably state their minitower desktops are their high volume.



    You can view almost any product through the right lens and get the answer you want.



    Exactly. What's funny is that when there is a mention about Apple not offering a tower, iMac fans say that the iMac is all you need and covers the place of a tower. Then when it comes to comparing value, they say 'ah but it's not a tower though is it, it's an AIO so you can only compare prices with other AIOs'.



    Either it is a mid-range tower replacement or it isn't. If it is then we are perfectly within our rights to compare it with PC towers and it falls far short in terms of value. If it's not a replacement then there is an important element missing in Apple's lineup.
  • Reply 19 of 218
    parkyparky Posts: 383member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    Agreed, this article is just doing its best to put Apple in the best possible light -- I mean, what do you expect from a website called "AppleInsider."



    That being said, you are totally correct; Apple is very limited with its desktop offerings for consumers whereas competitors like HP and Dell offer a wide range of desktops covering a wide range of price points.



    All-in-one Dell/HP machines are by no means their bread and butter and IMHO are just a poor attempt at trying to cash in on what Apple has done with the iMac computers. However, that's not what they excel at -- they are excellent in value with their standalone tower + monitor combos which the overwhelming majority of PC desktop users go for.



    With Apple, you're either stuck with pricey, somewhat powerful iMacs or less expensive, underpowered Mac minis. Just because Apple doesn't give you many options on what to choose on the desktop doesn't mean that it's the "RIGHT" or that somehow PCs get it "WRONG" for giving users a wide variety of options to choose from.



    I just went to Dell's website and just did a quick pricing run on a Dell Studio machine with a 24" 1080p monitor for $1,049.







    Apple just can't compete with that if all you're after is a fast desktop machine for ~ $1,000. And who cares about the actual tower -- stick it under your desk and forget about it. The only time I could really see it being an issue is if you want to have the computer in the kitchen or something like that where you can't hide the tower.



    Then why do you bother reading AppleInsider?

    Why do all these Mac haters feel they need to vent their frustration at owning a PC by visiting Mac news sites and wasting their time?

    Who cares what crap Dell you can buy, remember this is APPLEINSIDER NOT DELLINSIDER!
  • Reply 20 of 218
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Ummmm, I hardly think that Apple neglects it's desktop business.



    Just because they don't have 17 different versions of the iMac to update every 2 months means they are neglecting their desktop business?
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