Why Apple will NEVER build a mid range tower.

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Customers looking for a mid range tower want:



affordability

+

upgradability



If Apple gives you the affordability of a basic tower (say 2.4 Ghz, 1GB RAM, 100GB Hard drive, low end dedicated graphics) for £599 ($999), then those buying will upgrade the RAM, Hard drive and graphics at:



4GB RAM - $120 (£80)



500GB 7200rpm - $120 (£70)



Nvidia Geforce 8800 GT 512MB GDDR3 - $250 (£140)



Granted you will only be on Core 2 Duo, instead of Quad like the Mac Pro, but this would only cost you:



£599 ($999)



+



£80 ($120)



+



£70 ($120)



+



£140 (250)



=



£889 ($1489)



Can you imagine? Currently the Mac Pro comes in at minimum £1499 (Single Core 2 Quad)



As it stands, those looking for a mid range will either:



1) Buy a Mini - money to Apple £399 or £499 (-£100 or -£200 compared to mid range tower)



2) Buy an iMac - money to Apple £799 or above (+ £200 or more compared to mid range tower)



3) Buy a Mac Pro - money to Apple £1499 or above (+ £900 or more compared to mid range tower)



Currently, those looking for real power have to bite the bullet and go for the Mac Pro. Those in the middle will go for the iMac. And the percentage buying the mini will probably 'upgrade' the next time round to an iMac.



A mid range tower would be fiscal suicide for Apple, and that is why it will never happen.



Peace and God Bless!



p.s I am aware that turnover does not = profit, the implication is used here for simplicity. In fact, I believe if a cost appraisal was undertaken, it would further confirm the results in terms of profit (by product).
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 60
    nofeernofeer Posts: 2,422member
    it's called the mini
  • Reply 2 of 60
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post


    it's called the mini



    Yeah seriously, ever since FireWire who has cards in their computer? Probably 1% or less of computers have expansion cards or other special hardware. As for drives, well, why not just use FireWire or USB? People that do music, video, or networking and storage, probably want a Mac Pro anyway. I agree. It's like having everything and the kitchen sink on a restaurant menu. It's all about profit. This insight clicked for me since I've been getting in to watching Gordon Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares!
  • Reply 3 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NOFEER View Post


    it's called the mini



    Would you really call a tiny box with old integrated graphics a mid range tower?
  • Reply 4 of 60
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,228moderator
    This thread isn't likely to give more insight into the matter than the very long thread dedicated to this discussion, which is concerning the oddly named xMac - the term commonly used to describe the mid range tower.



    Everything said here has been covered many times and it's wrong plain and simple. A mid range tower would be Apple's killer machine and would put them in a large number of businesses. You don't see iMacs in there for good reason and it's not just to do with the OS because Macs run Windows now too.



    The xMac is to businesses and PC users what the Macbook Air is to Japan. How many Macs did you see there before it was introduced?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Magicsilence View Post


    Customers looking for a mid range tower want:



    affordability

    +

    upgradability



    Wrong, we want our choice of configuration and display and proper desktop parts. Affordability and upgradability are merely byproducts.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Magicsilence View Post


    instead of Quad like the Mac Pro, but this would only cost you £889 ($1489) Can you imagine? Currently the Mac Pro comes in at minimum £1499



    You mistakingly assume that people who can afford to buy a Mac Pro won't and will simply go for the mid range tower. You also make the mistake of assuming that this is somehow bad for Apple. Making a computer that satisfies more needs means more sales to people who wanted a Mac Pro but bought a PC instead.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Magicsilence View Post


    Currently, those looking for real power have to bite the bullet and go for the Mac Pro.



    You've forgotten the Macbook Pro, which I'd say is a better/faster machine than the iMac. But yes they are forced to go to a Mac Pro if they need a desktop. Then again, it is Apple's only true desktop.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Magicsilence View Post


    A mid range tower would be fiscal suicide for Apple, and that is why it will never happen.



    Wrong. It would be the best thing to happen to them in a very long time and would shoot their stock price way beyond 300. At the moment, the people who have crappy PCs and looking to upgrade won't even think to look at Apple because their low end is weak and over priced, their iMac is too different and not cost effective for a long period of time and ugly and not customizable and the Mac Pro is too much, price and power.



    People just need a competitive mid range machine that is designed well - it won't compete with the Mini as the Mini can turn into a media center model. It won't compete with the iMac because the iMac is for a niche market that wants an AIO model and it won't affect Mac Pro sales because people who buy a Mac Pro generally need loads of HD space with RAID, and as many processors as they can get.



    Any loss they make from cannibalizing the other products is more than made up for with a dramatic increase in appeal to the PC crowd and businesses and subsequently market share increase which improves software sales and developer interest and other hardware product sales e.g ipods, iphones, itunes etc.



    They won't lose money because it costs less to build and their profit margins can actually be higher if they price similarly to their current machines and as I say any loss will be made up for by a sales increase. The same thing happened with the iphone. It came in highly priced but quickly dropped after the initial sales figures arrived.



    Where I work, the Macs we have are just completely wrong for what what we use them for. We have people using Macbook Pros but don't take them anywhere, people using G5 towers that only use half of the machine's capability but need matching dual display support. If a mid range tower came out, we'd probably buy about 5 right away and I'd buy one for home use and at least two members of my family would buy one. Currently, Apple's product line up isn't appealing at all and so without the mid range tower, their sales from people I know equal zero. With a mid range tower, sales would be 8 units. Whether or not Apple make less profit from one mid range machine than one Mac Pro, they make more profit from 8 mid range machines than they do from zero Mac Pros.



    As always these discussions fall flat for one very common reason. The arguments against the xMac make assumptions about what we the buyers of said device want. Whether or not my needs can be summarized so adequately without even asking, the FACT of the matter is that I would buy one the day it was released, that much is clear and a huge number of people would do the same, even people who think it's not a financially sound idea, which ironically makes it financially sound.
  • Reply 5 of 60
    bobertoqbobertoq Posts: 172member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Magicsilence View Post


    Would you really call a tiny box with old integrated graphics a mid range tower?



    hahaha. yeah.



    I want a mid range tower from Apple. I want it to be like the Dell XPS 420:

    http://www.dell.com/content/products...aspx/xpsdt_420



    Starting $999 and you get all that?! That blows the iMac out of the lava!



    And no... you do not get that out of a Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is about 3x better, and 3x the cost.
  • Reply 6 of 60
    kenaustuskenaustus Posts: 909member
    I've always looked at the xMac as a stepping stone for those that gave Macs a "try" with the mini, but now want something more. If they already have a good display that they want to keep the Mac Pro is the only offering from Apple, cutting out a lot of customers because of the price.



    The xMac is where they would go. Maybe they want a second drive inside the case, or a (limited?) selection of graphics cards. Or just more power than the mini offers.



    As for business I think that the mini would work in the majority of placements, but business is too cheap to pay for the price of a mini - they'll spend half the cost of a mini and won't care how long it lasts. I know of one IT guy who was very pleased when he got a good buy on some superseded versions of a stripped down PC. That's how it goes for the majority of business PC users. Pity.
  • Reply 7 of 60
    randianrandian Posts: 76member
    If Apple would get off its duff and design a Mini with the same dual-core CPUs as the MB Pro, optional quad-core CPU (when available), X4500HD GPU, slots for 4GB RAM, and Apple-TV sized so you can have an internal power supply and 3.5" hard drive, why would I even want a small tower? That would be a killer box.
  • Reply 8 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Magicsilence View Post


    Customers looking for a mid range tower want:



    Can you imagine? Currently the Mac Pro comes in at minimum £1499 (Single Core 2 Quad)



    As it stands, those looking for a mid range will either:



    1) Buy a Mini - money to Apple £399 or £499 (-£100 or -£200 compared to mid range tower)



    2) Buy an iMac - money to Apple £799 or above (+ £200 or more compared to mid range tower)



    3) Buy a Mac Pro - money to Apple £1499 or above (+ £900 or more compared to mid range tower)



    p.s I am aware that turnover does not = profit, the implication is used here for simplicity. In fact, I believe if a cost appraisal was undertaken, it would further confirm the results in terms of profit (by product).



    The Mini is weak and over priced with it's laptop parts drop it down to the g4 mini price level and put a DVDRW in the base system.



    The Imac has a build in screen that is not that good.



    There are people who need more power then a mini but not the sever power of the mac pro and Imac are laptop based and the older ones had better video.



    also apple will need a mid-tower if they want to get into gameing as the macpro is over kill with a weak video card in the base system.
  • Reply 9 of 60
    idaveidave Posts: 1,283member
    The OP makes a lot of assumptions, worst of which is that an iMac is actually an upgrade from a mini.



    If Apple would make a mid-range headless and determine just how much profit they need to make and sell it for the necessary price it would be no different than selling any other computer. The mistake I see made in most arguments against a mid-range headless Mac is that it will somehow cannibalize sales of other Macs, which will be bad for Apple. What difference does it make if the profit is there?



    Seems to me Apple could make a modest mid-range expandable Mac; sell it for about $1500 and probably make more money on it than any other Mac. It would still sell well at that price, IMO.
  • Reply 10 of 60
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,292member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by randian View Post


    If Apple would get off its duff and design a Mini with the same dual-core CPUs as the MB Pro, optional quad-core CPU (when available), X4500HD GPU, slots for 4GB RAM, and Apple-TV sized so you can have an internal power supply and 3.5" hard drive, why would I even want a small tower? That would be a killer box.



    The X4500HD makes sense first in the next version of the AppleTV with DVR.
  • Reply 11 of 60
    Quote:

    Apple will NEVER build a mid range tower.



    FINE. NOW upgrade the Mini so I can buy one!
  • Reply 12 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iDave View Post


    The OP makes a lot of assumptions, worst of which is that an iMac is actually an upgrade from a mini.



    If Apple would make a mid-range headless and determine just how much profit they need to make and sell it for the necessary price it would be no different than selling any other computer. The mistake I see made in most arguments against a mid-range headless Mac is that it will somehow cannibalize sales of other Macs, which will be bad for Apple. What difference does it make if the profit is there?



    Seems to me Apple could make a modest mid-range expandable Mac; sell it for about $1500 and probably make more money on it than any other Mac. It would still sell well at that price, IMO.



    That would put it the PPC g4 and g5 price levels they should also have a base system starting at the mini price levels with the mini dropping down to the g4 mini price level and getting a keyboard and mouse. No mouse or keyboard at $600 is a joke.
  • Reply 13 of 60
    gongon Posts: 2,437member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    That would put it the PPC g4 and g5 price levels they should also have a base system starting at the mini price levels with the mini dropping down to the g4 mini price level and getting a keyboard and mouse. No mouse or keyboard at $600 is a joke.



    Mighty Mouse is a joke. Having to pay for it would be tragedy.
  • Reply 14 of 60
    onlookeronlooker Posts: 5,252member
    I've discussed this before in the other thread, and I agree with Marvin fort he most part. People seem to assume they know who wants a tower that takes up about half the space as a Mac Pro, but as it turns out there is no distinct group in particular that wants it. There are various reasons from every user demographic that would prefer a smaller tower. To each their own. I am a Mac Pro buyer from day one, so none of it applies to me anyway, but I like it because it gives new buyers more options to think about when purchasing an Apple computer, many new buyers are PC users, and there are holes present between the Mac Pro and iMac that are significant. I personally think it's that gap that turns many people away from buying a Mac. I don't think the Mini is in any position to fill the hole between an iMac and a Mac Pro.
  • Reply 15 of 60
    Quote:

    Why Apple will NEVER build a mid range tower.



    And judging from the post above, sounds like someone/somepeople just pull this out of their ass.



    Yeesh.



    Apple will never (fill in blank) because we Apple fan bois/zealots/arm chair CEOs know our smack talk...



    Yeh. Right. Apple will never make a music player...



    Nods.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 16 of 60
    trobertstroberts Posts: 701member
    From reading posts about a mid-range tower, not just this one, I get the impression that the majority of users' reason for an xMac is so they can update the graphics card to the latest and greatest. Could the lack of graphics cards be the reason there isn't an xMac yet? My understanding is the majority of graphics cards use BIOS and the few that are used by the Mac use EFI (UEFI?) and this is the reason we can't go to Best Buy and buy our choice of graphics cards and throw it in the Mac. Since Vista supports EFI, will nVidia and ATI start making the newer cards with EFI support, which will make it possible for us to select from a wider selection of graphics cards without having to go through Apple?
  • Reply 17 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Everything said here has been covered many times and it's wrong plain and simple. A mid range tower would be Apple's killer machine and would put them in a large number of businesses. You don't see iMacs in there for good reason and it's not just to do with the OS because Macs run Windows now too.



    You make the mistake of assuming that Apple wants to have a large business presence. It does not appear to me, at least, that Apple is specifically targeting the business market with any of its products, right now. The MBP/MBA are perhaps the only machines that could be marketed towards business customers, although the Mini is probably powerful enough for most business uses already. With a Mini the businesses can keep their existing displays, keyboards, and mice. And don't try to tell me that its not powerful enough. My G4 iMac can do Word/Excel/Outlook just as fast as your "xMac" could. The consumer market is also much larger and much more lucrative.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Wrong, we want our choice of configuration and display and proper desktop parts. Affordability and upgradability are merely byproducts.



    Do you honestly believe that most people who buy an Acer PC care about configuration in the slightest? They buy what some shmuck sells them at Best Buy, keep it for 2-3 years, then buy the next one. They could care less about "proper desktop parts", because they don't know the difference, and would never be able to tell the difference through normal usage of a computer.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    You mistakingly assume that people who can afford to buy a Mac Pro won't and will simply go for the mid range tower.



    I can afford a Mac Pro, and will probably purchase one soon. Primary reason being that I know it will last me a good 7-8 years. That's 3 times longer than the average lifespan of a typical PC. If this "xMac" were available, I would probably buy it instead. Reason being that it could probably last me just as long, for less money. Therefore, less money for Apple. Why would they do that?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Wrong. It would be the best thing to happen to them in a very long time and would shoot their stock price way beyond 300.



    Doubtful. The only thing Wall Street seems to care about as of late is iPhone sales numbers, and the success of the SDK. Mac sales have been increasing, yet the price falls. Because iPhone numbers are not yet certain, especially in light of the "10 million" prediction.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    Their iMac is too different and not cost effective for a long period of time and ugly and not customizable and the Mac Pro is too much, price and power.



    As stated earlier, I currently use an iMac G4 (circa 2002). Going on 6 years using this machine soon, as I got it shortly after they were introduced. Is it still usable? Of course it is. It is more than usable for the tasks that the majority of computer users use computers for. Safari loads in 5-7 seconds (3.1 is an excellent release) and pages load in 2-3 seconds. Tiger runs smoothly, and I even do a bit of video editing on it. Not cost effective? Mine certainly has been. Would most people customize a computer past the addition of an extra stick of RAM? Doubtful. I haven't, and haven't needed to. Need more HD space? Firewire is as fast as an internal drive.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    It won't compete with the iMac because the iMac is for a niche market that wants an AIO model.



    Ever stop to think that maybe Apple thinks that the AIO model is the model of the future? Every person who has seen my iMac, or the new iMacs thinks that they are futuristic and cool. Why does anyone need a tower, except for the hardcore media producers who need the raw horsepower of a Mac Pro? That's right, they don't. The iMac has more power than most people will use, with today's software.



    I think the fact that Apple has not yet introduced the "xMac" tells you exactly what they think about the viability of that business model. Perhaps Apple thinks that people want AIO machines in the future; that the "tower" model is antiquated and no longer needed/useful. I certainly think it is, except for a select few people who need a lot of power.



    --mAc
  • Reply 18 of 60
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mAc-warrior View Post


    You make the mistake of assuming that Apple wants to have a large business presence. It does not appear to me, at least, that Apple is specifically targeting the business market with any of its products, right now. The MBP/MBA are perhaps the only machines that could be marketed towards business customers, although the Mini is probably powerful enough for most business uses already. With a Mini the businesses can keep their existing displays, keyboards, and mice. And don't try to tell me that its not powerful enough. My G4 iMac can do Word/Excel/Outlook just as fast as your "xMac" could. The consumer market is also much larger and much more lucrative.



    Not targeting the business market with any of its products? Is that why they're bringing Exchange to iPhone, IBM is bringing Lotus Notes to iPhone, that Apple continues to sell xServes and OSX Server. Let's not mistake being weak in enterprise with not targeting the business market at all.



    Also, few xMac supporters want that an xMac should outperform an iMac, just one that performs at the level of an iMac. I would love an iMac if it weren't for the built in screen (or at least a screen that allowed external computers to utilize the screen). I'd also appreciate the ability to install additional internal hard drives (as someone who currently has 4 external FireWire drives with a messy daisy-chain hell across his desk)



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mAc-warrior View Post


    Do you honestly believe that most people who buy an Acer PC care about configuration in the slightest?



    Because the only people who buy the minitower configuration are regular schmucks? What about tech savvy users and power users for whom the Mac Pro is still overkill? A very sizable market Apple is ignoring.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mAc-warrior View Post


    I can afford a Mac Pro, and will probably purchase one soon. Primary reason being that I know it will last me a good 7-8 years. That's 3 times longer than the average lifespan of a typical PC. If this "xMac" were available, I would probably buy it instead. Reason being that it could probably last me just as long, for less money. Therefore, less money for Apple. Why would they do that?



    If you're using your own anecdotal experience as evidence, I can do that too. (and pardon me for paraphrasing your original statement)



    I can afford a Mac Pro, but will not purchase one because it's more money than I want to spend on a computer for what I need. I will also not purchase an iMac because it lacks internal expansion, which I would utilize, and has an AIO monitor that cannot be shared with other devices. If this "xMac" were available, I would definitely buy it. Reason being it would serve my purposes better and for less money. Therefore, more money for Apple. Why wouldn't they do that?



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mAc-warrior View Post


    Ever stop to think that maybe Apple thinks that the AIO model is the model of the future? Every person who has seen my iMac, or the new iMacs thinks that they are futuristic and cool. Why does anyone need a tower, except for the hardcore media producers who need the raw horsepower of a Mac Pro? That's right, they don't. The iMac has more power than most people will use, with today's software.c



    I think I can say with no reservations that an absolute statement like "every person who has seen ... the new iMacs thinks that they are futuristic and cool" is blatantly false. The AIO model may be the future as far as computers becoming less of a tool and more a part of our lives, but it doesn't resolve the fact that even in the future, some consumers such as myself don't want an AIO because the AIO concept does not fit everyones needs. It has nothing to do with power and everything to do with using our computers the way we want. And for people who really don't understand the reasons those of us who want an xMac don't want an iMac/mini/Pro and to preach to us why our needs are wrong is incredibly arrogant.
  • Reply 19 of 60
    Also... one more thing, mAc-warrior, before you respond. I want to address the economic argument contantly used against xMac supporters...



    By your own admission, you would buy an xMac but you have the financial means to afford a Mac Pro. In your opinion, a win for Apple because they are making more money. Not necessarily true. True, more in gross revenue, but revenues don't mean as much as profit. Something xMac supports have argued is that an xMac, by not having to pay the premium for notebook components and the built-in screen as in the iMac or pay the premium for server components such as in the Mac Pro, the xMac will be able to carry higher margins than other computers in the Mac lineup.



    Also, with the economy in recession, I'd argue that of people who must buy a desktop Mac (as in can not wait for Apple to come out with an xMac and switching to Windows/Linux is not an alternative), more would probably opt for the iMac over splurging on the Mac Pro. So, same amount of revenues as the xMac with lower profit margins. Doesn't seem to benefit Apple there either.



    No question xMac would eat into iMac and Mac Pro sales. But the new sales and new switchers that an xMac would bring in would more than make up for some lost incidental sales of iMacs or Mac Pros.
  • Reply 20 of 60
    idaveidave Posts: 1,283member
    The way I see it, there must be a lot of people who settle for a Mac mini or a WinPC who might buy a mid-Mac if one was available. Apple could potentially make more profit, and I see them as being pretty silly not to offer one. There are people who like mAc-warrior will bite the bullet and go for the Mac Pro but there are surely just as many who will not.



    While the iMac is an option for a lot of people, many others including myself, will not buy one. I did buy a G4 iMac several years ago and while it looked cool on my desk, the inability to upgrade the display or hard drive had me selling it after less than a year. No more all-in-ones for me.
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