At the risk of beating the dead horse yet again...

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  • Reply 61 of 224
    All those years of blaming Motorola...



    ...and the spec woes are still with us.



    Looks like Apple's obtuse simplicity is the one constant.



    Lemon Bon Bon.
  • Reply 62 of 224
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    Yep. And I bet it doesn't cost the 'bomb' that Apple's consumer desktops cost.



    A PC quad is put together for just a few hundred quid these days.



    I'd love to see the proper return of the Cube. The mini looks ok. But it should be a £195 'bite sized Mac.' No more. It's outrageously priced at £495. It's £300 overpriced and underspecced.



    While I don't see the Mini as being under specced, when they are released, they certainly are overpriced. That overpricing just gets worst as timewearson waiting for the next update.



    Generally the best values are found immediately when Apple releases a significantly updated model. Unfortunately the last updates where not significant at all.

    Quote:



    It really is very easy, Apple. Make the same width as Mini, stack it 3 times higher, put a decent low end Radeon 4850 in it. Put an i7 in it. Price at at £495 for the entry level...and ride those specs upto £995. And with the 'Light' port thing coming around the mountain...you'd have a single cable going into an Apple 24 inch LED display and not the morass of cables like you had with the Cube back in the day.



    With devices like iPhone I could see people moving back to desktops as a better all around value. Unfortunately Apple doesn't have a mid level desktop machine.

    Quote:



    You'd have switchers swarming over Mac OS X like flies around...



    I actually think that the easy switchers have already switched. The trick now is finding the feature to pull in the harder heads. This might require more than just hardware though.

    Quote:



    It's not as if these desktop components cost alot. And if PC guys can sort the cooling out on these shuttles, it's a non-issue. Put a bit of Johnny Ive style on the same shuttle ala Mac Cube...and i'd be wak-ta-bating over it until I was blind. Plus. I'd actually buy one.



    A viable desktop can be had for the same price as the current Mini. That for a reasonably packed machine. Yes it would sell, though I'm not going to run out and buy one. Mostly because I need to pace my purchases.



    However Apple could force my hand with a system preconfigured with a Fermi based accelerator. In otherwords a desktop optimized for OpenCL.

    Quote:

    The whole tower, expandable debate is a little mute for me. I can't see Apple going for it. Despite their environment claims...they clearly want consumers to have a Mac for a few years and throw it away and get another.



    After years of either building or updating my PCs I think the days have passed where doing so is viable outside of a few things. Those things being memory and disk space. However Apple really doesn't have a midrange machine that addresses those two issues.



    As a side note I'm more and more frustrated with the so called Green movement. My local grocery was giving away sample and stuff that they claimed where Green products. In any event I tasted one of there samples and frankly wanted to gag or hurl right in the store. I'm just left with the feeling that these people are off their rocker and would eat crap if you told them it was Green.

    Quote:

    Mind you. The only thing I want to upgrade on the tower is the gpu. But even that would be rendered mute if Apple put out an updated and decent spec as they became available.



    Actually that might be a third item worth considering for upgrades. That is GPU cards being self contained allows for viable updates. Especially considering that GPUs are still seeing real innovation. Even then we have to acknowledge that shipping a Mac with a state of the art card greatly reduces the viability of an update in the future.

    Quote:



    It maybe a dead horse to Apple. But even at 40% of the worlds PC shipments, that's an awful lot of Cube/Tower sales Apple is missing out on.



    Especially if iPhone users begin to realize that an iPhone and a desktop might be a better combination for their needs. Portables are great but they are also limited, a properly designed desktop should be fairly unlimited for a couple of years.

    Quote:



    Apple's current consumer desktop strategy is baffling to me.



    Other than to ignore it they have no strategy!!!!!!!

    Quote:



    Sure, I like the iMac's simplicity. I have one. I appreciate it's elegance and style. And in PC bootcamp mode, it has as good a framerate on Champions as a PC tower that cost twice as much.



    However, that isn't the point.



    Apple are using premium components and premium pricing on desktops. They could use faster, cheaper parts and still put them in a stylish Apple container AND pass those savings onto the consumer.



    Sure, Apple are selling more computers than ever. But I'd guess/wager they'd sell way more if they wised up and stopped being laggardly on the upgrade cycle.



    They probably don't care. Let's face, as a manager if your sales are going up steadily no one cares either. If sales where to slip you would likely see share holders up in arms.



    In any event good sales does give Apple an opportunity to invest in new hardware development. If we are lucky they will have something up their sleeves. The lack of rumors though (desktop related) kinda indicates to me that the public doesn't care either.

    Quote:



    Apple has a £1400 premium over the 'entry' to quad core capability. That is shocking. (Whether that power if fully harnessed by the consumer/software is irrelevant. What is relevant is that Apple's consumer desktop specs are not competitive. And saying that an AIO or the Mac Pro can't be compared is also mute. That is what Apple puts out...that is where they've chosen, obtusely, to compete. And you go to their closest competitor and they're behind on gpu, cpu, ram usually and bundling the monitor.)



    Lemon Bon Bon.



    I feel your pain Lemon!







    Dave
  • Reply 63 of 224
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    There's a story about a girl being continuously pursued by a guy. As long as he pursues, she keeps running away. Finally, wearily, he gives up. When the girl realizes he isn't chasing any more, she turns and chases him. I think that's what Apple's game is.



    As long as the faithful continue asking for an xMac or a Mini cum cube, Apple WON'T make it. They're determined NOT to give Mac users what they want. They would lose the game if they did. They are sitting up there in their ivory towers laughing at users (all the way to the bank.)



    Stop asking for what you consider the gap in Apple's lineup. When you give up, Apple MAY think, "Hey. We better give them what they want or they'll drift away."



    Otherwise, Apple has us right by the short hairs. They control us.
  • Reply 64 of 224
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Yes, that "switch" for want of a better term, has become extremely rapid. It's almost unbelievable.



    I could see a move back to desktops and frankly Apple could be caught with its pants down not having a viable product.



    What are you saying, you ask. It is this factor: the rise of tablets. First iPhone and hopefully soon a larger tablet from Apple. These could drastically impact what people expect out of portable computing. For those that can deal with the limitations, the use of a tablet type device is far more handy than a laptop. Once people realize that they don't need to have their whole system with them they can move back to more ergonomic desktop installations.



    In other words I could see Apple killing laptop sales with the right combination of hardware. A good tablet with sound syncing to desktop machine would make many people happy. I know that currently my iPhone has greatly reduced the need to own a laptop and with a few new features could eliminate the need altogether. While those features might be difficult to cram into an iPhone they would have plenty of room on a larger tablet. In any event an iPhone is a great mobile E-Mail client, cell Phone and a modest web browser all in one machine. That kills a lot of birds with one stone.





    Dave
  • Reply 65 of 224
    piotpiot Posts: 1,346member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lemon Bon Bon. View Post


    It maybe a dead horse to Apple. But even at 40% of the worlds PC shipments, that's an awful lot of Cube/Tower sales Apple is missing out on.



    Finally someone had the balls to put a real figure on the potential xMac market!



    And, unsurprisingly it's the wrong figure.
  • Reply 66 of 224
    aflaaakaflaaak Posts: 208member
    Steve Jobs has decided Apple is a hip, cool, upscale company. He thinks if they make (gasp) a mid-priced desktop, they will be too much like some kind of low brow, boring, lower price point PC people.
  • Reply 67 of 224
    If Apple offered a mid-tower, cons like Pystar wouldn't exist.



    I'm glad that for my needs, my MB is enough. For seriously heavy stuff, I have my quad Hackintosh (which I barely ever boot into), which is my primary Windoze gaming machine.



    Those of you who need a really powerful tower for OS X on a budget probably will have to settle for Hackintosh.
  • Reply 68 of 224
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Long answer:



    There was a rather interesting interview with Steve Jobs about this somewhere. (But I can't remember where. So don't ask me.)

    It went something like this:



    The market for a mid-range desktop computer is more and more squeezed out. This model is a dying breed, so why put time and effort into making one. Yes, there will be people who want it, but in the medium and long term not enough to warrant introducing the model.



    Jobs' point was that people more and more buy laptops, in actual numbers sold already more laptops are purchased than desktops.

    And the remaining desktops more and more fall into just two categories:

    - professional systems (that need power and flexibility) and

    - small, cheap systems for people who don't want to or cannot afford a laptop.



    There is very little middle ground. And if pressed to do one model only it's rather an AIO.



    Over the coming years this trend will only get more and more pronounced leaving less and less room for middle and soon even higher end desktops as even professionals move to laptops more and more.





    In a nutshell:

    That train has left the station. It's too late to introduce an xMac.



    And if you really think about it and forward-project recent trends, then you have to agree with that.

    You might not agree with the assumption whether such a model today could still be hugely profitable or not, but I do think that the number of potential buyers will shrink more and more in coming years.
  • Reply 69 of 224
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    Long answer:



    There was a rather interesting interview with Steve Jobs about this somewhere. (But I can't remember where. So don't ask me.)

    It went something like this:



    The market for a mid-range desktop computer is more and more squeezed out. This model is a dying breed, so why put time and effort into making one. Yes, there will be people who want it, but in the medium and long term not enough to warrant introducing the model.



    You know I might even remeberance that and it might have made sense in the past. In the future it might not make sense at all. In any event it is not very smart to put to much credit into what comes out of Steves mouth. He may honestly belive what he said at the time or maybe he was just in marketing mode. In any event history has shown that he says what he believes he has to say at the moment to support his products.

    Quote:



    Jobs' point was that people more and more buy laptops, in actual numbers sold already more laptops are purchased than desktops.



    It is hard to argue the numbers here. However this is the past and current situation. I believe that the future can by very different.



    Why; iPhone for one as I see it as the start of the tablet revolution. People are beginning to realize that carrying a big laptop around constantly is a real pain and that they don't always need all those apps on the go. All it will take is somebody introducing the right tablet and we will see Laptop sales go down the drain. A corresponding rise in desktop sales will follow.



    Overall a powerful desktop coupled to a modest tablet delivers a lot of capability for a low price. Right now Apple may think they control the market and can maintain artificial restrictions on capability to keep people buying laptops. However the thing here is that companies will catch up and deliver tablets that can be marketed in this mode. I can see Nokia being in a position to do so a year or two down the road. It is a given MS will fail here.

    Quote:

    And the remaining desktops more and more fall into just two categories:

    - professional systems (that need power and flexibility) and

    - small, cheap systems for people who don't want to or cannot afford a laptop.



    There is still a market for performance at reasonable costs. I could see Apple being very successful with a Fermi based OpenCL machine if they can market it at a reasonable price. Right now Apple needs to deliver the hardware required to enable their new software features at a reasonable price. A properly designed xMac can do that for them.

    Quote:



    There is very little middle ground. And if pressed to do one model only it's rather an AIO.



    This I totally disagree with. The middle ground just keeps getting wider and wider. With the next update to the Mac Pro that difference just becomes more massive. The next rev to the Pro could have 24 threads of operation going on. This will leave use with a huge gulf if the next iMacs only have 4 threads of execution. That is a lot of room to play in.

    Quote:



    Over the coming years this trend will only get more and more pronounced leaving less and less room for middle and soon even higher end desktops as even professionals move to laptops more and more.



    Some professionals like to get work done and some like to be trendy. If you where into Video production whichbwould you prefer to compete against, a guy with the latest Mac Pro or a guy with Any Mac laptop?

    Quote:



    In a nutshell:

    That train has left the station. It's too late to introduce an xMac.



    It left the station a couple of years ago when the machines and use cases of the day made sense and supported laptop purchases. The future is far less clear now and for many cases an iPhone or a larger tablet makes sense. Sales reps are a good example, I actually believe getting rid of the laptops could increase effectiveness for that craft.

    Quote:



    And if you really think about it and forward-project recent trends, then you have to agree with that.



    Obviously I don't agree. Just as laptops took off a few years ago when their capability meet or exceeded need so to will the use of these smaller devices change the face of computing again. We are just at that point where we are seeing the birth of a new generation of devices. In a way it is like when the Mac was introduced.

    Quote:

    You might not agree with the assumption whether such a model today could still be hugely profitable or not, but I do think that the number of potential buyers will shrink more and more in coming years.



    That is possible, I'm open minded enough to see that. I just see the possibility of a different evolutionary path. One that puts more focus on a powerful desktop machine with very communicative tablets. It sort of gels with Apples Digital hub idea of a few years ago.



    We have had three major spins of the iPhone OS already but I actually think Apple has a long way to go here. WiFi is way under used on these devices for example. The biggest limitation right now is RAM, bump that a bit and more features would be a snap.





    Dave
  • Reply 70 of 224
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Aflaaak View Post


    Will Apple introduce a Mid-Tower, ever???



    You geeks just don't get it, do you? Consumer desktops are dead, have been for years. Apple was way ahead of the curve on this and their quarterly earnings prove it.



    It's not 1999 anymore. Buy a MacBook or an iMac. That's all you need for your consumer workflows. And how do I know all you mid range tower whiners are just consumers? Because if you were actually pros you'd be happily working on your $2500 Mac Pros rather than wasting your time complaining on AI.
  • Reply 71 of 224
    Anyone who says desktops are dead is an idiot. Yes, laptops outsell them now, and will continue to do so. But over 40% of the computers sold are still 'normal' desktop towers.



    You're delusional if you think that is "dead"
  • Reply 72 of 224
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    Anyone who says desktops are dead is an idiot. Yes, laptops outsell them now, and will continue to do so. But over 40% of the computers sold are still 'normal' desktop towers.



    ...and shrinking.



    Besides, I didn't say desktops are dead. I said consumer desktops are dead. Huge fucking difference. Consumers have already moved on to laptops, smart phones, and soon tablets. Hell, even Dell gets it. Look at any of their recent mail order catalogs: nothing but laptops until page 20. The $499 desktops are shunted to the back like the loser products they are.



    The traditional desktop tower form factor has been relegated to the legitimately power hungry professional. Those on these boards pleading for a cheapo desktop Mac are not they.
  • Reply 73 of 224
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver View Post


    The traditional desktop tower form factor has been relegated to the legitimately power hungry professional. Those on these boards pleading for a cheapo desktop Mac are not they.



    You say only pros want desktops... then you say the people who want a desktop Mac are not pros. Which is it?
  • Reply 74 of 224
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Why; iPhone for one as I see it as the start of the tablet revolution. People are beginning to realize that carrying a big laptop around constantly is a real pain and that they don't always need all those apps on the go. All it will take is somebody introducing the right tablet and we will see Laptop sales go down the drain. A corresponding rise in desktop sales will follow.



    Dave



    I think you are right. And we already see the first incarnation of that trend - the netbook.

    The netbooks are not the first and only computer for many users. These netbooks just complement the computer they already own.



    I think people will buy new computers for their home in a slower pace than they did before, but I can believe that they will replace the laptops

    at their home (they leave it there because of their new netbook) with a cheaper more powerful desktop.
  • Reply 75 of 224
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by FuturePastNow View Post


    You say only pros want desktops... then you say the people who want a desktop Mac are not pros. Which is it?



    Both. But the rub is that the tiny minority of cheapo Mac desktop wanting whiners are massively overrepresented on these boards. In the echo chamber of the Internet they are legion. In the real world they are inconsequential.
  • Reply 76 of 224
    The single core Mac Pro is about the closest to an xMac we are going to get unfortunately.



    Honestly the machine is really poor value for money, they should chop it down to £1,200 or that kind of range, similar to the cost of the previous generation Mac Pro with the single CPU option.
  • Reply 77 of 224
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,755moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    I could see a move back to desktops and frankly Apple could be caught with its pants down not having a viable product.



    I don't think that will happen. When laptops get faster and faster, there's no real reason to go back to a static machine. I think the mid-tower market will continue to shrink. What I do think though is that it hasn't shrunk enough to avoid having the great hardware on offer today.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver


    That's all you need for your consumer workflows. And how do I know all you mid range tower whiners are just consumers? Because if you were actually pros you'd be happily working on your $2500 Mac Pros rather than wasting your time complaining on AI.



    That's quite a naive way of looking at professionalism. You think that businesses who are going under all over the place aren't full of professionals? Professional is not equivalent to wealthy.



    Some of the finest minds in the world are on the lowest salaries in universities and hospitals because they care enough to make the world a better place and further their chosen specialty instead of padding their bank balance. Presumably those you call professional - the Big Brother celebrity or the stock market millionaires or the investment bankers - are the only ones who deserve a decent machine?



    I'd be interested to see what machine the doctor who gave Jobs his Liver uses. I'd bet it's a Dell tower. Every hospital I've been in, it's all Dell mini-towers. It's not entirely about price but cost of ownership.
  • Reply 78 of 224
    aflaaakaflaaak Posts: 208member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ensign Pulver View Post


    Consumers have already moved on to laptops, smart phones, and soon tablets.



    My Mom bought a nice 15" laptop, which I use at work (for the time being). It has a crisp 1280 X 800 LED screen, and a nice lighted keyboard that reviewers seem to like. It's waaay faster than my old home desktop.



    However, I would (and will when Mom takes it back) ALWAYS rather be using a desktop. I hate typing on flat laptop keys, the screen is sometimes too difficult to read (depending on website) and too small to "blow up" without having to scroll everywhere. A real pain if doing photo editing. Portability isn't a factor 99%of the time, but if it did get moved regularly, I would hate it more because that means unplugging the printer, and the external HD, and speakers, and memory card reader, and the modem, and the power cord. Not to mention, my desk is covered with wires going every which way. Yeah, I suppose a dock would solve some of this, but then why spend extra money to miniaturize inferior components into a laptop form factor?



    If you need portability or space is a premium, a laptop is great since they're fast and reliable now. And, like you said, Smart Phones and tablets and netbooks are becoming great tools for those who need the extreme portability. But for me, I prefer a faster computer where I can pick my own freaking screen and size, I don't have all my peripheral wires everywhere, I'm not having to figure out if the battery should be on always charge, or let it run down and recharge it, where the 7 in one card reader and backup HD is built in, where I'm not worrying if I'm blocking the exhaust port so the thing doesn't overheat. To sum in up, for me, after using a laptop during the day, it's a pleasure and relief to use my desktop when I get home.



    Quote:

    The traditional desktop tower form factor has been relegated to the legitimately power hungry professional. Those on these boards pleading for a cheapo desktop Mac are not they.



    Don't be so myopic. Besides, we all know a Mac mid-tower would be anything but cheapo. I was just hoping for reasonable. But I can see the Apple has decided they can't run a profitable company, or maintain they're carefully crafted image of Computer Builders to the Hip and Cool People, by catering to potential switchers like me.
  • Reply 79 of 224
    hobbithobbit Posts: 532member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    In the future it might not make sense at all. [...]

    iPhone for one as I see it as the start of the tablet revolution. People are beginning to realize that carrying a big laptop around constantly is a real pain and that they don't always need all those apps on the go. All it will take is somebody introducing the right tablet and we will see Laptop sales go down the drain. A corresponding rise in desktop sales will follow.



    You made some interesting points.



    I would like to know more about why people really buy laptops. A machine's performance is not the only decision making factor.

    From my own experience with friends and family, they switched to laptops mainly because they didn't want to dedicate a whole desk in their home to a stationary computer system. As simple as that. They wanted a system they can pack away, out of sight, when not in use. No midrange desktop will ever give them that. Even if they buy an iPhone/tablet at some point, they'd still prefer a companion system to be out of sight when not in use.



    You also pointed to the unfortunate trend of the widening gap in performance between desktops and laptops.

    16 vs 2 threads is certainly something to worry about.

    But this gap will close soon I think once denser and lower power CPUs hit laptops. Once 24 threads are introduced in desktops, laptops should have at least 4 if not 8 threads. 24:4 or 24:8 is already a much better ratio than 16:2.



    Yet do consumers really need all that power? If a 600MHz iPhone/tablet (or a netbook) is sufficient for most tasks, the few remaining tasks should be fine with a dual-core at 3GHz, and even more so with 4 and 8 threads. Unless you are a professional video editor. At which point you buy a high-end desktop and are not interested in an xMac either.





    To me it also seems that most laptop 'upgraders' just want a bigger screen. At which point an external second display is probably enough. Or an iMac.



    There are statistics about what consumers actually upgrade in their mid-range desktops. Turns out that the vast majority never upgrades anything and makes no use of the internal expansion slots for HDs or PCI cards. So why offer them?



    Of course there are users who will use them, there will also be Mac users who have good reasons for getting an xMac, but the question remains will these be enough for a niche computer maker to introduce a product for a niche user group?





    Two other trends working against a midrange desktop machine:



    Cloud computing

    Yes the term has been abused and ridiculed ad nauseam, but I know people who actually started using this to get more performance on demand. Their decision was to stay with a laptop and use the cloud for 2D/3D render performance. Whenever they need some heavy number crunching they rent a cloud service that does this for them. That way they get 256 or more cores if they need them.



    So instead of your future scenario of tablet plus desktop I see a tablet which can plug into a desktop monitor for more screen real estate and tap into the cloud for more heavy lifting on demand. Mobile Me could easily offer this service for iMovie and iDVD.



    Light Peak

    Apple clearly has some interesting design ideas in mind for pushing Light Peak.



    Once SSDs become cheaper and more popular it is quite imaginable that soon 3.5" HDs are a thing of the past and 2.5" will be the new standard even for most desktops.



    So imagine a 30" Apple Cinema Display with built in bays for 2.5" HDs and a Superdrive/Blu-Ray drive connected to your laptop via a single Light Peak cable.

    This merges a display plus TimeMachine backups plus DVD drive into a single monitor.



    And without the Superdrive laptops could finally have enough room for a user-upgradable GPU or even dual GPUs.

    A laptop with upgradable GPU plus 'bay monitor' could be a much more appealing solution to most potential xMac buyers.
  • Reply 80 of 224
    sequitursequitur Posts: 1,910member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hobBIT View Post


    Apple clearly has some interesting design ideas in mind for pushing Light Peak.



    Once SSDs become cheaper and more popular it is quite imaginable that soon 3.5" HDs are a thing of the past and 2.5" will be the new standard even for most desktops.



    So imagine a 30" Apple Cinema Display with built in bays for 2.5" HDs and a Superdrive/Blu-Ray drive connected to your laptop via a single Light Peak cable.

    This merges a display plus TimeMachine backups plus DVD drive into a single monitor.



    And without the Superdrive laptops could finally have enough room for a user-upgradable GPU or even dual GPUs.

    A laptop with upgradable GPU plus 'bay monitor' could be a much more appealing solution to most potential xMac buyers.



    That sounds great, but PLEASE don't voice it, again. If SJ reads this and understands how much users would appreciate it, he's sure to withhold it. He doesn't want us to have what we want - ONLY what he wants us have.
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