Is the iMac doomed?

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  • Reply 41 of 53
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by highfalutintodd



    My original post didn't touch on the education market at all. If you'd like to go there, I'll revise my original thought to say that the eMac has no real place in Apple's CONSUMER lineup. Let them keep it as an education-only model (as it originally was) if they want, but in consumer-land, I, PERSONALLY, feel that the lineup would be better served by removing the eMac, offering a "headless iMac" instead, and having the iMac cover the consumer/prosumer range between $1 - 2k. Just my opinion.





    The only reason the eMac isn't education-only is that people demanded it - and that was when it didn't cost all that much less than an iMac.



    So apparently there are quite a few people for whom the eMac is just right. If it was really such a lukewarm consumer offering, it would have stayed in its educational niche.



    So before you go crying for its death, remember that it's the only consumer machine in Apple's lineup that's there by popular demand.
  • Reply 42 of 53
    dfryerdfryer Posts: 140member
    I think that more than a spec bump, the iMac needs price cutting. Performance is adequate or more than adequate for home use; perhaps a nicer (or expandible!) graphics card is in order. However, to compete for the consumer machines, they need to have a fairly low end machine- not a "peice of crap machine", but something which has low specs and low price. For instance, Combo drive, 40Gb HD, 800 or 1Ghz G4 and 256 megs RAM is fine; they don't need to be faster; they do need to be cheaper.



    \tRight now, with educational discounts and such, I can get the "low-end" G5 for about $2400 Canadian (before tax) by stripping the modem and DVD burning. With an OK CRT monitor, it comes to about 700 or 800 more than the 15" iMac. And for that $700, you get more than double the processing power, a bigger hard drive, a better graphics card, expandibility... I don't think the specs of the iMacs are particularly bad (except for the GeForce2!!) but the prices leave a lot to be desired. I would be happy seeing the 15" iMac at about $1300 Canadian (950 or so USD)
  • Reply 43 of 53
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    So apparently there are quite a few people for whom the eMac is just right. If it was really such a lukewarm consumer offering, it would have stayed in its educational niche.



    So before you go crying for its death, remember that it's the only consumer machine in Apple's lineup that's there by popular demand.




    I never said that there probably wasn't someone out there who liked the eMac. Again, I'm simply saying that, IMHO, Apple's overall consumer market would be better served by a different machine (the headless iMac/Cube2/G4 microtower).



    Besides, it's not like there's been any "popular demand" for the headless iMac/Cube2/G4 microtower. We NEVER see threads asking for that popping up, do we?
  • Reply 44 of 53
    reynardreynard Posts: 160member
    Im thinking more and more the situation HAS to change re. the iMac.

    Something is broken and it needs to be fixed.

    And its easy for us to simply call on Apple to reduce the price and/or upgrade the machine. We dont have to run a company.



    But the more I think about it the more I think those of us whining about a headless iMac might have the only viable answer. Even if Apple made the changes we are crying for here-- say the 17 incher got a G5 1.6 chip and/or price reduction, I think many potential prosumers would balk. Still stuck with that aging monitor for FOREVER.



    A shorter G5 tower with the 1.6GHz chip, say 2 PCI slots? The midi-tower? Would it work?



    Im certain Im wrong for some reason that an Apple accountant could readily demonstrate but I still think there is fudamental flaw in making the AIO iMac bridge the gap between the eMac and $2000 Power Macs.

    (Thats $2000 without a monitor, my friend.)
  • Reply 45 of 53
    idebaseridebaser Posts: 121member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by reynard

    Im certain Im wrong for some reason that an Apple accountant could readily demonstrate but I still think there is fudamental flaw in making the AIO iMac bridge the gap between the eMac and $2000 Power Macs.

    (Thats $2000 without a monitor, my friend.) [/B]



    Hey, are we all forgetting that Apple is still selling the G4 1.25 MHz Power Mac for $1300-$1600???

    That's definitely "PrOSUmER" spec!



    The iMac is a decidedly consumer product, a premium priced one where much of the price goes to design. But, it's a fantastic design. And some of that price does to Apple's software development, which is pretty good. Though, i'd like to see at least a $200 drop in price!
  • Reply 46 of 53
    cubitcubit Posts: 846member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by iDebaser

    Hey, are we all forgetting that Apple is still selling the G4 1.25 MHz Power Mac for $1300-$1600???

    That's definitely "PrOSUmER" spec!







    Hard to argue with those facts. Indeed, I think I'll spring for that little piece of "obsolete" technology!
  • Reply 47 of 53
    jcgjcg Posts: 777member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dfryer

    I think that more than a spec bump, the iMac needs price cutting. Performance is adequate or more than adequate for home use; perhaps a nicer (or expandible!) graphics card is in order. However, to compete for the consumer machines, they need to have a fairly low end machine- not a "peice of crap machine", but something which has low specs and low price. For instance, Combo drive, 40Gb HD, 800 or 1Ghz G4 and 256 megs RAM is fine; they don't need to be faster; they do need to be cheaper.





    Like it or not, mhz do matter in marketing and buying decisioins. The iMac may be adequate for home use, but in the face of Wintel CPU's at over twice the speed, and a much lower cost, Apple would be hard pressed to make any market gains on only cutting the price. It is past time for a speed bump AND a price cut. Apple needs to get more agressive in the conusmer market if they hope to make market share gains, they have the software to attract people but the initial cost of ownership needs to come down to attract new customers.
  • Reply 48 of 53
    reynardreynard Posts: 160member
    Quote:

    Hey, are we all forgetting that Apple is still selling the G4 1.25 MHz Power Mac for $1300-$1600???

    That's definitely "PrOSUmER" spec!



    You are right, iDebaser. There is that option. What Im proposing is a consistent midlevel offering from Apple. Only then would that option become general knowlegde among the computer buying public. A model that Apple could actually advertise. (I can't see them advertising old technology.)



    I do think the iMac is slick machine. But there may be weaknesses that in the line that partly explain its slower sales.
  • Reply 49 of 53
    chinneychinney Posts: 1,019member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by JCG

    Like it or not, mhz do matter in marketing and buying decisioins. The iMac may be adequate for home use, but in the face of Wintel CPU's at over twice the speed, and a much lower cost, Apple would be hard pressed to make any market gains on only cutting the price. It is past time for a speed bump AND a price cut. Apple needs to get more agressive in the conusmer market if they hope to make market share gains, they have the software to attract people but the initial cost of ownership needs to come down to attract new customers.



    Does twice the mhz mean twice the speed, Wintel vs. Mac? Me thinks not. If we can't get this straight on AI, how can we expect others to understand?



    Also, you should be careful to assess the PC you can get for the lower price: there are a lot of junk PCs out there.



    Nevertheless, I still agree with a need for speed bumps to the iMac, and a 10-20% price drop.
  • Reply 50 of 53
    @homenow@homenow Posts: 998member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Chinney

    Does twice the mhz mean twice the speed, Wintel vs. Mac? Me thinks not. If we can't get this straight on AI, how can we expect others to understand?



    Also, you should be careful to assess the PC you can get for the lower price: there are a lot of junk PCs out there.



    Nevertheless, I still agree with a need for speed bumps to the iMac, and a 10-20% price drop.




    Are you suggesting that a 1 Ghz iMac is equil to a 2.4 Ghz P IV that is selling on Dell's site for $849? And how are you going to convince the average "Switcher" who knows little about Macs that a processor at less than half the speed is better? Does the iSoftware make it worthwhile if you are going to have to spend an additional $500+ to buy new versions of the software that you need to function at home? The Mhz myth worked for a while, but then mostly with people who understood the nuts and bolts of the system. The G4 needs to catch up fast, or Apple needs to drop it as fast as they can. Right now it makes the Mac look more overpriced to switchers, who are the people Apple needs to attract to increase their market share.



    Quote:

    Also, you should be careful to assess the PC you can get for the lower price: there are a lot of junk PCs out there.



    Why? will the average person comparing prices at Apple's and Dell's sites look at the systems spec for spec? I doubt it. They will look at the advertised systems, and "customize" them only if they really need to. I doubt they will care, or would pay more for a system becouse it has 2 more USB ports. FireWire? If they have no use for it then it is just an extra expense, same with that AirPort Xtream slot (which will cost them an additional $100 to populate). ADC? be carefull to explain that it can still hook up to a standard VGA monitor...otherwise a non-Apple Nut might think that they have to buy an expensive Apple monitor to hook up to the system, increasing the "percieved" cost of ownership.



    To increase market share Apple has to do a better job of selling thier computers, and a good start would be to get the entry system to the lowest possible price point, while making up for the sluggish upgrade cycle that as plagued the iMac 2. The also need to appeal to a broader audiance with an additional computer that is not an AIO, and has some expansion capability. Yes, they now have the G4 towers but $1299 is a heafty price for a computer that is as old as these systems are, even the processor is at least 12 months old...
  • Reply 51 of 53
    mimacmimac Posts: 871member
    I don't believe the iMac is dead...not even dying...just "under the weather".



    I just happened to be in a local branch of PC World today and was mucking around with the Macs on display (no surprise) amid a plethora of Wintel machines.



    The store was pretty quiet at the time, the few people in there were busy looking at upgrades for their PC boxes.

    When they had finished choosing what they needed they proceeded to browse around and I noticed a peculiar thing... nearly everyone of them that passed the Mac display were compelled to stop, look and proceeded to touch-feel and nervously "click around" on an available Mac.



    While eMacs and PowerMacs drew attention, every one of them felt compelled to grab the iMac's swivelling screen and give it a good work-out while looking at the machine with some awe.



    My thoughts on this behaviour are that the Imac is still a crowd pleaser in terms of aesthetic design and the way these people gave a pleasured grunt each time an application opened on screen or a music track played was heartening.



    Maybe the only thing that puts people off parting with their cash for a Mac is the fact that they are pretty much unaware of the platform in a world of Windows, and the price/spec tags do some damage to Mac v's PC's on display.



    A lot of valid points have been made regarding speed, pricing, upgradeability, but given that the iMac is still ahead of the pack in user friendliness and design I believe that only a decent upgrade plus slight reduction in price, accompanied by a larger advertising campaign (this side of the Atlantic anyway) will give iMac sales the shot in the arm it needs.



    One thing did stick with me ... a young father with his little girl happened to walk past the iMac and exclaim "Look, see... here's daddy's computer", the child smiled at the imac and I thought just for a moment that it really did smile back.
  • Reply 52 of 53
    smirclesmircle Posts: 1,035member
    I doubt a "cube light" will cure the cause of the problems that plague the iMac. Both, the original cube and the current iMac suffer from the following:

    They have very small and highly integrated cases. Those look certainly cool and stylish, but require a massive manufacturing effort. Cooling issues, miniature components, assembly hours are all disadvantageous compared to the drab towers we see in the PC world.



    Yet, due to their small size (!) they are seen as entry-level computers, while people expect serious workstations to be big. As Apple cannot easily sell entry-level systems at a premium, sales tank. With the sunflower iMac, the mechanical arm compounds the problems with lowering costs.



    This was not a problem they had with the iMac CRT enclosure or the eMac since both form-factors leave a lot of space for easy assembly and the systems were fully contained in their case.



    Apple (or rather Jobs and Ives) seem unable to learn the simple lesson that overengineering does not pay in the lowcost market. I would be very surprised if the current G4 towers would not cannibalize iMac sales even further if they keep the towers for some more month.
  • Reply 53 of 53
    chinneychinney Posts: 1,019member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by @homenow

    Are you suggesting that a 1 Ghz iMac is equil to a 2.4 Ghz P IV that is selling on Dell's site for $849? And how are you going to convince the average "Switcher" who knows little about Macs that a processor at less than half the speed is better? [...] The Mhz myth worked for a while, but then mostly with people who understood the nuts and bolts of the system. The G4 needs to catch up fast, or Apple needs to drop it as fast as they can. Right now it makes the Mac look more overpriced to switchers, who are the people Apple needs to attract to increase their market share.



    I am not suggesting that the iMac doesn't neet a speed bump and a price decrease: it needs both. What I am suggesting is that twice the MHz does not translate into twice the speed, Mac vs. Wintel. In fact, I think that even you are not suggesting this.



    What I understand you as suggesting however, is that the MHz myth is just too complicated to explain, so Apple better boost MHz. I, however, think that people can easily understand that MHz is not the only determinant of speed - this is true even comparing computers within the Wintel world.



    In any case, Apple is still going to be explaining this, because their latest G5s still clock at substantially lower GHz, but are faster than most or all Wintels.
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