The new desktop product matrix (It's not what you think it will be!)

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I've got a hunch that Apple is about to make a drastic change in their desktop lineup. More than just product revisions, where the Powermac and iMac models are revamped.



I suspect that the following will occur:



1. Powermac revision, either G4 apollo or G5.



2. iMac is discontinued as we know it. and in it's place, two new products are launched:



?Smaller "consumer" tower. This product will be similar to the cube in that it will have no PCI slots, an AGP slot, and little room for expandability. However, it will be larger than the cube, quite possibly have a fan, and be MUCH cheaper than the cube to build--thus Apple will be able to sell it at competitive prices and still retain it's fat profit margins. G4 processor is likely, with the Pro-towers getting the G5. Apple will bundle this computer with a choice of their LCD displays, at a decent discount.



?LCD all-in-one computer that fills the place of the iMac as Apple's low end all-in-one computer.



These products will be priced something like:



Low end pricing: LCD all-in-one (900-1400).



Consumer tower+15" LCD display: 1500-2200)





I think the real surprise here is thta Apple DID learn from the Cue. They learned that what the market needs is a consumer tower, and they will deliver on this need. That's my prediction, sort of for MWSF, but mainly for Apple's long term strategy over the entireyear.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 33
    [quote]Originally posted by Junkyard Dawg:

    <strong>

    ?Smaller "consumer" tower. This product will be similar to the cube in that it will have no PCI slots</strong><hr></blockquote>



    A tower without pci slots? That so dumb. Then I'd rather have the cube.



    They should use the current el capitan

    minitower case (it is a mini tower case), and provide a real tower....
  • Reply 2 of 33
    [quote]Originally posted by the Belgian waffle:

    <strong>



    A tower without pci slots? That so dumb. Then I'd rather have the cube.



    They should use the current el capitan

    minitower case (it is a mini tower case), and provide a real tower....</strong><hr></blockquote>



    The problem with el capitan is that it's big for what it offers in the way of expansion.
  • Reply 3 of 33
    erbiumerbium Posts: 354member
    Give me one good reason why Apple would ever consider to discontinue the iMac.





    THEY WON'T.



    End of story.



    The iMac, has become more of a computer, instead it has become an icon throughout the computer industry. Apple would be stupid to eliminate the computer (that saved their butt's back in '98) off their product list. It won't happen.



    Granted, it will look a lot different, but the iMac name will not dissapear.



    [ 12-22-2001: Message edited by: erbium ]</p>
  • Reply 4 of 33
    igiligil Posts: 23member
    [quote]?Smaller "consumer" tower.<hr></blockquote>

    This is what I have been wanting for years. It makes perfect sense for the average consumer/casual gamer. All I am interested in, is the ability to upgrade the graphics card, and to have a choice of displays.



    I don't really care what shape it is, as long as it is designed by Jonathan Ive.
  • Reply 5 of 33
    Product Matrix for 2002 WILL be:



    1) Powermac G4 (I'm not going to guess at speed cause I don't think ANYONE knows till it happens)



    2) Powerbook G4



    3) iBook G3



    4) LCD iMac



    Apple isn't stupid, a 4 product matrix works... anything else has failed so I SERIOUSLY doubt it will rise again. Get over it Apple is smarter than all of us... They know what they're doing.



    Mac Guru
  • Reply 6 of 33
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    [quote]Originally posted by erbium:

    <strong>Give me one good reason why Apple would ever consider to discontinue the iMac.





    THEY WON'T.



    End of story.



    The iMac, has become more of a computer, instead it has become an icon throughout the computer industry. Apple would be stupid to eliminate the computer (that saved their butt's back in '98) off their product list. It won't happen.



    Granted, it will look a lot different, but the iMac name will not dissapear.



    [ 12-22-2001: Message edited by: erbium ]</strong><hr></blockquote>



    From what JD said, the low end consumer machine will be all in one so all Apple has to do it call it iMac.
  • Reply 7 of 33
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Sounds an awful lot like the "old" minitower-Cube-iMac sequence with redesigned shells.
  • Reply 8 of 33
    applenutapplenut Posts: 5,768member
    [quote]Originally posted by discstickers:

    <strong>



    The problem with el capitan is that it's big for what it offers in the way of expansion.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    what?



    4 PCI slots, 4 hard drive bays. 1 5.25 inch bay, 1 3.5 inch bay, 1.5 GB RAM, AGP 4X, Airport, speaker?



    the case is too big for all that?!
  • Reply 9 of 33
    imacfpimacfp Posts: 750member
    Using LCDs instead of CRTs in a all-in-one design would free up a lot of room. You take the current iMac's base (slightly modified) cover it with an access hatch and stick an LCD upfront. What do you have? The perfect blend between the iMac's small footprint and a minitowers expandability.



    [ 12-22-2001: Message edited by: imacSE ]</p>
  • Reply 10 of 33
    [quote]Originally posted by applenut:

    <strong>



    what?



    4 PCI slots, 4 hard drive bays. 1 5.25 inch bay, 1 3.5 inch bay, 1.5 GB RAM, AGP 4X, Airport, speaker?



    the case is too big for all that?!</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Wasn't the 9600 case smaller or about the same size as el capitan? It had 6 PCI slots. It didn't have Airport, buts thats so small that its not important. Didn't the 9600 have more RAM slots too?
  • Reply 11 of 33
    bogiebogie Posts: 407member
    1st - the "consumer tower" interferes with the pricing of the Power Mac line.



    2nd - a tower without PCI slots accomplishes what exactly?



    3rd - the Cube had high margins and low cost for parts, Jobs stated it was made from mostly existing parts and that it had better margins than the iMac at the financial meeting held right after its release.



    So, basically, your arguments don't make sense to me.
  • Reply 12 of 33
    sdw2001sdw2001 Posts: 17,001member
    [quote]Originally posted by the Belgian waffle:

    <strong>



    A tower without pci slots? That so dumb. Then I'd rather have the cube.



    They should use the current el capitan

    minitower case (it is a mini tower case), and provide a real tower....</strong><hr></blockquote>



    No. Consumers in general have ZERO need for PCI slots. I consider myself sort of a "prosumer" and I have ZERO need for them.



    Imagine how much need the average idiot consumer has for them. They don't even know what they are.



    Please list examples of why the hell a consumer, even a prosumer would need PCI slots.
  • Reply 13 of 33
    bogiebogie Posts: 407member
    Actually most consumers need PCI slots for ethernet since no OEM PC makers I can think of have onboard ethernet.



    But there is a perception problem, most people don't even upgrade RAM but when buying a PC buy based on "this is all you will need AND expandable."
  • Reply 14 of 33
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    Sound cards, video capture, Real Time effects. Not really typical consumer stuff, but it's right there for the ambitious consumer/hobbiest. I know lots of musicians, who don't really use their machines for anything else, that would love the option to plug in a high-end sound card (not a sound blaster) into an otherwise consumer machine. They don't play too many games, and they don't do graphics. They really don't want any expansion capability beyond a professional level sound card.



    I think a small tower with 1 PCI and 1 AGP slot, an optical drive and a hard drive, would make an awesome iMac replacement. Just a little bigger than a cube. Perhaps ADC only bundled with the 15" studio display. Thanks to the ADC it's just as simple as the iMac for those who'll never open it up. But for those who would, there's enough expandability and power to make a prosumer machine out of it. It should also be much cheaper for Apple to produce than an all-in-one: No shrunken components/specialized MoBo's, just a cut down Powermac Board. PowerMac moves on to G5's and with it's much larger drives and multiple expansion options, there really isn't any overlap to worry about. It's easy for Apple to update too. No need to fiddle the whole mobo when doing a graphics revision. Easy to do Special-Editions like a Tivo-type recorder. No more Mobo redesigning, just judicious choices of PCI add-ins.



    _________________________



    Also, it is pure arrogance to think that any one company is "smarter than all of us." You cannot really out-smart the market. It wants what it wants, and that is often a more powerful persuader than even the most thoughful/elegant corporate rational. How do you explain SUV's??? There is no logical reason fo their proliferation, except that the market wants them. If auto makers want to make money, they'll supply them, no matter how wrong they actually are for the majority who buy them.



    Same thing in computers. Apple must be flexible in it's design philosphy. I don't think anyone is asking them to make big beige boxes! Just a few minor ammendments to the formula. It is a strong formula that argues compellingly against the status quo, but that really isn't enough. At some point a company has to look not just to what is 'right' but also to what the customer 'thinks' is right. The history of industrial/commercial design is littered with superior products and technologies that nonetheless lost out to inferior but more popular solutions. Customers largely never appreciate the 'rightness' of said designs during the life of the product. Only later, ussually after the originators have died off, do consumers come around to a way of thinking. You can be too strong, and often, a design has to meet the popular concepts of 'rightness' half way, or risk its own demise.



    Any serious attempt to increase market share must account for what people want. Those who already own your product don't need to be convinced. Apple stores can only go so far. This is just evangelizing done anew (albeit much better). No, at some point a company has to make room for adjustments, the consumer may be an idiot, but it doesn't matter; he controls your destiny, if you can't pursuade him, you must decieve him.
  • Reply 15 of 33
    vinney57vinney57 Posts: 1,162member
    Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!



    Where on earth did you get this idea from JD? It's hard to know where to start. What is the selling point of an unexpandable tower over an iMac? It makes absolutely no sense.



    The idea of and expandable mini tower makes even less sense



    [quote] No. Consumers in general have ZERO need for PCI slots. I consider myself sort of a "prosumer" and I have ZERO need for them. <hr></blockquote>



    Absolutely correct.



    [quote] Wasn't the 9600 case smaller or about the same size as el capitan? It had 6 PCI slots. It didn't have Airport, buts thats so small that its not important. Didn't the 9600 have more RAM slots too?

    Bogie <hr></blockquote>



    Your'e on crack; I have a 9600 case in front of me (gathering dust) and it is enormous.



    [quote] I know lots of musicians, who don't really use their machines for anything else, that would love the option to plug in a high-end sound card (not a sound blaster) into an otherwise consumer machine. They don't play too many games, and they don't do graphics. They really don't want any expansion capability beyond a professional level sound card.<hr></blockquote>



    Are they not aware of the dozen USB audio interfaces out there, or the two (soon to be four or five), high end firewire audio interfaces? For the domestic consumer/ pro-sumer the future is NOT bloody PCI cards.



    [quote] Also, it is pure arrogance to think that any one company is "smarter than all of us."<hr></blockquote>



    I don't think it was meant in that sense. Apple Computer are more 'informed' than us about one particular subject; Apple Computer. The products they produce now also reflact their thinking and their intelligence on where the market, technology, design and their own R&D efforts are going to be five years down the line. There is an extremely delicate balance that Apple has to constantly achieve (and this in the end is Steve's worth as leader) between what they know the market to be today and what it will be in the future. Healthy as the business is today Apple are a niche player and cannot afford to **** up the bets they are making on that future.
  • Reply 16 of 33
    [quote]Originally posted by SDW2001:

    <strong>



    No. Consumers in general have ZERO need for PCI slots. I consider myself sort of a "prosumer" and I have ZERO need for them.



    Imagine how much need the average idiot consumer has for them. They don't even know what they are.



    Please list examples of why the hell a consumer, even a prosumer would need PCI slots.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Hey don't get me wrong, I kindof agree.



    I mean, I think it would be nice if the consumer Mac had AGP 4X upgradeable graphics card and maybe 2 pci slots, like for an ATA card or a sound card, or a USB2 card or something.



    But that's not a necessity. It's what I would like. Consumer Macs don't offer that, so I buy towers.



    All I was questioning was the fact that JD claims Apple needs a consumer tower (which would be big IMHO), and not use that for PCI slots.



    If they want a machine with upgradeable graphics but without PCI slots, use the cube. That's a great form factor, it was just too expensive (should've been the price of the best iMac, including LCD display in that).



    Oh and please don't talk down on consumers like that.
  • Reply 17 of 33
    matsumatsu Posts: 6,558member
    USB audio is a travesty, so forget it. Firewire audio is much more acceptable. But it does bring with it the expense of the enclosure and interface. As it is now, anything "firewire" is much more expensive than internal versions of the same (or often better) hardware. What's the convenience in that! Still Firewire could be good enough with just a little speed boost. The current PCI bus in the PowerMacs delivers about 215MB/s. Firewire delivers 50MB/s, but the 1394b spec supports 800 & 1600Mb/s (100 & 200MB/sec) which would be fast enough to replace the 64bit PCI bus. Good. Companies could put PCI based cards into stand-alone enclosures the same way they now put IDE hard drives in firewire enclosures. It's a little costlier but it opens the doors for comapnies to provide more Mac options. I hope this is what GIGAWIRE is refering to.



    I know that 50MB/s is pretty fast, but for some involved audio and video work, the processor and your peripherals will have to shuffle information a bit faster than that. Dedicated rendering, capture, compression, mixing and editing devices would all perform better with more bandwidth.

    _________________



    I know Apple will continue to do what it wants and what it feels is best. But let us also remember that this singular path of theirs has consistently produced decreased market share. I don't think that they'll disapear -- they're quite healthy -- but, all rhetoric aside, they simply don't reach the other 95% of consumers. Consumers who have for one reason or another rejected the formula for about a decade now. It isn't enough to know Apple computer, as yu put it, they have to learn and take some care about that other 95% if they want a piece of that action. I see those consumers asking for affordability and expansion. Whether they use it or not, that's what they ask for, that's what they buy. Apple can make some changes, they aren't perfect as they are. Don't act as if any acceptance of PC strengths would sink them. PCI, SDRAM, IDE drives, USB, and standard VGA connectors are all things that helped save them. So is the iMac. Which took many standards and added a unique design touch. There is no reason that the same could not be done with a micro-tower consumer model. Or with an all-in-one.
  • Reply 18 of 33
    geobegeobe Posts: 235member
    Is the latest Airport upgrade possibly a clue. What if the new product is some sort of cordless telephone that connects to airport either through the Ethernet, if connected over the broadband internet, or, a regular phone call when connected to the regular telephone line. If Apple wants to have a digital hub, starting with the telephone would be a good start.
  • Reply 19 of 33
    [quote]Originally posted by vinney57:

    <strong>Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong!</strong><hr></blockquote>

    Right, right, right



    [QB]

    Where on earth did you get this idea from JD? It's hard to know where to start. What is the selling point of an unexpandable tower over an iMac? It makes absolutely no sense.





    The idea of and expandable mini tower makes even less sense

    [QB]



    The unexpandable tower makes a little sense: because you can change the monitor. That is the single most cited complaint about the iMac - you're stuck with the monitor that Steve wants to give you. And for most people, 15" is too small. As will be a 15" LCD (1024X768).



    A small "tower" (or cube) with an empty PCI slot makes a lot of sense. The average consumer may not need to use it when they buy it, but next year when USB2 is popular, or Gigawire, or Firewire 2, etc.. Then that consumer can plug it in a continue on. I have a Rev B iMac that I'd love to plug a firewire card into. I also have a Cube that I'd love to put a second monitor on.
  • Reply 20 of 33
    [quote]Originally posted by Cubed:



    A small "tower" (or cube) with an empty PCI slot makes a lot of sense. The average consumer may not need to use it when they buy it, but next year when USB2 is popular, or Gigawire, or Firewire 2, etc.. Then that consumer can plug it in a continue on. I have a Rev B iMac that I'd love to plug a firewire card into. I also have a Cube that I'd love to put a second monitor on.[/QB]<hr></blockquote>



    Yeah but JD started of with the idea of a small 'tower' WITHOUT pci slots. It's either a tower with a pci slot(s), or a cube like thingie (upgradeable graphics, no pci), or all-in-one (whatyougetiswhatstevewants). It's not a tower without pci, nor is it a cube with 6 pci slots and ten full drive bays.
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