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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Dealbreaker for headless iMac?

Dealbreaker for headless iMac?
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Jul 5, 2004, 02:02 PM
 
Hey all - posted this deep in another thread and got no response, but I am curious as to what you might think of this. Am I off base? - let me know. Thanks!

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There's one thing about the headless iMac idea that I haven't heard addressed yet - but it seems important to me.

Providing a "headless" iMac with a VESA-compatible neck would be a deal-breaker for many casual iMac buyers. How many people would want to go through the hassle of screwing on their own display?

Not me - and I've been a Mac user since the early 90's. I can't imagine what a first time buyer would think.

For this to work, Apple would have to:

- Make the neck easily detatchable - a one-step process - in case the user didn't need it. (This could be a problem, because of the weight this neck would have to bear.)

- Create a better VESA connector than simply screws and holes. It would have to be a one-step, snap or slide-on deal that would be brain-dead easy.

- provide a standard SVGA port on the iMac itself. Not everyone wants to spend the extra for an LCD when 17" CRT monitors are available for less than $100.

A much likelier alternative would be a "headless" iMac with both digital and analog (SVGA) ports. Apple's LCD monitors come with perfectly good stands - why not use them?

It's possible I don't understand what the VESA mount entails. If so, let me know - but it seems well beyond what a casual user would want to mess with, and a violation of Apple's longstanding "out of the box" philosophy for the iMac/eMac.

----------

Any input/discussion appreciated!
     
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Jul 5, 2004, 02:15 PM
 
Take the monitor off the iMac and it's no longer an iMac.

The iMac is a all-in-one unit, that is it's point...

There will be no headless iMacs.

-Ryan
800mhz 15" Flat Panel iMac G4, 32mb GeForce2MX, OS X (10.3), Maxtor 120gb & 250gb FireWire HDs, FireWire Zip 250, iSight
     
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Jul 5, 2004, 02:57 PM
 
Anything complex is out of the question, because as Ryan points out, then it's no longer an iMac. But I wonder if Steve might be convinced to produce something that's ALMOST as simple: one cable. ADC.

Think about this: with the new iMac comes a choice of 15- or 17-inch "consumer" displays with ADC. The iMac itself has both ADC and DVI connectors so you could, if you wanted, use an older or third-party display, but the one-cable solution and the matching display is compelling to many buyers. You also have the choice, if you so desire, to hook up any of Apple's "professional" displays; a case could be made than anyone willing to spend $1,300 on a display can probably handle the more complicated set-up.

It's not the perfect AIO solution that Steve seems to like, but one cable is the next best thing to no cables.

Besides, I still have a hard time believing that Apple isn't concerned about having no display to sell for less than $1,300. A lot of us use dual displays but there is no way I'd spend that kind of money just to have a place to put my palettes.
     
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Jul 5, 2004, 02:58 PM
 
Originally posted by Ryan Becker:
Take the monitor off the iMac and it's no longer an iMac.

The iMac is a all-in-one unit, that is it's point...

There will be no headless iMacs.

-Ryan
Well, yes...but you've sidestepped the issue - which is that there has been considerable discussion about some kind of headless Mac, whether we actually label it an "iMac" or not.

There certainly is (based on posts on a number of Mac websites) a perceived demand for an iMac-level box without an attached monitor. Some have suggested that Apple is providing a standard VESA mount so that a user could "mix and match" one of the new LCD monitors with it. I'm just trying to explore how that might work.

I can say, personally, that I would probably buy a reasonably priced monitor-less Mac with "iMac-like" specs - as long as some of the concerns expressed above were met.
     
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Jul 5, 2004, 06:25 PM
 
i'm still hoping for "headless"...

a removable, wireless, touch-screen monitor.

it becomes the remote for airport express.

add a tv tuner and bundle a new iApp with tivo/eyetv-like functionality and you've got a flat screen hdtv that moves around the house with you.

i think the iMac needs to do something revolutionary to fill it's place as the digital-hub.
     
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Jul 5, 2004, 06:41 PM
 
Originally posted by mattyd:
i'm still hoping for "headless"...

a removable, wireless, touch-screen monitor.

it becomes the remote for airport express.

add a tv tuner and bundle a new iApp with tivo/eyetv-like functionality and you've got a flat screen hdtv that moves around the house with you.

i think the iMac needs to do something revolutionary to fill it's place as the digital-hub.
Wow, now those are some of the highest hopes for the iMac that I have ever heard!!

I'd say, keep dreamin'... that sounds like the iMac of 2020 to me.....

-Ryan
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Jul 5, 2004, 06:48 PM
 
Originally posted by Ryan Becker:
Wow, now those are some of the highest hopes for the iMac that I have ever heard!!

I'd say, keep dreamin'... that sounds like the iMac of 2020 to me.....

-Ryan
that's why i said i was "hoping".

it's good to dream.
     
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Jul 5, 2004, 07:05 PM
 
Originally posted by mattyd:
that's why i said i was "hoping".

it's good to dream.
Yes, yes, it is a good dream.

If you really expect it to come true though, I think you've been hangin' out with Towelie too much! lol

-Ryan
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Jul 5, 2004, 07:12 PM
 
Originally posted by Ryan Becker:
Yes, yes, it is a good dream.

If you really expect it to come true though, I think you've been hangin' out with Towelie too much! lol

-Ryan
towelie's a good buddy.

man, i'm so high right now i have no idea what's going on.
     
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Jul 5, 2004, 07:27 PM
 
Originally posted by mattyd:
towelie's a good buddy.

man, i'm so high right now i have no idea what's going on.
LMAO, I hear ya man, I hear ya...

X )-~

-Ryan
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Jul 10, 2004, 02:01 PM
 
That would be incredibly cool. Just imagine if the monitor + arm on iMacs just slid out of the base and you could slide it into a separate stand and hide the base away. Apple could do a nice job .

I'm sure it would make the iMac more appealing to more people... Because it doesn't fit into the image of a typical desktop computer, I think people see iMacs as being toys, and not as a serious computer that's already way more powerful than most peoples needs.
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Jul 10, 2004, 02:12 PM
 
It would be messy but possible. Heck tv's still pick up broadcasts of shows... use a different and faster frequency... have a smaller screen, which considerably low resolution (or just small pixel wise, a large screen and amount of information would be taxing on wireless).

I can see a device similar to a hand-held tv that controls your airtunes, itunes, movies, maybe even has some palm stuff like checking email, heck,.. maybe it would be a phone too

eventually there is going to be like 1 or 2 devices that do many many thigns instead of many devices that just do one thing... we'll see though... technology changes so fast!
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Jul 10, 2004, 05:17 PM
 
Originally posted by mattyd:
it's good to dream.
it's just a pipe dream. apple will never do it. never say never, except in this case.
     
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Jul 12, 2004, 03:24 PM
 
Originally posted by teknopimp:
it's just a pipe dream. apple will never do it. never say never, except in this case.
iCube, anyone ?

-t
     
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Jul 12, 2004, 04:41 PM
 
I fear for our country or at the very least the future of mankind if have people so devoid of intelligence that they cannot figure out how to bolt a monitor to an arm with 4-5 screws.

As for "it isn't an iMac" Neither was the LCD. That was iLamp. The iMac everyone loved was the cute little 15" monitor.

Far as I'm concerned the iMac LCD destroyed all that was sacred about the iMac name. Screw the marketing just give me a decent machine with a modicum of upgradability. I could care less whether you call it iMac or happymac.
     
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Jul 12, 2004, 11:16 PM
 
Originally posted by hmurchison2001:
I fear for our country or at the very least the future of mankind if have people so devoid of intelligence that they cannot figure out how to bolt a monitor to an arm with 4-5 screws.
It's not a measure of intelligence; it's a measure of convenience.

Having to bolt something together would make the "headless iMac" way harder to set up than any other computer - PC or Mac. Most people will pass because they just don't want the hassle. And they would be right.

And, to be honest, considering all the other hardware challenges Apple has tackled over the years, an easy-to-attach VESA mount should be a piece of cake.

- b
     
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Jul 13, 2004, 12:29 AM
 
With the attention to detail Apple have, right down to even their power supplies and packaging, I have absolutely no doubt Apple could come up with a one-piece VESA clamp that you simply close and the monitor is fixed - or simply turn a single knob and four bolts drill into the VESA mount...
     
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Jul 15, 2004, 08:28 AM
 
From the rumors, the new iMac may just be a "bodyless" iMac. All head, no bottom, just a stand.

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Jul 15, 2004, 02:51 PM
 
Providing a "headless" iMac with a VESA-compatible neck would be a deal-breaker for many casual iMac buyers. How many people would want to go through the hassle of screwing on their own display?

a VESA mount would be a deal breaker? ooookaay. One of the main gripes about the iMac is its lack of ability to upgrade. How is attaching a monitor to a mount such a hassle that you would completely dismiss the whole package?

Apple's new use of DVI rather than ADC and now monitors that are VESA compatible are, in my opinion, great steps to dispell that whole "Apple stuff only works with Apple stuff" thing.

Maybe I'm off base, but I dont buy your argument.
     
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Jul 15, 2004, 04:02 PM
 
Originally posted by boardsurfer:
a VESA mount would be a deal breaker? ooookaay. One of the main gripes about the iMac is its lack of ability to upgrade. How is attaching a monitor to a mount such a hassle that you would completely dismiss the whole package?

Apple's new use of DVI rather than ADC and now monitors that are VESA compatible are, in my opinion, great steps to dispell that whole "Apple stuff only works with Apple stuff" thing.

Maybe I'm off base, but I dont buy your argument.
I agree.

Not only that, but a significant percentage of iMac buyers would probably get the display as a BTO option and get it all assembled just like they do now.

For all intents and purposes it would remain an AIO design to the end user even if technically you could swap out, upgrade or remove the diplay.

IMO, there are 2 fundamental flaws with the current iMac offering:
1) cannot upgrade/replace the display
2) cannot upgrade/replace the graphics card

That might be fine for a sub $1000 machine, but it's unforgivable in a product at the iMac's price point, IMO.

The GPU is the first thing to be "out of date" on any computer. My dream for the new iMac would fix those limitations once and for all.

And it could still look, behave and sell like an AIO for those who would never upgrade/replace anything. Win-Win-Win.
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Jul 15, 2004, 04:37 PM
 
Originally posted by babywriter2:

Providing a "headless" iMac with a VESA-compatible neck would be a deal-breaker for many casual iMac buyers. How many people would want to go through the hassle of screwing on their own display?

Not me - and I've been a Mac user since the early 90's. I can't imagine what a first time buyer would think.
I agree with the above previous post that I don't see the big deal with a VESA attached display. It's not like you install it everyday to use the computer. How is lining up a bunch of wholes and screwing them to a bracket too difficult. It has nothing to do with technical or computer knowledge. Many monitors today make you assemble them in some way so that they can cut down on cost or box size. And in this case you would be choosing what monitor you want so the mac could be known as more customizable to your needs. I think an Apple philosophy is also to give you a product that fits your needs. The one main drawback I can see for Apple is that it would cannabalize PowerMac sales. Right now they have a sweet deal because most Apple users are huge fans and are willing to pay more to get the Mac they want, they are more guided by features then price vs the avg pc user. If they can get that in a cheaper version like the iMac they would, but if the difference is only down to speed and performance they will find fewer users going to the PowerMac and settling on the headless iMac.
     
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Jul 15, 2004, 05:16 PM
 
Turn your iMac into an extra monitor for your PC
http://www.maxivista.com/


Right now this only works on Windows based machines, but MaxiVista is apparently working on a version that will allow you to use a Mac running OSX as a second monitor for a PC. (http://www.maxivista.com/pressreleas...essrelease.htm)
     
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Jul 15, 2004, 05:22 PM
 
Originally posted by anoetic:
...The one main drawback I can see for Apple is that it would cannabalize PowerMac sales. Right now they have a sweet deal because most Apple users are huge fans and are willing to pay more to get the Mac they want, they are more guided by features then price vs the avg pc user. If they can get that in a cheaper version like the iMac they would, but if the difference is only down to speed and performance they will find fewer users going to the PowerMac and settling on the headless iMac.
This is a very legitimate concern and perhaps the main reason I think my dream for a upgradable lower priced unit will remain unfulfilled.

However, with the PowerMacs all being dual G5's i think there is a very clear performance gap that should be sufficient to differentiate them from the iMac line.

Not to mention the price point gap.

Right now if you want a Mac where you can swap displays or GPUs you have to spend $2000. That is absolutely ludicrous, IMO.

Is it really so outrageous to want a $1000 computer w/o a monitor where I can upgrade the GPU a year after the date of purchase? Or use my crappy old CRT for now and attach a shiny new LCD a year or 2 later?

The canibalization argument posits that these buyers (who want an upgradable $1K machine) currently buy PowerMacs and would cease to do so if a headless/upgradable iMac became available.

I'm not so sure that those buyers have been buying PowerMacs because they had no optons. I suspect most of them (like me) have simply not bought anything or settled for something less than what we wanted to save some money (like a Dell).
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Jul 15, 2004, 05:26 PM
 
I am really not concerned if the display is still attached. Apple's displays are pretty outstanding as it is. But dammit let me change the graphics card!
<-- love that dude.

oh, and I want to be able to change the HD without voiding my warranty.
     
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Jul 15, 2004, 10:32 PM
 
Originally posted by boardsurfer:
I am really not concerned if the display is still attached. Apple's displays are pretty outstanding as it is. But dammit let me change the graphics card!
<-- love that dude.

oh, and I want to be able to change the HD without voiding my warranty.
That's silly. The warranty is a year or up to 3 with Apple Care. You'll want to change the internal drive within that time? What's wrong with getting a firewire drive?

The only thing I *do* agree is the GPU. Apple should allow this to be "upgradable" to some degree. Right now it's ridiculous! First gen FP iMac users (like me) have a GForce 2MX based GPU. That was just eighteen months ago and since there've been two GPU changes in the lineup. Even back then, it was a pretty enemic GPU. Wasn't there some upgrade slot or something in the original iMac? Is "one slot" too much to ask on the iMac "high end", an iMac "SE", if you will?
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Jul 16, 2004, 02:12 PM
 
Silly to you maybe - just personal preference to me. I dont like external stuff. Is it wrong to want a huge internal drive? Besides, its cheaper too.
     
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Jul 16, 2004, 04:54 PM
 
Originally posted by boardsurfer:
Silly to you maybe - just personal preference to me. I dont like external stuff. Is it wrong to want a huge internal drive? Besides, its cheaper too.
Cheaper for you, maybe but unsuitable for Apple. So change it and accept the warranty is void as a result. I'm perfectly happy with a firewire LaCie external on the iMac.

You make it sound like Apple should put the iMac HD in a hot-swappable unit or something. That's *well* beyond the scope of the iMac line.

I don't think it's unreasonable for Apple to give a slot or at least some hope of GPU upgradeability (even if it would void warranty).
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Jul 20, 2004, 12:20 AM
 
Originally posted by anoetic:
I agree with the above previous post that I don't see the big deal with a VESA attached display. It's not like you install it everyday to use the computer. How is lining up a bunch of wholes and screwing them to a bracket too difficult. It has nothing to do with technical or computer knowledge. Many monitors today make you assemble them in some way so that they can cut down on cost or box size. And in this case you would be choosing what monitor you want so the mac could be known as more customizable to your needs.
C'mon, people, think about this.

Okay, we've established that the average MacNN forum poster could probably attach a monitor to a VESA mount. No argument there.

But the core audience of the iMac isn't the "average MacNN forum poster." It's people like my wife, who wouldn't even think of trying to install a monitor with screws or bolts, or her friend in Seattle who recently bought an eMac because it was so easy to set up.

As hard as it may be for some of us to believe, most people DON'T want to tinker with their computers. They want to pull them out of the box and use them.

That's always been the iMac's forte - am absolutely transparent out of the box experience. Sorry, guys, but screws and bolts don't cut it.

Personally - and, yes, I do know of the rumors indicating that the new iMac will be "bodyless" - I think Apple would do well just to ship a compact, limited-expandability G5 box (think the old LC) with SVGA and DVI connectors. That way, as someone else said, we could use our crappy monitor with it until we could afford to trade up to one of those spiffy LCDs.

I think that, if Apple did this, and priced them in the $700 range, they would sell like hotcakes.

- b
     
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Jul 21, 2004, 09:52 AM
 
Originally posted by babywriter2:
Providing a "headless" iMac with a VESA-compatible neck would be a deal-breaker for many casual iMac buyers. How many people would want to go through the hassle of screwing on their own display?
That's true. But what if retailers would sell 'standard' iMacs with the display (say 15" or 17") attached. Through Applestore Apple could provide display BTO options just as they do HD options, etc. The selection could then provide more 'exotic' configurations such as no display, 20" and maybe 23".
     
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Jul 21, 2004, 03:07 PM
 
Originally posted by babywriter2:
C'mon, people, think about this.

Okay, we've established that the average MacNN forum poster could probably attach a monitor to a VESA mount. No argument there.

But the core audience of the iMac isn't the "average MacNN forum poster." It's people like my wife, who wouldn't even think of trying to install a monitor with screws or bolts, or her friend in Seattle who recently bought an eMac because it was so easy to set up.

As hard as it may be for some of us to believe, most people DON'T want to tinker with their computers. They want to pull them out of the box and use them.

That's always been the iMac's forte - am absolutely transparent out of the box experience. Sorry, guys, but screws and bolts don't cut it.

Personally - and, yes, I do know of the rumors indicating that the new iMac will be "bodyless" - I think Apple would do well just to ship a compact, limited-expandability G5 box (think the old LC) with SVGA and DVI connectors. That way, as someone else said, we could use our crappy monitor with it until we could afford to trade up to one of those spiffy LCDs.

I think that, if Apple did this, and priced them in the $700 range, they would sell like hotcakes.

- b
Look at the end of a vga cord. See the two round knobby things at the end? Those are screws. That is how hard it is to attatch a VESA monitor to an arm of some kind. Don't you have to connect the usb cord to the computer? What about a mouse? What about a power cord and a telephone or network cord? You can take this argument to absurdity. If you want something that needs absolutely no effort to do out of the box you want a laptop. Any desktop computer requires some assembly and attatching a VESA monitor to an arm requires no techinical knowledge. It probably requires less knowledge about computers then attaching a USB cord to a computer. Have you heard any newbies complain that they can't figure out how to connect their iSight camera to a base? That has three different bodies to it. True Apple prides itself on making a computer easy to use out of the box but I think attaching a monitor does not fall into the realm of making it difficult for a newbie to use. It may be the least challenging thing for them to do in the whole first computer setup process and I'm sure Apple can create a way to make it as painless as possible. This isn't a strong argument for not having a headless mac.
     
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Jul 22, 2004, 01:21 AM
 
Originally posted by anoetic:
Look at the end of a vga cord. See the two round knobby things at the end? Those are screws. That is how hard it is to attatch a VESA monitor to an arm of some kind.
Um.....here's an example of a garden-variety VESA mount:

http://www.ergotron.com/3_products/f...s/default.asp# When you get there, click the "VESA Standard" link on the left side.

Look closely. See those screws? Wow. No round knobby things. That means (now, stay with me here) that you will have to use either a screwdriver or a ratchet set.

THAT IS MY POINT. The casual user won't want to do it; I can't think of any other consumer-level machine - Mac, PC, or otherwise - that requires this from a casual user. (Power users are different; I've already said that.) This is NOT the same as plugging in a monitor or USB cable.

What if someone drops their expensive LCD in the process of installation? Combine the garden-variety VESA mount with a novice user, and that is exactly what you will get. Guaranteed.

Could Apple create a VESA mount with knobby things (or a slide-on connector) to make it easier? Sure. But that's my point, too: Apple would have to design a special, user-friendly neck mount for this to work.

My reality check is this: would my wife (who is tech-savvy but assembly-averse) feel comfortable doing this? If the answer is no, then Apple has some design work to do.

- b
     
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Jul 22, 2004, 07:57 AM
 
To bad Apple will not make a G mac or gamers mac that is a small single G5 cpu system with 2 PCI express slots. I think if they made a base or top of the line model without a head. Either one would sell good if it was expandable and had a good base setup. I want to get a Apple G5 but can't bring my self to pay for a dual. I am kinda waiting for the single 1.6 to get a little cheaper.
     
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Jul 22, 2004, 03:03 PM
 
Originally posted by teknopimp:
it's just a pipe dream. apple will never do it. never say never, except in this case.
Yes, it's the one downside of having 1 company control both the hardware and the software. Similar to a monopoly, and yet.. not.
     
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Jul 22, 2004, 06:12 PM
 
Originally posted by Ryan Becker:
Take the monitor off the iMac and it's no longer an iMac.

The iMac is a all-in-one unit, that is it's point...

There will be no headless iMacs.

-Ryan
An iMac is whatever Apple says it is. Many of us said the LCD model wasn't really an iMac until we warmed up to it. Personally, I hope the next iMac is not an all in one. The G4 iMac looked really cool, but completely bombed sales wise. With little upgrade potential and low end hardware, many did not see a real reason to buy one over the similarly speced and much cheaper eMac. I hope it's something closer to a modern PowerMac 6500 to make it both different than the eMac and a more viable machine.
     
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Jul 22, 2004, 06:44 PM
 
Originally posted by geist_darkblade:
To bad Apple will not make a G mac or gamers mac that is a small single G5 cpu system with 2 PCI express slots. I think if they made a base or top of the line model without a head. Either one would sell good if it was expandable and had a good base setup. I want to get a Apple G5 but can't bring my self to pay for a dual. I am kinda waiting for the single 1.6 to get a little cheaper.
I was thinking about something like this

Single G5
2 DIMM slots
Single optical drive, 2 Hard drive spaces (similar to bay in PowerMac G5)
1 8x AGP slot
3 PCI slots
Case resembles a smaller G5.
Matching 15 and 17 inch LCD Displays also available

2 models

Low
1.6 or 1.8 G5
256mb DDR
80gb SATA Hard drive
Combo Drive
Geforce FX 5200

High: 1.8 or 2.0 G5
512mb DDR
80GB SATA Hardrive
SuperDrive
Geforce FX 5200
     
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Jul 22, 2004, 10:49 PM
 
Originally posted by leperkuhn:
Yes, it's the one downside of having 1 company control both the hardware and the software. Similar to a monopoly, and yet.. not.
one man, really. but i accept that at this point in time.
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 02:14 PM
 
Originally posted by BenRoethig:
I was thinking about something like this

Single G5
2 DIMM slots
Single optical drive, 2 Hard drive spaces (similar to bay in PowerMac G5)
1 8x AGP slot
3 PCI slots
Case resembles a smaller G5.
Matching 15 and 17 inch LCD Displays also available

2 models

Low
1.6 or 1.8 G5
256mb DDR
80gb SATA Hard drive
Combo Drive
Geforce FX 5200

High: 1.8 or 2.0 G5
512mb DDR
80GB SATA Hardrive
SuperDrive
Geforce FX 5200
As nice as that sounds, there isn't much to differentiate those machines from the PowerMac G5. Dual processors, more RAM slots. That's about all. Machines like this would completely kill the pro machine sales, which is where Apple makes more money.

As much as I don't like it, I'm not expecting anything too expandable in the next machines for the simple reason that most iMac buyers aren't the kind of users that want to upgrade their machines beyond more RAM. I'm guessing the new machines will have similar ideas to the current iMacs, just a new form factor and G5s.
Brandon
--
Dual 2.0GHz G5, 1GB RAM, Radeon 9600 Pro
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 03:10 PM
 
The G4 iMac was more like a notebook, limiting upgrades to memory and an AirPort card. Buying one is therefore more like buying a PowerBook. If you want something better that what is on the shelves at CompUSA you put in a BTO and max it to your heart's content. I've had no problems with that when buying PBs and will do the same thing when the G5 iMac comes out.

I do believe that Apple will continue with an AIO form for the G5 iMac as it addresses a large market that don't want to get into the box. It also moves a lot of displays. The display may be detachable, but it's going to come in the box with the computer.

The key will be the need to address the lower end of the iMac market with something that is both exciting and affordable while attracting those that are wanting to get a top end ($2,000+) 20" (+?) iMac.

Most important for the new release will be the limited supply of G5 chips. There is no compelling reason for Apple to make a G5 below the $1,200 price point when they are very likely going to have huge back orders on the AIO form. When IBM is able to ship very large quantities of G5s Apple may well release another line that is headless. Unlike Wal-Mart specials a headless single G5 line will have to generate sufficient gross margins to provide a reasonable contribution to R&D. Apple is the only consumer computer company writing it's own OS and other software, like iLife, and each box sold has to make a contribution.
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 03:20 PM
 
Wow, you guys have failed to consider the obvious, IF Apple were to come out with a "headless" iMac w/ VESA-compatible neck, but still didn't want customers to do the install themselves...

APPLE could install the screen on to the neck, based on how you configure the machine when you order. At The Apple Store or a Reseller, they could do the install of the screen before the customer takes it home.

Making a detachable arm w/ VESA mount on the end would allow Apple to basically manufacture one "base" machine, which could either be headless or attached directly to an LCD.

Now, this is pure conjecture, and I'd love to see such a beast, but I have absolutely no knowledge about whether or not we'll ever see such a Mac. I know if one came out, I'd probably get one and use it with my older 17" Apple Studio CRT.
My opinions are my own, and not those of anybody else, including my employer.
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 04:36 PM
 
Originally posted by nickgold2012:
Wow, you guys have failed to consider the obvious, IF Apple were to come out with a "headless" iMac w/ VESA-compatible neck, but still didn't want customers to do the install themselves...
I considered and rejected this idea. Apple may, of course, do any darn thing, but this seems really unlikely from both a technical and a business perspective.

Ask yourself where the profit lies. Allowing users to put on a third party display does not actually save that much money in the construction, and does add complexity - suddenly, they have a larger test matrix. If it increases profits a bunch, then it might be worth it, but I just doubt it would to all that great a degree, given that the total machine cost would be lower, and thus the profit margin.

Part of the appeal of the iMac is the "one stop shop" nature, which means that they are easy to stock and sell. Buyers have everything they need in the one box.

Making it possible to select from several displays increases stocking problems. Again, if it increases profits, it may be worth it, and this seems more likely to increase profit than putting on third party displays. That said, how many people are going to put the biggest display on a middle class machine, or put the smallest display on an otherwise top of the line unit? Some, sure, but enough to justify the increase sales cost.

Scott
Java, Cocoa, and software magic
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 04:43 PM
 
I want a pizza-box Mac again...preferably one I could stand on its side...I loved my Quadra 605 (LC 475) and have a stack of LCIIIs I am trying to donate...I can't convince my school to go with Macs when they can get 2.8 GHz Dells or HPs for under $600 each. We need Macs in that magical price range. Knock off $100 for the monitor and a few extra bucks for not needing the fancy packaging...
http://www.acarplace.com for cars, http://www.toolpack.com/ for business improvement
http://www.allpar.com for Chrysler, http://www.corolland.com for Toyotas
And all built on Macs (served on Linux!)
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 05:25 PM
 
Imagine hooking your computer up to your TV (flashbacks to Vic-20 and Commodore).

All new component HDTV monitors require a tuner, why not a iTV by Apple?

The bonus is that the iTV has a built-in, FREE Macintosh!!!! with iTunes, etc., ready to hook up to your new surround sound system.

What are the odds?
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 05:37 PM
 
How about a headless iBook? Now that I would buy!


(I can't beleive there are so many messages about an iMac with its monitor torn off, joking right?) Call it a headless eMac if you prefer.

Headless (i)mac concept is meant to be cheap, for people who already have a spare monitor (SVGA, XVGA is fine).

It can be a semisphere, but why? Make it a pizza box, Make it a TiVo. Whatever you can do as long as you can keep it classy, AND at a competitive price point.

Bundle something along the lines of PhoneValet and an office suite, to make it attractive to SOHO. You are already practically at VOIP with iChat. Give it a SuperDrive and a cable Tuner (with perhaps some foresight into HDTV being around the corner. Or make it modular so you can add those phone television options. You still have iLife.

Offer it at a price lower than an eMac, and with a hundred dollar rebate if bought with an iPod.
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 07:40 PM
 
A headless Mac could address two segments of the market that Apple don't currently cover:

iServe - basic inexpensive file server for where the xServe is overkill.

iMedia - a digital replacement for my DVD/VHS: quite a popular market in the PC world -but I'd rather use a Mac - one that fits under my TV. I could also use it to play games on my TV - OK there aren't that many right now, but this incentive can only help the Mac games market . . .

We're talking eMac without monitor, but with minimum spec of 1GHz G4 processor, 1 x AGP and 1 x PCI, 100 BaseT, digital audio out (as on the G5) FireWire, USB. 2 x DIMMs 1 X optical drive 1 x HD - and how about IR so I could use a remote . . .

If Apple could knock these out for 15% less than an eMac they'd really grow the Mac market. I'd buy two!
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 07:50 PM
 
Originally posted by g3_brandon:
As nice as that sounds, there isn't much to differentiate those machines from the PowerMac G5. Dual processors, more RAM slots. That's about all. Machines like this would completely kill the pro machine sales, which is where Apple makes more money.

As much as I don't like it, I'm not expecting anything too expandable in the next machines for the simple reason that most iMac buyers aren't the kind of users that want to upgrade their machines beyond more RAM. I'm guessing the new machines will have similar ideas to the current iMacs, just a new form factor and G5s.
I don't think Apple would lose too many PM buyers. The starting price is too high for many to afford and many would opt for the MP model with gigabit ethernet ethernet, more DIMM slots, anyway. My idea might bring in switchers and those who are unhappy with the AIO designs, but can't shell out money for a PowerMac. Basic consumer tower.
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 09:12 PM
 
Originally posted by BenRoethig:
I don't think Apple would lose too many PM buyers. The starting price is too high for many to afford and many would opt for the MP model with gigabit ethernet ethernet, more DIMM slots, anyway. My idea might bring in switchers and those who are unhappy with the AIO designs, but can't shell out money for a PowerMac. Basic consumer tower.
Power users want upgradeable machines, but the fact is that most consumers and business users buy complete systems... and together they account for probably 90% or more of the computer market. I've seen research where upwards of 80% of consumers never upgrade their computers, but instead buy a whole new system when they perceive that their system is out of date.

I've worked for three multi-billion-dollar international corporations with tens of thousands of employees worldwide, and a couple of smaller companies; all of these companies ALWAYS bought entire systems to replace old ones. The ONLY upgrading they ever did on any machines was adding RAM, despite having very large and highly paid IT departments.
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 11:27 PM
 
Originally posted by wadepeeler:
Power users want upgradeable machines, but the fact is that most consumers and business users buy complete systems... and together they account for probably 90% or more of the computer market. I've seen research where upwards of 80% of consumers never upgrade their computers, but instead buy a whole new system when they perceive that their system is out of date.

I've worked for three multi-billion-dollar international corporations with tens of thousands of employees worldwide, and a couple of smaller companies; all of these companies ALWAYS bought entire systems to replace old ones. The ONLY upgrading they ever did on any machines was adding RAM, despite having very large and highly paid IT departments.
They (might) buy complete systems, but that doesn't mean they just chuck the whole old PC into the trash, which is really all you can do with the with iMac. The LCD has a much longer life than the computer, it's not practical to attach it to the computer.

I work in IT for my University and we are in the process of upgrading 100s of computers on campus with new Dells with nice 17" FPDs. Do we just chuck the old PC that's being replaced? No, especially if they have an LCD. They normally trickle those down, and salvage lots of useful things out of the PC, like HD, RAM, video cards, etc. The only thing you can salvage out of an iMac is RAM.

It's not practical or economical for institutions to buy LCD-attached computers. If it was, why aren't all-in-one LCD PCs (or even Macs) flying off the shelves?

Apple, just give us a PowerMac G5 Express.
Aluminum mini-tower
Single 1.8 and 2.0GHz
60 and 80GB HDs
256MB RAM
Combo and SuperDrive
1 free drive bay, 3 PCI-Express slots w/ 1 DVI 64 and 128MB video card, 2 free RAM slots, USB 2.0, Firewire.

$1099 and $1399 respectively.

They'll sell like crazy and won't cannibalize. Why? Because whoever is going to spend an asinine amount of money on a new computer ($2500+) is still going to need the ultimate in power and expandability, and will still choose the PowerMac. The fence sitters, PC switchers, and budget-conscious buyers out there will finally have a Mac that fits their needs.
     
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Jul 23, 2004, 11:32 PM
 
oops. delete this
     
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Jul 24, 2004, 12:10 AM
 
La Cube! The Cube was *almost* the perfect little Mac (Mac LC?). They priced it way too high, but it was a great idea. My company bought about 100 of them to save a lot of desk space, and none of our artists needed expansion, they all worked on a straight forward Quark/Illustrator/Photoshop basis. We'd buy way more of them if they were available at a reasonable price even today!
For the consumer, they would be a great buy too, if Apple could price them at about $600 bucks. A "mini-G5" would be awesome (or keep em cheap with dual g4's instead?). Check out the PC market, the "micro" systems seem to be growing in the market. 1 PCI slot, a good video card, 1 CD/DVD drive, the usual USB and FW ports in a small form factor. Apple could *easily* market this to switchers or first timers. Not as expensive, you can use any monitor you have around, and the low price certainly could leave more leaway for software, and the inevitable iPod (which would be great to offer a discount on when someone buys a CPU, maybe $50 to $100 off).
Apple, I bet most of us agree, REALLY needs to get into the lower end market SOON. They can't live forevery on the limited high end market. They must gain USER share in the long run, and they have to start with the cheaper systems and then build the owners up, just like a Scion car is targeted at teens, then the graduate to Toyotas as early adults, and Lexus when they are even more affluent.
--Chris
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home.ptd.net/~chrispav
     
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Jul 24, 2004, 12:24 AM
 
iDome or just the Dome (like the Cube)...of course, everyone would just think you had a rev. 1 Airport Base Station. ;->

Originally posted by turtle777:
iCube, anyone ?

-t
     
 
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