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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > The missing prosumer Mac tower

The missing prosumer Mac tower (Page 5)
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Aug 31, 2006, 01:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by slugslugslug
Except the goddamn people who just won't buy a $3k machine. You're acting as though there are all these customers for whom $1500 is chump change. Somebody who was budgeting $1500, total, for the box is not going to just shrug off spending twice as much.
Exactly! And I'm not even asking for a $1500 computer; I'm asking for a $1500 base unit, so with the options I want, it comes to about $2000. If I was going to go "Oh, the nearest spec Mac to what I want is $3,000, I'll just buy one anyway shall I", I'd have done it back when the Mac Pro was launched, rather than spend my time ranting at people on forums
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 01:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Goldfinger
Hear hear.

I talked about this with some of my (PC using) friends last week. They would LOVE to switch to the Mac but they told me, every single one of them, that

A) The Mac mini is a joke. It's overpriced. Case closed. You can get PCs that cost the same and kill it feature wise.
Agreed. Especially given the near trivial price difference between a top of the line Mac Mini, and the low end iBook (complete with battery, charging kit, LCD display, keyboard, touch pad, etc.). Love Mac Minis, but either Apple's trying to kill the line or the price had better drop back to what it was at launch (the original version), soon.
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 01:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by rnicoll
Arrrrgh, megahertz myth!

Okay, better now. Seriously, though, can we not talk about clock rates, and instead about benchmark performance? Please?
Err Conroe performs on par/better at the same speed as Merom AND it clocks higher...

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Aug 31, 2006, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by Goldfinger
Err Conroe performs on par/better at the same speed as Merom AND it clocks higher...
Thanks
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 01:34 PM
 
I don't put any faith in focus groups and neither does apple. The reason apple has been such a great success is because of people like Jobs who manage to figure out what people want before they know they want it. A focus group can only tell you whether your crappy product is marginally better than some other crappy product. It will never help you design the next great thing.. read: Original Mac, Ipod,etc.

Apple is really hurting itself right now. A rapid survey of the people I know turns up what Goldfinger said - that people can't find a mac they want to buy. If you already own an LCD, then your choice is a mini or a pro. So either an underpowered email machine or a machine that contains all of the world's computing power up to 1998...

It's crazy!!

And lets face it, almost everyone who owns a desktop PC that they would want to replace with a desktop mac, already own a monitor. (so buying an imac means they throw out their old monitor)
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 04:22 PM
 
The irony of the whole issue is that Apple probably won't feel obliged to do the Mac you guys are asking for until you finally put your money where your mouth is and go get a Dell.
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 04:34 PM
 
A) The Mac mini is a joke. It's overpriced. Case closed. You can get PCs that cost the same and kill it feature wise.

You mean case closed in the putty knife sense, right? You can't get or build a PC that has all of the Mini's features in the same case size, no matter how hard you try. Oh, and what OS do they want? U****u? Or something that sucks harder?

B) The iMac is somewhat cool if you need an LCD with it but most of them already have nice monitors or want to chose something themselves. But thanks to the zero expandability it's not an option.

And choosing an iMac -isn't- choosing it themselves? I'm sorry, but if they have to take their Wyse terminal to amber screen recycling I'm not going to cry. If they have a monitor, get a Mini.

C) Mac Pro, great but they laugh at the idea of a 2500+ computer. PC users aren't used to such prices and would never consider spending that much. They called me nuts when I paid 3k for my PowerBook.

They've never bought an Alienware PC then, or any decent, workstation class hardware.

D) we want that MythMac. That's all. No PC switcher is going to drop +2k on a computer.
Then don't. Mac Pro buyers will drop more than the cost of the hardware on CS2. They'll work off that expense within six jobs. Apple gives you options from $500 on up, you don't like any of them. Waah waah wahh. SHUT UP YOU FREAKING BABY as David Cross might say.
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 04:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by dimmer
A) The Mac mini is a joke. It's overpriced. Case closed. You can get PCs that cost the same and kill it feature wise.

You mean case closed in the putty knife sense, right? You can't get or build a PC that has all of the Mini's features in the same case size, no matter how hard you try. Oh, and what OS do they want? U****u? Or something that sucks harder?
The form factor of the machine is completely irrelevant. Not everybody choses aestetics above everything else. What's the OS got to do with it ? Nothing.

And choosing an iMac -isn't- choosing it themselves? I'm sorry, but if they have to take their Wyse terminal to amber screen recycling I'm not going to cry. If they have a monitor, get a Mini.
What ? How hard can it be ? A mac mini doesn't offer the same performance as an iMac. So if you want to use your own monitor you'll have to settle for a low spec computer ? What a load of bull.

They've never bought an Alienware PC then, or any decent, workstation class hardware.
Morons buy Alienware. You can get the same hardware for half the price. And NO not everybody needs "workstation class" machines. Just decently performing hardware.

Then don't. Mac Pro buyers will drop more than the cost of the hardware on CS2. They'll work off that expense within six jobs. Apple gives you options from $500 on up, you don't like any of them. Waah waah wahh. SHUT UP YOU FREAKING BABY as David Cross might say.
Since when does CS2 cost +$2200 ? Since when does everybody use CS2 ? Not everybody is a graphics pro. What kind of an argument is that ? Who cares what Mac pro buyers do ? We're talking about non mac pro buyers here. Duh.

Get out of your imaginary world man.

And I thought that I was an Apple fanboy

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Aug 31, 2006, 05:17 PM
 
The issue comes down to which is more important - market share or the bottom line. For most of the nineties, Apple was all about market share. This almost killed the company, and when Jobs got back, it was all about the bottom line. He ceded market segments that weren't profitable to keep the company in the black. It might be time to change those priorities, and if you do, a minitower would be a logical addition. Right now, Apple doesn't bother - knowing full well that this means that they lose some customers. It's called a strategy. I happpen to think that they're wrong, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, considering the nineties. There was a summer there when we all wondered if Apple would survive.

The Mac mini is not overpriced for the segment (it's overpriced if you compare it to a tower, but you're not supposed to do that). Try something like this:

AOpen re-styles second-generation MiniPC | Reg Hardware

Once again, Apple has entered a segment where the margins aren't razor-thin.
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 05:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by P
The issue comes down to which is more important - market share or the bottom line. For most of the nineties, Apple was all about market share. This almost killed the company, and when Jobs got back, it was all about the bottom line. He ceded market segments that weren't profitable to keep the company in the black. It might be time to change those priorities, and if you do, a minitower would be a logical addition. Right now, Apple doesn't bother - knowing full well that this means that they lose some customers. It's called a strategy. I happpen to think that they're wrong, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, considering the nineties. There was a summer there when we all wondered if Apple would survive.

The Mac mini is not overpriced for the segment (it's overpriced if you compare it to a tower, but you're not supposed to do that). Try something like this:

AOpen re-styles second-generation MiniPC | Reg Hardware

Once again, Apple has entered a segment where the margins aren't razor-thin.
I happen to agree here. Apple knows that they aren't going to please everybody, that's okay with them. They're willing to lose the smaller number of people for a larger benefit, and the added revenue.
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Aug 31, 2006, 06:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by P
The issue comes down to which is more important - market share or the bottom line. For most of the nineties, Apple was all about market share. This almost killed the company, and when Jobs got back, it was all about the bottom line. He ceded market segments that weren't profitable to keep the company in the black. It might be time to change those priorities, and if you do, a minitower would be a logical addition. Right now, Apple doesn't bother - knowing full well that this means that they lose some customers. It's called a strategy. I happpen to think that they're wrong, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, considering the nineties. There was a summer there when we all wondered if Apple would survive.
Can understand this. Still, think there's a gap that needs filling though; I particularly remember when the PowerMac G5s first came out, there was the regular dual processor versions, and a cut down single processor version. It wasn't much cheaper, and frankly I think was primarily there to make the rest of the lineup look more appealing (for just $400 more you could have this...), but it's the sort of thing I'm thinking of...

Where I think I may differ from a lot of the mid-range tower Mac supporters, is that I'm more thinking of early next year as a launch window, by which point I think anyone that can stretch their budget to a Mac Pro will probably have one already, and a cheaper alternative can easily mop up the rest...

Originally Posted by P
The Mac mini is not overpriced for the segment (it's overpriced if you compare it to a tower, but you're not supposed to do that). Try something like this:

AOpen re-styles second-generation MiniPC | Reg Hardware

Once again, Apple has entered a segment where the margins aren't razor-thin.
Ouch. Okay, how about this; I wouldn't pay what Apple's currently asking for a Mac Mini. I have one at work, and it's great, but I personally wouldn't pay that much. Knock $100 off the price and I would seriously consider buying one for home use (and keeping a cheap PC around for CPU grunt).
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by dimmer
They've never bought an Alienware PC then, or any decent, workstation class hardware.
Alienware PCs are not decent workstation class hardware! Also, I've bought servers for $3,000 (dual Opteron, 2GB RAM, 500GB HD space), let alone workstations!

Originally Posted by dimmer
D) we want that MythMac. That's all. No PC switcher is going to drop +2k on a computer.
Then don't. Mac Pro buyers will drop more than the cost of the hardware on CS2. They'll work off that expense within six jobs. Apple gives you options from $500 on up, you don't like any of them. Waah waah wahh. SHUT UP YOU FREAKING BABY as David Cross might say.
Some of us aren't graphics professionals; I'm a software developer, for example. More to the point, the 20" iMac would be slightly slow for the more demanding stuff I do (statistical analysis across a few dozen gigs of data, for example), but not critically. However, I do not want my display stuck to my computer; I upgrade hardware a lot more often than I do display! A headless equivalent to the 20" iMac would be acceptable, for example, but I'm not going to waste money on a 20" display that I can't use with the computer after that, or after that one...

I'm happy for you that a few $100 here and there apparently doesn't both you, but it does me, okay?
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 07:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by rnicoll
- I do not want my display stuck to my computer
- I upgrade hardware a lot more often than I do display!
Those are my two main issues with Apple's current offerings.

IMHO, I would be very happy if they would simply rip the LCD off of the iMac, throw it in a cool white plastic case... added a few PCI slots and room for an extra HD or two... and you would have a winner on your hands.

Some of us don't need the raw speed of the Mac Pro, but would also like to add an internal hard drive and have a real video card.
     
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Aug 31, 2006, 07:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by mitchell_pgh
Those are my two main issues with Apple's current offerings.

IMHO, I would be very happy if they would simply rip the LCD off of the iMac, throw it in a cool white plastic case... added a few PCI slots and room for an extra HD or two... and you would have a winner on your hands.

Some of us don't need the raw speed of the Mac Pro, but would also like to add an internal hard drive and have a real video card.
Exactly. We ask for nothing more. And to those who are saying that it would cost a lot in R&D...bullshit. All it costs is the phonecall to intel for ordering what they want and giving Ive a piece of paper and a pencil to design a case.

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Sep 1, 2006, 01:02 AM
 
Originally Posted by Goldfinger
Exactly. We ask for nothing more. And to those who are saying that it would cost a lot in R&D...bullshit. All it costs is the phonecall to intel for ordering what they want and giving Ive a piece of paper and a pencil to design a case.
It's not that simple. As P pointed out in his excellent post, that's a market with very thin margins. Maybe Apple deliberately wants to stay away from it. And actually, why shouldn't they, you suckers will buy a Mac no matter what they give you.
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 02:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
And actually, why shouldn't they, you suckers will buy a Mac no matter what they give you.
Yeah well, because we're forced to if we want to use the MacOS . Then let the experience be underwhelming for those who can't afford 3k workstations

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Sep 1, 2006, 03:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Goldfinger
Then let the experience be underwhelming for those who can't afford 3k workstations.
Apple always had this somewhat elitist attitude.

But seriously, that's the game Apple's playing. The HEM (headless expandable Mac) fits in where in the PC world the largest chunk of market share is. It's also where the thin nest margins are. Apple can afford to stay out of that segment because they do not just sell PCs, but rather the only boxes that run OS X (legally and supported that is).

If Mac users would switch to PCs because of the lack of a HEM Apple might reconsider. But fact is most Mac users will not want to swap OS X for Linux or even Windows. So Apple will likely stick with market segments offering higher margins.

It's not all hopeless though. When the mini came out nobody thought Apple would sell a $500 Mac. In the end it'\s all about profits. Once Apple believes it can sell a competitive HEM and still earn good money with it, they'll do it. In the past this was not possible and hence they didn't do it.
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 01:51 PM
 
I find nothing elitist in Shuffle ipods and they're one reason of high ipod market share. When will Apple wake up, I do not know? Let Apple work for profit margins in ultra-mini or workstation class, but WORK FOR SHARE in the USUAL desktop class.

In 1994, I had LC 630 - basic, no frills, pizza box with 12 mb of RAM, 350 mb hard drive. It was no power station, but it worked, I used word 5.1 and played Marathon on it, and it worked well. I used Illustrator and Photoshop on it and I was earning money. It came with System 7.5.

Later, I bought BW G3 and I did a lot of graphic work and expanded it to G4 650 mhz, 3 hard drives, USB2 card, changed a video card to Radeon 7000, installed PCI IDE card, changed the cd rom to combo drive, installed more memory and it workds beatifully with Tiger.

Now tell me, why on Earth I would need to a workstation class dual core Xeons for my simple computing needs? I have a Pentium 4 2.4ghz machine with Radeon 9800, which still is OK. But if I want to update my Mac BW, either I have to buy Mini - and I know how quickly I will run out of hard drive space or servertype dual Xeon Mac Pro.

Where is the SIMPLE BASIC DESKTOP mac?? Oh, and I already own 3 CRT and 2 LCD screens. Do not mention iMacs, please!!
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 04:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
It's not that simple. As P pointed out in his excellent post, that's a market with very thin margins. Maybe Apple deliberately wants to stay away from it. And actually, why shouldn't they, you suckers will buy a Mac no matter what they give you.
I don't see why it has to be a market with very thin margins? We're not suggesting Apple try competing directly with Dell here; Apple sells a premium product, and I certainly expect to pay a premium price for it. What I'm unwilling to do is pay significantly extra for features I won't use.
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 05:35 PM
 
yeah, 1500$ you can build a lot of computer for 1500$ and a box with some space in it.

All you guys who don't want this, I just don't understand you, really. I don't see why you can't just say 'yes, they should have a machine like this.' instead of making up some excuse that you have no idea about regarding profit margins or taking sales from something else.

this whole discussion boils down to a ton of people saying "god, i'd want to buy X" and everyone else saying wah wah.
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 05:52 PM
 
The reason we say no, is we're being practical about the situation. We don't see any reasonable cause that this would happen.
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Sep 1, 2006, 05:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by zaghahzag
All you guys who don't want this, I just don't understand you, really. I don't see why you can't just say 'yes, they should have a machine like this.'
OK, I want a Mac with dual Clovertowns, five hard drives, 12 GB RAM and a Blu-Ray drive for $100 — but that doesn't mean I think it's going to happen. There is a difference between "I would not like this" and "I do not think this is a realistic request."
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Sep 1, 2006, 06:14 PM
 
Actually, considering the size of the market for just this kind of computer, I think this is a very reasonable request. I think just asking them to remove one dual-core Xeon from the MP and selling it for a few hundred less is pretty reasonable. As someone has said, the kind of computer we're talking about here make up the vast majority of the entire market.
     
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Sep 1, 2006, 06:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
OK, I want a Mac with dual Clovertowns, five hard drives, 12 GB RAM and a Blu-Ray drive for $100 — but that doesn't mean I think it's going to happen. There is a difference between "I would not like this" and "I do not think this is a realistic request."
I've got to agree here; most nay-sayers would love to see a cheaper tower. I'm ordering a mac pro because I want the video card for apple's GPU accelerated pro apps. If I could get a single core 2 duo, lower ram ceiling (4GB), less HDD expansion (1-2 bays) but still have an X1900 in it for like $1000 less than the pro, I'd do it. As it stands though, I can't get that, so I'm buying somewhat more machine that I "need."

Maybe my memory is foggy, but I always remember Apple always doing best when they were trying to sell people more machine than they needed. Including SCSI internal drives that most people didn't "need" is one example. The product lines that moved away from this (Many of the performa models and their IDE drives) were at the time decried as "too cheap" for Mac buyers.

Then you add in that graphics hardware is a huge selling point these days. Look at the MacBook vs the MBP - a big part of the draw to the more powerful machines is the graphics hardware.

My guess is that Apple has done their homework and figures there are more people like me who will pay extra for such a machine than there are people who are lost customers. And lots of people who can't afford a pro are still "settling" on a less expensive machine than they want and giving apple some amount of money off the lost sales. I personally find this somewhat hard to believe, but I'd imagine if there's one thing Apple is currently excellent at, its market research.

I do think that the next revision of the Mac Pros will have a price drop as intel continues to ramp up production of the whole core2 family from merom to cloverdale.

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Sep 1, 2006, 06:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by ClockNova
Actually, considering the size of the market for just this kind of computer, I think this is a very reasonable request. I think just asking them to remove one dual-core Xeon from the MP and selling it for a few hundred less is pretty reasonable. As someone has said, the kind of computer we're talking about here make up the vast majority of the entire market.
Dell and Microsoft make up the vast majority of the entire market. Apple is neither of those.
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Sep 2, 2006, 01:46 AM
 
Originally Posted by zaghahzag
All you guys who don't want this, I just don't understand you, really. I don't see why you can't just say 'yes, they should have a machine like this.' instead of making up some excuse that you have no idea about regarding profit margins or taking sales from something else.
this whole discussion boils down to a ton of people saying "god, i'd want to buy X" and everyone else saying wah wah.
Excuse me, but that's a big pile of steaming crap.

How may of the 'skeptics' here have said they don't want such a Mac? Did I say so? Did Chuckit or SirCastor say so? Nope.

We are trying to explain why Apple has decided not to make such a Mac and why you shouldn't expect one to be released soon. That is not the same thing as saying we don't want one. I'd love a HEM, but that doesn't mean squat to Steve.

So instead of this childish kind of 'I want this so give it to me' you might want to consider a rational discussion about how Apple earns money (because that's what this is all about).

There's no problem with spec'ing out a dream machine, but you have to stay real and realize that Apple does what it does for profit alone.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 01:50 AM
 
Originally Posted by rnicoll
I don't see why it has to be a market with very thin margins? We're not suggesting Apple try competing directly with Dell here; Apple sells a premium product, and I certainly expect to pay a premium price for it. What I'm unwilling to do is pay significantly extra for features I won't use.
Apple does not want to compete with itself. Why should it drive sales away from a high-margin product to a lower margin product. Nobody's talking about Dell.

And the reason it's the market with the thin margins is because it's the boring 95% mainstream everybody-can-do-it market. Many competitors, not much innovation, hard competition and it's all just about price tag. The mini is special, the iMac is special, the MP is professional, but the HEM is just a PC (albeit one that would run OS X). Have you noticed how Apple sticks to niches? There's a system behind that.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 06:21 AM
 
Following this flawed logic, Daimler Benz should never buy Chrysler and produce "boring 95% mainstream everybody-can-do-it market" Chrysler cars or EVEN cheaper Mercedes cars. But they do it! Why Apple which has all kinds of ipods cannot deliver all needed hardware types of computers is just unbelievably stupid. I guess that 1999 success of iMac really had bad impact on its strategy. They though that all consumers want is AIO type. iMacs i think sold well NOT because they were AIO, but because they were cheap, had stunning design and were simple to set up. But not because of AIO type. This mistake still is paralyzing Apple strategy in consumer desktops.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 06:32 AM
 
It is stupid to not compete in the market because "it has low margins". No one forces Apple to price itself as low as Dell; all what is needed is a SIMPLE BASIC DESKTOP. Put on it Apple's 30% profit margin - and still the thing will sell and not cannibalize Mac Pro sales.

Actually, if it sells much more than destroys some server-type Mac Pro sales, it is still will be MORE profitable for Apple AND it will INCREASE market share. True, that mainstream desktops are more price-sensitive; but then WHY Apple did price Mac Pro - its presumably main profit source- so low compared to Dell (squeezing itself its own profit margins) if it cared so much about profit margins?

We can see that all talk about profit margins as main reason not to produce basic desktop is nothing more than bullsh*t.

The only remaining answer: flawed strategy.

Remedy: follow own strategy in ipods and notebooks, deliver BASIC desktop - similarly to MacBook, shuffles and nanos, and Apple probably will have some success in desktops as well.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 09:33 AM
 
Hash, you know what, you're right. We must all be completely out of our minds.

Finally somebody that thinks this whole thing through to the end and tells it how it is. Make sure you enlighten Apple since their whole market research division obviously doesn't know what the heck business is all about. And make sure to point them towards your postings here.

Thanks to people like you Apple will finally start to earn some money. Their stock holders need smart thinkers like you that want to make some real dough rather than just waist money on workstation R&D.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 10:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
Hash, you know what, you're right. We must all be completely out of our minds.
I think, you are minority, Simon. Majority is not completely out of mind.. or this thread would not exist
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 11:27 AM
 
No no, geniuses like you are the minority. The masses are dumb. Apple has always catered to the masses. It's time people like you speak up for the neglected intellectual minorities.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 01:03 PM
 
If you guys can't figure out how you could spec imac-like specs, with some expandability at a price point with margins that are equal to those of the imac, then you aren't trying very hard.

And last I checked, noboby was saying that the mid-range machines produced by hp and dell were low margin. Both of those companies post handsome profits, and that's their bread and butter.

as for who would use a machine like this... it's anyone who already owns a monitor but who wants more machine than a mini. (read: 99% of business, prosumer and education users).

for real simon, you sound more and more like 'wah wah'..

and the fact is that you just think apple has always thought of everything. My guess is that this machine is in the works, and apple is probably giving the macpro a few months to get the people with fat wallets to buy them before launching a more reasonable and equally high margin machine.

As for any of the other arguments you've made, they have all been refuted above at one point or another.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 03:28 PM
 
Simon sounds like "wah wah"? Just buy a Mac pro and stop crying already. There: It's your solution for all the people who already own a monitor and want more machine than a mini.
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Sep 2, 2006, 03:48 PM
 
And last I checked, noboby was saying that the mid-range machines produced by hp and dell were low margin. Both of those companies post handsome profits, and that's their bread and butter.
Mid-range machines produced by HP and Dell are low margin. (See, now you've seen it said at least once. ) Google around for the average margins of desktops - it's around 5%, vs. 9% for laptops.

Scroll Down a bit for the margin quote

Apple's margins have to be much higher than that - over 20% usually - to support development of OS X. This is why they aren't making mid-range towers, and that's why they aren't making cheap laptops. The MacBook isn't exactly bargain-basement in spec or price - you can definately find cheaper laptops based on older Centrino models.

HP is shaping up now, but they were in tailspin for years before Fiorina was kicked out. Dell is losing ground now. IBM lost 1.1 billion dollars on their PC businesss the last three years. You just can't make money in that market, and definately not if you have to support development of an OS as well.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 03:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by P
Mid-range machines produced by HP and Dell are low margin. (See, now you've seen it said at least once. ) Google around for the average margins of desktops - it's around 5%, vs. 9% for laptops.

Scroll Down a bit for the margin quote

Apple's margins have to be much higher than that - over 20% usually - to support development of OS X. This is why they aren't making mid-range towers, and that's why they aren't making cheap laptops. The MacBook isn't exactly bargain-basement in spec or price - you can definately find cheaper laptops based on older Centrino models.

HP is shaping up now, but they were in tailspin for years before Fiorina was kicked out. Dell is losing ground now. IBM lost 1.1 billion dollars on their PC businesss the last three years. You just can't make money in that market, and definately not if you have to support development of an OS as well.
your last statement makes no sense at all. Maybe the computer makers were losing money, but the OS side of it has been profitable for M$ the whole time. Add those two things together and the overall sale of a PC+OS is a profitable endeavor.

yeah, i'll shut up now, go find a few thousand phantom dollars to buy a product that does more than what i need and play with the phantom computer that apple sends me.

ok and i you're right, there are PC makers who are able to lose money.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 04:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by zaghahzag
As for any of the other arguments you've made, they have all been refuted above at one point or another.
You see buddy, this is where you're really wrong.

It's not me that's made any argument. It's Apple. They have done their market research. They have asked themselves what will rake in the most money. They have decided what they sell best.

It's you who comes here throwing a fit about not getting what you oh so deserve and then think that everybody else is stupid for not giving you what your squeal for.

Fact is, you have not explained why Apple would earn more money from a HEM. You have not explained why a Mac that appeals to a couple of geeks or gamers should appeal to Apple's buyers. You have not explained how such a machine will switch Dell buyers. You have not explained why Apple needs to change their policy when it's that same policy that has earned them 6 billion $ in cash and at the same time doubled their market share. You have not explained why Apple should be failing according to your theory and yet their doing better than ever before. You have not explained why their sales have increased while the amount of choices have been reduced.

No, you haven't explained one bit. The burden of proof is on you. You have to argue why Apple's strategists are all idiots and you teenage armchair consultants know it all so much better.

And just for the record, with your post count of 7 and your two-day history on this board you're about the last guy who's gonna lecture me on my tone here. Get real.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 04:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon
You see buddy, this is where you're really wrong.

It's not me that's made any argument. It's Apple. They have done their market research. They have asked themselves what will rake in the most money. They have decided what they sell best.

It's you who comes here throwing a fit about not getting what you oh so deserve and then think that everybody else is stupid for not giving you what your squeal for.

Fact is, you have not explained why Apple would earn more money from a HEM. You have not explained why a Mac that appeals to a couple of geeks or gamers should appeal to Apple's buyers. You have not explained how such a machine will switch Dell buyers. You have not explained why Apple needs to change their policy when it's that same policy that has earned them 6 billion $ in cash and at the same time doubled their market share. You have not explained why Apple should be failing according to your theory and yet their doing better than ever before. You have not explained why their sales have increased while the amount of choices have been reduced.

No, you haven't explained one bit. The burden of proof is on you. You have to argue why Apple's strategists are all idiots and you teenage armchair consultants know it all so much better.

And just for the record, with your post count of 7 and your two-day history on this board you're about the last guy who's gonna lecture me on my tone here. Get real.
Out of curiosity, have you seen any of the market research you are talking about?

Its awesome when post count become part of your argument. We're one step away from comparisons to hitler nor nazi germany.

As for any statements about me saying apple should be losing money. That's a straw man argument at it's finest, since i've never said anything like that.

And the beauty of my position is that I don't have to prove anything. I'm just telling you what I want.

And going back to maybe page 1 of this whole topic.. the mac pro has 2 procs in it that both cost probably 400$ each. the mb is probably 2-3x the cost of a single proc mother board. the case is overkill. You can keep your magins the same and take out some of those components.


Actually, you're removing expensive components and lowering the price the same amount your margin % goes up.
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 06:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by zaghahzag
Out of curiosity, have you seen any of the market research you are talking about?

And going back to maybe page 1 of this whole topic.. the mac pro has 2 procs in it that both cost probably 400$ each. the mb is probably 2-3x the cost of a single proc mother board. the case is overkill. You can keep your magins the same and take out some of those components.
Of course nobody here has seen the research; we're all just speculating. One way to interpret the lack of a current machine of this type is that the research doesn't support the costs of it.

The reality is that the issue goes beyond just margins:

- Will this machine expand market share? The answer is probably no. Inexpensive clones and low-cost machines haven't historically done this for apple. The wildcard now is the dual-boot nature of the new intel macs, but a HEM will *still* carry a premium over similiar Windows machines, and the people buying $1500 gaming boxes are generally still very price concious. A lot of people are automatically assuming a $1500 base HEM box will sell to switchers who want the best of both worlds. If you think about who switches and why, that could very well be a false assumption.

- Will this machine steal sales from higher profit machines? An expandable GPU is a huge selling point for the Mac Pro. The HEM will also steal from the profitable iMac line as they'll be similiarly priced.

- Will the machine generate enough profits to offset lost sales from other machines? Maybe, but you're talking about a low-margin machine that will be taking sales from high-margin machines. You'll need to sell a whole lot of them. And remember, people who would buy a HEM are often buying something cheap anyways, like a MacBook or a Mac Mini to "hold them over" while they wait for the machine they *really* want. Very, very few of these transactions we're talking about are "all or nothing."

Hey, I want to be wrong (It'd save me a lot of money), but the fact that we haven't seen this type of machine since the return of steve seems to indicate I'm not. The safe money would say the closest we'll get is a drop to sub $2000 entry level xeons as intel's cost on the chips drop.

-Xy
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 07:08 PM
 
the steve has allowed things to happen that we might never have thought:

two button mouse and mac-on-intel, boot camp come to mind

And I think the game has completely changed with the ability to run windows either under parallels or boot camp. This provides a bridge to the platform that people until now didn't have (VPC was a bad joke). My own experience with talking to all the people I know, is that they want a mac, they just want to figure out what to afford. They all own monitors and all want upgradeable GPUs. For them, the intro level box costs >2100$ (with enough ram to make it worthwhile)

so maybe we'll see the aforementioned headless mac.

maybe something like this:
Shuttle XPC System :: welcome

i managed to get a nicely configured machine for < 1900$. Two 250 gig HDs (that could be raided), a decent video card which is upgradeable and 2 gigs of ram, which is as much as i'd bother putting into a mac for my needs.

I'd easily pay another 200$ if this was a mac. How much extra margin do you guys think apple needs over a medium sized company like shuttle?
( Last edited by zaghahzag; Sep 2, 2006 at 07:26 PM. )
     
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Sep 2, 2006, 11:22 PM
 
To Simon

I do not worship Apple though I am Mac fanatic since 1993. If I think there is flaw in Apple operations, I say it. You may call me names and make jokes about me, but I stand for what I am saying. I remember how last year I argued about need for cheap entry level headless mac. A lot of apologetists then also opposed the idea, talking about margins, BMW-class Apple computers and so on. Guess what: in 2 weeks, Apple released Mini.

Now I am arguing about a need for midlevel headless mac. Call me names, whatever, but I do not hear any valid contra arguments of yours, except some Apple apology (if Apple does it, Apple must be right!) and some mythical market research. Anything concrete?
     
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Sep 3, 2006, 01:56 AM
 
Eh, nevahmind.
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Sep 3, 2006, 03:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hash
You may call me names and make jokes about me, but I stand for what I am saying.
Nobody is calling anybody names so I have no idea what you're whining about. This is not a personal issue. Let's keep it that way.

I remember how last year I argued about need for cheap entry level headless mac. A lot of apologetists then also opposed the idea, talking about margins, BMW-class Apple computers and so on. Guess what: in 2 weeks, Apple released Mini.
That's baloney I'm sorry. The mini was released in Jan 2005 so that was well before your alleged 'last year I argued...'. There were discussions on this very board around April 2004 about a headless simple Mac. Apple surprised everybody with the $499 price tag, but not with the concept.

except some Apple apology (if Apple does it, Apple must be right!) and some mythical market research. Anything concrete?
Good grief. What apology??? This has nothing to do with apology. It's insane to believe Apple would deliberately not make profits if they were to be made. If they do something, it's because they believe it will make money. If they don't do something it's because they think it won't. This conspiracy theory of Steve not wanting to earn those billions people want to throw at him is ridiculous. There is no conspiracy. There is no HEM because Apple thinks there's no money to be earned from it.

Basically, there are some people here who have tried to explain what Apple's reasoning could be. And then there are others that believe they know better what's good for Apple.

It all boils down to this: If your HEM suggestion would be so good and would earn Apple so much, they would be selling it. Fact is, they're not. So obviously they think it's not a good idea and won't rake in big profits. Yes, they could be wrong. But that's entirely irrelevant because they decide what they sell and what they don't. And just because some geek on a board says he would spend $3k on XYZ doesn't mean jack to Apple.

It is just plain irrational to assume Steve does something or not because he wants to play you. Apple wants big profits. That's all there is to it. And if you think you know it so much better than their market analysts, feel free to convince them (if you can), but whining about it here is inane.

Again, for the record: I like the HEM. I'd buy one at once. But from a business point of view it doesn't seem necessary and that's why I understand why they aren't selling one.
( Last edited by Simon; Sep 3, 2006 at 03:55 AM. )
     
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Sep 3, 2006, 07:19 AM
 
I like your reasoning, its very practical. Yes, Okkam's razor logic.

But what I want to know, is what is behind this reasoning. We know Apple doesnt do HEMs. You say Apple is probably knows why it doesnt do HEMs and there must be a reason. But you cannot define what is the reason behind the no-HEM strategy. I guess, its blind belief in AIO strategy for consumers. Others believe its margin question. I think its Ok to discuss the reasons. So far, I cannot see any overwhelming arguments precluding Apple from HEM business though I KNOW that Apple does not make HEMs.

My Mini request was discussed here before introduction of Mini. Not after it. And you are right that many people discussed such possibility many times and found Mini introduction useful for Apple. Glad they saw it too.

Now question about HEMs. Will Apple see the benefits, we do not know, but my guess, they eventually will. After all, its not difficult to understand that paying 2100$ for a computer just to have a graphic card in it is somewhat ..ridiculous
     
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Sep 3, 2006, 07:57 AM
 
There is no one reason for Apple not making a minitower - there are several. One of them is the margin discussion above. Another is the original "Book of Macintosh" argument, that the computer should be one box without expansion. A third is that Apple defines a market - a particular consumer with a particular need and with a particular budget - and designs a computer for that target.

Of all the people I know that use Windows and are not major hardware geeks, the only ones that have extra expansion boards in their machines are the ones where I bought the board and installed it for them, to fix a problem they were having. Even people who game to some extent get a new computer rather than upgrade the graphics board. They would be better served by an iMac-type computer. The only people who really use all of that expandability are, to some extent, geeks. Hardware geeks, or hardcore gamers. This is a very vocal market, but it's not a big one. Apple made the call not to focus on them. Don't get me wrong - I'd probably buy that minitower myself, so I'm not being disparaging of that group - but it's not a big one.

nVidia has a "standard" that they're pushing for laptop graphics chips that are socketed. AMD has something similar going on with coherent Hypertransport, where you put two sockets on the motherboard and put a specialized processor in the second one. Having bought ATi, it's not a long shot that they'll put a GPU in one of those sockets eventually. All of this is pointing towards a future where the GPU is socketed as well. We could have an iMac where you'd upgrade the CPU, the GPU and the RAM as you wish. Yes, there is some details left to figure out (do the GPUs use regular RAM on their half of the NUMA setup, or is it special GDDR still?) but I think that's where we're going.

zaghahzag: The reason noone is listening to you is because you throw out a lot of opinion as facts without backing it up with any sort of data. You have got to check your facts before you start typing.

MS is playing mighty fast with their accounting on this issue, but over a release cycle, Microsofts consumer OS business is barely break even. The server versions make money, along with Office, but selling a desktop PC is not a good deal for anyone these days. Of course MS makes a lot of money just after a new release, but they have to pay development all the time - and they have a much bigger market to pay the development with. Openstep was known for being easy to develop for - that's what's saving Apple, that adding new features is less work than doing it for Windows.

(Notice how I didn't quote anything for the OS margins in that last paragraph? Notice how annoying that is?)
( Last edited by P; Sep 3, 2006 at 08:05 AM. )
     
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Sep 3, 2006, 08:27 AM
 
I think everyone is overlooking something here. 95% of people I know do not know the difference between a GMA950 and a radeon x1900. They do not know the difference between a single core, dual core and quad core machine. They don't know what a PCI slot is, they wouldn't know what to do with more than one CD drive.

My point is, to the majority of people out there, these things do not matter. You have to remember, that people no this board are in the minority, knowing about, and fully understanding computers, and how specs affect performance/usability.

As I said, 95% of people I know do not know anything about tech specs, and, if they were in the market for a new computer, and decided to look at Apple machines, they would not think;

'Oh, I won't get that because it has a built in display, and I can't upgrade the graphics card and hard drives', they would think;

"Wow, that looks pretty, and I don't even have to have loads of cables running from the big boxy thing to the screen, I'll get one of those!"

So, once again, what people are forgetting is that the majority of people don't see 'a missing Prosumer Mac', and for that reason, I doubt this machine will ever become a reality
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Sep 3, 2006, 08:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by Hash
But what I want to know, is what is behind this reasoning. We know Apple doesnt do HEMs. You say Apple is probably knows why it doesnt do HEMs and there must be a reason. But you cannot define what is the reason behind the no-HEM strategy. I guess, its blind belief in AIO strategy for consumers. Others believe its margin question. I think its Ok to discuss the reasons.
It's certainly OK to discuss these reasons here.

I think P pretty much nailed it in his post above. Apple has a certain customer in mind and they develop a product for that customer. Gamers are reality and gamer market share is not negligible, but nevertheless Apple seems to not want to especially cater to that market. Although they are a very vocal group, they are also a market that's difficult for Apple to deal with. The advantages of OS X over Windows mean nothing to gamers. When you play a game, usability and compatibility are not the same issues as when you use a computer as a professional. If the game works with your GPU and it runs fast, everything else becomes irrelevant. What does Exposé or OS consistency do for you in CoD?

I think the mistake Apple is really making here is that although the hard-core gamers are probably a market that's lost for good, they forget that even non-gamers will want to play a game now and then. It goes without saying that a computer will be used for a game or two earlier or later. If that gaming experience sucks, part of the computer experience sucks. Since Apple likes to deliver computers that offer it all out of the box, this is a shortcoming.

Also, keep in mind that Apple always liked this closed-box idea where people buy a computer that can do everything they want but doesn't get expanded or modified further down the road. People laugh at Bill Gates for saying 640kB RAM is enough, but actually Steve was very similar in the 1980s. Expansion slots or ports had to be snuck in under the radar, SCSI came after Steve had left, etc. Apple prefers to sell you a new iMac every other year than to sell you a HEM you're likely to keep for five years and update along the road with components from third party vendors. Upgradability has a tradition of being a 'pro' feature in the Apple world. There are very few examples of Macs that didn't follow this rule. One was the Power Macintosh 6400/6500 series. However, that was before Steve. It was also one of those Macs Apple made when it was all but clear they'd survive the next six months.

Now question about HEMs. Will Apple see the benefits, we do not know, but my guess, they eventually will. After all, its not difficult to understand that paying 2100$ for a computer just to have a graphic card in it is somewhat ..ridiculous
It is indeed possible they'll do a HEM further down the road. Now that they're using Intel chipsets, designing a new board is a less expensive task. When Apple released the $499 mini they had realized that w/o much investment, they could profit form a new market ready to be harvested. They had an incentive to go there. But now, Apple needs such a 'reason' to do a HEM. Gamers are a bad reason actually. How many games are there for the Mac? How often do PC games appear at the same time as their Mac version? Are GPU drivers for Macs as good as they are for Windows? There's so much to be done to win gamers over, I doubt Apple will start with a new Mac first.

OTOH Apple will likely notice different buyer reaction due to the new line-up with this large gap between he mini and the MP. Many buyers will be lured to the iMac, but some might not. I'm anxious to see how large this group is. I suspect in the end it will be rather small. OS X is a very strong argument and the iMac is indeed a decent computer.

Finally, Apple has certainly noticed Conroe and realized that Intel is offering them something to make a new Mac around. I doubt they haven't had ideas what to do with it. The question is really, if they believe it's worth it. Right now sales are going up, market share is going up and profits are high. It's not a time of forced decisions at Apple. They can afford to be skeptical and careful.
     
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Sep 3, 2006, 11:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Chuckit
Dell and Microsoft make up the vast majority of the entire market. Apple is neither of those.
And perhaps, just perhaps, this is why.
     
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Sep 3, 2006, 11:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by ClockNova
And perhaps, just perhaps, this is why.
Not a chance.
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Sep 3, 2006, 12:00 PM
 
while i didn't offer all the details in the universe, i did point to a machine which is on sale now and which has all the specs people here have requested. Asking a simple question: Do you think apple could offer a higher price for that machine and still have high enough margins?

As for the "if it was so profitable apple would do it" argument. This just doesn't hold water. The reason it doesn't hold water is: apple wouldn't know if it was profitable until they tried it. All the market research in the world can't tell you what's going to happen. (Which is made even more comical because none of you guys have seen it or even knows that it exists).
( Last edited by zaghahzag; Sep 3, 2006 at 12:12 PM. )
     
 
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