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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > Lazy Apple: Includes Snow Leopard, But Does Not Install It

Lazy Apple: Includes Snow Leopard, But Does Not Install It
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Banned
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Oct 7, 2009, 08:47 PM
 
Bought a new MacBook Air top end today...

Had 2 other MacBook Airs over the past 2 weeks, but each one had to be returned because they were faulty (logic board...). All 3 of these had the Snow Leopard disc included, but they came with 10.5.6 installed. Apple was kind enough to throw in Snow Leopard, but too lazy and cheap to have it installed. With the Air having no optical drive, you will need another machine or a superdrive to get Snow Leopard installed.

This practice I find is unacceptable. Apple should not make the user install Snow Leopard: they should do this themselves, especially given the price we pay for these products. I don't care about the logistics of it, that's Apple's problem.
     
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Oct 7, 2009, 08:56 PM
 
Perhaps you can getting older stock, unless of course you are ordering something custom online?

You should be happy, as you are getting 2 full OS, instead of 1, as if it comes with 10.6 already installed you will not have a 10.5 disk at all.
     
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Oct 7, 2009, 09:06 PM
 
You're getting a machine that was already produced and boxed when SL came out. They drop in (which is why most of those DVDs are labeled "Drop In") a SL disc as a courtesy. It would raise the cost of the machine even more for them to unbox and reimage the drive with SL and then rebox it.
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Oct 7, 2009, 10:06 PM
 
Apple could have easily just sold you the laptop, then charged you $10 for the SL upgrade.
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Oct 8, 2009, 01:15 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Apple was kind enough to throw in Snow Leopard, but too lazy and cheap to have it installed.
So which were they?

I can see why they would do this, and also why they wouldn't. First of all, it makes sense for them to not install SL because of the lack of optical drive. But that could possibly make it harder for the customer. Very interesting. This seems to show how slowly Airs are apparently selling, at least in your area.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 02:41 AM
 
Good comments, but everything I have already reasoned through. Like I said, I don't care about the logistics of it, it's Apple's problem. I know these are drop ins, they should figure out how to install them for the consumer as well. When you pay such a high price for a product, it's a slap in the face. And if you had to fork out over 2 grand, to have Apple basically tell you to go install SL yourself, you wouldn't be too happy either...

This should not be viewed as a courtesy: it's not our problem about old stock. Snow Leopard has been out for long enough, and they advertise these products as coming with Snow Leopard. What they don't tell you is that you will, likely (3 strikes...) have to install SL yourself for sometime yet, but the Air has no optical drive.

Yes, remote disc, what with its slow data transfer over the air, the need for another computer with a DVD drive, the unreliability of remote disc, etc.

For the record, this is a brand new, 2.13 128 SSD unit. Yes, it is an indication, maybe, about how slow they are selling here, but this could be more widespread because of the Air's lack of optical drive, hence Apple skirting around installing it.

Also for the record, the first 2 units were shipped direct from Apple from the US via the online store. The other unit was purchased locally and all 3 required the user to install Snow Leopard themselves.

The first 2 units were refurbished, the last one, the one that I have, is brand new from Apple Retail. They were good enough to ship the refurbs with faulty logic boards, even though they are supposed to be taken apart and checked. They could have installed SL during this process...

No excuses.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 02:59 AM
 
Saying I don't care about the logistics, it's just Apple's problem doesn't fly from a business perspective. That's the way Apple does it with hardware produced previous to the launch of a new OS. Is it really that big of a deal that you had to install it? Now the logic board issue is something worth being upset over.

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Oct 8, 2009, 03:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Good comments, but everything I have already reasoned through. Like I said, I don't care about the logistics of it, it's Apple's problem.
That's kinda harsh.

And the obvious answer has already been given: they should've just NOT included a disk at all and charged you $10 for the upgrade disk per mail.

That would have seemed fair to you and driven home the point that if you insist but can't wait for reality to catch up with your sense of entitlement, that's NOT Apple's problem.

     
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Oct 8, 2009, 06:33 AM
 
"they should've just NOT included a disk at all and charged you $10 for the upgrade disk per mail. "

They can't, because every system they sell, including the MacBook Air, is advertised as including Snow Leopard.

And a sense of entitlement is necessarily predicated on anyone who spends a small fortune on a product. The only reality is that Apple makes exhorbitant profits that have given them over $25 billion USD in liquid cash. I don't feel sorry for them in anyway, and I won't make any excuses for them. They gladly take our money, and I will gladly complain when their service and products become under the high standard they are held to. That standard has taken form from the quality of their products and the high prices that each are sold for.

And aside from the SL issue, in my area, we have to wait 3 days just to see someone at an Apple Store (Genius counter). But nevermind, I am not done with the SL issue yet.

If this were on a computer that had an optical drive built in, I would not be as adamant as I am. But I would still complain about it. You mention business... imagine, if you will, a business buying a lot of MacBook Airs only to find that each one needed to have SL installed on it manually. Then the IT person at $50 an hour is tasked to do the job, setting up Remote Disc from a Windows environment. After many hours of trying to get remote disc to work, he gives up and goes down and buys a superdrive, then installs SL on every MacBook Air purchased. Total cost to install on 8 units: 9.6 hours x $50 per hour = $480. Plus $100 for the Superdrive = $580.

Are you getting it?
     
Clinically Insane
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Oct 8, 2009, 07:10 AM
 
I am.

You're not.

I'm not gonna go semantics over Apple's advertising with you, but they do not advertise every single Mac that's still in the retail channel as coming with Snow Leopard. They wouldn't offer the up-to-date program if they did. As for coming with Snow Leopard: yours did. You were aware of the limitations of your particular choice of machine beforehand, and what would be an advantage to others or a minor inconvenience (though preferable to the "just-****-it-let-them-all-order-it" attitude that Apple could well have taken) is either an advantage or a slightly bigger pain to you because of that choice.

Again, rant all you want, but Apple could have just sent out the already boxed units WITHOUT the drop-in DVD, and you wouldn't be slagging off in page-long rants here had they done just that.

IOW: your wasted effort here hinges entirely on a courtesy that personally, I would think twice about extending again if this were the common reception.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 08:38 AM
 
Addendum: having finally realized (*ahem*) that you ordered directly from Apple, I have to say that your complaint *is* understandable, but still an unrealistic expectation.

Many would consider the fact that a machine still came with Leopard preinstalled an *advantage*, as it gives the option to upgrade at a later time, when any remnant issues/imcompatibilities have been cleared up.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 09:30 AM
 
I think freudling's complaint deserves one positive thought. If he were willing to pay extra for it, having SL installed on his new computer would be doable. But since EACH new computer is built with a hard drive that is imaged before it's installed (or afterward but on special equipment), having the NEW OS installed after manufacturing would be a more expensive option than the $10 SL disc by mail...

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Oct 8, 2009, 10:17 AM
 
Shrug.. agree with what others have said, but if it is such a terrible, awful, unacceptable situation, rather than ranting on a mac forum, perhaps you should put your money where your mouth is, and stop buying Apple products?
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 10:22 AM
 
Much, much, way too much ado about nothing.
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Oct 8, 2009, 10:29 AM
 
freudling, I'll back you up 100%. I too find it lame that SL didn't come installed.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 11:32 AM
 
I just choose not to buy the overpriced Air. Problem solved. At least with the MacBook and MacBook Pro, the optical disk is there with which one can install Leopard.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 11:55 AM
 
I can't wait for the MBP to lose the optical actually.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 12:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Simon View Post
I can't wait for the MBP to lose the optical actually.
Nothing wrong with that... as long as it loses some $$$ too.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 03:21 PM
 
"Shrug.. agree with what others have said, but if it is such a terrible, awful, unacceptable situation, rather than ranting on a mac forum, perhaps you should put your money where your mouth is, and stop buying Apple products?"

Facetious. Let's say this to everyone who has a complaint against Apple...

Spheric Harlot said:

"...but they do not advertise every single Mac that's still in the retail channel as coming with Snow Leopard. They wouldn't offer the up-to-date program if they did."

Every new Mac listed on Apple's website is advertised as including Snow Leopard. The up-to-date program is for people like me who bought a Mac that came with Leopard. In my case, my Mac is 1 years old, and came with 10.5. That's why they offer the upgrade path, and they do it to: increase market share of Snow Leopard; reduce software complaints and service.

"You were aware of the limitations of your particular choice of machine beforehand..."

Yes, I was aware of the opticallessness of the machines. But I was not aware that I would have to have Snow Leopard installed on all of them. Which is why you are not getting it. Time and money had to be invested to accomplish that, because of the limitations of the Air. On any machine, Apple should at least take extra steps to get Snow Leopard installed on the Air because of its limitation. If a user buys the product, but does not have another machine at home, he will be forced to buy a superdrive for $100 to install the system.

And as for it being a good thing that it comes with Leopard... it's not. Totally superfluous. Snow Leopard is better, and there is no reason for most of us to use Leopard, since compatibility with almost all major titles is fine.

"IOW: your wasted effort here hinges entirely on a courtesy that personally, I would think twice about extending again if this were the common reception."

And if they think twice about "extending the courtesy", they will be selling machines with a now old operating system. And how will that fair with consumers? Especially since this is a company that makes both the software and the hardware...

But let me say something positive. I really do like the Air, aside from the initial speed bump. It is just so expensive compared to the MacBook Pro (13"), with similar speed.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 03:55 PM
 
I'm with Freudling.

For a MBA, it's unacceptable. What if you don't buy the extra drive, and don't have another computer ? Then you would have to go to an Apple store and have the genius install SL ?

-t
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 05:12 PM
 
Hi turtle777:

Ya, good points. You could burden the Genius Bar with installing SL over remote disc or with a superdrive they may have on hand. But they are not obligated to do it: they don't have to install software for a user unless something is wrong with the unit - under the purview of their warranty. Of course, our point is that Apple has just passed on the time and expense onto the consumer.

I wish, don't understand, wonder... why optical is still around. Apple could give us Air users a USB stick with the install image on it... that would solve a lot.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 07:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Apple could give us Air users a USB stick with the install image on it... that would solve a lot.
Excellent idea.
     
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Oct 8, 2009, 08:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Apple could give us Air users a USB stick with the install image on it... that would solve a lot.
Honestly that'd be great for anyone. Interesting idea.
     
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Oct 10, 2009, 08:49 PM
 
Snow Leopard has been out for a little while now, I would also expect a new Apple computer to have it pre installed as well. If you bought it from an Apple store I could understand as they have the stock there already sealed, but not if ordering new from the Apple store online.

As for the refurbished models, I see no reason that they couldn't install Snow Leopard as well as they are being serviced and would be reimaged afterwards. As for the dead logic boards, that's pretty ridiculous. How would a product test okay then be DOA? Something could happen during shipping but pretty unlikely...
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Oct 10, 2009, 10:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm with Freudling.

For a MBA, it's unacceptable. What if you don't buy the extra drive, and don't have another computer ? Then you would have to go to an Apple store and have the genius install SL ?
You bought a machine knowing it had no optical drive. As a buyer, are you assuming you'll never need to install any additional software? It's like buying a car with a manual transmission and then bitching that you have to shift.
     
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Oct 10, 2009, 11:02 PM
 
Originally Posted by AKcrab View Post
You bought a machine knowing it had no optical drive. As a buyer, are you assuming you'll never need to install any additional software? It's like buying a car with a manual transmission and then bitching that you have to shift.
Stupid analogy.

Do you really think that having to install SL on a newly purchased Mac should be expected ?

-t
     
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Oct 11, 2009, 09:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by AKcrab View Post
You bought a machine knowing it had no optical drive. As a buyer, are you assuming you'll never need to install any additional software? It's like buying a car with a manual transmission and then bitching that you have to shift.
No, it's like buying a car and then finding out on delivery that there's "some assembly required" because it comes with an older-revision gearbox, but somebody was kind enough to deposit the newer one in the boot.
     
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Oct 11, 2009, 01:00 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
No, it's like buying a car and then finding out on delivery that there's "some assembly required" because it comes with an older-revision gearbox, but somebody was kind enough to deposit the newer one in the boot.
Tesla?
     
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Oct 11, 2009, 03:28 PM
 
Teslas are delivered in an incomplete state?

Or are you thinking Super 7, which is available - at a considerable discount - as a kit?
     
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Oct 11, 2009, 04:03 PM
 
Simon, if you are still attending this post, why would you want to do without the optical drive on the MBP? And I love freuding's idea of USB stick. Cheap and easy! Apple, are you listening?
     
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Oct 11, 2009, 04:23 PM
 
The reason you're not likely to see the OS distributed on a USB stick is because they tend to be one to two orders of magnitude more expensive than optical media. This is the main problem that prevents us from ditching optical drives, at least at the present time.

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Oct 11, 2009, 04:51 PM
 
I'd prefer discs for 10.5 and 10.6 to be included.
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Oct 11, 2009, 07:31 PM
 
USB sticks may be more expensive than a blank DVD, but not by much. Wholesale cost on 8 GB USB sticks are about $3-$5.

I would suggest Apple make a bold move, and, to start with, give the user choice. You can buy the USB stick version or the optical version. And what better way to introduce the industry to software coming on a USB stick than including that with the MBA?
     
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Oct 11, 2009, 07:56 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
USB sticks may be more expensive than a blank DVD, but not by much. Wholesale cost on 8 GB USB sticks are about $3-$5.
Searching the web, I found a site that'll do DVD replication for $0.55 per disk for an order of 10,000. Apple will be looking at much bigger orders than that and will probably get it cheaper. That's quite a difference in my opinion!

Amorya
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Oct 11, 2009, 08:04 PM
 
Originally Posted by jmiddel View Post
Simon, if you are still attending this post, why would you want to do without the optical drive on the MBP?
The drive uses up a lot of space, adds weight, and I never use it. And that's not just because slot-loaders suck. I have an external USB DVD burner ($50, much faster than any notebook drive) at home and at the office for when I really need it. I use it about four times a year. When I'm on the road I never use my optical. An inexpensive 8 GB USB stick does everything my optical ever could. And more. USB sticks are much faster. And copy/move/trash is much nicer than burning in sessions anyway.

I can't wait till we can get a MBP w/o optical. In fact I'd gladly pay Apple $100 extra just for no optical and OS/software on a USB stick.
     
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Oct 11, 2009, 08:48 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Teslas are delivered in an incomplete state?

Or are you thinking Super 7, which is available - at a considerable discount - as a kit?
No, the first came with an "old-revision" gearbox and had to have a new one.
     
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Oct 11, 2009, 09:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
USB sticks may be more expensive than a blank DVD, but not by much. Wholesale cost on 8 GB USB sticks are about $3-$5.
DVD+-Rs can be found on Amazon.com for 35 cents each, 28 cents each, 25 cents each, or even 20 cents each. Dual-layer discs can be found for about 80 cents each (here too). This isn’t wholesale — it’s Amazon.com. Wholesale would likely be even cheaper than this.

For the price of USB flash drives, the cheapest 4 GB one I found on Amazon was $11.82. However, Amazon’s “Sort Lowest to Highest” feature wasn’t working quite right, so I might have missed something there, so I decided to give USB flash drives a totally unfair advantage and check their prices on Newegg. And the cheapest 4 GB drive there was 8 bucks, and the cheapest 8 GB was $15.

So buying on an individual level, the USB drives are up to 40 times as expensive for 4 GB, and 18-19 times as expensive for 8 GB sizes (and the ratio’s even higher if you use Newegg for the DVD media prices). For wholesale, I’d expect both to go down in price by similar levels. Now, consider that a company like Apple isn’t buying plain old DVD+-R media — they’re getting plain old discs to press, which I’m sure are simpler and cheaper than DVD+-Rs with their chemical treatments on the bottom, so I’d expect the comparative price for USB flash drives to be even more here. So suppose you’re Apple, and you’re shipping millions of computers — would you rather spend 5-10 cents (probably) to ship an OS with them, or 5-10 dollars? Flash media may indeed replace optical eventually, but not anytime soon.
( Last edited by CharlesS; Oct 11, 2009 at 09:14 PM. )

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Oct 11, 2009, 11:52 PM
 
Amoyra and CharlsS:

Your arguments are strawmen: oversimplified, erroneous, etc.

Let's assume it costs Apple $.20 to buy blank DVDs, and $3 for USB sticks (8 GB). I know they cost $3 because I made purchases for a computer store and that's what they are. Even cheaper too, but $3 gets you solid memory.

DVD media: $.20
USB 8 GB stick: $3


Let's now assume (most of these numbers in this analysis are arbitrary, but serve to illustrate) it costs $.10 cents to brand each media. In terms of packaging, let's assume that's $.50 for DVD media. Let's also assume Apple will, since USB sticks are so much smaller, have packaging that is 80% smaller than DVD media. That means USB sticks will be 80% cheaper to package.

DVD media: $.80 ($.10 branding + $.50 packaging)
USB 8 GB stick: $3.20
($.10 branding + $.10 packaging)

Now, processing software is easier and faster for USB sticks than it is for DVD media. But since data is unavailable, I won't include cost differences here.

What about shipping? Since you can fit about 15 USB sticks in the same space as 1 DVD with jewel case, and since USB sticks are slightly lighter... shipping is going to be much cheaper. Given the packaging choices, Apple will be able to fit 80% more USB sticks in the same space compared to DVD media. Let's assume Apple's shipping cost is $1 per DVD. USB sticks will be 80% cheaper, at $.20 shipping per item.

Total cost of each unit, with shipping:

DVD media: $1.80
USB stick 8 GB: $3.40


So it costs double what DVD media costs. But in relation to an item that has several 1000% mark up, it's negligible. Instead of Apple making, in relation to fixed manufacturing costs, $120 (arbitrary number) on each sale of OS X, they make $116.60. That's a difference of just under 1% less.

And by releasing USB sticks with software on them, Apple will create buzz and excitement, appease users like myself, and slowly wean people off of optical drives. That will help them move to optical driveless computers. That means more room for innovation: bigger batteries, thinner designs, etc.

And economies of scale will be realized in the short-term, further driving down the cost of USB software processing. When the actual costs of processing software to DVD are factored in, the cost difference between the two media will likely be even narrower.

Lastly, since USBs have such a smaller packaging footprint, Apple will be doing something good for the environment, which it now seems to take very seriously.

This analysis is more legitimate and less simplified than your Amazon search.
     
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Oct 12, 2009, 12:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
Amoyra and CharlsS:
Is misspelling both our names supposed to be some kind of subtle jab?

Your arguments are strawmen: oversimplified, erroneous, etc.
Strawmen? What did I accuse you of saying that you didn’t in fact say?

Let's assume it costs Apple $.20 to buy blank DVDs, and $3 for USB sticks (8 GB). I know they cost $3 because I made purchases for a computer store and that's what they are. Even cheaper too, but $3 gets you solid memory.
Look, I can get DVD media for $0.20 all by myself, and I can’t get any sort of USB stick for $3. If you’re cutting down the price of the USB stick from what I can get because of wholesale, you have to cut down the price of the DVD media as well. And whatever you come up with, Apple’s going to be paying less than that, since Apple’s not using DVD+-Rs. The discs they use are basically just circular pieces of plastic, and the data is put on just by physically pressing grooves into the disc. The fancy chemicals and whatnot that are on the bottom of a DVD-R are not needed for the discs Apple uses.

Let's now assume (most of these numbers in this analysis are arbitrary, but serve to illustrate) it costs $.10 cents to brand each media. In terms of packaging, let's assume that's $.50 for DVD media. Let's also assume Apple will, since USB sticks are so much smaller, have packaging that is 80% smaller than DVD media. That means USB sticks will be 80% cheaper to package.
Actually, the packaging’s going to be about the same size, because Apple likes to put in a little booklet bragging about the new features in the new version of OS X, and when you get smaller than a DVD, that booklet will get hard to read. The packaging would get a little thicker with a USB stick, since they’re thicker than DVDs, so the packaging might actually get larger here.

Now, processing software is easier and faster for USB sticks than it is for DVD media. But since data is unavailable, I won't include cost differences here.
Processing software? What do you even mean by that?

Apple’s not using a personal computer with Toast to burn their CDs/DVDs, if that’s what you’re getting at.

What about shipping? Since you can fit about 15 USB sticks in the same space as 1 DVD with jewel case, and since USB sticks are slightly lighter... shipping is going to be much cheaper.
Apple doesn’t use jewel cases. They just use a little plastic sleeve that weighs (and likely costs) almost nothing. I don’t have a balance on hand, but a USB stick doesn’t seem noticeably lighter than a DVD from picking it up.

Lastly, since USBs have such a smaller packaging footprint, Apple will be doing something good for the environment, which it now seems to take very seriously.
USB drives have a lot more circuitry, and thus potentially hazardous materials in them than DVDs, which are just plastic discs. Neither is good for the environment, but I don’t see how DVDs would be any worse than USB drives.

This analysis is more legitimate and less simplified than your Amazon search.
Your analysis is based on assumptions and made-up numbers, whereas I at least provided some actual hard data.

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Oct 12, 2009, 01:56 AM
 
[QUOTE=CharlesS;3892579]

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Look, I can get DVD media for $0.20 all by myself, and I can’t get any sort of USB stick for $3. If you’re cutting down the price of the USB stick from what I can get because of wholesale, you have to cut down the price of the DVD media as well.
Let's cut it down then. $.10 per DVD instead of $.20. Doesn't significantly change the results, but you knew that.
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
And whatever you come up with, Apple’s going to be paying less than that, since Apple’s not using DVD+-Rs. The discs they use are basically just circular pieces of plastic, and the data is put on just by physically pressing grooves into the disc. The fancy chemicals and whatnot that are on the bottom of a DVD-R are not needed for the discs Apple uses.
That actually raises an interesting issue: failure rates of DVD media. You can write to flash numerous times, but you get one shot at these. If they fail, they are wasted.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Actually, the packaging’s going to be about the same size, because Apple likes to put in a little booklet bragging about the new features in the new version of OS X, and when you get smaller than a DVD, that booklet will get hard to read.
No. A pamphlet can easily be made and wrapped up to fit the smaller packaging. At any rate, they don't have to provide that at all. That's just 2 dimensional thinking to think that the package size will be limited by a pamphlet that Apple 'likes to include'.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
The packaging would get a little thicker with a USB stick, since they’re thicker than DVDs, so the packaging might actually get larger here.
No. The thickness of the current packaging is more than enough to fit the USB stick with a rolled up pamphlet. But nevermind, because of the USB stick is so much smaller, thickness doesn't matter: they will package it like a little rectangular box. Stacked together, many more will fit in the same space as the larger DVD media box.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Apple doesn’t use jewel cases. They just use a little plastic sleeve that weighs (and likely costs) almost nothing. I don’t have a balance on hand, but a USB stick doesn’t seem noticeably lighter than a DVD from picking it up.
I have both on hand, have weighed them, and my USB stick is slightly lighter.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
USB drives have a lot more circuitry, and thus potentially hazardous materials in them than DVDs, which are just plastic discs. Neither is good for the environment, but I don’t see how DVDs would be any worse than USB drives.
The point is saving on packaging, and Apple advertises this. They have progressively reduced the size of their packaging on many of their products over the past several years.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Your analysis is based on assumptions and made-up numbers, whereas I at least provided some actual hard data.
False. My analysis contains "actual hard data". I am quoting our wholesale pricing from a distributer we use to get flash memory from China. The other numbers in question are valid because those numbers need only be arbitrary. For example, the cost to brand each media is based on hard data. I used the quotes we got for our business and there is NO DIFFERENCE between the price to brand a DVD in comparison to a USB stick. Therefore, it does not matter what numbers are input into this analysis, because there is no difference in price.

And the whole point is that, it will not cost Apple that much more to provide USB sticks in comparison to DVDs. If this were a $5 item, then you would have a point. But it's not.
( Last edited by freudling; Oct 12, 2009 at 02:10 AM. )
     
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Oct 12, 2009, 02:33 AM
 
The MacBook Air is known to come without an optical drive. Therefore, anyone buying it bare bones, without the optional optical drive, will not (easily) be able to install anything from an optical disc. So everyone buying these computers knew all that, presumably, and doesn't have much basis to complain.

The complaint about 10.6 coming on a separate disc (not pre-installed) is perhaps more legitimate, but this practice has long been followed by Apple (and PC makers) in the past when new OS's came out during production of computers, it's nothing new. If Apple were to have someone take the time to open the boxed computer, connect an optical drive, update to 10.6, then re-box everything up, that will take labor of several people, plus inspectors, inventory tracking etc. Apple would simply charge all of us more for this "service," the price of the computers would go up. Personally, I would never buy a MacBook Air without an optical drive, so MY preference is the opposite of yours -- I'd prefer they keep the price of the computer itself lower. You are entitled to your preference, but it isn't necessarily shared by everyone else. I would bet that most of the millions of people buying MacBook Air computers are not giving up on optical drives yet, since almost all software still comes on optical discs. My employer has thousands of Macs in use on site, and the standard "package" with the MacBook Air includes the optical drive, which generally stays in folks' offices and is used now and then for software installations and the like. Buying a MacBook Air without an optical drive and without some solid plan for doing upgrades and installations (starting right with the 10.6 upgrade itself) just doesn't make sense.

With any other Macintosh currently offered by Apple, this is a non-issue. Updating to 10.6 on a brand new out of the box computer is trivial, unless it doesn't have an optical drive. An informed buyer should consider how such upgrades will be done (and how installations of new software will be done in the future) when buying a new computer. If the lack of optical drive poses a problem, then buy one, or buy a computer with one.

The comments about pen drives are fine, but since that is not likely to happen anytime soon, it's really more of a theoretical conversation than anything else.
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Oct 12, 2009, 03:06 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
That actually raises an interesting issue: failure rates of DVD media. You can write to flash numerous times, but you get one shot at these. If they fail, they are wasted.
Why on earth would Apple care about writing to the media more than once for an install disk they’re shipping out (other than having to worry about a flash drive accidentally getting erased or otherwise messed up by the end-user)?

Also: The failure rates of commercial pressed DVD media are very low. Again, Apple’s not using DVD-R media for their install discs.

I have both on hand, have weighed them, and my USB stick is slightly lighter.
“Slightly” lighter is supposed to make it a whole dollar less to ship?

False. My analysis contains "actual hard data". I am quoting our wholesale pricing from a distributer we use to get flash memory from China.
Every other number you quote, though, is made-up based on costs you’re assuming — most notably, the “slightly” heavier DVD actually taking a whole dollar more to ship. If it turned out to be, oh, only 10 cents more, than suddenly the DVD hasn’t gained much on the USB drive’s price at all, even assuming all the rest of your numbers to be accurate. Your entire argument hinges on your made-up numbers being right, which doesn’t work since your numbers are made up.

The other numbers in question are valid because those numbers need only be arbitrary. For example, the cost to brand each media is based on hard data. I used the quotes we got for our business and there is NO DIFFERENCE between the price to brand a DVD in comparison to a USB stick. Therefore, it does not matter what numbers are input into this analysis, because there is no difference in price.
Apple probably has their discs branded in the same factory where they’re pressed. The only cost should be the cost of whatever ink/toner/whatever pigment is actually printed onto the disc.

And the whole point is that, it will not cost Apple that much more to provide USB sticks in comparison to DVDs. If this were a $5 item, then you would have a point. But it's not.
That’s not true — remember, even if your numbers were 100% accurate, if you ship a million units, and each one costs even $1 more than it has to, then that’s one million dollars you just wasted.

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Oct 12, 2009, 06:06 AM
 
CharlesS needs to have things repeated to him before he understands...

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Why on earth would Apple care about writing to the media more than once for an install disk they’re shipping out (other than having to worry about a flash drive accidentally getting erased or otherwise messed up by the end-user)?
The point is that if the disc write is corrupt, it becomes waste: you can't write to it again, unlike flash...

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Also: The failure rates of commercial pressed DVD media are very low.
Source... let me guess, CharlesS and Imaginary Partners.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
“Slightly” lighter is supposed to make it a whole dollar less to ship?
No, not at all. It's the small size of the USB stick, provided the packaging is complementary to this, that engenders the ability to fit 80% more USB sticks in a box compared to the currently shipping DVD. I compared sizes with my Snow Leopard package (boxed retail version). The disc requires much longer and wider packaging to fit the disc, as compared to the diminutive USB stick.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Every other number you quote, though, is made-up based on costs you’re assuming — most notably, the “slightly” heavier DVD actually taking a whole dollar more to ship. If it turned out to be, oh, only 10 cents more, than suddenly the DVD hasn’t gained much on the USB drive’s price at all, even assuming all the rest of your numbers to be accurate. Your entire argument hinges on your made-up numbers being right, which doesn’t work since your numbers are made up.
The numbers are not "made up". All of them are based on hard data, except the shipping cost. The cost to ship is arbitrary. There's a difference between "made up" and "arbitrary". And I did not say the DVD was a whole $1 more to ship. I used $1 as a baseline, and reduced the cost to ship the USB sticks by 80% because you can fit 80% more of them in the same space. So instead of only being able to fit 100 DVDs in a standard factory-retail shipping box, you can fit 180 USB sticks. The slightly lighter weight of each USB stick will help offset the total weight increase of the package. With reduced logistics, time to package, etc., the discount rate is 80% off baseline.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Apple probably has their discs branded in the same factory where they’re pressed. The only cost should be the cost of whatever ink/toner/whatever pigment is actually printed onto the disc.
This is pointless. The cost is the same to brand both media. Nothing else to discuss on that front.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
That’s not true — remember, even if your numbers were 100% accurate, if you ship a million units, and each one costs even $1 more than it has to, then that’s one million dollars you just wasted.
It does not reduce their margins by a significant amount. $1 million dollars sounds like a lot of money to an average person, but that is misleading when discussing business, margins, and the like. Let's look at the absurdity of this.

Apple's now standard margin is 39-48% on its products (read that in a consulting report). Let's go with the low 39%. By increasing the cost to manufacture a unit by $1, they reduce their margin by a fraction of a percent: .0005% to be exact on the $2000 (CAD) MacBook Air 2.13 GHz. Their margin then becomes 38.95% instead of 39%. The real margin value goes from $780 to $779. That should certainly make the Air a complete failure from a money making standpoint...

And with the money they are saving by NOT having to include an optical drive, the $1, or $5, or etc. extra to include USB sticks is laughable.
( Last edited by freudling; Oct 12, 2009 at 06:47 AM. )
     
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Oct 12, 2009, 06:30 AM
 
steve626: you certainly did not read the above posts before posting this, because everything you have said is redundant. But let's look at what you have said, for the sake of [insert what you will]

Originally Posted by steve626 View Post
The MacBook Air is known to come without an optical drive. Therefore, anyone buying it bare bones, without the optional optical drive, will not (easily) be able to install anything from an optical disc. So everyone buying these computers knew all that, presumably, and doesn't have much basis to complain.
Wrong. I, like many others, are aware that it does not come with an optical drive. And you're right about the difficulties with which to install things onto the Air if its located on optical media. But 99% of every software package on all my computers either came with it pre-installed or was downloaded from the Internet. In fact, I have not installed software from a disc for over 4 years. Most people are in the same boat. Whether its Filemaker Pro, MS Office, Adobe Photoshop... all of those tiles can be downloaded and installed within short order via the Internet.

So what I knew/know is that I live in a digital world and I don't expect to be installing things via optical discs. That's one of the reasons why I bought the Air, because optical drives are superfluous for me. I know many others feel the same way.

The complaint is not about a device that is devoid of an optical drive. It's about 10.6 not being pre-installed. You now get to that...

Originally Posted by steve626 View Post
The complaint about 10.6 coming on a separate disc (not pre-installed) is perhaps more legitimate, but this practice has long been followed by Apple (and PC makers) in the past when new OS's came out during production of computers, it's nothing new.
Snow Leopard has been out long enough, and see below for further information about this...

Originally Posted by steve626 View Post
If Apple were to have someone take the time to open the boxed computer, connect an optical drive, update to 10.6, then re-box everything up, that will take labor of several people, plus inspectors, inventory tracking etc. Apple would simply charge all of us more for this "service," the price of the computers would go up.
You mean a company is actually expected to do actual, real work? I feel sorry for them. They don't care how hard I worked for the money I am giving them, and I don't really care about the logistics of them installing the software for the customer.

But let's really look at this. If you read the earlier posts, you would see that two of the units were ordered directly from Apple online, and these units were refurbished. That stock was not assembled until well after Snow Leopard was released. Those two units were dismantled, inspected, and repackaged to be resold. But they did not pre-install Snow Leopard during this process... that is unacceptable because this is not old stock. Hence the title of this thread: lazy and too cheap...

Originally Posted by steve626 View Post
Personally, I would never buy a MacBook Air without an optical drive, so MY preference is the opposite of yours -- I'd prefer they keep the price of the computer itself lower. You are entitled to your preference, but it isn't necessarily shared by everyone else. I would bet that most of the millions of people buying MacBook Air computers are not giving up on optical drives yet, since almost all software still comes on optical discs.
I bought the Air because of its portability and the fact that most all software can be downloaded, so there is no need for software install discs. And your assumption that the cost of the computer will rise if Apple pre-installs OS X on it is erroneous. Again, they were just too lazy and cheap to install Leopard on my two refurbished Airs. That was not old stock. No excuses.

And they have pre-installing this software for years and their prices have been falling for years. Their top end stuff is still pricey... but...

Originally Posted by steve626 View Post
My employer has thousands of Macs in use on site, and the standard "package" with the MacBook Air includes the optical drive, which generally stays in folks' offices and is used now and then for software installations and the like. Buying a MacBook Air without an optical drive and without some solid plan for doing upgrades and installations (starting right with the 10.6 upgrade itself) just doesn't make sense.
It actually does make sense... its the fact that outside of an operating system, you don't need optical media to install all common applications that almost everyone uses and is limited to. It is needed for the operating system though, and that's my point: install it for us, since you don't provide the user with a means to install it out of the box.. And you won't see another OS X upgrade for another year and a half. So that is a rare thing to do a full version upgrade of your OS.

And that can be accomplished using another computer, getting help from a friend, etc., when it comes to that. But when spending this much money on a new product that is advertised as including Snow Leopard... you expect it is ready to go out of the box.

Originally Posted by steve626 View Post
With any other Macintosh currently offered by Apple, this is a non-issue. Updating to 10.6 on a brand new out of the box computer is trivial, unless it doesn't have an optical drive. An informed buyer should consider how such upgrades will be done (and how installations of new software will be done in the future) when buying a new computer. If the lack of optical drive poses a problem, then buy one, or buy a computer with one.
I am not buying an optical drive, and I am not buying a computer with an optical drive. As you should now clearly understand, optical drives are superfluous for software installs save for OS installs.
( Last edited by freudling; Oct 12, 2009 at 06:37 AM. )
     
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Oct 12, 2009, 09:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
This analysis is more legitimate and less simplified than your Amazon search.
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
CharlesS needs to have things repeated to him before he understands...

Source... let me guess, CharlesS and Imaginary Partners.
Originally Posted by freudling View Post
steve626: you certainly did not read the above posts before posting this, because everything you have said is redundant.
There is no need to be derisive and insulting.
     
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Oct 12, 2009, 12:19 PM
 
^ Eh, that’s just a sign that I’ve basically won the argument.

Originally Posted by freudling View Post
The point is that if the disc write is corrupt, it becomes waste: you can't write to it again, unlike flash…
Again… Apple’s not burning DVD-Rs with Toast. They press the groves directly on the disc. It’s not a particularly failure-prone process.

(and if a flash disc were damaged such that a write to it would fail, would you even want to use it again?)

Source... let me guess, CharlesS and Imaginary Partners.
For what, the fact that DVD-Rs aren’t DVDs aren’t the same thing, or the fact that DVDs are a lot more reliable than DVD-Rs?

The numbers are not "made up". All of them are based on hard data, except the shipping cost. The cost to ship is arbitrary. There's a difference between "made up" and "arbitrary". And I did not say the DVD was a whole $1 more to ship. I used $1 as a baseline, and reduced the cost to ship the USB sticks by 80% because you can fit 80% more of them in the same space. So instead of only being able to fit 100 DVDs in a standard factory-retail shipping box, you can fit 180 USB sticks. The slightly lighter weight of each USB stick will help offset the total weight increase of the package. With reduced logistics, time to package, etc., the discount rate is 80% off baseline.
Your math is off. Even if you could fit 80% more in one box, you’d only reduce the number of boxes by 44.4%, not 80%. To reduce the number of boxes by 80%, you’d have to be able to fit 500% of them in the same space. And the weight difference would have to be decent in order to offset the increased weight in the box — and given that you’ve not provided any numbers despite claiming to have weighed them, I’m guessing that the “slight” different is negligible. And again, this assumes that Apple won’t want to include a little booklet explaining how to boot from the disc/USB stick for Mac newbies, or to brag about new OS features.

Not to mention that the original topic of this thread was what is bundled with a computer — and needless to say, replacing the DVD with a flash drive wouldn’t reduce the packaging size of a computer at all.
This is pointless. The cost is the same to brand both media. Nothing else to discuss on that front.
You’re the one who brought up branding! I have no idea where you’re going with it, either, since even by your admission, it’s not more expensive to brand a DVD.
( Last edited by CharlesS; Oct 12, 2009 at 12:32 PM. )

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Oct 12, 2009, 12:26 PM
 
In the end, I gotta say, for a product with such a high premium, the least Apple could do is ship the OS on a USB stick as well. Making that exclusive to the Air would probably add to its allure, as well.
     
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Oct 12, 2009, 12:31 PM
 
I'm sure 99% of the MBA customers would gladly pay $5 or $10 more to get the OS on a USB stick.

The financial side of things is NOT the issue.

-t
     
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Oct 12, 2009, 12:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm sure 99% of the MBA customers would gladly pay $5 or $10 more to get the OS on a USB stick.

The financial side of things is NOT the issue.

-t
My point is, you shell out $1800 for a specialized laptop, you shouldn't have to pay an extra $5 or $10 for the ability to install the OS as easily as everyone else. Factor it into the cost somehow, Apple.

What is the issue, per se, because I stopped reading when replies went 3 deep.
     
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Oct 12, 2009, 03:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
^ Eh, that’s just a sign that I’ve basically won the argument.
It's clear that all this is is some game for you, you aren't interested in the truth of the matter. For those of us spending $2000 on a sub-notebook, it's not a game.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Again… Apple’s not burning DVD-Rs with Toast. They press the groves directly on the disc. It’s not a particularly failure-prone process.
Can you take some pictures of the process when you're at work tomorrow? You could post them during your lunch break. I'm sure you guys are busy there pressing lots of Snow Leopard discs. Say, when those Snow Leopard discs are dropped in, do you guys toss them in for fun, like you're shooting a basketball?

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
(and if a flash disc were damaged such that a write to it would fail, would you even want to use it again?)
From our supplier, the best flash memory is about 99% good. You do not have to pay for memory that is faulty: they have a warranty.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Your math is off. Even if you could fit 80% more in one box, you’d only reduce the number of boxes by 44.4%, not 80%. To reduce the number of boxes by 80%, you’d have to be able to fit 500% of them in the same space. And the weight difference would have to be decent in order to offset the increased weight in the box — and given that you’ve not provided any numbers despite claiming to have weighed them, I’m guessing that the “slight” different is negligible. And again, this assumes that Apple won’t want to include a little booklet explaining how to boot from the disc/USB stick for Mac newbies, or to brag about new OS features.
Actually, you're right, the math is a bit off. Measuring the Snow Leopard DVD package, and drawing out the small, rectangular box for 1 USB stick, you can fit 10 USB sticks in the same space as 1 DVD box. That means a box that holds 100 Snow leopard DVDs will fit 1000 USB sticks. That's a difference of 1000%.

Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
Not to mention that the original topic of this thread was what is bundled with a computer — and needless to say, replacing the DVD with a flash drive wouldn’t reduce the packaging size of a computer at all.
We are discussing this because we brought up the idea of Apple making a bold move and going to USB sticks for their OS. This reduces packaging and is better for the environment.

Besides that, it WILL reduce the packaging of their units. If they put all of the software on the USB stick, they won't have to include both the large wallet, and the large indentation in the main plastic well for that wallet. They can then make their package even thinner than it is now. In some cases it will only be slightly thinner, but it will still be reduced. The iPhone is a good example of what they have done. The first iPhone's box is much larger than the latest iPhone. By slightly reducing the size of the AC adapter they managed to make the packaging much smaller.

And as you can see, others agree: Apple should be pre-installing the system on the Air, and that USB is a good idea. That users would be willing to pay $5 or $10 extra to have it done, which beats having to buy a superdrive for $100, or struggling for a few hours to get remote disc to work ourselves. But besides that, it should be pre-installed on a unit costing $2000 that does not have an optical drive. A unit where Apple saved money on not having to assemble into the unit and include an optical drive.
( Last edited by freudling; Oct 12, 2009 at 03:48 PM. )
     
 
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