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View Full Version : Theory on why Apple has no low-end display of their own


nagromme
Jan 12, 2005, 09:40 PM
Several possibilities:

1. It never occurred to Apple that people would want a display cheaper than $999 for a Mac Mini. But Apple's not that stupid.

* Apple knows people would want one, but doesn't care to make money on it themselves. Nobody's that stupid :)

* Apple wants to sell them but can't due to an unexpected delay. Now THAT is possible, but seems unlikely. A low-end display could have been pre-announced even if it had to ship later. And it would have been easy to finish on time anyway--no engineering feat.

* Apple has some OTHER, intentional reason NOT to offer one.

One reason I can think of: if Apple had a display--even a 15" one--it would have Apple style and ergonomics, and would not be priced in the bargain bin. It would be low-cost, but priced in the middle. Two bad things would result:

1. People would feel like they HAD to get the Mac display. It would have such a psychological draw to get the "matched set" that it would turn people OFF of putting any old PC monitor on the Mini. It would turn off some of the very buyers who now want a Mini.

I know when I get a PowerMac, I'll want an Apple display to match. Maybe I'll get something cheaper, but on some level it will bug me that this super-cool, stylish thing in my life COULD have had a matching display, but I didn't get one. Choosing between that irritation vs. paying more isn't an incentive for me to buy. Sounds trivial, but now apply that to something cheap enough to be almost an impulse buy, and I think it could work against Apple.

Evidence that Apple wants you NOT to think of the Mini as a matched set: they show off a QTVR of the Mini BOTH with Apple display AND with a PC display. They don't just permit the PC display option out of necessity... they actually promote that with QTVR.

2. Reviewers would then price the thing as a set--much higher! They'd add an Apple display, mouse, and keyboard "because it's there." But since it's NOT there, they won't be as likely (at $999) to do that--they will see the Mini for what it is: something small and simple to slip into your existing computing life.

Any other theories? If Apple's neither too stupid to sell a low-end display, nor unable to build one... then what might the reason be?

I'm thinking they could sell a ton of cheap LCDs (and offer a decent 3rd-party 17" CRT if needed). By cheap LCD, I'm thinking the 15.2" widescreen 1280x854 from the PowerBook, with DVI (and a bigger backlight). That's not rock-bottom 1024x768 VGA, that's a nice screen--but low-end for Apple. To save cost, build in a USB hub but no Firewire--and maybe use white plastic with metal sides (the opposite of the pro displays).

Then offer a bundle of that, plus mouse and keyboard, at a discount. (Online, offer the same in a wireless version.)

dejo
Jan 12, 2005, 09:59 PM
I know when I get a PowerMac, I'll want an Apple display to match.

Not that I want to bedrudge you buying an Apple display (hell, I paid over $4K for my 22" Cinema Display thanks to working my ass off one weekend to completely redo my companies website in prep for a trade show and using the dineros I got as a bonus to make the purchase), but are you planning on putting your tower close enough to the display to make matching a concern? Just wondering.

mkrishnan
Jan 12, 2005, 10:18 PM
I can't say I particularly agree with your set of theories, but I had been wondering what would happen regarding this too...One way or another, someone should start selling some LCDs that are targetted for pairing with the Mac Mini -- either Apple, someone building on Apple's behalf, or totally third party. I think based on projected volumes for the computer, there's probably enough of a market out there to justify it.

OTOH that sony with the arch along the bottom is awful pretty looking...I guess if there's a DVI version, that's not a bad option either. Using VGA when it isn't absolutely necessary seems sad. :(

Dont Hurt Me
Jan 13, 2005, 07:35 AM
The Lcds are allready outthere to pair up with this thing, heck even looking at my NEC the MiniMac would sit real nice on the base only thing is I dont need it and my older Machine can do everything its capable of. It will be a Great entry product to get people to the Mac.

grapes911
Jan 13, 2005, 08:09 AM
There are lots of 15 and 17 inch lcds out there. Maybe apple just feels its not worth competing in that market.

x86isslow
Jan 13, 2005, 08:40 AM
its becoming increasingly clear to me that apple still isn't ready to accept greater marketshare. why? during the financial webcast yesterday, one of the questions asked was since apple didn't seriously expect people to pair a $500 and a $1000 display, did apple have plans to carry third-party displays?

apple's response was very interestingl, and revealed a lot about their strategy. "We see the target market as people who already have a keyboard, mouse, and display" People who just happened to have a mac keyboard lying around are usually people who had macs in the past, but sometime in the near past, were forced to get a windows main machine because apple didn't have a (shipping) solution for them.

I believe apple sees switchers as a fringe benefit in this case, or otherwise they would have thrown in a couple of ps2-usb adaptors for all the switchers.

as to why they won't bring out their own monitor- apple doesn't want to put effort into an unproven market. if apple has a warehouse of $400 minimacs, they won't lose as much as they would if they had another warehouse with 17" acds.

wordmunger
Jan 13, 2005, 08:49 AM
They don't because they're never going to compete with this (http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1088463&Sku=V77-1700&SRCCODE=GOOPROD&CMP=OTC-FROOGLE)

nagromme
Jan 13, 2005, 11:41 AM
They wouldn't need to compete with anything, or have low-end screens match other products for profitability... just offer CONVENIENCE. Someone goes to an Apple store, likes the Mini, won't be talked into an iMac G5... but wants/needs a new display too. Apple could give them a one-stop sale, instead of making them do legwork. That might not be MOST Mini buyers, but I think it would be a sizable minority.... a minority out of a very large number, if the Mini does well.

aricher
Jan 13, 2005, 01:58 PM
An PC based IT guy I work with has a goofy plan for his Mac Mini - he's going to build a hinge with a cheap 6" LCD he alrady has and attach it to the back of the Mac Mini. He also has one of those rubber rollable keyboards. He says he wants to be able to treat this Mac Mini like a laptop and be able to bring it to coffee shops, bars, car trips, etc. Sounds crazy but I'm sure he'll do it - he loves modding.

grapes911
Jan 13, 2005, 02:47 PM
An PC based IT guy I work with has a goofy plan for his Mac Mini - he's going to build a hinge with a cheap 6" LCD he alrady has and attach it to the back of the Mac Mini. He also has one of those rubber rollable keyboards. He says he wants to be able to treat this Mac Mini like a laptop and be able to bring it to coffee shops, bars, car trips, etc. Sounds crazy but I'm sure he'll do it - he loves modding.

A friend and I were talking along these same line. We think apple or some 3rd party company should make a flip screen sort of like the psone screen. (http://www.vidgame.net/SONY/PSONE.htm)

nagromme
Jan 13, 2005, 03:21 PM
A replacement power brick that included a battery would be a nice accessory for that kind of thing.

The Mini already does SOME of what a laptop does, right out of the box... as long as there's a monitor and keyboard where you're going, you have portable computing cheap. Can't say the same for a cheap beige tower!

College students going home for break will have it made. Leave the big stuff in the dorm and toss the Mini in a bag.

And then there's LAN parties... say what you will, but almost all the LAN gaming I've done has been with everyone running slower machines than this. We weren't playing Doom III of course, but we still had fun!

panphage
Jan 13, 2005, 06:34 PM
apple's response was very interestingl, and revealed a lot about their strategy. "We see the target market as people who already have a keyboard, mouse, and display" People who just happened to have a mac keyboard lying around are usually people who had macs in the past, but sometime in the near past, were forced to get a windows main machine because apple didn't have a (shipping) solution for them.

I believe apple sees switchers as a fringe benefit in this case, or otherwise they would have thrown in a couple of ps2-usb adaptors for all the switchers.


There's no need for a "mac" keyboard. Any old keyboard with a usb connector is going to work fine.

And: Has no one on these forums actually bought a mouse or keyboard in the past 2.5 years? I can't even find a PS2 mouse or keyboard for at least a year. They're all usb with a ps2 adaptor. At least everything from Apple, Microsoft, Kensington, and Logitech.

Rod Rod
Jan 13, 2005, 06:56 PM
OTOH that sony with the arch along the bottom is awful pretty looking...I guess if there's a DVI version, that's not a bad option either. Using VGA when it isn't absolutely necessary seems sad. :(

Yes, the Sony you're talking about (http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start?ProductSKU=SDMHS74P%2fS&Dept=cpu_Displays&CategoryName=cpu_Displays_FlatPanelLCDs_17%22LCD) has a DVI input as well as XBRITE™ display technology. (model SDM-HS74P/S)

Converted2Truth
Jan 13, 2005, 07:33 PM
There's no need for a "mac" keyboard. Any old keyboard with a usb connector is going to work fine.

And: Has no one on these forums actually bought a mouse or keyboard in the past 2.5 years? I can't even find a PS2 mouse or keyboard for at least a year. They're all usb with a ps2 adaptor. At least everything from Apple, Microsoft, Kensington, and Logitech.
I work with roughly 300 different windows desktops at my college. We've got Dells and HP/Compaq computers. All of the HP/Compaq labeled keyboards are PS2, and most the Dells are too. Our most recent shipment of Dells(~100) include the adapter for USB->PS2. Now, ALL our mice are USB however.

Nearly all my family uses a PS2 keyboard that doesn't have an adapter to usb. I really thought they'd ship the computer with that adapter. I also think that apple is really stupid for not making some cheap 17" lcd to see for $350 with these things.

dejo
Jan 13, 2005, 08:12 PM
I also think that apple is really stupid for not making some cheap 17" lcd to see for $350 with these things.

They probably don't because there's already enough out there and Apple doesn't want to be associated with cheap (quality) LCDs.

rainman::|:|
Jan 13, 2005, 08:25 PM
$500 mac + $400 display (which is far cheaper than Apple would probably make a display for) = $900, almost the price of an eMac. So where did the cost-savings go? With a keyboard and mouse, it would be MORE than an eMac. Why are you people intent on making the Mac mini priced out of it's own market?

Apple knows people will pair this with a $200 wal-mart display (or a used ebay CRT, or a monitor they already have). They can't come anywhere near those prices. So it's pointless for them to try.

I seriously doubt Apple ever makes a monitor to match the Mac mini.

3Memos
Jan 13, 2005, 08:30 PM
An PC based IT guy I work with has a goofy plan for his Mac Mini - he's going to build a hinge with a cheap 6" LCD he alrady has and attach it to the back of the Mac Mini. He also has one of those rubber rollable keyboards. He says he wants to be able to treat this Mac Mini like a laptop and be able to bring it to coffee shops, bars, car trips, etc. Sounds crazy but I'm sure he'll do it - he loves modding.

How does he plan on powering the mini? Sounds like with all the modding of an extra display, KB and mouse, the price would almost match that of an iBook? LOL ;)

Converted2Truth
Jan 13, 2005, 08:40 PM
They probably don't because there's already enough out there and Apple doesn't want to be associated with cheap (quality) LCDs.
Well, they 'want' to be associated with a cheap (quality) Mac... why not the monitor to go along with it?

x86isslow
Jan 13, 2005, 08:40 PM
There's no need for a "mac" keyboard. Any old keyboard with a usb connector is going to work fine.

And: Has no one on these forums actually bought a mouse or keyboard in the past 2.5 years? I can't even find a PS2 mouse or keyboard for at least a year. They're all usb with a ps2 adaptor. At least everything from Apple, Microsoft, Kensington, and Logitech.

well, what about including a little apple sticker to put over your windows key and an option to put over your alt? haha just a thought :p

Rod Rod
Jan 13, 2005, 08:53 PM
Well, they 'want' to be associated with a cheap (quality) Mac... why not the monitor to go along with it?

That's a little presumptuous/premature. Nobody knows what the Mac mini's quality level is yet.

chaos86
Jan 13, 2005, 09:17 PM
let me draw you some diagrams
http://chaos.unparalleled.biz/testing/1.jpg
http://chaos.unparalleled.biz/testing/2.jpg
http://chaos.unparalleled.biz/testing/3.jpg
followed later by imacs and ibooks

panphage
Jan 13, 2005, 09:17 PM
I work with roughly 300 different windows desktops at my college. We've got Dells and HP/Compaq computers. All of the HP/Compaq labeled keyboards are PS2, and most the Dells are too. Our most recent shipment of Dells(~100) include the adapter for USB->PS2. Now, ALL our mice are USB however.

Nearly all my family uses a PS2 keyboard that doesn't have an adapter to usb. I really thought they'd ship the computer with that adapter. I also think that apple is really stupid for not making some cheap 17" lcd to see for $350 with these things.

Well, being at a Uni probably puts you right in a good market for these minis, so the PS2 thing *could* turn out to be a bummer after all. But I think those PS2>USB adaptors cost more than a low-end usb mouse. I guess I've been buying MS and then kensington 5-button mice so maybe I'm out of the proper PS2-loop!

@x86isslow: LOL, I've got the amazing Matias Tactile Pro (Absolutely stupendous keyboard...but LOUD), it's based on a mac keyboard, marketed to mac users...and no Apple key! Just the command sign.

Converted2Truth
Jan 13, 2005, 09:39 PM
That's a little presumptuous/premature.
It's premature of me to say that apple wants in on the cheap (non-expensive) computer market? It's premature of me to say the mini will be a quality product?

Nobody knows what the Mac mini's quality level is yet.

k, whatever dude... i say it's going to be a quality computer because that's what they've always built.

Rod Rod
Jan 13, 2005, 09:53 PM
k, whatever dude... i say it's going to be a quality computer because that's what they've always built.

I misread what you wrote so I apologize. Most of the time when people say cheap quality they mean poor quality, but by your punctuation you meant cheap AND quality. I agree with you.

Converted2Truth
Jan 13, 2005, 10:12 PM
I misread what you wrote so I apologize. Most of the time when people say cheap quality they mean poor quality, but by your punctuation you meant cheap AND quality. I agree with you.
Wow, your avatar changed! cool! did you buy one of them?!

Rod Rod
Jan 13, 2005, 10:18 PM
Wow, your avatar changed! cool! did you buy one of them?!

thanks... yeah I ordered one for my dad.. I've no idea when I'll get it (and Small Dog has no idea yet either) but I saved on taxes and I got in on the temporary free-shipping offer.

http://forums.macrumors.com/image.php?u=21697&dateline=1105674261

nagromme
Jan 14, 2005, 12:16 AM
I think Apple would do well to remind people they don't HAVE to buy an Apple display... but also to have one ready for people who want a complete system.

The only way that equals the price of an eMac is if it's a 17" CRT for $400! And even so, you lose one real benefit of the Mini Mac: upgrade the CPU alone for lower cost later. Can't do that with the eMac (which, by the way, is due for some kind of update or price drop before long I'm sure).

BTW, I had a PS/2-USB adapter from Radio Shack, and it didn't work well. When you held a key down, it would type one character... then pause as usual... then type it again... then pause AGAIN... and THEN repeat fast as normal! There were TWO pauses before the key repeat instead of one. Annoying when deleting... deadly in some games. Because what was happening is that the adapter for some reason would send an extra key UP signal and then another key down. So the computer thought you were pressing once, releasing, pressing again and then holding. Thus the two pauses instead of one. In game, two keypresses instead of one steady press makes a difference. Your character would stop moving for a moment every time you pressed a key. Worse yet, some games like UT2004 than used double-presses would think you were doing a double-press! So I would be double-dodging and double-jumping all over the place without meaning to.

I returned it. I'm pretty sure the issue was the adapter, since the keyboard itself did not have that problem on my PC. I don't remember if I tried my PS/2 mouse--I probably did and that at least worked or I'd remember that problem as well.

Other PS/2 adapters may be better. Someone posted that a USB cable with dual PS/2 ports on the end worked well when the little 1-1 adapters did not. Apple really SHOULD include a USB-to-dual-PS/2 connector that does work well. Or at least have one ready to sell.

rhpenguin
Jan 14, 2005, 12:53 AM
k, whatever dude... i say it's going to be a quality computer because that's what they've always built.

What about the iBook G3 series (the ones with the defective logic boards)? theyre flaming hunks of crap.. Believe me i know.. Mines had everything but the screen and keyboard replaced. I can scan my service reciepts to prove it.

Washco
Jan 14, 2005, 02:02 AM
I think one of these: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=81687&item=5155502479&rd=1

would be perfect! Cheap and a good quality Apple product. I know its only 15" but again, cost. My 2 cents.

nagromme
Jan 14, 2005, 02:30 AM
Re quality, Apple has had some problem models, and has received some bad components from suppliers too. And yet they remain consistently THE top PC maker in terms of hardware reliability. For laptops and for desktops measured separately, too. See Consumer Reports for large-scale surveys on failure rates. (Apple's on top in effective support, too--although not having to support Windows is probably cheating :) )

sorryiwasdreami
Jan 14, 2005, 02:44 AM
In my opinion, I wish Apple would make a small, low cost lcd to go along with the mac mini. They could use the same lcd's in the 15" PB and 17" iMac G5's, house them in a clean but cheap enclosure, pop a usb port on them, and you'd have a great little widescreen display.

I couldn't tell you how much it would cost to build that, but I'm guessing they could do it for a fairly reasonable price.

nagromme
Jan 14, 2005, 03:05 AM
I agree. I'm sure Apple will do so, or has some good reason not to. Most buyers may not need a display, but if as many Minis sell as I expect, the chunk who will need one is going to be a sizable number.

Apple could reduce profit margins to almost nothing on them... it's still no worse than the profit margin on sending them to Best Buy to get a display (and talk to PC salespeople on the way).

And it would achieve two things, for the people who went with the Apple display:

1. Convenience - a complete system without having to work for it.

2. A more complete experience of Apple style and quality.

If Apple was careful to stress that ANY display WILL work, and even had a Mini set up with a non-Apple display (like they show at Apple.com), then I don't think there would be much downside to offering the option. Even just a single model.

That model would be 15.2" widescreen I would think. 17" is cool, but if they didn't want to offer two, and the point is to be low-end, 1280x854 ain't half bad.

Then again, a 17" would sell to some tower buyers too. Not everyone needs more than that, even if they want a G5 with upgradable GPU. I bet the 17" Studio Display didn't sell that well lately--but it wasn't widescreen and didn't match the current Macs.

JFreak
Jan 14, 2005, 03:41 AM
There are lots of 15 and 17 inch lcds out there. Maybe apple just feels its not worth competing in that market.

the keyword is "widescreen". i would buy an apple 15" or 17" widescreen lcd in a hearbeat, as it couldn't cost too much anymore. too bad they are not offering those...

a cheap widescreen display with a dvi input and nothing fancy. that'd sell tons.

chaos86
Jan 14, 2005, 08:25 AM
did you not listen to the keynote? did you not see my amazingly eloquent diagrams?

the target audience of the mini is people like my girlfriend. switchers. she has seen my powerbook and my ipod, hates her desktop hp machine, and wants to buy a mac. if she gets the mini mac--- listen closely--- 1 she will unplug all the stuff from the hp tower, 2 pick it up, move it somewhere else, 3 buy a $499 or $599 mac mini with nothing else, 4 put the mini mac in the gaping hole left on her desk, 5 plug the stuff in. thats it. the target audience is SWITCHERS who have DISPLAYS and peripherals already. after trying apples OS on all beige peripherals, then their next buy might be an emac, imac, or ibook. the displays dont even need to play a part in the switcher crowd til MUCH later when they get all the way up the line to the powermacs and powerbooks.

nagromme
Jan 14, 2005, 09:12 AM
That's too simplistic--although I do like your diagram :D

You are assuming that ALL Mini buyers have a display already, and none will want to buy one.

I think that may be a sizable number, but that there will be plenty of other buyers too. Including switchers who are sick of their old screen, not just their old PC.

chaos86
Jan 14, 2005, 09:25 AM
but that is the main point of this mac. youre not supposed to get it unless you have a pc to junk and use all the peripherals. otehrwise get an emac (nice flat crt screens). they have pretty much the same stuff but with screen, kb, mouse for $799. $300 extra for a monitor, kb, mouse is pretty good. unless youre going for form factor...