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View Full Version : What should Apple's product line look like???


vollspacken
Jul 21, 2003, 08:45 AM
hi,

some people at Macrumors.com (including me ;)) are always bitching about "Apple has to do this..; Apple has to bring the cube back..; Apple has to update this product..; and on and on and on..!"

o.k., stop whining and be creative. what do you think how Apple's hardware product portfolio should REALLY look like?

I'll start since I'm one of the whiners and to give the thread some direction...

here it goes..,

- all in one line:
--- 1Ghz and 1.25Ghz eMac
--- 1.25Ghz and 1.44 Ghz iMac

make it one line that starts with the low end 1Ghz eMac w. CD-r and tops out with the fully loaded and revamped 1.44 17" iMac

- desktop line:
--- low end: 1++ Ghz Gobi G3 iCube for $500 with CD-r and NO! mouse or keys (airport and bluetooth option, looks=same white plastic as iBook
--- high end: G5 line as is

- portables:
--- iBook: only 12" iBook, same processors as iCube, drop the 14" iBook
--- Powerbook: drop the 12" and 17", revamped and updated 15" aluBook with 1.25 and 1.44 Ghz G4, Radeon 9800mobile, other specs like 17" (e.g. screen ratio, airport extreme, DDR, backlit keys)
--- 10" alu-subnote Powerbook, similar to Powerbook 2400 (no cd, only ethernet, airport and bloototh to connect to other devices, FW400/800 and USB 2.0, no cardbus)

- other:
--- iPod as is
--- iSight: low end made w. white plastic to be cheaper and to match iBook, eMac/iMac, iCube, high end as is
--- Alu Pro Keyboard with bluetooth, reintroduction of white pro keyboard to match white iLine
--- NO PDA, NO PHONE, NO PICTURE FRAME
--- LCDs as is

what are your thoughts?

vSpacken

idea_hamster
Jul 21, 2003, 11:22 AM
iBook -- you may be right that 1 model is enough, but I would make it the 14" which is a medium size.

PowerBook -- this should be the line with the size-specific options: keep 12"/15"/17"

The 12" needs to be made into a PB rather than the glorified iBook it is now: gigabit e-net; 1GB RAM; real video card; 1+GHz processor. This should be the high-end laptop for those who have a G5 at home -- right now, it's little more than an iBook in a can. The rumored powerbook overhaul sounds good but doesn't mention things like gigabit ethernet which are important.

And Apple doesn't have to worry about people picking a cheaper 12" over a revamped 15" -- I think people are more likely to chose between these two based on portability.

The 17" should be plainly geared toward video and editing: 128 VRAM; 1.5+GB RAM; 1.4GHz chip. Might it be possible to fit some form of analog-DV capture input?

plinkoman
Jul 21, 2003, 12:44 PM
this is what i'd like to see

emac - fine where it is, though a price cut might be good for it

imac should get a speed bump, fw800, a dvi out for a second display, and optical audio ports. also, making all the options that are available on the 17"(1ghz, ddr, ae...) available on the 15" wouldn't hurt

powermac G4 should stay for awhile for a cheaper desktop system

ibook is good where it is for now

powerbook - the 12" needs to get some major upgrades, it was never meant to be a lesser laptop, just a smaller one. the 15" could use an aluminum case, and they all could use a speed bump

xserve needs a G5

iPod - it'd be nice if they made a new dock that had rca and optical audio ports on it, as well as a remote for use with a home stereo system

displays - bring back the 15" so there is a less expensive option available and make a better mount system for the isight instead of adhisive which i heard it uses. an oled screen with a more adjustable base would be nice, but i don't expect anything like that for awhile.

Schiffi
Jul 21, 2003, 12:54 PM
my lineup:

$500 Mac - maybe reintroduce the Cube or make slower Powermacs/emacs to fit into this category.

iBook -- keep the 12" and get rid of the 14

PowerBook -- 12/14/16 is a better organization of the powerbook line, all within 2 inches of each other. Basically give 12 L3 cache, make the 14 with DDR and 1Ghz and the 16 with 1.25GHz.

eMac -- is good where it is

iMac -- should make Ram upgrades easier. Make it 1.25Ghz. Introduce a model w/out the built in LCD. this model w/o LCD could replace the 2 low end G4 PowerMac models

PowerMac - get rid of the 2 lowend G4 models, keep the dual 1.42GHz model. The G5s are good the way they are.

yzedf
Jul 21, 2003, 01:09 PM
eMac - fine the way it is

iBook - compromise with 13" and higher res screen

iMac - up the proc, DVI, FW800 etc

PowerBooks - 12" with 1GHz L3 included
- 15" update to Al specs (BT / FW800 / etc)
- 17" fine the way it is

PowerMac - Keep the G4 based machine, offer a $999 version with 1.0GHz. The G5's are fine for now ;)

xServe - G5 based.

iPod - 40GB

iSight - like another poster said, less expensive white plastic model.

OS X - support themes from Apple. All brushed metal look, or all subtle stripe look, and the old school OS 9 look :D

iLife - free with 1yr .Mac account.

.Mac - $79 per year, $49 to renew

iPad - some sort of pda / cell phone / camera type device.

Pro Mouse - 2 button and scroll wheel ;)

Make sure all bottom end configs of a machine include a CD-RW or DVD drive, your choice! CD-Rom ($999 iBook) only doesn't cut it!

I am sure there is more.....

cubist
Jul 21, 2003, 01:27 PM
Here's what I suggest:

eMac - kept as is; lower the price when we get 7457's in there.

iBook - move to 7457 when available. Eliminate the 14".

iMac - move to 970. Improve the case - perhaps make it an aluminum cylinder. Make the display upgradable?

PowerBook - eliminate the 12". Update the 15" and 17" to 970s.

PowerMac - the new G5 model, faster; rack-mountable version without handles.

Displays and keyboard - eliminate. Let third parties take care of this. Apple can sell Formac and Viewsonic displays, and Macally and Kensington keyboards and mice.

No 10" laptop, no scanner, no camera, no xserve.

The general plan would be to move the consumer lines to G4s and the pro lines to G5s, and eliminate any crossover products. For the server line, license Mac OS X Server to IBM.

Abstract
Jul 21, 2003, 01:46 PM
Here's what I suggest:

iMac - Give the iMac line the 1.6GHz G5, and differentiate iMac models based on presence of Superdrive, as well as video card. Give it Bluetooth.

eMac - It needs a speed bump, and should stay parallel to the iMac (like it is now) except that it should also maintain the same, or a similar, pricing structure, meaning the eMac is still $200 or $300 cheaper with the same processor speed.

iBook - Keep the G3's, or give them the current G4's starting at 867MHz. Keep both the 12" and 14" models. Ditching them would be crazy. ;)

PowerBook - Give the 12" the same specs as the 15" and 17" PB's, and give them the 7457s.

PowerMac - Dual 1.6GHz, dual 1.8GHz, and dual 2.0GHz models for $2400, $2700, and $3000, respectively.

Single proc G5 1.6, 1.8, and 2.0GHz models should be sold for $1800, $2000, and $2200, respectively.

Sayhey
Jul 21, 2003, 02:14 PM
Apple has to continue to put out elegant, fast machines in all the markets they are now in. The G5 is a great step in that direction. They have to bring 64bit processing to all of their products. If they are serious about building market share they have to go after the lower end market. It doesn't have to be a machine in the $400 range, but at least somewhere close to $600. It should offer more than the knockoffs put out in the PC vendors. I think a revamped cube would be ideal.

MarkCollette
Jul 21, 2003, 02:51 PM
The #1 thing that Apple has to do is not sabotage the lower lines to try to push people to the higher lines. Ie:

- Put USB 2.0 everywhere
- Don't use sub-GHz G3s to make the G4 systems look better
- Stop using ****ty gfx cards in the lower end and the mobile offerings. If the card was released more than two years ago, it's just not good enough
- Where's the headless low end for the switchers? This absolutely has to be a 1+ GHz G3 or G4 with a gfx card that supports whatever top games are on the Mac. Forget things like FW800 for this box
- Help the CPU upgraders, since that's the only way some of the low end users can afford their first Macs.
- Why only choose between CDROM, Combo, Super? What about a plain CDR/RW, without DVD? Probably cheaper than the Combo.


My personal bitch:

- Canadians should be able to buy at exchange rate prices, not some arbitrary price point [ Might as well throw that in :) ]

tazo
Jul 21, 2003, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by vollspacken

- portables:
--- iBook: only 12" iBook, same processors as iCube, drop the 14" iBook
--- Powerbook: drop the 12" and 17", revamped and updated 15" aluBook with 1.25 and 1.44 Ghz G4, Radeon 9800mobile, other specs like 17" (e.g. screen ratio, airport extreme, DDR, backlit keys)

what are your thoughts?

vSpacken

if anything they would probably get rid of the 17''.
Anyone know how sales of the 17'' are doing?
The 12" powerbook is the kind of comp apple has needed for a while; a powerful yet extremely compact comp with all the big notebook features, at a reasonable price.
To cut production of the 12'' would be asinine imo.

I don't think bringing back a cube, under any reincarnatedname is going to do apple any good.
If the product was so good, why would apple have stoppoed developing it?
And what do you need apple to make another cube for? Buy a 500mhz one off ebay or powermax or whatever, and buy an upgrade card.

There.

Now you have a glorified rendition of a future "iCube".

And lets hope, no lets pray, that its not called something as hideous, as the iCube.

tazo

vollspacken
Jul 21, 2003, 03:32 PM
Originally posted by tazo
If the product was so good, why would apple have stoppoed developing it?
And what do you need apple to make another cube for?

...well, a $500 headless box like the cube would be the perfect entry level mac for PeeCee-guys who already have stuff like usb keyboard and mouse, screen and periph. from their wintel box. it would be compact yet upgradeable.

AND I don't say bring back the cube exactly as it was when it failed, but get rid of the factors that made it fail:
- low price
- long gfx-card slot
- no G4, use a 1++Ghz G3
- sell it without mouse and keys
- no modem, just FW400, USB1.1, ethernet, airport ready

THERE you have it, a nice entry level box for switchers and small home network router/server for average Joe...

oh, and most people just don't want to buy some product they don't know **** about on eBay! they check the online store what is offered or walk into an Apple store and check what's on display. a new low end machine would be aimed at those guys not at mac-freakniks like you and me!

oh, and I don't care if you think that the name "iCube" sucks since I only used it to make clear that the suggested machine belongs in the consumer vs. pro line scheme

vSpacken

tjwett
Jul 21, 2003, 06:32 PM
My dream lineup would contain 0% Motorola

$699 eMac: 1 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Combo Drive only, one model, one price

$999 iMac: 1.44 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Combo Drive, $1299 w/Super Drive option

$999 iBook 12": 1 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Combo Drive only, one model one price

$1599 PowerBook 12": 1.8 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Super Drive & Airport Card

$1799 PowerBook 15": 2.0 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Super Drive & Airport Card

$1999 PowerBook 17": 2.0 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Super Drive & Airport Card

$1999 Power Mac: Dual 2.0 ghz G5

$2999 Power Mac: Dual 3.0 ghz G5

$2999 XServe: Dual 2.0 ghz G5

WannabeSQ
Jul 21, 2003, 07:55 PM
I would like to see the iMac and eMac remain as they are, except for the usual speed bumps/feature upgrades and maybe a price drop. Leave the dual boot G4s, Maybe even make a dual 1.42 dual boot for the people who still need OS9, or have software/hardware invested that hasn't switched to OSX yet.

Get rid of the iBook completely, but expand the powerbook line to 4 models. A 10" subnotebook with no optical drive (external drive optional) keep the 12" Powerbook, make it more PB like, FW800 USB2.0 Gigabet Ethernet, DVI, L3 etc. Update the 15" like everyone wants, and update the 17" with faster processor etc.

The Xserve should have all Dual G5 of whatever clockspeed they can get in there without melting the case. It would also be nice if they had some software for the XServe cluster node to adapt any multi-threaded/Dual Processor aware App to use a cluster of xserves. Imagine if they could come up with this, then with a cluster of xserves you can run any software spread out to all the machines for the ultimate in processing power per cubic inch!

It would be nice to see more options for BTO, like CD rom only, or CD-RW only, or maybe even no optical drive. Or how about an Apple branded Firewire G5 add on, that fits on top or bottom of the G5 in the space the handles take up. That would be cool.

plinkoman
Jul 21, 2003, 08:44 PM
why do people keep suggesting a laptop model be cut? every single one has a purpose, and it would be dumb to cut any of them

ibook 12" - small, portable, inexpensive

ibook 14" - bigger screen for those who cant afford a powerbook

pb 12" - for those who need alot of power in something small

pb 15" - perfect balence between large screen size and portability

pb 17" - desktop replacement for those who need to carry it around from time to time, but true portability is not an issue

vollspacken
Jul 22, 2003, 05:15 AM
Originally posted by plinkoman
[B]why do people keep suggesting a laptop model be cut? every single one has a purpose, and it would be dumb to cut any of them

ibook 12" - small, portable, inexpensive

ibook 14" - bigger screen for those who cant afford a powerbookB]

it doesn't make sense to me to have the 14" iBook because of the identical resolution. the thing is just bigger but not better in any way (no add features) and loses the main advantage of the 12" iBook: portablility

...if they would increase the screen resolution, it would make sense though.

vSpacken

jefhatfield
Jul 22, 2003, 06:14 AM
here it goes..,

- all in one line:
--- 1Ghz and 1.25Ghz eMac
--- 1.25Ghz and 1.44 Ghz iMac

(i like this but i would make the emac 1.25 and 1.4 ghz)





- portables:
--- iBook: only 12" iBook, same processors as iCube, drop the 14" iBook
--- Powerbook: drop the 12" and 17", revamped and updated 15" aluBook with 1.25 and 1.44 Ghz G4, Radeon

(i would keep the 12 and 17 inch models, and of course i would have the two top speeds 1.25 and 1.4 ghz, it would also be nice to see the ibook at 1.0 and 1.25 ghz speeds...and in sixth months after that, it would be nice to have no mac slower than 1.4 ghz)

jefhatfield
Jul 22, 2003, 06:29 AM
...and by this time next year

emacs with G5 at 2 ghz
imacs with G5 at 2 ghz

ibook with 2 ghz G4

powerbooks with G5 faster than 2 ghz
powermacs with G5 faster than 3 ghz

intel and amd with be past the 4.5 ghz range on their desktops and 4 ghz range on their laptops

...and 12 months after that

i want to see us totally caught up with the wintel world:D

Abstract
Jul 22, 2003, 11:45 AM
No, don't drop anything in the iBook line. The screen of the 14" iBook may not offer a better resolution than the 12", but the screen is physically bigger. It makes a difference for some people.

Also, like I said in another thread, despite the fact that the 12" iBook and 12" PB are extremely close in price, I would still buy the iBook because of the casing. I want the iBook's sturdier plastic casing. As far as I'm concerned, Apple should continue making both. If the only thing that differentiates the iBook and PB lines is the plastic and Alu casing, then so be it. I just want the option. It would be actually be smarter for Apple to make a 12" and 15" iBook, since the 15" can share the LCD of the 15" PB, but whatever.

aussiesteve
Jul 22, 2003, 12:29 PM
i think it should be

ebook - 12" g3 dvd
emac - maybe cube with g3 dvd

ibook - 14" g4 combo
imac - 17" g4 combo

powerbook - 15"WS 17" WS g5 super
powermac - g5 super

processor speed should basically be the same in each category eg:

ebook emac : 1ghz g3
ibook imac: 1.25ghz g4
powerbook: single 1.4ghz g5
powermac: dual 1.6ghz g5

;)

macphoria
Jul 22, 2003, 12:58 PM
$999 iBook 12": 1 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Combo Drive only, one model one price

$1599 PowerBook 12": 1.8 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Super Drive & Airport Card

$1799 PowerBook 15": 2.0 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Super Drive & Airport Card

$1999 PowerBook 17": 2.0 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Super Drive & Airport Card
This would be cool. G3 variants are more efficient processors anyway, although newer Moto 7457 is supposed to have better performance and lower power consumption.

I might add one thing to iBook, SuperDrive.

tazo
Jul 22, 2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by tjwett
My dream lineup would contain 0% Motorola

$699 eMac: 1 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Combo Drive only, one model, one price

$999 iMac: 1.44 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Combo Drive, $1299 w/Super Drive option

$999 iBook 12": 1 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Combo Drive only, one model one price

$1599 PowerBook 12": 1.8 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Super Drive & Airport Card

$1799 PowerBook 15": 2.0 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Super Drive & Airport Card

$1999 PowerBook 17": 2.0 ghz G3 (w/AltiVec) w/Super Drive & Airport Card

$1999 Power Mac: Dual 2.0 ghz G5

$2999 Power Mac: Dual 3.0 ghz G5

$2999 XServe: Dual 2.0 ghz G5

I like the idea of the upped g3 since it would be a better portable processor (we all know it runs a lot cooler..).

Hasnt it already been said that the G3 is not capable of burning dvds at a reasonable speed? err not burning them but encoding etc? So if the entire pro notebook line contained superdrives, and G3s, this does present a dilemma know?

I do like the idea of a combo drive and up in every model.

-tazo

tjwett
Jul 22, 2003, 01:38 PM
Originally posted by tazo
I like the idea of the upped g3 since it would be a better portable processor (we all know it runs a lot cooler..).

Hasnt it already been said that the G3 is not capable of burning dvds at a reasonable speed? err not burning them but encoding etc? So if the entire pro notebook line contained superdrives, and G3s, this does present a dilemma know?

I do like the idea of a combo drive and up in every model.

-tazo

i didn't know about the G3/DVD encoding thing. i really just hate Motorola and the G4 and i want to see it drop off the face of the earth. it is an old, tired, HOT, and hungry processor and needs to be put to sleep.

tazo
Jul 22, 2003, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by tjwett
i didn't know about the G3/DVD encoding thing. i really just hate Motorola and the G4 and i want to see it drop off the face of the earth. it is an old, tired, HOT, and hungry processor and needs to be put to sleep.

I agree but if the g3 cannot reasonably do well for encoding, then the g4 may live on for some time..

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 05:11 PM
I'll keep it short and to the point:

two-button mouse available across the board (drop single button) with scroll wheel

all machines with DDR, USB 2.0, FW 400 &800 and 1GHz or faster processor (couldn't care less G3 or G4 in bottom end)

512MB RAM in all new machines

cheap but solid mac (about $500)

There's my opinion, for what it's worth

MacMaelstrom
Jul 22, 2003, 11:01 PM
I think the G5 could use a price cut :p and the iMac should have a G5 model... but I would love to see the display lineup changing... At least ONE good CRT like the old Apple Studio displays. It'd also be really nifty to have a floppy drive included with all of them. ...Let's see... I want to move 3K to another box... Well, let's burn a CD for it! That ought to take 5 minutes... Oh wait, drag to a floppy.... 5 Seconds! And it's reusable!

I'd also be thrilled to see something like Apple Office come up as an alternative to Office v.X.
They could also make their own printers and scanners, and cameras... Like the old QuickTakes and what not.

jefhatfield
Jul 23, 2003, 12:31 AM
i would also like to see by this time next year for all macs to have superdrives in them

and video ram to range from 128 mb in the ibook to 256 in the pro lines

but hopefully by the end of the summer, the most basic optical drive will be the combo drive