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View Full Version : Intersting Thought about why the New Mini has not be announced.




Dorfdad
May 13, 2008, 12:21 PM
Going to go off the deep end a little here, everyone is expecting the new iPhone to be announced in May leaving WDC for some un-announced product launch. Speculation is it's a new gaming hand-held system from some.

Some have it as a tablet, or even the new Newton (my original guess)

but maybe we are all missing it, and have been asking for it forever!

Maybe just maybe they are going to announce a new product and the EOL for the Old Mac Mini..

Introducing the new Mini or lets call it the Little Pro..

Imagine a headless (meaning no monitor) thin Desktop client that can support user interchangeable components.

Dual core's 2.4, 2.8 , 3.0 Speeds
4 USB Ports, 2 Firewire ports standard
Buy a compatable video card you want. 8800GTS or use the onboard one.
Upgrade your ram yourself.

or something along these lines.

They would have to price it under the Imac's as they include monitors or they could reduce the Imac's costs and make this replace the pricing structure of the Imac currently.

We have been waiting for the new Mini, we might just be getting our wish...



Much Ado
May 13, 2008, 12:23 PM
Here we go again...

The 'xMac' idea is discussed a lot. It most likely will not happen, although many would like one.

Dorfdad
May 13, 2008, 12:36 PM
Just a thought! I think it will come to pass sooner or later!

VoodooDaddy
May 13, 2008, 12:36 PM
Im guessing its taking a while because its not just as easy as tossing in new components and sending it out the door. According to this article:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/03/21/eating_our_words_apples_mac_mini_to_rock_on.html

"A small team of engineers have recently been tasked with gutting the diminutive desktop and applying fresh internals."

gkarris
May 13, 2008, 01:11 PM
Apple is going to concentrate on what makes them lots, and lots of money.

Right now, that is the iPhone and the iPod...

Minis, with the low margins on them, don't really make them much....

kevinbal
May 13, 2008, 01:21 PM
I really wish people would give up on the notion of a headless, upgradeable, iMac. It isn't going to happen because it would kill the margins that Apple covers with the iMac line. They can charge what they charge for the iMac line because of the style and the fact that it is -the- image of Apple's computers - when someone thinks of an Apple computer, the iMac is what pops into mind. The brand awareness of the iMac is second to none in the computer world and that boosts the perceived value.

If you take away that brand image and produce a machine with the same specs, but without the all-in-one-simplicity design, you lose quite a bit more than just $$$. You lose perceived value as well.

Whether you want to admit it or not, when you buy an Apple product, you are paying for the style in addition to the function. For Apple, you cannot separate the two, and building a machine like the one described above removes the style. It won't happen.

scienide09
May 13, 2008, 01:33 PM
Really? When I think of a Mac, I think of notebooks, specifically MB and MBPs. Could be because I'm an MBP owner myself.

Personally, I would love to see a 'more than a Mini, less than a Pro, not an iMac' computer release from Apple. It's nearly time to replace my aged PC box, and I'm considering options.

kevinbal
May 13, 2008, 01:49 PM
Eh, I'd be willing to bet that if you showed a random person (obviously not someone browsing this forum) an unmarked macbook pro, they wouldn't necessarily think of it being an Apple. I bet though, if you showed someone an unmarked iMac, they'd instantly say it was "an Apple!".

But again, as I said, if you release that magical "more than a mini, not quite a pro, less than the imac", it would not have the Apple 'style'. The mini, as much as it gets slammed, is still smaller than any other -retail- computer that I've seen out there. That's where the mini's drawing power is. The iMac still does the all-in-one image the best. The Pro is the workhouse but still has the Apple 'style'. That magical machine, while I'm sure a lot of people would want one (myself included), won't happen because it blends too many lines.

gkarris
May 13, 2008, 01:53 PM
Im guessing its taking a while because its not just as easy as tossing in new components and sending it out the door. According to this article:

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/08/03/21/eating_our_words_apples_mac_mini_to_rock_on.html

"A small team of engineers have recently been tasked with gutting the diminutive desktop and applying fresh internals."

Apple might decide to put the new Montevina chips in all their computers in the fall, including the Mini.

darklyt
May 13, 2008, 02:26 PM
It would be interesting to see if Apple comes out with something to put Open Mac (http://www.psystar.com/openmac_the_apple_alternative.html)out of business without legal action and something to compete with the Modbook (http://www.axiotron.com/index.php?id=modbook). It's going to be interesting to see how long at least Psystar is allowed to continue without legal action by Apple or a direct product competitor. The Modbook being an "aftermarket" modification and not really something in high demand, it probably isn't as necessary to worry about them.

sfroom
May 13, 2008, 02:47 PM
I used to get all exited at the prospect of teh xMac, or "headless iMac". These days it doesn't excite me much.

The computer described by the OP is basically a Mac Pro with a dual core processor, single hard drive bay, single optical drive bay, and presumably PC2-6400 ram. It would however, require a motherboard with a PCI-E slot.

This computer doesn't make sense for apple. Because of the PCI-E slot, the computer would be larger and more expensive than a mini, putting it in competition with the iMac. However, its expandibility (particularly graphics) would put it into competition with the Mac Pro!

Considering the computer would have to be cheaper than the Mac Pro, and cheaper or equally priced with the iMac, it just doesnt make sense to Apple from a sales perspective.

I've decided that I don't need an xMac. In fact, I actually like buying a monitor with my computer (a la iMac), and because it also means I sell a monitor with my previous computer when I upgrade, I don't see what the problem is.

What I'd much rather see at WWDC than the xMac are two things, both of which I consider reasonable (but also don't necessarily expect to see, unfortunately):

1. Updated Mac Mini for home theater (HTPC) use, which I think is both more likely, more reasonable (a significant portion of mini sales are for HTPC use), and more desirable (to me :)).

2. Quality displays in the iMac. I don't care if I have to buy my display with my computer...but if I'm going to, it better be a good one. Imagine how pleased people would be if the white iMac screens were in the Alu iMacs... :D

Goldenbear
May 13, 2008, 10:41 PM
At this point, I'd settle for just a headless iMac (or a Mini with a real video card). If the video card (or other stuff) isn't upgradable, so be it.

I just want a small, quiet desktop with a REAL graphics card (optimized for OpenGL... not for games). Then I can finally toss my Shuttle XPC.

DHart
May 14, 2008, 02:41 AM
The rampant display problems with iMacs since the aluminum iMacs came out have kept me from buying a number of newer iMacs to replace my white iMacs. I agree that if I have to take a display built into a computer, the display had better be competent enough for professional color quality.... which is something you used to be able to rely upon with iMacs.

So today, I'd be thrilled just to have a new mini which will be at least comparable to the current MacBook or with, perhaps, a touch faster processor... such a mini (2.6 GHz Core2Duo, GMA X3100 graphics, 4 GB RAM capacity) when hooked up to a great quality display panel (Apple cinema display or other quality panel) would be a very competent "lightweight" photo editing workstation.

inkswamp
May 14, 2008, 04:16 AM
Because of the PCI-E slot, the computer would be larger and more expensive than a mini, putting it in competition with the iMac. However, its expandibility (particularly graphics) would put it into competition with the Mac Pro!

Why do people keep saying this? The same thing was said about the bigger iMac screen sizes cannibalizing Mac Pro/Cinema display sales, but that hasn't happened. The same was said of the Mini cannibalizing iMac sales, but that hasn't happened either. What both of those did was create new customers.

An "xMac" might, in the worst case scenario, hurt the iMac and the Mac Pro a little but they wouldn't kill them. Apple is drawing a lot of interest lately from Windows users, but they're missing the boat because they don't offer a desktop machine those people can relate to. I know Windows users who would love to buy a Mac and they come to me occasionally with questions about why the towers cost so much or why the Mini is so underpowered or why the only decent machine has to be an all-in-one. They can't relate to it. Unlike a lot of us, they haven't been living in Apple's Happy Happy World where the enormous gap in between the Mini and the Mac Pro makes some kind of sense. And if you do some searching in Google, you'll find there are lots of people out there posting the same to various forums.

So, an xMac or a mid-range headless machine isn't going to kill the iMac and the Mac Pro. What it's going to do is gain a whole lot of new customers for Apple who will finally see something in Apple's line-up that makes sense to them, power-wise and price-wise. Right now, that doesn't exist.

2. Quality displays in the iMac. I don't care if I have to buy my display with my computer...but if I'm going to, it better be a good one. Imagine how pleased people would be if the white iMac screens were in the Alu iMacs... :D

For the price of the iMac, there is simply no excuse for the quality of the displays. I too would have bought one of the new iMacs by now to replace my iMac G4, but the display issues have kept me far away from it.

gregorsamsa
May 14, 2008, 05:44 AM
I really wish people would give up on the notion of a headless, upgradeable, iMac. It isn't going to happen because it would kill the margins that Apple covers with the iMac line. They can charge what they charge for the iMac line because of the style and the fact that it is -the- image of Apple's computers - when someone thinks of an Apple computer, the iMac is what pops into mind. The brand awareness of the iMac is second to none in the computer world and that boosts the perceived value.

As I'd love either an upgradeable consumer Mac or at least better BTO options on the Mini, I wish I could disagree with you... but I can't. :(

One factor behind the glossy screens on iMacs (& most people either love them or hate them!) is that as iMacs became more powerful with every iteration, even the white iMacs were more capable than Power Macs of a few years ago. This meant many serious professionals were happy enough buying 20" iMacs instead of new Mac Pros. Ultimately, most people need only so much power from components to be more than satisfied.

Though Mac market share was (& is) increasing, Mac Pro sales were down & Apple makes its biggest profit margins on the Pro models. Hence one reason why Apple dropped the matte screens: to boost Mac Pro sales.

Now Apple are hardly going to risk undermining Mac Pro sales by giving us anything more than the integrated X3100 on new Minis. I'm so convinced about this, I'm thinking about buying (possibly later today) a refurb 20" iMac with HD 2600 Pro video card.

So I may not like glossy screens, but I love Macs & I absolutely need a decent, mid-range graphics card. If not a glossy iMac, what else are people in my position to do? I guess, Apple have me by the balls. :rolleyes:

Tallest Skil
May 14, 2008, 06:11 AM
It's not an xMac. Don't be disappointed when it isn't. Don't create "Appul Suxx" threads when it's not announced at WWDC. Thank you.

jemo07
May 14, 2008, 06:54 AM
I am not sure where the Mac Mini is headed, but hey way it looks, Apple is in a tight situation right now.

As is, their market segmentation works great for them:

Mini 500-800$ (low BYM)
iMac 1200-2000$ (mid best value)
Mac Pro 2500+ (pro sumer/fesional BYM)

There is very little gap in their offering to motivate Apple to substantially improve the Mini, unless ATI or Nvidia can provide for an improved dirt cheap GPU for the mini form factor. It they do this, their value shift could be on the mini and not on the iMacs, something Apple would not like.

In the end, they only really care for market share and revenue. If one considers that a new OS adds in to their margins in 12 months time, they could reconsider the whole Mac Mini line all together but we live in a market economy, and as a stock owner, this would not be a wise move on Apple's part.

I think that the one factor that is out there that does not add them revenue on the Mini line is the Buy Your own Monitor. If this generated them substantial revenue with ACD's (with I believe it does not,) they could be persuaded into upgrading the Mini line adding more performance to the CPU and GPU.

I believe that cost and a smaller form factor is what is in Apple's plan for a new Mac Mini, anything else would not be in their interest.

JM

dblissmn
May 17, 2008, 09:38 PM
. . . when the current MBP runs so cool even under duress, and with its considerable processor and video card fully deployed, that you can do serious desktop tasks without frying the electronics and fans. So people who have thus far tried to use two computers now only need the one.

But Intel's forthcoming chip updates may render the mid-range question moot anyway unless they make iMac sales tank to the point that Apple has to take a new approach. The Montevina chipset involves a very big upgrade in the integrated graphics; as I see it, getting integrated at least into X1600 territory. That change will make the Mac Mini and the MacBook potent stand-alone options as well.

Personally I dislike the iMac a lot; I hate being attached to an integrated monitor and I hate not being able to repair a computer myself. Having a single unit for everything makes sense in the education market or any other public facility environment like a library so long as the tech support is there from Apple, but for domestic or professional use it strikes me as nothing but a guarantee of warranty down-time and having to replace the computer more frequently than you should. I'd like to see the iMac assume the eMac's role, and be replaced for domestic or professional purposes by a slightly larger Mac Mini, maybe on the Time Capsule's 7.7 inch footprint, with discrete graphics and a full-size hard drive.

aaquib
May 17, 2008, 10:00 PM
Personally, I don't think they should have an xMac or Mac Mini Pro or whatever you want to call it. I think they should just significantly enhance the Mac Mini's internals and keep it in the same sized box with the oh so gorgeous design. They could put 2.4ghz C2D in there, with 2gb of ram standard, and a 200gb hard drive. Many laptops have it, Im sure the mac mini can, too.

paduck
May 18, 2008, 11:49 AM
Apple is going to concentrate on what makes them lots, and lots of money.

Right now, that is the iPhone and the iPod...

Minis, with the low margins on them, don't really make them much....

The Mac line is still driving Apple revenue and income, although iPod is a major contributor. Even if Apple hits their 10 million number on the iPhone for the year, that is only going to account for 10% of their total revenue. They shipped almost 2.3 million Macs last quarter, more than 50% growth while iPods are flattening at 10 million/quarter. You can argue (and I would agree) that iPods and iPhones are driving the hardware sales of Macs, but Macs are still a/the big profit center for Apple (they do $4 billion/year more sales on Macs than everything else combined).

The iPhone is getting a lot of attention now because it is an area for potential growth. Plus, it could continue to drive the "halo effect." But make no mistake about it, Apple remains, first and foremost, a computer company.

Having said all that, it would be foolish to say that the non-computer segments of the business haven't been key to the resurrection of Apple over the last decade and aren't essential to its future growth as well. It's all part of an integrated package.