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MacBytes
Mar 15, 2004, 10:14 AM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Apple Learns from Cube Mistake (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040315111401)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

wordmunger
Mar 15, 2004, 10:21 AM
That's a pretty good analysis. The cube was "cooler" than the towers, but it was priced higher and was less expandable. The mini is "cooler" than the iPod, but it's more compact and priced lower, so it's still perceived as a good value. Having seen them for the first time at the Charlotte Apple Store this weekend, I'd have to agree.

montex
Mar 15, 2004, 11:04 AM
"Obviously, there are more factors that led to failure of the Cube than just pricing..."

Like what? The Cube was, IMHO, a perfect home computer - small, quiet and gorgeous. But the price... doomed it to failure. I wanted one - I lusted for one but why did it have to cost an arm, leg & a pound of flesh cut nearest the heart? I wish that Apple would make a G5 cube but I know they won't due to the beating they continue to take on the G4 cube. If anything, I hope Apple learned that there is, in fact, a point at which you can charge too much for a Mac.

rubbergorilla
Mar 15, 2004, 11:34 AM
"Obviously, there are more factors that led to failure of the Cube than just pricing..."

The best example I can think of was they were notorious for developing cracks in the plastic casings. This kept a lot of people away.

Sayer
Mar 15, 2004, 11:46 AM
Apple is selling tons of iPod Minis and yet every critic cites the price compared to the other iPods and not to the intended market, which is the high end of flash memory MP3 players.

As an expensive low-end hard drive MP3 player the iPod mini makes a pretty good high end flash memory player.

The Cube however was in no particular market and no one at Apple could figure out what it should be. It was less expandable than a G4 tower at any price and way more expensive than the iMac, once you factored the mandatory screen in to the total cost.

Then there was the hurried switch to CD-R/W drives and the highly-publicized quality problems with the touch-sensitive switch and the cracked cases initially (what product never has initial problems?). Apple relies on lots of OEMs to make most of its products many of whom don't show the flawed pre-production run leaving Apple in the lurch once shipments commence.

The singular issue that killed the Cube was its lack of a market that would pay the asking price. Another Apple CD player, Mac TV, Pippin and TAM-type product for Apple.

Imagine the Cube Apple could make *today* if Steve hadn't wiped the face of the earth clean of it's existence. Bluetooth keyboard and mouse (even fewer wires), Airport Extreme, miniscule power brick. Oh well.

Photorun
Mar 15, 2004, 11:49 AM
Interesting read. I've come around on the iPod Mini, I think Apple would be selling them cheaper if they could which, if true, would be a first for Apple (eg the kings of mark up).

steveh
Mar 15, 2004, 12:13 PM
"Obviously, there are more factors that led to failure of the Cube than just pricing..."

The best example I can think of was they were notorious for developing cracks in the plastic casings. This kept a lot of people away.

They were reputed to develop cracks. The problem was that knit lines in the plastic case were incorrectly thought to be cracks. If the case had not been transparent, the issue would never have surfaced. (I tested more than a dozen cases, including three that I owned.)

mrsebastian
Mar 15, 2004, 12:24 PM
price was of course the cube's death, but the form factor itself was a major contributing factor. beautiful, small, and quiet, but what's the point for most consumers (forget the other issues for a sec). most people i know, stick their tower under their desk anyway and never see it, as in out of sight, out of mind. for those people, it eliminates every reason for putting up the cash for a cube in the first place... and i'm still not convinced the price point is right. the mini may still go the way of the cube. when the cube came out there were plenty of people who had to have the latest and greatest. once those sales died off however, so did the cube. i still believe in lowering the price to $199 and just kicking the hell out of the competition. look at our arch nemisis m$, i know they only sell the software, but bill gates is one rich mother [bleeper].

montex
Mar 15, 2004, 12:29 PM
I think that if Apple priced the iPod Mini on the same scale that they did with the Cube, the the Mini would be about $600.

srobert
Mar 15, 2004, 12:31 PM
Best mistake I ever owned (and still own) ^_^

JohnGillilan
Mar 15, 2004, 02:40 PM
The singular issue that killed the Cube was its lack of a market that would pay the asking price. Another Apple CD player, Mac TV, Pippin and TAM-type product for Apple.

What was the "Apple CD Player"?

Dont Hurt Me
Mar 15, 2004, 02:52 PM
Cube was a great concept but why it failed was because it was priced way to high and G4 was stagnating ( sounds familiar to our current G4) so they ended up trying to sell cube for the same or more then powermac when it had less of everything. I see no correlation between theese 2 products at all except that they are made by Apple. A G4 still is not much more then a G3 with altivec. I think apple thought they were going to have wiggel room between imac crt and powermac but when Moto stalled/slept/gave up/ that killed off this plan 100%. there just wasnt anywhere to go for cube with imacs with just as good performance and a monitor or powermacs limitless expansion capabilities.

rubbergorilla
Mar 15, 2004, 03:21 PM
I think the correlation is that the iPod mini and the Cube were smaller versions of existing products, I doubt he meant they were exactly the same with the same market. The point is that with the Cube you were paying more money for less product, whereas with the iPod mini you're paying less for less.

sonyrules
Mar 16, 2004, 02:32 AM
Best mistake I ever owned (and still own) ^_^
Right next to ya, I use mine as a web server running OS X server 10.3

Works good as a little server

Jr

aswitcher
Mar 16, 2004, 02:46 AM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: Apple Learns from Cube Mistake (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040315111401)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

Yep, pretty good analysis...but now their are plenty of PC cubes (well oblong boxes) out there, but at least they are cheap and expandable...with decent performance specs...

Chaparral
Mar 16, 2004, 06:11 AM
There may be some validity in that analisys, but my Cube is still my favorite Apple computer of all time [Though I'm posting from my Xserve at the moment]... It's small, it's quiet, it's elegant, it's beautiful: I just freakin' love the thing!... I had to update the graphics card to run a 23" Cinema HD display, but I haven't had to do anything else to it [Other than increase the RAM of course]... It's also the most reliable Mac I've ever had: Only one kernel panic long ago under OS X.i.iii... Its currently running X.ii.viii/9.2.2... I've made it my entertainment system: iTunes, DVD Player, and Formac TVR TV/Video/Audio dealy-bob are it's main missions now [I don't even own a TV anymore]... It's cool to be able to surf, check e-mail, and watch TV or a DVD at the same time [Or listen to my iTunes collection]...

It currently resides on my coffee table along with the 23" HD Display, TVR, AirPort BS, iPod, and my current digicam...

Yes, it was too expensive at the time, but I'll keep it as long as I can keep it current software-wise because Apple has yet to top it's design for what I wanted it for... I just didn't need any PCI slots, and I never liked the look of the G4 towers [Though the G5 has serious drool-factor]...

nagromme
Mar 16, 2004, 08:48 AM
I hope Apple repeats the Cube story many times in the future. Not pricing-wise, but in taking a risk and making something that people aren't already asking for, that's new and unique and functional and maybe even cool!

Some of those risks will fall flat--maybe doing little more than pay for the R&D--but please, Apple, keep taking those risks!

That kind of innovation and risk-taking succeeds for Apple more often than not.

(I don't own a Cube but I would have jumped on a small/silent PowerMac had I needed one!)

themadchemist
Mar 16, 2004, 09:59 AM
I went with the 400 MHz tower over the cube. Sometimes I wish I had shelled out the extra bucks and gone with the cube. It would still look frikin' cool on my desk today...Not that my G4 tower doesn't...But this is different.

cptnsulu
Mar 17, 2004, 09:22 AM
I bought a used G4 Cube as my 1st Mac because of its unusual design in the fall of 2003 and gave it a massive refit. It now sports a 1.2 Ghz Powerlogix processor, 1.5 Gigs of RAM, and a 120 Gig HD. I am a happy camper.

MrMacMan
Mar 17, 2004, 11:12 PM
Well...

Apple didn't necessary learn, if they learned they would have just cut prices for the cube before killing it.

Apples Mini is priced to boot... but still too high for some people...