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View Full Version : Apple in the UK... what the hell is going on?


aldo
Apr 7, 2004, 08:42 PM
Well we all know this hasn't been the best of quarters for apple, but they are starting to suck so bad in the UK marketplace it's unbelievable.

While Dell and others are cutting prices in Europe and the UK (due to dollar:UK sterling rate), Apple hasn't budged. They must be making a killing on this, and it sucks to watch this happen.

They have next to no marketshare - I know one person with a CRT iMac and that's it. Why? Because prices are way too high.

Let's compare Dell with Apple, for example. I'm not going to bring the $: conversion rate in because it doesn't take in to account cost of living, taxes and many other things. However, I can compare Dell to Apple.

Apple's budget offering:
eMac G4
1GHz PowerPC G4
128MB SDRAM
40GB Ultra ATA drive
DVD/CD-RW drive
ATI Radeon 7500
32MB DDR video memory
56K internal modem
649.00 inc VAT (sales tax) and delivery.

Dell's budget offering:
Intel Celeron 2.4ghz (yes, it's a celeron but it will beat the 1ghz G4)
256mb RAM
40GB HDD
Printer/Scanner/Copier inc. in price
17" Monitor
DVD/CDRW
376.67(incl. VAT & Del)

I know the dell is a vastly poorer machine, but is it any wonder 'newbies' are going to stick to the dell? dell advertises all the time, Apple hardly ever (ipod if anything) and look at the price difference. Also, the Dell will be far easier to upgrade, and will perform better (I'm tempted to buy a Dell and put Fedora Core 2 Linux on when it's out - it's a great OS with less and less usability problems every release).

Hopefully Apple is gonna get off it's ass and do something otherwise the UK market is not going to come back to Apple. I'm hoping the London store will make some changes in Apple's policy to merry ol' england but it doesn't look great.

PS: Why the hell is the Ireland site grouped with the UK site? It makes no sense at all, especially since Ireland now has the Euro and the UK has Pound Sterling....

Dippo
Apr 7, 2004, 09:17 PM
That's not any different than in the US. You can easily get a Dell or EMachines for about $400, and the lowest eMac is still $800.

*and Celerons are the worst chips ever...

edesignuk
Apr 8, 2004, 01:13 AM
I know, it's ****ing ludicrous isn't it! IMO you'd have to be out of your mind to pay that for an eMac when you can get a branded (not a home build jobie) for half the price (well, near enough) with better specs.

Chappers
Apr 8, 2004, 03:41 AM
No argument from me about lemmings buying PCs, cheap is the way they will always go. For me however I still feel that you get what you pay for. Thats why my two previous iMacs (233 and 400DV) are still going strong an old powerbook is still working. I now have a 17 inch iMac, my mother has a old iMac 400 and hey they still doing their job. My work sells old iMacs for 250. They have resale value too.

Yes Apple ADVERTISE. The iPod has become the king of cool, so why not the mac?

iGav
Apr 8, 2004, 05:17 AM
I know one person with a CRT iMac and that's it. Why? Because prices are way too high.

Pretty much everyone I know has a Mac of some kind... you're obviously hangin' with the wrong kind of people... heheheh

mvc
Apr 8, 2004, 06:23 AM
Home Computers and their components have become a commodity.

Apple cannot manufacture as low cost a commodity computer as the enormous PC marketplace can spit out, even if they wished to.

Therefore, Apple will do one of three things:

1. Stop pretending to compete as a commodity in the Home PC market, and rely on cool factor and kudos to sell iMacs etc (current approach)

2. Stop making any sort of home computer at all. (ongoing enterprise, pro media, scientific focus?)

3. Make something infinitely cooler and insanely great that everyone just has to have to gazump the commodity market altogether. (iPod approach)

Competing with Dell price for price is not ever going to be on this list.

I am hoping for the Third Way :)

WinterMute
Apr 8, 2004, 07:22 AM
This argument is soooo tired, no-one complains about paying twice as much for a Porche Boxster or a TT than a Ford Focus, sure they are all worthy cars that do much the same thing, but which one do you really want?

Apple build thoroghbred specialist machines for people who demand great design, innovation and system integration in a package that doesn't fall over when the dog farts, if you want to pay peanuts you'll get a machine for monkeys.

My PC music/video friends pay a heavy price for their platform, exactly as we do for ours, and they have to use Windoze... :eek:

If you want a Mac, buy one, if you can't afford it, save some money. I want a Boxster S, I can't afford one, so I'm saving. This doesn't make Porche a bad company for building great cars.

Macs are the Porches of the computer world, Dell et al are the Fords, that's it, get over it. ;) :D

aldo
Apr 8, 2004, 07:50 AM
I understand that, but Apple can't expect to sell eMacs to any 'new' switchers.

What I'm also complaining about is the fact that Apple doesn't do price drops - while I understand they have higher R&D costs than others, they don't take advantage of scale. The first iMac was a great success because it was cheap. I don't care if they are the porsches of the world, most people don't see it that way and they would rather have a Dell with a monitor, print, scanner, and nearly twice the speed (going off the spec sheets) than an all in one that can never be upgraded (apart from RAM - which is not even DDR yet!!!).

Their laptops are priced much more competitively, and I do see a few mac laptop users around. The desktop lineup sucks at the moment, and Apple isn't going to be able to rely on the G5 being the worlds fastest computer if they don't get it to 3ghz - Intel and AMD are at their heels with the AMD64...

iGav
Apr 8, 2004, 07:58 AM
The first iMac was a great success because it was cheap.

it wasn't that cheap... ;)

WinterMute
Apr 8, 2004, 08:11 AM
Everyone has the choice, if you don't like the range or the price don't buy a Mac, go buy a Dull and struggle with Windoze and a bog-standard machine, the Ghz argument isn't nearly as persuasive when faced with the level of system integration that Apple offer to the creative industries.

Nearly all of my students (around 500) want to use Macs, the G5's rock for video and audio, and they only use PC's because they can't afford Apple prices.... but when they can, they will.

It's an aspirational thing, Jobs understands that more than anything I think, build something special and sell it at a high price, then let people want it enough to strive for it.

Most people wouldn't benefit from using a Mac, your average computer user is well serviced by the mass-market, and good luck to them. I wouldn't want to try to do what I do on a PC, I love the Mac ethic and I'll pay for it.

You really do get what you pay for.

_pb_boi
Apr 8, 2004, 09:18 AM
PS: Why the hell is the Ireland site grouped with the UK site? It makes no sense at all, especially since Ireland now has the Euro and the UK has Pound Sterling....

If you go the Apple store site - where you can both browse their entire product range, and buy - it asks you before entering whether you want the Ireland store of the UK store. The store is eminantly browsable, with full descriptions et al, so try that.

If you want a Mac, buy one, if you can't afford it, save some money. I want a Boxster S, I can't afford one, so I'm saving. This doesn't make Porche a bad company for building great cars.

Save even more and buy a 911 - it's no secret that people buy Boxsters because they can't afford 911's! :) JK though - they're a kick a** car.

Pretty much everyone I know has a Mac of some kind... you're obviously hangin' with the wrong kind of people... heheheh

I do think, to a large extent, it's a UK thing - here in Northern Ireland, I believe there is one official Apple reseller, and one vendor - PC World (UK). Very few people have Macs here - largely due to the great absence of Apple retail outlets meaning that your average family walking around a city centre won't see a Mac shop - even less any form of Mac advertising. There is, effectively, none. Apple can rely on reputation to sell products, once its reputation is known to a loyal minority - here in the UK, there is a very, very small minority.

peace.

caveman_uk
Apr 8, 2004, 10:00 AM
Pretty much everyone I know has a Mac of some kind... you're obviously hangin' with the wrong kind of people... heheheh
I know two other people that have a mac. They both have one 'cos I showed 'em mine...my ibook that is.
:D

aldo
Apr 8, 2004, 11:44 AM
Ok some more points:

1) WTF is this conception that dell == windows?! I know a lot of people who run Linux very will on their Dell PCs. There is a lot of great software for Linux and WINE can run a lot of windows software and nearly all major games (a lot better than the current arragment with Mac gaming - twice the price and 2 years late) as fast, if not faster than on Windows.

2) I don't mean the Apple store. I mean the website. It's so ugly with the price comparisions.

3) Also, as I've said there is so little advertising in the UK for Apple, that no-one has even heard of them. Everyone has heard of Dell and other PC manufacuters.

Also, remember that you can build your own PC and take another 50 off the Dell price most likley. Apple is going to go nowhere in the home market (and even worse in the SMB area) unless these prices are sorted out. Most people I know are knowledgable enough to know how to build their own PC (and most of them aren't even 'geeks') so really Apple is fighting a loosing battle.

Finally, I personally feel that Apple has to do something fast - it's got such an amazing OS that I feel could really start to shrivel up soon.

Read this: http://groups.google.com/groups?as_umsgid=40724396.1000303@meer.net

Especially this part:
"In all this, I'm discounting the Mac. It's an important and influential
niche, one that Mozilla values, but not one likely to grow enough to
make a difference compared to Linux and Windows. If the OS and
especially the multimedia apps were to be ported to PCs and opened up to
developers on other platforms, maybe -- but those steps would undercut a
lot of Apple's profitability, its platform's strengths, and its appeal
(yes, including its snob appeal)."

I think this is very true and also a real shame.

I'm also sounding increasingly like a nasty troll, but I do love Apple products, but I wish that they could price a desktop system lower.

iGav
Apr 8, 2004, 11:51 AM
3) Also, as I've said there is so little advertising in the UK for Apple, that no-one has even heard of them.

No one ever heard of them??? I think you're being a bit melodramatic here... :rolleyes:

Blackstealth
Apr 8, 2004, 12:59 PM
Also, remember that you can build your own PC and take another 50 off the Dell price most likley. Apple is going to go nowhere in the home market (and even worse in the SMB area) unless these prices are sorted out.

True, I work for a small (i.e. less than 10 people) multi-media design firm (mostly making software for the education sector) and whilst 50% of the staff are Mac users at home, at the office we're an XP shop because it's a loosing battle for Apple on system prices. We build all our systems in-house with quality parts to very high specifications and we still seriously undercut mid/high range G5 prices.

If we could buy pro machines from Apple at similar prices that it costs us to build Windows systems I'd sign the purchase order tomorrow.

caveman_uk
Apr 8, 2004, 02:07 PM
Ok some more points:

1) WTF is this conception that dell == windows?! I know a lot of people who run Linux very will on their Dell PCs. There is a lot of great software for Linux and WINE can run a lot of windows software and nearly all major games (a lot better than the current arragment with Mac gaming - twice the price and 2 years late) as fast, if not faster than on Windows.

Seeing as I used Linux on the desktop until about 12 months ago can I just say that your assertion that you can play nearly all games - some better than on windows - is bollocks. If you're referring to transgaming's WineX product which IIRC gives the best chance of running directX games on Linux then a lot of the games run far from perfectly. Many seem to have a rating of 3/5 "Playable with major irritations" in the companies database. In fact from my experience with desktop linux that pretty much sums the whole user interface with most desktop environments on Linux "usable with major irritations". The underlying OS is incredibly powerful and flexible but even KDE sucks as a desktop.

Besides you've got to accept than the vast majority of Dell PCs are still running what they shipped with...Windows.

yuc7zhd2
Apr 8, 2004, 05:54 PM
Its all in the marketing plan my friend. And just like everyone else said, the prices are the same in the US. You pay for what you get. I paid $2600 USD plus tax and **** loads on software and accessories for this PowerBook, and I haven't had any regrets about not getting a cheaper Dell once.

Souljas
Apr 8, 2004, 07:09 PM
thanks for bringing this topic up, I was thinking of geting a cheap 250 ticket to America and buying a top PB, loose the packaging and bringing it back. All together it actually works out slighly better value cos u get a holiday too and a nice stay in america. The prices are fu!!@ up.

thatwendigo
Apr 8, 2004, 11:33 PM
If we could buy pro machines from Apple at similar prices that it costs us to build Windows systems I'd sign the purchase order tomorrow.

:eek:

If you could buy assembled machines, using non-commodity parts, at commodity prices, then you'd buy one? Well, no ****... Anyone would!

You do realize how ludicrous what you're saying is, don't you? You can't even buy a PC at that kind of price, because OEMs need to make a profit to make up for their costs in building, distribution, and everything else. In the mac world, it's even worse, because of all the custom work, parts, R&D, and other aspects that end up giving us an unfavorable economy of scale, compared to the Wintel/AMD market.

Blackstealth
Apr 9, 2004, 04:43 AM
You do realize how ludicrous what you're saying is, don't you? You can't even buy a PC at that kind of price, because OEMs need to make a profit to make up for their costs in building, distribution, and everything else. In the mac world, it's even worse, because of all the custom work, parts, R&D, and other aspects that end up giving us an unfavorable economy of scale, compared to the Wintel/AMD market.

The point I was trying to make is that if the price differential wasn't so absurd, i.e. if it was closer to 500 than 1000 then we'd be more likely to consider using Macs in a small business environment.

Even with their small business prices they're still not price competitive. They can bang on about how great their machines are for design professionals as much as they like but for any small embryonic company it's a choice between expanding the business or buying Macs, and most will choose expansion.

In the past we've purchased reasonably high-spec machines from Dell and HP, and Apple has only entered our shortlist of suppliers for the scenario where we find a bag of cash in the carpark.

Abstract
Apr 9, 2004, 05:45 AM
Hehe, that last bit was funny. :)

I'll admit that buying a Windows PC isn't a big step down, since I didn't use or own my first Mac until 7 months ago. While the Mac is luvly, I still have to say that PC's that break are easy to troubleshoot. But oh wait, the thing is that my PC never gave me a headache. My previous PC didn't, either. WinME gave me some headaches on Shut Down, but once I got to WinXP, it was gravy.

Seriously, I can't blame people for going the Windows route. Its not a bad route to take, and Macs aren't 2 times better, so some people aren't willing to pay 2 times more for a desktop that isn't 2 times better. Some people don't care about getting exactly 2 times better, as long as its reasonably better, they'll pay the extra cash for it. Its sorta like your car analogies. Surely a Ferrari or something isn't 2 or 3 times better than an M3, and yet look at the cost difference.

yuc7zhd2
Apr 9, 2004, 06:34 AM
Perhaps small business tech purchasing departments should hire/lease economists and those familiar with finance. Opportunity Costs and time costs. Provided that your windows machine runs typically and crashes during typical microsoft office operations, then a consumer grade emac, at double the purchasing cost of a similar dell, might still be a cheaper good. I've owned PC's running windows 95, 98, Me, NT and XP, and crashes on OS X are no where near comparable in number (nearly non-existant) to crashes on these OS's. Microsoft's own office program runs better on OS X.

aldo
Apr 12, 2004, 09:17 AM
If you could buy assembled machines, using non-commodity parts, at commodity prices, then you'd buy one? Well, no ****... Anyone would!

But Apple uses commodity parts. In my iBook, there is an hitatchi HDD, Toshiba DVD/CDRW, micron RAM, rebranded prisim2 wifi card (airport), ATi graphics chip, motorola CPU and a synaptics (i think) trackpad.

Every single one of those is off the shelf stuff (apart from the cpu maybe). Yes it's more complex because it's a laptop. But on a desktop the parts will be even more commodity-ized. All this ************ that Apple spends millions of dollars on R&D is false. They may do for their OS (and damn its good), but for the hardware it is so like regular PC stuff with a different case it's unbelivable.

aldo
Apr 12, 2004, 09:22 AM
PS: I'm not being over dramatic when I say that people haven't heard of Apple. A lot didn't know who they were and even more thought they only made iPods. So really, that shows how 'bad' things are.

Also, on the WineX front, it's not perfect but a lot of games are very playable. Guess what, because it's open source it gets better every day. Apple is in a losing battle with Linux and even Windows is looking more and more viable for multimedia people (get a good system for a half, or third of the price and not have to pay top dollar every time it has a software fault because of the scarcity of Apple sysadmins)

Personally I think this year will be make or break for Apple. Microsoft is snapping at the heels of iTMS (yes and it will probably be bundled into Longhorn, the same way they got IE onto everyones computer and now have a near monopoly over the browser market). Linux is becoming the choice of 3D animation places because of its power, and with things like Mono they will become a viable desktop proposition.

jxyama
Apr 12, 2004, 09:56 AM
Personally I think this year will be make or break for Apple.

don't worry, it's been "make or break" year for apple pretty much every year since... 1980's? ;)

iGav
Apr 12, 2004, 01:07 PM
PS: I'm not being over dramatic when I say that people haven't heard of Apple. A lot didn't know who they were and even more thought they only made iPods. So really, that shows how 'bad' things are.

Of course you were being melodramatic with a comment like...

Also, as I've said there is so little advertising in the UK for Apple, that no-one has even heard of them.

m4rc
Apr 12, 2004, 01:48 PM
Wasn't Apple recently voted one of the most recognised brands in the World? People in the UK may not be able to name all the products in the range, and may think the iPod is now the only product, but most people know Apple make/made computers.

And yes, apparantly Apple has been dieing for years, so no change there either. I do agree that it has been very quiet, but once they have released the new ranges - it looks like most of their 'kit' will be replaced within the next year - we will all stop worrying for another 6 months.

I don't see how Apple can be worse off now and more at risk considering they have more money in the bank than ever before and are debt free. And the market share may be smaller than ever, but that number is a precentage, so it's a lower percentage of a larger number of computers. You work it out.

Marc

iGav
Apr 12, 2004, 01:55 PM
All this ************ that Apple spends millions of dollars on R&D is false. They may do for their OS (and damn its good), but for the hardware it is so like regular PC stuff with a different case it's unbelivable.


Can you imagine the amount of design work (from both an aesthetic and engineering view) that goes into a product like say... the iMac, or the Blue and White G3 (and G4 case), Cube G4, Titanium G4, iMac G4 and the G5?... these are not conventional examples of design and engineering.

Especially the Cube (fanless, convection cooling) or the Titanium PowerBook(1 inch thin, fully featured, magnetic latch that hid from view when open, but on closing emerged from it's recess mm's before it connected with the base), or how about the thermal zones in the new PowerMac G5 with multiple, independently controlled fans for each thermal zone, and the near surgically clean execution of the design on the inside of the case.

Or even (as much as everyone laughed at the time) the new type of printing technique developed for the 'Flower Power' and 'Blue Dalmation' iMacs to attain the desired print quality on a 3D surface.

Or taking a simple, minimal, considered approach for the 'Sleep' light, which indicates that the Mac is not off or on... but sleeping. And how the tempo of the fading brightness of the light ressembles that of the movement of a persons breathing when asleep.

Or how about how Jonathan Ive researched and was influenced by boiled fruit sweets for the colours and textures of the original iMac colours??

Imagine the amount of design work required to make the iMac aesthetically pleasing when a substantial part of it's case was transparent?? Remember the attentional to detail in that iMac and then compare it to every other product that was quickly relaunched with a nasty cheap transparent 'Bondi Effect' plastic, that merely demonstrated the lack of aesthetic consideration for the underlying structure.

Or the iPods way of navigating it's information and the problems involved in solving this... (See 'Creative Review' Jonathan Ive Interview, September, 2003)

For a little bit of insight into how Apple spends some of it's R&D budget, may I suggest you read...

http://www.designmuseum.org/designerex/jonathan-ive/

And if you get chance... or indeed can track down a copy...

'Apple Design - The Work of The Apple Industrial Design Group', Book.

:)

Pandakin
Apr 12, 2004, 03:53 PM
Apple in the UK does suck. It took them 3 weeks to ship Panther to me and to many other people. Yep and i pre-ordered on time etc ... There needs to be more advertising for their computer systems - more like the bus shelter style adverts about the iPod. That really got Apple noticed. Also we need equal pricing to the USA. Next we need universal syncronised product releases - not hi USA here is the iPod Mini and sorry Europe u will have to wait. Opps at the Apple Reseller where I work partime: 400 people cancelled their order of just pink minis alone.

Oh one more thing: I love Jonathan Ive :D but I told him to get rid of the chrome on the back of the iPod cos it gets scratched. :mad: