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MacBytes
Jul 7, 2004, 11:23 PM
Category: Opinion/Interviews
Link: A Six-Step Plan for Apple (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20040708002335)
Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)

Approved by Mudbug

shadowfax
Jul 8, 2004, 12:08 AM
yeah, apple, why can't you be just like everyone else? why don't you make **** quality computers in nifty boxes and sell them to people for $600?

the people that get to write articles... now i remember why journalism sucks again.

Dr. Dastardly
Jul 8, 2004, 12:23 AM
I'm sick of everyone saying that Macs are SOOOO expensive. (Given the Imac has gotten long in the tooth for a while now.) Go to Dells site and pick there crappiest $500 machine and start to do upgrades to actually get it to run decently let alone be on par with the emac, and now you have a computer thats about a hundred dollars more. Add in the fact with all the software the emac comes with and its a no brainer. People need to do their research and get over the intial sticker shock.
Of course people making informed decisions is a problem in itself.

And the reason Mac sells emacs to schools is becasue of the CRT screens.
Duh! :rolleyes:

winmacguy
Jul 8, 2004, 12:34 AM
That is why I labeled the article as "opinon" rather than "news" or "review" Still interesting all the same
Cheers Winmacguy

nagromme
Jul 8, 2004, 12:57 AM
He wants a cheap Mac, but calls CRTs "ugly"--therefore the eMac doesn't count. An odd comment to make when you then envision people buying a low-end headless and adding an even uglier external CRT.

Also, headless is an important option, I strongly agree, but to say Apple hasn't historically seen success with all-in-ones is silly. Out of all the people I have ever recommended a Mac too, all but ONE were best served by the simplicity and compactness of an all-in-one.

Gyroscope
Jul 8, 2004, 01:12 AM
Yeah,not sure if this guy knows what he is talking about, but I agree with him somehow. See, I live in Australia and I find it hard to fork out $4400 AUD(that's after student discount) for low end PM G5 and 17" studio display. If there was an cheaper single G5 cpu upradeable box(graphic card,memory,pci-cards) under 3000 $ AUD with decent screen I'd buy it in a heart-beat just to get rid of my eMac.

I think apple has gave up trying to expand its overall market share. They will focus on high-end workstation market, servers and iPod and alike gadgets.

Sir_Giggles
Jul 8, 2004, 01:56 AM
Apple should give consumers the choice of a 1 button or 2-button mouse w/ scroll wheel with the purchase of any Apple computer.

azdude
Jul 8, 2004, 02:05 AM
Apple should give consumers the choice of a 1 button or 2-button mouse w/ scroll wheel with the purchase of any Apple computer.

They should have switched 100% to two button + scroll way back during the switcher campaign.

goglamosh
Jul 8, 2004, 02:54 AM
Apple has done the try-and-buy program. I believe it was Sculley's idea. The author should have done more research on his proposal, try-and-buy was a disaster for Apple.

thatwendigo
Jul 8, 2004, 02:59 AM
There is one - count it, one - thing that Mr. Salkever gets right in that article, because he's got his Wal-Mart Mentality blinders on so tight. The single thing? That Apple hasn't been playing up the security and hassle-free nature of the OS nearly enough in the public square.

Everything else is easily slammed in a number of ways. By point:
TANSTAAFL - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

Where many PC vendors are using existing or newly created electronics businesses to prop up their failing attempts to push the market (IBM, HP, Sony, Gateway, etc.), Apple exists on computers and software alone for most of their revenue. They don't have the Playstation or a huge server market to hang hardware deals off of, nor do they cut corners in their designs the way that Dell and other do. This equates to a higher grade product that makes a consumer version of the IBM philosophy in the enterprise space - whole solutions for the end market.

When you buy a Macintosh, you're paying for a stylistically superior, integrated, well-constructed package that contains not only the parts but also the operating system and many, many vastly more useful and intuitive tools that come in the application bundle. As has been pointed out here numerous times, if you take a company that sells nothing but computers and pit it against Apple, it's usually not Cupertino that loses.


Cheaper goods like those sold at Wal-Mart and Target are also paying a hefty price in concealed costs and issues - pressboard and cheap cotton, trans-fatty acids and corn syrup. This goes right in line with the previous point, but is slightly separate.

What most consumers don't do, and never really understand, is a thorough examination of their buying habits and the horrors that they are inflicting upon themselves by their ignorance. Obesity wouldn't be such an issue if people paid attention to what they eat, and a little education and care in the use of flawed technology - Microsoft's OS and applications, in this case - would end a lot of the suffering in day to day life.

Cheap and cool will sell? Wow, there's a revelation! :rolleyes:

I'm sure that BMW would sell millions of cars to yokels that don't know the difference if they were to make a $10,000 car that had none of the BMW features in it, too. That doesn't make it truly a beemer, nor does it prove anything about the "needs" of the market.


All-in-One machines have never taken off?

Within six months of the announcement of the Macintosh, Apple sold over 100,000 units in a market that hadn't existed yet. By December of that year, a mere twelve months since the commercial first ran at the Super Bowl, the sales figures had rocketed to 250,000 units. The success of the Macintosh (with it's "never caught on" AIO design) prompts IBM to drop the PCjr from production in 1985.

In 1996, Apple abandons the AIO design format for a brief year, as the Macintosh LC 580 is killed on March 2nd of that year. In May of 1997, the 20th Anniversary Mac debuts, followed a year later by the G3 All-in-One, which is around for another year. Two years is the longest Apple has ever gone without offering a design based on the AIO format. TWO YEARS!

In August of 1992 there were 4 million users of OS 7. In July of 2004, there are now 12 million users of OS X. Just a little perspective.

As an interesting footnote, readers might enjoy this site, where I learned the following:
Microsoft bought PowerPoint from a mac developer.
Apple created one of - if not [i]the - first integrated applications in AppleWorks.
Apple debuted a UNIx variant in 1988 (A/UX)
Apple created AOL by contracting with Quantum Computer Services in May of 1988 to launch AppleLink, launching the service in October of the same year. In 1990 it is renamed to America Online and run as a separate business.
In 1992, Apple is the first company to break $1 billion in sales on a personal computer - the Apple PowerBook. Within a year, they've sold their one millionth PowerBook.
On the cusp of a historic 1 million unit sales in a quarter for the Macintosh desktop machine, Apple announces cloning in January of 1994. Within three years, the profitability of the company and their unit sales have plummeted almost 40%.
In 1999, the Blueberry iBook was the highest selling retail portable computer for the month of October, which gives Apple a combined portable marketshare of 11%.
Between June of 1998 and April of 2001, Apple sells 5 million iMacs.

If All-in-One never caught on, how did Apple sell 5 million machines in three years?


If $200 is all that stands between a PC and mac purchase, there isn't much reason to be headhunting the business that people might be bringing in. Fence-sitters will be going for whatever is cheapest, and rebates are a schlocky trick that's intended to catch the unwary.


Apple offered a "test-drive" program in November of 1984, to the tune of 200,000 take homes. There are no figure I can easily find that show how many resulted in purchases.

yamabushi
Jul 8, 2004, 03:31 AM
I think that from a marketing standpoint it would be smart to have more sub $1000 models and to advertise them. All Macs don't need to be inexpensive but more sexy, powerful, and inexpensive computers would be very useful by drawing in more potential customers. Then up-sell them to the better models. It is a very common tactic that works.

Poff
Jul 8, 2004, 04:45 AM
I do not think a headless iMac would be much cheaper than the eMac, given CRT-monitors come rather cheap these days. Even cheaper when they're built in, because there's close to no cost for extra enclosures, extra packaging, extra storage and transport.
It might be nice to have the choice, but most people would rather buy an all in on instead of a headless machine when the difference in price is approximately $50 or so.

yamabushi
Jul 8, 2004, 05:28 AM
A small form factor G4 without a monitor might not be much less expensive than an eMac but if it included an upgradable graphics card many people would probably be interested. The Cube is my personal favorite form factor but there are many other possibilities. Anyways, there really should be at least one more inexpensive model available.

Another midrange model would also be nice to see. That way there could be a low/mid/high split with a few models in each level. More models means more overhead but when you represent an entire platform you need to give at least the appearance of plentiful choices.

Limited liscensing of the OS to IBM could also help to give the appearance of choice but would have to be done very carefully. It would proably be a good idea to have advertising, pricing, and quality restrictions included in the contract. Also, a slightly different appearance for the GUI would be appropriate to maintain distinction from Apple Macs. I would suggest an "IBM Blue" theme. There should also be naming restrictions. They could not call them Macs and would have to choose a different name. They might be encouraged to display the OS name differently as well, such as "OS/10". IBM would benefit by gaining a highly advanced OS to use and income from additional hardware sales. Apple would beneift by no longer being a sole provider to further encourage sales to large organizations as well as gaining income from the liscensed OS sales. Both would benefit by cooperating on support and development. Together this would provide both companies a real competitive advantage.

nubero
Jul 8, 2004, 06:46 AM
This Six-Step Plan can easely be translated into this:

Step 1: Blah, blah, blah
Step 2: Blah, blah, blah
Step 3: Blah, blah, blah
Step 4: Blah, blah, blah
Step 5: Blah, blah, blah
Step 6: Blah, blah, blah

Wow! now THAT makes sense, doesn't it?

--- --- --- --- ---
Free Desktop Pictures &
Digital Apple Collectibles!
http://homepage.mac.com/nuber

iKenny
Jul 8, 2004, 07:38 AM
I personally agree with most of the things he said. Think about it: despite the fact that Macs actually offer more for the money, how many consumers are spending their time comparing specs on Dell's and Apple's websites?
Also, I've heard so many corporations and businesses saying they would go Mac except that they can get $300 Dell PCs that do all the stuff their employees need to do, and can't justify the extra $500 for an eMac, even if it does have superior technology.
And the all-in-one? Sure, it's great for some people, but what if you have an old monitor at home you want to use? It's cheaper to use that than get a new one in the computer. Or maybe you just want an LCD with a cheap Mac...
The discount idea: Switchers need more convincing because they've loaded up on PC software and don't want to throw it away or have to pay for VirtualPC. Give them money off, and they feel special. It'll work.
The test drive is an OK idea, but it would have to be on a grand scale, and probably starting only at Apple retail stores so they could keep it contained and stop it immediately if things went wrong.
Security. The only point I disagree with. This could easily be viewed as haughtiness if Apple did it the wrong way. Just let people know about the Mac's security through word of mouth, articles, etc.

I'm pretty confident that definitely if steps 1-4 were implemented, and perhaps step 5, Apple could increase their marketshare quickly. I just keep thinking about this one quote from Steve, something about how Apple's number one priority is to make the best products for its consumers. Sure, they do that already, but if they can't revive Mac sales, even if their user base grows, there won't be any more Mac software, peripherals, etc. Then how do you keep your consumers happy?

broken_keyboard
Jul 8, 2004, 08:15 AM
What an unimaginative, uninspired list of ideas. Why did he even bother to write it?

cdburrows
Jul 8, 2004, 08:30 AM
I personally agree with most of the things he said. Think about it: despite the fact that Macs actually offer more for the money, how many consumers are spending their time comparing specs on Dell's and Apple's websites?

Actually I have a friend currently looking a new computer and has been doing just that - comparing Dell and Apple online :p ... anywho. He will probably end up with the Dell because of the price:

In U.K. aprox 700 will get him a Dell computer with 17" flat-screen and pretty good spec.

While looking at the iMac (i know not available until sept.) the latest prices were say aprox 1200 for a comparable system.

He would like the Mac, but because he is a student the s is the bottom line...

Obviously I was pushing the Mac but I completely recognize the impluse to go for the cheaper option - and I dont think the lower eMac is in the shooting (nice compuer) but he wants more deskspace.

macridah
Jul 8, 2004, 08:55 AM
come on all ... a little price decrease would be good, just don't decrease the quality, style, and innovation. I wouldn't mind saving a few extra dollars. I think the educational prices should be the price for everyone ... how about that.

apple's promotion ... everyone a student for a day ... feel like a kid again ...

Little Endian
Jul 8, 2004, 09:38 AM
I don't think Apple needs to radically reduce the prices of their machines to sell more of them. They just need slight price reductions on certain models and items as well as better advertising. I fully accept the fact that Apples Products will always command a premium but the pricing on Certain models of Macs and Displays are really really hard to justify. A slight reduction in prices and better situating of lineups are needed.

First of all the emac is a great deal at it's price point of $799 and $999 and it allready is available for even lower price points to EDU purchasers both individual and institutionally.

Now on to the imac, the pricing for the imac was extremely diffucult to justify for the past 6-9 months and was completely unjustifiable once the emac was upped to 1.25Ghz. Charging $1299, $1799 and $2199 for the imacs were insane when one could get an emac for hundreds less equally equipped in every way except for display. At $999 for an emac one could get a computer that was equal in every way to the $1799 imac minus the LCD and 32 MB more VRAM. An $800 premium for the 17 inch LCD and design of the imac is unjustifiable for many. Apple's pricing for the imac should have been cut by $100-$200 across the line being at 15" $1199 or even $1099, 17" $1599, and 20" $1999. They should have kept up production of the machine as well until the new imacs were available maybe even upgrading it to top of the line being 1.5Ghz a couple of months ago. Sure this might not have made a big difference but at least it would have looked more attractive and maybe if they did this they could have sold an extra 100,000+ units during the past 2 quarters and up until the new imac product line is introduced in September.

The ibooks are allready relatively good deal as well and at most they deserve only a $100 decrease in price across the product line. The only thing that peeves me about the ibooks are the Skimpy 30GB Hardrive offered in the low end.

The Powerbooks right now are poor value for the money especially since they are not all that powerful anymore considering the ibooks now have G4s and can be configured with a Superdrive at the Apple store. Also PowerBook G4s perform poorly compared to the PC world Centrino laptops. A price cut of $100 for the 1.33Ghz 12" and 15" Powerbooks and a $200 price cut for the 1.5Ghz 15" and 17" powerbooks would make them even more popular.

Power Macs and Xserves are appropriately priced since they offer quite a punch in comparison to the rest of Apple's consumer line and even Competetor offerings especially since the Power Mac line up is all Dualie now. The PowerMac G4 should have been dropped in price by about $100 across the line several months ago so that they could still have an upgradeble affordable low end to mid range option.

Now the Display lineup is great at the High end especially with the new 30" HD LCD as there is no other 30" LCD on the market that offers such an impressive resolution. A 2560X1600 resolution for the 30" LCD at $3299 has no competition on the market at all as of now so Apple should feel free to Gouge. The 23" LCD at $1999 is also reasonably priced as it is the roughly the same price or even less than simialar competitor offerings. It is on low end where Apple's LCD pricing makes no sense or is diffucult to justify. The 17" Studio LCD for $699 is insane!!! especially considering that all other manufactures have 17" LCD's available with equivalent or better Specs for well under $500 one can even find 17"LCD for as low as $400 with equivalent specs. Yes that means digital Connectivity, same resolution, in some cases integrated power supplies and USB hubs, and in most cases brighter displays with better contrast and viewing Angles. The 17" Studio display should really be priced at $499 at the most especially since it is using the LCD technology of 3 years ago. The 20" LCD for $1299 was a great deal when released over 18 months ago, however the market now has 20" LCDs for under $1000 with same or better specs and Widescreen ones from other manufactures are around the corner and will probably be priced under $1000. Even with Apples most recent update which added better viewing specs, ALuminum enclosure USB 2.0 and Firewire hubs are not enough to make the 20" Cinema display as competitve as it was back when the original 20" Cinema dispaly was released. A $100-$200 price cut would make it very much more competitive and apple Could sell more of them than ever since they are now DVI and can be used by the entire market not just mac Users.

Apple should be able to afford these reasonable price cuts on CPU and Displays as they have other sources of income that was not available 2-3 years ago. Today Apple has a stranglehold on both the MP3 player market and has the most succesful online Music Store. Apple now charges for .Mac when it used to be free via itools. They have been charging for Mac OSX updates and may even raise the price of updates. They increased the price of AppleCare. They charge for all their iapp upgrades when they used to be free. Apple also is more succesufully entering the mid range to high end server market with xserve and OSX server in ways that would have seemed unimaginable just 3 years ago. Let us also not forget isight, Shake, Logic Pro, Soundtrack, and Airport express which are all aditional income sources. So all in all Apple has diversified it's sources of income and that should allow them to cut the prices on their CPUs both desktop and Laptop because what's the use of having the best MP3 player in the world or the best Media Publication suites and techonolgy when your Market Share Contiunes to shrink

tYNS
Jul 8, 2004, 10:43 AM
I do not think a headless iMac would be much cheaper than the eMac, given CRT-monitors come rather cheap these days. Even cheaper when they're built in, because there's close to no cost for extra enclosures, extra packaging, extra storage and transport.
It might be nice to have the choice, but most people would rather buy an all in on instead of a headless machine when the difference in price is approximately $50 or so.

This journalist who wrote the article obviously is not very knowledgable. A headless iMac? this is a strange concept because the target market this is aimed towards are people who do not want a configure to order system like the powermac.. They want to be able to go to the store, say "I want a computer" and drive home with a box that simply plugs in.

Dell does this as well. You go and buy a dell it is configured with a monitor. Why would you want to make the effort to choose a monitor that will ultimately be the same monitor apple would have stuck on the machine anyways???

Maybe I am stupid, but didn't apple kind of try a "headless imac" before... known as the cube. It proved as a disaster because it was an inbetween product. It didn't serve any particular market. People were confused by it. It was too expensive for the general market, and to un-expandable for the pro market..

Thank god this guy is a journalist, as I would be frightened if he were a marketing manager at a large corporation.

nap1322
Jul 8, 2004, 12:18 PM
It sounds so simple doesn't it? All Apple has to do is change the pricing strategy that they have used for the past 20 years.

Bendit
Jul 8, 2004, 12:49 PM
I do not think a headless iMac would be much cheaper than the eMac, given CRT-monitors come rather cheap these days. Even cheaper when they're built in, because there's close to no cost for extra enclosures, extra packaging, extra storage and transport.
It might be nice to have the choice, but most people would rather buy an all in on instead of a headless machine when the difference in price is approximately $50 or so.

It's not about cost. It's freedom. Why throw out a monitor every time I buy a new computer?

The 20" iMac is ridiculous because a monitor is an investment and people want to keep using it. Why pay all that money for a monitor that will only be able to be used on a cutting edge machine for 2 years? I want to take that 20" monitor to my next computer.

TomSmithMacEd
Jul 8, 2004, 12:55 PM
I will say I'm uphappy that Apple's prices are so high. But about the article, the thing I didn't like about it is how... businessey it was. Granted it was from businessweek so it should. But that is one thing that is so great about Apple. They don't play the cost cutting game, and all the little things. They actually care about their products. They never put out a product without loving it.

BlingBling
Jul 8, 2004, 02:28 PM
Does anyone remember the days when Apple actually made computers for the rest of us, the Apple II, it was inexpensive, super upgradable and extremly versatile. Today you can either have the low end e-mac (for the education market), low-mid range imac with an expensive built in lcd (for the no fuss well to do casual computer user), or the ultra expensive G5 (for the rich power user). Where's the machine for the average joe, who is strongly computer literate, uses his computer every day, but ain't rich.

I've been wanting to get a mac for some time, but the main thing holding me back is price. The low end macs aren't powerful enough and I don't care for the built monitor, but I think they should keep the all in ones, cause they make a lot of sense to a lot of ppl. What I really want is a G5 single processor box with the bare bones features for under a 1000. The G5 starts at $2000 !!! (although only as a dual cpu). I know there's an apple premium and I'd be willing to pay it, but only up to $300 more for a comparable to pc spec mac.

Being a long time experienced PC user I'm used to spending no more than a 800 bucks every 2-3 years upgrading, (I usually spend 400 bucks on a video card, and the rest of my money on a motherboard,cpu,memory and sometimes a case). I re-use my cd drives and hard drives and other peripherals. I've actually been using the same high end 17 CRT for over 7 years. I simply can't justify paying more than $1000 for a new machine without a monitor. Well ok, if I was buying brand new everything maybe $1200 (still without a monitor).

I don't know if Apple's goals are to re-gain or even maintain their current market share, but in my opinion util they start offering a machine that can serve the average but well informed computer user at an affordable price, their not going to ever get back to where they used to be. Although I do plan on getting my Mom an ibook, cause she's got money and she don't know squat about computers, but wants a laptop. The ibook is actually the most affordable mac compared to the equivalent machine in the pc world. :)

dombi
Jul 8, 2004, 03:47 PM
At the end of the first point the author states the following:

"Yes, Apple's operating system has some ease-of-use advantages compared to Windows XP. But Windows offers enough convenience for most people at a lower price. "

Mac OS X costs 129 USD vs. XP's 299 USD (outpost.com)

How is that a lower price?

iKenny
Jul 8, 2004, 05:42 PM
I'm not saying Apple should cut quality as well. The problem, I think, is hard to see from a Mac user's perspective because we don't see any reason to switch. But what Apple needs is numbers. They can make the greatest hardware and software in the world (which I think they do), but if they can't get the numbers, they've got nothing. There's something Apple's doing wrong, or not doing, that's holding back the Mac. It can't always be blamed on Microsoft. I personally think it's pricing. Maybe it's something else, but Apple's got to fix whatever it is, or risk becoming, as many people like to say, irrelevant.

Dr. Dastardly
Jul 8, 2004, 05:59 PM
I can't speak for everyone but all the people I have come across who falls into the consumer market on the PC side never upgrade their computer for five or six years. When it starts to get out of date they throw it out and buy a whole new system, monitor and all. I don't consider myself in the consumer bracket but I have never kept a PC monitor for longer than three years.
So by my thinking of the consumer (and like I said before, only the people I have met) the Imac would be perfect for them. But as stated above the Imacs price point for the last 6-9 months has been a little ridiculous.

simX
Jul 8, 2004, 06:19 PM
It's not about cost. It's freedom. Why throw out a monitor every time I buy a new computer?

The 20" iMac is ridiculous because a monitor is an investment and people want to keep using it. Why pay all that money for a monitor that will only be able to be used on a cutting edge machine for 2 years? I want to take that 20" monitor to my next computer.

I don't get this at all. When you upgrade to a new computer, all of your components are upgraded along with the new machine, and potentially your old monitor may not work with your new computer. Of course, it probably will at this point in time, but given that we're witnessing the reverse switch from ADC connectors to DVI connectors, it's likely that future PowerMac G5s (if they don't already) require an $149 ADC->DVI changer to use those existing monitors.

So isn't it just simpler to keep a specific monitor with a specific computer when you give it away/sell it/whatever? If you're selling it, you'll get more money from the buyer to help finance for a new monitor. And, assuming that no one down the line will be tossing his computer out anytime soon, there's not going to be an extra monitor going around. That is, if you sell/donate just your computer and keep your monitor, the receiver will need a monitor as well so he may need to buy one (or else he keeps his, and the person to which he donates his computer will need to buy a monitor).

There's really no point to keeping an existing monitor when you can upgrade your monitor when you upgrade your computer. Case in point: when I bought my cube, I needed a monitor. But when I outgrew my cube, and gave it to my brother, he needed a monitor anyway. So even if I didn't get an iMac, I would've needed to get another monitor.

This whole concept of having the "freedom of choice" with respect to monitors is just ridiculous when you look at the market as a whole. Most consumers want one package all together, monitor included. Having a headless computer other than the PowerMac G5 is not going to garner any significant extra profit for Apple.

CaptainHaddock
Jul 8, 2004, 08:15 PM
The 20" iMac is ridiculous because a monitor is an investment and people want to keep using it. Why pay all that money for a monitor that will only be able to be used on a cutting edge machine for 2 years? I want to take that 20" monitor to my next computer.

I don't. The 20" iMac is a compact, beautiful computer. It's Zen-on-a-Desktop. What's more, buying a computer and big quality LCD separately costs a lot more.

Selling headless Macs is only useful if you're going to throw the old computer out, but I doubt I'll be throwing out my iMac when I buy another machine a few years down the line. Next time, I'll buy something with a 30" screen. :) And the iMac will still be usable (or sellable).

shamino
Jul 8, 2004, 10:53 PM
Yeah,not sure if this guy knows what he is talking about, but I agree with him somehow. See, I live in Australia and I find it hard to fork out $4400 AUD(that's after student discount) for low end PM G5 and 17" studio display. If there was an cheaper single G5 cpu upradeable box(graphic card,memory,pci-cards) under 3000 $ AUD with decent screen I'd buy it in a heart-beat just to get rid of my eMac.
I suppose the key here is how you define "decent screen".

When I got my G4 system (dual 1GHz QuickSilver-2002) it was the high-end model and cost a bundle. I hooked it up to the 17" Hitachi monitor I'd been using with my PC. Later on, I bought a used 22" NEC monitor for $150, which I'm using now.

It works great. Sure, a used 22" CRT doesn't have the aesthetics of a 23" LCD, but it costs a LOT less and displays a great picture even at 2048x1536 resolution (which is beyond what any LCD other than Apple's new 30" model can deliver). And its looks still aren't bad - just not as nice as some other more expensive displays.

shamino
Jul 8, 2004, 11:00 PM
It might be nice to have the choice, but most people would rather buy an all in on instead of a headless machine when the difference in price is approximately $50 or so.
Maybe if it is their first/only computer.

But if you're trying to sell into a market that's saturated with PC's, you're going to have a lot of users that would like to keep using their existing monitor. Especially if that monitor is bigger than 17" or LCD. Right now, these people have to either use Apple's internal display (eMac/iMac) or buy an expensive PowerMac.

shamino
Jul 8, 2004, 11:11 PM
Maybe I am stupid, but didn't apple kind of try a "headless imac" before... known as the cube. It proved as a disaster because it was an inbetween product.
I disagree. It was a disaster because it was overpriced and underpowered from the moment it first shipped.

I think a Mac in a micro-size tower case (maybe a really short G5-like case) would sell pretty well as long as the price-point is right. Something equipped like the $800 eMac without a display, selling at around $600 would do very well, IMO.

shamino
Jul 8, 2004, 11:21 PM
I've been wanting to get a mac for some time, but the main thing holding me back is price. The low end macs aren't powerful enough and I don't care for the built monitor, but I think they should keep the all in ones, cause they make a lot of sense to a lot of ppl. What I really want is a G5 single processor box with the bare bones features for under a 1000. The G5 starts at $2000 !!! (although only as a dual cpu). I know there's an apple premium and I'd be willing to pay it, but only up to $300 more for a comparable to pc spec mac.
In the case of the G5, the issue is that you can't get a comparable consumer PC. A PC in the same market (dual processors, and the rest) automatically puts you in the server market, where prices are much more expensive.

I do agree that an inexpensive model that has slots and no monitor would be nice. Heck, just selling the now-discontinued G4 towers at a sub-$1000 price point might be good enough.
Being a long time experienced PC user I'm used to spending no more than a 800 bucks every 2-3 years upgrading, (I usually spend 400 bucks on a video card, and the rest of my money on a motherboard,cpu,memory and sometimes a case). I re-use my cd drives and hard drives and other peripherals. I've actually been using the same high end 17 CRT for over 7 years. I simply can't justify paying more than $1000 for a new machine without a monitor. Well ok, if I was buying brand new everything maybe $1200 (still without a monitor)
Unfortunately, Macs do not fit into this hobbyist model of upgrading piece by piece. Although you can upgrade memory and hard drive (and swap cards in slots if you have a tower system), anything that involves a new motherboard necessarily involves a complete replacement of the entire system.

It should be noted, however, that name-brand PCs also catch you this way. More and more vendors are using customer cases with custom mountings and custom power supplies, so you can't upgrade this way. It's quickly gettng to the point that only homebrew/hobbyist computers will be upgradable in this fashion. The hobbyists who want this kind of upgradability simply don't comprise enough of the market for any manufacturer (PC, Mac or otherwise) to take notice.

shamino
Jul 8, 2004, 11:24 PM
At the end of the first point the author states the following:

"Yes, Apple's operating system has some ease-of-use advantages compared to Windows XP. But Windows offers enough convenience for most people at a lower price. "

Mac OS X costs 129 USD vs. XP's 299 USD (outpost.com)

How is that a lower price?
XP home edition is $200, even though I'd consider it worthless. And the home-upgrade edition is $100.

But for most PC users, this is a hidden cost. It just comes with the computer. They are paying for it (I forget what the OEM cost for XP home is), but it's a hidden cost.

Of couse, the cost of Mac OS is also hidden - it also comes free with new hardware, so yeah, it's hard to figure out what his point is.

JerrySpoon
Jul 8, 2004, 11:39 PM
People I know, including my mother, who buy these cheap pc's want two things. They want a cheap computer (obviously) and they want the illusion of upgradability. The reason I say "illusion" is because more often than not, they never end up upgrading the machine. They just end up getting another cheap machine.
They're stuck in the days when you payed thousands for a cpu that did very little in comparison to what is out there today. Then the ability to upgrade (if you knew how to do it) was a great thing. Today, it's just not as necessary. If you get a good computer that will last you from three to five years, whatever your window is, then good for you. For many, the eMac will do this. What should be asked though is whether the $500 machine at WalMart will suffice for the same period of time. Will the experience be as good? Definitely not. But will the user have any idea that their experience isn't as good as it could have been with a mac? Probably not.

BlingBling
Jul 9, 2004, 06:50 AM
I do agree that an inexpensive model that has slots and no monitor would be nice. Heck, just selling the now-discontinued G4 towers at a sub-$1000 price point might be good enough.
Unfortunately, Macs do not fit into this hobbyist model of upgrading piece by piece. Although you can upgrade memory and hard drive (and swap cards in slots if you have a tower system), anything that involves a new motherboard necessarily involves a complete replacement of the entire system.


Well, I don't consider myself a hobbiest, I think it's common for a lot of ppl who grew up using computers to buy parts or pre-assembled computers from the local pc clone vendor, all my friends that I know have bought their pcs as parts or pre-assembled by the shop. I only know one person who has a Dell. We may not be the biggest demographic, but I think were the most influential, ppl come to ppl like us for advice on what to buy and what to use, we set the trends and if Apple made a muchine for us (bare bones G5) in the 800-1200 price range, their market share would rocket. Were mostly male, 16-30 and we grew up with a pc in the house that we use every day since we were kids.
I've been using pcs mostly for games back in 94 when I was 16, and I started building my own machines a year later. All the friends I grew up with knew at least how to change a hard drive or add ram or a video card and they bought their machines from local clone vendors. As far as windows goes, we just borrow the cd from a friend, which allways ends up being a copy of someone elses cd so we never paid the windows tax. :)

Apple doesn't have to sell parts, they just need to release a machine that is powerfull, inexpensive, and upgradable. So far they have nothing that meets that requirement.

Emac= notpowerful, inexpensive, notupgradable
IMac = notpowerful, expensive, notupgradable
dualG5 = very powerfull, expensive, upgradable

They should take a loot at what made the AppleII so successfull, it was less than $700 when it came out, powerfull and totally upgradable.

I think the G4 is outdated now and apple only wants to sell them to get rid of stock. Maybe the next generation G5 cpu will change things, it's supposed to run cooler and be cheap. To gain market share Apple needs to market a machine to the kind of ppl that influence others what computer to buy: guys like me! Then the rest of the flock will follow.

Little Endian
Jul 9, 2004, 07:59 AM
Within the Past year or two I have seen a surge of PC users sign up and post onto forums like this and even Apple's own Discussion forums. There were always PC users or former mac owners who posted to forums like these in the past and in most cases they were just trolls. The difference with todays Mac forum newbies are many of them are PC users who for the first time are actually keenly interested in the Mac as a platform and the only thing seemingly holding them back is Price. Apple should realize this, there are many people interested in purchasing a mac who would have scoffed at the idea just a year or two ago. Apple is in the best position they have been in for the past ten years for market share expansion but they seem to not care. The Primary point is Price, sure Apple will and should command a premium but a 10-20% price cut across the product line would go very far in attracting users who really want to switch but price is a factor.

Little Endian
Jul 9, 2004, 08:14 AM
Well, I don't consider myself a hobbiest, I think it's common for a lot of ppl who grew up using computers to buy parts or pre-assembled computers from the local pc clone vendor, all my friends that I know have bought their pcs as parts or pre-assembled by the shop. I only know one person who has a Dell. We may not be the biggest demographic, but I think were the most influential, ppl come to ppl like us for advice on what to buy and what to use, we set the trends and if Apple made a muchine for us (bare bones G5) in the 800-1200 price range, their market share would rocket. Were mostly male, 16-30 and we grew up with a pc in the house that we use every day since we were kids.
I've been using pcs mostly for games back in 94 when I was 16, and I started building my own machines a year later. All the friends I grew up with knew at least how to change a hard drive or add ram or a video card and they bought their machines from local clone vendors. As far as windows goes, we just borrow the cd from a friend, which allways ends up being a copy of someone elses cd so we never paid the windows tax. :)

Apple doesn't have to sell parts, they just need to release a machine that is powerfull, inexpensive, and upgradable. So far they have nothing that meets that requirement.

Emac= notpowerful, inexpensive, notupgradable
IMac = notpowerful, expensive, notupgradable
dualG5 = very powerfull, expensive, upgradable

They should take a loot at what made the AppleII so successfull, it was less than $700 when it came out, powerfull and totally upgradable.

I think the G4 is outdated now and apple only wants to sell them to get rid of stock. Maybe the next generation G5 cpu will change things, it's supposed to run cooler and be cheap. To gain market share Apple needs to market a machine to the kind of ppl that influence others what computer to buy: guys like me! Then the rest of the flock will follow.

I hope you know that you can configure a brand new Dual 1.8Ghz for $1870 via the Apple store. Minus the Modem and the opt for a Combo drive and upgrade later as needed. At the Apple Education Store one can Configure a DUal 1.8GHz for $1683 and if you are lucky enough to get a Developers Discount a Dual 1.8Ghz G5 can be configured for $1496. Getting a Dual Proccessor 64 bit machine for under a $2000 is a reasonable deal.

Really when you think about it the best Hardware Match Comparison for a Dual G5 1.8Ghz would be a Dual Opteron 242 setup. With that in mind they Cost about the same. I agree APple is expensive but I get tired of hearing people say they can build a PC for Considerably less when they use Configurations the don't match the G5. Some people say They can build a Athlon 64 3400 or Fx-53 etc for half the price of a new G5. Well good for them but it is not a fair Comparison because both procesors do not support MP. Most calculations also fail to include the Fact that for the PC to be configured the same one would Have to add FIre Wire 800 as well and be sure to use a MOBO that supported SATA and Gigabit Ethernet or at least add them later.

shamino
Jul 9, 2004, 10:03 AM
Well, I don't consider myself a hobbiest
You wrote:
I usually spend 400 bucks on a video card, and the rest of my money on a motherboard,cpu,memory and sometimes a case
Someone whose typical upgrade path involves swapping a motherboard, CPU chip, case, etc. is a hobbyist whether he wants to admit it or not. Your typical computer user doesn't do this even if he knows how.
I've been using pcs mostly for games back in 94 when I was 16, and I started building my own machines a year later. All the friends I grew up with knew at least how to change a hard drive or add ram or a video card and they bought their machines from local clone vendors. As far as windows goes, we just borrow the cd from a friend, which allways ends up being a copy of someone elses cd so we never paid the windows tax. :)
As I said...
Apple doesn't have to sell parts, they just need to release a machine that is powerfull, inexpensive, and upgradable. So far they have nothing that meets that requirement.
Far easier said than done.

The kind of upgradability that happens in the PC world happens only because the market is so big. When you've got hundreds of independant companies making various components, they have to standardize or everyone goes out of business.

But this standardization is not beneficial to ongoing technology development. For example you end up with PCs that have severe heat problems because the ATX design can't dissipate it properly. You also end up with motherboards that can't have all the features people want because there is no space in the I/O panel region of the board to put more ports. (This will be solved by the forthcoming BTX (http://www.formfactors.org/FFDetail.asp?FFID=12&CatID=1) spec, and I can guarantee that most people building PCs will be upset, because these motherboards will require a new case, new power supply and a new cooling system.)

Apple, as a single source for all their parts doesn't have these problems. They don't have to keep on finding hacks to cram more stuff into a pre-existing space. They can continue to evolve the technology as new stuff is invented.

Sure, it means you can't slap a G5 motherboard into a B&W G3 case, but let's face it - the number of people who would want to are not nearly as many as you would like to think.
They should take a loot at what made the AppleII so successfull, it was less than $700 when it came out, powerfull and totally upgradable.
It was also the only show in town. When it was invented, there was nothing else in the market that a normal consumer could even consider using. (8080-based S-100 machines doesn't count as a consumer machine by a long shot.)

And Apple's closed version - the //c - was an incredibly popular system. Most people did not, and still don't care about being able to install cards if the base unit has everything you need built-in.

Apple sold a heck of a lot more Mac Plusses than they did Mac-II's, even though the II was faster and had plenty of room for expansion.

Face it - your requirements and desires are not at all mainstream. This isn't a bad thing, but you are fooling yourself if you think everybody else shares your requirements. And a computer manufactured to a small audience must cost more than one sold to the mass-market - otherwise the R&D costs are never made back.

Muzukun
Jul 9, 2004, 12:20 PM
Some parts in there I'd agree with that guy but overall everything he is asking is to copy certain PC makers... which happen to be the same computer makers that rank in the absolute lowest end for quality of their product...

With a student discount you can find a laptop for under 1000, and you can get a emac for like 800 dollars. For alot of users out there who just need a computer for web browsing and what not that's what you go with, plain and simple.

I don't think that apple is doing a bad job, it's just that they somehow have to find a way to really get themselves right there next to their competitors. They've pushed the ipod next to everywhere (heck you can buy one at target) yet you're not going to find a emac at walmart or at target and that's probably where a large portion of people go to get their next PC.

If I was apple I'd just work at getting the emac out, it's the cheapest thing they have, and for someone who is spending so much time at walmart it's probably a good price for themselves and probably all they need ontop of that.

Granted their prices cost alot for the next step up but if you try to find a PC with the same stuff... you'll end up paying the same amount of money either way.

BlingBling
Jul 9, 2004, 01:32 PM
Well I agree that I'm not mainstream and you can consider someone who upgrades a motherboard and cpu a hobbiest (in the pc world there are thousands of them, in the mac world very few), but I was refering to the type of people who only upgrade at the most a harddrive, ram or videocard, all very simple procedures that the power mac and pc both share. Even if you don't know how to uprade your system, chances are someone you know does, or you get the store to do it for you. The PC world is filled with thousands of hobbiests, and they are an influencial group of people that can influence the adoption of more Macs.

I do agree that a dual g5 is great bang for the buck if your looking for a high end system, but apple offers no mid end choice for a power user that has the upgradable factor of the current G5. It's just my opinion that they should make something more powerfull than an IMac without the All In one form factor, but not as powerfull as the current G5. I think it's a sweet spot for a lot of current PC users out there, especially for the people like myself and my friends all long time PC users. We spend a lot of money on computers every 2-3 years, but we won't spend more than 1200. Along the way we add more ram, change a videocard and definitly add another or existing hard drive. Some of us do a lot more tinkering. When you move from an old machine to a new one, most pc users bring at least one harddrive over with all their stuff (music, games, apps, documents, ect...). If they can't do it themselves, they let a friend or the shop do it.

When a long time PC user wants to switch he wants a box, not an all in one, and most of us can't afford a high end box like the G5. Even novice PC users can relate more to a Mac box than an all-in-one IMac, even if they don't plan on upgrading, because coming from the PC world (where all in ones are not common), they can only relate to having a box, an all-in-one is a new departure for them. They might be thinking, what if the screen breaks, or the cpu dies (I have to throw away that expensive lcd), I'm putting all my eggs in one basket. The most affordable rout for a PC switcher is to get a new box and keep the same monitor. I know that the current G5 just can't be made affordable because of the chip cost and massive cost of the case and heat disappation hardware used. But I have my fingers crossed that with the next generation of G5's they can bring cost down and introduce a mid end version that will be more afforadable to PC users wanting to buy a mac. I hope they don't just make an all in one IMac.

A mid-range box would apeal to:
warry of change buyer (that mac looks just like my pc box that I have used all my life, only it's a better machine and a better OS and only a few dollars more)
hobbiest (wow, I can add and change stuff to it and not break my budget, if there are more macs out there that appeal to the hobbiest, 3rd party vendors will make more hardware for the mac increasing it's popularity)
*price consious consumer* (can reuse some old pc gear/monitor, upgrade if I want to, and even if I never will its nice to know you can, and I can actually afford the damn thing)

What if they sold this machine at their lowest profit margin to re-gain market share, would it not pay off in the long term when ppl buying their second mac refuse to buy anything but!

That's my one step plan for Apple :)

BlingBling
Jul 9, 2004, 01:58 PM
Some parts in there I'd agree with that guy but overall everything he is asking is to copy certain PC makers... which happen to be the same computer makers that rank in the absolute lowest end for quality of their product...


I'm not asking Apple to copy PC makers, I just want them to make a computer that doesn't have to be diffrent or an all-in-one to be affordable. I'm just asking for something powerfull, upgradable and affordable.

I agree with you, the E-mac in wallmart is a really good idea, right product for the right store.

The quality problem stems mainly from the operating system (Windows), the boxes arn't as pretty as on the mac and have very little to do with the way the computer works, my box sits under my desk and I don't care what it looks like. The thing I like most about apple is the OS, the physical design of the hardware isn't my top priority, but it is welcome. They just don't make the hardware most people want at the price most people want to pay for it. The proof is in the loss of market share they keep experiencing, or the lack of them gaining new market share. My opinion is they need a mid level box, they can make it snazy and cool looking, but just don't sacrifice the practical upgradability that PC users come to expect. Apple isn't going to find any more new first time computer users, it has to go into the current pool of PC users and convince them to buy their product. I think Apple can do it without cutting corners and without putting out a ****ty product like most PC clones.

Muzukun
Jul 9, 2004, 02:15 PM
I'm not asking Apple to copy PC makers, I just want them to make a computer that doesn't have to be diffrent or an all-in-one to be affordable. I'm just asking for something powerfull, upgradable and affordable.



oh! hehe, wasn't talking about you being that guy, that guy being the person who made that article (however if you are that guy ignore that statement ^-^)

I think part of mac's problem too is that with so many people wanting the upgradability of the pc, how can mac maintain the image of a mac while operating with what the PC users find themselves wanting?

I want to do the switch, typing from a pc right now and there's another pc at home waiting for me, one for my parents, and just built yet another for my sister and the spare parts from like two or three others are laying around the house right now... I love that honestly. Once something gets old, walk out to fry's or go to pricewatch.com and buy some stuff, gut it, and build another, and luckily all my pcs are stable :) (no cheapo stuff for me most of the time) but with a mac right now, the idea of not being in control to upgrade it just flat out scares me.

I want to get a powerbook, however I figured 'oh I can just get any cd/dvd burner or hard drive and chuck it into a firewire enclosure and I'm done' I'm learning it might not quite be like that however, and none of the companies are saying they support OSX and even after being told about things such as patchburn I'm told to stick with sony or pioneer... and that scares me because it presents alot of limitations with going to the mac platform.

A few things I'd do if I were apple was just create a real open source team, or a special site for those who want to do the switch yet still desire the freedome that PCs still offer, if there are people out there who wish to make program X and Y to enable you to use hardware X and Y, and if it works and it's stable, post it up there or something. Even though I'm told patchburn will probably work, it still worries me and makes me think twice before moving over to the mac, even if it is for a laptop and I'll rarely use all the stuff.

Kind of a tangent to the main topic at hand there yet for some users the idea that you can't upgrade a mac, or one of the other hundred rumors, misconceptions, etc. about the mac are based on enough truth to cause them to run away from the thought of even getting a macintosh. For the typical computer user who just wants email, internet, and text editing, a mac is just as good as any PC... and they should work at really getting those individuals alot more then they are right now.

Daveman Deluxe
Jul 9, 2004, 02:38 PM
I think Apple would do themselves a big favor by making a minitower (maybe similar in design to the G5, but smaller) with an upgradeable graphics card, two HDD spaces, two optical drive spaces, four RAM slots, and a PCI/PCI-X slot. Put in a lower-clock G5 (say a 1.6 GHz) and sell it at a price between the eMac and the iMac--I'd say about $1000 for the Combo Drive model, $1200 for the SuperDrive. I don't think it would gut iMac sales if Apple markets it right. You know, minitower for the hobbyist/semi-serious gamer, iMac for the rest of us.

Superhob
Jul 9, 2004, 02:41 PM
In my opinion, Apple needs to introduce a low price "loss-leader" piece of equipment. If you look at dell's strategy you will notice that they sell computers that are just as expenisve and sometimes more expenisve than their apple counterparts. However, dell never advertises these expenisve models, instead, they pummel consumers with ads for 499 desktops and 799 laptops.

The cheap dell systems offer basement level hardware as well as a mediocre warranty plan. When people go to buy such a cheap system they are again pummelled with upgrade offers ranging from bigger screens to longer, better warranty programs.

Apple really needs a computer that will bring them the following headline "Apple introduces $599 PC!". It should be a barebones system with a minimal warranty a la dell. This would erase the perception that has been embedded in people's mind about apple computers being more expensive than PC's.

Muzukun
Jul 9, 2004, 03:00 PM
Apple really needs a computer that will bring them the following headline "Apple introduces $599 PC!". It should be a barebones system with a minimal warranty a la dell. This would erase the perception that has been embedded in people's mind about apple computers being more expensive than PC's.

That'd be great, you can go off onto the dell site and see a laptop for around that price or 100 dollars more for those who JUST NEED a laptop. I question the idea though because at what point of cost cutting would the Mac stability and reliability go down? I'm pretty sure there are a ton of things mac could do with the emac to the point where it could be a 599 PC. I mean, look at where mac usually sinks most of it's money...

The monitors mac uses are all high quality, could easily trim a few dollars if they go off and buy a weaker system.

CDROM drive, ditch the combo drive and just offer a cdrom drive and tack on upgrades after that

RAM, if you're pure evil cut the 256 to a 128

a few more of these things and bam, 599 mac... However at this point some of you are probably pissed at me saying it's a POS pc and not a mac and you're right (... well from what I consider a mac after all, higher price yet it all comes back in reliability... and pretty stuff-ness ^-^) Apple's problem is that the very thing that makes them put out a good product is also the same thing that keeps them from spreading out alot more to the regular consumer. Of course if apple were willing to take a hit on their profits from the emac they could just reduce the price. Or they could just do a total redesign cutting costs whever they can, it wouldn't be that hard... and if they're lucky over a period of time they might establish this slowly growing consumer base that is just really happy with their product and they gain some form of customer loyalty and just let it grow from there on out.

yamabushi
Jul 10, 2004, 06:40 AM
There are many ways to reduce both the unit price for consumers and the cost for Apple of an entry level option without sacrificing build quality.

Reduce the price first by slimming the profit margin for this particular model. This will not reduce total revenues for the model if sufficient additional units are sold. Even if revenue is hurt in this model, this can be seen as an advertising expense since more customers are drawn and then upsold to more expensive models.

Second, advertise it sufficiently to the broader consumer market using tv and other methods. Consider this advertising for all Macs, not just the entry level model since most consumers are interested in the low end and many more knowledgeable or wealthy consumers will automatically look to higher end models without additional advertising. This is an important part of the success of the original iMac. Sales of the iMac were impressive and higher end models benefitted from some exposure as well.

Also there are many ways of reducing manufacturing costs by designing the product and the entire physical production area for more efficient manufacturing. Typically manufacturers in China are very poor at this kind of optimization and those in Japan are excellent. China makes up for this partially in low labor costs but this is less relevant for low volume production runs. An ideal solution might be a mixed environment with Japanese management and a highly productive low cost labor force in a country such as Thailand or the Philippines.

Muzukun
Jul 10, 2004, 07:05 AM
*looks at his ipod* is everything apple makes already assumbled in Taiwan?

Good ideas, if they'd work I gotta wonder why apple hasn't gone ahead with it... There's alot of ways they could maintain their profitability overall as a company if they took away a little dinero from themselves for every emac sold. Kind of stupid to do but make a little profit off itunes... I mean they're planning on reducing the cost of the ipods, if they wanna spread about more they should really work on the entry level areas cuse that is where people are going to be pulled in right now. And since just about every windows user has a complaint of somesort towards windows getting them over to mac really shouldn't be that hard...

Wish they'd take a more aggressive stance and show that they really want my money and one way or another they're going to get it... short of beating me ^-^

yamabushi
Jul 11, 2004, 08:25 AM
*looks at his ipod* is everything apple makes already assumbled in Taiwan?

Some in Taiwan and some in mainland China. Apple was one of the last computer manufacturers to give up on the U.S. and move production overseas.

Good ideas, if they'd work I gotta wonder why apple hasn't gone ahead with it...

I suspect inertia within management is preventing them from seriously considering other options. It is human nature to continue with what "works" even when potentially better ways present themselves. It has to do with an aversion to risk and sometimes just apathy. The problem is even more serious in a large organization since they construct a framework for doing things a certain way and then support it with standard procedures and policies. It thus becomes difficult and expensive to make rapid or complex changes. Apple is actually an interesting case since they are very capable of change in some ways while they are very resistant to change in other ways.

Muzukun
Jul 11, 2004, 10:28 AM
I suspect inertia within management is preventing them from seriously considering other options. It is human nature to continue with what "works" even when potentially better ways present themselves. It has to do with an aversion to risk and sometimes just apathy. The problem is even more serious in a large organization since they construct a framework for doing things a certain way and then support it with standard procedures and policies. It thus becomes difficult and expensive to make rapid or complex changes. Apple is actually an interesting case since they are very capable of change in some ways while they are very resistant to change in other ways.

*cough* the one button mouse... *cough*

That entire statement just kind of feels like running into a wall for ideas to get mac to really spread out a little more... In theory it would be so simple to just target the average consumer and just get macs to spread out like mad. Drop the price/remake a cheaper emac and put it in the easy to find areas (walmart and target... I notice my targets don't really advertise any PCs that much in store) and ultimately they could just wait really...

Course if that were to happen and people did go nuts for getting the mac they'd have to hire new people to hand the wave of questions that would inevitably follow... Still I don't see why they wont just take a more aggressive stance in the computer market unless their goal is not total domination or something like that.

yamabushi
Jul 12, 2004, 02:50 AM
Domination doesn't need to be their goal but if they wish to stay relevant and respected then they need to get back to a market share that can't be ignored. I think between 15 and 20% is a reasonable goal.

liketom
Jul 12, 2004, 09:29 AM
well what can i say ? i some how feel better in paying more and seeing all them PC users and some Mac user bitch about the prices? but hey you get what you pay for !

why buy Spam (the meat ppl) when you can have Steak

my pennys worth

Very Happy Mac user as things are

shamino
Jul 12, 2004, 10:23 AM
In my opinion, Apple needs to introduce a low price "loss-leader" piece of equipment. If you look at dell's strategy you will notice that they sell computers that are just as expenisve and sometimes more expenisve than their apple counterparts. However, dell never advertises these expenisve models, instead, they pummel consumers with ads for 499 desktops and 799 laptops.
Nice concept, but it will backfire.

The Mac market, unlike the PC market, doesn't stand for mediocrity. If Apple released such a machine, their entire customer base would scream "Apple has lost all quality control, this is a piece of trash, etc." Apple would end up losing customers, not gaining any. It might even cause some Mac owners to switch platforms.

Note that it has backfired for Dell already. They were once seen as a high quality PC vendor. Today, they're not. Their constant cutting of corners in order to bring prices down has seriously degraded their quality. They're not quite at the level of Gateway or HP/Compaq, but they're getting there.

You do not want Apple to follow them down this road to oblivion.

Muzukun
Jul 12, 2004, 11:38 AM
for the situation with dell I would say that is because they lost their focus, there is no rule saying that if you release one consumer oriented product the entire company as a whole must fall with it.

As for domination I Feel mac should aim high, always see room for improvement till they reach an area in which they actually can be happy with yet continue to improve. So far they seem to just be in a lull area with no real forward drive to a growth in the market. Right now from what I have seen it seems like 'if we grow, great, if not, oh well'