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Old Jun 30, 2014, 10:39 AM   #1
Thermonuclear
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What will disappear next?

Over the years, many features have disappeared from one or more iMac models:

1. Expansion slot (The mezzanine slot on the original iMac)
2. Reset/interrupt buttons
3. I/R port
4. Modem port
5. FireWire ports
6. Power/sleep indicator
7. Easily accessible power/sleep button
8. VGA port
9. Front speakers directed at the user
10. Easily expanded memory on all models
11. Optical drive
12. User replaceable hard drive
13. Side mounted ports
14. DVI port
15. Tilt/height adjustable keyboard
16. Industry standard hard drive without a wonky thermal sensor
17. Disassemble without need of a tape and glue kit
18. Matte screen
19. Fan-less operation
20. Number pad on the included keyboard
21. Audio input
22. Keyboard with real keycaps instead of Chiclets.

I'll guess that Apple will drop the SD card port along with user accessible RAM on all models. The excuses, if any, will be lame. Hey, Apple will just sell you an SD adapter, or more high priced memory up front. The Ethernet port is also a candidate for elimination, at least for the lower end models. And perhaps the four USB ports could be reduced to only two. You can always get a hub.

But rapture and joy, the latest iMac just might be a half millimeter thinner!
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 10:45 AM   #2
GGJstudios
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Many of those features disappeared because they were replaced by more advanced technology or rendered obsolete. If the current iMac models don't meet the needs of a user, they can always buy an older model or another computer. Like every computer made by Apple, iMacs are not designed or intended to meet all the needs of every potential user.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 10:52 AM   #3
Thermonuclear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Like every computer made by Apple, iMacs are not designed or intended to meet all the needs of every potential user.
With that excuse, anything could be justified.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 10:55 AM   #4
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by Thermonuclear View Post
With that excuse, anything could be justified.
It's not an excuse. It's a reason. To expect any computer maker to design and offer a computer that includes every conceivable connection, interface, accessory and feature built-in, no matter how outdated or infrequently used, is incredibly naive. Apple's obvious success is a reflection that it hasn't attempted to do anything quite so foolish.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:03 AM   #5
Thermonuclear
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I fail to see how a front mounted power/sleep button indicator is either obsolete or infrequently used. The same could be said of several other items I've listed.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:07 AM   #6
crsh1976
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Look at the features that don't get used much, see that alternatives are available and mainstream enough, etc.

To me, Thunderbolt makes little sense on consumer hardware because of the typical pro uses and pricing linked to it, but who knows. Ethernet should have probably gone the dodo way already if it weren't for wifi's reliability issues in some environments.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:08 AM   #7
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by Thermonuclear View Post
I fail to see how a front mounted power/sleep button indicator is either obsolete or infrequently used. The same could be said of several other items I've listed.
I didn't say all of the items were obsolete or infrequently used. I said "many". The facts remain. Apple will build what it wants, with a motivation to meet the needs of a large number of users, but not all. It's up to each user to determine if any particular model meets their needs or not.

Rather than complain that a particular computer model from a particular manufacturer doesn't have all the features you want, a more prudent approach is to shop around to find one that does, or at least comes closer to meeting all your requirements.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:18 AM   #8
thedeske
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23. Mac OS7

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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:22 AM   #9
Thermonuclear
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Well, why do YOU think that Apple has dropped features which were useful and frequently used?

Do you think that the narrow aperture bottom facing speakers are better than the front facing ones?

Do you think that the reach-around power button is an improvement?

Do you think that moving any port to the back of the machine makes it easier to use?

Saying "well, just buy a different machine" is another excuse which could be used to justify anything. We're not talking about different machines. We're talking about Apple and a growing contempt for users not seen with other manufacturers.

The reason that many useful, and not very expensive features were dropped is simply this: Jony Ives and his coterie are afflicted with a case of emperor's new clothes where people are afraid to tell them that fashion should be subordinate to function. No more, no less.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:26 AM   #10
GGJstudios
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1. Expansion slot (The mezzanine slot on the original iMac) Obsolete
2. Reset/interrupt buttons Obsolete
3. I/R port Not needed, never used it, Wi-Fi is more useful and reliable
4. Modem port Obsolete
5. FireWire ports Replaced by Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, available via adapter
6. Power/sleep indicator Not needed
7. Easily accessible power/sleep button Still easily accessible
8. VGA port Obsolete, Replaced by Thunderbolt
9. Front speakers directed at the user Not needed, as current design works well
10. Easily expanded memory on all models Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
11. Optical drive Still available externally for users who need them, no wasted space for those who don't
12. User replaceable hard drive Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
13. Side mounted ports Not needed
14. DVI port Obsolete, Replaced by Thunderbolt
15. Tilt/height adjustable keyboard Available by buying any preferred keyboard
16. Industry standard hard drive without a wonky thermal sensor Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
17. Disassemble without need of a tape and glue kit Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
18. Matte screen Should be available as an option
19. Fan-less operation Not needed
20. Number pad on the included keyboard Available, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
21. Audio input Available via USB
22. Keyboard with real keycaps instead of Chiclets. Available by buying any preferred keyboard

I'll guess that Apple will drop the SD card port Not needed, never used it, available externally for the few who need it
along with user accessible RAM on all models. Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermonuclear View Post
Saying "well, just buy a different machine" is another excuse which could be used to justify anything. We're not talking about different machines. We're talking about Apple and a growing contempt for users not seen with other manufacturers.
Yes, you are talking about different machines, because the features you described do not appear on current iMac models. You're referring to features of other computers, including outdated iMac models. It's always amusing to me when people criticize Apple, claiming they have contempt for users or that they don't care about users. It's quite obvious Apple is continuing to meet the needs of millions of users, as evidenced by their continued selling success. If they weren't meeting consumers' needs, they wouldn't be experiencing that success. What you're really claiming is that Apple has contempt for the select few users who want to cling to outdated technologies and keep things the way they are, without any logical justification. The solution is simple: buy an old, outdated iMac that's configured the way you want.

Last edited by GGJstudios; Jun 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:32 AM   #11
Thermonuclear
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedeske View Post
23. Mac OS7

I can live without O/S 9 or anything earlier, so I don't bemoan the loss of the Classic environment.

But losing Rosetta for no good reason is harder to bear, particularly while Apple won't do any security or other updates for native PowerPC machines. But Apple does make sure that iTunes for those older systems can still connect to the iTunes Store because there's money to be made
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:32 AM   #12
artfun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
1. Expansion slot (The mezzanine slot on the original iMac) Obsolete
2. Reset/interrupt buttons Obsolete
3. I/R port Not needed, never used it, Wi-Fi is more useful and reliable
4. Modem port Obsolete
5. FireWire ports Replaced by Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, available via adapter
6. Power/sleep indicator Not needed
7. Easily accessible power/sleep button Still easily accessible
8. VGA port Obsolete, Replaced by Thunderbolt
9. Front speakers directed at the user Not needed, as current design works well
10. Easily expanded memory on all models Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
11. Optical drive Still available externally for users who need them, no wasted space for those who don't
12. User replaceable hard drive Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
13. Side mounted ports Not needed
14. DVI port Obsolete, Replaced by Thunderbolt
15. Tilt/height adjustable keyboard Available by buying any preferred keyboard
16. Industry standard hard drive without a wonky thermal sensor Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
17. Disassemble without need of a tape and glue kit Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
18. Matte screen Should be available as an option
19. Fan-less operation Not needed
20. Number pad on the included keyboard Available, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
21. Audio input Available via USB
22. Keyboard with real keycaps instead of Chiclets. Available by buying any preferred keyboard

I'll guess that Apple will drop the SD card port Not needed, never used it, available externally for the few who need it
along with user accessible RAM on all models. Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase

I would argue on the points where "If user selects right configuration", especially 10 and 12. I personally upgraded memory and HD in my laptop (not apple though) couple times instead of purchasing new machine.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:32 AM   #13
Thermonuclear
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If so many of those features aren't needed, then why were they ever there in the first place?

And just because you don't use something doesn't mean that no one else does. I have used ALL of those features except for the expansion slot.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 11:44 AM   #14
GGJstudios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermonuclear View Post
If so many of those features aren't needed, then why were they ever there in the first place?

And just because you don't use something doesn't mean that no one else does. I have used ALL of those features except for the expansion slot.
I've used 8-track tapes and transistor radios and many other things in the past that were useful in their day. That doesn't mean they're useful now, compared to more advanced technology that is available today. And when it comes to success in running a computer manufacturing company, it doesn't matter what I use, or what you use, but rather what the majority of computer buyers use.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 12:51 PM   #15
fuchsdh
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TIL people are bemoaning the lack of VGA on a modern computer in 2014.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 01:58 PM   #16
Joe The Dragon
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Originally Posted by fuchsdh View Post
TIL people are bemoaning the lack of VGA on a modern computer in 2014.
I can see it on laptops projectors systems are mainly or at least only cabled for VGA.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 02:06 PM   #17
Larry-K
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Whatever you find most useful.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
1. Expansion slot (The mezzanine slot on the original iMac) Obsolete
2. Reset/interrupt buttons Obsolete
3. I/R port Not needed, never used it, Wi-Fi is more useful and reliable
4. Modem port Obsolete
5. FireWire ports Replaced by Thunderbolt and USB 3.0, available via adapter
6. Power/sleep indicator Not needed
7. Easily accessible power/sleep button Still easily accessible
8. VGA port Obsolete, Replaced by Thunderbolt
9. Front speakers directed at the user Not needed, as current design works well
10. Easily expanded memory on all models Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
11. Optical drive Still available externally for users who need them, no wasted space for those who don't
12. User replaceable hard drive Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
13. Side mounted ports Not needed
14. DVI port Obsolete, Replaced by Thunderbolt
15. Tilt/height adjustable keyboard Available by buying any preferred keyboard
16. Industry standard hard drive without a wonky thermal sensor Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
17. Disassemble without need of a tape and glue kit Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
18. Matte screen Should be available as an option
19. Fan-less operation Not needed
20. Number pad on the included keyboard Available, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase
21. Audio input Available via USB
22. Keyboard with real keycaps instead of Chiclets. Available by buying any preferred keyboard

I'll guess that Apple will drop the SD card port Not needed, never used it, available externally for the few who need it
along with user accessible RAM on all models. Not needed, if user selects right configuration at time of purchase


Yes, you are talking about different machines, because the features you described do not appear on current iMac models. You're referring to features of other computers, including outdated iMac models. It's always amusing to me when people criticize Apple, claiming they have contempt for users or that they don't care about users. It's quite obvious Apple is continuing to meet the needs of millions of users, as evidenced by their continued selling success. If they weren't meeting consumers' needs, they wouldn't be experiencing that success. What you're really claiming is that Apple has contempt for the select few users who want to cling to outdated technologies and keep things the way they are, without any logical justification. The solution is simple: buy an old, outdated iMac that's configured the way you want.
Seems like your entire post is predicated on the buyer selecting the proper configuration at purchase.

Of course, I wonder how many Mac buyers (especially new ones) do their homework that thoroughly.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 02:09 PM   #18
GGJstudios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry-K View Post
Seems like your entire post is predicated on the buyer selecting the proper configuration at purchase.

Of course, I wonder how many Mac buyers (especially new ones) do their homework that thoroughly.
No, not my entire post, but rather only for 2 features. It's up to each buyer to do their homework before buying, especially if they know upgrades after purchase aren't an option. If they elect not to research their purchase beforehand, they get what they get.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 02:18 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Joe The Dragon View Post
I can see it on laptops projectors systems are mainly or at least only cabled for VGA.
Yup. 85% of the classroom overhead projectors at my university are VGA only. HDMI is just starting to make its way in. Over 90% of the monitors at a large, multinational company nearby me are VGA only as well. Same goes for a large hospital I worked in. They're not going to go out and buy 1,000 new monitors every 2 years, so VGA connectivity is very relevant in 2014, especially for laptops, and will be for some time.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 02:19 PM   #20
TechZeke
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The one that boggles my mind is the fanless operation point. Do you expect to run a 780M and Desktop class i7 without fans?

GGJ already debunked the other points. I used to an avid defender of the Optical Drive, but haven't use the drive in either of my macs for months, if not a year. Download with the on-average much-faster connection speeds of 2014 is far superior.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 02:44 PM   #21
Yebubbleman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermonuclear View Post
Over the years, many features have disappeared from one or more iMac models:

1. Expansion slot (The mezzanine slot on the original iMac)
2. Reset/interrupt buttons
3. I/R port
4. Modem port
5. FireWire ports
6. Power/sleep indicator
7. Easily accessible power/sleep button
8. VGA port
9. Front speakers directed at the user
10. Easily expanded memory on all models
11. Optical drive
12. User replaceable hard drive
13. Side mounted ports
14. DVI port
15. Tilt/height adjustable keyboard
16. Industry standard hard drive without a wonky thermal sensor
17. Disassemble without need of a tape and glue kit
18. Matte screen
19. Fan-less operation
20. Number pad on the included keyboard
21. Audio input
22. Keyboard with real keycaps instead of Chiclets.

I'll guess that Apple will drop the SD card port along with user accessible RAM on all models. The excuses, if any, will be lame. Hey, Apple will just sell you an SD adapter, or more high priced memory up front. The Ethernet port is also a candidate for elimination, at least for the lower end models. And perhaps the four USB ports could be reduced to only two. You can always get a hub.

But rapture and joy, the latest iMac just might be a half millimeter thinner!
I'm going to agree with the notion that a lot of those features were rendered obsolete. That being said, not all of them were. The iMac has always been about form over function and, as a result, has long been Apple's least reliable and worst engineered Mac product line. No one needs a machine that thin; making it that thin does nothing functional to make it better. Make it thicker, and you can put more powerful components in as well as provide better cooling and easier service access for the components that are in there. Even if consumers are not to take the things apart, Apple should still be thoughtful of the lowly repair technicians who still have to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Many of those features disappeared because they were replaced by more advanced technology or rendered obsolete. If the current iMac models don't meet the needs of a user, they can always buy an older model or another computer. Like every computer made by Apple, iMacs are not designed or intended to meet all the needs of every potential user.
Yes, but that's not an excuse for needlessly reducing aftermarket upgradability and viability for their machines. It causes users to replace machines much quicker which is not only bad for them but also environmentally irresponsible. Yup, all in the name of a thinner machine.

To say that they're not designed to meet the needs of every potential user, if I'm to buy a Mac desktop, and want more powerful guts than a Mac mini, but not need the guts of a Mac Pro, what are my options? Oh right, iMac. What if the iMac fails to meet my options? What other mid-range Mac desktop can I get at that point?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
It's not an excuse. It's a reason. To expect any computer maker to design and offer a computer that includes every conceivable connection, interface, accessory and feature built-in, no matter how outdated or infrequently used, is incredibly naive. Apple's obvious success is a reflection that it hasn't attempted to do anything quite so foolish.
Your inferring that if Apple DID offer more expandability/connections that this would ruin their success. Frankly, I don't see how the two correlate and are anything other than coincidental.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
No, not my entire post, but rather only for 2 features. It's up to each buyer to do their homework before buying, especially if they know upgrades after purchase aren't an option. If they elect not to research their purchase beforehand, they get what they get.
Apple charges an obscene amount for storage and RAM upgrades. In past (pre-Retina) MacBook Pros, changing out both was relatively easy; anyone with a 00 phillips screwdriver and a T6 Torx screwdriver could do it. Now, RAM is only user-upgradable on the Mac mini, the 27" iMac, and the Mac Pro (and the non-retina 13" MacBook Pro, but I do not count it given its obvious stay of inevitable execution). Good luck upgrading storage on any of them; without proprietary tools and/or overly costly proprietary form-factor drives.

Long story short, you're saying that users should be proactive and upgrade (which they either will forget to do, not notice, or find too expensive) or be stuck with what they get. How is that not lousy?
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 03:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Joe The Dragon View Post
I can see it on laptops projectors systems are mainly or at least only cabled for VGA.
And what do I do when I use my MBP with a projector, which is way < 1% of the time I use it? Use an adaptor. Much better than having a port on the side that I rarely use.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 03:20 PM   #23
Larry-K
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
No, not my entire post, but rather only for 2 features. It's up to each buyer to do their homework before buying, especially if they know upgrades after purchase aren't an option. If they elect not to research their purchase beforehand, they get what they get.
Yes, nothing like disappointed customers in the long run.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 03:25 PM   #24
GGJstudios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
Yes, but that's not an excuse for needlessly reducing aftermarket upgradability and viability for their machines. It causes users to replace machines much quicker which is not only bad for them but also environmentally irresponsible. Yup, all in the name of a thinner machine.
I don't think it's about thinness. It seems pretty clear to me that Apple has no motivation to make machines user-upgradable, as that can delay future computer purchases. It's economically in their interest to make "disposable" devices that a user will replace in a shorter period of time, driving more sales. Apple doesn't benefit at all if you upgrade your RAM or drive instead of buying a new Mac. They are, after all, in business to make money.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
To say that they're not designed to meet the needs of every potential user, if I'm to buy a Mac desktop, and want more powerful guts than a Mac mini, but not need the guts of a Mac Pro, what are my options? Oh right, iMac. What if the iMac fails to meet my options? What other mid-range Mac desktop can I get at that point?
Again, Apple isn't trying to meet every user's needs. If you don't find a Mac model in their product line that meets your needs, you can buy another brand that does. Apple isn't trying to capture every buyer, only what they perceive as the market they target.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
Your inferring that if Apple DID offer more expandability/connections that this would ruin their success.
I'm not inferring that at all, but rather, Apple is enjoying immense success without catering to users who want options they don't offer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
Apple charges an obscene amount for storage and RAM upgrades.
There's that profit motive raising its ugly head again!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yebubbleman View Post
Long story short, you're saying that users should be proactive and upgrade (which they either will forget to do, not notice, or find too expensive) or be stuck with what they get. How is that not lousy?
Buyer beware. Apple sells what they sell. While I may prefer a different configuration than they offer (I do, in some cases), I have two choices: buy a Mac that comes closest to meeting my needs and live with the features it has, or buy a different brand computer. I choose to buy Macs, even though I might be able to find other hardware more perfectly suited to my requirements, predominately because of OS X. I don't expect any company, including Apple, to design and sell exactly what I want, the way I want it, at the price I want to pay. I guess I've just been around long enough to know that rarely happens.
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Originally Posted by Larry-K View Post
Yes, nothing like disappointed customers in the long run.
Yes, you can tell from customer satisfaction surveys and from sales how disappointed the majority of Apple customers are.
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Old Jun 30, 2014, 03:37 PM   #25
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This is just variation of every complaint people can levy at Apple: they don't make X because I want it. Apple makes stuff that, by profit, customer sat, market growth, etc., clearly appeals to a large segment of the population. But that's not everyone. Personally I think that Apple could make thin and awesome-looking computers without removing as much expandability (go from an inch thick to half and inch instead of 5mm…) and for my non-professional work I'd love the xMac, that fabled void that has existed for essentially a decade now between the mini and the Mac Pro as professional costs skyrocketed (looking back at those small and cheap Powermac G4's is always saddening.) And I'm sure there would be a lot more Mac gamers if that niche existed.

But Apple isn't interested in playing the Windows or Android or Samsung game of every niche, a product (or in Samsung's case, every niche, as many products as they can shoot out.) And that means that some people might not be Apple customers forever. I guess that's sad in one sense, because that does mean that certain markets get left out in the cold or less catered-to over time (witness the outrage of certain professionals.) But at the same time… you're in the tech field. Things are going to change, and getting hitched to a wagon is a bad idea.

I just get annoyed by this because it assumes that your issues and lack of being served by a company means it's the company's responsibility to cater to you.
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