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Old Dec 27, 2012, 09:58 AM   #101
Luvin
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Originally Posted by ChrisNH View Post
It stands to reason that U.S. manufacturing has collapsed so far, and so much, that Apple only gives us its most basic, simplest, least complex computer to assemble. Anything with a display or complex innards, nope.
But that's what makes sense. You wouldn't move something with a higher volume until you know that things would work out. This is a test and just about the best choice due to the reasons you stated earlier. If it works out, apple will find a way to make more things come over here.

The big thing here isn't how many jobs or where the money is going (that's another matter), the point is that apple is making headlines and bringing attention to the subject. Once that happens, it's only a matter of time before other companies look at apple, the richest tech company in the world, and think to themselves, "hey, what do they know that I don't? Maybe we can do this too!" That is certainly the hope. Companies emulate other successful companies.

Lastly, am I the only one here to remember that the US pioneered assembly lines and factory production? We've done it before and we can certainly do it again. I hope apple becomes the 'ford' of our generation.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:16 AM   #102
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Yikes

Better buy one now before the quality goes into the toilet.

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Originally Posted by TouchMint.com View Post
This is pretty good stuff because when Apple does something other companies will follow. I do want to point out some companies have been producing over here forever without much recognition.
Name one please?
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:18 AM   #103
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So is this the first time since 2007 that Apple assembles some of its computer line-up in the US, or has this been ongoing the whole time?
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:25 AM   #104
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It is a small step to bringing good manufacturing jobs back home, but an important one. Hopefully other companies will bring good jobs back over here. I, for one, don't mind paying a little more for a product that is made in the USA by American workers. I figure my money is helping someone put food on the table in my country and it really boosts the economy when the money we spend stays here.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:26 AM   #105
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Apple cannot "move" something to the US that has pretty much always been in the US to begin with. Every single Mac Pro I've seen(granted haven't seen any new ones in a few years) has been assembled in the USA. They are simply too bulky and too low-volume to assemble them in China then air mail them over. Mac Minis on the other hand have never been assembled in the US. Being quite light and pretty high-volume(which makes assembling large #s of them then shipping by boat economical) meant that they could be affordably assembled elsewhere.
The one I got for Christmas shipped from China. My mom was amazed by its status updates, ordered on Monday and arrived at her Pennsylvania home on Thursdy or Friday.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:30 AM   #106
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... Mac Minis on the other hand have never been assembled in the US. Being quite light and pretty high-volume(which makes assembling large #s of them then shipping by boat economical) meant that they could be affordably assembled elsewhere.
Well, my mid-2007 Mac mini claims to have been assembled in the U.S.A., thus at least until 2007 Apple had a Mac mini production capability in the US
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:36 AM   #107
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Just curious....if someone's not American, doesn't live in the USA how does Apple manufacturing their products in the USA benefit them? And why do people just focus on the assembly jobs? I mean the majority of designers, hardware/software engineers, marketing, operations, finance, etc. live and work and pay taxes in the USA. The best paying jobs within the Apple ecosystem are right here in the USA. Let China have the low wage jobs and lets train our workforce to be the ones that come up with the next big idea.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:39 AM   #108
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Apparently you failed to realize I was joking? Besides, you are quite ignorant about the MacPro. Yes, it is the most expensive box and sells the least. The last "semi-upgrade" in 2011 was selling about 25,000 units per month.
If they do a real upgrade and do it right in 2013 those numbers will at least double. All the pros who use these machines to make a living are waiting with money in hand. You wouldn't know about that would you. I know about it because I'm one of them.
LMAO. 250k a month? Even if those numbers are real (doubtful), that would mean a whole 300k sold a year. Wowzers. I think Apple sells that many lightning cables in a week.

Oh, and nice year old article you posted trying to back up your BS numbers. The dude is just guesing. He even say's so! Wow, nice reach.

Quote:
Desktop Macs include the iMac, Mac mini and the Mac Pro. I guesstimate that the iMac makes up 80% of the desktops, the Mac mini three quarters of the remainder and the Mac Pro gets the rest, or about 75,000 units a quarter.
Does Apple even display the Pro in stores?
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 10:45 AM   #109
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Originally Posted by WesCole View Post
It is a small step to bringing good manufacturing jobs back home, but an important one. Hopefully other companies will bring good jobs back over here. I, for one, don't mind paying a little more for a product that is made in the USA by American workers. I figure my money is helping someone put food on the table in my country and it really boosts the economy when the money we spend stays here.
Every Apple product is made in the USA by American workers to some extent. The majority of design, engineering, operations, marketing, etc. employees live and work in the USA. The final assembly might be in China but the high paying jobs are right here in the USA. I'd rather have those types of jobs here than low wage assembly jobs.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:03 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
Every Apple product is made in the USA by American workers to some extent. The majority of design, engineering, operations, marketing, etc. employees live and work in the USA. The final assembly might be in China but the high paying jobs are right here in the USA. I'd rather have those types of jobs here than low wage assembly jobs.
Yes, the high paying jobs are important, but the lower-level jobs would also help to employ more Americans. Not everyone can get the upper level jobs that are currently available and would be happy simply with consistent employment.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:15 AM   #111
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Originally Posted by wol View Post
So is this the first time since 2007 that Apple assembles some of its computer line-up in the US, or has this been ongoing the whole time?
Just took a look at the box for my 2012 mac mini... assembled in China.

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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
Every Apple product is made in the USA by American workers to some extent. The majority of design, engineering, operations, marketing, etc. employees live and work in the USA. The final assembly might be in China but the high paying jobs are right here in the USA. I'd rather have those types of jobs here than low wage assembly jobs.
Read "Player Piano" by Kurt Vonnegut written in 1952.

"This year is the 50th anniversary of this novel. I remember that I was working as an engineer back when I first read it. This was appropriate since most of the main characters are engineers. I remember being struck at how close Vonnegut's predictions about society actually were. Now that I've reexamined them 20 years later, I am even more impressed.

The basic premise of the story is that American industry is run by a tiny group of wealthy and powerful managers and engineers, while the vast majority of the population are stripped of their well-paying industrial jobs and forced to live as poor, powerless menials.

This elite of managers and engineers live in closed, gated Orwellian communities, where they watch each other closely for the slightest hint of nonconformity or disloyalty to the system.

Vonnegut shows how most managers and engineers have always had a contempt for the average American worker and have been looking for a way to replace them even before WW2. He thought that this would primarily be by automation (as opposed to simply shipping the jobs out of the country.)

Vonnegut also assumed that agriculture would be totally mechanised by large corporations and the small farmer made extinct.

There is also the eerie prediction that the President would be a man of low intelligence who would get elected on the basis of a "three hour television show." It would make no difference because there would be no connection between who was elected and who actually ran the country. Remenber, this was in 1952....

Oh yes, he also predicted that no one would be able to get any job worth having without a graduate degree.

I know that some people will say that this novel is dated based simply on the repeated mention of vacuum tubes (transistors were not in commercial use in 1952.) However, if you substiute "integrated circuit" or "computer chip" for every place he uses vacuum tube the obsolescence vanishes. Simularly, a modern reader may laugh at the idea of a computer large enough to fill Carlesbad caverns. Believe me, even today the Cray supercomputers and their support equipment take up quite abit of space.

My only real criticism with Vonnegut's projections is that he thought that engineers would have alot more power and influence than they actually have. From my own experience MBA's, CPA's, and lawyers have much more power."

- review from amazon
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:20 AM   #112
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"You're assuming a causality that may not be the only part of the equation. Perhaps Mac Pro sales are slumping BECAUSE Apple has chosen almost three years to update it. I'm certain if Apple placed even 1% of its iOS focus on professional systems, they would sell more. Blindly stating sales are low because of A and not B is rather akin to putting the cart before the horse."

My take:
Eventually, we are going to see Apple abandon the "high-end hardware platform" completely. We may see the iMac line transmogrify into a "Mac OS-ified" version of iOS.

When that time arrives, Apple will no longer be "a hardware company" -- insofar as computer platforms running OS X are concerned.

So.. what will happen to OS X? I wouldn't be surprised to see Apple "license it out" to other hardware manufacturers, for a high premium, of course. I would expect to see such licenses contingent on strict compliance with Apple design guidelines. We might even see pre-configured motherboards sold by Apple along with a copy of OS X. In that case, they would remain a "hardware company", per se -- but leave the buyer the job of "finishing it off" with a case, drive, peripherals, etc.

This will be the natural result of watching Apple's iPhone and iPod markets zoom upward, while their "computer platforms" shrink as a portion of their revenue stream.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 11:31 AM   #113
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Hmm.. Counter intuitive. The Mac Pro was the obvious choice. Just goes to show that I should be running Apple instead of Tim.
I'll be switching to Windows if that happens.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 12:00 PM   #114
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 12:58 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by saud0488 View Post

I'm willing to bet every single apple device you own is made there. If you don't like the quality then don't buy it.
I'm American and I believe in my country. Perhaps you're from outside the US and feel the same about your homeland? And by your comment above you totally missed the point of my post.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 01:54 PM   #116
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Good to hear we're making Mac's but i feel like now the price is going to go up
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:05 PM   #117
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Did someone tell Foxconn they will have to pay workers here $15-$20 an hour and not $1.50? They should see some savings in not having to install suicide nets though.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:19 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
Yep, mentality of killing the products that don't sell. How dare they! They better start producing a new Newton stat!!
The Mac Pro doesn't sell because it's outdated, overpriced, and underpowered. They've killed the demand themselves. It sold just fine when it was a capable machine.

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Originally Posted by JS3 View Post
Surprised apple is still making Mac Mini.
For those of us who don't wish to use a glossy screen, it's the only choice left. With its current specs (fully maxed out), it's a more than capable machine at an aggressive price point. If you need PCIe expansion, you can just throw the cards in a thunderbolt enclosure. The only thing missing that keeps it from being the absolute no-brainer Apple computer to buy is the lack of discreet graphics. They obviously removed this intentionally to gimp the product or they wouldn't sell any iMacs at twice the price.

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Originally Posted by GizmoDVD View Post
Does Apple even display the Pro in stores?
Yes.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:38 PM   #119
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That's unexpected, most of us assuming the Mac Pro is the #1 candidate for this. I guess Apple will be abandoning the Mac Pros from now on and focus on MacMini Pro made in the USA.
The Mac Mini has been updated fairly regularly for the past few years. Apple has a pretty good handle on how many they can sell.

The Mac Pro hasn't had a meaningful update in years. Sales have likely shrunk to next to nothing. While that may change when the new model is finally out, it's hard to predict how well it will sell, which is a bad thing when it involves building a factory and production line.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:39 PM   #120
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Do we understand English????

Seriously dude to you understand the English language, he said a higher level of automation. As to what robots can do, that expands everyday. Beyond that the Mini would most likely get a complete mechanical over haul via a DFM program. That is Design for Manufacturing.

It should be pretty obvious to everybody here that the current Mini sucks with respect to assembly using either humans or machines. Refactor the machine completely for automation and you could be knocking Minis out at a rather impressive rate with few humans working in the plant.

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Originally Posted by krravi View Post
You think a robot can make a Mac Mini by itself?
A silly question considering that production lines don't have one human making a Mini. Robots can be leveraged anywhere repetive tasks are done. Sme of the newer robots and in combination with advanced visions systems can be extremely flexible when doing those tasks.
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Then you have no idea what goes into the making of a computer or what robots can do and what humans can do.
Honestly it sounds like you are the one out of touch here. The fact that the current Mini is a poor design for manufacturing doesn't mean the 2013 one will be. Apple could easily achieve a "higher level" of automation to produce a Mini with a minimal of factory workers.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:46 PM   #121
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If the mac Pro and xserve are abandoned, where does it leave the server market? Maybe they'll let us use OS X Server on esxi, where esxi isn't running on Apple hardware. Until the mac mini has redundant power supplies and a rack mount, it's no good for the server market.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 02:55 PM   #122
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Originally Posted by WesCole View Post
It is a small step to bringing good manufacturing jobs back home, but an important one. Hopefully other companies will bring good jobs back over here. I, for one, don't mind paying a little more for a product that is made in the USA by American workers. I figure my money is helping someone put food on the table in my country and it really boosts the economy when the money we spend stays here.
Actually, bringing things back home (aka in-sourcing) is being done primarily for financial reasons. In particular, the cost of shipping the components and finished goods between their COO, manufacturing location, and the final destination combined with increasing wages in China, have gotten to the point it's cheaper to relocate manufacturing closer to the component sources and use automation to replace as many of the human workers currently being used as possible. Since more and more of the components are made in the US in this case, it makes sense.

Bit more to it, but the increases in shipping costs and wages are the biggest part of the decisions to bring certain things back to the US (improvements on QA/QC = reduced defect rate, better security, reduced instance of IP theft, improved ability to meet delivery dates, ... also play into it generally speaking, but keep in mind that these aspects also translate into financial figures, as that's what business/accounting understand - dollars and cents, nothing more in my experience).

Unfortunately, since most of the assembly will be automated, the number of jobs created won't be that large. If you recall from the initial statements on the relocation to the US (product unnamed at the time), it indicated that there wouldn't be a lot of jobs created, and the estimates of ~200 employees are realistic.

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Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post
Every Apple product is made in the USA by American workers to some extent. The majority of design, engineering, operations, marketing, etc. employees live and work in the USA. The final assembly might be in China but the high paying jobs are right here in the USA. I'd rather have those types of jobs here than low wage assembly jobs.
Apple doesn't employ that many people though compared to Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision).

To put this into perspective:
Apple employees: 72,800
Foxconn (Hon Hai Precision) employees: 1.23 million
(as of 2012, source = Wikipedia).

Not all of the Apple employees are high paying either, as those numbers include the Apple Store personnel. Hon Hai's figures are mostly factory workers, but includes engineers, technicians, ... as well.

The difference? The factory workers are making better wages than their counterparts in China working say agricultural jobs, and sending money back home. Here, you wouldn't be able to do that with the typical service industry job, such as something that goes along the lines of "Would you like fries with that?".

In fact, a lot of these types of employees in the US are reliant on public assistance. There was even a movie (WalMart: The High Cost of Low Price, 2005) made about this regarding WalMart (WalMart employees cost the US taxpayer over $1.5 Billion in public assistance, and that was back in 2005 ).

We need a balance of high, mid, and low skill positions, as it's not remotely realistic to think that everyone can have the high paying jobs in the US.

Even if everyone had a BS/BA or better, all that would happen is a decrease in wages due to an over-supply of personnel. Effectively making the Bachelors degree toilet paper the new HS diploma. Wait a second ... this is already happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WesCole View Post
Yes, the high paying jobs are important, but the lower-level jobs would also help to employ more Americans. Not everyone can get the upper level jobs that are currently available and would be happy simply with consistent employment.
Absolutely agree.

Wages also need to be at a livable standard for everyone, not just the very top end. Otherwise, the US Domestic Market will essentially stagnate and collapse (no money, no sales; simple as that).

Quote:
Originally Posted by xlii View Post
[...snip...]

My only real criticism with Vonnegut's projections is that he thought that engineers would have alot more power and influence than they actually have. From my own experience MBA's, CPA's, and lawyers have much more power."

- review from amazon
I'd have to agree with whomever wrote this, particularly the last part. Engineers have little to no power/influence on what's going on.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:25 PM   #123
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So will Foxconn just ship it's workers to the US to make these things? If Apple was serious about cleaning up the production line they would make them in house not contract out.
You are among assumptions about manufacturing in China based on issue blown out of proportion buy people with very political motives. One especially overblown issue is that of underage workers, which try to apply failed western policies to countries that have the benefit of seeing our mistakes. The whole idea that everyone must graduate high school and then get a four year degree is just hilarious as it should be painfully obvious that some people aren't cut out for that. That is why apprenticeships and other forms of development were so popular even in this country in years gone by. Those are options for people that just don't learn in the traditional way.

Beyond that say you are a person like me that graduated from high school rather early and wanted a job. Are you suppose to sit around on your behind waiting to turn 18 or do you go looking for employment? Frankly I went looking for employment and found it. About a month later one of the managers came out and asked if I was 18, nope I said, so he said well Don't get hurt. That was in the later 1970's doing industrial work, today most mangers would be scared to death to do such. As to the manager and the long delay, apparently their math skills where all that great as I accurately filled out the employment application

In any event this happened in the USA, now as a country we have gotten so self destructive with respect to the thought of a child (which is anybody under 18) that we actually in demerit the concepts of work ethic and the development of a bit of pride in oneself and your abilities. So we not only destroy ourselves within, we arrogantly try to apply these sorts of ill informed ideas across the rest of the planet. Even if applying those ideas may lead to people going hungry or simply not having the options that we take for granted in this country.

Mind you I'm not advocating employing ten year olds here but rather systems that leverage students in high school that simply aren't cut out for preparation for an academic career which seems to be the goal of many state schools. We see this all the time with high schools touting 98% success rates in college admission only to see most of those students wander about through the post secondary educational system with no drive or goal. If the do graduate it is with a worthless degree that doesn't offer an income any greater than burger flipping. Effectively we waste billions on education in this country due to this idealism that everybody can grow up to be high prosperous, motivated and inventive. There are only so many ways to weave a basket!

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Originally Posted by bedifferent View Post
i.e. the facilities will have nets for jumpers, cots - er, housing, and a 24/7 "Panda Express" for 10 minute lunches.
Workers commit suicide in the US all the time and nobody cares. No one has yet to prove that factory conditions are a factor in the suicides in China.
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On a serious note, wtf? Once again, the Mac Pro gets shafted while iPad production is "ramped up" for a new, thinner, and more magical model.
So you want Apple to ramp Mac Pro production so that the machines can sit in a warehouse someplace. That is really sound business practice there. If you are running a business the only place to ramp production is where it is needed. I'm certain ip that if there is an uptick in Mac Pro demand Apple will find a way to "ramp up".
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Really.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:48 PM   #124
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I don't think the Mac Pro fits into Apple's portfolio anymore. A separate heavy bulky computer, made by reusable parts, with an external screen?
I don't see it that way. I see a machine with sales so low that Apple doesn't really know how to handle it.
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No, they prefer a computer to have all things integrated, not just for aesthetics and simplicity, but you also need to buy new very often, and throw the old away --> Apple profit.
That is an extremely ignorant way to look at Apples hardware. For one the iMac is what started the long road to recovery for the company. It is customer acceptance of the machine that drives the current design direction. As to other things like soldered on RAM in a notebook, that is a smart move from the standpoint of reliability. If you ever had to pop open a note book to reseat RAM you will know what I mean.
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I don't think the Mac Pro returns in its current form. And yes, it's rather absurd of them to disregard the professional market so long, and overcharging for horribly outdated hardware.
Well this I can agree with, I highly suspect that the current Mac Pro will be replaced with a new design real soon now. I'm not too sure they are disregarding the professional market though, I just think they want to move in a different direction and have hit delays in a replacement machine. Apple has had significant issues in the desktop market for some time now, not just with the Mac Pro and as such I really don't think they grasp just how bad the entire lineup is for users with strong computing needs.

This thing with overcharging though is bogus. Apple offers a price, you are as a customer free to not do business with them if the price isn't agreeable. So by definition if you buy a Mac Pro the it wasn't overpriced was it? For the people that really need a Mac Pro the price isn't even a consideration as there isn't really a huge market Oxford competing machines.
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I am damn tired of hearing of iPhones and iPads. Need to get solid alternatives for serious computing back.
Yes we do and I'm not too certain it will ever happen. I dream of a massively overhauled Mac Pro computer that is reasonably priced and equipped with modern up to date ports. Will we get it? Hard to say, but if the new Mac Pro isn't that machine in 2013 then I see the Mac Pro dying from lack of interest. In otherwords the 2013 machine is a do or die effort. Either the machine is good enough and cost effective enough to drive sales or it is dead in the water and the desktop lineup takes another dive.

What is more interesting is the 2013 Mini and the rumored transition to USA manufacture. That machine needs an overhaul and rethought as bad as the Mac Pro, it could become the midrange desktop machine that Apple sorely needs.

All in all Apple has an opportunity to save the Desktop lineup in 2013. To do that it needs completely new machines to replace the Mini and Pro. I'm actually hoping that we see the new Pro by the end of January. It has been a long time and it is way past due.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 03:56 PM   #125
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Seriously dude to you understand the English language, he said a higher level of automation. As to what robots can do, that expands everyday. Beyond that the Mini would most likely get a complete mechanical over haul via a DFM program. That is Design for Manufacturing.

It should be pretty obvious to everybody here that the current Mini sucks with respect to assembly using either humans or machines. Refactor the machine completely for automation and you could be knocking Minis out at a rather impressive rate with few humans working in the plant.


A silly question considering that production lines don't have one human making a Mini. Robots can be leveraged anywhere repetive tasks are done. Sme of the newer robots and in combination with advanced visions systems can be extremely flexible when doing those tasks.


Honestly it sounds like you are the one out of touch here. The fact that the current Mini is a poor design for manufacturing doesn't mean the 2013 one will be. Apple could easily achieve a "higher level" of automation to produce a Mini with a minimal of factory workers.
I rest my case.
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