A Six-Step Plan for Apple

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. macrumors bot

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2003
    #1
  2. macrumors 603

    shadowfax

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    Sep 6, 2002
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    Houston, TX
    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

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    Jun 26, 2004
    Location:
    I live in a giant bucket!
    #3
    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:
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    winmacguy

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    #4
    That is why I labeled the article as "opinon" rather than "news" or "review" Still interesting all the same
    Cheers Winmacguy
     
  5. macrumors G5

    nagromme

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    May 2, 2002
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors regular

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    Apr 29, 2002
    #6
    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.
     
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Sir_Giggles

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2003
    #7
    Step 7

    Apple should give consumers the choice of a 1 button or 2-button mouse w/ scroll wheel with the purchase of any Apple computer.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

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    Sep 27, 2003
    #8
    They should have switched 100% to two button + scroll way back during the switcher campaign.
     
  9. macrumors member

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    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    thatwendigo

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    Nov 17, 2003
    Location:
    Sum, Ergo Sum.
    #10
    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:
    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. 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[/u], where I learned the following:
      Microsoft bought PowerPoint from a mac developer.
      Apple created one of - if not 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.​

     
  11. macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #11
    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.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Poff

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2003
    Location:
    Stavanger, Norway
    #12
    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.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    yamabushi

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2003
    #13
    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.
     
  14. macrumors regular

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Zurich
    #14
    Translation of the article

    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
     
  15. macrumors member

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    Paris, France
    #15
    Well

    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?
     
  16. macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

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    Secret Moon base
    #16
    What an unimaginative, uninspired list of ideas. Why did he even bother to write it?
     
  17. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    #17
    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.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    macridah

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    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Nor-Cal
    #18
    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 ...
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

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    Honolulu
    #19
    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
     
  20. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2001
    #20
    Headless iMac

    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.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

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    #21
    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.
     
  22. macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2003
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Fargo, ND
    #23
    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.
     
  24. macrumors member

    BlingBling

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2004
    #24
    one PC users perspective

    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. :)
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    #25
    Wrong facts in the article

    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?
     

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