The bottom of the line computer conflict

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by King Cobra, Nov 30, 2003.

  1. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Mar 2, 2002
    Lately all the latest products from Apple require certain CPU speeds (or other aspects) from recent machines that don't always fit the low end models. So I'm wondering a few things:

    (1) Given that Apple is first and foremost a software company, does Apple ask for too much with their software in terms of system requirements? If not, what happens to those lower end Mac users (iMac, iBook, G3, L2 cache etc.) when more advanced OS X software develops and consumes CPU loads?

    (2) Since Apple doesn't seem to focus too much on developing a low-end, sub-$900 or sub-$1000 i-eMac, is it possible that Apple overmarkets the high end products just so that consumers don't have to worry about CPU loads/loading time for more advanced OS X apps?

    (3) If Apple puts out, say, a 15 inch LCD 700MHz G4 iMac with low end specs for simplistic low-end usage, (a) what price should be given to it, and (b) will it easily keep up with Apple's dedicated software compared to more recent Mac models?

    See my point is, you can find cheap PCs all over the place for bottom of the line specs (in fact, I think over at DeviantART there is an ad for a $539 low end PC, and you get to install your choice of Windows OS). But I don't think that the issue about pricing difference and customer satisfaction about software speed is just related to how easily companies provide PC hardware. I think the software also comes into play.

    Now I'm sure that the same applies for PC users, but IF Apple and Microsoft both competed for a bottom of the line desktop machine for even $699, I think that (A) the user would find apps/graphics running on a PC more responsive, and (B) Apple would have to significantly reduce the speed/specs of their machine to meet the price.

  2. ethernet76 macrumors 6502a

    Jul 15, 2003
    My opinion.

    A lot of places out there make crap that barely runs XP and when thrown anything other than explorer throws a **** fit.

    Apple pretty much doesn't make those because an iMac 700 mhz with 128 ram doesn't run os x well. My 800 iMac struggles sometimes and visually lags. I think they more sell their computer as recommended specs for current software and above instead of saying, it will run on a G3 if we wanted, but you'd kill yourself.
  3. idkew macrumors 68020


    Sep 26, 2001
    where the concrete to dirt ratio is better
    Apple wants to make a quality software product, and if it means that people will have to pay them even more money for a new computer, they don't have a problem with that.

    As software technology increases, so does the hardware specs necessary to run it. We can not ask Apple to not innovate and add to their OS in order to save a couple bucks on not having to upgrade.

    ethernet76 - My 667mhz PowerBook runs 10.3 beautifully. No lags or anything. I don't know what is wrong with your 800mhz iMac, maybe go spend some money on RAM. I have 1gb.
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Re: The bottom of the line computer conflict

    Apple is a hardware company, not a software company. I would imagine they make relatively little profit from software sales. Just like the purpose of iTMS is to sell iPods the purpose of Apple software is to sell Apple hardware. DVD SP 2 is dirt cheap at $499. FCP 4 is $3,500 - $4,000 worth of apps for $999. When Apple released Shake they dropped the price significantly from the previous version. Compare the software bundle you get standard on a Mac to what you get standard or a Dell, Compaq or Gateway.

    The low-end iMac you are describing is a eMac except it's got a 17" CRT instead of a 15" LCD. And, if you don't want to buy new you can always save $$$ and buy a refurbished computer.

    From what I've seen each point release for X gets faster and better especially on older machines. I think Apple has done a good job of trying to keep X useable on older hardware. But, like all hardware it can only keep up to a point. And no one says you have to update to the latest software. I'm not running Panther on my Mac or XP on my PC.

    Apple's business model isn't the same as Dells. Apple isn't out to build the cheapest computer possible. I don't think you will see Apple competing against a $499 Dell and you won't see Dell creating innovative products like the iPod or the G5. Different companies with different goals and different business models.

  5. XnavxeMiyyep macrumors 65816


    Mar 27, 2003
    Panther now runs on G3's with speed around that of OS 9. As long as your G3 has USB, I recommend using Panther on it.
  6. lmann macrumors member

    Nov 26, 2003
    It's more simple than all that. The difference between buying a Mac instead of buying a PC is the same as buying a Bang & Olufson TV instead of a Sony TV. Mac creates High Quality products fabricatet using quality materials using beautifull designs. I don't think Apple ever will start producing cheap low-end computers as it simply doesn't fit Apple's image. BTW, Apple is a hardware company not software.
  7. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Re: Re: The bottom of the line computer conflict

    I second this.. While they are certainly taking a page from Micro$oft in the creation of Mac-centric apps, 75% of the money they make is from hardware sales.
  8. Paenis macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2003
    I'm running Panther on my 400 iMac and it's running fine... does your 800 really lag? Maybe with exposé or complex genie dock jazz.
  9. MacsRgr8 macrumors 604


    Sep 8, 2002
    The Netherlands
    Re: Re: The bottom of the line computer conflict

    Exactly. Well put, LethalWolfe

    People should understand this. Everyone who wants to compare Apple's products to anyother PC manufacturer's products should take notice on what exactly Apple is offering compared to others.
  10. toughboy macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Izmir, Turkey
    Re: Re: The bottom of the line computer conflict

    wonderful ideas about the difference between Apple and Dell, but i dont really agree that Apple is an hardware company..
    If that was true, then we would see G5s and low-end eMacs running any version of Windows.. I dont agree about, that Apple develops software to sell hardware too, there is no company (including Microsoft) that can develop so much in quantity and so wonderful in quality softwares like Apple does when developing hardware stuff.
    Yes, Apple is a innovator hardware developer, but is also an alltogether IT company including both sides of the business..
  11. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    Re: Re: Re: The bottom of the line computer conflict

    No. Apple creates their own operating system to sell hardware in a market which only they control. If they made machines which would run Windows, they could not guarantee themselves an income.

    Apple could provide lower cost machines for the market, as PowerComputing did during the clone years. However, like boutique stores, Apple sells similar products of greater quality and value for a higher price. If given enough money, would a person buy jewellry at Tiffany's or the cart in the middle of the mall?
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Re: Re: Re: The bottom of the line computer conflict

    There is no reason to buy and Apple over a Dell if they run the same software. Apple killed off the clones because they were eating too far into Apple's hardware sales. And without hardware sales Apple doesn't make much money. Like I said before, their software is priced so low that it can't make them very much money. That's one reason for the premimium<sp?> on hardware prices (to make up for the very low software prices).

    Apple makes such great software, coupled w/the fact that the couple of years prior to the G5 hardware was slow, that it is hard to see Apple as a hardware company, but that's what they are. That's what keeps the doors open. Apple is in a very unique position where it creates the "total package" for the computers it sells, but when it comes down to it it's hardware, not software, sales that pays the bills. That's why Apple is a hardware company.

    If every software title came in both Mac and PC versions I doubt Apple would make more than the OS for their machines. But as things got tough Apple became proactive and pulled themselves up by their own boot straps. Other companies weren't making killer apps for the Mac so Apple did it themselves.


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