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The Future of the iMac

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by x86isslow, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Thinking ahead to the WWDC, it seems likely that a new iMac will have a large role in Steve's keynote, as the one line to not have updated yet this year. I think, however, that another G4 iMac would not sell, and the only way to resusitate the line is with a G5. This is problematic since the Powermac line still uses the same chips (1.8, 2.0) that it did last year, meaning Apple may only be able to use a 1.6 in the iMac.

    The other problem- the falling price of the powermac and the price point of the eMac leaves little window for three models of the iMac. eMac/superdrive is 999.

    I think Apple may drop the 15 and re-position the 17" on the low end, as part of their trend- they removed the Superdrive from the 15 at some point, IIRC.

    But since a G5 iMac anywhere near the eMac price point will result in sales cannibalization, do you think we'll see a price drop in the eMacs? A specs boost?

    Your thoughts please:
  2. macrumors 65816

    There is a lot up in the air on the iMac. Many have made assumptions that we'll see a new form factor in addition to the G5 making an appearance.

    If the new form factor is "more advanced" than the current flat panel iMac I doubt if we'll see any price drops coming to the iMac. If Apple somehow figures out how to put a G5 in the current FP iMac our best hope is for prices to remain constant, so you get more for your dollar.

    The eMac is the best value in the line but there probably is still room for Apple to cut the margins and lower the price. They can sell refurb eMacs for anywhere from $550 - $700 so why not just release a CDRW version (not combo drive) for $499 and try to win back some market share?

    The final piece of this puzzle is the never ending quest for a headless, upgradable consumer Mac. There are many people out there who want to keep their current monitor and when they go shopping and maybe even consider Apple then quickly find out that the "affordable" Macs come with screens. I really do believe this turns off a good number of potential buyers.

    I think there is room for all of these machines. Here is my breakdown:

    eMac $499 - $799: Market this to first time buyer, basic home user and education. Perfect for iLife, internet, email & word processing.

    nMac (new Mac): headless consumer mac with G4 or G5, upgradable video card (soon we will no longer need ADC), upgradable RAM and HD. It may sound stupid to have a G4 here but again, think of all the people with Dells who want to dump Windows but want keep their 2 year old LCD. A G4 would be fine for these low-end consumers. G4 for $799, 1.6ghz G5 for $1200. So for $799 you can have a non-upgradble G4 with a CRT or you can have flexibility to upgrade but no CRT. Seems equitable to me.

    iMac: known for more of style over substance. G5 but not upgradable (besides 1 or 2 RAM sticks). Slightly new form factor but still an all-in-one. 17" G5 for $1499, 20" G5 for $1799 (these are my price cuts, which I don't really believe will happen).

    With this line up the iMac would really have to be a real beauty to sell...Maybe there isn't room for it after all?
  3. macrumors 603


    Apple can still use the 1.6,1.8, and 2.0 Ghz G5 chip. The Powermacs are all dual and the imacs will be singles. There is a big speed difference. I also believe that the 1.8 and 2.0 Ghz are t 90nm.
  4. macrumors 68000


    The new iMac should have:

    128MB Radeon9600XT
    dual channel DDR400
    2Ghz (90nm) G5

    But knowing Apple, it will have:
    128MB GeforceFX5200
    single channel DDR400
    1.6Ghz (90nm) G5
  5. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    If Apple puts in a fx5200 and its not a removeable card ( you know so you can yank it out and throw it away) then it will sink sales period. Fx5200 aint going to do anything but kill sales.
  6. macrumors 603


    The oem cost difference between a combo drive and a CDRW is $15 at best. People that buy $499 computers aren't going to turn around and buy Final Cut Pro but they will call your tech support line and cost you money. No studies have shown that cheapo computers help at all. I honestly think supporting a user who has the cheapest computer is a burden and evidently so does Apple.

    I say screw consumers. Apple needs to take back education. That's where you can sell computers at cost and then make it up in licensing on the backend. Apple needs to get Powerschool generating revenue. Once education is moving forward and Apple is generating some movement in the Enterprise then they can try to elimante the microsoft tax. I'm not saying I don't want Office but Apple needs to be pushing their own workflow.
  7. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    I think the sweet spot for Apple would be something like this:

    1.6 GHz G5
    256 MB RAM, expandable to 2 GB (two slots)
    80 GB HD (BTO up to 200 GB)
    Combo drive (SuperDrive optional)
    AirPort Extreme optional
    Bluetooth optional
    Radeon 9200 graphics (32 MB VRAM)
    15" screen

    1.8 GHz G5
    256 MB RAM, expandable to 2 GB (two slots)
    80 GB HD (BTO up to 200 GB)
    AirPort Extreme optional
    Bluetooth optional
    Radeon 9200 graphics (64 MB VRAM)
    Optional Radeon 9600 graphics (64 MB VRAM)
    17" screen

    2.0 GHz G5
    256 MB RAM expandable to 2 GB (two slots)
    160 GB HD (BTO up to 250 GB)
    AirPort Extreme built in
    Bluetooth built in
    Radeon 9600 graphics (64 MB VRAM)
    Optional Radeon 9700 (64/128 MB VRAM)
    20" screen
  8. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dave your a little weak on the graphics, if apple wants to turn this sinking ship around known as marketshare they will have to offer something competitive to PCs for around the same amount. 9200 radeon would be a joke as is Fx5200 right now. Sure you want to play using 640 x 480 they me be ok but this is year 2004 with graphic cards that exceeded those cards years ago. Im still amazed they are selling FX5200 in powermac but as i said before they are cheap to make,cheap to buy and apple has agreed to buy a boatload or has a warehouse over running with these things from poor selling imac and powermac sales this past year.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    I'm pretty sure that the iMac will have an 8xsuperdrive, given that the eMac already has one.
  10. macrumors Penryn


    I'd love to see Apple offer true BTO iMacs.

    Chose your processor- 1.6, 1,8, 2.0
    Choose RAM- 256 MB, 512MB, 1GB
    Choose HD- have 3 or 4 choices
    Choose screen size- kill the 15" and offer 17" and 20"
    Choose your optical drive- Combo or SuperDrive
    Choose graphics card- 64 or 128 MB

    Price them from $1600-$2000 or so. I might have offered too many RAm and HD options. I think this would be a major home run for Apple. Of course, they could have one standard 17" and 20" for retail purposes and allow you to BTO in their stores too.

    Am I on crack?
  11. macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Nope, they need to do something to turn around marketshare and what you propose would help but i doubt they have that much forsight. I hate to be a pessimist but i think the hardware guys will just keep fumbling around wanting top dollar for last years hardware. Look at Powermac. I am guessing a 1.6 G5 mated to (yuk) FX5200. is this going to make people become switchers? Doubt it but it might make a switcher out of me. ;)
  12. macrumors Core

    no your not, but its probably just wishful thinking, i would like to see this too, as well as a headless imac, with perhaps an upgradable videocard, harddrive, ect, thats rather easy to do instead of the current imacs, wait i know! bring back the cube form factor! LOL
  13. macrumors 68020

    Knowing Apple, it will have: 1.5GHz G4.

    While it seems like we've been waiting a long time for such a lackluster upgrade, that, too, is par for the course.
  14. macrumors G3


    that would really be disappointing. If that happens, it surely will not be part of Jobs' keynote - he'd get booed off the stage! If that's all they were going to do, they should have done it months ago.

    At this point imac sales must be close to zero. They are the specs of an emac for the price of a powermac. How could anyone buy one?
  15. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Not so weak. At the price points I specified, Dell ships a GeForce FX5200 (albeit with 128 MB RAM) at the low end. That said, Dell does offer the 9800 at the top of my price structure. So maybe the range should be more like:

    15": FX 5200 (64 or 128 MB) or Radeon 9600 (64 or 128 MB)
    17": Radeon 9600 (64 or 128 MB) or Radeon 9700 (64 MB)
    20: Radeon 9700 (128 MB) or 9800 (128 MB)
  16. macrumors 68000


    Apple says no G5 iM

    I don't expect a G5 based iMac anytime soon-seeing as Apple doesn't expect a G5 iMac or Powerbook this year.
  17. macrumors 68000



    I have a 128MB FX5200 (the same amount of VRAM as Dell FX5200).
  18. macrumors 6502a

    is it as bad as Don't Hurt Me makes it seem?
  19. 7on
    macrumors 601


    I've never really understood videocard fanatics on the Mac. It's not like Macs need one. The most taxing software is prolly UT2004. Sure you'd be future proofing yourself, but videocards aren't usually at fault. My P3 800Mhz PC with a Geforce 3 can play GTA:VC pretty good. Even if I upgraded to a Raedon 9800, I think the bottleneck would be the proc.

    Not saying a kick-ass GFX card or expandability option is a bad move, it's just not really a "must-have." The must have is getting away from Motorola and the 167Mhz FSB.
  20. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Hopefully you are right. Though I think that the entry level one will also have 64mb VRAM.
  21. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    I had only seen that there would be no PB G5 or a 3GHz G5 PM anytime soon...
  22. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Nope. It makes sense, until you mention BTO in the retail stores. IMO the sweet spot for Apple is have "boxed" units with a set spec. The BTO option allows for a just in time inventory situation. Without the cost of warehousing units around the world. I am sure that they would prefer it if everyone would build to order.
  23. macrumors 603


    Speeds look faster than I would expect. 1.8 is the highest I would expect...although for no good reason but concerns over heat and canabalising the powermac line...

    I think the 15" is dead...17" minimium...maybe even a 23"

    BT as standard. Maybe wifi also. More fuss and cost to option these at least on middle to high end machines in the iMac line.

    64 Meg minimum VRAM...

  24. macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    I also hope that they have the OSX setup assistant in the new iMac G5 like they do with the new PM G5's....
  25. macrumors Penryn


    I meant that you could order a BTO in their stores, not that they would actually build it there. Can't see how that would ever be cost effective.

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