Apple - Small expandable desktops now!

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by firestarter, Apr 15, 2003.

  1. firestarter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Just been surfing over on a good general tech site ( ) when I found the following story:

    Basically Shuttle ( ) a small Taiwanese PC clone manufacturer, expects to ship 600000 if its 'XPC' small form factor PCs this year.

    Compare this to Apple last year who shipped only 760000 PowerMacs:

    Apple - please wake up to this small PC market! There's no way that a small cloner should be shipping almost as many desktops as Apple, yet it is!

    The PowerMacs are way too big and the iMacs way too unexpandable for the current PC 'switcher' marketplace. A lot of switchers actually know how computers work (they've been wrestling with a PC for a couple of years right?) and they expect a little expandability in their purchase.

    Let's hope one of those new 970 motherboards finds its way into an expandable small form factor Mac for savvy Mac enthusiasts...

  2. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus


    Oct 5, 2001
    San Diego, CA
    This goes against everything Apple stands for: quality, dependability, reliability.

    I'd be shocked if Apple wanted anything to with disposable computing right now.
  3. Macpoops macrumors 6502

    Jan 15, 2002
    I'm growing tired of all these people who are demanding that apple produce a mini-powermac or the company will be in imminent doom. Hey guess what? They had it with the cube and guess what? It didn't sell well enough.
    If your posting on this board you probably have alot of computer savy. 90% of PC users i know(and i know alot) don't have any idea what the difference between their memory and their harddrive. They know how to turn on their computer and maybe fix a few minor problems in addition to their normal computer skill set.
    The only thing your missing with the iMac is the ability to add a new videocard. And for most users the one that is there is already enough. The need for expandablity for the most part is a perceived need. Alot of PC consumers are sold on the fact that if they buy a tower opposed to a all-in-one that it will last them long because they can add more new tech to it. I've seen countless users do this and then never ever open the case to add anything. After a few years they just go buy a new tower.

    Apple is different because they see these people as 2 seperate markets. Consumers and Professionals. 90 percent of consumers won't need the expandibilty that comes with a tower. For those power users who absolutely have to have it they can step up and buy a powermac, which is truely intended for the professionals.

    It's funny how Apple was the first in this XPC market with the Cube. Now every PCmaker is starting to jump on that wagon years later. It just goes to show you Apple is the first to innovate.

    Maybe the cube will make a return once this market becomes a bit larger.
  4. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    Apple had already predated these with the Cube. Powermacs need to be their size because there are still alot of Vertical Market hardware that needs full length PCI.

    I don't think Apple is wooing the PC user with a screwdriver. Shuttle PC's appeal to a unique user. Apple needs the bread and butter PC user. The one terrified to open the case...the one who doesn't upgrade components but upgrades the whole computer.
  5. mymemory macrumors 68020


    May 9, 2001
    Jobs: "Remember there are more Macs out ther ath BMw and Mercedes togather"

    The tower is OK, it is a tower. About the speed, they know already. About market shera and stuff... I do not care, actually I do not care abou lots of things about Apple just because I do not have the money to buy them.

    Do you know what would suc** big time? to me $10.000 to spend in a mac and not beign satisfy whith what is in the market at the time.
  6. vniow macrumors G4

    Jul 18, 2002
    I accidentally my whole location.
    You'd be right if you were talking about the first generation Shuttle boxes with a Socket 370, those were an innovative concept, but also had outdated parts and cooling problems, the newer ones with PIV and Athlon sockets and chipsets are pretty amazing considering their small size, those things are smaller than you think if you see them in person and you wouldn't think you could fit a full length AGP and PCI card in there but you can with no hassle.
    The newer ones also come with a heat pipe that enables them to cool off a lot better then the older ones, it would cool even better if they had an external power supply but you can't have everything now can we?

    The Cube didn't sell well enough for a lot of reasons and I don't think lack of demand was one of them, everyone I know who saw it was like 'ooohh....what a cool computer, I want one!' and then balked at the price tag.
    A niche that Apple is not but could compete in that would not take away from Powermac sales is the cheap, expandable headless computer, look at the reaction when John Frazer announced his concept for the iBox, poeple were skeptical of his success for legal reasons, but very few thought the concept was a bad idea.

    And its also funny that PC manufacturers can take a concept that Apple started and improve upon it in a number of ways and be more successful at it, the only thing keeping something like the Cube from being more successful like it could have been was its price.

    These little mini-PCs have a few distinct advantages over the Cube, the two big ones being able to accept full size AGP cards (wheras the Cube can only take smaller ones without being modded to death) and a full length PCI slot for current or future expansion.
    You can't upgrade anything but the RAM and Airport card (am I missing anything?) in an iMac or eMac, while you can replace the hard drives and optical drives it will void your warranty and is not exactly easy to do, the video card is integrated with the logic board so there is no possible option to upgrade in that department unless you can find a newer logic board, the processor is also soldered on so no chance for an upgrade there either plus add to the fact that the monitor is permantly attached and you don't exactly have a future-proof machine.
    Put an AGP and a PCI slot on them and get rid of the monitor and you have a nice and small (not to mention cute!) computer that will likely last you longer than any iMac or eMac (if in fact you're that kind of user).

    While there are many people out there with older iMacs, they are not being used to their full potential because of the limited upgrade options, there would be a lot more you could do with those if you had more upgrade options.
  7. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    what are you talking about rower, the shuttles are awesome. they have pci, agp, and front firewire usb optical and sound. i love em, one of my friends built one and its great. its a little bit bigger than they cube but i dont care, shuttles are still small, great for lans.

  8. rainman::|:| macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2002
    Here's my thought. I think the complete lack of expandibility in the consumer line is definitely a turn off. Back in the days of the LC (mini-pizza box style) they were doing something similar, selling a really cheap computer that was very small. But even then they had one slot for expansion! why can't Apple simply put a proprietary interface card in the iMac, discreetly placed for design purposes... 3rd party developers can find a lot of uses...

    i still think the space limitations in the iMac are fair. There's no need for the average iMac user to need more than one internal HD or extra drive bay...

  9. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    well i think apple is gradually trying to answer this problem by lowering the prices on the powermacs. they have come down a great deal.

  10. Fukui macrumors 68000


    Jul 19, 2002
    You know apple does have a PM feedback page?? The ony hardware S. Jobs seem willing to hear ideas for:

    I want a 970 "cube" (actually a monolith) w/ atleast two PCI-X slots and a slot-load drive...for $799...if not, I'll stay with my cube 'cause "silence is golden" !!
  11. acj macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2003

    The XPCs are the greatest PC's ever, but they are like the MDD's with the noise problem. Simpler to replace the fan on the PC though. Another advantage not mentioned compared to the cube is ability to have a RAID array inside.

    This would be so easy for Apple to copy and improve slightly upon. The only problem, in my oppinion, is they screwed themselves with the cube. If they make a new cube that is cheap and upgradable with real desktop components like the Shuttle, then it will be slightly larger and people will complain that they couldn't inovate something smaller. If they make it smaller and cooler it will undoubtably be an expensive big laptop, like the original cube.
  12. firestarter thread starter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Too expensive, not expandable enough.
    And you know what? That remaining 10% who are savvy are 3x bigger than Apple's current market share... There are more savvy PC users out there than creative professionals. This is a big market.
    Absolutely true. "I perceive that this computer is not expandable, therefore I will not switch". My point is that Apple need to address this.
    Take a look around the techy PC web sites. That was the situation, but the PC market has been stagnating. These small PCs are a genuinely new niche in the marketplace, and are experiencing major growth in what is still a slow market.
    That's not the real reason why Apple don't give home users expandability. The phrase we see again and again on this forum is "if Apple build X they'll cannibalise sales of Y". Unfortunately if this sort of thinking continues we'll never get anything small or cheap and flexible, as that will allways be more attractive than a full PowerMac to some. Maybe with the extra speed the 970 will provide, Apple won't have to cripple the low end quite as much.

    Also, there are more niches out there than just consumers and creative professionals.

    Linux has an enormous number of users and followers many of whom would be interested in buying Apple (Linux conferences are awash with PowerBooks). Here's another savvy niche who might actually want a different sort of PC. If Apple's market share is going to grow it's this sort of niche that Apple should go for.
  13. firestarter thread starter macrumors 603


    Dec 31, 2002
    Green and pleasant land
    Oh please! These things are pretty well made and have good dependability and reliability.

    The usual Mac owners quote that "you know, I'm still using my same Mac X years on! Macs last much longer" isn't a good thing! It's about not wanting to pay the same (large) amount of money again for a new Mac that's less than twice the speed of your old one. PC users get something twice the speed at lower cost every 1 1/2 years or so. A much better reason to upgrade...

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