Apple's Product Line

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by salmon, Jun 11, 2007.

  1. salmon macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2004
    Nova Scotia, Canada
    I thought it might be fun to discuss Apple's current product line and what might be done to improve it. I've been thinking about it, and here's my take:

    The Mac mini serves a nice niche and should be kept around, but needs an update. However, another option might be to bridge the gap with the :apple:tv and combine the two. Add a bit more computing capacity & optical drive whilst keeping the price below $500, and make "internet" an option on the front row menu that comes up, like the Wii does with its "internet channel". This would allow people to replace a great many electronic components in their house.

    The rumor about the iMac going higher end got me thinking about two things:
    1. I wonder if Apple might resurrect the previous iMac's unique LCD stand, in order to bring the screen close to the user for a multi-touch interface? Get rid of the mouse altogether!
    2. The biggest gap in Apple's lineup IMHO is the lack of a reasonable tower. The iMac has use limitations, and the towers are massive overkill for the average home user (in price, function and power requirements).
    As for digital content, Apple needs to replace the NetFlixs of the world with digitally delivered movie rentals - no waiting for the mail, movies are just there when you want to see them. Also, Apple needs to provide the leadership in the realm of e-books that it did for music. To me, having my library of books and user manuals in electronic form would be heavenly (if I had something suitable to read them with, see below).

    The iMac is very nice, but for me suffers from one major problem: it only supports one hard drive. Apple constantly keeps expanding the amount of valuable digital content, yet the consumer machines don't have any capacity for RAID or nice backups. And I'm suffering from USB overload on my iMac: USB storage devices work, but they are annoying and not very elegant.

    Also, it's kind of amazing that Apple doesn't sell a Mac. Not a MacBook, Mac Pro, Mac mini or iMac - just a plain Mac.

    Apple needs to offer a tower/media center option, that can be used as a main consumer workhorse for iLife stuff, transcoding video, productivity apps. It should have 4 HDD bays, and be easily RAID configured. It should have a low power server mode, when it's just serving up the digital content, or a full usage mode when someone's using it for work. It could work seamlessly with the :apple:TV for purchasing digital content as well.

    Next: for all of the grief Palm has gotten in the press for its Folio, there's something about the general concept I like; although, instead of a "smart phone extender", I would love to have it function as a "desktop extender" (that works with your smart phone too). I'd like to invest into a nice, powerful desktop for doing real work on that can also function as a media server, but I'd also like a portable component, something very portable and affordable (like an Asus Eee) that automagically syncs with my desktop (even a MacBook is too large, heavy and expensive). The iPhone will certainly suit some people for this, but others (like me) would like the bigger screen/keyboard/more storage, something to replace their day planner. This device should also be a great e-book reader.

    IMO this would smooth out the product line and crystallize the purpose of each device, because right now there are some awkward holes. The average consumer house could have:
    • One main Mac tower for heavy work, and storing media
    • :apple:TVs or :apple:TVMinis for Tvs in the home
    • MacTablets for everybody for their portable digital content - schoolwork, ebooks, videos (via HW decoding, probably), photos, presentations, email, web surfing, IM, etc.
    • iPods/iPhones as appropriate - but get rid of the video/photo iPod functionality, it's not as good of a fit as the MacTablet idea.
    • iMacs for situations where people need a number of work machines, but the Mac Tower could still serve as the backup/main digital repository.
    With the above lineup, I would probably end up buying the tower, an :apple:Tv, a MacTablet, and an :apple:TvMini for my and my wife's parents for Christmas.
  2. ivan98 macrumors newbie

    Jun 11, 2007
    Salmon, I'm not going to go in-depth like you, just gonna scratch the surface.

    The surface is the naming of Apple's products, or rather, the prefix of the name.

    The "i"s. iPod, iTunes, iPhone, iSight, iMac,
    The "Mac"s. Mac mini, Mac Pro
    The "MacBook"s. MacBook, MacBook Pro
    The "Apple"s. Apple TV

    What got me into thinking is
    1. Mac mini is going away, but where?
    2. Laptops are raking in the dough, is the Mac mini morphing into an ultraportable? Attaching at the high-end of MB, or low-end of MBP?
    3. If CE is the emphasis, Mac mini merge into Apple TV, as Salmon predicts?
    Whichever is the case, Apple TV is temporary at best, going by its name, not in any established product lines.
  3. dvenardos macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2007
    This is what I have been waiting for, a Core 2 Duo tower. I love the :apple: OS, but I never quite get what I want from their hardware :( I have often wished Apple would let me build my own.
    I work from home and have to use Windows, I'm afraid I may end up buying a PC tower if Apple doesn't come out with one soon.
  4. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816


    Mar 23, 2007
    Why don't you want to use an iMac at least? It's all-in-one consumer tower.

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