[DISCUSS] Why i7 exclusivity in iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by iSayuSay, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. iSayuSay macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Out of my curiousity, I decide to make a new thread so people can discuss or answer my topic here. I asked this question before but I'd like to hear more response and opinion :)

    You see ... for 2 generations, Core i7 has been an exclusive item in iMac. You can only get it by BTO options on Apple online store. A few (If you lucky enough) available on retail Apple Store, but not really that much nor commonly found, not even all their retail have i7 iMac available for direct sales.

    I don't understand why iMac with i7 made more difficult to get? Yes, sure Apple would like something special, exclusive and unique for their online order, and also make the sale direct to customer means more profit inbound.

    On the other hand, you see ... Macbook Pro with i7 has always been available as standard configuration, in fact 4 of 5 variants on 2011 MBP use i7 (albeit mobile CPU) .. so you can get one easily in Apple Store, premium resellers or even third party distributor like Amazon. Just throw in additional money and you get i7 without hassle.

    At least iMac with i7 processor variant should be sold as standard? Not all country has access to BTO iMac or online order, some even still don't have Apple Store. SO, providing i7 iMac as standard configuration means reach into more people, and more sales made?

    Apple can still keep other upgrades as their online BTO exclusive (HDD, SSD, RAM, VRAM). But CPU upgrades it the most common and desired upgrade when people want to improve their computer performance, right?

    Anyone care to explain about exclusivity of i7 in iMac?
  2. iLidz macrumors member


    May 19, 2011
    I imagine it has to do with how much merchandise any given retail store can keep in stock. The less expensive models sell more than the more expensive models so it's would be an advantage to stock more of what they sell. I agree though, I would like to be able to walk into my local Apple Store and buy the same computer configuration as I could get online. But with so many different possibilities (ok, I know the possibilities are finite, but still) each store would have to keep a pretty big stock of machines to fulfill everyone's wishes. Meanwhile that would be taking a lot of space that could be used to stock ipads and iPhones which are flying off the shelf.

    I can't complain too much though, I was able to walk into a local Apple retail store and buy my "BTO only" 3.4 i7 machine the day they were released, though any other options were not available....
  3. turbobass macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Because the base level i5 2011 iMac is so overpowered for what 99.99% of what the people who buy it will be using it for, and has such a high price point relative to other consumer computer setups cost (though of course an unparalleled experience, yada yada), they don't want to spend the money to ship a bunch of i7s around the country that not very many people want to or should buy.
  4. iSayuSay, Aug 8, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2011

    iSayuSay thread starter macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    An acquintance of mine just recently purchased an MBP over iMac just because it has i7 (he bought 13" with i7). Sure the base 21.5" iMac has much better GPU compared to 13" MBP, but he just got it just because it has i7 instead of i5 in iMac.

    He didn't want BTO, just walk in store and asked around and then bought it. And he's not a tech savvy. Just know enough, maybe a typical Mac user out there :D He just thought ... "wow iMac 'only' has i5 and the MBP already has i7, so MBP is a better buy!"

    That's why I think why iMac not get i7 as standard? just the i7 CPU is enough to compel more people to get it. And talking about standard configuration, it is true that hi-end MBP 15" (i7 2.2GHz) can beat hi-end iMac (i5 3.1GHz) on CPU benchmark or test. Sure GPU is much better on iMac, but for the same price, isn't iMac supposed to beat MBP's performance?

    Yes, the i7 only is already great and compelling, no need for another upgrade, and as I said, maybe you were a lucky few to be able to find i7 iMac hanging around inside Apple retail store. The other upgrade can be exclusive as online order only, but I see CPU is quite important, even for common folks who just buy in store and take home :D

    MBP can have it as standard, strange iMac don't get the same privilege.
  5. turbobass macrumors 6502

    May 25, 2010
    Los Angeles
    The base MacBook with an i7 is $300 more than the iMac and has a THIRTEEN INCH SCREEN. So if your friend bought it based on greater processor number alone, maybe he would have noticed that the Mac Book starts with a dual core -- not a quad. But I don't think this strikes most buyers. In fact, ALL of the iMacs (including the base i5) have higher GHz in front of their processor models and this has traditionally been the "sticker" selling point for non-tech savvy buyers.

    And so not only is he arbitrarily looking deeper into somewhat random specs than most consumers would be -- and I doubt this is actually the case -- if he bought the base level with an i7 he would be getting a screen that was 8.5" smaller than the base iMac AND paying $300 more. If he was going for a quad core (bigger numbers are better in this hypothetical buyers mind) he would have to pay $600 more.

    So regardless of what your friend did, who is an uninformed buyer but is somehow arbitrarily picking the "i" number on a processor to choose to just shovel out huge increments of cash regardless of functionality, I think the i5 is a much safer bet to stock in stores for the obvious reasons as well as the reasons above (meaning, if someone is going to buy a computer based on a random number on a label there are more random numbers on the i5 iMac label that are higher than the i7 Mac Book).
  6. 88 King macrumors 6502

    88 King

    Jun 18, 2011
    London, UK
    I think this is the best way for Apple to maximise profit.

    By keeping the i7 as an option only on top of the range imac, buyers are forced to pay for the GPU upgrade as will, so more profit for Apple. To offer the i7 as standard would mean Apple have to increase imac's price to keep the same profit margin. This could raise price above what buyers are willing to pay.

    Also when you are in BOT section and spending over $2,000, it is very easy to add an extra $100 for the VRAM and $50 for software. Again extra profit for Apple, so it is in Apple’s interest to have more people visit BTO page.

    P.S. Have a guess on how much Apple is charging less knowledgeable customers for 2X2GB 1333MHz RAM, before click the link.


    Good think Apple is offering free shipping.:D
  7. iSayuSay thread starter macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Yes, the only upgrade that Apple provide in a sensible price is SSD, but then again, for $600 you can get faster 256GB SSD out there. But for the extra hassle and effort to put it SSD into an iMac makes this upgrade quite normal.

    CPU and HDD is a bit overpriced really. An i7 3.4GHz only cost $100 more than i5 3.1GHz, yet Apple charge us $200 for the upgrade, nevertheless we're out of options, so we're just going to take it or leave it :D

    RAM is completely different world. That's a super duper insane upgrade option, considering people can upgrade RAM as easy as ABC on an iMac :p
  8. sth macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2006
    The old world
    Apple is a company trying to make money. And they're very good at it.

    It doesn't make much business sense to put the two most high end desktop CPUs Intel makes into a standard configuration, especially when the vast majority of customers won't need them anyway.
    Since there are no other i7 models to choose from, the next best thing they can offer is the i5.

    Things are different on the mobile side: Intel offers a whole bunch of mobile i7 CPUs and Apple puts in the lower ones as standard with an optional upgrade to a faster clocked version (BTW: Big waste of money, just stick to the standard CPU).
  9. Herdfan macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2011
    Similar situation here. Bought a 3.4 i7 at the Columbus, OH Easton store the Saturday after the release. Can't imagine Columbus as a hotbed of people wanting the top model.
  10. DannyBres macrumors 65816


    Oct 30, 2007
    Are you joking the i7 is available in the

    MacBook Air
    MacBook Pro
    Mac Mini

    and the MacPro runs Xeon and is due an update!

    It is not exclusive!
  11. iSayuSay thread starter macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2011
    Uuuhh .. you read my original post wrong? :rolleyes:
  12. aliensporebomb macrumors 68000


    Jun 19, 2005
    Minneapolis, MN, USA, Urth

    I walked into the Apple store when I bought my i7, saw that the i7 was there and available so I took one home. Simple as that.

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