Does Apple leave potential costomers behind?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Shayne, May 23, 2007.

  1. Shayne macrumors member

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    #1
    I have been authorized by corporate to purchase a new personal workstation with a budget of up to $3000 CAD ($2750? USD). I can put it to anything my heart desires (laptop, desktop, etc) with the strict instructions to file all the receipts and properly filled out paper work. Primarily this machine will be used for a variety of tasks from the mundane programming (Zend Studio/Visual Studio 2005/Dreamweaver CS3) to the more intense (Fireworks CS3, Photoshop CS3) to the more extreme (3D Gaming (STALKER, Counter-Strike, Starcraft 2!)).

    <background!>Apple has always been my first choice. I purchased an Apple Macbook C1D days after their launch as it had everything I wanted in a laptop (size, features, price) with the ability to duel boot. Upon receiving the machine I promptly installed XP and didn't look at OSX for months. Before my wedding/honeymoon in the Dominican this February I decided to clean sweep the whole machine and set it up from scratch. After the fresh install I played around a bit with OSX and liked what I saw in the core applications (mainly iPhoto). As an amateur photographer I love the way iPhoto works, its so simple, does a great job organizing. I have been using iTunes for a very long time (since i got my 4G iPod) in Windows and it being a native Apple application was a nice feature. Long story short I have grown to really enjoy using OSX and feel that its a very big selling feature for me moving forward. Im still a Windows guy, but OSX is a nice environment to work within.</background!>

    While I know that Apple is in the process of updating its entire line with new technology and new features I can't help but feel that they are leaving potential customers behind with their slow updating and lack of a midrange machine.

    I love the 24" iMac. Its the perfect solution for me. While I already own a 24" Dell display (and a 19" Viewsonic second display) I anticipate the awesomeness that will come with the available desktop space provided to me by duel 24". The biggest issue I have with the iMac is that its simply a desktop laptop. Its anemic in power and void of upgradability (new words are fun) and platform flexibility. Perhaps the upcoming (we have no idea, don't kid yourself) version will be more powerful but still the power will be anemic (particularly in the GPU department).

    The mac pro is far to expensive for what you get initially. I'm sure the price tag comes closer to earth as you requirements increase and the more junk you put into it, but for the average consumer looking for a workstation and a gaming platform a couple Xeons and a half assed video card won't cut it.

    I already own a Macbook and its works great for what i use it for. The Macbook Pro seems a bit overpriced (ooo backlite keyboard *yawn*) and you lose a bit of portability with the increase in size. I'm not in the market for a laptop, I want a desktop.

    To compare pricing with what Apple is providing I consulted both Dell and my local geek shop. In the case of Dell I was able to create a pretty good system for far less price as the iMac but with far superior hardware (granted no monitor, and the big ugly box below ones desk). The geek shop is where things got real interesting however with a build including E6600 CPU, 8800 GTX Video Card, 2GB high end RAM, Duel 500GB Wester Digital Drives, Highend motherboard, 600 W powersupply, etc all for ~$2100 (no monitor) without cheaping out on anything (Asus, BFG, and other various reputable brand names).

    Ive been building my own computers for years (10?) and I know that while you do gain a discount in price, you can at time have issues with device compatibility, device reliability, etc. If you go through a good company you can get some pretty good warranty (the place I shop will charge a nominal fee (1%) for over the counter exchanges and they do the RMA on a busted part).

    Basically what I'm getting at is that the industry moves a lot faster then 259 days (last iMac/Mac Mini update) and with Apple and its "batched updates" you wonder if they leave customers behind who get tired of the waiting and move on to better hardware for a cheaper price. You lose OSX, but their is a point where people like me who are primarily Windows but want both have to jump into the market and buy and when price vs features are compared, this late in the game Apple looks pretty weak. I can't justify the cost of the iMac for year old hardware. I will however be waiting for the rumored June refresh and see where things land.

    I'm sure this is the wrong place to lay out my frustrations as most comments I read (long time lurker, first time poster) are pretty fanatical about Apple and its do-no-wrong buisness practices, but I think in terms of system building a more Dell like approach (faster availability of new technology, more varied part selection and more product skus) would lead to a much more satisfied customer and remove the large drop off in computer sales near the end of a product life (how many are waiting on the refresh? seems like everyone).
     
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #2
    Lots of people on MacRumors have noted the "hole" in Apples line up. A mini tower Mac Pro. You are not alone in your frustration.
     
  3. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #3
    I think in your case, an iMac is the wrong way to go. In fact, because you like tinkering with your computers, the Mac Pro seems to be the only computer you would be happy with. However, like you said, it doesn't have enough for its price, so that's out of consideration. Apple's focus as a company is to deliver "complete" products, ie, it doesn't want you to worry about upgrading the computer yourself. Apple is good for people who don't want to worry about messing with their computer's innards.

    Apple has done a bad job of updating their products this year. Every product, save the macbook and Mac Pro, are very old. I don't think its Apple leaving their products behind, I think it has to do with the iPhone. It seems far more attention is being devoted to that one product, which if successful, will generate a great deal of revenue.

    Six months ago, Apple's products were very well priced relative to the industry. That's one of the quirks of Apple: when products are updated, you get a great deal for a few months, an ok deal a few months after that, and a bad deal until updates happen again.

    Maybe after the Mac Minis are updated, you should buy one of those. Since you want a desktop, I think this would work well for you.
     
  4. Shayne thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    Damn the iPhone! Such a niche product compared to freaking desktop computer!
     
  5. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #5
    Its been a dry year so far for Macs. I wouldn't even call the Mac Pro or MacBooks "updated". More like "refreshed".
     
  6. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #6
    It is a niche product for the moment, but it has a great deal of potential. In terms of sales, the iPhone will probably yield a great deal more. Also remember that desktops are becoming more and more rare. For the past few years, Apple, and the PC industry as a whole, has been selling far more laptops than desktops. However, this still doesn't excuse a nine month lag in updating a primary product.
     
  7. richard4339 macrumors 6502a

    richard4339

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    #7
    Apple definately sells expensive computers, and there is a definite gap. There also is a definite shortage of Mac related updates at the moment. I'm hoping they correct this soon, but who knows what Apple will do?
     
  8. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #8
    And ordinary PCs as well. The truth is, there really haven't been anything exciting or new to put inside a computer for a while. Of course, it would be nice if Apple decided to support more graphic cards but that should be coming this year.
     
  9. djkny macrumors 6502

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    #9
    iPhone IS a novelty item and after the hype wears off, consumers will come to their senses and tank this product. Remeber the first 5GB iPod for $499? That's where the iPhone is at. Get the price point DOWN, take it off Cingular (ludicrous dropped calls compared to Verizon) and maybe you'll have a deal.
     
  10. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #10
    The price probably will come down, and the phone will probably get more features too. It's just about to be released, which means that a lot of things will change by the time it's put out to pasture. As for Verizon, remember that Verizon turned it down? What else was Apple going to do?
     
  11. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

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    #11
    People bought that iPod though, didn't they? Hell, I bought that disaster of a product that was the 1st Windows iPod.

    Apple knows that the first wave of people will buy the iPhone just because its an Apple (much like the first iPod). Once that dies down, price drops and it becomes more of a deal.

    And quit the Cingular bashing. I've been a member for 5 years with hardly a problem.
     
  12. Veritas&Equitas macrumors 68000

    Veritas&Equitas

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    #12
    Eh, sorry, they suck. At least here in Minneapolis. The call quality and missed calls in comparing Cingular to Verizon is like comparing a Pony Express Rider to UPS. Had to leave Cingular, couldn't stand it anymore. Verizon, on the other hand, has been notably superior in nearly every category I can think of, here in MN anyway.

    In my experience, the Cingular bashing is well-deserved.
     
  13. DeaconGraves macrumors 65816

    DeaconGraves

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    #13
    Its definitely a "to each his own" issue when it comes to cell phone service. My call quality in the two places I've lived (NC and Dallas) has been fine (except for a while in NC but it turned out that was more due to the phone). But I'm sure there are several places where Cingular ends up with better reception than Verizon, and other where Sprint trumps them both.

    I guess what I meant to say is "quit the Cingular bashing just because its not your network." Of course Apple was going exclusive with one of the networks (and as someone already said, Verizon would deal) so regardless of the situation about 80% of the people were going to be pissed off.
     
  14. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #14
    I have Cingular, and in many places, my friends who have Verizon get service when I don't. In a handful of places, I'll get service when my friends won't. On balance though, it seems that Cingular has worse service. Sometimes, my voicemail won't update for several hours...not exactly "fewest dropped calls" quality:(
     
  15. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #15
    So the machine is for programming, graphics, gaming...sure you did not leave something out?

    Apple's sales, profits, marketshare have continued to grow at a steady pace. I would hesitate to think they were leaving too many potential 'costomers' behind (you must have written this in Windows, otherwise the Mac would have caught the spelling error).

    You really should have left the juvenile sarcasm behind here:

    "...Its anemic in power and void of upgradability (new words are fun) and platform flexibility. Perhaps the upcoming (we have no idea, don't kid yourself) version will be more powerful but still the power will be anemic (particularly in the GPU department).

    I really doubt you are qualified to make such a claim.

    The Mac Pro is far to expensive for what you get initially. I'm sure the price tag comes closer to earth as you requirements increase and the more junk you put into it, but for the average consumer looking for a workstation and a gaming platform a couple Xeons and a half assed video card won't cut it.

    I already own a Macbook and its works great for what i use it for. The Macbook Pro seems a bit overpriced (ooo backlite keyboard *yawn*) and you lose a bit of portability with the increase in size. I'm not in the market for a laptop, I want a desktop."


    You just blew the credibility you were trying to establish; that of a thoughtful, sensible person trying to logically discuss an issue. You just sound like a troll now. Your statement of the Mac Pro being too expensive.. shows a very limited knowledge of hardware systems. Go compare a Dell 690, configured as close as you can with an entry-level Mac Pro. The Mac is hundreds of dollars cheaper...surprise!

    There is a much debated desire for a mid-sized Mac desktop. That is no secret. Many people have said this. How big is that market? Well, if you are the person who wants one, it probably appears huge. But, how big is it really? Most businesses in the construction, manufacturing, distribution, retailing, insurance, banking, etc industries, run some enterprise system. For them, a Mini class computer works fine. In fact, many use thin-clients, or dumb terminals. Most other businesses are networked. Files, and data, are usually not stored locally, but are on network shares. That way they can be backed-up every day.

    The industries which do have large engineering, R & D, video/audio, etc departments, usually do not have issues with buying MacPro class computers. For home computer users, Minis and iMacs are very popular for their compactness and simplicity. So, it seems to me that the mid-size tower would not have as big a market as some might expect.

    There is some market there, no question. One group in that market, are those who just mainly play games on the computer. I have noticed they all want the latest and greatest. And like the old saying, "She want what she want and she wants it when she wants it". If I were in Apple's shoes, I would not pander to that small segment.

    If I were to hazard a guess, I would expect Apple to offer a product between the Mini and Mac Pro, but not an iMac. It would have to compete with the iMac (as things now stand). But, it has only been 5 quarters since the Intel move was announced. If you think about it, they have accomplished an incredible amount in that time. Sure, Dell can put out a new product line faster than Apple. You can do that when you do not do your own engineering and are willing to buy >90% of your materials off-the-shelf.

    The bottomline for me is, those who like the company, the engineering, the attitude, will continue to use the finest products there are. There is enough momentum right now. Apple needs to keep doing that which got them here. We do not need another Dell, thank you!
     
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #16
    I remember that first iPod, it was amazing. Far from novelty, it changed how people listened to music, and definitely worth every penny.
     
  17. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #17
    Corporate is okay with you playing games on your workstation? What kind of job do you have? :confused:
     
  18. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #18
    That's true, but the iPhone isn't changing the industry by leaps and bounds. When the iPod first came out, people used to buy CD's, and no one had thought of using a player linked to a computer.
    There are already smart phones around, and many of them are cheaper. Apple is bringing new features to the table, and of coarse good design, but it won't be a runaway success. Like the iPod, it will take a few generations of iPhones before Apple will be able to establish itself as a "premier" smart phone company.
     
  19. Turkish macrumors 6502

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    #19
    $999 17" iMac Basic
    $1199 17" iMac "Better"
    $1499 20" iMac
    $1999 24" iMac
    $2200 2.0 GHz Mac Pro
    $2499 2.66 GHz Mac Pro
    $3298 3.0 GHz Mac Pro

    What hole?

    This is the most annoying whining that comes out of this board.

    Just because you (I don't mean you specifically) can't afford something doesn't mean there is a hole in the lineup.
     
  20. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #20
    I think he was refering to the fact that you can't buy an iMac level machine without a moniter. While I would prefer to save up and buy a Mac Pro (although I wouldn't, because I like laptops) in its place.
     
  21. mags631 Guest

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #21
    Apple most certainly leaves potential customers behind... as do all companies. Being all things to all people is not a good strategy and those who try to do such fail in pretty much everything. I'm not excusing Apple or claiming your statements are wrong -- I think it's just the reality of Apple. Apple has intentionally decided to target certain market segments.

    That being said, I share your passion for building machines (built 2 of my own) and recently have been trying to spec out a mini-itx system to go along with a soon-to-be purchased MBP. I think if this is your passion, then Apple will never, ever meet your needs. Maybe in the future you will be able to legally run Mac OS X on a home-built machine (without support from Apple), but don't stake any money on it and don't think for a second that you will achieve the same quality experience as running it on Apple hardware.

    Enjoy building your home-brew PC!
     
  22. maximatron macrumors newbie

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    #22
    IMO there is a huge hole, since I'm in the process of buying a new computer at the moment, I wanted an Apple badly, but had to follow the reason and get a PC; here's why. First of all, you want to pay about 1200-1500 for a descent PC with a C2D E6600 and 2GhZ of DDR2 800, 512MB GeForce 7, you know typical _desktop_ components that performs. You can go on and say "yea add the screen to that and you way off the iMac," but the thing is that the iMac performs like a laptop, period. I don't want that, I'm in my home I got space for a desktop! I don't want anything of a 667 MhZ BUS... So add the screen to that, let's say a 22 inch LG at 350$ and you get a 1550-1850 PC that goes blazing fast. Now if you want a _real_ apple desktop, you pay ~2200.00 + screen of 350 (and even there you just _can't_ buy a Mac Pro without an ACD, but for the needs of the cause we will stick with the LG) you get a $2550 _way-too-much_ powerful Mac and you still only have 1Gig of RAM.

    No really there _is_ a hole, and could be filled by a nice option to put a C2D in the Mac Pro... They would have to make new mother boards and everything but at that moment they will hit the spot and I would bet 1000$ their sales would fly. They _need_ and upgradable affordable desktop, thats what the industry of the PC is, and that's why no matter how hard they try they'll never get the "mass market" with all-in-one un-upgradable laptop-performing desktop.
     
  23. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #23
    Upgradable desktops are a niche market, most general consumers want a computer that will do what they need it to do, and they want it to do it without a lot of trouble.

    As it is, desktops are lagging in terms of sales, why should Apple be adding a fourth desktop line? They should be putting that time, money, and effort into creating a small pro notebook and a 15" consumer laptop, both of which are very lucrative markets.
     
  24. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #24
    We have noted and complained about this "hole" for ages.

    Too be honest, here we ago again for the headless iMac thread.
     
  25. MusicallySilent macrumors member

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    May 23, 2007
    #25
    Yea there is no "Desktop" as in components and upgradibility mac in the middle they should bring back powermac name and put it there or come up with a repleacement for the name pro in mac pro and put it at about 1500 stock with 1 or 2 xeons if they can fit it... one memory board two pci express slots 2-3 hdd cages in a midtower case :D
     

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