How many really want a headless iMac so they can keep their old monitor?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by ChrisH3677, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. ChrisH3677 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2003
    Victoria, Australia
    By a mile, the most common argument for a headless iMac is "folks don't want to have to replace their monitor"

    Let's make the assumption that iMac buyers trade-up every three years...

    Three years ago the standard monitor was just becoming a 17" CRT. In fact, the iMacs were still 15".

    So if iMacs of 2001 had've been headless, who would now be buying a new iMac and keeping their old outdated monitor?

    My other argument is, when you sell your three year old headless iMac... who buys a computer without a monitor?? Or do you take a loss, and trade it?

    Hanging onto monitors is pretty rare. Especially among prosumers who always want the best. And look at all the secondhand PC ads. How many do you see without a monitor?? Not many.

    Maybe the Mac crowd is different... maybe in the PowerMac market, but I just can't imagine it in the majority of the iMac market.

    The only time I've ever kept a monitor is when I've upgraded the internals of a PC. i.e replaced motherboard, memory cpu and hdd.

    How often are you going to do that with any Mac?

    There are some good arguments out there for a headless Mac (eg simpler form factor reduces cost; 3rd party monitor reduces cost; reduced cost means more possibility of appealing to corporate market; have a wireless monitor or TV etc)

    But the most popular argument here (which seems to be dominated by techies), wanting to hang onto your monitor, just doesn't hold water for the majority.

    Apple may choose to release a headless iMac in September, but it won't be because people want to hang on to their old outdated monitor.

    edit: I've got three computers in my house (see below) and none of them are headless. In fact, the iMac was bought specifically because it wasn't headless.
  2. jxyama macrumors 68040


    Apr 3, 2003
    my thought on this is that people wanting headless iMac are in fact people who are simply being "cheap" and just want lower priced Macs, hiding behind the "explanation" that they don't want to throw away their monitor when the iMac becomes obsolete in 5 years. :p ;) :D

    basically, i think most of them want a headless iMac such that the cost of the monitor is exchanged for more computing power and stick a cheap monitor to go with it... (like cube) i imagine they want a G5 without paying for the lowest PM... a headless iMac with a single processor G5 priced the same as 15/17" iMac now would probably make those people happy... of course, it doesn't go with apple's consumer/pro product matrix, so i doubt it will ever be offered.
  3. wordmunger macrumors 603


    Sep 3, 2003
    North Carolina
    I suspect more people decide not to buy an iMac because it's got the integrated monitor than people who would actually upgrade their computer without upgrading the monitor as well.

    If you talk yourself out of an iMac for this reason, you're probably fooling yourself: most people either keep their old computers around or sell them, and for either of those things, you need a monitor. My experience is that I've actually bought more monitors than computers, because monitors tend to go out faster than computers do.
  4. kaltsasa macrumors 6502a

    Jan 9, 2002
    Kellogg IA
    I do a lot of video editing and photo editing at home and I have a good CRT monitor that I like, Plus I KVM all my computers. but I'm a poor college student and Don't need the power or cost of a G5. Give me an emac w/o the monitor, cut 50-75 bucks off of it and I'll be happy as a clam. I really just don't have the space for an emac on my desk when I like to KVM all my machines.
  5. AdamZ macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2004
    I Agree!!

    I do also fail to see the reasoning behind a headless iMac. I bought my first iMac almost three years ago, of course of the 15 in variety. I loved how it was an all in one unit that I could move to differnt parts of my home rather easily. Though now I am ready for a 17in powerbook as it's replacement, the iMac holds its value because it does have a monitor. And like you said it seems that every three years or so it's time to get something faster for work, so now I can give it to my daughter. If the iMac was headless it would loose everything that it strives to be. I agree that the notion of a headless iMac is simply for those who seek to save money by plugging in some cheap monitor into an inexpensive G5. I certainitly would never do such a thing unless I used a Powermac that sat on the floor. Let's face it the iMac is much aboout looks, it rests on my coffe table in my living room at the moment, wirelessly, and has become an integral part of the overall design of my living space. Having an iMac makes you want to decorate around it. I wouldn't plug some ugly Dell monitor into it, it would defeat the entire purpose.
  6. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    I agree with you, most people who buy a new computer end up donating theirs, keeping it as a second or selling it. It would make sense to sell the monitor with the computer.

    The iMac is geared to home computing, the trend in the pc world has followed the base unit / monitor trend, but i dont think this is where home computing lies, a integrated computer/monitor makes sense, in fact other companies started off this way back in the early days:

    Apple's all in one Powermac, Compaq's 386/486 all in one system, AST had a 486 all in one system then the iMac.

    I think apple are right, keep the eMac and iMac integrated, keep the pro lines headless, and to bridge the gap bring out a cool device for the TV to link them all together... (video airport extreme with wifi remote controller).

    I dont know about other people but my mum complains all the time about a 17" CRT / Tower Case we have in the conservatory and keeps asking me if they can use my powerbook instead, a iMac would be perfect for them (as i keep hinting).

    There are already very good alternatives to HTPC's out on the market, my SKY+ System has 120gb Hard Disk, twin digital satelite tuners, 5.1 Dolby Digital Broadcasts / recordings / playbacks (certain channels), Interactive TV so i can do my banking online etc..etc...
  7. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    I can understand the headless crowd as if you look at the 20" imac you're paying £1000 for a monitor that you will only have for as long as you have that computer. I'd rather pay £600 for a computer and buy a monitor I can keep. Apart from that it also makes the whole computer appear too expensive. If you want Apple to increase away from it's pitiful market share then it needs something other than a lumbering great emac in the budget price range.

    As for the changing your computer as often as your monitor....I think not. I've owned two monitors. I've had rather more computers (or at least motherboard/cpu updates)
  8. garybUK Guest


    Jun 3, 2002
    £800 for a G4 1.5ghz, 256mb Ram, 120gb Hard Disk, Superdrive, Modem, Airport Extreme, Gigabit Ethernet with NO Monitor sounds like it would go down well, all those who want to switch .. on a budget can just swap out their current towers.

    sounds good to me.

    But the iMac should stay as it is!! its the next thing up to consumers (if you get what i mean).
  9. tamara6 macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2004
    I don't mind the idea of a headless iMac, or some such thing.

    I think it is perfectly natural for people to want to spread out the cost of buying a computer system (monitor + computer). One way to do that is to buy the computer now and just use your old monitor until you have the money to buy a new one, a year or so down the line. Then, another couple of years later you buy a new computer but keep that monitor. A year or so later you buy a new monitor. And so on. Instead of spending $1500 now, you spend $1000 now and $500 next year.

    Right now the only way you can do that is with the $2000 bottom of the line G5 tower. Not exactly an inexpensive way to go. A headless iMac for $1299 looks a lot more appealing. But, I suppose, Apple would then have to sell 17" LCD monitors to match, for when people are ready to get a new screen. And Apple certainly seems reluctant to offer any sort of monitor below 20" these days.

    Alas, I guess, while there are great reasons for going to a headless iMac, I don't expect Apple to do so. I'm sure market research shows that there would be few buyers, really. So it makes sense for Apple to stick with the all in one iMac, I guess, but I can see how some people would really prefer a headless option.
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    For people who keep only one computer at a time and who want simplicity, I see the value of iMac's integration of everything into one unit. I own one. It's nice.

    However, I personally think that, if Apple offered a headless low-end Mac, they'd sell a lot more Macs. The eMac is a great deal, but how many are selling? The iMac sales lately have been terrible.

    It isn't so much that I think everyone needs a headless Mac. I just happen to think that Apple would improve market share if they sold an upgradeable/expanadable headless model for $1K or less.

    I realize they don't want to sell a hundred different products. But I think the complete lack of a headless cheaper Mac is hindering sales to people like those above who: (a) want to KVM a few systems together; or (b) can't afford a complete new system, have an old monitor around, and want to try out a Mac; or (c) just want another Mac around for whatever reason and want to buy one without the expense or power drain of an attached monitor.

    Apple's going to sell what Apple's going to sell. My opinion doesn't matter, and I'm not in favor of cancelling the iMac line anyway. I'd just like to see a headless Mac cheaper than ~$2K. Not counting discountinued or refurb models.
  11. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    so meany that in OZ there is around 500 on backorder for the SuperDrive model and close to 1000. We are still having waits of about a month for them. We are about 3% of Apple's market so you can extrapolate that linearly to mean about 33,500 Combos and 16,750 SD models globally.
  12. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    ill admit that i didnt read the whole thread this time.....but the reason i want a headless imac is not because i want to keep my monitor, but because it is a more cost-efficent way for me to keep upgrading my computers. it would be nice to get a new monitor each and every time i got a new computer, but the fact is, i dont need one each time. sure they keep getting better too and all of that, but i would be perfectly content with my large 17" crt monitor if i could have a small headless imac with barely any footprint. Im a poor college student and i dont need anything fancy or uber-powerful right now, but being able to speed up my upgrade cycle would be nice, but right now its cost prohibitive
  13. iBook macrumors regular

    May 3, 2004
    On a tugboat
    The reason that I want an iMac is that it has -- or had (we'll see) -- a monitor. Given the expense of the PowerMac + the expense of the monitor, the iMac is a particularly good deal (i.e. by Apple standards, anyway).

    Once the iMac has a G5 of 2 Ghz and a built-in monitor, I'll be placing my order.

    No built-in monitor and the price better be $700+ less than it is now, so I can order an Apple display.
  14. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I think more people complain than really want a headless iMac. Apple would likely compromise the thing by putting an analogue interface on the video that isn't there now. People probably want a cheaper version of a PowerMac, so that they can expand the machine somewhat. I doubt seriously that Apple is going to make an AGP slot so that you can exchange video cards but this would be a good thing.

    I can see the sense in an all-in-one: things are well-matched and work well together. It guarantees a quality experience and that seems to be Apple's first rule.

    On the other hand, the analogue LCD crowd wants cheap and doesn't care about image quality at all. Bigger is better, right?

    I haven't replaced my monitors for a while. I have a 4 year old 15 inch analogue LCD (it wasn't that cheap then! :eek:) and a 9 year old 15 inch CRT, both of which are working quite well. Then again, I've got two PowerMacs and I put extra cards in them and such. iMacs and eMacs generally don't work as well for me, although I'd like to have one of the current 17 inch models just for style.
  15. Jovian9 macrumors 68000


    Feb 19, 2003
    Planet Zebes
    The iMac is an all-in-one unit. It should stay that way. I have one b/c of this. Some people (including my wife and I) enjoy the design of a computer more than the specs or the price. If apple is to release a headless computer (other than the powermac) then they need to start a new line.....not alter the iMac structure.
  16. rhpenguin macrumors 6502a


    Jun 10, 2003
    London, Ontario
    Im hoping in september we do see a headless iMac because I need a desktop machine soon but couldnt afford an all in one iMac because of the attached display. This would give users a choice of what grade display they need. Like if a ~$150 would work for the customer why not give them the option of being able to do that.

    For example, Ive got my iBook that i use as my main machine. Also on my desktop i have my linux server, linux workstation, and my windows media center machine. There is the display on my iBook and a seccondary display (21" Sony Trinitron display which is oh so nice imo). All the machines are accessable through VNC, Terminal and Remote Desktop Connection. Now.. i really want to get a desktop Mac with more power than my iBook, but my current financial situation is not going to allow me to look at even the cheapest iMac because its way out of my price range at the moment and I dont need all the processing power of the PowerMac ( so dont even start saying just save for a powermac because im just going to spend way too much money on something i dont need).

    whatever. now im rambling.. take what you want from my post.
  17. Bruce Lee, PhD macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2004
    I can't speak for others, but I want a headless iMac for exactly that reason (plus a few others). The pace of improvements in display technology is much slower than the pace of improvements in CPU's, disk, etc. I had a 21" trinitron that I kept for 8 years through several PCs and Macs. There was no reason to replace it; it was beautiful. Now, whenever I buy a big whoppin' LCD, I don't think I'll need to replace that for a while either. But I'd be pretty certain that the iMac I (may) buy this fall will get replaced in about two years.

    While I am a developer, I don't write code which makes especially good use of multiple processors, nor will multiple processors speed up my compilation cycle much. So I don't get much for my money when I buy a 2-processor PowerMac. Anyway, I want something small and unobtrusive for my office. The other reason I want a headless iMac is that I want to put the machine itself under my desk, not on it. A shuttlepc/cube sort of thing would be my ideal form factor. This laptop-behind-an-LCD pizza box sort of rumor is quite appealing though.

    Also, I've sold many machines on ebay. My experience is that if you bundle a machine and a monitor, you get less than you would if you sold them separately, at least with a nice monitor.

    Anyway, just my two cents.
  18. Bruce Lee, PhD macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2004
    My lineup


    I've never participated in a "let's play product marketing" post, but here's what I'd like to see in Apple's lineup:

    eMac goes flat-panel, stays G4. This happens with whichever rumored 'fast g4' chip actually materializes. This satisfies the all-in-one crowd (education, home), and the clock speed is high enough so as not to be embarrasing.

    iMac goes g5, ditches the integrated display. Clever industrial design renders it possible to use the machine with your choice of monitors, or to somehow "snap-on" an Apple LCD to get either the pizza-box-behind-LCD form factor or some sort of pivot mechanism like today. Beyond this I suppose I really don't care. The important thing is that it's spec'd to be a reasonable option for semi-pro use, with a single processor and clock speeds a notch or two below corresponding speeds in the powermac lineup.

    PowerMac gets hella cheap. hahaha.

    Anyway, these are the machines I could see myself buying at some point.
  19. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    I'll get one if the price is right. I don't like integrated systems at all.

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