If "desktops are dead", then why...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by highlights, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. highlights macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Why is apple not seeming to care about external monitors? There seems to be the sentiment coming from some people that apple is letting the desktop slowly die (longer wait between refreshes, etc.), and that laptops are the wave of the future.

    And as someone who has used MacBook pros exclusively for, oh, 8 years now, I get the benefits. But I'm planning on "downgrading" to an iMac because the iPad now handles my portable needs (well, 90% of them), and I want a bigger monitor, hard drive space, etc., for my home office. Apple only makes one external monitor that is crazy expensive and does not seem to get upgraded regularly (or really promoted for that matter). Apple has to see the user demand for a large monitor (either on the iMac or the stand alone), but doesn't seem to be pushing the laptop + external monitor setup very hard. Which makes me think that the desktop as a setup isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Thoughts?
     
  2. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #2
    Umm..... thunderbolt display?


    Yes, it is expensive, but it also acts as a dock for your thunderbolt equipped machine.
     
  3. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

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    #3
    If you go to the Apple Store and purchase a laptop, you are given the option to add on an external display. How much other "promotion" would you have? In addition, most laptop consumers never use an external display.

    Display technology doesn't advance as fast as the other components of a computer. That's one of the arguments against an Apple television versus an external box connected to a standard TV...the display will chug along long after the other hardware is state of the art. And as for retina...not yet widely available/cheap enough for a desktop display.

    The lack of promotion or upgrade to the Apple displays has more to do with the above than as a part of some concerted effort to kill the desktop PC.
     
  4. topocalypse macrumors member

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    #4
    i mean desktop is still way economical. the imac is honestly very affordable and inexpensive considering the price of rMBP.

    me personally use 15" MBP with 3rd party monitor 1080p 24" and im sure many people do that. its so much cheaper. im sure apple is aware of this and i believe apple wants their monitor to be high-class and premier compared to the market.
     
  5. highlights thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    I know, but is that the whole answer? I get that apple doesn't like lots of products in the same lineup, but the thunderbolt display seems to be just a one-off gadget that they don't update regularly, and more importantly, don't seem to be really pushing or advertising. And a MacBook + thunderbolt display isn't just a little more expensive than an iMac, but pretty much $1,000 more expensive... Or almost double the cost. Again, I know apple doesn't care about making super affordable products, but aside from the iMac or going with a different brand for a monitor, there's no way to get a reasonable setup w a large monitor for under 2,500 from apple right now (which is kinda nuts, IMO).
     
  6. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #6
    Well, i'd argue that the thunderbolt display does more for killing the desktop than any other manufacturer...?

    Sure a laptop plus thunderbolt display is more expensive than an iMac?

    You can't take your iMac on the road with you, can you?
     
  7. DisMyMac macrumors 65816

    DisMyMac

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    #7
    Laptops are more money per sale, less upgradable before needing a new one, and less shipping and inventory costs. That's why "everyone" (except consumers) prefers laptops over desktops.
     
  8. throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #8
    PC upgradability is over-rated. Sure, in theory it exists, but...

    To get a significant improvement, you typically need to upgrade CPU (which often means new board, new RAM), video, storage.

    Which isn't really a LOT cheaper than a new machine.
     
  9. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000

    Dirtyharry50

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    #9
    I don't think desktop computers are going anywhere anytime soon. Macs have been selling more, not less haven't they? I mean desktop Macs when I say that and speaking of recent years.

    Ever since the iPad took off various self-appointed soothsayers, journalists, etc. have been saying the PC is dying off and so you could infer also the desktop Mac but I don't buy any of that. The example you cite of the iPad being a great adjunct to desktop computing is what is really happening. The iPad is awesome for portability and of course second to that various MacBooks but there still is and will continue to be a place for a large screen computer in most people's homes I would guess.

    My sister's family has an iPad they use constantly since getting it but that hasn't caused them to want to toss out the PCs they own. Each one they use has specific uses the iPad does not replace.

    I don't see Apple abandoning the iMac line at all. It is an excellent money making product that fills a specific need for home users and professionals. If anything, I see the number of them being sold continuing to grow even as the iPad continues to sell like mad and MacBooks do too.
     
  10. Overg, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    Overg macrumors 6502

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    #10
    something to think about.

    All the people here that write that the desktop is dead and so on..
    And that apple is shifting it's focus to mobile, isn't correct.
    You forget that in Cupertino seat engineers that use the very same mac that we buy in the store, maybe some of them are modified.
    but all in all it is imac, ditching the desktop line from apple means, the end of apple.
     
  11. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    #11
    Don’t forget, nobody, not even Apple themselves has proclaimed desktops dead. They are still there and they still make Apple enough money to justify keeping them around. Remember that anemic Mac Pro update right after WWDC? If the desktop is really dead, Apple would never had released this. They also wouldn’t be distributing emails from Tim Cook saying that updates are coming out.

    The reason that we don’t get too many updates of these compared to other devices is simply because that where Apple’s profits are lying. Apple doesn’t make big bucks selling their monitors in large enough quantities to justify continuously updating them. Heck, I can still get an Acer monitor today that is the exact same model that was released last year and the Year before. They just don’t update them as much as other tech.
     
  12. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    As other people have said, Display tech is slow moving. The apple display is already nice to look at, thunderbolt equipped, a docking station, high res, IPS.

    The next new thing is a relatively anti-glare but still glossy retina display (and USB 3). But it's probably prohibitively expensive atm. Or maybe it's on it's way.

    It make sense also that it's more expensive. You get a high powered portable computer + a stay at home large display. The best of both worlds.

    Also... They do push it and advertise it. It's an option to add to your purchase in the inline store, plus when you're checking out the web page some of the mbp pictures are pictured with it attached.
     
  13. highlights thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    Ah, I didn't know there were mbp pics with it. I know it's an option when you buy a MacBook, but so is selecting a different mouse or keyboard option, so it's not really highlighted. In the stores the displays are always along the far walls (though this is probably partially for aesthetic purposes), but they really don't stand out much from the iMacs. I've also never had a sales person try to sell me a display with a laptop purchase, and I buy a new MacBook every 2 years or so.

    I get the point about display tech progressing slower than other things though. So then, what are the differences between the thunderbolt display and the current 27" iMac display? Is the thunderbolt display significantly better?
     
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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    #14
    apple is going to make a 37 inch tv and maybe a 40 plus inch tv. this should make people want the elusive (max mini) and or (mini mac pro).


    There are a lot of people that want a big screen tv that hooks up to a pc/mac. look at what some htpc cases sell for;

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811280014

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811280021

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811280005

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112352

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112358


    This is not the niche market that a lot of people think it is.

    A well thought out product that allows use for real work or htpc fun can be made and sold. This would also make a retina 40 inch screen possible .

    The bigger case would allow for a good gpu and cooling.

    A 3840 by 2160 screen on a 37 or 42 inch screen would sell.

    Apple has purchased a lot of hi def screen makers maybe this is the 2013 plan for the mac pro.

    Right now all of apples pc's are neglected.

    (even the new macbook pro is short on graphics card, lags a lot on many apps mostly games).
     
  15. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #15
    Monitors are a tough market, and for Apple a much smaller market. For each computer they sell they will only sell a fraction of that number of monitors since the vast majority of systems they sell already has a monitor built in.

    Then... what kind of monitor should they sell? A budget one for the Mini buyers? A wide gamut monitor for the photographers? But that then is sub-optimal for the gamers? Or something for the video editors? Given the small numbers of monitors (relative to the computers sold) they would have a hard time hitting any reasonable price point.

    The existing monitors (especially the TB one) are pretty good, and appeal to those who need a docking station - which crosses all the categories listed above.

    imho, of course....
     
  16. gnasher729, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    #16
    Apple cares about markets where it can produce something better than others and produce more value for others. In the external monitor market, Apple sells the Thunderbolt display, which is at the top end of the market. Apart from that, there are dozens of manufacturers who produce monitors in a range of sizes, in a range of qualities, at a range of different prices, that you can easily use with any MacBook. It would be pointless for Apple to go into this market, because there isn't really much that they could improve. Maybe a "Retina" monitor, when the price and availability is right, which is not now.

    It is a Thunderbolt dock as well. So you can have all your external devices plugged into the monitor, and when you use the MacBook, all you need to do is to plug in the Thunderbolt cable and you are connected to everything.
     
  17. bungiefan89, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    bungiefan89 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    While I totally agree with your frustrations over the limited availability of monitors from Apple, (which is only works with thunderbolt equipped macs) I'd like to point out a very simple solution to your woes: 3rd party monitors.
    Look at the setup I have:
    0e.jpg
    The iMac pictured is a 27" 2011 model. In the back, one of its Thunderbolt ports is occupied by a Display Port-to-DVI adapter which is connected to a 3 foot DVI-to-DVI cord which connects to the 19" HP monitor on the right. I also use the HP monitor to play Xbox games via a VGA connection. :)
    Yes, it's not as visually enticing as an all-Apple setup, and in the back it looks like spaghetti, but it still works pretty well. The HP monitor is a hand-me-down, but if I really wanted something different I would have hundreds of monitors to choose from.
     
  18. harcosparky macrumors 68020

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    Jan 14, 2008
    #18

    You can't?

    That's news to me, I take a 24" iMac with me when I travel.

    First thing I do in the hotel room is setup the iMac.

    ----------

    Yeah the PC Upgrade Nightmare can be a real train wreck.

    In my PC days rarely did I upgrade the components in a box.

    If I wanted the newest Graphics Card that often required a new Motherboard, which in turn required a new CPU and RAM.
     
  19. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #19
    I agree that MBP + ATD could be a very expensive (and not-so-powerful) setup.

    If you want a decent performing laptop, you could go with hi-end 15" MBP or basic rMBP and ATD, it's going to cost you around $3200 total. It only gets you one computer. Plus you have to buy another bluetooth keyboard/mouse/trackpad for convenience while your MBP being docked.

    Or .. for the same money, you could also get $2000 iMac, which usually has quite good graphic and CPU, 4 slots of RAM, SuperDrive still intact + base 13" MBA/MBP for portability, it's very easy to carry around. You get 2 computers, and 2 is better than 1. Keyboard and mouse is already a given from iMac. Add $60 Thunderbolt Cable and I could use my iMac as external display, target disk mode for each other and many more. Problems . Solved.

    I'd like having a super powerful computer + a super mobile computer rather than something in between like rMBP or hi-end 15" MBP (not so mobile, yet not so powerful .. Jack of all trades, master of none). I like having 2 extremes, but each one is very good on its own purpose. It's a money well spent.
     
  20. throAU, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #20


    By "on the road" i mean actually USING it on the road.

    As in, away from AC, and away from a desk.


    You can take anything with you if you're not going to use it, it is just a function of how much you want to spend moving it, or how much hassle you want to put up with carrying it yourself.

    ----------

    Well sure the raw numbers are up, but the proportion of notebooks/portables in terms of total machines sold is growing.

    Both within apple's share of the market and elsewhere. The stats are out there somewhere if you want to google it for yourself.


    At my company for example, we have purchased 2 desktops in the past 3 years.

    In that time, we've purchased approximately 330-350 notebooks.

    Why?

    The price is cheap enough, they have a built in UPS (battery), built in webcam (for VOIP/video), the user can take them home and work flexi-hours or whatever, and they are a lot easier/cheaper to ship to remote locations (user can hand-carry it). They are all multi-display capable - the user loses their old desktop and keeps their monitor - almost all our laptop users thus have 2 displays (unless they don't have the physical desk space). They are plenty fast enough for what almost all office users do.

    As far as our company is concerned, the desktop died a few years ago.
     
  21. throAU, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #21
    Exactly.

    Back in the day when you could unplug your 486dx-33 and upgrade to a 486dx2-66 for a 2x speed improvement there was an incentive.

    Even back when you could upgrade from say a P2-350 to a P3-700E on the same board (I loved my ABit BH6).


    these days? CPUs have been fast enough for some time, the biggest bang for buck is more/faster ram, better video and faster storage.

    which typically means you need the new RAM standard, new SATA interface, new drives, new chipset, new video card, new PSU, etc.

    For most things adding the new CPU is just necessary because the new board has a different pin-out.

    yes, there are CPU leaps like the AES and quicksync instructions in the Core I series, but those aren't common.
     
  22. Dirtyharry50 macrumors 68000

    Dirtyharry50

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    #22
    Your company spends more money to have portability along with desktop monitors because the expense is justified for the work being done by those users. That's fine but I don't think it is representative of the entire world or markets in general. I'm sure there are many environments where that expenditure would not be justified and is not justified or made.

    Yeah, I could start Googling for numbers to make further arguments back and forth etc. but I don't feel that is worthwhile really. It is obvious desktop computers generally speaking are not going away any time soon. They continue to sell well on a daily basis. I could be wrong I suppose but I really doubt they are going away during my lifetime.
     
  23. iSayuSay macrumors 68030

    iSayuSay

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    #23
    Oh yes you can, and you can always bring MacPro + your Cinema Display on your travelling if you're so inclined. But it's just you, I'm afraid. Not everyone could afford to do so.

    And ... can you use it while on road, in plane or car? Can you use it without fixed AC plugs when you need it the most?

    I may not like the idea of computer going to be laptop or less, but you can't deny that we're living in a mobile era. You need to be able to use your computer on road. Oh yes I will keep my desktop as main computer for foreseeable future. But I also like to use things for what it designed for.

    Notebook may never be as powerful or comfortable as desktop to working with, so I only use it when I'm not home (read: desperate times). While at home or office, desktop is still computing heaven.
     
  24. throAU, Jul 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2012

    throAU macrumors 601

    throAU

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    #24

    FYI

    http://www.inquisitr.com/76157/tablets-to-overtake-desktop-sales-by-2015-laptops-will-still-reign/

    http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/104856/Decline_of_the_Desktop

    We are not unusual in that....

    Looking for update links.... but its not the factors i listed above either.

    Power consumption on portables is vastly lower. If you run a fleet of a few hundred/thousand machines this will make a big difference to electricity costs and carbon tax if you are so affected.

    For example, the machine I am writing this on right now, on high power profile is consuming between 18 and 20 watts. I have 11 apps open including browsers, Java apps, outlook, Lync, OneNote, etc.

    a desktop would consume several times that.
     
  25. Imaginethe, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012

    Imaginethe macrumors regular

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    #25
    I see iPads eating more into the laptop market than the desktop market. In fact even possibly help it rebound. This is because ofwhat the op said, getting an iMac as already has an ipad. I know of several people doing this, including myself. I originally was going to buy a macbook oro, but as I've an ipad (which can view my raw photos from my camera) i've no need for portability. With a desktop you can get something more powerful for much less.

    In regards to companies going laptops not desktops, some maybe. But desktops you can buy much cheaper than laptops, in an enterprise environment you need dockable, hardy laptops, they aren't as cheap as desktops by a long way. And when companies need to save money, IT is ine of the first places to have budgets cut. I think again as firms take up ipads, it could end up being the tablet/desktop mix. This is just from my personal experience. Others may see very differently.
     

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