Regarding a new mini consider this. . .

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by scottsjack, May 18, 2014.

  1. scottsjack macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    I have been toying with a theory for some time that while Apple wants to make a lot of money but they do not want to sell a lot of computers. If Macs become huge sellers worldwide Apple will likely run into the same anti-competitive, monopolistic charges that so plagued Microsoft.

    Remembering the various charges against Microsoft consider that;

    1 Apple designs the Mac OS to run (both legally and technically) only on computers that it builds for itself and that are mainly sold by its own online and b&m stores.

    2 Mac OS locks out installing software from other than the Mac App Store or identified developers unless that setting is overridden by the user.

    3 Apple gives away a free office suite that is good enough for most users to prevent them from purchasing one from another company.

    4 Apple provides a music/video player for free that is good enough to prevent most users from purchasing one from someone else and is a direct purchase path to Apple's own media supply business.

    5 Macs include a free Mail client that will satisfy most users' needs.

    6 Macs include a free picture viewer with basic image manipulation tools for even most RAW formats, no need to shop elsewhere. iPhoto conveniently makes ordering calendars and books from Apple a snap.

    7 Other than one left-over Mac Book Pro model it is absolutely impossible to for the user to change RAM in current Mac laptop computers.

    8 Likewise it is virtually impossible to change the RAM in a 21.5 inch iMac.

    9 Changing HDD/SSD/Storage Media varies from virtually impossible to do in any Mac other than the left-over MBP, left-over mini, and low-volume Mac Pro.

    10 Apple often uses proprietary or non-standard connection solutions in Mac products. PCIe storage, Mini Display Ports, Thunderbolt, Apple-specific video cards in the previous Mac Pros, and soldered-in RAM.

    11 Apple produces very few models of its hardware. Items that I believe would sell in numbers are a current-gen technology mini, a powerful enthusiasts' tower like the fabled xMac, a convertible (1U rack or low profile desktop like OWC Mercury Rack Pro) similar to Apple's long ago rack servers but more along mainstream technology, a wider range of keyboards and mice and a wide range of new displays.

    Say what you will about the many and obvious benefits of what I have mentioned about. There are many. With a forty or fifty percent share of worldwide sales the heat would be on Apple from numerous suppliers and governments regarding Apples' built-in exclusivity. Should Apple decide to manufacture its own desktop CPUs in the future the unhappy situation would be amplified.

    Perhaps that is why a product that would sell in large numbers like a new mini are not that important to Apple's strategy.
  2. apfelmann macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2007
    We live in the post PC era and margins on iPhones are much higher ... I think that's the main reason.

    As a musician I should be thankful that Apple even still cares about LOGIC PRO ... from a shareholder point of view it doesn't make sense I guess
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    It's a hypothesis.

    I don't think Apple is intentionally avoiding growth of Mac. Should they ever reach 50-70% of the PC market (and the market is still large enough for anyone to care), then maybe they'd have a problem.

    For now, growth is the issue - it's a long road to 50-70%.

    The vast majority of the items on your list are not anti-competitive in any way. The ability to upgrade RAM or CPUs? Proprietary i/o ports? Really? They may be anti-consumer, but that's a very different thing. And it's only anti-consumer based on consumer expectations - there's a long, long list of products that cannot effectively be upgraded or modified in any way. You want a car with a faster engine or a bigger trunk? You're not going to find a plug-n-play upgrade. Industry standards are voluntary practices that help businesses to save money. Standards-setting organizations are actually subject to many of the same anti-trust laws as individual companies - there can be a very short road from "standards committee" to "cartel." And the failure to bring out specific products, with specific capabilities? I know of no law that can require every auto maker to produce a mini-van.

    The other items, that might, conceivably, be anti-competitive, can be modified/tweaked in such a way as to avoid serious sanction. Monopoly is not about the way you build your product or the features you include in the product, it's about how a company behaves in the marketplace towards competitors, suppliers, retailers, and consumers - the abuse of a dominate position, not the possession of a large market share.

    Vertical integration (which is Apple's approach) generally gets less regulatory scrutiny than horizontal integration (Apple acquiring HP, Lenovo, and Dell).

    Back in the days when closed systems was the rule in computing, IBM had 70% of the mainframe business. They bundled hardware and software, and used equipment leases as a way of binding the customer to IBM long-term. The U.S. did come after IBM for monopolistic practices. After 13 years the case was dropped by the U.S. as being "without merit." (Granted, a change of political parties in the White House may have played a significant role.)

    However, Apple has not been the sole source for applications software, and Macs allow the installation of other OSes. Customers are not obligated to lease the equipment or commit to long-term service contracts as a condition of that lease. While a customer gets a safety pop-up when attempting to install un-trusted software, the customer is told exactly how to override. There are easy-to-prove justifications for those safety warnings (and the dominant competitor, Windows, also issues safety warnings). If there was no way to run un-trusted software at all and Apple charged exorbitant fees to third parties to obtain trust certificates... possibly a different story.

    (And, by the way, the Apple Store and Apple Online Store is not the dominant source of Apple equipment - it's just a small fraction of total sales.)
  4. grubworth macrumors member

    Jul 24, 2008
    i personally think the bring your own monitor idea is out. not to long ago there was a rumour about a budget imac to a superior line up. then again that leaves a huge gap between imacs and the mac pro!
  5. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    I think any butcher for cutting up large companies does not have a lot of capacity. One big company at a time.
    And first in the row to cut in tiny pieces is Google.
    So when Google enters the EU commission butcher (the most probable Butcher to take care of the bitches in Mountain View since the EU share is 90%), Apple should start scratching behind the ears. And only a tiny bit.
  6. Rog210 macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2004
    I don't know about that.

    If I hadn't been able to buy a Mac Pro for audio I'd probably still be with Windows. In that alternate universe Apple would've lost out on 2 X Mac Pro, 2 X Mac Mini, 5 X iPhone, 7 X Mac Pro, 1 X MacBook Air and 1 X iPad Air.

    Those people who just buy an iPhone and upgrade every 18-24 months are the same people who could buy a Samsung at their next upgrade. Apple needs to be mindful of that and tend to its core computing business.
  7. drsox macrumors 65816


    Apr 29, 2011
    Que ?


    Possibly. Do we know anything about the status and manning of the Mac Mini development engineers in the Apple pecking order ? That might also be a clue ?
  8. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Is there a cliff notes version to this thread?!?!
  9. b3av3r macrumors regular


    Dec 9, 2012
    I think Apple wants to do both: make a lot of money and sell a lot of their products. Do you think they design, market, produce, and sell products hoping to only grab 5% market share? I think any business would be glad to have a huge majority of the market.
  10. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    Apple is working on a huge variety of different projects and products. There has been no need for a Mini upgrade. Phones, tablets, tv, watch, laptops - all more important and in market segments where constant innovation/development is required. The business cost of not having a new phone/tablet every year is very high. The Mini not so.

    We will get a new Mini, it makes sense for it to be a 2015 Broadwell machine which then lasts 3 years before the next refresh.
  11. scottsjack thread starter macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Not really. I knew it was too long but it's one of those "list" subjects so I could not avoid the length.
  12. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Let me give you the best advice a Senior VP ever gave me:

    At the top of any email / handout /etc:
    Always bullet point the important points. If you need to explain, you can do that below, but most people will only read the first 3-4 sentences and then move on.

    You could have easily made your points and explained them below. That way, if we agreed instantly, we wouldn't need to parse thru the rest of the paragraph, and if we disagreed with a point we could find the rationalization below.

    Brevity is key to communication.
  13. El Hikaru macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2013
    This is an interesting argument.
    I am a DIY person. I care hardware and enjoy watching how things are developed.
    My wife is a very typical consumer, who cares what others are doing and not knowing how to clean up data from phone or computer.
    Apple is targeting my wife than me nowadays.
  14. apfelmann macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2007
    Yes, you are right! although not every musician has got such a massive mac collection like you ;-)

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