Theory on why Apple has no low-end display of their own

nagromme

macrumors G5
Original poster
May 2, 2002
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Several possibilities:

1. It never occurred to Apple that people would want a display cheaper than $999 for a Mac Mini. But Apple's not that stupid.

* Apple knows people would want one, but doesn't care to make money on it themselves. Nobody's that stupid :)

* Apple wants to sell them but can't due to an unexpected delay. Now THAT is possible, but seems unlikely. A low-end display could have been pre-announced even if it had to ship later. And it would have been easy to finish on time anyway--no engineering feat.

* Apple has some OTHER, intentional reason NOT to offer one.

One reason I can think of: if Apple had a display--even a 15" one--it would have Apple style and ergonomics, and would not be priced in the bargain bin. It would be low-cost, but priced in the middle. Two bad things would result:

1. People would feel like they HAD to get the Mac display. It would have such a psychological draw to get the "matched set" that it would turn people OFF of putting any old PC monitor on the Mini. It would turn off some of the very buyers who now want a Mini.

I know when I get a PowerMac, I'll want an Apple display to match. Maybe I'll get something cheaper, but on some level it will bug me that this super-cool, stylish thing in my life COULD have had a matching display, but I didn't get one. Choosing between that irritation vs. paying more isn't an incentive for me to buy. Sounds trivial, but now apply that to something cheap enough to be almost an impulse buy, and I think it could work against Apple.

Evidence that Apple wants you NOT to think of the Mini as a matched set: they show off a QTVR of the Mini BOTH with Apple display AND with a PC display. They don't just permit the PC display option out of necessity... they actually promote that with QTVR.

2. Reviewers would then price the thing as a set--much higher! They'd add an Apple display, mouse, and keyboard "because it's there." But since it's NOT there, they won't be as likely (at $999) to do that--they will see the Mini for what it is: something small and simple to slip into your existing computing life.

Any other theories? If Apple's neither too stupid to sell a low-end display, nor unable to build one... then what might the reason be?

I'm thinking they could sell a ton of cheap LCDs (and offer a decent 3rd-party 17" CRT if needed). By cheap LCD, I'm thinking the 15.2" widescreen 1280x854 from the PowerBook, with DVI (and a bigger backlight). That's not rock-bottom 1024x768 VGA, that's a nice screen--but low-end for Apple. To save cost, build in a USB hub but no Firewire--and maybe use white plastic with metal sides (the opposite of the pro displays).

Then offer a bundle of that, plus mouse and keyboard, at a discount. (Online, offer the same in a wireless version.)
 

dejo

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Sep 2, 2004
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The Centennial State
nagromme said:
I know when I get a PowerMac, I'll want an Apple display to match.
Not that I want to bedrudge you buying an Apple display (hell, I paid over $4K for my 22" Cinema Display thanks to working my ass off one weekend to completely redo my companies website in prep for a trade show and using the dineros I got as a bonus to make the purchase), but are you planning on putting your tower close enough to the display to make matching a concern? Just wondering.
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
I can't say I particularly agree with your set of theories, but I had been wondering what would happen regarding this too...One way or another, someone should start selling some LCDs that are targetted for pairing with the Mac Mini -- either Apple, someone building on Apple's behalf, or totally third party. I think based on projected volumes for the computer, there's probably enough of a market out there to justify it.

OTOH that sony with the arch along the bottom is awful pretty looking...I guess if there's a DVI version, that's not a bad option either. Using VGA when it isn't absolutely necessary seems sad. :(
 

Dont Hurt Me

macrumors 603
Dec 21, 2002
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Yahooville S.C.
The Lcds are allready outthere to pair up with this thing, heck even looking at my NEC the MiniMac would sit real nice on the base only thing is I dont need it and my older Machine can do everything its capable of. It will be a Great entry product to get people to the Mac.
 

x86isslow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2003
889
10
USA
its becoming increasingly clear to me that apple still isn't ready to accept greater marketshare. why? during the financial webcast yesterday, one of the questions asked was since apple didn't seriously expect people to pair a $500 and a $1000 display, did apple have plans to carry third-party displays?

apple's response was very interestingl, and revealed a lot about their strategy. "We see the target market as people who already have a keyboard, mouse, and display" People who just happened to have a mac keyboard lying around are usually people who had macs in the past, but sometime in the near past, were forced to get a windows main machine because apple didn't have a (shipping) solution for them.

I believe apple sees switchers as a fringe benefit in this case, or otherwise they would have thrown in a couple of ps2-usb adaptors for all the switchers.

as to why they won't bring out their own monitor- apple doesn't want to put effort into an unproven market. if apple has a warehouse of $400 minimacs, they won't lose as much as they would if they had another warehouse with 17" acds.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
Original poster
May 2, 2002
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They wouldn't need to compete with anything, or have low-end screens match other products for profitability... just offer CONVENIENCE. Someone goes to an Apple store, likes the Mini, won't be talked into an iMac G5... but wants/needs a new display too. Apple could give them a one-stop sale, instead of making them do legwork. That might not be MOST Mini buyers, but I think it would be a sizable minority.... a minority out of a very large number, if the Mini does well.
 

aricher

macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2004
2,211
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Chi-il
An PC based IT guy I work with has a goofy plan for his Mac Mini - he's going to build a hinge with a cheap 6" LCD he alrady has and attach it to the back of the Mac Mini. He also has one of those rubber rollable keyboards. He says he wants to be able to treat this Mac Mini like a laptop and be able to bring it to coffee shops, bars, car trips, etc. Sounds crazy but I'm sure he'll do it - he loves modding.
 

grapes911

Moderator emeritus
Jul 28, 2003
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Citizens Bank Park
aricher said:
An PC based IT guy I work with has a goofy plan for his Mac Mini - he's going to build a hinge with a cheap 6" LCD he alrady has and attach it to the back of the Mac Mini. He also has one of those rubber rollable keyboards. He says he wants to be able to treat this Mac Mini like a laptop and be able to bring it to coffee shops, bars, car trips, etc. Sounds crazy but I'm sure he'll do it - he loves modding.
A friend and I were talking along these same line. We think apple or some 3rd party company should make a flip screen sort of like the psone screen.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
Original poster
May 2, 2002
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A replacement power brick that included a battery would be a nice accessory for that kind of thing.

The Mini already does SOME of what a laptop does, right out of the box... as long as there's a monitor and keyboard where you're going, you have portable computing cheap. Can't say the same for a cheap beige tower!

College students going home for break will have it made. Leave the big stuff in the dorm and toss the Mini in a bag.

And then there's LAN parties... say what you will, but almost all the LAN gaming I've done has been with everyone running slower machines than this. We weren't playing Doom III of course, but we still had fun!
 

panphage

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2003
496
0
x86isslow said:
apple's response was very interestingl, and revealed a lot about their strategy. "We see the target market as people who already have a keyboard, mouse, and display" People who just happened to have a mac keyboard lying around are usually people who had macs in the past, but sometime in the near past, were forced to get a windows main machine because apple didn't have a (shipping) solution for them.

I believe apple sees switchers as a fringe benefit in this case, or otherwise they would have thrown in a couple of ps2-usb adaptors for all the switchers.
There's no need for a "mac" keyboard. Any old keyboard with a usb connector is going to work fine.

And: Has no one on these forums actually bought a mouse or keyboard in the past 2.5 years? I can't even find a PS2 mouse or keyboard for at least a year. They're all usb with a ps2 adaptor. At least everything from Apple, Microsoft, Kensington, and Logitech.
 

Rod Rod

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2003
2,174
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Las Vegas, NV
mkrishnan said:
OTOH that sony with the arch along the bottom is awful pretty looking...I guess if there's a DVI version, that's not a bad option either. Using VGA when it isn't absolutely necessary seems sad. :(
Yes, the Sony you're talking about has a DVI input as well as XBRITE™ display technology. (model SDM-HS74P/S)
 

Converted2Truth

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2004
608
0
Hell@HighAltitude
panphage said:
There's no need for a "mac" keyboard. Any old keyboard with a usb connector is going to work fine.

And: Has no one on these forums actually bought a mouse or keyboard in the past 2.5 years? I can't even find a PS2 mouse or keyboard for at least a year. They're all usb with a ps2 adaptor. At least everything from Apple, Microsoft, Kensington, and Logitech.
I work with roughly 300 different windows desktops at my college. We've got Dells and HP/Compaq computers. All of the HP/Compaq labeled keyboards are PS2, and most the Dells are too. Our most recent shipment of Dells(~100) include the adapter for USB->PS2. Now, ALL our mice are USB however.

Nearly all my family uses a PS2 keyboard that doesn't have an adapter to usb. I really thought they'd ship the computer with that adapter. I also think that apple is really stupid for not making some cheap 17" lcd to see for $350 with these things.
 

dejo

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Sep 2, 2004
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Converted2Truth said:
I also think that apple is really stupid for not making some cheap 17" lcd to see for $350 with these things.
They probably don't because there's already enough out there and Apple doesn't want to be associated with cheap (quality) LCDs.
 

rainman::|:|

macrumors 603
Feb 2, 2002
5,438
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iowa
$500 mac + $400 display (which is far cheaper than Apple would probably make a display for) = $900, almost the price of an eMac. So where did the cost-savings go? With a keyboard and mouse, it would be MORE than an eMac. Why are you people intent on making the Mac mini priced out of it's own market?

Apple knows people will pair this with a $200 wal-mart display (or a used ebay CRT, or a monitor they already have). They can't come anywhere near those prices. So it's pointless for them to try.

I seriously doubt Apple ever makes a monitor to match the Mac mini.
 

3Memos

macrumors 6502
Jan 12, 2005
460
0
aricher said:
An PC based IT guy I work with has a goofy plan for his Mac Mini - he's going to build a hinge with a cheap 6" LCD he alrady has and attach it to the back of the Mac Mini. He also has one of those rubber rollable keyboards. He says he wants to be able to treat this Mac Mini like a laptop and be able to bring it to coffee shops, bars, car trips, etc. Sounds crazy but I'm sure he'll do it - he loves modding.
How does he plan on powering the mini? Sounds like with all the modding of an extra display, KB and mouse, the price would almost match that of an iBook? LOL ;)
 

x86isslow

macrumors 6502a
Aug 10, 2003
889
10
USA
panphage said:
There's no need for a "mac" keyboard. Any old keyboard with a usb connector is going to work fine.

And: Has no one on these forums actually bought a mouse or keyboard in the past 2.5 years? I can't even find a PS2 mouse or keyboard for at least a year. They're all usb with a ps2 adaptor. At least everything from Apple, Microsoft, Kensington, and Logitech.
well, what about including a little apple sticker to put over your windows key and an option to put over your alt? haha just a thought :p
 

Rod Rod

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Sep 21, 2003
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Las Vegas, NV
Converted2Truth said:
Well, they 'want' to be associated with a cheap (quality) Mac... why not the monitor to go along with it?
That's a little presumptuous/premature. Nobody knows what the Mac mini's quality level is yet.
 

chaos86

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2003
1,011
7
127.0.0.1
guys he said this in the keynote its not a difficult concept

let me draw you some diagrams



followed later by imacs and ibooks
 

panphage

macrumors 6502
Jul 1, 2003
496
0
Converted2Truth said:
I work with roughly 300 different windows desktops at my college. We've got Dells and HP/Compaq computers. All of the HP/Compaq labeled keyboards are PS2, and most the Dells are too. Our most recent shipment of Dells(~100) include the adapter for USB->PS2. Now, ALL our mice are USB however.

Nearly all my family uses a PS2 keyboard that doesn't have an adapter to usb. I really thought they'd ship the computer with that adapter. I also think that apple is really stupid for not making some cheap 17" lcd to see for $350 with these things.
Well, being at a Uni probably puts you right in a good market for these minis, so the PS2 thing *could* turn out to be a bummer after all. But I think those PS2>USB adaptors cost more than a low-end usb mouse. I guess I've been buying MS and then kensington 5-button mice so maybe I'm out of the proper PS2-loop!

@x86isslow: LOL, I've got the amazing Matias Tactile Pro (Absolutely stupendous keyboard...but LOUD), it's based on a mac keyboard, marketed to mac users...and no Apple key! Just the command sign.
 

Converted2Truth

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2004
608
0
Hell@HighAltitude
Rod Rod said:
That's a little presumptuous/premature.
It's premature of me to say that apple wants in on the cheap (non-expensive) computer market? It's premature of me to say the mini will be a quality product?

Rod Rod said:
Nobody knows what the Mac mini's quality level is yet.
k, whatever dude... i say it's going to be a quality computer because that's what they've always built.
 

Rod Rod

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2003
2,174
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Las Vegas, NV
Converted2Truth said:
k, whatever dude... i say it's going to be a quality computer because that's what they've always built.
I misread what you wrote so I apologize. Most of the time when people say cheap quality they mean poor quality, but by your punctuation you meant cheap AND quality. I agree with you.
 

Converted2Truth

macrumors 6502a
Feb 6, 2004
608
0
Hell@HighAltitude
Rod Rod said:
I misread what you wrote so I apologize. Most of the time when people say cheap quality they mean poor quality, but by your punctuation you meant cheap AND quality. I agree with you.
Wow, your avatar changed! cool! did you buy one of them?!