Wherefore art thou iMac?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Blue Velvet, Jan 15, 2005.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    With all the recent buzz around the Mac Mini & iPod Shuffle, it's becoming obvious that Apple's overall strategy has become more aggressive & expansionist particularly at lower price points.

    The original iMac was a great and iconic computer for its time and millions were sold. I have 3 friends that still have one and use it for day-to-day stuff like word-processing, email and web, stuff that 90% of people use 90% of the time... and these little machines are still perfect for these tasks.

    The original iMac also had this funky little attitude of being the Mac for everyone... the embodiment of the original Apple philosophy.

    However, when they have considered replacing their iMacs it's certainly not with another iMac because of their price. It's usually an eMac or perhaps it's the Mini for those who have heard of it... or even a PC.

    Perhaps the success of the eMac (originally intended for the education market) took Apple by surprise but the following generations of iMacs have been less enthusiastically embraced by the general public, possibly not helped by the stunning lack of a persuasive and seductive advertising campaign.

    Is the iMac now an over-engineered white elephant – ahead of its time – and uneasily positioned between the low-end 'pro' lines, eMac and Mini?

    Are we starting to see a repetition of the early 90's when Apple produced too many product lines with confusing configurations?

    Is the iMac's appeal diluted by the Mini Mac?

    What future do you think the iMac has?
  2. Ugg macrumors 68000


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hmmm, I think the iMac is going to do fine. First off it's a G5 and there will be a lot of individuals and companies that need/want the extra power and the smaller footprint. Plus, it's very, very cool.

    The eMac is the ugly duckling in the lineup insofar as I see it. My guess is that Apple is playing a game of wait and see about the viability of the eMac. If the Mac Minis take off then I think it'll be eoled very soon. Although, I would think the eMac has its own fans as well, especially those who want a computer to take out of the box and just plug it in. Also, I can't see the eMac being upgraded to a G5 because there just isn't enough wiggle room on price. If they did it would be a repeat of "should I get an iBook or a PB scenario"

    If the Mini Mac does take off, then they could put a G5 in there, up the price a $100, kill the eMac and then drop the prices on the iMacs about $100. Then there would be a clear distinction between mini, prosumer, and pro lines.

    I'll bet that the next 3 months sees a drop in iMac sales but that in a few months the lust for a G5 will return.

    Apple has always been ahead of its time and the iMac is definitely more than most people need but it'll pay off for them over the next two years when the convergence between computer and home entertainment increases.
  3. maya macrumors 68040


    Oct 7, 2004
    somewhere between here and there.
    Review the Lines:

    Original iMac G3: Playful, Rebellious, Colourful, A Step in the Other Direction from the rest of the PC market, Soulful, Cute, too many words could encapsulate this Fun little machine. Affordable.

    iMac G4: Lost some of the spunk that the G3 models had, however still had some Cute reason to like about it. Plus a lack of colour. High Priced.

    iMac G5: Starting to look more masculine, Cold, no Colour, it is a 180º when compared to the iMac G3. High Priced.


    eMac G4: Same situation as the iMac G4 its feels like it cannot make up its mind as to what it wants to be straight edged or curvy. No Colour. Affordable.


    Mac Mini: Small, Cute, Some Colour, same as eMac with straight edges and curves. Lacks the a lot of what the iMac G3 embodied. Affordable.


    PowerBook G3 and Original iBook G3: Curvy, Colourful (iBook), same regard as the iMac G3 (iBook line). Black 2 Tone Professional (PowerBook G3), Curvy (PowerBook).

    PowerBook G4 (Ti)(Al) and iBook Ice (G3 and G4): Lose a lot of what made the the previous models stand out, Curves, Playful, Professional 2 Tone Black (PowerBook G3). Masculine, Colourless, Cold, Affordable (iBook G4), Over Priced (PowerBook G4 Ti).

    Same issues with the PowerMac G3 ---> PowerMac G4 ---> PowerMac G5, the line went from being playful, fun, original, curvy and transitioned to industrial look, very very cold indeed.

    That is why I feel Apple product lines in regards to computing has lost its soul over the phasing of G3-->G4-->G5.

    The processors as well, the G3 were very efficient (power/work), then the G4 lost that ratio and needed more power to do the same amount of work with a bit more if the application was VectorEngine enabled. The G5 has lost even more needing more power and doing less work.

    The G3 chips was one of the best designed processors, IMHO. :)
  4. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Always with the thoughtful questions, BV. My first response was to the thread question was going to be "right here," but then I realized it was a serious query... ;)

    I don't think the Mac mini really takes away from the iMac since it is too underpowered. It is designed specifically as a lower-end replacement machine, and I think it fills a necessary spot in the line-up.

    The iMac is a great machine for a wide variety of people who like the faster processor and built-in video, and (like me) who will never upgrade beyond the RAM.

    The PowerMac line is a great higher-end device, and I think we can agree it's got a stable position.

    In my mind, the eMac is the question mark since I am doubtful that the CRT market will stay around much longer. LCDs are increasingly inexpensive, so I'd be more willing to bet will set the eMac slide into a low-end iMac config. Right now, the eMac is overpriced. I can get the Mac mini and a decent LCD screen for the price of the low-end eMac. And the higher-end Mac mini with Superdrive and a faster processor, along with a similarly low-priced LCD is a better deal than the high-end eMac.

    So I'd say "wherefore art thou eMac?"
  5. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    So in this case the consumer will decide. I think that each of the CPU's will find their own niche. As mentioned they each have there pro's and con's. Apple is trying to meet as many price points as possible to attract more customers.
  6. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Haha :) I'm pretty sure 'wherefore art thou' means 'why/what are you?' or something like that...

    Hmm... that's a point.
    However, I think many people who use a computer may just need one for core apps and may not be too turned on by the iLife thing... iPhoto yes, but the rest is a bit high-end for the most casual users.

    I fixed a friends G3 a couple of weeks ago (bad HD) and she's now interested in the Mini. She's a journalist, works part-time freelance and only needs that core functionality.

    The way I see it, is that the iMac has outgrown it's original intent... and is a different proposition altogether.
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Many, many businesses are using eMacs, including design and publication firms who use G5's for the frontline graphics production and eMacs for everything else (copywriting, managememnt, basic layout in Quark or InDesign, really everything other than honking big Photoshop files)

    Question: eMac for $799 (CAN$999) + add 512 Mb RAM = ready to go for a new hire. Do you want it?
    Answer: Absolutely! Send two.

    Question: But it's not (colorful, thin, sexy, angular, LCD, upgradeable or aluminum, take your pick)?
    Answer: We don't give a spit. How soon can they be here?

  8. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Yes, which is why it's a stupid joke ;)

    Perhaps. But even bargain basement apps are requiring more horsepower, and with video editing being so easy, more people are doing it. I still think the iMac will do fine, and the eMac will need to go away. How can they make the eMac a G5 without really messing up the line?
  9. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    My answer would be give me two of the high-end minis with LCD screens. Less space. Easier on the eyes. Less money. More power.
  10. takao macrumors 68040


    Dec 25, 2003
    Dornbirn (Austria)
    actually i rember the countless discussions months ago about the 'line up' where something was simply missing from the line up...
    now it looks like the pc and the mp3 player line ups are completly filled ... if you think about it: what is missing from the main line up now ? at the moment i can't of an additional product

    the current imac design will stay around for a long time ... sooner or later the crt will simply fade away...
  11. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Taken out the back and whacked?

    Sorry... but your eMac is sleeping with the fishes. :)
  12. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004

    Apple sold more G5 iMacs than any of their other desktop computers during the last quarter.......and of course the lower priced eMac was available during all of that time and it's availability doesnt seem to have hurt G5 iMac sales at all
  13. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I'm not disputing the sale figures or otherwise but I'm wondering who those machines are going to... your average user or to people who can't quite afford a PowerMac.

    I'm also musing on how the original version of the iMac has now become something a bit more overblown, and certainly more powerful than what most people need.

    Really, I guess what I'm getting at is how the 'brand' of the iMac has changed and how it seems to be no longer the 'Model T' of the Mac line...
  14. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    Average user more than the PM wannabes.
    But technically most people don't need broadband, but the superior service it offers is incredibly attractive to consumers.
    The iMac is proving to be the most Darwinian of modern PCs. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.
  15. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Perhaps my argument is from a UK-based perspective: the cheapest iMac is almost US$400 cheaper in the US than the UK.


    Maybe consumers in the States would feel completely different if the bottom end iMac was closer to US$1650...
  16. Savage Henry macrumors 65816

    Savage Henry

    Feb 20, 2004
    in a one horse, two house, three pub town.
    I can certainly agree with you from the cost-pespective. Although I consider the G5 iMac package right now is reasonably good value, the thing that is stopping me purchase the one I want is the initial 1300 sterling + ram + Tiger (upon release) + iPod U2 I promised my lady if I eventually bought the new iMac. All that would set me back nearly £1800 this side of the pond ( which is currently 3300 USD approx )

    Stateside that package would be about the 2400 clams mark :(

    Man, that stings......
  17. solvs macrumors 603


    Jun 25, 2002
    LaLaLand, CA
    Well, since here the iMac can be had for about $1300 plus tax and/or shipping, it's not too overpriced. It's just not the same thing it used to be. I don't think Apple has completely given up on the cute-factor. Witness the iPod mini and it's colors. Or the new Mac Mini. They could have made it bigger, used regular sized drives, better video card, and several slots of RAM, but they went for small, cute, cheap. Just no colors... yet. Maybe the new eMac will come in colors. :p I'm sure they will keep it around for a little while even if they don't. I could see a G5 eMac, at 1.6GHz with a 64MB 5200. But then they'll up the iMac to a 1.8, maybe with a 128MB card (as at least BTO, or on the high-end). Maybe dop the price of the single G5 Tower to about $1299.

    I see them moving more toward a serious white and gray, and away from the cute, for their Pro and Prosumer mid-range stuff. The colors were nice to get people's attention, but now they seem to be wanting to move back into being taken more seriously. Hard to do that with Flower Power and Blue Dalmation. I'm sure the success of the iPod mini, and soon the Mac Mini, will remind them of what the target audience really wants. Maybe they'll keep the Al and White, but have some color options on some products in the future, especially if they start to drop in popularity. Since Apple is ever changing, I'm sure they have some all new theme we haven't even thought about.

    Wood anybody?
  18. frescies macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2002
    Los Angeles, CA
    Is anybody NOT happy with their new G5 iMac? I just got one and I'm in love with it, and I do some moderately intense stuff with it. However... I will admit that I do not "adore" it the way I did my G4 iMac... I miss the neck and the dome base :(

    Wait... I love and adore computers?
  19. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

    Jun 26, 2004
    I live in a giant bucket!
    The G5 iMac is a remarkable design and is quite stunning when seen in person, however seeing the G4 imac for the first time actually took my breath away. It was unlike anything that was designed at the time, so I know what you mean. I feel that I like the G4 more than the G5 iMac, but I also can't really trust myself. Do I really like the G4 design that much or am I just in love with that first initial feeling? If the G5 design was the G4 and G4 design was the G5 would I like it more, less, indifferent.

    So many questions... :eek: :p

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