Why is there a Mac truck sized hole in the Apple desktop product line?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kudukudu, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. kudukudu macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #1
    Putting aside the mac mini which is too limited for most users, Apple offers only two platforms: xeon based workstations (mac pro) and laptops in either a laptop form factor (macbook pro) or a desktop form factor (imac).

    I can understand that except for the professional market, Apple wants to ensure consumers purchase both the CPU and the monitor from Apple which is guaranteed with the imac, but would not be with a prosumer desktop. I can also appreciate that there is probably some concern about a core 2 duo desktop dipping into the xeon workstation sales, but I think this is taking a very narrow view.

    The question is not how many mac pro or imac sales will be lost as a result of having a prosumer core 2 duo powered desktop, but how much additional marketshare Apple will get from people who would have otherwise purchased a Dell. We are not just talking about a small percentage of hardcore gamers and enthusiasts, but a class of prosumer users who don't need a V12 engine insider their computer who nevertheless require a) lots of hard drive space for home movies, music and videos, b) the option to purchase a 30" monitor, c) a decent graphics card for gaming that produces too much heat for an imac style form factor.

    Furthermore, many consumers keep monitors far longer than they do their computer. I wonder how many potential customers Apple has lost because a user cannot justify the price of a mac pro, but they don't want to have to throw away their monitor once their imac becomes outdated.

    Last, buying a mac pro for ordinary home use is kind of like buying a Ford F-350 to commute to the office. The mac pro has a huge amount of CPU power, but has slow RAM, graphics card not suited to gaming. Even if money is not an option, I wouldn't call the mac pro my ideal dream machine for home use since it is unbalanced.
     
  2. MikeL macrumors 6502

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    Bloomington, MN
    #2
    I can't believe no one has ever thought of any of this before. It's as though that perceived gap has been there since... well, since the Performas disappeared, or the Cube disappeared. All those years... wow.
     
  3. Evergreen macrumors member

    Evergreen

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    Jul 9, 2001
    #3
    This has been discussed within a few threads. I am one of those many people who is living in the void between the iMac and MacPro. It's pretty aggravating that Apple would have an ill-suited product like the Mini, but nothing to offer the prosumers.
     
  4. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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  5. Zel macrumors regular

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    Jul 7, 2007
    #5
    prosumer isn't even a word. Apple has clearly segmented the market into casual users and power users.

    If you want to use eMail and iPhoto and Safari, then the iMac will suit you just fine. They will even run last generation games. If you need more horsepower to do bigge taks like rendering or video or whatever, then you want a workstation and should get the MacPro

    there is no middle ground. your perceived middleground is simply that you are too cheap for the workstation, if Apple really made something between them it would be either still too slow or be using cheap parts, and Apple refuses to use cheap parts!

    and besides, my MBP is more powerful than my previous desktop workstation, so unless you really need four cores (most of the world doesnt) the iMac's should be enough!
     
  6. boss1 macrumors 6502a

    boss1

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    Jan 8, 2007
    #6
    I think this is just Apple trying to get the most out of 2 very different target markets and making sure that each product fits the consumer optimally as to not confuse or upset the consumer.


    So lets say Apple sells 200 page college ruled notebooks for students and a fully fledged leather dayplanner with calculator and 5 extra pockets for professionals.

    If Apple were to create a between product with 100 page college ruled pages, fake leather, only 1 extra pocket and no calculator, then the fear is that both "students" & "professionals" who buy the median product will only complain about how it doesn't fully suit their needs.

    To top that off comes the problem of pricing and cannibalization, if the median product wasn't so gimped and actually satisfied the both Students and Professionals other issues are created for the two existing products on the low and high end.
     
  7. RichP macrumors 68000

    RichP

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    Jun 30, 2003
    Location:
    Motor City
    #7
    I think, at the end of the day, most consumers that are the point-of-purchase for a mac don't then decide against it because of this "product hole" If you are committed to buying a mac and using OSX; you purchase whatever mac best suits you from the given offers.

    Apple loses very little sales to this "midtower" machine not existing.
     
  8. papadopolis1024 macrumors 6502

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    Mar 14, 2007
    #8
    I hope you are kidding...
     
  9. jwt macrumors 6502

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #9
    Really?! My last Desktop purchase was a G4 Quicksilver, purchased in 2002 for $1200. I'm sticking to it until Apple offers a modern day equivalent. How many others do you think are in the same boat?

    You people arguing against the headless iMac have your heads buried in the sand. You simply don't get it. As stated in this post, over 13,000 threads have been written on this issue. People want this product, and they won't stop talking about it until they get it. Apple better start listening.
     
  10. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #10
    Finally, someone who gets it. Apple has surely studied this issue and if it would be profitable for them, they would release a "mid-range" tower.

    The market just isn't there. These so-called "prosumers" (whatever that even means, either you are a professional who makes money with your PC or you are not) basically want a Mac Pro at iMac prices. Even though a top of the line iMac can handle everything a home user can throw at it. If you need more power than that, you have an option to go to a Mac Pro.

    And the monitor argument sucks because it is not like your old iMac stops working if you get a new one. You could use it as a second machine in your kicthen. You could sell it. You could donate it...the list goes on and on.
     
  11. mahashel macrumors 6502

    mahashel

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    #11
    This topic doubles as the argument for the introduction of a gaming-specific Mac.
    Personally, I would love something graphically superior to the iMac, but less clunky than a MacPro. Since Apple does not compete in this "mid tower" space, I build my own and run a different OS. Sad but true.

    As for those of us who would like the option of a highly-configurable Mac "mid tower", it has nothing to do with being "too cheap to buy a workstation".
    Using a MacPro for gaming is like taking a Peterbilt on the Autobahn. It's a powerful machine designed for a completely different task than the bus-intensive 3D-accelerated agility required by modern games.
     
  12. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    Jun 27, 2007
    #12
    iMac IS designed to be the mid point desktop Mac between Mac Mini and Mac Pro.

    A lots of professionals use iMac as their system.

    If you want to get a desktop machine to be as QUIET as Mac Mini and iMac, at the same price as Mac Mini, it's just dreaming.

    Comparable desktop PCs in the same price range are loud. A fan-less water colling system for PC costs about $300 to $400 plus the time to find it, and time to read the manual, and time to install! Meanwhile all the Macs on the market are relatively silent when compared to wintels.

    Apple is NOT going to make a noisy, cheap machine.
     
  13. thies macrumors regular

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    Jul 22, 2002
    #13
    Just bend over and be thankful that you may purchase an overpowered Mac Pro.
     
  14. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    Jul 4, 2004
    #14
    Or what?
     
  15. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    Buffalo
    #15
    It is you who doesn't get it. The market for this machine is very small. Apple knows this. Do you honestly think if Apple could increase profits by adding this machine they wouldn't do it? Do you think they have some sort of irrational bias against this machine? This is about one thing: money.

    And using the number of threads on a Mac enthusiast forum is not a representation of the general public. The vast majority of people couldn't care less. They just want a computer. And to the general user, the all in one design in more appealing than a tower because of reduced clutter. People love that about my iMac.

    People here need to realize that we represent a loyal minority only and that Apple tries to make products that appeal to broadest possible spectrum of people. And using that approach will disappoint people on both ends of the spectrum. I can't get a budget laptop from Apple either. OH NOES!!! There is a gaping hole in the product line!! Sound the alarm and organize a boycott and start an internet petition.

    If you want a midrange tower, there are several other manufacturers that will sell you one.

    Again, this is a tiny market. To the vast majority of people, gaming is an afterthought when buying a computer. And a recent iMac can play any game you get at an Apple Store just fine. And most people wouldn't even buy the latest games. They just want to play The Sims or solitaire. I will just never get this argument I guess.
     
  16. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

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    Oct 4, 2007
    #16
    I don't need a mac pro, but an imac without the monitor would suit my needs fine.

    I will NEVER buy a desktop computer with an integrated monitor. Period. I would buy a notebook first (I own a MBP) And if you think there isn't a significant amount of pc users that would like to switch but are in the same boat as I am you are wrong.

    There is a hole in the line. It does effect sales. That's not slamming Apple, it's just a fact. As I grow older, I'm learning that I'm no longer the "target consumer" as there are just too many younger people spending money faster than I am for a company to focus on my desires. It's a fact of life. But that doesn't mean there isn't a hole in the product line. There is. Whether or not it's calculated by Apple or not, I'm not certain, but it is there.

    PS> IMO, Integrating the monitor on a desktop computer falls on the stupidest idea ever meter just ahead of buying one. The concept is like taking all the bad design features of a notebook, putting them in a desktop and then making it too big to be portable.
     
  17. krunk macrumors regular

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    Jan 29, 2004
    #17
    The number one reason I've seen in the 18-25 y/o demographic for not switching to a Mac.
     
  18. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #18
    You're completely right! That must be why iMacs have never sold well.

    When I worked at the Apple Store people would get all pissy when I recommended they replace their monitor/desktop combo with an elegant, all in one solution.

    At this rate Apple will have to kill the iMac lines.
     
  19. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #19
    At least since the single processor Power Mac G5 left the market in 2005. :rolleyes:
     
  20. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

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    #20
    yep

    And the single processor G5 SUCKED. SUCKED.
     
  21. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

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    Buffalo
    #21
    So your anecdotal evidence is proof? And the fact that Macs are the most popular PC in this this demographic means what? Have you seen the statistics on what is the most popular PC among incoming college freshmen?

    Listen, I am not saying it wouldn't be a nice choice to have, but every reason the people here give for Apple producing one is flawed. Just because you want it or because you know some people who say they would buy one does not mean it makes sense for Apple to make it. That logic is seriously flawed.
     
  22. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #22
    It fought with the iMac G5 for some time.

    It was at least expandable.
     
  23. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    Jul 1, 2004
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    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #23
    I think the OP should apply for a job at Apple. He should really bring this up in the interview. He'll get a job for sure!:rolleyes:
     
  24. saltyzoo macrumors 65816

    saltyzoo

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    #24
    Pet rocks and chia pets sold like mad. Doesn't mean they weren't stupid.
     
  25. jwt macrumors 6502

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    Mar 28, 2007
    #25
    You still don't get it. You ASSUME that there is a small market for this machine simply because you are an Apple Zealot that tries to rationalize every move Apple makes without question. Apple is not a perfect company. They are growing quite nicely, and their stock has made me a pile of money, but they are not perfect.

    This generalization is coming from what data? The vast majority of people are running Windows on an inexpensive expandable mid-tower. Wouldn't it be nice to run Mac OS X on an equivalent machine? Some people want reduced clutter, while others want expandability and the ability to reuse their monitor.

    Apple makes computers that appeal to their loyal minority.

    Thank you for proving my point. Well said. Apple can say good-bye to mine and other's money. Excellent business model.

    Apple's is a tiny market. The consumer space is huge, and consumers want to play games (though not exclusively).

    Apple marketshare ~5%, PC marketshare ~95%. Macs can run windows natively now, so software is no longer a barrier. Hardware must at least be somewhat a factor in determining why people are still running windows boxes.
     

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