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Think Secret Predicts Sub-$500 Headless Mac 922

Posted by timothy
from the wouldn't-it-be-nice dept.
eadint writes "I have just read an article posted on Think Secret that discusses a confirmed $499 Apple box sans monitor. According to the article, this has been under development for almost one year and may be available towards the end of 2005Q1. The system is rumored to be based on a G4 with 256MB of RAM , 40-80GB HD with a combo drive (sorry, no SuperDrive). Although Apple has stated in the past that they have no motivation to compete in the sub-$600 PC market, this system was based on polls showing that more people would buy it after initial exposure to the iPod." "Confirmed" seems a strong word, but I hope this is more than wishful thinking.
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Think Secret Predicts Sub-$500 Headless Mac

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  • by Brento (26177) * <brento@@@brentozar...com> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:05AM (#11208044) Homepage
    I've never bought an Apple computer because the prices are too high to be an impulse purchase. At $500, though, I would pick one up along with a $50 keyboard/monitor switch and start playing around with it.

    Plus, at $500, geeks can afford to buy it and find out if it's easy to get their work done on it. The easier it is to switch my day-to-day work over gradually to an Apple, the more likely I'd be to do it. I'm sure I'll have a couple/few apps that I have to run on Windows, but if you put them both on my desk and let me toy with both, I bet I'd be more likely to run my MS-only stuff on a virtual machine.

    Could I get a $500 used Mac with a CRT monitor? Sure, but who wants that big bulky thing around? Instead, give me something I can use with a USB KVM switch, and then I can explore it on my own pace.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:46AM (#11208278)
      Bummer. I've wanted this for a long time as well, but seeing the positive response from slasdot it must either 1) not be true or 2) be a horrible move by Apple that will lead to bankruptcy. Is it possible that Apple forecasting could be as simple as: "expect the opposite from what the Slashdot community predicts/wants"? As has been said numerous times before... Slashdotters are technically proficient, but almost by definition out of touch with mainstream computer users.
    • by bjb (3050) * on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:41AM (#11208685) Homepage Journal
      At $500, though, I would pick one up along with a $50 keyboard/monitor switch and start playing around with it.

      I don't want to discourage anyone from doing what you describe, but you might want to avoid the $50 KVM switch.

      Sure, back in the old days I used a $30 physical A/B/C/D switch for VGA connections which worked fine with my Amiga (15kHz) and VGA (31kHz), but as soon as you crank the resolutions and frequencies up, the cheap KVMs don't hold up.

      If you want to do it right, you need a good KVM. Specifically, you need to look at the specs of the device, and how high a bus rate it can handle; this makes all the difference in your display quality. Personally, I use a Belkin OmniView 4-port PS/2 & USB device (vendor page here [belkin.com]) which has worked great for me. You can get it cheaper, and despite what I found on pricegrabber [pricegrabber.com] about the device (reviews), I have had no problems. Unfortunately, it doesn't QUITE end there, though. You still need cables, and you can't get away with cheap cables; you should really go with the ones that Belkin sells, since they're up to spec. I tried the $15 cables, and your screen ghosts pretty bad.

      In the end, total cost for the 4-port KVM I bought? With 2 sets of high quality cables and another set of cheap cables, I ran nearly $190, though I probably could have done better by going online. YMMV.

      (note: I don't work for Belkin and have no particular love for the company, its just that I did a little research and found this to be the best product circa early 2002)

  • by rseuhs (322520) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:08AM (#11208065)
    Also the G4-design suggests fanless (or at least very quiet) operation, so it would be a real nice machine for office work or internet surfing.

    But please add PCI-slots.

    • by boaworm (180781) <boaworm@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:22AM (#11208128) Homepage Journal
      Just out of curiousity, what are you going to use those PCI slots for ?

      There is already NIC, Firewire, USB, Sound and Video cards onboard. I've had several macs, and i've never installed a single addon card in any of them.

      The only thing i've ever come up with was to use one as a firewall, in that case a second NIC would be desirable, but otherwise?
      • by ArbitraryConstant (763964) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @01:08PM (#11210200) Homepage
        "
        Just out of curiousity, what are you going to use those PCI slots for ?

        There is already NIC, Firewire, USB, Sound and Video cards onboard. I've had several macs, and i've never installed a single addon card in any of them.

        The only thing i've ever come up with was to use one as a firewall, in that case a second NIC would be desirable, but otherwise?
        "
        Uhg... I hate it when people say that.

        To most people, PCI slots don't matter. To a minority, they do matter, and to that minority, the lack may prevent them from buying a Mac. In my case, I have a tendency to upgrade older machines and move them into a server role as I replace them on the desktop, and this is not possible with the inexpensive Macs being discussed in this article.

        For example, consider my current firewall/server machine and the upgrades I have done, relative to an iMac from the same time period. It's a Pentium 2 400 mhz from 1997 or so.

        -Add another NIC so I can use it as a firewall... impossible on the iMac.
        -Add an SATA card... impossible on the iMac.
        -Add a 160 gb hard drive... impossible on the iMac as the ATA controllers of the time could not handle drives bigger than 128 gb.
        -Use the drive at full speed... impossible on the iMac because the ATA controllers of the time were limited to ATA-33.
        -Now using 2 hard drives... impossible on the iMac.
        -Upgrade the second NIC to gigabit... impossible on the iMac. Impossible on current iMacs too.
        -Upgrade the USB to USB 2.0... impossible on the iMac.

        It's not that Apple computers don't have all the spiffy ports, it's that they can't be upgraded later on when the definition of "spiffy port" changes.

        People usually argue that enthusiasts like myself should be buying PowerMacs, but the whole point is that a $500 PC is just as capable of doing these things as a $2000 PowerMac. PowerMacs have many benefits, but you pay for a lot of benefits that you don't need to buy the one benefit that you do.
        • -Add another NIC so I can use it as a firewall... impossible on the iMac.
          -Add an SATA card... impossible on the iMac.
          -Add a 160 gb hard drive... impossible on the iMac as the ATA controllers of the time could not handle drives bigger than 128 gb.
          -Use the drive at full speed... impossible on the iMac because the ATA controllers of the time were limited to ATA-33.
          -Now using 2 hard drives... impossible on the iMac.
          -Upgrade the second NIC to gigabit... impossible on the iMac. Impossible on current iMacs to
    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:30AM (#11208168)
      There's no chance of PCI slots. Even the iMacs don't have PCI slots. This device is rumoured to be only an inch and a bit thick. Other than the Powermac range, and specifics like Airport cards, Apple expansion is via USB peripherals.

      But if you want to use it for office work or internet surfing, it's hard to see why you'd want or need PCI anyway.

  • Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Zo0ok (209803) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:09AM (#11208066) Homepage
    I have asked for such a Mac for years... since they discontinued the cube...

    I think it'd be a great decision... lets see how much it canablizes on Power Macs though.
    • Re:Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mrpuffypants (444598) * <.mrpuffypants. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:17AM (#11208099)
      I know how silly it is to expect people to actually read the articles around here, but:

      Sources familiar with the product cautioned that the low-end Mac will be marketed towards a totally different audience than those who traditionally buy even a $799 eMac. "This product is not going to be about performance," said a source close to Apple. "This is going to be the basics, but with just as much of a focus on software as any Mac could ever be."

      Entry-level Computer: The new MyMac (or whatever)
      Workstation for Pros: The PowerMac G5

      I don't see how hard it is to realize that they have two vastly different target markets that don't overlap that much; some people will want the experience of using Apple Mail and Safari while others need 8GB of RAM for Photoshop.
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) * <jhummel@johAUDENnhummel.net minus poet> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:10AM (#11208068) Homepage
    I imagine this (if it will actually exist) would be like the eMac: base model low specs with the combo drive and 256 MB ram, but you can upgrade from there so a Superdrive will set you back an additional $100.

    Kind of like the Dell machines that start at $400 or so, then by the time you add on the usual needs (bump up the RAM to at least 512) they come out to $500 - $600.

    If this is the case, Apple now has a great chance to gain market share. I've wondered for years what would happen if a headless iMac comes out (since everybody already owns a monitor, why buy a machine with another one anyway?).

    If it becomes popular, I wonder if more game companies will go the Blizzard route and dual-release their software for both the PC and the Mac. Hm. Well, I've got an hour before I have to go to work - time for a little Warcraft ;).
  • by mobiux (118006) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:10AM (#11208071)
    I think i would pick one up if I could run the same software as any other macs can run.

    I would still keep my PC's, but I would love access to FCP and Motion.
  • by jacobcaz (91509) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:11AM (#11208079) Homepage
    I would buy one to put on my desk at work to prove they would interact with our network. Everyone gives me an odd stare when I recommend they pickup a Mac laptop for their personal work.

    Face it, geeks know the power of OSX but Apple hasn't done a great job of selling why a Mac today is differnet from the Macs of yesteryear. People either have ancidotal stories of how Macs don't play nice with Windows (which was never really true) or they have experiences with Mac-snobs or anti-Mac-snobs that have put them off even giving it a chance.

    I recommended we look at replacing some of our desktop machines with eMacs or iMacs as a trial last year and senior management looked at me like I was nuts. "But...But...it's not a Dell! And it Doesn't-Run-Windows(tm)! How will anyone get any work done?"

    It's harder to convince senior management to put out $20,000 for a ten box trial, but $5000 is much more palatable

    So go Apple! Build your boxes; they'll sell like hotcakes (especially if you make a $700 headless mac / iPod bundle).

  • by Mean_Nishka (543399) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:13AM (#11208082) Homepage Journal
    We all know Apple's been sitting on a gold mine if they could only get the cost of their computers in line with the rest of the 'commodity' PC's out in the market. If this rumor is indeed true, Apple could very well pick up some market share.

    The biggest selling point is obviously security. EVERY average Joe computer user I know is compromised with spyware and viruses (especially those with kids). I tell everyone who'll listen to buy a Mac when they're looking for a new PC, because it'll actually work after two weeks of use. It's nice to see that Apple might actually have something affordable for these folks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:16AM (#11208093)
    the price difference between 40 and 80gb hdds is small. The price difference between 256mb and 512mb of RAM is not large.

    The average Joe's perception of difference between a computer with 40gb of hdd & 256mb of RAM vs one with 80gb of hdd and 512mb of RAM as huge as a "3 megapixel camera" vs a "5 megapixel camera".

    Apple needs to understand that underspeccing their computers to make a few dollars more per unit or to have the price slightly lower, actually costs them more than it makes. It furthermore makes people take Apple less seriously - they keep trying to push their out-of-date computers, *and* they're underspeccing them as if they're old stock or they're trying to cut every cent off of costs.

    I seem to remember Commodore having a similar over-priced highend + underspecced low-end strategy.
    • by atrizzah (532135) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:35AM (#11208617)

      But at a sub-$500 price point, every dollar matters. If these things do sell like hotcakes, Apple needs to squeeze out the biggest margin they possibly can in order to make any money on it. This computer isn't going to be meant for the type of person who reads specs before they buy, it's for the people who just want to try out the new "Internet thingy" they've been hearing about these days. Apple wants people like you to shell out a bit more cash for your computer. I think that in this case, "underspeccing" is the way to go, since they know plenty of people will buy it regardless of specs because they just want to try Apple (if they're high end users) or own any computer at all (if they're low end users).

      A great example, have you heard of the low end Palm Zire series? Absurdly underspecced--they even decreased the number of hardware buttons--but they became Palm's best selling unit for over a year. And it's simply because the type of people who bought it weren't power users and didn't demand competitive specs, they just wanted any Palm. For many, it was perfectly adequate, and for others, it whetted their apetite for a more powerful unit (more dollars for Palm)

    • by xjerky (128399) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:39AM (#11209243)
      Agreed. Like others have said this is supposed to be a cheap machine so of course it's underspecced, but that doesn't excuse/explain dual G5s selling with only 256MB of RAM. My work machine is a dual 1.8Ghz model, and I could barely run Safari and iTunes at the same time without getting the Spinning Beach Ball of Death. I wasn't going to play Apple's game and pay them 3x the normal price for expansion RAM - I bought it third party. Runs MUCH better now with 1.2GB RAM.

      Why sell a machine with so much CPU horsepower then don't expext anyone to run an app that could actually take advantage of it (like Photoshop)?
  • by Alexander (8916) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:17AM (#11208095) Homepage
    "But, I can build an AMD 87GHZ box overclocked with a gajillion megs of video ram for $1.23 Canadian, why would I buy a Mac?"
    • by byolinux (535260) * on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:21AM (#11208119) Journal
      You forgot the obligatory comment about one mouse button too ;)
  • iPod Dock built in (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mikeloader (590119) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:18AM (#11208106)
    It would be interesting if it had an iPod dock built in given the target market. I know you can connect a dock via a Firewire cable, but with a built-in dock, Apple could market this baby Mac as an iPod accessory.
  • Not for US Market (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lysander Luddite (64349) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:19AM (#11208107)
    Last summer I read from a south asian government press release that Apple would be working with said government to build a cheap system for use only in that market. I firmly believe this rumored, stripped down machine is for that market.

    Here's the press release [nationmultimedia.com]
  • Sub-$500 market (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aggrazel (13616) <aggrazel@gmail.com> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:27AM (#11208153) Journal
    The way the world is going, "Sub-$500" is slowly edging its way away from the "economy class" and becoming more of the middle line for PCs. Just look at Dell, they are selling brand new Celeron 2.4ghz machines
    • with
    a monitor for $499. On ebay you can find some pretty nice used machines for under $100.

    Over $1000 these days is where you can find some really nice machines. But $1000 is no longer the entry point. If you were someone buying your first computer, would you want to plunge right in to a $1000+ Macintosh, or go for a sub $500 PC?

    It took long enough for Apple to see this, but they would have to be stupid to ignore it forever. It makes perfect sense to offer an entry point into Apple at the sub-$500 mark. And with the massive amount of cashflow they are getting from the overpriced iPod, they can certainly afford to cut their margins a bit on the low end in order to get the "apple" brand into the hands of the PC using public.

    I never really pay much attention to apples, but I love competition in the marketplace, so I hope this is true.
  • 256mb RAM? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kaleco (801384) <greig...marshall2@@@btinternet...com> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:31AM (#11208182)
    I'm a little worried that, although the price will be right, too many people will invest in the low-end Mac and end up a little disappointed. Sometimes it's better not to try and compete for control of the market and instead nurture your niche.

    If iPod users invest in this machine, they are quickly going to be disappointed in the lack of games (especially since the spec is relatively low), and find it struggles a bit when they start using large Garageband files. Still, only time will tell. We Slashdotters can, occasionally, be wrong.

  • by IGnatius T Foobar (4328) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:33AM (#11208195) Homepage Journal
    This isn't necessarily the right approach. All the folks at Apple have to do is build complete Macintosh systems onto ATX form factor motherboards. System builders all over the world would buy them up and build Apple-compatible computers.

    What many people don't know is that Sun actually did this [link4pc.com] a while back. I have an ATX rack-mount server with a Sun AXi motherboard in it, and it acts exactly like a Sun machine -- because it is a Sun machine. I'd love to see Apple do this.
    • System builders all over the world would buy them up and build Apple-compatible computers.

      Let me know when Microsoft starts giving away Windows for free with a bundled software suite, because Apple subsidizes their sofware R&D from hardware sales, so if they drop their hardware margins you don't get software.

      Would you really be happier if you could get an ATX Mac Board and then had to go to Staples to put down $129 for OSX and $49 for iLife, and whatever for Appleworks, Quicken and whatever else they
  • Not enough RAM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Cow007 (735705) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:44AM (#11208258) Journal
    It is silly to think that 256 is enough RAM to run 10.3. This 12" came standard with that and I couldn't use it w/o dropping another 512 into it. I think that 512 standard is more logical.
  • by Nice2Cats (557310) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:45AM (#11208266)
    Long, long overdue. The only thing that would annoy me about this is that they didn't get it in time for X-Mas sales -- a Mac for under 500 bucks would have been exactly what I would have gotten my dear mother as a present to replace her little AMD K6.

    However, better late than never as they say...

  • Innocents Day? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ticotek (844412) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:57AM (#11208346) Homepage
    Sorry guys, but the story was published on Dec 28th, which is the innocents saints day. I don't know if you celebrate it much on the States (it's a spanish tradition), but in a lot of places it's the equivalent of your aprils fools day. Don't get me wrong, I would love the 499$ Mac, but when something seems to good to be true, it probably is.
  • BRING IT ON!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by amichalo (132545) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @09:58AM (#11208357)
    Don't want to restate the obvious so I will restate what may not be so obvious:
    A 1" thick headless unit fits nicely in my A/V cabinet.

    Yeah, you heard me - network connection - audio line out (or atleast USB/Firewire for 3rd party)

    This is the new Media server for my den.
  • Did you hear that? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pherris (314792) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:04AM (#11208397) Homepage Journal
    It was the sound of a huge brick dropping from Bill Gate's back end.

    A $500 Mac IMO would be a biggest thing since the introduction of the PowerPC, iMac or iPod. It will rip through the computer world like a wildfire. The unreal power of OS X and a Mac for the price of some nasty thing from Dell? Oh, it's too good to be true. The only thing that would make it better is if it was like the Mac Cube and silent. That would throw the computer world for a spin. Imagine all the uses: small web server farms, MS Windows owners buying one with a KVM to run along side their MS Windows box. Jobs has pull off some pretty stunts and this without a doubt would be in his top 10. I will buy three the first day they come out; one for my daughter (she loves my wife's Mac and hates to share), one for my folks (playing admin for their MS Window's box sucks and one for me to run Ubuntu and MOL (hey, I had a ton of great Classic apps that still do the job).

    If someone says they're also bring back HyperCard I'll know it's a dream. If this new Mac is real Mac is back!

  • by jrifkin (100192) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:53AM (#11208820)
    If they're trying to woo the iPod users, they should provide a built-in iPod dock, and help reduce cable sprawl.
  • iServe (Score:3, Interesting)

    by amper (33785) * on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:18AM (#11209051) Journal
    The most important thing Apple Computer needs to get to market is a small 1U rack-mountable server in the sub-$1000 price range.

    Like, say, if you took a 17" iMac G5, ripped out the display, put it on it's side and racked it...but reconfig'd it so that the ports and slots would be easy to access while in a rack. Give me a single-processor G5 mobo, 2 internal SATA drives, a CD-ROM, a single PCI slot, and a choice of Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server, and I'm good to go.

    I have visions of Apple Network Appliances dancing in my head..email, DNS, DHCP, Open Directory nodes, web servers, etc, etc. All that nifty infrastructure stuff that doesn't really require a full-blown XServe, but that works great on multiple cheap boxen.
  • by Snorklefish (639711) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:21AM (#11209066)
    As much as I love my mother, the cost of administering her PC-- whether in terms of my time or her money-- is outrageous. The value of a secure, stable computing platform was pushing me towards purchasing her a Powermac. If the $499 Mac shows up, I'll skip the Powermac. Instead, I'll buy her the new box and use the savings to buy myself Apple's Remote Desktop software.
    • "As much as I love my mother, the cost of administering her PC-- whether in terms of my time or her money-- is outrageous."

      I know what you mean. My wife is going to buy a laptop next month and if she decides to stay on a PC, I will no longer provide her with assistance. I simply am not interested in figuring out where all her spyware came from, or why Windows is suddenly crashing all the time.

      Life is too short to deal with Windows.

  • now's their chance? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by utexaspunk (527541) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:48AM (#11209345)
    this kinda reminds me of this story [folklore.org] about the pricing of the original mac. their initial target price was $500, but the final design ended up being around $1,500. Then due to incresed costs and a lame decision by the board, it ended up starting out at $2,500, which prevented them from ever gaining a huge marketshare, which led to all sorts of problems later on.

    maybe now with microsoft looking pretty weak with their security problems and continually delaying longhorn, and with the problems intel is having and the rest of the PC market is having Apple is seeing this as a chance to make up for past mistakes and finally sell the "computer for everyone" they originally intended.
  • Mac Crack (Score:5, Funny)

    by EaterOfDog (759681) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:59AM (#11209450)
    I just want to warn everyone that OS X is addictive. That $500 box will give way to a dual G5 tower very soon. They are just giving you the first hit cheep.
  • No discussion: Gimme (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Damocles666 (627561) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @12:10PM (#11209553)
    I've wanted to switch for 2 years now. I own an ipod, my sister too, my dad also. I spend 10 hours a month removing virii and adware from their windows laptops (I refuse to spend more time). I crave Apple's design, but 1300 USD just to "play around" was a bit steep. The only thing that was stopping me from buying a Mac was price, and the fact that I still play some games sometime (so I can't ditch my PC straight away). If Apple makes this baby, I will buy one, I'll buy one for my sister, one for my mother and I'll convince 3 friends (minimum) to buy one for themselves and their wives. Easily. That's 3000 USD next year on top of the 1000 or so I spent on iPods in 2004 and another 500 I'll spend buying a new iPod in 2005. And I know tons of people around me who are just "turned off" by computers and would welcome a Mac. Now Gimme Gimme Gimme.
  • by Catbeller (118204) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @12:22PM (#11209686) Homepage
    This box sounds like Apple's answer to small form factor PC's running Myth or Microsoft's media center software. It's a multimedia box.

    There's been a sea change in monitors. Back in ye Olden Days, you had a Commodore 64 using a TV for a display. Fuzzy.

    Then came RGB monitors, which cost more than a TV, couldn't be used as a TV, but made computer video output much more usable.

    Then the monitors developed into hi-rez monsters. They showed TV better than TV sets showed TV.

    But now, lookee: hi-end high def TV's can run 1080i, or even 1080p with a converter. We have consumer TV's that can handily act as a not-bad monitor for a PC.

    What's an Apple to do with the situation of Microsoft end-running the entire entertainment industry by making their DRM and Media Center the de facto standard? They take the guts of a iMac and make a cheap Small Form Factor computer for cheap. It doesn't have Bill's virus problem inherent in the OS, and, also, most importantly, it doesn't crash.

    Run, Steve, run!
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @12:24PM (#11209711)
    ..my notion of Steve Jobs being a carefully observing computer geek / visionary and top-notch manager in unison.
    This is exactly what Apple has to do in order to expand into the gap that MS is leaving behind by slowly but shurely trickeling out of the corporate workplaces. A Sub-500$, low power computer that comes shrinkwrapped with OS X is all it takes to migrate even more people who hate MS (everybody exept gamers) to their plattform. Right now the only alternative for modern micro systems is to get some cool Mini ITX or XPC and spend 20 days trying to get Linux running on it satisfactory.
    With a move like this Apple would put it's foot down and make a clear statement for the 100% OSS-ready appliance market.
    As I said earlier [slashdot.org], this is the next logical step needed to share he market between OSS and all-in-one-package providers. Which Apple essentially is. If this is going to happen, my next file-and-mail server is going to be a mac aswell.
  • The Cube reborn? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pherris (314792) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @12:28PM (#11209751) Homepage Journal
    If you look on ebay the price of Mac Cubes are nuts. A typical Cube (now what, four years old?) sells for $500 to $700 and has atleast 40 bids. I have to wonder if someone at Apple finally realized the Cube was a very cool machine and cancelling it was a mistake.
  • by pherris (314792) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @02:27PM (#11211078) Homepage Journal
    Seriously, Apple turns out an interesting and exciting product, people praise it and the anti mac crowd comes out and trashes them. Computers are not a religion, they're tools. If you're happy with another OS then fine, use it and enjoy it.

    While this article should've spawned positive discussions on this new Mac's possible uses, it pros and cons, it has partly turned into flamefest where people get trashed for say something less than "MS Windows XP is number one."

    It's about a new Mac and a new direction for Apple, nothing more.

  • by falcon203e (589344) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @02:27PM (#11211083)
    ... The MarijuanaMac. You'll get hooked, and next thing you know you'll sell your car and tv and drop $2000 on the HeroineBook. By the time Tiger comes out, you'll be sleeping on a mattress on the floor of an empty apartment with broken windows and no heat. Just remember, you won't be able to use your Mac once the power company cuts you off.
  • by Batlord (33242) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @06:12PM (#11213556)
    TFA mentions that it will be small--designed to sit under or next to an existing monitor. If the target market is current windows users wanting to smoothly make the "switch", it should do a KVM pass-through, cables included.

    Plug PC into mac. Plug mac into existing keyboard, mouse, monitor.

    The pass-through should also include ethernet, just to cut down on cable clutter.

    You could easily make a simple physical "mac/not mac" switch on the front of the machine (next to the drive & on/off buttons).

    I would buy one. I might buy two.

  • by mojowantshappy (605815) on Thursday December 30, 2004 @03:14AM (#11216938)
    One thing I don't get is where are they going to get the head from? The Apple Store doesn't sell any low end monitors (the lowest end being the 1299 20" Cinema Display), and surely they don't expect the consumer to seek a different location for a monitor? So where are they going to get this head, and how much is it going to cost? Would a consumer rather buy a $500 headless Mac and a $100 CRT monitor then a $799 eMac? As an Apple Store employee, this just doesn't make sense to me. Why would they want to sell a $500 computer when the extra cost of a monitor would nullify the fact that it is a cheap Mac? Sure, customers could just use a monitor they already have, but most people when buying a computer expect to get the whole package, and generally have planned uses for older computers. Their planned uses may never come to fruitiion, but that doesn't matter at the time of purchase. I think the idea overall is pretty cool for the geek community, but for the consumer I don't see it. I could certainly imagine selling these at the Apple Store, but it would take up uneccessary space for what would probably be a redundant product.
    • by ErikZ (55491) on Saturday January 01, 2005 @05:04AM (#11232754)
      "Would a consumer rather buy a $500 headless Mac and a $100 CRT monitor then a $799 eMac?"

      Yes. In fact, if this isn't just a rumor, I'll buy one.

      "As an Apple Store employee, this just doesn't make sense to me. Why would they want to sell a $500 computer when the extra cost of a monitor would nullify the fact that it is a cheap Mac?"

      500$ + 100$ = 600$
      Cheap emac = 800$

      Is the savings of two hundred dollars that confusing to you?

      It matters.
  • by Zhe Mappel (607548) on Friday December 31, 2004 @01:37AM (#11225662)
    A certain kind of Mac lover--not the majority, in my view--loves to say gloatingly, on message boards, in a voice that I always imagine sounds like a cross between Alistair Cooke and Leonard Pinth-Garnell:

    Apple shall nevah make a low-end product just as BMW shall nevah stoop to competing with Saturns

    Or some such. You know what I'm talking about.

    But the fact is, Apple's now an mp3 player company that happens to sell a tiny number of computers, too. And they're nice computers. I sure like ours. But if it or Wall Street thought iPods would translate into Powerbook or PowerMac sales, they were dreaming.

    iPods might translate into sales of inexpensive headless boxes, though. They might if you can say, "Well, that cheap-ass Dell is no deal when I can get a decent machine for the same price." And it might work on impulse terms, too, especially if Apple builds on the kind of this-is-an-iPod-styled-computer metaphor it used in the introduction of the recent iMac. Oddly and ironically, you'd be accessorizing your iPod with a new computer. Hell, why not? Paradigms shift.

    Then again, maybe the Pinth-Garnell set is right, and Apple will never stoop. But Jobs is shrewd, and the economic forecast for USA, Inc., is gloomy and getting gloomier. Maybe, just maybe, it's time to stoop!

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