General Discussion General discussion on...anything!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  (#1) Old
MoInSTL MoInSTL is offline
Super Moderator
 
MoInSTL's Avatar
 
Posts: 605
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Send a message via AIM to MoInSTL Send a message via MSN to MoInSTL Send a message via Yahoo to MoInSTL
Default Apple's Pricey Notebooks: Time For a Change - 05-08-2009, 02:11 PM

From Business Week:
http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/ ... op+stories

The birth of a new class of inexpensive thin-and-light notebooks, described in my current Tech & You column, is a good-news, bad-news story for most laptop manufacturers. To the extent that these new sub-$1,000 notebooks cannibalize sales of high-end executive thin-and-lights, among the most profitable products in the portfolio, the manufacturers will face downward pressure on already-battered margins. But to the extent that customers can be persuaded to move up from netbooks, which manufacturers have been able to sell at volume but with little or no profit, these somewhat fancier notebooks could boost the bottom line.

Apple, however, faces a different challenge. The company does not play in the low end of the laptop market. It only offers two models for less than $1,500: A 13-in. aluminum MacBook starting at $1,299 and the $999 white MacBook, a product that is growing tired despite a recent refresh of its processor and graphics. The rest of the line ranges from the $1,799 MacBook Air to the $2,799-and-up 17-in. MacBook Pro.
This lineup helps Apple be by far the most profitable company in the PC business. According to market researcher NPD Group, the average selling price for Apple laptops in February was $1,512 while that for Windows-based laptops, including netbooks, was $560. That comparison is somewhat misleading because NPD tracks retail data and excludes most corporate sales, which are typically higher priced.
But there’s no hiding the fact that the gap is huge and growing.

The problem for Apple is that the company’s position in notebooks seems unsustainable if it wants to maintain or grow its market share and stay a significant player in the mainstream market. Yes, Macs are very well designed and well made, using top-of-the-line components. Yes, I think Mac OS X is superior to Windows Vista, although I think that gap will narrow significantly with the release of Windows 7 this fall. And yes, the suite of applications included with every Mac is exceptional and in some cases the programs are better than anything you can buy for Windows. In recent years, Apple has seemed to want to be the BMW of the computer business, occupying a broad range in the upper part of the market. Right now, however, it is in danger of becoming Bentley.

I think Apple is absolutely correct in its determination to stay out of the netbook market. These little notebooks have their uses, but they lack the horsepower to do a satisfactory job running OS X or the applications that make Macs distinctive. If all a Mac netbook could do is run a browser as well—or as badly—as a Windows or Linux netbook, what’s the point? It’s just a chance for Apple to get into a commoditized, no-margin business, exactly what Apple has always avoided.

The new sub-$1,000 thinbooks pose a far greater challenge. I’d be surprised if Apple came out with a product that, like Hewlett-Packard’s new Pavillion dv2, uses AMD’s Turion Neo platform. Since switching from PowerPCs to Intel processors four years ago, Apple has forged an extraordinarily close relationship with both Intel and graphics specialist Nvidia that it is unlikely to jeopardize with a dalliance with AMD and its graphics subsidiary, ATI. A much stronger possibility would be a MacBook based on Intel’s forthcoming Consumer Ultra-low Voltage processor, probably paired with Nvidia’s GM9400 graphics. The result could be a 12- or 13-in. MacBook, significantly thinner and lighter than current offerings and priced at perhaps $800. That would be a product that could renew Apple’s assault on Windows’ market share without compromising the Mac brand.

I have no more clue than anyone else about what Apple is actually doing, and the rumors will grow steadily more intense in the month leading up to Apple’s Worldwide Developers’ Conference, when major product announcements are expected. But I think the logic of the thin, cheaper MacBook is overwhelming, and I’ll be surprised if such a product is not in Apple’s back-to-school lineup.


Studio 15 1558| Black Chainlink| i5-520M, |4GB RAM |500 GB HD@7200 |ATI HD 4570, 512K|Backlit|9 Cell|Web Cam|Windows 7 Professional x64
Reply With Quote
  (#2) Old
anguish anguish is offline
Super Moderator
 
anguish's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,203
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Detroit
Default Re: Apple's Pricey Notebooks: Time For a Change - 05-08-2009, 02:26 PM

The guy is an idiot.

Quote:
I think Apple is absolutely correct in its determination to stay out of the netbook market. These little notebooks have their uses, but they lack the horsepower to do a satisfactory job running OS X or the applications that make Macs distinctive. If all a Mac netbook could do is run a browser as well—or as badly—as a Windows or Linux netbook, what’s the point? It’s just a chance for Apple to get into a commoditized, no-margin business, exactly what Apple has always avoided.
The above says it all. How many of us here are running OS X on our netbooks? Hmmm? How many are doing amazing things with this lack of horsepower? Hmmm? OS X runs more than satisfactorily. I frequently run multiple apps on my Mini 9, and I'm now playing with VirtualBox running an XP VM.

I wonder if this idiot has ever actually tried to run OS X on a netbook and see how well it performs. Sure, full sized notebooks from Apple running OS X probably run fantastically. But considering how fast and smooth my netbook with a lack of horsepower actually runs OS X, I think he's opening his mouth for a big boot to be shoved into it.

That said...Apple has long overcharged for their products. I do agree that they are becoming a Bentley versus a BMW. Part of the reason I have a Dell Studio XPS 13 in front of me is because their notebooks are ridiculously priced, I don't care how well they work.

I love OS X, and I was more than happy to pay money for it to put on my Mini 9. But I'm not spending that kind of money for freaking hardware.


Alienware M11xR2 - Core i5 1.06 - 4 GB - 250 GB HD

Triple Boot Guide - 10v RAM Upgrade Videos - mechdrew's OSX guides
Reply With Quote
  (#3) Old
RealG RealG is offline
Junior Member
 
RealG's Avatar
 
Posts: 20
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New York
Default Re: Apple's Pricey Notebooks: Time For a Change - 05-08-2009, 03:18 PM

If there's one thing I have noticed about Apple is that they do their own thing, when they decide to. I have read a few articles recently about how apple has to come out with a netbook, and how Apple has to open the iPhone up to other carriers.

For years now Apple has been very financially successful. Do I think R&D teams at Apple are looking at netbooks? You bet. Do I think they read through forums like this to mine the work others? You bet. Do I think when an Apple netbook/tablet/whatever comes out it's going to be $200-$300? I doubt it. (Look at the first gen iPhone? Who would pay $500 for a phone? Apparently a lot of people.)

Is Apple hardware overpriced? Perhaps, but there are still making money and a really good product. While I think my Moni 9 is cute, and I am very happy with it, I know that if my MacBook Pro dies (just celebrated it's third birthday) I know I will be at the Apple store looking for his replacement.
Reply With Quote
  (#4) Old
dsf3g dsf3g is offline
Senior Member
 
Posts: 143
Join Date: Apr 2009
Default 05-13-2009, 01:35 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by anguish View Post
The guy is an idiot.

The above says it all. How many of us here are running OS X on our netbooks? Hmmm? How many are doing amazing things with this lack of horsepower? Hmmm? OS X runs more than satisfactorily. I frequently run multiple apps on my Mini 9, and I'm now playing with VirtualBox running an XP VM.
I have generally found that people who write about tech have waaaaay skewed impressions of the sort of horsepower that typical users actually need. Consider, for instance, that most netbooks ship with Windows XP Home version, whose minimum requirements are a 233 MHZ processor and 64MB of RAM. Windows Office 2003 requires 128 MB of RAM, but the processor requirements are identical. And your typical netbook blows these minimum req's right out of the water.

The only apps that netbooks are likely to have difficulty with are recent games.
Reply With Quote
  (#5) Old
RealG RealG is offline
Junior Member
 
RealG's Avatar
 
Posts: 20
Join Date: May 2009
Location: New York
Default 05-13-2009, 02:51 PM

I definitely agree with the horsepower "myth". The MHz in a computer is really akin to hp's of a car engine. Whether you drive a beat old civic with a 97hp engine, or a Vet with 405hp engine, you are still have to deal with laws, and traffic. Same can be said with cpu's especially as more and more things move to the net. You may have more power, but when you are trying to get to a website, or do email it really doesn't matter.
Reply With Quote
  (#6) Old
GearheadGeek GearheadGeek is offline
Member
 
Posts: 87
Join Date: Feb 2009
Default 05-13-2009, 06:08 PM

I absolutely LOVE the CPU-performance myth, though... because I've always been able to get absurdly cheap hardware that's a little behind the state of the art, but way more than adequate for my needs. My "big" notebook is a Dell Latitude D610 that I bought off-lease... I'd like to have a higher-res, LCD-backlit display and all that, but I can't beat the price I paid for the D610 and this "old" hardware runs well-configured XP Pro quite snappily. My desktop is an ancient Shuttle XPC that I built myself... its 2.6 ghz hyperthreading P4 is slow by current standards, but the machine does way more than I actually need, and I don't find myself waiting for it. My little Mini9 is more than satisfactory as my carry-around computer for answering email in the back yard or looking up who was in some movie on IMDB while sitting on the couch. Others buying the latest/greatest drive the availability of great machines off-lease and great prices on last year's fastest processors for the smart shoppers among us.


Mini9|Obsidian Black|2G ram|32G Runcore|OSX 10.5.7
Reply With Quote
  (#7) Old
markb markb is offline
Senior Member
 
Posts: 148
Join Date: Jan 2009
Default 05-13-2009, 06:28 PM

We have to remember that the Apple success story is made up of many complex marketing ploys that seem to mine a rich seam. Sure there have been 'better' (ie faster and more powerful) alternatives to their products but they always seem to hit the button on the wealthier consumer who wants to be seen to be different - just look at the 1 billion downloads of aps for the iPhone - most of which offer no more functionality then existing web sites.

good luck to them, they are helping to prop up damaged global trade by relieving the rich of their dollars, euros and pounds buying products that are a triumph of marketing over function. This investment in IT helps funds the 2nd tier of products, such as the ground-breaking Eee-PC, that the more astute actually use.

More power to S. Jobs elbow, keep 'em coming! Let the fashion-crazy muppets buy your over-priced products (who else could convince people to buy a Unix distro), and let the benefits filter down to us who have more sense.
Reply With Quote
  (#8) Old
ArKay ArKay is offline
Member
 
Posts: 58
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Chicago
Default 05-20-2009, 02:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by markb View Post
More power to S. Jobs elbow, keep 'em coming! Let the fashion-crazy muppets buy your over-priced products (who else could convince people to buy a Unix distro), and let the benefits filter down to us who have more sense.
User Interface.
It's all about user interface. The fact that it's Linux underneath means almost nothing. It could be DOS or OS/2 underneath as long as the UI is as easy as it is to deal with.

Kinda like the iPhone as well. It doesn't really do anything more than any other smartphone - but the UI implementation makes it a users dream. The app store helps, but even without it the UI is what made it what it was. You can't tell me visual voice mail made a single difference. UI does.

And _that_ is what Apple markets. A User Experience that is simple to deal with and a support group that can point you down the right road to fix problems. Or having a spot to bring your machine to get it fixed. The extra price is having real live tech support as opposed to listening to someone going down a check list 1,000 miles away.

Otherwise it's just a box that enables you to read email, surf the web, watch DVDs and do whatever you want.


Black Mini 10v | Win 7 - Ubuntu 9.10 dual boot
Reply With Quote
  (#9) Old
mk408 mk408 is offline
Junior Member
 
Posts: 2
Join Date: Sep 2009
Default 09-25-2009, 04:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by anguish View Post
I love OS X, and I was more than happy to pay money for it to put on my Mini 9. But I'm not spending that kind of money for freaking hardware.
Therein lies the rub. I'm someone who's delighted to pay that kind of money for hardware, so long as I need what I'm getting and actually getting what I'm paying for. Moreover, I'm willing to pay a premium (5-10%? $100 per hour of my time saved?) for "it just works."

Every so often, I take a peek at what's available in PC-land, and it just doesn't measure up. More specifically, hardware features that I find indispensible, such as dual-link DVI and FireWire 800 (IEEE 1394b), are only available on commodity/PC laptops with similarly high prices, and often dissimilarly larger bulk and weight. Battery life may be another issue, though I have only subjective, anecdotal evidence, in the form of surprise by non-Mac users regarding my typical battery run times. Certainly as more commodity hardware is "hackintoshed," objective comparisons will be possible.

Admittedly, not every model of every generation of Apple laptop is worth the price, either. I don't think, for example, the current MBPs are worth it. I've never been fully satisfied with the top end of Apple's screen resolution (especially vertical pixels), and their mid-line laptops are lacking in hardware and construction quality, as well.

That Apple has no true low-end offerings is, of course, a large part of why I'm here.
Reply With Quote
  (#10) Old
anguish anguish is offline
Super Moderator
 
anguish's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,203
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Detroit
Default 09-25-2009, 04:50 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by mk408 View Post

That Apple has no true low-end offerings is, of course, a large part of why I'm here.
Therein lies my point with paying so much for hardware that if I were to build a Windows box, it would be cheaper.

All that said, they don't have any low-end offerings, and although OS X wasn't my initial reasoning for my Mini 9 when I owned it, it was definitely when I bought my 10v, and why I am still here.

That also being said, my next laptop will be a Macbook. I'm still a heavy Windows user because of my career, but I will own a Macbook.

A final thing to note though: I think that Apple was smart by restricting what hardware their OS will run on. When you think about it, a good majority of the reason Microsoft gets the rep that they do is because they design their OS to try to support nearly everything, and because of shoddy drivers from internal and external components. With Apple restricting it like that, it makes sense because they would ultimately (in theory) have a more stable product.


Alienware M11xR2 - Core i5 1.06 - 4 GB - 250 GB HD

Triple Boot Guide - 10v RAM Upgrade Videos - mechdrew's OSX guides
Reply With Quote
Reply

« Finally... THE GMA500 DRIVER FOR WIN7!! (Not for Vista) | Like my Background? »
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Copyright © 2008-2016 MyDellMini.com.