0

Having already been accused of killing common sense with some bizarre App Store listing decisions, now it seems that an Apple sans Steve Jobs could be treading the path towards total market madness.

Apple is displaying all the signs of losing the plot: announcing a raft of new desktops just as Gartner is forecasting that desktop shipments will fall by a full 32 percent year on year. If that were not enough reason to dust off the corporate straitjacket, how about the small matter of the recession which is hitting us all and that includes the buyer of IT. Apple is not immune to the credit crunch effect, with the NPD Group reporting a six percent drop in sales of Macs Stateside last month while Windows powered PCs were up by 16 percent on the same time last year.

Yet with all that to chew over, the new Apple range is more expensive than the old. Sure, there is the marketing department headline push for 'cheaper than the old' coverage, which refers to the Mac Pro starting out at a lower price point than before but even that has to be viewed with an eye on the much lower cost of a similarly specced Dell PC for example.

It also has to be viewed, at least here in the UK, with an eye on how the value of the UK Pound against the US Dollar is looking like pricing Apple right out of the market. As The Telegraph reports in the real world this means that the Mac Mini has gone up in price for a British buyer from £399 to £499 while the 20 inch iMac is up from £789 to £949.

Factor in that the lower-end iMacs have moved from dedicated graphics to an integrated graphics chipset in the shape of the Nvidia GeForce 9400, and none of the new desktops can match their PC counterparts by implementing a Core i7 processor (the new iMac still has the same Core 2 Duo for example) and you have to start to wonder just what Apple was thinking of here.

It's not all bad news, of course, with FireWire 800 coming in and FireWire 400 being shown the door. DDR3 memory arrives, even in the Mac Mini, and the Mac Pro can boast a Quad Core Intel Xeon Nehalem processor.

Yet what is hard to ignore are those hardcore Apple fans who have reacted angrily against the 'small spec high price' upgrades. Some have even been talking about jumping ship and moving over to the Windows PC camp. Even allowing for the dollar exchange rate some UK fanboys have reached breaking point with one declaring "I never would have thought my last mac purchase was going to be the last!!!!"

Here are the new specs in full:

The new 20-inch 2.66 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US), includes:

* 20-inch widescreen LCD display;
* 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache;
* 2GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 8GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics;
* 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* built-in iSight video camera;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* four USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port;
* built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
* the Apple Keyboard, Mighty Mouse.

The new 24-inch 2.66 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US), includes:

* 24-inch widescreen LCD display;
* 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache;
* 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 8GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics;
* 640GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* built-in iSight video camera;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* four USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port;
* built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
* the Apple Keyboard, Mighty Mouse.

The new 24-inch 2.93 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US), includes:

* 24-inch widescreen LCD display;
* 2.93 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache;
* 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 8GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce GT 120; with 256MB GDDR3 SDRAM memory;
* 640GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* built-in iSight video camera;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* four USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port;
* built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
* the Apple Keyboard, Mighty Mouse.

The new 24-inch 3.06 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of $2,199 (US), includes:

* 24-inch widescreen LCD display;
* 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 6MB shared L2 cache;
* 4GB 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable to 8GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce GT 130; with 512MB GDDR3 memory;
* 1TB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort for video output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* built-in iSight video camera;
* Gigabit Ethernet port;
* four USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port;
* built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
* the Apple Keyboard, Mighty Mouse.

The new 2.0 GHz Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $599 (US), includes:

* 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache;
* 1GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable up to 4GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics;
* 120GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort and mini-DVI for video output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 BASE-T);
* five USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port; and
* one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analog.

The new 2.0 GHz Mac mini, for a suggested retail price of $799 (US), includes:

* 2.0 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with 3MB shared L2 cache;
* 2GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 SDRAM expandable up to 4GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics;
* 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 5400 rpm;
* a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort and mini-DVI for video output (adapters sold separately);
* built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
* Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 BASE-T);
* five USB 2.0 ports;
* one FireWire 800 port; and
* one audio line in and one audio line out port, each supporting both optical digital and analog.


The new quad-core Mac Pro, with a suggested retail price of $2,499 (US), includes:

* one 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 3500 series processor with 8MB of shared L3 cache;
* 3GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM memory, expandable up to 8GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics with 512MB of GDDR3 memory;
* 640GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* 18x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort and DVI (dual-link) for video output (adapters sold separately);
* four PCI Express 2.0 slots;
* five USB 2.0 ports and four FireWire® 800 ports;
* Bluetooth 2.1+EDR; and
* ships with Apple Keyboard with numerical keypad and Mighty Mouse.

The new 8-core Mac Pro, with a suggested retail price of $3,299 (US), includes:

* two 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 series processors with 8MB of shared L3 cache per processor;
* 6GB of 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC SDRAM memory, expandable up to 32GB;
* NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 graphics with 512MB of GDDR3 memory;
* 640GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
* 18x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
* Mini DisplayPort and DVI (dual-link) for video output (adapters sold separately);
* four PCI Express 2.0 slots;
* five USB 2.0 ports and four FireWire 800 ports;
* Bluetooth 2.1+EDR; and
* ships with Apple Keyboard with numerical keypad and Mighty Mouse.

As Editorial Director and Managing Analyst with IT Security Thing I am putting more than two decades of consulting experience into providing opinionated insight regarding the security threat landscape for IT security professionals. As an Editorial Fellow with Dennis Publishing, I bring more than two decades of writing experience across the technology industry into publications such as Alphr, IT Pro and (in good old fashioned print) PC Pro. I also write for SC Magazine UK and Infosecurity, as well as The Times and Sunday Times newspapers. Along the way I have been honoured with a Technology Journalist of the Year award, and three Information Security Journalist of the Year awards. Most humbling, though, was the Enigma Award for 'lifetime contribution to IT security journalism' bestowed on me in 2011.

5
Contributors
5
Replies
6
Views
8 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Steven D.
0

The pricing is not too bad in the US market, to be fair, but I fail to see how moving from dedicated to integrated graphics can be sold as an upgrade and expect users to pay for the privilege of moving backwards.

0

Yeah but it's just hardware (the least relevant part of the system) of more importance are the extra features in iLife. And look on the bright side, at least OSX.6 stands a chance of using those cores.

McD

0

I would say that these changes, however you see them, were decided upon long before Jobs took his leave of absence. Apple may or may not get the current market (although that remains to be seen), but these decisions are made months in advance. By the way, for what it's worth, I'm strongly considering buying a Mac Mini as a backup desktop machine.

Ron

0

And the $/specification hardware obsessed view of computing is a bit old and becoming irrelevant in the current consumer market - outcomes are more important.

This is just another case of the PC conditioning; just as many users will try to shoehorn Apple products into their "hardware is everything because the software choices have been made for me" mindset so the pundits try to shoehorn Apple's market strategy into their "if it aint cheap, it won't sell" view of the world

Time will tell, McD

0

"[...]but [the Mac Pro] has to be viewed with an eye on the much lower cost of a similarly specced Dell PC for example."

Could you cite the specific "similarly specced" Dell machine that's more affordable than the Mac Pro? I'm in the market for a couple of workstations, and unless something dramatic has happened since I did my initial round of price comparisons a week or two ago, Dell's workstations were dramatically more expensive than comparable Mac Pros.

Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.