Unless there’s something very, very special about this potentially forthcoming, inexpensive Mac.
First, even longtime Mac users are salivating over the prospect of a $500 headless Mac (headless, in this case, meaning without a monitor, but assuming a connector allowing for monitor hookup). That may sound great but could spell disaster for the company financially.
Why? Profits and stock. As long as Apple continues on the profit road, growing revenues, putting out products that people buy (did I mention profits?) the stock will go up. Trip up once, and the rising stock of high profile Apple Computer, Inc. will find a way to hit the ditch.
That, Martha, is not a good thing. And a $500 Mac isn’t either.
Apple cannot make money on a $500 Mac. If there’s no profit there, why do it? For crying out loud, iPods cost that much. Yes, we’re expecting flash iPods to be introduced at January’s Macworld Expo and priced between $100 to $200. That’ll increase Apple’s market share in the low end MP3 player arena, which is a good thing.
The Mac is in a different market. A $500 Mac could/would cannibalize sales from eMac and iMac G5 lines. That means less profit, though market share of Macs, in general, might increase. That’s a risky gamble.
Second, Windows users who love their iPods are now thinking about and beginning to buy Macs, particularly the higher profit margin iMac G5s. There’s nothing really like an iMac G5 in the Windows world and that big, beautiful glob of plastic and aluminum simply reminds them of their cute little iPods.
Though we’ll find out for sure with quarterly results due in a few weeks, Mac sales are beginning to climb (that’s with the higher priced, higher margin, higher profit machines) while riding the iPod coattails.
Why won’t I buy a $500 Mac?
You’re kidding, right? I have an aluminum PowerBook. There may not be a better laptop on the planet. Or ever. Daily I use a PowerMac G5 with Apple’s aluminum Cinema Display HD. That’s tough to beat, even if I could save money, the experience wouldn’t be the same.
So, I should move to a $500 “box” and plug in a $79 ViewSonic monitor to improve my Mac life? You have a new iMac G5 and you’re going to feel happy that Apple has a $500 Mac? I don’t think so. Isn’t that like BMW offering us something in the Kia range? No thanks.
Nope. A $500 headless Mac is not good for the world, it’s not good for Mac users, and it’s not good for me. Unless…
Unless Uncle Steve Jobs has something else up his sleeve andThink Secret’s correct about the $500 price tag. Would Steve introduce an eMac without a monitor?
I don’t think so. There’s something else going on. Think Secret says they have a scoop on the $500 Mac. They’re calling it part of the iMac family. It’ll be very small; less than two inches high.
Other details include a 1.25 ghz CPU (probably a PowerPC G4), USB 2.0, both DVI and VGA, Combo CD-RW and DVD drive, but no SuperDrive. Also included would be a 40 gig or 80 gig hard drive, 256 megs of RAM, Firewire 400, 10/100 Ethernet, a modem, and Airport Express support (wireless). One assumes a keyboard and mouse.
That’s it? That’s an eMac without a monitor. Nothing special there (other than the price).
Personally, this whole $500 Mac (or member of the iMac family) is just wishful thinking. It’s bare bones, hum drum, bah humbug, and totally unspectacular.
#1 – Would Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of arguably the best and coolest computer company in the world (riding on waves of success via G5s, Mac OS X, iPod mania), introduce something so mundane, pedestrian, and every day? Nope.
#2 – There’s something else there. A media center Mac? Wireless capability? Expandable with RAM and hard drives (available with neither?). The perfect home server?
Yeah, there’s more questions than answers. The category is News AND Commentary, right? I don’t expect a $500 eMac without a monitor and wouldn’t buy one (unless it’s cool looking). It’ll be something else.
We’ll know in a few weeks.