I have my share of troubles with Firewire, the Finder, Mail, and resource-hogging Garageband on a dual 2.5 ghz CPU PowerMac with 4 gigs of RAM.
Don’t get me wrong. I was excited when I first heard from Think Secret that Apple might announce a $500 Mac bombshell at Macworld next week. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.
Apple needs to begin thinking about market share AND profits of the Mac line, and perhaps leverage some of the great iPod buzz they’re getting. A $500 Mac will help.
I just won’t buy one. Why? Well, for one thing, I’ve got a big-assed Mac machine now so stepping into economy class isn’t something I really want to do, regardless of price. Boy, did I get an ear full from Mac users and readers (it doesn’t always happen together).
Everyone is entitled to an opinion these days. Forums and email and article comments allow us to express our opinions more than ever, sometimes instantly. Read something you don’t like? The keyboard becomes a flame machine.
In that regard, Mac users are somewhat similar to Windows users. Personally, I’ll be surprised if Apple introduces a $499 or $599 Mac. It’d be a good thing, but I don’t think it’ll happen.
My Mac-loving counterpart, Tera Jean Patricks, thinks otherwise. She’s of the opinion that Microsoft is vulnerable now more than ever. Tera points out the list of Microsoft problems that won’t be solved this year. Then she points out where Apple sits with the Mac and iPod and Mac OS X and says “market share for the Mac is ripe for the picking.”
What do you think? Blah blah blah. Here’s what Mac readers think of my views (not Tera’s—she’s in another class):
“I understand the fiscal argument about a sub-$500 mac cannibalizing the imacs and emacs.
But two things… ThinkSecret has one of, if not THE best, track records regarding reporting accurate Apple rumors. So I tend to believe that this is a legitimate product.
Secondly, I trust that Apple has managed to come up with a way to design this low-end product in a way that will not cannibalize the other offerings as much. The G4 chip for one is cheap as dirt for them and they may be using stockpiled chips from long ago or have bought a few truckloads from Freescale for cheap.”
That’s a good argument. Here’s another:
“I have a different viewpoint. I think that increased marketshare is great, even if it doesn’t immediately translate into increased profit for Apple. Think about it: more Macs sold will bring more software developers to the Mac OS. More software means more people buy Macs.
Also, why do you love your Mac so much? Because you love using it—it’s fun! So what happens when those Windows users buy a cheap Mac and start to love it, too? They buy more Macs… maybe even more expensive ones. And that’s when Apple makes a profit.”
Between you and me, it seems that most Mac users want their cake and want to eat it, too. That means we want all the Mac goodness but we don’t want to pay for it. No, that’s wrong.
We expect to pay for it but we want to pay much less for it. A reader from “nowhere.com” further justified the fictional $500 Mac:
“When you think about it, a bare-bones, headless Mac for $500 could be a blessing!
Remember, this will not be targeted at Mac-Heads, but, instead to those PeeCeers who have “tasted” the Mac-Life with their iTunes, and ITMS, and who would like to get their feet wet with Mac OS… These are the same people who have been crying for years that they would “….. try a Mac, if it wasnt so darned expensive !.”
Would it cannibalize the eMac market? Probably not, especially if the eMac gets upgraded this time around… “
And so on and so on. Lots of wishful thinking going on these days.
Tera’s working on a lengthy piece to show why Apple is ready to stick the knife into Microsoft’s weakened, bloated, gut with a $500 Mac, iLife ‘05, iWork ‘05, and Mac OS X Tiger.
Click Here to read my thoughts and the gazillion comments on why a $500 Mac is so great and why Jack is so full of it (so some say; my mom still loves me and she’s using an eMac).
Hey, I’m a Mac user now. It’s OK to play a different tune, right?