Macs For The Masses

If this rumor is true, Apple is going to take the computer world by storm. In fact, if this rumor is true, I’d get one in a heartbeat. I’ve been seriously thinking about getting a desktop Mac to complement my iBook, but I just can’t afford one of the new iMacs without selling an organ or knocking off a liquor store. A cheap headless Mac that I could bump up to 512MB of RAM and use as a web development workstation would be exactly what I’m looking for. If this is what Apple announces at MWSF (along with the iPhone which is essentially confirmed now), it would be a dramatic new step for Apple.

Granted, Apple has never competed in the low-price spectrum before, and this would be a stretch for them, but if anyone can pull it off, Apple could. I think there is a market for Windows users who love their iPods, but can’t afford even an entry-level Mac. This is the kind of product that gets people hooked on the platform, and when they decide they want to do something more advanced like edit home movies and burn them to DVD, they’re going to be far more likely to do it on a more expensive but more capable PowerMac.

Now I’m really looking forward to seeing what Apple pulls out next month…

8 thoughts on “Macs For The Masses

  1. You and my iPod have inspired me to check into Mac prices. But they are significantly higher than comparable PCs that have higher clock speeds than the Mac. Alas, I know that equal clock speeds probably means the Mac is truly faster, but how do I know for sure? Argggh. And the price difference!

    I have a buddy at Microsoft who’d murder me if he found out about my tempting by the “dark” side. Easier. More seductive. Once you start down the Mac path, forever will it dominate your destiny.

  2. Winston,

    Tell your friend and Microsoft that they don’t deserver your business becuase the produce such a mediocre product known as WIndows. You worry about speed, but with OS X, it doesn’t matter if a PC is slightly faster. Beside, once you configure a PC to be the equal of a Mac in every way, it’s going to cost as much or nearly as much as that Mac. Go ahead and try it at Dell’s website. Those cheap prices add up when you add the functionality of a Mac to those very cheaply built PCs.

  3. Clock speed really doesn’t matter that much on a Mac unless you’re doing very CPU intensive things. For instance, a 500mHz Mac will still run OS X at an acceptable speed if you put enough RAM in it.

    Especially with laptops, Apple is more than price competitive. A Dell with the same specs as my 12.1″ iBook in the same form factor would be over $1,500 — way more expensive than the iBook.

  4. The real issue is cost versus value. We have been seduced by the erroneous notion that cheap things can have high value if we want them to be so and thus we have bought the notion that in buying the basic cheap things we acquire the freedom to personalize them with add-ons from third sources (remember buying cars until the Japanese introduced bundling in the 70’s). It has never worked except for the salesmen. Imagine, if you will, a piece of cheap glass mounted on an 18 carat gold band passing as an affordable engagement ring that later can be upgraded with the addition of a few rhinestones to become a jewel of the crown. The PC world is wonderful for sellers and a fanatical do-it-yourself remnant but it is rather impractical and frustrating for users who do not want to become ITs or technogeeks. My old PC (Dell Dimension XPS T600r) required 4 programs just to be protected againts enemies foreign and domestic. My iMac requires one or none. In addition, almost every PC program I have used needs some kind of companion thingamajick to “improve” operation or “facilitate” use. My shelves is filled with a “junkyard” of old widgets and programettes to smooth the labor of 5 major applications. Over time the cost of my iMac will seems paltry in comparison to the cost of keeping my PC sputtering. There is life in freedom and there is some kind of existance on life support. Really, you get what you pay for regardless of gender, class or race.

  5. That’s a good point. PCs are cheap only if you’re time is cheap. If you figure fighting viruses and spyware into the total cost of ownership of a Windows PC, that cost difference quickly doesn’t seem like much.

  6. German’s and Jay’s comments are correct. I have spent entire weekends cleaning spyware off my friends’ PC’s. I’m talking about 16 hours at a stretch for 2 days. Our slot loading iMac ($1200 in 1999) has not been touched since we bought it except for adding more software and increasing the RAM from 64 to 640 MB. It is on DSL 24 hours a day and runs for weeks at a time. It is used for browsing, e-mail, MS Office, and Quicken.

    To be fair, I have a Dell laptop that I use for work. I use it for Outlook, MS Office, etc. I is used more intensively than the Mac and is pretty stable most of the time. It does require nearly constant attention and extra software to keep it that way, though. It is on DSL on the weekends and is vulnerable to spyware. I have to scan for spyware every week and also need to occasionally delete the ‘working’ files that it creates to keep the hard drive from filling up.

    A computer should be more like a car – a tool you use and only occasionally maintain. It shouldn’t be a one-sided relationship where you have to constantly work on it before you can use it.

  7. The PC world is wonderful for sellers and a fanatical do-it-yourself remnant but it is rather impractical and frustrating for users who do not want to become ITs or technogeeks.

    That’s like saying that pencils are too hard to use for people who don’t want to learn to write.

    Get over it. Computers dominate our daily lives. Owning a Mac is no substitute for understanding how to operate a computer, especially now that they’ve moved to a UNIX codebase. If your time is so “valuable” that you can’t learn to use technology properly, you don’t need to be spending your money on a computer; you need to hire a secretary.

    The OS wars are over. Macs and PC’s coexist peacefully, and the advantages of the Mac in the desktop world don’t even begin to justify their higher price and limited software avaliability. On the other hand, Apple is the Lord of the Laptops. And the iPod is pretty hot. Wish they’d add an FM tuner/transmitter like some of the other models, though.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.