It’s a strange thread… Tuan Nguyen of Tom’s Hardware wrote a extensive and detailed price comparison of Macs versus comparably equipped PC’s and the results were as expected- there really is no price difference for the core hardware- and- if you like Apple’s tight integration and free media Apps, the Mac easily wins.
But one paragraph in his article really hit home because it echoes what I and many others have been saying for years: Apple needs an affordable, mid-sized Pro machine.
The problem with the Mac Pro in particular is that it’s base hardware configuration is imbalanced.
Massive processing power, but limp graphics and hard drive offerings.
Apple needs to launch a Mac tower, with components in line with the iMac, which would prove to be more sensible and popular as well as more affordable. Interested buyers would then have an option of
an expandable machine that’s not priced at Mac Pro levels.
Amen. (emphasis, mine)
My April Fools Day article touted that very same product… but was more of a clear example that people are so desperate for a bigger Mini or smaller Mac Pro that they are hacking apart the products to make it with their own bare hands!
On MacInTouch, readers shared information and experiences hacking their Mac Mini to accept a full size ATA drive, ATA optical burner, larger enclosure and more. This is not some idle musing like “wouldn’t it be neat if Apple made…”
September 08 approaches and the rumor mills abound with talk about new iPods and yet another tweak of the Mac laptop offerings. Will the MacBook become more like the MacBook Pro computers with an aluminum enclosure, or will the MacBook Pros become more like the MacBook with its little chicklet keys? Who cares! It’ll be a processor tweak and little more. Mac laptop will still lack WWAN, fingerprint security, tablet capability, touch screen, wireless USB, wireless HD video, and many other features I mentioned previously.
Maybe they’ll unveil a combination tablet / desktop reminiscent of the PowerBook Duo, but this time expanding on the iPhone as the core of the 2-part machine. That would finally be some new innovation, like the Apple of ol’. Or maybe, just maybe, someone there listened and the mid-level Mac Pro will finally see the light of day. There’s a horde of people waiting for this.
It’s not like Apple is the only “niche” computer maker. As Tuan Nguyen also noted:
[Apple] definitely wants to distinguish itself from say Dell or HP or your brick and mortar PC builder.
This is the same for Voodoo PC. Why go through the order with an expensive Voodoo or Alienware computer when you can build one for way less? Because of the cool-factor. Don’t get me started on how many people actually own these systems. The answer is a lot.
Clearly, there’s enough market for everyone.
The users in this market demand a smaller desktop machine.