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|17th June 2004, 16:29||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
End of an Era: Apple’s Personal Desktop Computer Business is Dead
When Apple announced its new PowerPC systems last week most of the buzz centered around two things. First, Steve Jobs’ prediction of 3 GHz one year after launch was missed (rather dramatically), and second, Apple’s new 2.5 GHz systems will be water-cooled. The first was expected, the second was surprising (and its implications about yields at 2.5 GHz aren’t good), but the most important announcement Apple made last week are the announcements it DIDN’T make.
Nothing was said about the iMac or the eMac; the two products that anchor the lower-end (such as it is) of Apple’s pricing. In most cases this might not matter since companies typically tend to focus their PR efforts on products they perceive as being the most PR-worthy, but in Apple’s case the gap is notable, especially since the G4 has now been cancelled.
Back in April we noted that Apple’s desktop product line is bifurcated sharply in terms of price. At the bottom of the market you have the eMac at $799 and $999, monitor built-in. The G4 provided at least something of a middle option, but with its passing there’s no compelling offer from Apple until you reach the $1999 mark, and remember, that’s with NO monitor. Toss in a 17” LCD, a gigabyte (total) of RAM, and a 9600XT, and a new PowerPC G5 is a $3,000 system. Even without the additional RAM and video card, the PowerPC G5 1.8 is $2,698 with LCD.
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