(Please Don’t) Mind the Gap | iLounge Backstage

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(Please Don’t) Mind the Gap

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2008
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I don’t focus much on Mac product releases, but something about today’s new Mac Pro introduction surprised me:

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That big new price gap between the iMac and Mac Pro—the one that used to be smaller, when the standard configuration of Mac Pro started at $2,499 as opposed to the $2,799 Apple upped it to today. Is Apple making room between the iMac and the Mac Pro for another Cube-like entry (which infamously shipped at $1,799 and $2,299 prices before seeing big, iPhone-style price cuts down to $1,499, then $1,299)? Or is the $1,000 stated price gap between the iMac and Mac Pro an illusion, due to Apple’s marketing of the 8-core Mac Pro as its “standard” model rather than focusing on the single still available 4-core model?

We’ll see when the Apple Store goes back up. And at Macworld Expo next week.

Update: The Apple Store’s back, and completely de-emphasizing the now $2,299 four-core Mac Pro. As Apple frequently offers BTO options at prices different from the traditional “good, better, best” ones, consider the jury still out on this one.

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Comments

1

It’s single-chip and four-core, not single core.

Posted by Jesper on January 8, 2008 at 12:27 PM (PDT)

2

There’s been a hole in the desktop lineup for a long time for some users who own and take care of their monitor over several Macs.

The ‘headless’ desktop needs something between the “Good” mini and the “Best” Mac Pro.

Mac Pro’s don’t sell often in Apple stores.  MacBooks and MacBook Pro’s both sell well across the broad spectrum of users.

But Apple seems to want to get all the worlds laptop customers first, and leave the desktop market to either grandma (mini), the kids (iMac), or video professionals (Mac Pro) ever since it started putting the tubes in iMacs.

That hole has existed for so long that Apple users have come to terms with it.

PC switchers are unlikely to accept the lack of a mid range desktop they can toss their old monitor on to save a few hundred.

So it just depends when Apple decides to go after the PC mid to high end consumer desktop market.

We’ve got a few ‘games’ (PC games covered in Cider) back on the mac, is it enough to drive the demand for a desktop with a slot for a decent video card?

Hard to say… it could be a chicken or the egg situation, with Apple waiting to see if their MacBook Pro switchers start gaming, and game makers waiting to see if Apple’s siren song can lure PC gamers into giving up most gaming to switch to the Mac.

Posted by T. on January 8, 2008 at 1:00 PM (PDT)

3

Jesper: That was a typo, which has now been fixed. Thanks.

T: It’s obvious that Apple understands (and has long understood) the need for a desktop machine that doesn’t consume the space or offer the insane expandability of the Mac Pro, but it’s also obvious after many generations of the Power Mac and the Mac Pro that there is enough of a demand for that type and size of machine that it’s not going anywhere. Apple seems to like the Mac Pro form factor for that market, and it has clearly tried to get as many people as possible to re-buy both monitors and computers with the iMac packages in the absence of a mid-level desktop solution. The only question is whether there are still enough people left who value monitor persistence, larger-than-iMac storage capacities, and perhaps video card expandability to be considered a critical mass of hold-outs. I know I’m in that camp.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz in East Amherst, NY, USA on January 8, 2008 at 2:24 PM (PDT)

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