Upload & Sell: Off
Now if Apple could see fit to start selling nMP's with i7's and a single graphics card, and pitch them at a price-point more like a premium Desktop PC (In effect forming a bridge between the Mini and the nMP), i would become a lot more interested. And i suspect i would not be alone - i think a lot of people would be interested in a stylish compact standalone box with similar hardware spec's to the iMac.
Apple has been in the high end "desktop computer" market in the past with the Mac Pro line. Back in the day the less expensive systems (like earlier iMacs, and many others), while fine for basic work were not powerful enough for things like serious photography and more. So lots of folks (including me at several times) got those big old Mac Pro systems. I used them for photography, for audio production work, for servers, and more.
But as the capabilities of so-called low end hardware increased, and as the market evolved to make it possible to produce very high performance systems at price points that could not have been imagined before, Apple focused its efforts on smaller systems such as the laptops and the iMacs. Now, if the underlying power of the different classes of computers had remained the same, this might have represented a sort of re-focusing away from so-called power users toward "consumer" users.
But what actually happened was not quite so simple. Because the capabilities of the systems that began as underpowered but portable computers and the systems that began as underpowered by cute and inexpensive computers rose to a level that made them capable for much more serious work, folks who purchased "tower systems" in the past (like me) realized that the real-world advantages to use were minor and not worth the other downsides of those system or were not significant at all.
So, it isn't quite so much a matter of Apple refocusing away from users who require powerful systems with plenty of memory, access to large amounts of storage, great graphics systems, and access to powerful peripherals... as it was that these qualities migrated "down" to the lines that had been regarded as mid- or low-level in the past.
Now it is true that there is still a smaller and smaller segment of users who really do need the very fastest (measured by overall system operation, access to software, etc) systems, and the new Pro system seems to meet their needs if they want to get there via Apple hardware and its Unix-based OS. But this is and will continue to be a much smaller market segment I think. And because Apple feels (and it sure seems like the market agrees) that everyone but the very high end will be served quite well by iMacs, souped-up as necessary, I doubt that they see any need to downgrade the new Pro system for buyers who don't need the no-holds-barred power that it was designed to provide.
By the way, I've almost always owned Mac systems myself, but I've taught applications on both Windows and Mac (OS9 and OSX) platforms, and my answer to the Mac or PC questions (which comes to me frequently for professional reasons) is not always to get a Mac.
Edited on Jun 07, 2014 at 08:13 PM · View previous versions