Apple’s decision to unleash Intel-based Mac systems six months ahead of schedule is proving less successful than the company anticipated. Two weeks following the Macworld Expo San Francisco keynote, sources report that sales of the Intel-based iMac are lower than Apple expected, even taking into account the seasonal post-holiday sales dip, suggesting the 2006 transition to Intel is going to be more difficult than the company has expressed. UPDATE: Good news for our Mac friends: new data now made available suggest that the iMac actually sells well.
Sluggish iMac Sales Suggest Early Intel Transition Challenges
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2006-01-24 7:26 pmrockwell
//adverts havnt even started to appear on the telly yet!//
In the States, I’ve seen several t.v. spots about the Intel Macs … for at least the past 10 days.
How about you take into account the fact that in October (3 months before the introduction of the Intel iMac), Apple introduced a new and improved iMac with iSight? The people who were on the verge of buying an iMac before probably went out and bought the improved iMac G5 in the three months since then. No wonder sales are sluggish. You can’t “re-release” an improved version of a product so quickly after a previously much-touted improvement, and expect great sales.
Some people have managed to return their iMac G5s, or at least sell them, but there’s a relatively large group of disgruntled iMac G5 buyers who probably would have wished to be informed about a 2-3x faster product coming out for the same price in January.
Edited 2006-01-24 18:44
2006-01-25 7:13 amDark_Knight
Well it’s not just customers who recently made PPC purchases that were not so thrilled with the news of switching architectures but also that Apple failed to provide 64-bit x86 to match the competition. Nothing Apple currently offers for the x86 architecture is 64-bit to meet the needs of film/broadcast industry that Apple has been targeting. The other factor is cost where companies such as Dell, Futureshop, Bestbuy, etc are taking orders for Intel Duo Core laptops that beat Apple’s pricing.
2006-01-25 2:10 pmchrish
You may note the fact that nobody in film/broadcast uses iMacs, and that Apple didn’t have any G5 laptops. They still sell 64-bit G5 desktop machines.
2006-01-25 5:35 pmDark_Knight
Re: “You may note the fact that nobody in film/broadcast uses iMacs, and that Apple didn’t have any G5 laptops. They still sell 64-bit G5 desktop machines.”
I already commented in my previous post this was in reference to OSX on x86 not OSX on PPC. As for your comment that they still sell 64-bit G5 desktops the reality is most consumers are aware Apple is making the transition to x86 and will less be inclined to spend their money on a system that will be difficult to upgrade. Anyway, since they’ve made the switch to Intel x86 it’s puzzling that they didn’t offer their customers workstations that are dual core 64-bit Intel Xeon systems. This would of then offered all areas they market OSX on x86.
Edited 2006-01-25 17:38
2006-01-25 7:15 pmAnonymous
True enough. Intel’s next desktop chip has been promised to support x86-64 as far as I know, though. Maybe Apple won’t release an x86 Powermac until that chip rolls around?
As for pricing … this is a dead horse argument. 😛 Sure, there are cheaper Intel Core Duo laptops out there, but none of them are Macs. None of them run OS X, and none of them come with iLife. None of them are as stylish and as thin, and none of them carry the same brand recognition/impressiveness of the slim, minimalist notebook with the glowing white apple on the lid. 😛
That’s what you pay for when you buy a Mac, and many people are willing to do so.
One of the appealing features that people were looking forward to was dual booting. Since it looks like it’s going to be awhile for that to work I’m now finding myself a little stand offish and will wait. If I just wanted a mac I could buy a PPC version (for cheaper probably too.) If I want the theorized “Ultimate PC” that could run all those OS’s I can wait.
Unless the Wine project gets some builds going I can wait.
2006-01-24 9:32 pmGet a Life
Yep. The lack of compatibility with Windows is a put-off for people looking to save space by disposing of their current aging PC and buying an iMac. This is compounded by the size of the body of native software. People with desktop Macs already are satiated by the performance of the G5s, while potential “switchers” face even more inconvenience.
In the smaller niches of possible interest, Yonah is also something of a stop-gap processor in Intel’s roadmap, with its new microarchitecture set to be available in desktop and mobile versions in Q3. In the smaller body of Linux users interested in dual-booting, they have to contend with ATi’s mediocre Linux support and fighting with EFI.
So people intellectually-offended by the concept of sullying a Mac with some other operating system are content with the performance of their G5s (at least until Conroe is in the new Powermac and there’s more native software), and people interested in adding the Mac experience to their current environment aren’t provided with a situation much different before. So why expect a mass adoption anyway?
I would think that Apple would be in a hurry to showboat the “commitment” they have to supporting old machines. They should release all OS’s up to and including 9.2.2 to GPL or the like. This would help ease the pain of mac users who are tired of transitions. They killed OS 9 pretty quick. They really need some brownie points among mac users.
Then release OS X 10.4 for free download, since it’s heavily optimized for Intel, a rapid growth in its userbase would help. Lots of Mac users are still using 10.2 or 10.3.
Another thing that would benefit a speedy transition is to offer intel upgrades for G3 and G4 machines (where possible) in the form of replacement motherboards, x86 CPU’s on add-on PCI cards, etc
It’s not going to be an Osbourne 2.0, and Apple can weather this storm.
But I think it was important to get the transition kick started, and by releasing the machines as quickly as possible, even before developers were ready, just gives the developers a kick in the pants to get in gear.
Intel is no longer “on its way”, rather it’s here, and it’s here now. The fact that iLife et al released on the iMacs is native is actually enough for many people.
Many are also waiting for the notebooks.
Finally, when MS comes out with a native speed Virtual PC, the uptick will be higher as well.
…it’s just after the holidays, consumer demand for imac’s, mini’s and ibook are not nearly as great as they are for Power… er Mac Book Pro’s and PowerMac’s.
There is a huge bent up demand for the MacBook Pro’s when they start shipping because they have been suffering under the G4 chip for quite some time.
iBooks we should see a increase in sales before the new school year.
PowerMac sales have been slow, because everyone got one of those new Dual 2 Ghz models and software hasn’t bogged them down yet enough to consider upgrading yet, and to what? A Quad PPC?
A lot of Pro’s who need a machine now get a Quad as it will last a long time with universal binaries.
However those with a DP G5 PowerMac have been waiting to see what these new Mactels will be able to do.
Mac users are extremely interested in running Windows programs on Mac OS X, especially games, not many want Windows to be native or dual boot. Apple’s hardware isnt’ THAT attractive and Apple certainly Apple doesn’t want to lose market share due to dillution of their machines with Windows.
The possibility of pre-Vista x86 programs running on a MacTel are high, I don’t think MS will allow Vista programs to run without VPC.
Trusted Computing will lock each OS and apps to hardware unfortunatly.
Apple could make it very easy for developers to take their Windows code and compile it for Mac OS X without a major performance hit, this would be the ideal situation.
Write once, code twice, ship both on the same cd.
Combine that with plenty of Intel processors and Apple Stores popping up all over is a recipe for increased market share.
Think about it, for every Mac sale it replaces a PC sale, but both use the same processors and applications.
It’s the way I would do it.
I think the mac mini would of been a better product to update as it has been long time (in the world of appple) since its last update and is a good candidate for a 1.5 GHz L2300 and a ati 1300 gfx card in. With 512 or 1024 MB of ram.
With resotta the speed of old apps is going to look poor but at least its is (in many cases) okay for how. Hopefully with MacOs 10.4.5 or 6 we will see some updates to rosetta.
2006-01-24 10:03 pmGet a Life
They probably won’t update the Mini until the Celeron M 420 ships in volume. Though I guess it isn’t inconceivable to ship with a T1300. The LV chips cost too much, and it will have to be single core to make the iMac attractive. The X1000 seem suitable, but perhaps the X1300 makes sense.
What Apple released, was NOT what the market was salivating for… hence the lukewarm reception…
The market was wanting an Intel iBook priced at $999 or even less (rumors of $699 that were a bit unreal, given this is Apple floated around), and a revamped Mini with an Intel Chip at the same price point as current models.
Apple didn’t deliver those items.
Had Apple delivered the iBook and Mac Mini above, I was ready to buy one of each…
I’m still waiting for those two products…
Because I don’t want to spend $2k on a MacBook Pro to replace my $400 iBook, and I don’t want to replace my Mini with something that will take up most of my desk, since I use my mini with a KVM with my current PC’s and Dell 17″ Flat Screen Display nicely…
Apple just released the wrong product.
They did it before with the 6100, 7100 and 8100…
They were afraid of killing sales for the older products by bringing out newer ones that were too good…
Well, the succeeded in harming the sales of BOTH lines…
It may pick up as the time moves on…
But that MacBook Pro ought to be selling at $1499, NOT $1999
It’s WAY overpriced in the field…
2006-01-24 7:28 pmTomB7
My understanding is that the chips they want to use for the Mini and Intel iBook aren’t shipping yet.
As for iMac sales– I think people wanted to read some 3rd party reviews first.Who wouldn’t, with a shift of this magnitude?
Fortunately, though perhaps a bit slower than Steve claimed, they are 1) still faster than the previous models 2) they seem to work OK.
2006-01-24 8:25 pmMatt Giacomini
“It’s WAY overpriced in the field…”
I just bought a Dell Latitude with similar specs as the MacBook for the same price. I’m not her to wave the apple flag, but how does that make the MacBook “WAY overpriced in the field”?
The Sony that my friend bought with similar specs was more, $200 more.
2006-01-24 8:37 pmstew
Which Sony is that?
The upcoming VAIO FE dual core is ~500 Euros cheaper than the MacBook Pro here in Germany, at what looks to me similar specs.
2006-01-25 12:32 pmDinadan
lower display resolution, no camera, no gigabit ethernet, shared memory graphics – sorry, the vaio is no match for the macbook. you get what you pay for.
2006-01-25 5:53 pmEmmEff
I think pricing the MacBook Pro where it is leaves the door open for iBooks. Maybe a high(er) end iBook to fill in the gap, probably something not dual core but near the fastest clock speed in single core.
– After the holiday season, most people are trying to recoop and refrain from purchasing new systems…
– People were anticipating Win on Mac machines which hasn’t panned out ‘yet.’
– People are a bit cautious due to PPC/Universal Binary implementation.
2006-01-24 7:27 pmThom Holwerda
After the holiday season, most people are trying to recoop and refrain from purchasing new systems…
Did you read?
“even taking into account the seasonal post-holiday sales dip”
Rosetta may be an good way of using PPCsoftware on the x86 platform,but not if using the software as an pro or semipro. Even iMac users wouldlike to use their software with full speed,so i think that is one of the bigger reasons why it is still not selling as wished.
When more software has been proted and can be enjoyed in full speed without any emulation layer, then more people will buy the new x86 macs.
Also as some states in prior posts, dual booting will be importatnt feature for a lot of people. If it is dual booting win/macosx or linux/macosx doesn´t matter. The option is not there today (wellthe option, but not the software/OS:es).
been pining over one of these ever since i heard about the swap, ended up falling in love with 20inch, which i could barely afford.. got it on a thursday, just for fun and to play with it made afew advertising bits and pieces in pages and keynote (which are fantastic, next versiona re bound to be amazing can only see about three for features missing which would basicaly complete my life)… well looks like ive just been promoted to marketing assistant and theve asked me to work on web design and marketing full time … beats billing clients!!
though be warned it pretty annoying when the keyboard crashes… got a hunch its something to do with rosetta, as it only happens if i have a couple of rosetta based apps open at one !
2006-01-24 9:25 pmTomB7
You don’t say! Well, that does sound annoying.
Maybe the new iMac and MacBook Pro are not that much intended to generate direct sales but rather pave the way for the first wave of “proper” Intel Macs. Judging from the Specs, Apple pretty much used existing models and put Intel’s reference boards in them – not much work, compared to what it must have taken to design the iMac G5 or the PBG4. I think Apple is doing this to 1) buy time to design the “real thing” coming next 2) have a “me too” dual core laptop like everyone else and 3) to make some fire under the developer’s chairs to finally get started moving to Xcode and Universal Binaries.
I am very keen to buy a MacBook Pro but theres simply no way i’ll buy a first generation Intel (or any) Mac.
The first generation of G4 Powerbooks had all kinds of issues, while later ones were much better machines.
I have had nothing but positive experiences with my 1Ghz G4 iBook, but the G3 iBooks weren’t so great with logic boards failing etc. etc.
I think a large number of customers are simply waiting for Apple to release the 2nd generation of Intel Macs, with better performance and the kinks worked out of the hardware.
Obviously software availability plays a big role in this too – Almost everything I use is either supplied by Apple, or is OSS so its not a problem for me, but for many users, the lack of native-compiled apps will be a showstopper. Emulation is fine, but theres a perception (often well-founded) that emulated performance sucks.
Apple can afford to do this now because of the iPod. There has never been a better time for Apple to make a move like this – even if the 1st gen Intel Macs bomb terribly, iPod revenues mean they can weather the storm.
If they tried to pull this pre-iPod, several quarters of low hardware sales would have killed them, and if they were facing serious competition in the iPod market – i.e. post-iPod, a competitor could take advantage of this vulnerability by forcing iPod profit margins way down leaving them similarly exposed.
This really isn’t a gamble for them, and any transition is going to take time. If they simply apply the same constant improvement process to their Intel Macs that they have to their PowerPC Macs, they will definitely have a customer here.
If VirtualPC or the like does pan out (usable speed) on MacTel’s, I’d be very interested. Running OSX and XP at the same time would be very compelling indeed: in fact, I can’t think of any other reason I’d buy one until I eventually have to.
I have no use at all for dual booting. Anyone who tries it will discover (as I did w/ XP and Linux), that it’s always worth having another cheap x86 box (or you can quit everything and reboot again every time you need to do something! Arghh!)
I find myself closer to giving up on Apple than I’ve been in 20 years: the platform is still overwhelmingly better for getting stuff done, but it’s just not fun being part of it anymore!
2006-01-24 8:19 pmrockwell
//(or you can quit everything and reboot again every time you need to do something! Arghh!)//
I disagree … it would take LOTS of reboots for me to justify purchasing a whole ‘nuther computer. (I’m currently dual booting FC4 and XP Pro).
Especially since my self-built box boots to a working desktop in either OS in well under one minute. Unless, of course, your time is worth about $500 an hour … then, it’s better to have two systems.
2006-01-25 5:52 pmEmmEff
I agree, dual booting is overrated. Nobody can work effectively on two operating systems. Perhaps using one OS as a main, and a second as a hobby as I do now with XP and Linux, but you cannot be productive on two operating systems on the same hardware.
I love the iMac and the MacBook Pro personally and I love the speed improvements and have been drooling over them. That said however, before I would go to intel I need Games to be ported. From the reports i’ve seen games are unusable under Rosetta, one report specifically mentioned a Game I play a lot, Unreal Tournament 2004.
I can’t really afford (neither do I really need) more than 1 mac at a time. Other than Games I think moving to Intel is great and have nothing but admiration and repest for the Intel Macs.
They wait until after christmas for a release, then someone starts poking them about sluggish sales? Seriously, does ANYONE in the computer industry see good sales on new systems January through March? I know my little shop never has; most of our income across that period comes from fixing what people bought before the holidays (usually the crap dell or hp boxes they bought from best buy) – not selling new machines.
2006-01-24 9:01 pmThom Holwerda
They wait until after christmas for a release, then someone starts poking them about sluggish sales? Seriously, does ANYONE in the computer industry see good sales on new systems January through March?
For the 3876532786th time: do you people actually read the articles– or do you see a negative story about Apple and immediatly claim troll?
From TFA: “even taking into account the seasonal post-holiday sales dip”.
2006-01-24 11:24 pmmicroshag
“or do you see a negative story about Apple and immediatly claim troll? ”
Think it’s bad here, you ought to see what happens when somebody posts such an article at Slashdot.
2006-01-25 7:41 amjaapjan
And technically, the articles -do- serve to provoke discussion. Maybe people quickly get used to articles without content like the ubuntu ‘article’ and not bother reading them extensively but immediately dive into the discussion.
It’s all because of Intel; Apple is waiting for the new desktop processor to put it finally in the rest of their product line. Apple is Eagle fast, they even announced their macbook pro at the same time intel announced their mobile chip Core Duo, this means that they were working on beta processors before introducing their products.
So, Intel Hurry Up you are not asslow as IBM.
Could be an interesting couple of weeks coming up.
just wait when people start getting their tax return!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Us mac people are usually in a buying cycle. I say developers like Adobe need to get After Effects 7, PS up to date.
I use Apple Pro Apps,
Adobe After Effects, PS, etc
Macromedia Flash, etc
I could get by with a Universal Binery of GIMP to get me by though.
These applications need a Mac-Intel update for me to purchase a new Mac.
Just bought an iMac G5 in Sept. before the latest model rolled out, before the Intel version rolled out. This one has to last me at least a year or my wife will have my head.
Besides, you KNOW… yes KNOW that this is an introductory model and that it will change significantly by next September/October As they work out all the kinks and offer more powerful processors.
Still waiting for the mini, myself.
I hear plenty of people talking about how they’re looking for the updated Mini … are there any other people out there like me who is waiting for the “top of the line” towers to hit? I’m looking for the badass, big-spec (and probably big-price) tower model that I can use with my current LCD monitor.
I’m almost glad they aren’t around, for my willpower couldn’t take it. 😀
Matter of fact, anyone have any guesses when they’ll roll something like that out?
If sales in the last quarter were better than expected (and they were), it’s probable that sales in the first quarter are worse than expected.
Also the store is currently providing users with two options, which when juxtaposed together in that way, make each other look equally unpalatable. You can buy an Intel iMac that’s “two to three times” faster, but compatible with almost no software, or else buy a G5 iMac that’s two to three times slower, but compatible with everything.
They should rebrand the two: the Intel as “32-bit Dual Core Processing” and the G5 as “The Power of 64-bit Computing” or something to avoid making the G5 look like a sucker’s bet. If you had to buy a Mac now, the G5 would be the better option: it’s compatible with everything that’s ever been released, and thanks to Universal Binaries, it should be compatible with everything that will be released for the next four years.
After four years compatibility is moot as it’s debateable if it could even be fast enough for native code.
For the 3876532786th time: do you people actually read the articles– or do you see a negative story about Apple and immediatly claim troll?
From TFA: “even taking into account the seasonal post-holiday sales dip”.
well it wasn’t taken into account *enough*, whatever tfa says. And still there are two other reasons on top: lack of univ. software and recent imac revision. Duh!
Browser: SonyEricssonP910i/R4A SEMC-Browser/Symbian/3.0 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.0
a) Most probably were waiting for new iBooks and minis not for the iMac and the Powerbook replacement.
b) That you cannot run windows at the current state of affairs is a shot in the foot, by Apple (no one else is to blame) many people wanted to switch but were held off due to the fact that Windows does not run.
So where does this leave the new computers. Apple Users hold off for a while until the transition problems are ironed out and more apps are available natively. No switchers currently due to the fact that there is no way to dual boot into windows. Budget users and people happy to jump the ship no matter what (usually the same group but different people) are still waiting for the entry models and do not need yet another LC screen on their desktop.
Obvious decision considering that
1- MacOS X normally is used with proprietary applications and amost all of them were compiled for PPC.
2- PPC binaries running with Rosetta have lower performance than the last PPC-based Macs.
3- Mac x86 still don’t let users run Windows in dual boot scheme.
I think its far to early to make such bold statments.. at least give them a quarter. adverts havnt even started to appear on the telly yet!