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Apple Transitions Hardware Leadership

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the let's-hope-we-don't-go-back-to-grape dept.

Apple 108

redletterdave writes "Apple will begin transitioning the leadership role within its hardware engineering department, now that Bob Mansfield, who led the engineering of many of Apple's most successful products since 2005, has decided to retire. Apple was quick to name Dan Riccio — currently the VP of hardware engineering for the iPad — as Mansfield's successor, mentioning that Riccio will learn the new role over several months. During that time, the hardware engineering team will continue to report to Mansfield."

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Wait (3, Funny)

Sav1or (2600417) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506251)

I thought Steve Jobs invented everything, designed everything, fixed everything and sold everything at every apple store in the world.

Re:Wait (-1, Redundant)

magnusrex1280 (1075361) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506293)

Only people who don't know anything about Apple think that's true. Not even Apple users think Jobs did everything on his own. Mostly Jobs had sporatic inspirations or instincts that turned out to be spot on, and had some pitfalls. No one with braincells thinks he did everything.

Re:Wait (2)

Windwraith (932426) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506323)

Wait, you mean all those news about his death, claiming he was the inventor of computing, are not to be believed!? (/sarcasm)

Re:Wait (0)

4phun (822581) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506389)

Wait, you mean all those news about his death, claiming he was the inventor of computing, are not to be believed!? (/sarcasm)

No, that was the political hero Al Gore.

Re:Wait (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507085)

Who said he was the inventor of computing?

Re:Wait (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#40509657)

I know you're being sarcastic, but change "computing" to "desktop computing" and you're on track to what was said.

Re:Wait (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506417)

WOOSH!

Re:Wait (1)

thereitis (2355426) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506451)

Jobs sounded like a dictator with good instincts.

Re:Wait (1, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506869)

Yep, Jobs was a dictator. Apple's dictator. Sad but true.

Imagine how successful Apple would be if they were managed like other companies, where, of course, the employees take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. Naturally, all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special bi-weekly meeting—by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more major decisions.

Re:Wait (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507171)

Romanes eunt domus?

Re:Wait (1)

Unkl_Shvelven (1002053) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507239)

'Right, this is getting silly.

Re:Wait (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#40509659)

Sorry, we don't speak Mexican.

Re:Wait (1)

yidele (947452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507315)

help help, I'm being repressed! By Apple's clean design and unfailing attention to detail...

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40509633)

and lack of options.

Re:Wait (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512039)

and lack of options.

Which is clearly unconscionable, because you don't still have an entire universe's-worth of options...

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507753)

Indeed. Strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' iPods is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.

Re:Wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506511)

So you mean the core demographic of who Apple is trying to sell devices to? I saw so many posts to facebook thanking jobs and only jobs for their cool pretty devices when he died. Apple's core demographic are people who are too dumb to use a computer, do you think that they will have any vested interest in who actually made it? No, they literally think that Jobs personally designed, built, programmed, tested every device, and just happened to be hanging out in the back room of the apple store they bought the device from, too busy working on the next big thing to personally hand deliver it to them.

Re:Wait (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512079)

So you mean the core demographic of who Apple is trying to sell devices to? I saw so many posts to facebook thanking jobs and only jobs for their cool pretty devices when he died. Apple's core demographic are people who are too dumb to use a computer, do you think that they will have any vested interest in who actually made it? No, they literally think that Jobs personally designed, built, programmed, tested every device, and just happened to be hanging out in the back room of the apple store they bought the device from, too busy working on the next big thing to personally hand deliver it to them.

Apple's core demographic are people who are too dumb to use a computer

Ahem. Embedded developer with over 3 decades of experience here, and unabashed Apple fan, who has, whenever possible, used Macs even in my development work.

I don't know what conferences you've been attending; but Apple has a large (and ever-growing) following among engineering, scientific and IT professionals. In fact, it is the people who have suffered at the wheel-of-torture that is Windows, and have tried valiantly to use Linux as an alternative (and failed), that are among the strongest Apple supporters.

And it is precisely BECAUSE they understand computers that they are so happy to use one that DOESN'T either fight them at every turn and make them feel like they should be happy the OS maker lets them do ANYTHING (Windows); or that make it such that simply MAINTAINING their computer becomes a second-job (Linux), that they are more than happy with OS X.

Re:Wait (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512459)

You're still not the core demographic. You don't own an iPod, and iTouch, an iPhone and an iPad with a MacBook in your bag and an iMac at home. You don't buy the latest i* product the day it comes out, despite the fact your current i* device still suits your needs and works just fine.

Re:Wait (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506813)

Go back and read the Time Magazine fluff pieces about the iMac "iLamp" G4 or the original iPod. They are intended to give the impression that Jobs singlehandedly pinched everything out of his bowels with Ives as his midwife. So, yes, a lot of Apple fanatics believed this.

Re:Wait for it.... (4, Funny)

yidele (947452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507295)

...Obviously Jobs did not invent, bundle, market or sell a sense of humour. You need more than one button for that.

Re:Wait (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507483)

No, he just took credit for all of that.

finally (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506253)

the year of the linux diskterp!

That feeds the rumor mill pretty well... (-1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506385)

If the iPad designer is now in charge of hardware design, that fits well with the rumors I've heard before that Apple will stop making hardware and switch to only making and selling i* devices and software.

Re:That feeds the rumor mill pretty well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506405)

I've heard before that Apple will stop making hardware

Apple stopped making hardware a long time ago. They design it, they badge it, they sell it. They don't make it. (Not that there's anything wrong with that in principle, although it can become tough when the people who do make the stuff start to sell it to end users themselves, which inevitably happens)

Re:That feeds the rumor mill pretty well... (3, Insightful)

flargleblarg (685368) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506503)

Define "make." They certainly have invested a lot of technology and design into the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and iMac cases —especially the unibody designs. They may not assemble it in-house in California anymore, but it's not like they're slapping together outer case components from other companies. That qualifies as "make" in my book.

Re:That feeds the rumor mill pretty well... (2)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506591)

Then virtually nobody in the tech industry makes anything, by your definition.

Virtually nobody *does* make anything in tech now (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508251)

In a world where a single natural disaster can and unfortunately sometimes does cause devastation over vast areas, as it seems anyone near Washington DC is all too aware tonight, your comment is far too close to the truth to be funny.

A tiny number of big manufacturers are now responsible for actually making the hardware for almost every major computer and mobile device manufacturer in the world. I'm not sure whether we are down to single figures yet, but if not, we're close. There is a reason you could hardly find a new hard disk to buy not so long ago unless it was part of an entire new computer. It's because there literally weren't enough stocks of those devices to satisfy market demand, after major natural disasters brought production to a halt at too many of those few key facilities for an extended period.

Re:Virtually nobody *does* make anything in tech n (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 2 years ago | (#40509105)

This is one of the reasons Apple has diversified assembly outside of China. They have a long way to go before it is balanced.

Re:Virtually nobody *does* make anything in tech n (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512475)

I had no problems buying new hard drives when half of Thailand was under water. They just cost a bit more.

Re:That feeds the rumor mill pretty well... (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512093)

I've heard before that Apple will stop making hardware

Apple stopped making hardware a long time ago. They design it, they badge it, they sell it. They don't make it. (Not that there's anything wrong with that in principle, although it can become tough when the people who do make the stuff start to sell it to end users themselves, which inevitably happens)

So, you're saying that, like pretty much everyone else, Apple uses Contract Manufacturers to execute THEIR designs?

Re:That feeds the rumor mill pretty well... (0)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506589)

Actually, Apple has found that their most profitable product is reality distortion fields, so that is what they're going to build and sell from now on.

Re:That feeds the rumor mill pretty well... (1)

noh8rz4 (2667697) | more than 2 years ago | (#40509093)

ipads and iPhones ARE hardware, dummy.

Re:That feeds the rumor mill pretty well... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#40511407)

I must say, this is another case of the overrated tag being abused and ... overrated.

Will this continue...? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506391)

I wonder if this will continue for Apple.

iOS 6 is a yawner. Yes, what we need -- more facebook integration. Already, there is a backlash against FB. The latest Android announcement had some cool items in it including another method of protecting against piracy that does not depend on if a device is not rooted.

The Retina Display Macbook Pro has a cool screen, but cannot be repaired or upgraded.

Mountain Lion?

Jobs's RDF is gone.

What Apple needs to do is start figuring out how to get themselves enterprise-friendly without losing their consumer market. Enterprises buy stuff in such large chunks that a few good contracts are a lot better than lines around the building of hipsters.

First, redo the Mac Pro. Make a chassis that works like a tower, but can have a rack drawer attached so it can be slammed into a standard enclosure. Offer not just 8Gbs FC cards, but NICs with enough packet offloading power so FCoE is workable.

Second, make something like BES but for managing iPhones. Yes, Exchange can do a lot, but having a dedicated policy management server that can handle data transmissions, perhaps even backups of phone devices would bring a lot of revenue.

Third, the ARM processor supports worlds. In this day of BYOD, offer iPhones and iPads with a "work" partition and a "home" partition. That way, the employee only needs to type in the long password when accessing the "work" side, and the Exchange erase only blows that out. It also allows for apps to only see a subset of data, so the FB app isn't able to access work contacts.

Fourth, make an antipiracy mechanism similar to Google's LVL or new encryption mechanism in Jelly Bean. That way, apps don't have to rely on the fact a device is not jailbroken. As an added bonus, more money can be spent on features, not anti-jailbreak BS.

Fifth, make a business friendly Mac desktop that can push the Dells and Compaqs out of the offices. Take an iMac, toss the camera and mic, and sell that as a business PC with service plans to follow. Lots of cash there to be made, as most companies would switch to Macs if they could, only for the artistic value of the machines.

Re:Will this continue...? (3, Insightful)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506463)

First, redo the Mac Pro.

Interesting how the first thing on your list to do is something that won't benefit Apple as a company very much at all.

Re:Will this continue...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507007)

I think you just got trolled. The same post was in another Apple article a day or so ago. No idea if that one was the original or if it's just something getting copy/pasted on Apple stories now.

Re:Will this continue...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506521)

Hey, I've seen this very post both been modded troll and insightful in other discussions on slashdot recently...

Re:Will this continue...? (3, Informative)

whisper_jeff (680366) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506609)

This is 100% a copy/paste post ( http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2947841&cid=40498491 [slashdot.org] though there may be others as well). How many times do you intend on posting it? Just curious. I would say you're just karma-whoring (since you were modded +5 previous) but you're posing AC so I'm not entirely sure of your motive.

Re:Will this continue...? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506615)

Apple's anti piracy is In app purchasing. Almost every app now is free or very cheap with the good features costing more money

Re:Will this continue...? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506789)

iApp makers are mostly not making money and carriers don't like Apple grabbing all the margin. Bad news.

Re:Will this continue...? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507409)

There are any number of reasons why a developer may not be making much money. Quality of the app, incorrect pricing model, failure to publicize the app: the same stuff that affect retail revenues. One big improvement is for smaller operations that couldn't easily get retail shelf space, relying instead on selling via their own website. Fortunate developers who get an app featured will get way more exposure than is normally available to indies. The app stores are not money machines. It takes effort to pull in decent revenue, and a bit of luck.

Carriers are victims of their own complacency and business models. Reminds me of how the music industry spent so long failing to see the value of monetizing downloading that they well and truly saw their lunch eaten. Same for so many PC makers who, on failing to branch out, were driven in to a race to the bottom of a product that had become a commodity and a vehicle for others with higher value products and services. Carriers have screwed us for a long time now. I barely use my minutes now, finding it far cheaper to use Skype and various chat applications. Innovate or be content to subsist in the background.

Re:Will this continue...? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508081)

There are any number of reasons why a developer may not be making much money.

The real issue comes up when the percentage of iApp developers making money rounds to zero. I will tell you who is making money from all that developer effort: Apple. Period.

Re:Will this continue...? (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508071)

iApp makers are mostly not making money and carriers don't like Apple grabbing all the margin. Bad news.

Modded by a driveby Apple cultist as (-1, I Reject This reality)

Re:Will this continue...? (1)

Grudge2012 (2662391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40510269)

iApp makers are mostly not making money and carriers don't like Apple grabbing all the margin. Bad news.

Modded by a driveby Apple cultist as (-1, I Reject This reality)

Actual Reality: Apple’s App Store Hits 30 Billion Downloaded Apps, Paid Out $5 Billion To Developers [techcrunch.com]

Re:Will this continue...? (2)

Grudge2012 (2662391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40510263)

iApp makers are mostly not making money and carriers don't like Apple grabbing all the margin. Bad news.

You know, even if that were true - Android app makers are making even less money, and Google as well as Android take the same 30% Apple does.

Re:Will this continue...? (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512231)

iApp makers are mostly not making money and carriers don't like Apple grabbing all the margin. Bad news.

Riiiiight.

Troll Away, Troll Away, Troll Away, Troll Awayyy-ay...

So, SEVENTY percent isn't enough "margin" for someone who's ONLY "investment" is in the DEVELOPMENT?!? No manufacturing, advertising, hosting, bandwidth, payment processing, packaging, et FUCKING cetera, and you have the temerity to call that "grabbing all the margin"???

Oh, and what "Carriers" are you talking about? The cellphone carriers that can't WAIT to get on the iPhone gravy train?

enterprise needs easy to remove harddisks and othe (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507637)

enterprise needs easy to remove hard disks and other stuff

Now with some enterprises they will take out the HDD before sending the system for repair / warranty work.

enterprise also need to be able to roll back to older OS's (so apple can't get away with saying this system that just came out can only run 10.8 or newer.)

Apple needs to give enterprise some kind of road map for hardware and software.

enterprise also may like more choice of headless systems.

Apple needs a real server with dual PSU, hot swap HDD"s ECT or at very least let os X sever run in a VM on any hardware.

Re:enterprise needs easy to remove harddisks and o (1)

siliconincdotnet (525118) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508115)

Apple needs to focus on having server applications/OS that are useful in an enterprise environment before they worry about the hardware. 10.5 and 10.6 Server weren't terrible, but there's little they could do that AD and a Linux box couldn't do much better. 10.7 Server is absolute rubbish and isn't suitable for, well, anything.

I'm not saying they shouldn't come up with enterprise-ready hardware, just that they have bigger fish to fry.

Re:Will this continue...? (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512201)

I wonder if this will continue for Apple. iOS 6 is a yawner. Yes, what we need -- more facebook integration. Already, there is a backlash against FB. The latest Android announcement had some cool items in it including another method of protecting against piracy that does not depend on if a device is not rooted.

Ahem. Here is a list of the improvements in iOS 6 [wikipedia.org] . Certainly not as huge a list as the iOS5 upgrade; but also hardly just improved FB (FuckBuddy) integration.

The Retina Display Macbook Pro has a cool screen, but cannot be repaired or upgraded.

Neither can your TV, BD Player, A/V Receiver, or Microwave, either. So what?

And of course "cannot be repaired" means "by MOST end-users". So my comparison stands.

Mountain Lion?

What? Here's the list of new features and improvements in Mountain Lion [wikipedia.org] (which, BTW, costs a whopping $20. A WHOLE lot of engineering time for that low of a price, eh?)

Jobs's RDF is gone.

Sorry, no. All of these products were WELL defined and development started long before Jobs' untimely departure from this plane. In fact, I read an article shortly after his death that said that Apple had FOUR YEARS worth of products "in the queue" when Jobs died.

So, your comment MAY be relevant around 2015 or so...

"Transition"? "Transitioning"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506399)

Is this the Borg Collective Press?

If some faggotree falls in the woods and no ones (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506439)

around to witness it, will it still pound the ground?

now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506479)

now apple needs a real desktop or at the very lest least a imac with a EASY TO GET TO HDD SLOTs. NO other AIO makes you take the screen off to change the HDD and most of them have at least 2 hdd slots.

And don't replace the hdd with a SDD on a card.

The mini needs to be a little bigger so it can have been cooling and a easier to open case.

But what apple really needs is a $1000-$1500 (base price) desktop with a mid-range video card in a X16 slots + 1-2 open pci-e slots. with 4 ram slots and at least 2 hdd bays.

keep the big mac pro tower at the $2500++ UP range With PCI-E slots and high end / pro video cards. Some pro work needs pci-e cards as well good cpu power.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506565)

Every one of your proposals sounds like pretty much the exact opposite of what you would put the guy with the iPad experience in charge of...

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 2 years ago | (#40510035)

Seriously; look at the new MacBook Pro "Retina", it's entirely disposable. You can't upgrade or replace the RAM, disk or battery, the three things you'd need to touch in a laptop to keep using it for more than a couple of years.

I've been buying Mac laptops since the iBook G4, but if this is the new normal, forget it. Not looking forward to trying to find a decent PC laptop though, everyone seems to have ten billion slightly different and incomprehensibly named models...

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512299)

Seriously; look at the new MacBook Pro "Retina", it's entirely disposable. You can't upgrade or replace the RAM, disk or battery, the three things you'd need to touch in a laptop to keep using it for more than a couple of years.

I've been buying Mac laptops since the iBook G4, but if this is the new normal, forget it. Not looking forward to trying to find a decent PC laptop though, everyone seems to have ten billion slightly different and incomprehensibly named models...

So buy one of the other two MBPs instead. Everyone wringing their hands over the MBPwRD is carefully avoiding that that option exists. And there is a VERY good reason why Apple did it that way.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40513019)

Seriously; look at the new MacBook Pro "Retina", it's entirely disposable. You can't upgrade or replace the RAM, disk or battery, the three things you'd need to touch in a laptop to keep using it for more than a couple of years.

On the contrary, I'd expect people buying those to be able to keep them for a long time.

RAM: Today's OS (Lion) and tomorrow's (Mountain Lion) have a minimum requirement of 2GB. If we expect such minimum requirements to grow keeping time with Moore's Law scaling of DRAM size, that should double roughly every 2 years. There are two RAM options for the Retina MBP, 8 or 16GB. Applying the Moore's Law rule of thumb, 8GB will become the minimum in 6 years (3 doublings), 16GB in 8 years. Either option will provide quite a long useful lifespan by computer standards, and even though Apple overcharges for the 16GB upgrade it isn't much when viewed as another 2 years of useful life.

Disk (SSD): You can in fact upgrade or replace it. Contrary to some early reports, it is not soldered down. It's a custom form factor SSD module, but electrically it's still a standard SATA device, so it's not going to be rocket science for somebody to take an existing SSD design and relayout the PCB for the MBP-Retina. (OWC did just that for the MacBook Airs a year ago or so. It's a pretty good bet they're going to address the MBP-Retina sooner or later.)

Battery: Apple offers battery replacement service both in and out of warranty.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (2)

Honclfibr (202246) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506751)

Mac users know better than to open their computers. You might untangle the interwebs in there.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513341)

Mac users know better than to open their computers. You might untangle the interwebs in there.

Opening the box lets out the magic smoke. Everyone knows this.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (5, Interesting)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506785)

now apple needs a real desktop or at the very lest least a imac with a EASY TO GET TO HDD SLOTs. NO other AIO makes you take the screen off to change the HDD and most of them have at least 2 hdd slots.

These days, are HDD slots really necessary? Most users don't upgrade their hard drives. USB 2 works pretty well, FireWire 800 is fantastic, and Thuderbolt is supposed to wipe with the floor with FW800. I'm sure the next iMac will have USB 3.

External drives work fine for a desktop. It's not like years ago when if you didn't have SCSI the performance was terrible.

And don't replace the hdd with a SDD on a card.

I seriously doubt Apple would do that for the iMac. On the laptops you do it for space reasons, but on a 23" or 27" computer you have plenty of space to spare.

The mini needs to be a little bigger so it can have been cooling and a easier to open case.

The point of the mini is that it's a tiny quite computer on the cheap (compared to full sized Apple models, not low end PCs). Why does it need to be bigger? And you're not supposed to need to open the case. What percentage of normal computer buyers do you think ever open their computer? At this point, laptops sell the best and can't be opened. They just have a slot or two that can be accessed through a panel. I'll agree that upgrading the older minis was terrible (I don't know if it's improved, I doubt it), but Apple markets and treats their computers like sealed appliances, and most people don't seem to care.

But what apple really needs is a $1000-$1500 (base price) desktop with a mid-range video card in a X16 slots + 1-2 open pci-e slots. with 4 ram slots and at least 2 hdd bays.

For $1200 the base iMac is a great computer. The graphics are fine for 95% of users. You can easily expand the storage with all the ports mentioned above. A fair number of people upgrade the RAM or hard drive in their computers, but almost no one buys expansion cards. The most common reason seems to be to get some new port (like USB 2 when that came out, or USB 3 now) and you can do that with Thunderbolt.

Apple has all the large market bases covered, and then some. The DIY Mac may appeal to /.ers, but I seriously doubt they'd sell. I can tell you users love the integrated easy to use appliance like setup of the current iMacs. I use one for development every day at work, and it's fantastic. Most people (both for person or work reasons) buy laptops anyway.

What kind of user would switch to the Mac for that? People who want to play games? Because the game selection on OS X isn't that great, and usually runs months behind Windows, if the games every come. When the latest graphics card comes out, there wouldn't even be drivers. No one is going to use it as a server, Apple clearly isn't interested in that (and I don't blame them, it's not a big market, and you can just use a Mac Pro if you really want one).

So your market is DIY people, who aren't hardcore gamers, who don't want a server, but do want a desktop. That's a tiny fraction of people. The Mac Pro is probably a rounding error in Apple's computer sales, and it has a decently sized market of professionals. But with Thunderbolt, some of the reasons for using a Pro (such as high speed interconnect to a RAID for video editing) can now be covered by the iMac.

Face it, the Mac Pro is what you want, you just don't want to pay the price. I don't blame you, it's not targeted at individuals and the price reflects that (by a good margin). But really, Apple has been ignoring the requests for the Mac Pro Mini for most of a decade, and it doesn't seem to have hurt their business at all. It's clearly not necessary.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507381)

are HDD slots really necessary? Most users don't upgrade their hard drives

The people who make good Apple customers are the same ones who like to have the hood of their car welded shut.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (3, Informative)

jedrek (79264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40509877)

are HDD slots really necessary? Most users don't upgrade their hard drives

The people who make good Apple customers are the same ones who like to have the hood of their car welded shut.

You shoot that off as a derogatory comment, and that's why you're missing the reality of modern life. I've never done anything with my car mechanics-wise in the past 6 years other than top up fluids, replace a headlamp and change a flat. I'm neither technically inept, rich or foolish - I'm just an adult.

See, my reality is that I work pretty hard, earn a decent living and it is easier and cheaper for me to hand my car over to a competent mechanic to fix it, that it is for me to a) diagnose the problem, b) buy the tools, c) source the part(s), d) find a space to fix it and, finally, e) do the work. I am by no means technically inept, I just don't find car repair interesting in the least. And by that measure, I can understand people who don't find computer repair/upgrade skills to be of any value to them. They're not worse, they're just interested in other things than you are.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40510151)

but with apple basic stuff like top up fluids, replace a headlamp and change a flat. On some models can only be done at the dealer (aka apple store) with a much longer trun around time.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512409)

but with apple basic stuff like top up fluids, replace a headlamp and change a flat. On some models can only be done at the dealer (aka apple store) with a much longer trun around time.

That analogy is only relevant if you can provide the car analogy to computer glossary.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513339)

The people who make good Apple customers are the same ones who like to have the hood of their car welded shut.

You shoot that off as a derogatory comment...

I do, and it's aimed at you.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

Grudge2012 (2662391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40510287)

are HDD slots really necessary? Most users don't upgrade their hard drives

The people who make good Apple customers are the same ones who like to have the hood of their car welded shut.

NASCAR drivers?

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512347)

are HDD slots really necessary? Most users don't upgrade their hard drives

The people who make good Apple customers are the same ones who like to have the hood of their car welded shut.

Really? I've been using Apple computers exclusively (unless forced not to by employers) since my Apple 1 in 1976. I use them for everything from embedded software and hardware development to everyday computing tasks.

I also work on my own cars, TVs, stereos, DVD players, computers (yes, my Macs), microwave ovens, Air Conditioners, plumbing, house wiring, carpentry, roofing, et FUCKING cetera.

So NOW what?

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40513359)

You're not a good Apple customer, you will be gone soon enough. Because you actually have a brain.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507557)

These days, are HDD slots really necessary? Most users don't upgrade their hard drives. USB 2 works pretty well, FireWire 800 is fantastic, and Thuderbolt is supposed to wipe with the floor with FW800. I'm sure the next iMac will have USB 3.

It's kind of like the non user replaceable laptop battery issue. I don't think there's a single computer in the house which hasn't had a harddisk replaced at some point (not necessarily upgraded). They are the most common point of failure for a computer. While I agree the prognosis on external harddisks being the thing people buy when they need more capacity I have yet to see anyone run their system partition full time on an external drive.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507993)

They can be replaced, Apple just doesn't make it nearly as easy as most PCs. It's a concession to form, and it doesn't bother me too much. I tend to have to change the drive in a computer maybe once in its lifetime on average.

I agree with you about the root partition though. Keeping that on an external drive seems like asking for serious trouble. I know I wouldn't do that. It would be far too easy for the cable to jiggle loose and cause the computer to crash.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508687)

uh..

Why would you need to run your "system partition" on an external drive? How many programs are you running, anyway?

The external drive is for the huge media files or build trees or whatever you're working on. User data. System stuff goes on the closest drive to the RAM, so you can grab it quickly when it's time to load it.

Media doesn't need to be, because you don't tend to randomly access it in rapid succession for every little operation. That 2GB video file contains everything it needs media-wise to view, it doesn't need to pull in another 150 MB of "sub-videos" scattered over 40,000 small files, and it only needs to read in fast enough to watch or do FF/scrubbing.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512449)

The external drive is for the huge media files or build trees or whatever you're working on. User data. System stuff goes on the closest drive to the RAM, so you can grab it quickly when it's time to load it.

While I agree with you wholeheartedly, I certainly wish that OS X made it (much) more simple to locate your Home folder somewhere else besides the boot drive.

Yes, I know it's possible with symlinks, etc.; but I have heard horror stories (most of them from a while back, admittedly) about how doing so would befuddle some upgrade mechanisms, cause your hair to fall out, and ruin your sex life (not much of a problem for most slashdotters; but...)

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512433)

I don't think there's a single computer in the house which hasn't had a harddisk replaced at some point (not necessarily upgraded). They are the most common point of failure for a computer.

But largely to the kick-in-the-pants that Apple gave the Flash Memory industry, there soon won't be that many hard drives in use as primary boot drives anymore. And then, the argument against external EXPANSION storage (and against replaceable main storage) becomes moot, and even silly.

And guess what? Apple's already there...

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507601)

the imac has some down sides like a build in screen and a video card that is really not the best fit (power wise) for it's size.

For a desktop why should I have to use EXT boxes to get more space??

Thuderbolt is fast but a case and cable costs a LOT more then a disk on it's own and E-sata is faster and it uses IO that is part of the base chip set that is other wise unused.

The mini does have some heat issues. Also it is limited in ram, cpu and video. All stuff that Thuderbolt can't fix.

For the mac pro it's not just price it is how out of date that the hardware in it is.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (2)

MBCook (132727) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507973)

My family has had an iMac for years, and I really like the one I have at work. You can get better graphics cards at the higher end, but none of them are blow-your-socks-off. I can't wait to see a 27" retina display model, but I'm sure it will at least a year, probably two, to get one.

I agree the external storage thing is a little odd, my point was more that in this day and age it's not that bad, you're not sacrificing performance. The hard drives in the current iMacs may be big enough for most users for their entire life, although that's clearly no the case if you go SSD. Having the drive internal is cheaper (since you don't have to pay for the enclosure) and prettier (since you don't have an external box sitting around), but then you have to make the computer more accessible to get the drive in and out and that's a compromise that Apple has shown they're not willing to make. I can tell you from upgrading my MBP's RAM and HD that I would have preferred the old days when there was a little panel you could take off instead of removing the entire bottom of the case.

I'd imagine Thunderbolt cables will get cheaper as they become more ubiquitous. Thanks to Intel's new chipset PCs are starting to ship with Thunderbolt ports, and that should help. I remember USB being expensive despite every motherboard having a couple of ports. It was only after the iMac kick-started demand for USB peripherals that the prices became reasonable.

As for eSATA... that's one I'll give you. On the laptops it's not too odd since it takes up space, but on an iMac there is plenty of room. It's not a special port that needs a separate controller chip, and there is no way an iMac is using up all the internal SATA ports on the chipset. My guess is that one was pure "We use Firewire, we don't need that."

I haven't used a mini in years, so I'll take your word for it. I'd imagine that (like many of the laptops) it can get quite warm when pushed. Come to think of it, my image of a Mini is still the older white models, I keep forgetting them made them even smaller and aluminum.

As for the Pro... I'm sure they'll fix it next year. That one has been driving a ton of speculation on the Mac blogs. I like the theory they didn't want to update until they could support a retina display, but that's pure conjecture.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40509645)

27inch retina display will have a terrible refresh rate. thats a hell of a lot of pixels to move around.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (2)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508211)

These days, are HDD slots really necessary? Most users don't upgrade their hard drives.

Well, they may replace them when they inevitably fail. Of course, they take their computer into the Apple Store and say, "It broke. Make it better," rather than actually consider replacing the hard drive themselves. Especially when, if they looked, they'd see that Apple is charging them up the yang for a hard drive. But that's another story.

This is always an interesting question, though, and tough to gauge. One of the things about Apple is that you have no choice.

Consider Dell for a moment. Dell has come out with some pretty clever computers. But they didn't sell very well. I would posit that one reason they didn't sell very well was competition from other Dell machines. You can have a cool laptop that folds into a tablet for $999. But right next to it is a laptop that doesn't do that but has a bunch of USB ports and a memory card reader and a bigger screen and it's $699. And guess what they choose? Yup--the $699.

Apple doesn't do this. You get a gorgeous iMac with a stunning 27" screen, a sleek keyboard and touchpad. It looks like something from a Sci-Fi movie. But you don't have the choice to say, "Yeah, it's gorgeous, but go ahead and take all that stuff and stick it in a cheap-ass plastic PC box and charge me $300 less." When you have no choice, you start having to justify yourself. "It's not a big deal if I can't replace the hard drive. I can always get an external one. Sure it will cost a bit more and it may not be as fast, but that's the price I pay for having this gorgeous computer."

And this is where you run into the difference, I think, between Consumer and Pro lines. You're right--my Mom will never upgrade her hard drive. When her MacBook's hard drive goes south--as it eventually will--she will take it into the store and someone else will take her machine apart and replace her hard drive for her, hopefully rescuing her data in the process. The car analogy is apropos--when my car breaks down, I take it to the mechanic. He takes off the various "covers" that keep me from tinkering with my car and fixes the problem.

Pros, on the other hand, want to be able to upgrade their machines. They worry about things like battery life and having replaceable batteries. They want to be able to fix their machines themselves rather than finding an Apple Store or Authorized Repair Shop and dropping the computer off for two days. If I'm a photographer and my MacBook Pro's hard drive fails while I'm shooting a safari in Kenya, finding an Apple Store may be a bit tricky. But I can probably find a hard drive somewhere.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40509639)

look hdd slots and ect arn't important for the housewife that likes to facebook; but you get a techy guy (like there should be plenty on this site) and you tell them if they want a bigger hard drive they have to replace the laptop or get a 'genius' to change it, they will spit in your face, crap on your dog, and defile your mother.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40511103)

I'll agree that upgrading the older minis was terrible (I don't know if it's improved, I doubt it)

It's freakin' easy: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4432

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512307)

External drives work fine for a desktop. It's not like years ago when if you didn't have SCSI the performance was terrible.

ESPECIALLY since FireWire ***400*** was developed as a replacement for SCSI, and FW800 is PUH-lenty fast for a Hard Drive (let alone Thunderbolt)!!!

Your wants != Apple needs (4, Insightful)

sjbe (173966) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506839)

The mini needs to be a little bigger so it can have been cooling and a easier to open case.

If it was bigger then it wouldn't be a mini now would it?

But what apple really needs is a $1000-$1500 (base price) desktop with a mid-range video card in a X16 slots + 1-2 open pci-e slots. with 4 ram slots and at least 2 hdd bays.

I think you are confusing what you want with what Apple needs. What you are describing is a PC with OS X. If that is what you want, build it yourself [wikipedia.org] . Fact is that most people never open their PCs ever. The few that do aren't really much concern to Apple. Desktop PCs like what you describe are a market with a limited future. Laptop and tablet sales are where the profit and the demand is. Why would Apple introduce a product in a dying market segment with features that hardly anyone will use? Makes no business sense at all.

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (2)

jedrek (79264) | more than 2 years ago | (#40509843)

But what apple really needs is a $1000-$1500 (base price) desktop with a mid-range video card in a X16 slots + 1-2 open pci-e slots. with 4 ram slots and at least 2 hdd bays.

No, this is what you want, this is not what Apple needs. This is a machine for people who build out their own hardware. It's an extremely vocal minority on hardware/CS forums, but in reality it's a part of the market that fits snuggly in the margin of error of most statistical models (3-5%). Why would they dilute their line with a machine like that?

Re:now apple needs a real desktop or at least (1)

macs4all (973270) | more than 2 years ago | (#40512289)

now apple needs a real desktop or at the very lest least a imac with a EASY TO GET TO HDD SLOTs. NO other AIO makes you take the screen off to change the HDD and most of them have at least 2 hdd slots.

Taking the screen off takes about 2 minutes, and once you get past the "scary factor", isn't a big deal at all. Every single one of the online repair guides makes it about 5 steps too hard. There is specifically enough slack in the display cabling to allow the replacement of the iMac's HD WITHOUT completely removing (or even disconnecting) the display panel.

And don't replace the hdd with a SDD on a card.

Sorry. Apple is ahead of the curve. Everyone will be doing it soon, and it makes a TON of sense.

The mini needs to be a little bigger so it can have been cooling and a easier to open case.

They made the 'mini MUCH easier to add RAM to; which is as far as MOST people want to go. The mini is called the mini because it is. Making it even 25% bigger would not significantly improve cooling, but would make it appear far less "mini" and far more "cube" like.

But what apple really needs is a $1000-$1500 (base price) desktop with a mid-range video card in a X16 slots + 1-2 open pci-e slots. with 4 ram slots and at least 2 hdd bays.

While I personally would like Apple to fill that gap, they obviously don't. And they are making enough money at this point that they make their own weather, market-wise.

keep the big mac pro tower at the $2500++ UP range With PCI-E slots and high end / pro video cards. Some pro work needs pci-e cards as well good cpu power.

And I certainly agree with you here. But this is exactly why Apple doesn't see the need to have a "midrange tower". And as Thunderbolt devices become more available, they will have an increasingly-valid argument there.

Need to put my glasses on before I sit down... (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506491)

Need to put my glasses on before I sit down at the computer--Misread the article as "Apple Transitions to Hardware Leadership".

AMD - your time has come. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40506541)

Cheaper, more efficient, open source..

Apple, it's time to stop feeding the Intel/Nvidia beast.

Drop the cost, drop the margins, take over the world.

The Old Guys Behind Apple's Young & Hip Produc (2)

theodp (442580) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506545)

iPad2 Launch Video [youtube.com] : Steve Jobs asks those who worked on iPad2 to stand and take a bow.

Re:The Old Guys Behind Apple's Young & Hip Pro (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507433)

Apple isn't the top destination for comp sci grads any more, that would be Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter.

No more Chris Farley :-( (1)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506661)

I loved Bob Mansfield because he made me laugh. [wikipedia.org]

Everyone bashes Jobs... (1)

h4z3 (2466932) | more than 2 years ago | (#40506841)

But if I had a time machine, I wouldnt think it twice and just take his spot in history.

Hey may not had the skills of a Torvald or an Stallman, but boy HE knew where to put his money.

Re:Everyone bashes Jobs... (1)

Tough Love (215404) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507479)

if I had a time machine, I wouldnt think it twice and just take his spot in history

Would you have BO and park in the handicapped spot?

Re:Everyone bashes Jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507607)

But if I had a time machine, I wouldnt think it twice and just take his spot in history.

WTF? If all you need is to be at the same point in the timeline as them then there's any number of interesting/wealthy people you could replace today. No time travel needed. Just imagine that you've come back in time via a machine and then get on with the rest of your plan to replace Warren Buffett or whoever (he seems to know where to put his money too).

Re:Everyone bashes Jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40509337)

"Hey may not had the skills of a Torvald or an Stallman, but boy HE knew where to put his money."

Did he?

He died much poorer than Gates, Ballmer, Ellison, Page, Brinn, Schmidt, Zuckerberg despite his company's success.

Re:Everyone bashes Jobs... (1)

Grudge2012 (2662391) | more than 2 years ago | (#40510439)

"Hey may not had the skills of a Torvald or an Stallman, but boy HE knew where to put his money."

Did he?

He died much poorer than Gates, Ballmer, Ellison, Page, Brinn, Schmidt, Zuckerberg despite his company's success.

So what happens if their company fails? Each of those have most of their wealth in the form of stock of their company. Job's had two irons in the fire. In fact, most of his wealth comes from the other company, Pixar not Apple.

Re:Everyone bashes Jobs... (1)

h4z3 (2466932) | more than 2 years ago | (#40511761)

Was he really "poorer"? He may have died with less virtually inflated currency compared with the others you mentioned, but sure as hell he had more adquisitive power than any of them, included Gates (Buffet may had more but you didnt included him in the list).

Tell me the name of another company, that was almost 100% in control of the CEO, that had those volumes of market in the US/EU and ASIA.

Also, he didnt just got Rich overnight because the success of one company, he made the right choices almost every time, with different companies and projects, almost as if He knew what was gonna happen, thats kind of hard to emulate (unless you have a time machine).

Did he (Mansfield) jump or was he pushed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507307)

If he jumped, why did he do it?

Re:Did he (Mansfield) jump or was he pushed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40507597)

Maybe he's mad because he wanted a Galaxy Tab but he can't get one now because of Apple's injunction?

Draw a rectangle, (2)

ronmon (95471) | more than 2 years ago | (#40507987)

round the corners, add a button or two and file a patent.

Re:Draw a rectangle, (0)

tyrione (134248) | more than 2 years ago | (#40508357)

round the corners, add a button or two and file a patent.

Do it on systems at a time when it required new areas of algorithm development in GUI development to do so and call it Macintosh.

Re:Draw a rectangle, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40510235)

what does the second button do? Depending on your answer, that is very much worth a patent.

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