The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Wednesday, 11 February 2004]

Headless iMac: When pigs fly

Alex Salkever in his latest Byte of the Apple column, discusses the slowing sales of iMacs. His recommendation: Sell a headless iMac so that people can marry the iMac with their own choice of monitor. This will presumably make the iMac more price-competitive with PCs.

I just don’t know why people keep bringing this up. A headless iMac is not going to happen. I’ve met so many people who bought the iMac because it’s integrated. For the less tech-savvy users out there, being told that “all you have to do is plug in the keyboard and mouse and put the plug in the wall” is pure bliss. Even something as seemingly simple as picking a monitor and plugging it in adds complexity. Which monitor will work the best with the iMac? Where do I want to buy it? Do you sell that monitor here?

Also, the integration of the display on the iMac is simply drop-dead gorgeous. It’s still mind-boggling that so many hardware companies out there do not understand that for consumer hardware, looks are important. Computers that get sold to companies are often purchased by bean counters who want the best value for money, and the product design be damned. Not so for consumer hardware.

Apple already created a headless iMac. Remember? It was called the Cube. It flopped. So Apple’s been there, done that.

Why are the sales of iMacs slowing down? I’d say the reason would be called G5. If you have any sense of the industry, you’re holding off on buying until the iMac gets the G5 inside it.

Another reason may be simple market saturation. Sure, some switchers got in on the iMac action, but I’d be willing to bet good money that most purchasers were upgrading their aging original iMacs, and those people don’t buy computers that often.

Music: “Obscure” by Voodoo Child [Opens in iTunes]

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