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17-inch flat-Panel iMac Dead 517

EnlightenmentFan writes "Apple plans to stop production in June of the iMac with flat-panel 17-inch display, according to this article at Asian tech-news site Digitimes. As with the now-history 15" flat-panel iMac, sales started strong but stalled once the early-adopter crowd had bought in. Probably-not-unrelated story (also posted today): Chungwha Picture Tubes is boosting the price of its 17-inch LCD monitor panels."
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17-inch flat-Panel iMac Dead

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  • by Chicane-UK ( 455253 ) <> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:04PM (#4999145) Homepage
    I have had limited exposure to Apple machines in the past, and I have to say I do like them.

    But this is not the first time that Apple have had an unsuccessful product on their hands - the iCube went the same way. I mean, to me it was an excellent product, but I think it was just too expensive.

    Apple are quite a big company, but they are not THAT big - perhaps they should learn from this and the iCube, and plan a little more carefully before they launch certain products? It must have cost them a lot of money in R&D and the parts for these things?
    • by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:24PM (#4999381)
      First of all, it wasn't the "iCube". It was just the Cube, or more commonly, the G4 Cube.

      Speaking as someone who is posting this from a G4 Cube, it wasn't and isn't that great a machine. All it has for a video connector in the back is an ADC connector, so unless you want to buy an adapter, you're stuck with expensive (but nice) Apple monitors, like the 15" Flat-screen CRT that originally came with the Cube, which is what I'm using here. Not that it's a crappy monitor, it's just a pain.

      Also, it isn't as space-saving as you might believe. It was kept silent and cool by taking the power supply and moving it outside to a large, unwieldy power pack.

      The speakers are crappy and there's a wierd USB-connector for them. No regular speaking connection, you've got to use the provided ones.

      The "cool" touch-sensitive power button (using, I assume, the same technology as laptop trackpads) is, like those laptop trackpads, more trouble than it's worth. You have to be EXTREMELY careful when moving it around, because any light touch will send the machine into sleep mode immediately, even during the boot process. This is a serious pain when you're moving it around, as plugging it in to the power supply needs to be the last item on your list, and most people by habit do that first "to make sure it works". My cat puts it into sleep all the time, sniffing at the computer.

      The access to USB ports, power ports, network ports, and the like is very shoddily done, all underneath the computer, with very little leeway, which means you generally need to put the machine on it's side to plug in a network cable, USB cable, firewire, whatever. Doing this, even for people like me who've been working with a Cube for awhile, means the first thing you do is put your hand in the most convenient place to flip it on it's side, or on it's back, which means you either slap the power button with your hand, or the table or some other object on your desk does it.

      All in all, it's a cast iron pain, and one of Apple's biggest design blunders.

      The 17" iMac, however, is a great thing. Hopefully, they won't become a collector's item, and I can get my hands on an inexpensive one.
      • by dheeraj ( 183178 ) <dheeraj.dheeraj@com> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:38PM (#4999495) Homepage
        Speaking also as a Cube owner, I have to refute a few of these points.

        - The Cube CAME with an ADC to VGA convertor. You didn't have to buy one. I used mine with a Sony VGA monitor during the time it was my primary desktop.
        - Wow, so the power supply is big. When it's on the floor, way the hell out of the reach of my feet, under the desk, somehow I find myself not caring.
        - Yes, the speakers aren't that hot, but you can use any speakers via the Griffin iMic, which gives you a standard 1/4" speaker output. I used Monsoons that way.
        - I really never found the power button to be THAT sensitive. Maybe it's because they improved it in later revisions, but your account of how annoying it is really bears no resemblance to the experience I've had with the power button on my Cube. Of course, I don't have pets, either.
        - Yes, the port location sucks; this is why I ended up having a FireWire cable or two always plugged in, even if it wasn't connected to anything, since it was far easier to just plug it into the other end of the cable, knowing the cable itself was always connected to the machine. As for USB, well, my monitor had a built-in hub, so I didn't have to mess with the USB ports on the machine itself much.

        Overall, though, I found the Cube to be a great machine until it just got too slow to keep up with OS X and my demands on the hardware. I still run it 24/7 as an OS X Server box -- with no fan and a small footprint, it's perfectly suited to be a home server.

        • by jcr ( 53032 ) < .ta. .rcj.> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @02:48PM (#5000072) Journal
          The Cube CAME with an ADC to VGA convertor.

          No, it came with an ADC to DVI adaptor. It didn't need a VGA adaptor; there was a VGA port on the video card, right next to the ADC port.

        • by analog_line ( 465182 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @10:48PM (#5003702)
          Might as well reply to you on this, as a lot of people said the same thing, and you're the highest rated.

          I took a second look and golly-gee there is a VGA connector there. My bad, I honestly have never noticed it there. I'm not the original owner of this thing (though it's all here) so I never really pored over it that thoroughly.

        • As yet another cube owner -- the power button was oversensitive, and would trip itself in humid weather (turning the computer off). A lot of cubes were unreliable (based on my experience talking to support people during my cube's multiple sojourns at the repair shop).

          My least favorite features of the cube though are:

          1) The amazingly inconvenient cabling. It all plugs into the underside of the machine, meaning you have to lay it on something to hook it up. The cables are also thick and stiff.

          2) The slot loading CD-ROM drive which sticks.

          3) The speakers, which HAVE to plug directly into the Cube and not into the monitor or keyboard USB hubs.

          I think the 17" iMac, in particular, was a big improvement on the cube, but swappable displays would have been nice.
      • by Drakino ( 10965 ) <> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:40PM (#4999512) Journal
        Speaking as someone who is posting this from a G4 Cube, it wasn't and isn't that great a machine. All it has for a video connector in the back is an ADC connector

        Hmm, odd. Maybe you should look again at this supposed cube you are posting from. All G4 Cubes came from the factory with an ATI Rage 128 with ADC and VGA ports, an ATI Radeon with the same ports, or a GeForce 2 MX with the same ports.

        The G4 Cube was an awesome machine. It was nearly as powerful as the high end desktops, but also dead silent. The PC industry is now making machines that try to fit the market of small, powerful, and quiet with Shuttle boxes and such. The Cube died because Apple could not price the thing properly to sell, and never marketed it's main advantages. It didn't die due to any technical fault.

        And returning to an On Topic discussion, I see no reason to kill the 17 inch iMac. Talking to a local Apple Reseller, it's still selling like hotcakes. It's the only model in the iMac lineup to offer DVD burning, and more and more people are getting into this.
        • It was silent because it lacked proper heat control methods. This is why a number of them had issues with overheating when used in an environment where several of them were needed in close quarters. I'm remembering singed plastic, and the necessity of cooled cabinets for large banks of them.

          If I put a fan-less heatsink on my Athlon, removed the case fans, and disabled the power supply fan, it'd run silent, too. Of course, I'd probably have a dysfunctional machine on my hands quite quickly. :p

          • Uhm, yes, the cube didn't do that (often) which made the heat control a cool engineering trick, I don't see why your athlon melting proves that apple can't design something that works?

            Cooled cabinets for banks of them? You had a bank of cubes? Find me a bank of computers that doesn't use some cooling outside the case or extraordinary cooling inside the case.

            Finally, the "lack of proper heat control" methods was a feature, no noisy fans or other weird stuff, just good old fashioned voodoo to keep it cool.

          • I know exactly why it's silent. Apple used engineering to build a convection cooling system similar to the one used in all the late model CRT iMacs. It works well, all the way up to 800mHz PowerPCs. Beyond that, upgrade kits do come with a single fan to put in the bottom, but thats there as a precaution only. (Since not all home machines sit in nice 62 degree controlled rooms).

            And as far as space, Paramount uses 16 G4 cubes in fairly tight places to drive the displays seen on Enterprise. Unfortunatly the photos are down, but the article is still out there at TrekNation [].

            Discussions with the local Apple Reseller before I bought my G4 Cube off eBay tended to point to issues with the sensitivity of the power button being the leading problem with the Cubes, and not heat. I've run on my cube 24/7 while it's been in summer heat, and the CPU diode never reached above 72C (Sure, that seems quite hot for a processor, but it's still within limits, and is reported from the chip, and not a diode nearby).

            And I'd love to see a melted cube, as lexan takes quite a bit of heat to melt. That, and the fact that a metal shell seperates the lexan from the core of the computer.
        • I wish Apple would market a headless iMac and sell it for $799. I'm in the market right now, I've been using Macs since 1984 and that would be exactly what I need at a price I'm willing to pay.

          Used Cubes still command very high prices on eBay. I'm likely to be getting a used 466 or faster G4 because Apple doesn't sell what I need at a price I can afford.

          Being that I do print media on the Mac, I prefer the color of Trinitron phospors. I don't want the puny, flat-panel, expensive 17-inch widescreen (maybe they're dropping the widescreen format and will go with a cheaper, common-ratio 17 inch) because 90% of print media is vertical. I use a 21-inch high-refresh tube and only 512mb of memory. Since 'Desktop Publishing' software is mature, high-speed CPUs don't impact productivity all that much.

      • All it has for a video connector in the back is an ADC connector, so unless you want to buy an adapter, you're stuck with expensive (but nice) Apple monitors, like the 15" Flat-screen CRT that originally came with the Cube, which is what I'm using here.

        What video card did your Cube come with? I too own a Cube, which came with an ATI Radeon -- a built-to-order unit -- and has both ADC and VGA video display ports. The nVidia-equipped Cubes were also supposed to have both ports. If yours only has one, well, that's a rare specimen. I haven't used the VGA connector, however; I have a 17" CRT Studio Display hooked into the ADC port.

        As for the speakers, the only special requirement is that they must be connected to a port that can provide a full 500 mA of current; this is why Apple warns against plugging them into the USB ports on the keyboard. They're ordinary USB speakers, even if they sound like ass.

        As for everything else, you're dead-on about the Cube. You either love it or hate it, there's no middle ground with it. I'm with the former.

    • But this is not the first time that Apple have had an unsuccessful product on their hands - the iCube went the same way. I mean, to me it was an excellent product, but I think it was just too expensive.

      It's just the "G4 Cube" not "iCube" and it was unsuccessful. The iMac, by comparison, has been a smashing success. I have one on my desk and I absolutely love it.

      I don't know why they made the "cube" mistake. Somtimes at Apple, it seems that pretty wins out over "functional." Mostly their hardware, though, is pretty AND functional.
    • While Mac OS X is breathtaking, and the aesthetic design of the cases is both stylish and functional, the processor technology lags far behind the x86 market, and the equipment is quite simply overpriced.

      What is more, much of Mac OS X is written outside of Apple (BSD, Mach, gcc, et al). In theory, Apple's OS development costs should be somewhat below Microsoft. There are more than a few cases where Apple's OS tools are substandard, also.

      I suggest that Apple release a $350 450MHz G3 with USB and a standard VGA connector. It could double as a gaming machine. Please bundle StarOffice, and it is also time to ditch IE (I hate popups).

      Apple also ought to investigate the embedded market with OS X, especially since Linux has made great strides in this area. A Tivo running a stripped down OS X with Apple branding would have an enormous impact on Apple's visibility.

    • by goon america ( 536413 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @02:29PM (#4999902) Homepage Journal
      Apple are quite a big company, but they are not THAT big - perhaps they should learn from this and the iCube, and plan a little more carefully before they launch certain products?

      This won't happen, because "Apple's market research" can be restated as "Steve's design sense", which, in case you haven't noticed, is a measure of how symmetrical something is.

      Apple seems to always make marketing blunders when radial symmetry -- the highest order of Steve's Design Sense -- is involved in the design. Examples: the Cube, the round mouse, the new iMac. Steve is obviously brilliant, but sometimes he takes his particular taste a little too far.

  • by tps12 ( 105590 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:04PM (#4999147) Homepage Journal
    How could they? I thought they'd finally invented the perfect personal computer, and that the 17-inch LCD iMac would never be discontinued. I guess I thought wrong. :(
    • Cost (Score:3, Funny)

      by microbob ( 29155 )
      They are just too dang expensive.

      Drop the price, like a THOUSAND dollars, and I'll bet they move like hotcakes.

      • yep, and Apple would LOSE A THOUSAND BUCKS on each and every one. You're not an MBA by any chance, are you?
  • I will give them that. The real problem with that pariticular form factor is that youc cannot really upgrade the display easily and think that hurt the overall sales. It is hard to upgrade when the monitor is bolted to the chassis. But who wants an iMac when you can get a Dual G4 with one of those really pretty cinema displays. I would trade an appendage for that. I will just have to make do with my BRAND SPANKING NEW powerbook G4. Oh baby. Santa is my friend.
    • by Triv ( 181010 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:47PM (#4999568) Journal
      But who wants an iMac when you can get a Dual G4 with one of those really pretty cinema displays

      People without $6,000 to throw down, you idiot.

      I make around $20,000 a year and I needed a new computer. I took out a loan and bought a midrange flatpanel iMac and I love it. I would've LOVED a 23" cinema display, but guess what? I couldn't afford one even with years of saving. I thought about spending the extra cash and get a tower but the form-factor of the iMac is so unassuming and the screen so wonderfully designed I can't believe I even thought about a tower. I also know myself and know that I'd much rather buy a new computer in 4 years than keep upgrading the tower. Ok, realistically if they had a cheaper 17"er I would've bought it, but I got my iMac for $1,350. Throw a 10 GB iPod in there and it's STILL cheaper than the cheapest tower/monitor combo, even with an education discount on the pre-windtunnel models.

      So in short: you're either a troll or spoiled, and either way you need a serious dose of reality. Apparently you don't realise how hard money is to come by these days.

    • But who wants an iMac when you can get a Dual G4 with one of those really pretty cinema displays.

      And who wants a Honda Civic when you can get an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish? I mean, there's absolutely no reason for people to go with the Honda...
  • MacWorld (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:06PM (#4999175)
    perhaps we should wait until MacWorld Expo to set straight the rumors, and see if perhap a new/great product will be introduced in its place, or if this will infact happen at all.
  • by Spencerian ( 465343 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:07PM (#4999180) Homepage Journal
    Apple normally doesn't throw out this kind of information, and if so, they do it quietly.

    But if the information is true, it's really not an indication that the iMac is disappearing, but being revised. The iMac is still a very popular computer and is not a failure in any instance. The 15" systems were discontinued only because the 17" systems arrived.

    Count on the new iMac with the same 17" display, but with improved processor speed, and optimized for Jaguar.
    • I disagree. I think, if anything, they'll make it less of a machine than it is ... by industry standards. Basically saying it won't take as big of an upgrade through the next revision as it has in the past. It's become too powerful to be an "iMac". It's supposed to be more of an internet appliance running Mac OS than anything. If it gets too much more powerful it will be an easy alternative for graphics design people and casual gamers. That would steal sales from the PowerMac, and that doesn't sit well with Apple.
    • The 15" iMacs have not been discontinued yet.

      Likely what will happen is that the 17" will become standard and the 15" flat panel will only be available on the bottom end iMac.

      Apple knows it's hurting for low-end boxes. That's why the eMac is now a Retail product. They are trying to kill off the old 15" CRT iMac (With good reason).

      The 17" iMac being discontinued? Not Bloody likely.

    • Apple normally doesn't throw out this kind of information, and if so, they do it quietly.

      I totally agree with you here. Apple doesn't announce their business this way, they do so with press releases and all the usual fanfare. I especially love this quote from that news site:
      The 17-inch flat-panel iMac will terminate production in June, following the same fate as the 15-inch flat-panel model, which stopped production last October, said local PC makers familiar with the matter.

      Hmm, local PC makers? Is that like the guy down the street who hand assembles computers on the cheap or is it like a major computer manufacturer (not to be named of course) who wants to throw some muck at Apple just before one of Apple's major trade shows? I think that the only PC maker who would legitimately know if Apple was going to discontinue a product would be Apple itself!

      This just sounds like a bunch of rumor-mongering intended to generate page hits and some notoriety. If they had some hard facts they would say who their sources were and would submit more facts to back it up. The three or four paragraphs on that news site does not appear to be a decently researched article by any stretch of the imagination.

      Furthermore, you can be sure that if Apple has discontinued the 15" model, and if it is discontinuing its 17" model, it won't be to fall back to the eMac. That would be a step backwards and Apple is not one to take steps back. If this rumor has any truth to it then Apple would produce something MORE advanced, probably an upgrade to the 17" iMac.
  • This must be fiction (Score:5, Informative)

    by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:07PM (#4999187)
    APPLE STILL SELLS 15 INCH monitor imacs. THere is no way they have a 7 month inventory backlog on 15" panels, so the article cannot be correct about then being discontinued in june. On the other hand it is true that apple stopped selling 15" monitors. It's conceivable they might discontinue 17" monitors in lieu of just using 3rd party monitors. if their profit margin was slim this would be a shrewd move to drive down the price of the macs, while still retaining their premium 22" monitor offering.
    • I seem to recall a foreign site months ago saying that Apple was discontinuing 15" iMacs, but what really happened was 15" LCD displays went away.

      Maybe a similar translation error is occuring here?
  • by jht ( 5006 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:08PM (#4999195) Homepage Journal
    And I'll predict that the current model will go out of production because there's a new/different model in the works. It might even be a different vendor producing it, too.

    I doubt it's due to "diminishing sales" - every new Apple model (heck, almost anyone's newest model computer) starts strongly and then tapers off over the next year or so. That's why they keep upgrading the systems and revising the design. Kind of a "duh" article at that.

    The likeliest fate of the iMac, short-term, is for a speedbump version to hit the street next week at MWSF (with price cuts around what the rumor sites are saying), and for a redesign to hit the market in late summer - maybe around the time of MWNY, but likely not. The newer design will be targeted at back-to-school and the fall season.

    I think that by fall all the Apple product lines will have been redesigned and refreshed.
  • by mustangdavis ( 583344 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:08PM (#4999197) Homepage Journal
    I can hear it already ...

    Teachers with tons of ungraded papers on their desks yelling:

    I don't have any room on my desk for a monitor, you insensitve clod!

  • Very notable (Score:5, Informative)

    by psicE ( 126646 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:09PM (#4999209) Homepage
    MacOS Rumors recently noted that certain stores were unable to order more CRT-based iMacs and eMacs. This is what Apple does when they are about to update a model. And now this?

    Maybe Apple is finally taking everyone's advice, and realizing that consumers would far rather have a small, integrated box, like the Cube, that can interface with VGA and DVI as well as ADC monitors, and that is price-competitive with the cheapest x86 boxes. The revival of something like the Cube, but sans monitor and starting at $600, would actually get price-conscious consumers to consider getting a Mac instead.
    • good call - the cube was actually withdrawn because Apple couldn't make 'em fast enough...

    • Or maybe an upgradable iMac?

      It would seem half-clever if they could make major components (CPU or display or HDD) consumer-upgradable in some fashion-friendly way that would result in some cash flow.

      Yes, I know that any iMac is Geek Upgradable, but what if there was a blue blob that was a CPU card that could be swapped for the new chartreuse CPU card; the display could be something that starts out small but has a larger cousin you can swap in, the HDD could be an external item that could be pulled out, and so on.

      That the components are external and visible would be further motivation, as you'd want your imac to display all the newest stripes...
      • Usually such a CPU upgrade product has been relegated to / endeavoured by third parties. Sonnet Tech comes to mind.

        However if Apple is striving to make more low-end model, then I think it arguable they really cannot do this through their own CPU upgrades. Apple isn't exactly known for fabbing processors on its own. (Plus, I thought there was now some bad blood between IBM, Apple, and Motorola viz. PowerPC vs. the Power4 chip, but I have to go dig for more info.) By contrast, AMD have complete control of design and fabbing. Although the speed differentials between their XP processors isn't mind-blowing, they have put a bit of effort into fine-tuning the core (e.g., Palomino vs. Thoroughbred A vs. Thoroughbred B).
    • by glwtta ( 532858 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:38PM (#4999489) Homepage
      unable to order more CRT-based iMacs and eMacs

      The CRT-based vi is still available though, right?

  • by pyrros ( 324803 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:12PM (#4999247)
    The last two stories are:

    17-inch flat-Panel iMac Dead
    MicroBSD 0.6RC2 Released

    shouldn't that be:

    MicroBSD is Dead (or dying) and
    17-inch flat-Panel Released (We've seen dupes, and late posts so why not)

    just when you though you got things figured...
  • by psicE ( 126646 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:13PM (#4999260) Homepage
    The 15" iMac is alive and well. Tis only the 15" standalone LCD display that has been discontinued.

    If this story is at all true, it simply means that 17" iMacs are impinging on the sales of G4 towers, and the iMac will remain 15" only for the time being.
    • That's probably the most intelligent responce that will be posted about this topic. Apple's bread and butter are their PowerMacs. If a product with smaller profit margin are stealing PowerMac sales you can bet they'll drop the lower product. They're not here to make their customers happy, they're here to make money.
      • They're not here to make their customers happy, they're here to make money.

        Actually, because Apple sells a relatively expensive niche product against the prevailing direction of the market, the only way for them to continue to make money is by making their customers happy.

        The two kinda go hand-in-hand, you see.
      • As a switcher, I can tell you that I got my iMac because it's an iMac (and runs BSD). The iMac may canabalize some Power Mac sales, but I can assure you, if it wasn't for the iMac, I wouldn't have switched (actually, I go both ways. I also love my year old Dell 8100 with 2.0 ghz processor).

        Making the Power Macs all dual processors was a wise way to go. It gives the products enough difference to make a Power Mac a viable premium. How about a three-way? Think of the advertising potential for THAT one! ;-)

        As for the clock problem, they should do something cheesy and advertise their power macs as something like 2.5 Ghz machines (in small print, two 1.25 ghz processors). Hell, others do it. Buy one of those nice 500 watt stereo systems and you find out it's really only 100 watts per channel!

    • It's you who can't read, actually. RTFA and note that it mentions the 15-incher about 5 times and says that it will be discontinued. Unless the source is BS, it IS discontinued.
    • that's true, many people claim the stand alone 15" LCD is gone and that the 17" *may* go wide screen format. If the 17" changes format, then the current 17" is effectively dead. Then comes the speculation of a 19" or something to come between the 17" and the costly 22". As for the market's view of a squarish screen vs a cinema format... i do not know. Honestly a 17" wise format does not look much bigger than a 15". Look at the two iMacs side by side and it visually is not too much. I personally would prefer to have wide format for keeping 2 pages open side by side, or one page and a bunch of tool palets. I do not know what joe sixpack would prefer though. i also do not know what the manufacturer cost jumps are from 15" standard to 17" wide to 17" standard.

      The VERY costly 23" is really only intended for HDTV-type editing. Its resolution and size ratio cater to that, so it's not really an issue to consumers and even most professional designers.
  • What? []

    Clearly likely that the entire model line will be refreshed by June anyway.
  • by ProfKyne ( 149971 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:14PM (#4999272)
    Sources: 17-inch flat-panel iMac to stop production in June
    David Tzeng, Taipei; Chinmei Sung, [Thursday 2 January 2003]

    The 17-inch flat-panel iMac will terminate production in June, following the same fate as the 15-inch flat-panel model, which stopped production last October, said local PC makers familiar with the matter.

    It is estimated that about 500,000 to 600,000 flat-panel iMacs were sold in 2002 following their introduction last January. The once highflying desktop computer, which created a buzz with its desk lamp-like look, is expected to sell another 300,000 to 400,000 units between now and June.

    The flat-panel iMac, which debuted last January, became a smash hit shortly after being introduced. Sales peaked in March, with local manufacturers working round the clock, fulfilling shipments of over 10,000 units a day.

    Sales of the 15-inch flat-panel iMacs practically stalled in June 2002 after selling more than 300,000 units between February and May, resulting in an early production termination in October.
    • Hehe, karma whoring an article that is dead wrong.

      Yes I'm sure Apple has many months worth inventory of 15" iMacs. Righhhttt. Because people can stay in business that way when Dell has maybe a 1 day inventory. Use your common sense Slashdot editors.

      Here, I'm going to mirror an article from the Drakonian Times:
      Sources: iWalk PDA to be announced at MWSF [Thursday 2 January 2003]

      Apple will announce the long awaited iWalk PDA at MWSF, which is fast approaching. They've had inventory since 1992 with all the failed Newtons they didn't sell.

  • They're dropping left and right. First the 17-inch iMac, and now the Digitimes server. Poor things never stood a chance.

  • This flies in the face of the rumor mill that has been rumbling that *all* iMacs were going to be 17" or larger. Although I think this article is more believable.

    I don't get the reference to the "now-history 15" iMac...". Did the poster mean to imply that the 15" iMac is being phased out, or that the 15" iMac has waned in it's popularity. Surely apple isn't phasing out *both* the 15" and 17" iMacs. right?
  • by imnoteddy ( 568836 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:17PM (#4999313)
    From this [] report:

    Hon Hai replaces LG as sole supplier of Apple's iMac/eMac PCs - report

    TAIPEI (AFX-ASIA) - Hon Hai Precision Industry Co Ltd (2317.TW) has replaced LG Electronics Co as the sole supplier of Apple Computer Inc's iMac/eMac desktop PCs, with 2003 shipments estimated at up to 1.0 mln units, the Economic Daily News reported without citing a source. While Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (2475.TW) will provide 17-inch monitors for the eMac machines, AU Optronics Corp (2409.TW) has been certified as a TFT-LCD panel supplier to Apple Computer, it said.

  • 19" iMac (Score:3, Funny)

    by shawkin ( 165588 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:17PM (#4999321)
    Both 19" and 22" iMacs have been rumored. It's MacWorld time.

    It's not the end of the iMac. Apple will be in business next month. They will still be selling one button mice. They will still be annoying Wintel gearheads.
  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:18PM (#4999336) Homepage
    So here's the big problem with selling designer computers: You can't stop redesigning them.

    So far as I can figure, there are two types of people who bought this thing. The first group is predictible and, as such, irrelevant: Mac die-hards who would buy the latest-and-greatest regardless.

    Then, there's the people living in this posh little urban apartments who bought it because it'd look cool on their Britanny Computer Desk from Crate & Barrel. These people are a good market, because they have too much money and they use it to buy things to make them seem hip. This may be a slightly down time for these people, but they're still around and you can bet your bottom dollar they'll be back in force the second the economy upticks.

    For a little while, it really looked as if that was the new key market for these iMacs -- the designer crowd. But the problem with selling to the designer crowd is that if you don't have something *different* every six months or so, you've destroyed the whole point of the attraction. Once grandmas in the Midwest start getting these things on their desk, it's time to move on.

    Well, this thing's overstayed it's time, and there's still no heir apparent. C'mon, Jobs -- you decided on the target market. Start selling.

    • As a mostly PC user, that also has an iBook...

      There is one advantage that a lot of the Apple computers have over thier PC counterparts: No fan.

      Anything with a clock speed over 500 is going to be in service doing usefull work for a good long time unless it fries it's little brain out because a fan failed to move enough air over it.

      I have a feeling my iBook will outlast just about everything else I have. It runs cool and the plastic that it is made of is sturdier than my Compaq laptop by far (and apparently less flexible than the titanium cases the Powerbook uses too.)

      I'm running Linux on it rather than OS X, and I can testify that it runs Linux faster than PCs with 50% faster clock speeds.

      Apple makes good, and sometimes durable hardware. I'm not so sure about their software.
  • The 17" iMac was one of the very few Apple products I've had any interest in. If there's any truth to this, maybe they'll have a sale on the remaining stock.
  • Perhaps that's more accurately described as "only adopter" crowd. This is a fact that many Mac fans wont face up to. "Good design" is on consumers lists of possitives but it's pretty far down the list below "good price"
  • No big deal (Score:2, Informative)

    by Spudnuts ( 21990 )

    The article has a related blurb [] (registration required) at the bottom that says that a 19" iMac will be available in 3Q.

    If the 17" iMac caused the death of the 15", it would follow that the 19" would kill the 17".

  • Good news (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bill_mcgonigle ( 4333 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:21PM (#4999357) Homepage Journal
    If this is true, it probably means the PowerPC 970 [] is going to be ready to ship in Macs for MWNY [].
  • by tomdarch ( 225937 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:21PM (#4999359)
    The recent rumors were that apple would intro a 19" iMac this January. But with LCD prices for this size range not dropping and possibly increasing, that rumor is fading. Additionally, a 19" 'head' on the same iMac base would not be aesthetically pleasing (it would look funny). The only way that Apple is dropping all 17" iMacs and moving to all 19" is with great pricing on the new screens and a form factor change. Don't forget that it is always possible that Apple is working on a new enclosure (mood Mac story [])that might use a different 17" LCD.
  • by johnpaul191 ( 240105 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:23PM (#4999373) Homepage
    .....of getting things wrong.
    Actually the last quarter financials did not imply the LCD iMacs were quite so dead in the water. Most of Apple's $$$ recently has been from 10.2, and it is the G4 towers that have really not been selling as well as they should be. Everything else was steady. The reason Apple's profits were not as nice as some people would want (even in this market) was due to a lot of cash going to opening stores and in the buying a few software companies out.

    It's possible Apple is switching to another plant. At one point Apple invested a lot of $$$$ in some LCD manufacturing plant, though i forget which one. That was why they did better in the LCD shortages than some other manufacturers. They traditionally have invested in some of the plants that produce their parts, and that seems to give them a bit of leverage when parts get tight and i guess helps them when they have their demands of secret products and quick production changes.

    Somebody else would know better, but is the main Apple LCD supplying plant, or were they using it to get the initial supplies up to match initial demand? They have done that in the past too.

    MacWorld Keynote is next week, i assume *something* will change there and maybe in the few weeks following. Last year the G4 towers were bumped to 1GHz in a no-press website update about 3 weeks after MacWorld SF.
  • The first time I saw an IMAC with the 17" flat panel...I almost wanted to own one. Despite being a die hard pc user, the flat panel on the imac came close to converting me.

    To this day it just seems like the quality of the image with the bold, bright colors is the best flat panel out there.

  • by democritus ( 17634 ) <miker AT alum DOT wpi DOT edu> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:25PM (#4999393)
    It seems to me Slashdot got trolled bigtime on this one. I don't see Apple discontinuing either of the flat-panel iMacs, especially since everyone seems to like them.

    Now stopping production to update the product line? With MacWorld coming up, that doesn't seem to be much of a stretch. Or maybe they're just moving production to a company that doesn't broadcast all of Apple's future moves to the entire world.
  • by JonathanF ( 532591 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:38PM (#4999490)
    I haven't seen anything online suggesting that 15" production will stop altogether, so be wary of those who predict that every iMac will be a 17" model as of next week.

    Apple, like most computer manufacturers, will EOL (end-of-line) a product depending on when they release a new model, as well as how many existing models they need to clear out of their stock. Apple could well have just stopped production on the current-generation iMacs because they're about to be replaced, and did so in October because they knew that interest in the initial models was fading fast after almost a year.

    Mind you, would I (and others) like it if there were nothing but 17" models at about the same prices? Heck yeah.
  • MacWorld (Score:3, Interesting)

    by binaryDigit ( 557647 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:39PM (#4999505)
    Well if the article is right, then Apple will be releasing new models at MWSF right? This in itself is a bit of a scoop, you wouldn't expect them to have an all new iMac since the this model has only been out for a year or so and the point in which sales dropped off would not have given them enough time to design an all new iMac (esp considering how long it took for them to come up with the latest one). I assume then that they are simply retiring the current line and coming out with different screen sizes with tweeks in configuration.

    Either that, or they have strengthened the arm enough to stick a 19" crt on it ;)
  • Colored iMacs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ocelotbob ( 173602 ) <> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:44PM (#4999543) Homepage
    If these rumors are true, I'm betting they're discontinuing the line just so they can bring out a series of colored iMacs. The current white line is very polarizing - you either love it or you hate it. I can see Apple announcing a line of non-white machines, most likely black, magenta, and navy, before then, maybe during Mac World New York. The line's just too successful to think otherwise.
  • STOP THE FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by blackfly ( 122455 ) <> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:57PM (#4999652) Homepage
    I am an Apple Reseller. This is all wrong. As others have pointed out the 15" LCD iMac is absolutly still being made. I have proof that both the 15" and 17" are being produced.
    Apple serial numbers include the week the product was produced. I got a delivery this very morning of both 15" and 17" made in the first week of december 2002.

  • This is Bogus (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RobL3 ( 126711 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @02:00PM (#4999680)
    Go to the Apple Store at
    Click on the iMac.
    Notice that not only is the 17" iMac for sale, but so is the "defunct" 15" model.

    Just another tribute to the Slashdot school of journalism.
  • since quartz/aqua is built atop a bsd core, why couldn't apple just recopmpile it to run under linux. it shouldn't be THAT hard. i can't comment about problems with X, since i have 7 xclients set up in my classroom that run great, but, i know that most desktops/users wouldn't need the client/server architecture, and would love to run something like aqua on x86. there is no reason apple can't sell it on top of linux. it wouldn't need to link to any gpl code, and if i'm not mistaken, it's already compiled under gcc. imagine a new P4 running linux with aqua on top. it requires no porting of darwin, it doesn't really cut into mac sales, and it would be easy to get apps like photoshop, dreamweaver, etc., ported. well, that's what i think.
  • First of all, the new product announcements are in a few days. That could clear things up. Second, are you all really going to take the word of an obscure Asian business journal as the death knell of the best selling computer Apple has built in the last three years?

    The 15" iMac has been consistently rumored to have been discontinued, but this has been refuted by other sources. It is still for sale on Apple's site and in retail stores - but the reigining theory is that it will be history in favor of the 17" model. It has to do with better margins for 17" LCDs vs 15".

    Another story widely posted Thursday details the iMac (and eMac) production being switched to a new manufacturer, so maybe the reporters got half the story.

    And lastly, how the heck do you kill a computer six months from now? That makes little to no business sense. The rumors of the iMac's death... you know the rest.
  • by Aqua OS X ( 458522 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @02:18PM (#4999819)
    Most Mac-rumor sites seem to think that Apple is going to drop the 15inch iMac in favor of the 17inch. I highly doubt Apple is going to stop selling both the 15in and 17in iMac. The LCD iMac does not seem to be another "cube" for Apple... this product has sold a -lot- better.

    Slashdot needs to leave stuff like this up to,, or

  • by Alcimedes ( 398213 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @03:53PM (#5000633)
    for pete's sake, is it that hard to understand?

    Apple was using LG Electronics and they have ceased production. Hon Hai Precision Industry is now making the eMacs and iMacs.
  • Considering... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by OS24Ever ( 245667 ) <> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @06:06PM (#5001885) Homepage Journal
    Considering the recent rash of hoax stories posted on slashdot related to Apple I'd not believe this one too much.

    This is the same company that says that Apple hasn't made any 15" iMac since October, yet if you go to your nearest Apple store and look at the iMac's they have in boxes ready to go home with you they have manufacturing dates on them as far back as December.

    I'd be more willing to be the 15" and 17" screens this place is referring to are the ones on the Apple Studio Display monitors, not the iMac's themselves. There have been several Mac rumor sites stating the 17" panel would be replaced by a 19" panel coming next week.

    They also have been showing there will be a single 800Mhz 15", and then newer 17" 867 and 1.0Ghz iMac machines announced.

    Guess we'll know next week.
  • by BiOFH ( 267622 ) on Friday January 03, 2003 @12:16AM (#5004099)
    People in the industry read /. and they trust it to accurately reflect its claims. You guys act like news editors (it says "news" in your logo!) yet you do not abide by the same rules as other news organisations are held to. Accountability? Whatever...

    Stories like this can only harm companies like Apple. When ondustry people see it and say "Slashdot says..." others take it as truth. It would appear that Slashdot editors are starting to suffer from the same syndrome much of its readership does; not reading and checking facts and accepting the blurb as containing the facts. This is exactly how this came to my attention. Someone in the industry wrote to inform me that the 17" iMacs were dead (and were therefore not a viable investment).

    I've come to expect this sort of thing from Timothy, but I was shocked that Hemos posted this one. I think you owe it to your readers, the industry and Apple to correct this story, if not pull it altogether.

    This is bullshit. Own up.

You are in a maze of little twisting passages, all different.