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Apple Businesses

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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  • They were pretty... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by UnidentifiedCoward ( 606296 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:06PM (#4999174)
    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 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.
  • 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 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.
  • IIRC, there were a lot of problems with the 17 inch studio display. People were reporting "popping" sounds coming from their monitors. This usually means static discharge.

    When you hear those sounds, it normally means your monitor is about to crap out. The problems I heard of had all occurred, conveniently enough, after Apple's 1 year warranty had expired. The cost for out-of-warranty repair for those studio displays is around $300. A friend of mine had to get repairs done on his for some reason (it wasn't static discharge) and that was the price they quoted him.
  • 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 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 TheCrazyFinn ( 539383 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:30PM (#4999426) Homepage
    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.

  • by dheeraj ( 183178 ) <> 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.

  • 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 ) <ocelot&ocelotbob,org> 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.
  • by Rimbo ( 139781 ) <rimbosity&sbcglobal,net> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:47PM (#4999560) Homepage Journal
    I give a shit, because Apple makes some cool shit.

    Even if I never buy anything, I like looking at the latest whiz-bang wild-ass thing Apple's done, because even when they miss, it's at least because they're trying something new. The G4 Cube was such a beast... it missed the mark completely, but it was a cool lookin' box. Better than beige, better than bling! art.

    It's like going out and test-driving cars when you don't even want a new car -- you do it just to see what's out there, and because it's fun.

    If you need an explanation for this sort of thing on the other hand, why are you here?
  • Re:Cost (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Twirlip of the Mists ( 615030 ) <> on Thursday January 02, 2003 @01:47PM (#4999570)
    I purchased my iMac (15") on eBay from a reseller for about 1300 less than retail...

    What unit of currency are you talking about? Because a really expensive 15" iMac will run you about $1,500. If you managed to get one for $1,300 less than list price, you're one lucky son of a bitch.
  • 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.
  • 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 Master Bait ( 115103 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @02:41PM (#5000015) Homepage Journal
    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.

  • Re:Cost (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Alan Partridge ( 516639 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @03:26PM (#5000384) Journal
    look, it's a fairly different prospect to design your own mobo, software and case to simply buying them in from the Taiwanese and MS. Apples cost more because they COST more. Many of us would gladly pay to keep Apple independent, and thereby innovative. Apple isn't making monopolist profits - see MS for THAT. Anyway, admitting that you want OSX on Intel is admitting that the Linux movement has FAILED - GNU/Linux has the potential to provide an OSX like experience on commodity hardware, that it has failed where Apple has succeeded is significant indeed.
  • by jafac ( 1449 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @05:51PM (#5001723) Homepage
    You're not counting the extra costs involved in owning/running a system with Windows XP.

    - OSX does not validate it's serial number against your hardware - so if you're forced to replace a motherboard or hard drive, you don't have to call Microsoft for a new serial number.

    - OSX does not have a registry per se - so that if something gets messed up, or if some OS files get corrupted, you don't have to reinstall the OS and ALL of the applications. A system recovery in OSX is more complicated than it was in Classic, but it's still WAY less complicated than a Windows system recovery.

    - Apple ships you an actual OS install disk - not some peice of crap "recovery disk" which restores your system to the factory state (kiss your data goodbye).

    - The ratio of "Windows Viruses" to "OS X Viruses" is something like a quarter-million to one.

    - Added risk of unpatched security exploits: When an exploit is discovered in an OS X security component, it's open source, so the linux and bsd communities are out there fixing it right away. While Apple lags a tad in providing nicely packaged easily installible fixes (as opposed to downloading a fix and compiling and installing it yourself, or even coding it yourself), you at least have that option with Apple. With Microsoft, you wait. You hope that Microsoft even acknowledges the problem - you hope that Microsoft doesn't lobby congress to pass laws that make it illegal to even disclose to the public that such a flaw exists, and you wait for the fix to get high enough on their priority list to assign developers to it.

    - Anyone can develop software for OS X using tools freely distributed with the OS. To develop for Windows - aw hell, I don't even know how much an MSDN subscription costs these days. . . first born child?

    - Palladium. Privacy.

    - Many many fine software tools - the whole UNIX suite of command line stuff, and other free software runs on OS X, and is relatively trivial to install. Windows is mostly pay-to-play. I'm talking about Apache, MySQL, GiMP, QTSS, etc. etc.

    - As a server, you can run OS X headless, (Darwin). Windows drags GUI overhead with it wherever it goes. Did you remember to disable your OpenGL screen saver?

    All of these additional costs don't translate to a higher sticker price, and we can debate about TCO and admin cost till we're blue in the face. Fact is - Windows only LOOKS less expensive than OS X on the surface.

    (that said, I *still* think Apple WAY overcharges for their tower hardware - considering how many generations behind their bus architecture is, and how the CPU speed hasn't ramped. Don't give me that "it's fast enough" bullshit - cause it isn't). But even considering that - with the OS - it's a better deal than Windows. Now, compared to a Linux PC. . . I'm considering "switching". (From being a 10+ year Mac user to PC/Linux).
  • Re:imac = overpriced (Score:2, Interesting)

    by superdan2k ( 135614 ) on Thursday January 02, 2003 @06:49PM (#5002248) Homepage Journal
    "I have had fewer Win2K crashes since 1999 than I have with OS X since 2001."

    From this post, I can limit the possibilities to two:
    1.) You're full of crap.
    2.) You only used Win2K for about 5 seconds.

    Win2K, even on a "properly assembled" or "optimized" (or whatever the Windows people call it these days) machine bears the true mark of any Windows OS -- buggy and unstable. I work with Win2K machines every day. I also work with a MacOS X-running iBook every day.

    I've been running OS X since 10.0. I've been running Win2K since mid-2K. Guess which one has never crashed? (Not once.)

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.