“Its integrated tilt-swivel flat-panel monitor has gone from a competition killer to just plain deadly. Apple should set it free,” Alex Salkever writes for BusinessWeek. “When Steve Jobs introduced an iMac with a floating flat-panel display in January, 2002, the faithful roared. The press wrote about it incessantly. Time even gave Jobs a gushing cover story based on the iMac, hailing the elegant desktop PC as a ‘sleek machine’ that could be the future digital hub of the home.”
“Digital anchor is more like it. In the first fiscal quarter of 2004 ending December 27, 2003, iMac unit sales and revenue plummeted by 24% and 29%, respectively, compared to the same period last year. The iMac was the only Apple product line to show shrinking revenues and unit sales over that interval,” Salkever writes. “So what to do about the iMac? Cut off its head. This suggestion has been floating around the Apple community for a while, and it’s time for Apple to listen.”
Salkever writes, “A competitive, freestanding, entry-level computer that’s sleek and powerful has a role. The all-in-one eMac with a CRT monitor has done fine by targeting schools, but it’s just too bulky for consumers, I think. The PowerMac G5 line is a big jump up in cost from the iMac when you add the requisite monitor. So a headless iMac — a pretty little machine that sits beneath your desk and provides enough power to do nice things but not enough to run a advertising agency — might fit into the plans of people who, say, own an Apple laptop and want a second machine.”
Full article here.