RUMOR: Apple developing new low-cost LCD-based all-in-one eMac

“Apple Computer is working feverishly on the design of a new Macintosh computer that the company hopes will strengthen its position in the education sector when it goes on sale later this year,” Kasper Jade reports for AppleInsider. “The new low-cost PC, which will act as a replacement for Apple’s now defunct eMac line, appears to be on track to catch the latter half of the 2006 educational buying season.”

Jade reports, “In keeping true to its roots of designing educational Macs as plug-and-play solutions, people familiar with Apple’s product roadmap say the company is building the new Mac around an all-in-one enclosure. Though unlike the eMac, which employed cumbersome CRT-based displays, the new educational computer will follow a design pattern similar to the company’s LCD-based iMac Core Duo desktops, these people say. The departure away from CRT displays and towards pricier flat-screens means that Apple will have to carefully balance its component costs and shave as much as possible off the computer’s bill-of-materials if it plans to hit a home run with educational institutions.”

“The computer’s new industrial design is expected to eliminate some of the financial complexities of the eMac. One of the pitfalls Apple discovered while building the unwieldy CRT-based Mac was that its bulbous enclosure quickly became one of — if not the most — expensive part of the computer to manufacturer,” jade reports. “In using its new iMac design as a blueprint for the eMac replacement, Apple will also save on freight and packaging costs that will result from the computer’s substantially smaller footprint and lighter weight . It’s also believed that the Mac will borrow industry standard components already employed by Apple’s Mac mini and MacBook line of consumer PCs, enabling further cost reductions… It’s still unclear whether the computer will be made readily available for purchase by the average consumer.”

Full article here.

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
RUMOR: Apple working on low-cost 19-inch widescreen CRT all-in-one eMac successor – March 27, 2006
Apple ends eMac consumer availability, the ‘e’ is just for education again – October 12, 2005

32 Comments

  1. An iMac-like enclosure seems to present a couple of problems: stability and fragility of display. I guess they could put a sheet of heavy glass over the LCD to protect it, but the other issue…

    They’re not going to want to ship a heavy weighted base. Perhaps a hollow base and the recipient fills it with their own sand? Yeah, strange. Thinking a bit TOO different this holiday weekend.

    /wanders off to get another beer.

  2. The eMac was designed with kids in mind, they climb and push everything over.

    The eMac weights a ton, has a extra plastic sheid to protect the CRT from banging, chipping and breaking.

    The power button is sort of hidden, which kids love to turn things on/off.

    Whatever this new design will be, will need to be tough and cheap. Maybe with some sort of suction cup on the bottom to offset the lighter LCD panel.

  3. Realist–the iMac is stable for someone with a moderate-to-reasonable IQ, not an desperately-in-need-of-ritalin elementrary school kid trying to climb the thing.

    Maybe more a wedge type machine, instead of a floating screen would work?

  4. We all know LCD’s aren’t fingerprint-friendly.
    Perhaps an inexpensive, replaceable screen cover?

    Definitely an wedge or easel (original Cinema-like) case design. Have the weight centered low in the case, both for stability and to minimize the thud when it gets knocked over.

    Borrow whatever parts you can from the mini.

    And have it at 17″ max (maybe 16″?) to avoid cannibalizing iMac sales.

    Sounds like a potential good seller if it’s priced right.

  5. A low cost and tough all-in-one would be great for construction site trailers as well — anyplace where a rugged computer is needed. Combine it with a cash drawer and use it for POS as well.

  6. Well, if it’s along the same price as the Mac Mini, and with a sexy, sleek look, I’d probably buy one. Of course, I’m still having trouble debating on what to do with my old eMac. remember the days when Apple would discount prices on new models wheneevr you brought in your old one? Sigh, I miss the 90’s.

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