January 10, 2006 2:49 PM PST

Old, new iMacs available for same prices

SAN FRANCISCO--In a break with its usual practice of having its newly launched products completely replace its old ones, Apple Computer is continuing to sell iMac G5s with IBM processors even as its new Intel-based iMacs are now available.

And even odder may be that the pricing for both sets of computers is the same.

During his keynote speech at Macworld Expo here Tuesday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the Intel-based iMacs, promising that they would be as much as two to three times faster than their predecessors.

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Yet, the new machines will cost $1,299 for a 17-inch display and $1,699 for a 20-inch, exactly the same price as the previous models.

Apple could not immediately respond to questions about why it's continuing to sell computers that are now obsolete for the same price as their replacements.

According to one Jupiter Research analyst, Michael Gartenberg, there could be some continued demand for the older desktop machines from people who already have a large supply of older applications and aren't looking to upgrade immediately.

But Jobs said Apple's new Rosetta software will allow anyone running one of the new Intel-based machines to use their pre-existing applications. And Gartenberg added that the continued availability of both machines was more likely a tip of the hat to clearing off warehouse shelves.

"There is inventory, and when you have inventory, you sell it," Gartenberg said.

Meanwhile, Apple's new laptops, the so-called MacBook Pros, will also be priced in the same range as the old PowerBooks, even though Jobs said the new laptops will be as much as five times as fast.

The 15-inch PowerBook G4 with a 1.67GHz PowerPC processor currently goes for $1,999, while the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with a 1.67GHz Intel dual-core processor will sell for the same price. A souped-up 1.83GHz MacBook Pro will run at $2,499, the same price as the current PowerBook G4 17-inch machine with a 1.67GHz processor.

However, the new MacBook Pros, which Apple began taking orders for Tuesday, will not be available until next month, Jobs said.

25 comments

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Rosetta doesn't work with ALL apps
Just so you know there is a number of applications that Rosetta
won't run hence it does make sense for Apple to sell both
processor lines for a while.

For example apps that make exclusive use of Altivec aren't
supported by Rosetta.
Posted by naden (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not necessarily true&
&Photoshop, which relies heavily on Alti Vec, demo'ed well on
stage today. Not blazing fast but usable. It seemed very sufficient
for most home use, though maybe not heavy studio use. If the apps
didn't work at all that would be one thing, but marginally slower for
the time being (until the app updates) is no reason to by a slower
over all machine when macs tend to be about a three - five year
investment. Especially when most apps will be updated by next
year.
Posted by Roberto Felgueiras (2 comments )
Link Flag
Missed the point...
The point was that there is no price differential
for what is essentially an obsolete architecture.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Link Flag
i'm not convinced
if the new intel-powered machines are just as good, if not better, than the powerpc designs, then why is apple asking the same for an older, slower model?

is it because there is something we don't know about the new intel chips that don't work as gracefully as the time-tested powerpc G4-5s?

call me a critic, but my gut tells me that the new machines won't match the simplicity of the old. only time will tell.
Posted by Dibbs (158 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Why priced the same?
Because the new Macs provide more speed, but the old Macs run
more software, including "Classic" software.

So it's a tradeoff during this transition. Buy what you need.

BTW ... love your music.
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Link Flag
"I went to Macworld for scuttlebutt and all I got was this stupid story"
Can you say, "hardly any Intel-optimized apps"?

See, you didn't have to call Apple for that "hot news," you could have just asked me.
Posted by M C (598 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OS 9/Classic
There is still a lot of software in use that has not been moved to OS
X. Kids games & educational software comes to mind. Also some
companies still run Classic for apps they haven't upgraded. In many
cases, they are still "good enough". I have consulted to several such
companies. Call them backwards, but it works for them.
Posted by qka (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
True enough...
I keep two OS 9 Macs on line just to run valuable legacy
programming, eg., Aldus's PageMaker and SuperPaint. Adobe
bought them from Aldus and then basically hosed them up with
'improvements', eg., the CS series. Maybe that's business, but it
also one of the reasons I don't buy or use Adobe products.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Intelimacs
The new Intel-based Macs will make msot sense (initially) to consumers moving to Mac for the first time.

New users will come to the Mac scene without the burden of legacy applications and legacy expectations of the new hardware platform.

Mac and Intel will be nothing but good news for everyone in 12 months. Expect universal binaries for many years to come, as well as improvements to Rosetta||PM
Posted by ukpm (22 comments )
Link Flag
APPLE does not get it like GM re:PC sales
1)apples have such great design why oh why does Steve Jobs give us a choice make a mac version and a PC version that can run business pc software. So us business people can have a cool looking PC!

2) i-games idea downloadable games for your game consoles way lower ditribution costs and packaging. It is a no brainer Put BOB(likes to be called Robert(big-ego)) kondrk on it!
Posted by GAVINDEWEY (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Seems to me....
... that Apple gets it very well. Apple provides a quality product -
no cheap screw solutions, no do it yourself kit bashing options
for the basement nerd, just quality products for quality
appreciating people.

The Intel powered Mac has yet to demonstrate the ability to run
the Windows OS or Windows programs - tho I expect to see that
very soon. But the general business manager mentality will not
expand to consider anything but the cheapest solution to his
computer needs - nor should he. IF cheap-screw gets the job
done, it's good enough. Dell, Compaq, Gateway and others have
known that for twenty years. Cool looking does not improve
office costs.

Routine games are available for all computer platforms. If a
gamer needs some cranked up computer to play his particular
focus of interest, go diddle a PC.The Mac user world isn't
interested and doesn't care = or if there are some who do, they
already have a diddled PC, or a game console.

Actually, where ever a PC is supposedly better than a Mac, a
cheap PC is readily available. No sense messing up the Mac
design to meet PC requirements.

By the way, there is Virtual PC on the Mac, but no Virtual Mac on
the PC (except perhaps for Pear's abortive attempt). There is a
reason for that.........
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
New Intel iMac same price as iMac G5? Not in UK
Apple UK have chosen to rip off UK customers by charging a
premium for the new Intel based iMacs over the price of the
equivalent iMac G5. This is despite Steve Jobs saying they are the
same price and the US website indeed charging the same for both.

This is on top of the fact that UK (and European) customers already
get charged more than the equivalent US Dollar cost.

:-(
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's All About Shipping
Check out the shipping costs at the Apple Store. Free. *wink,
wink*

Routing the shipping of their systems to different countries
costs more for a California, US based company than to ship
within the US. That is why you pay a little more than the
equivalent US Dollar cost.

As for why the Intel iMacs cost a little more, well, I'm sure there
was already an existing stock of G5 iMacs within UK borders.
This is the extra cost of getting this new computer to you
quickly.
Posted by djemerson (64 comments )
Link Flag
UK Apples
There is no free trade agreement between the US and the UK. Apple is a US company so maybe the extra price is caused by tariffs and import duties?

-CN
Posted by cnoyes72 (4 comments )
Link Flag
Free Trade and Shipping
There is a free trade agreement between all EU member states that joined prior to 1997. There in fact hasn't been any import duty on imported US merchandise for almost 3 years now. And anything marked as a gift or commercial sample gets through the UK customs free of VAT too.

The iMac and MacBook are designed in Cupertino, Calif. and manufactured in PRC (China). The pricing reflects the economics of that market, which is what people are prepared to pay.
Posted by ukpm (22 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hardware / Software
It doesn't really matter what the hardware is if Apple is
controlling it. The 2 things that have always made Mac better is
the OS and the Hardware being controlled by Apple. Apple had
older versions of the OS running on Wintel machines a long time
ago. They just knew that MacOS would be like windows if you
allow for the kit-bashing. Apple always knew that their OS
would run on their machines because they controlled the
hardware. I liked the PowerPC. I have always been cautious of
Intel. However if Apple likes it and controls it, hopefully it will
be good. One advantage is if someone absolutely needs to run
windows, they probably will be able to have a Mac and run
windows at full speed too.
Posted by bigberetta (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
 

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