BusinessWeek: Free The iMac, And The Sales Will Follow

Alex Salkever of BusinessWeek says itis time for the iMac to become the Cube. Actually, he never mentions the word "Cube," but Mr. Salkever says that Apple needs to separate the iMac and its monitor -- making it into a small, headless Mac -- in order to rejuvenate lagging iMac sales. This is, of course, similar to what the Cube was, but Mr. Salkeveris point is that a headless iMac would be inexpensive, something the Cube was not. Mr. Salkever also says that a standalone LCD display with the iMacis display arm would also be appealing to consumers. From Mr. Salkeveris latest Byte of the Apple column:

This leads me to what I think is the major weakness in the iMac line: Itis an all-in-one machine, which the market has moved away from. The iMacs come in a cute package with a small footprint of only 10.6 inches, about the size of a Frisbee. But for many Mac lovers it might as well be a rock sitting on their desk. They would rather have a notebook that they can close and slip onto a shelf or under their desk.

ITiS TIME.  At least, this is what Appleis sales trend are saying. The two notebook computer lines have performed the strongest over the past four quarters -- in keeping with Jobsis pledge to make 2003 the year of the laptop.

So what to do about the iMac? Cut off its head. This suggestion has been floating around the Apple community for a while, and itis time for Apple to listen.

A competitive, freestanding, entry-level computer thatis sleek and powerful has a role. The all-in-one eMac with a CRT monitor has done fine by targeting schools, but itis 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. The PowerMac G4 is competitive price-wise with the iMac and offers better expansion options, but it has a clunky, massive footprint that barely fits under a normal desk.

iPOD OF MONITORS?  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.

Thereis a lot more in the full article, and we recommend it as a good read.