Print 37 comment(s) - last by Etern205.. on Aug 13 at 9:48 AM

Apple's education-only iMac loses quad-core processor, Thunderbolt

Apple last upgraded its popular all-in-one iMac desktop computers back in early May. The refresh brought new Core i5 and Core i7 quad-core processors along with Thunderbolt connectivity for both the entry-level 21.5" and higher-end 27" models.

The starting price for the 21.5" iMac is $1,199 and it gets you a 2.5GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive, and an AMD Radeon HD 6750M GPU with 512MB of memory. A student discount drops the price down to $1,149.

Now, Apple is looking to further move into the education sector with an even cheaper iMac priced at $999 according to Mac Rumors. Unfortunately, the $150 price cut means that this iMac comes with some serious shortcomings.

The education-only model comes with a dual-core, 3.1GHz Core i3 processor, a measly 2GB of RAM, and a 250GB hard drive. The AMD Radeon HD 6750M GPU also has its onboard memory cut in half compared to the "standard" iMac. It also loses out on the Thunderbolt port included on all 2011-spec iMacs. All other features remain including the 1920x1080 display, FaceTime HD camera, and SDXC memory slot. 

The new iMac does come pre-installed with the OS X 10.7 "Lion".

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RE: all macs are neutered
By amanojaku on 8/8/2011 10:04:31 AM , Rating: 3
At first I thought you might be mistaken, it's been a while since I priced anything.

Average Retail Price

21.5" LED-backlit TFT - $190
Core i3 3.1GHz - $140
2GiB RAM - $20
250GB HD - $40
Radeon 6750 (can't buy an "M", so...) - $120
Case - $50
Motherboard - $100
Power Supply - $50

A grand total of $710. There may be some parts that I'm missing, but considering volume pricing Apple pays less per component than shown above...

RE: all macs are neutered
By invidious on 8/8/2011 10:49:39 AM , Rating: 3
You can get a case/mobo/power supply barebones kit and easily shave $50 off of that.

Also you have a dedicated graphics card in your price breakdown, but Apple is only providing an integrated graphics with shared memory. Subtract $120 for the video card and add $50 to the motherboard for one with integrated video.

That brings you down below $600. Once you factor bulk pricing into the mix you are closer to $500. And now Apple is getting their usual 100% profit margin.

RE: all macs are neutered
By amanojaku on 8/8/2011 11:14:57 AM , Rating: 3
You and cochy are too hung up over accuracy. I was making a point: even if Apple paid RETAIL costs for putting together an iMac it would still make a profit. $200-$300 in profit from a unit cost of $1,000 is pretty damn good considering the slim margins on electronics. Apple is making much more than that, probably the $400-$500 you estimate, and that's for EDUCATIONAL sales, which are more heavily discounted than even volume contracts.

People want to know why Apple is profitable? Take the same guy's stuff, wrap it in aluminum, put a cool logo on the back that lights up, and charge 200% as the next guy.

Reminds me of a story my dad told me. Back in the 70's he saw kit PCs for sale. One sold for twice as much as the next unit, so my dad checked it out, along with the other customers, many of whom purchased the expensive unit. My dad couldn't find much of a difference, they seemed to perform the same. Finally, he pulls the sales guy aside and asks. The sales guy replies "they are the same, it's just one has a blinking LED, so people think it's doing more and faster." Consumers...

RE: all macs are neutered
By cochy on 8/8/2011 11:48:05 AM , Rating: 2
Guess there's a reason they have $70 billion in the bank. Can't blame Apple, it's elementary price/demand.

RE: all macs are neutered
By xaders on 8/8/2011 3:24:48 PM , Rating: 2
apple has $70+ billions dollars & more cash then the USA gov't. they can afford to give some iMac to donate education market. even Facebook founder/CEO that dont know how much he or his company are worth donated money to help New Jersey school district.

-( &

apple with steve jobs is a "control freak" & now "greedy." when microsoft had $40+ billion dollars in early 2000s, they have less now by starting dividend to return value to shareholders, & even bill gates donate his money to charity.

RE: all macs are neutered
By wallijonn on 8/8/2011 1:25:57 PM , Rating: 2
and that's for EDUCATIONAL sales, which are more heavily discounted than even volume contracts.

Actually, Apple has cut back on the Educational Discount, giving something like a $20 to $50 per unit discount. It's a lot less than it was in previous years. Hardly enough for a teacher, professor or instructor to choose it over a PC for their own use.

RE: all macs are neutered
By bah12 on 8/8/2011 12:09:59 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget to add $120 back for the OS, assuming you are going to put Win7 on. You can argue Linux if you'd like, but if you are comparing it to a retail OSX then Win7 would be more appropriate.

There is certainly some markup, but it is no where near the extortion level Apple used to try.

RE: all macs are neutered
By cochy on 8/8/2011 10:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
You didn't factor in the cost for Windows 7.

RE: all macs are neutered
By The Raven on 8/8/2011 11:07:17 AM , Rating: 1
You mean the Microsoft Tax?

What is it now? $150ish?

Or you can opt to install OSX... sike!

RE: all macs are neutered
By borismkv on 8/8/2011 11:52:33 AM , Rating: 2
Schools will do Volume Licensing, which is usually pretty cheap, especially on the Acedemic program.

RE: all macs are neutered
By Obujuwami on 8/8/2011 1:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
True and I can tell you for a fact that Win7 pro is roughly $50 for educational and Office is also roughly $50. So for roughly $100, you get a full functioning OS and productivity suite v you pay $30 for the OSX and about $120 for Office for Mac.

If you REALLY want to save money you could get OpenOffice for the Mac (which I am unsure if there is a version for Macs) so then you save about $70, which in the long term is rather insignificant.

Another interesting licensing cost for educational environments is Windows Server. Server 2008 R2 standard is about $700 for an OEM copy but educational clients get it for about $100.

If you ask me, Microsoft wants to be in schools more than Apple does.

RE: all macs are neutered
By xaders on 8/8/2011 3:36:07 PM , Rating: 2
microsoft right now still has a deal for back to school where you can give windows 7 pro upgrade for $29.99. it is a digital download & if want a disc cost $15 extra. also can get office 2010 pro for $99.95 & again digital download. the only require is a student email ending it (.edu) or (.org) & have schedule to prove if not on the list.

-( &
- (

also can get a free xbox 360 4gb if buy laptop $699 & up at best buy store with a valid student ID. if online it is only dell & hp website which is harder because have to setup an account.

RE: all macs are neutered
By Avatar28 on 8/8/2011 9:38:09 PM , Rating: 2
I work in a largish school system. We have the software assurance agreement with MS and our employees can purchase Office Professional Plus or Office for Mac for $9.95 through their Home Use Program. $500 program for $10, hell of a deal indeed. Wish they offered Win 7 through the program.

RE: all macs are neutered
By borismkv on 8/8/2011 7:39:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well, realistically, MS makes more money on CALs than they do on the base server license. I'm not sure what they charge schools for on CALs...That's always the biggest killer. 30 bucks per user racks up the bills pretty quick.

RE: all macs are neutered
By fic2 on 8/8/2011 12:58:18 PM , Rating: 5
How does Apple drop the price of a computer $150?

Take out $300 worth of parts.

"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

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