Wow! Apple really lowered the price for a high-end iMac.

The new iMac has arrived, as expected. It’s thinner and, in my opinion, much better looking.

I always felt the white frame around the screen was a bit of a distraction, but now the chassis is aluminum, and there’s a beautiful black border around the screen. This not only looks great but also hides the built-in camera and microphone for an even smoother, cleaner finish.

So I ordered the 24″ with the 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Extreme.

For those of you who’ve paid attention to my blog, you know that I currently have no Macs in the house (well, the iPhone). There are two laptops with XP Pro and XP Home. I know XP well, Vista doesn’t even remotely interest me, so I’m going back to the Mac after an absence.

I’ve held off ordering to see what the iMac upgrade would bring, and am glad I did. The prices have fallen considerably. It’s not just the base price of the 24″ being $1,799 to the old model’s $1,999. That initial $200 savings gets even larger when you start adding on items.

Consider that the old 24″ iMac had no “upscale” model to start with, so if you wanted it “maxed out” you had to:

  • upgrade the processor to 2.33 GHz,
  • upgrade memory from 1 to 2GB,
  • upgrade the hard drive from 250 to, in my case, 750GB,
  • upgrade the graphics card from a 128MB model to to a 256MB model, and
  • add a wireless keyboard and mouse for $59 each.

Starting from that $1,999 base model, the resulting machine was close to $2,900, and included no additional software, tax, or shipping.

By comparison, the new iMac has an upscale model for $2,299 that already includes:

  • the max processor (2.8GHz),
  • 2GB memory,
  • a 500GB drive (so the upgrade to 750GB is less expensive),
  • the max graphics card, and
  • the wireless mouse is just $20, the keyboard just $30.

My entire package, including iWork ’08, a year’s subscription to .Mac, tax and expedited shipping, is less than $2,900. We’re talking many hundreds of dollars saved on a system that’s dramatically improved in all areas, with software (iLife ’08) that’s dramatically improved as well.

Yes, this is the “transition” Tim Cook spoke of on the 3Q analysts call a couple weeks ago. No question these will not bring in the margins of the old models. On the other hand, they ought to sell a ton of them, and I’m one of the first buyers.

The only bad news is the Extreme models have a five-week delay; my ship date is slated for 9/12.

I have no doubt there will be some Mac fans unimpressed by today’s announcements. Maybe you should run my XP boxes for a while. 🙂 Seriously, as I monitored the presentation today I was hopeful for another hard drive bay or maybe a replaceable graphics card in the iMac. However, with up to 1TB of storage available, and a respectable graphics card already in place, one has to wonder just how much is supposed to be available for a “consumer” machine? When you consider all the improvements for hundreds of dollars less, at some point you just need to STFU and enjoy it.

[UPDATE:] From playing around on the Apple Store website I found the cause for delay is the wireless keyboard. If I remove that from an order then the estimated ship date is 3-5 days instead of weeks. I need a wireless keyboard, but not necessarily immediately. I’ll have to dwell on this and maybe call Apple tomorrow to change the order, getting the regular keyboard initially and ordering the wireless separately.

9 thoughts on “Wow! Apple really lowered the price for a high-end iMac.

  1. I was planning on waiting till Leopard was released before buying a new iMac. But the back-to-school special with a free iPod Nano and a rebate on a new printer … convinced me to take the plunge.

  2. Because I’ve got precious little space left on my laptop and needed a new machine two months ago.

    I held off for better hardware, but I also got an updated iLife and iWork in the process. Three out of four ain’t bad; I’m not gonna be greedy and wait for Leopard.

  3. why don’t you just wait for lopard and the by your Extreme setting?

    Much better that way… 5 week wait is like another 5 week to leopard?

    unless you wanna be first to review it… don’t see much advantage in waiting for 5 weeks for it.

  4. My order says I should receive my Extreme iMac by August 20th (likely sooner). I customized with a 750 GB drive, more RAM, but didn’t go with wireless keyboard or mice.

  5. Thanks. I didn’t play with the 1TB option since it didn’t look cost-effective to me.

    So the largest drive and the wireless keyboard are the items that will delay the order beyond 3-5 days.

    It figures one of those items had to be one I wanted. But I’ve been using a wireless keyboard for three years and have no desire to go back.

  6. with the 24″ 2.8 adding the 1tb hd adds 3 weeks. Then adding the wireless keyboard changes the ship date to 3 – 5 weeks

  7. I ordered one of the extremes and ship date is only 5 days. I think that your BTO 750HD is holding up your order.

  8. David,

    You know, I’ve had it so ingrained that I’d need a BTO model that I never even considered the Apple store. I mean, in the case of the previous 24″ there was so much additional I wanted there was really no other choice.

    In the case of this machine, however, you’re right that I would only give up the 750GB drive. Still, that’s quite a bit for me to give up, especially for a machine that can’t add an internal drive later. I want what I want.

    As for mail order, the last computer I did NOT buy this way was the Power Macintosh 7300 I got in ’97. I’ve been BTO ever since and love it.

    Finally, I wonder if the Extreme systems will be in the Apple Stores so soon. If they are that delayed that long online, I doubt theyre sitting in piles at the store, but I’ll know this later when I visit one tonight. 🙂

  9. Why not just buy your computer at the Apple Retail Store?

    You’ll probably get it today and the amount you’ll spend is no more than mail order would cost you.

    Granted, you can’t get the 750gb option that way, but I’ve always liked the stores a lot better than the hassles of mail order.


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