Arbitrary iMac Specs

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Date: Tuesday, October 30th, 2001, 15:04
Category: Archive

From the accounts I’ve read, the Ford Pinto was built to some interesting and arbitrary specifications imposed on engineers by top management. It was supposed to weigh under 2,000 pounds and cost less than 2,000 dollars. Corners were cut and that model became a black mark in Ford history.

I suggest a similarly arbitrary set of specs for the next iMac. It should weigh under 10 lbs and cost less than $1,000. How’s them apples! Sounds much more Zen-like than the current 35 lbs./$800. I think the price increase might pose a problem for sales, but don’t underestimate the appeal of a product that seems so right.


From the accounts I’ve read, the Ford Pinto was built to some interesting and arbitrary specifications imposed on engineers by top management. It was supposed to weigh under 2,000 pounds and cost less than 2,000 dollars. Corners were cut and that model became a black mark in Ford history.

I suggest a similarly arbitrary set of specs for the next iMac. It should weigh under 10 lbs and cost less than $1,000. How’s them apples! Sounds much more Zen-like than the current 35 lbs./$800. I think the price increase might pose a problem for sales, but don’t underestimate the appeal of a product that seems so right.

These specs would lock in an inexpensive 13″ LCD screen, CD-only drive in the base model, small capacity HD and skimp on RAM to to save a few pennies. Can this thing run on the existing PowerBook AC adapter?

Just compare it to the base model iBook at 5 lbs./$1,300. No need for a battery or charging circuitry. The screen does not need to be hinged. No fan. Less miniaturization. A 3.5″ HD could be used. Shipping will be a smidge less than the CRT iMac and smaller stock rooms in the Apple stores to boot. Seems like an $1,100 machine and easily under 10 lbs.

Since unit prices will rise, margins could be lowered. Hopefully, overall sales would rise and not fall. There must be other corners to cut and vendors to beat up. Maybe the costs will line up by January. Just don’t make it ugly and prone to catching fire!

How about a subnotebook at 3 lbs./$1500. Or a G5 Tower at a sleek 20 lbs./$2,000 versus the unbalanced 31 lbs./$1,700 for the current G4. I just can’t make much sense out of the iPod’s specs at 6-1/2 oz./$400, though. Maybe it’s a Euro/metric thing?

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