Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

Summary: Apple is offering a discounted iMac at $999 for school purchases. But there are a few catches you should be aware of.

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TOPICS: Hardware, Apple
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...or four, that I can count.

Apple has quietly launched the entry-level iMac for the education sector, targeting schools, colleges and universities.

Catch 1: Starting at $999 -- reduced from $1199 -- this offer is only available for educational customers buying in bulk.

The model consists of a slimmed-down 21.5" iMac to compensate for the drop in price which includes a 3.1Ghz Intel Core i3 dual-core processor, 2GB RAM and a 250GB hard disk. It also runs the latest Mac OS X Lion operating system, which includes iPhoto, iMovie and the latest version of GarageBand.

Catch 2: However, certain core functionality such as Bluetooth or the revolutionary Thunderbolt port are missing from the iMacs in this offer.

Catch 3: Basically, it looks like a Mac, but performs more like a PC.

Institutions must purchase at least ten or more of the neutered iMacs to qualify for the deal, making the deal seem more expensive than it should.

Apple is clearly focusing more on the education market, even outside of this deal.

Nevertheless, for any school, college or university to invest in a Mac lab for those who have either never used the Mac OS X operating system, or are more suited to use it, is a wise investment for younger people who will find a similar computer diversity in the workplace.

Macs may not be for everyone, but it is worth learning the operating system for future reference. Who knows when one will come across it in the enterprise or the corporate workplace? And what better time to learn something while you are in the depths of schooling anyway?

Catch 4: Having said that, considering that Mac OS X is seldom used in the schooling environment, it would not surprise me if these machines were on the most part laden with Windows when they arrive at schools.

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Topics: Hardware, Apple

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36 comments
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  • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

    Paying Apple's excessive prices just to pay more to throw Windows onto it?! Wow. If that happens en masse I will be truly disgusted at the lack of intelligence of educational institutions. (Considering you can get a Lenovo desktop with a second generation Core i3 processor and 6GB of RAM (three times as much) and a 1 Terabyte HDD (4 times as much storage) for a little over half as much as this computer (for less than $600) ).
    josh92
  • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

    Still about $250 more per unit than we get our Dell's for with a 20" LCD and a 5 year full warranty. Also the Dells are Core i5's with 4Gb ram
    bobiroc
    • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

      @bobiroc
      WOW You should be ashamed of using Dell's (I'm even from TX)... I hope you are not an IT admin, if you are you need to be fired, seriously DELL???

      I'm not advocating Apple here but Lenovo and HP are much quality and better choice over Dell.
      Hasam1991
      • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

        @Hasam1991 <br><br>Aside from a bad year with some Optiplex GX270 models and a recalled motherboard the Dell have been good machines. The stand up pretty well to the abuse that teachers and students give them.<br><br>HP and Lenovo are good machines too but Dell has always offered us the best volume pricing and given us good support when it is needed.<br><br>I find that no OEM is perfect and you will find people that hate them and others that like them. Also it is rarely the decision of the IT admin on what brand of computer is used. Almost every year we send out for quotes for computers from brands like Dell, HP, Lenovo and some others and Dell always comes in the least expensive. The school Administrative staff and school board ultimately make that decision and it is almost always based on cost. I have no problem using other brands like HP or Lenovo but so far there has been nothing that the Dells have done wrong to make a brand switch. Saying I should be fired is just an immature response on your part.<br><br>

        Good Day!
        bobiroc
      • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

        @Hasam1991
        Wow, that's pretty harsh. I've dealt with all three and I wouldn't say that the failure rate is any higher for Dell's than the other brands mentioned. There are lots of company's that use Dell and they work fine. To say that any IT admin that buys Dell's should be fired is a bit extreme.
        moose7710
      • Yes, Dell. The same Dells that many Fortune 500 companies buy

        @Hasam1991
        Fired? get real. ;)
        William Farrell
      • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

        @Hasam1991
        Thats pretty subjective. Its like saying why use AT&T they are awful you should use verizon. And someone telling you why use verizon they are awful. Your argument is about the same.

        And if you do any kind of hardware purchase you would already know that the contract with the vendor is pre-negotiated and I'm going to take a wild leap and guess that IT admin had nothing to do with negotiating the contract.
        rengek
      • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

        @Hasam1991 HP is quality? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA maybe in the server room but not on the desktop or as a laptop.
        Champ_Kind
      • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

        @Hasam1991 ....................... Uhm, yeah. Like you're a system admin and would know.
        notme403@...
    • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

      @bobiroc And yet people still say that Mac's arent expensive. I don't get where that sentiment is coming from. Apple is a very good company, but cheap isn't in their vocabulary.
      Aerowind
      • 'Cheap' and 'not expensive' is not the same thing; obviously, trashy ...

        @Aerowind: ... plasticky glitchy hardware can be cheap, but not metallic sturdy high-quality product. For what it is, Macs are not expensive (if to compare to "equal" product, if there is one). But yes, Macs were never cheap.
        DDERSSS
      • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

        @DeRSSS<br><br> I have taken apart several iMacs and Macbooks and while they are built well they are built of essentially the same components as any other brand. I see no evidence that Macs are less likely to have failure than other brands. What I have seen is that they are much harder to work on and Apple is more likely to stop selling replacement parts or charge more for those parts. The extended warranties from Apple are very expensive and getting Apple to send replacement parts is almost impossible. They always insist the unit be brought into a authorized service center or the School has to pay a $1000 a year per technician to be consider certified to work on an Apple computer.<br><br>You can continue believing that Apple has a higher quality standard but I have yet to see any evidence of that. I have had DOA units from Apple and Dell. I have had units last 8+ years without a problem and have had some have a component failure within a few months. The difference is for a few extra dollars we can extend the standard 3 year on Dell's Optiplex models to 5 years and extending a 1 year Apple Standard warranty to 3 years costs hundreds.
        bobiroc
      • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

        @bobiroc [i]They always insist the unit be brought into a authorized service center or the School has to pay a $1000 a year per technician to be consider certified to work on an Apple computer.[/i]
        Be honest, it isn't just cutting Apple a check for $1,000 that all of the sudden makes the tech certified. Any way, do you not understand why they want the work done at a certified service center? Can you take your vehicle to just anybody to do warranty work? Of course you can't.
        non-biased
      • Re: Be Honest

        @non-biased

        I know that it is more than a check to certify because I had to certify with Dell to order parts through them. The difference is Dell doesn't charge to certify and thankfully some of my Certifications like A+ and N+ allow me to be perpetually certified. Also if we have to repair a Dell that has an onsite warranty on it Dell will reimburse us for typical labor. Usually that comes in the form of credits which we apply to future purchases but still. A computer is a computer for the most part and they all have the same basic components. You may have to refer to a manual once in while to see how to take it apart but other than that they are the same.

        Also I am not always talking about warranty work. Since the Applecare Warranties are so expensive the School District does not pay for them. So once the 1st year is up we pay for all parts. It is much harder to find Apple parts than other OEMs and many times the ONLY place we can get Apple parts is through Apple. Even out of warranty they give us a hard time and insist that it be installed by an Authorized Apple Service Center. I have a few iMacs with bad Superdrives and since the drives cost upwards of $400 from Apple we just put USB ones on them at a cost of $40 each.
        bobiroc
  • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

    This "deal" makes no sense to me. What good is $150-$200? The regular iMAC is is $1199 (1149 Ed Price), has 4 gb of ram, a quad core i5 and 500gb hard drive... I love my Macbook but please... what is APple thinking
    pklott
  • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

    "It looks like a Mac, but performs like a PC" - which hyperlinks to Apple's spec page.

    Uh...could you elaborate on that statement? It makes no sense. There is no "PC" spec format.
    Nitz_Walsh
    • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

      @Nitz_Walsh
      lol i thought the same thing. How about a mac that performs like a cheap PC because I can configure a falcon northwest that will blow any mac out of the water.
      rengek
      • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

        @rengek Hell yeah. For $999 you could build something truly ferocious AND get a bigger screen to boot.
        Imrhien
  • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

    Pay more for less.

    "Basically, it looks like a Mac, but performs more like a PC."

    So I am paying 1000$ for a PC in a MAC skin? I'll take 500$ and build a superior PC, and then with the extra 500$ can buy whatever screen I want. A dual-core, 2GB RAM, 250GB HDD are specs from like 10 years ago at a 1000$ price tag. I understand most of the price is because of the screen, which is sexy, but at 21.5' it is pretty small.
    Bates_
  • RE: Apple launches $999 iMac for schools; But there's a catch

    Actually, check Best Buy - even without the educational discount, comparable AIO PC's are under $550 - and some come with a 23" screen, and all come with 4GB and a larger HD. Hence my confusion on "specced like a PC".

    You certainly don't get Apple's great styling, but even in the constricted AIO's category, PC's are almost half the the price for comparable equipment.

    Now going to a mini-tower of course, it's even more skewed in the PC's favour.
    Nitz_Walsh