5 July 2014Ars Technica:
The new iMac makes much more sense at scale. Many schools and businesses don’t need fast computers, they just need many computers with current warranties and support agreements that can perform basic tasks for a few years until they’re replaced. You only save $200 on one of these systems; you save $20,000 if you’re buying 100 of them. That’s why Apple has, in the past, offered these cut-down, cheaper iMacs primarily to educational institutions—they’re one of the few places where these make any economic sense (one could also argue that buying standard PCs would save even more money, but Macs and OS X are often preferred or required in higher education).
I get the ‘bulk-buy education cost-saving’ argument. There’s nothing wrong with Apple offering an iMac at cheaper price points. What I think is wrong here is that Apple was too stingy; the $1099 configuration has disproportionately poorer performance for the cost savings it offers.