The Low End Mac Mailbag

iPhone Cost, Low End Mac on the iPhone, Using an LCD Display with a G3 iMac, Getting Files off SCSI Drives, and More

Dan Knight - 2007.07.26

iPhone Revenue

Robert Boylin writes in response to The iPhone: Apple's $3 Billion Cash Cow:

Dear Dan,

You make a mistake in taking the estimated "parts cost" of $250 as Apple's "cost to produce". Manufacturing, distribution, packaging, support, marketing, and other costs are not included. It's anyone's guess as to the actual cost of an iPhone to Apple; but using a 50% "profit" is clearly in error. The one area of profit not included would be any percentage of "subscription" revenue rebated from AT&T.

Robert Boylin


It's impossible for us to know Apple's cost of production, and iSuppli's figures are sometimes way out in left field, but they're the best thing we have right now. I've worked in retail, and I know there has to be room for AT&T to make money (my guess of about $100) selling the iPhone. And most manufacturers sell to dealers at a markup (Apple's average is 28% over recent years), which would put cost to produce the iPhone below the $300 mark.

It's all speculation, but the numbers should be in the ballpark. My guess of 300,000 iPhones sold was only off the mark by 8%, and I'd estimate Apple's cost to produce the iPhone at somewhere between $250 and $280.

Whatever the actual numbers, Apple is making more from AT&T bounties than from selling the iPhone itself, which accounts for 60% of my $3 billion estimate for profits from first-year iPhone sales.


Reading Low End Mac on the iPhone

David Titus writes:

Dan Knight,

Just read subject piece and was surprised at your statement: "and I discovered that the site seems to be unreadable on the iPhone." On my iPhone it displays and reads just as well as all the other sites that I visit, which is terrific compared to all the other phones with claimed Web browsing capabilities. Maybe the problem is all the ads on your site. Oh well, since you've been using Macs since 1986, I guess you're the expert. I guess I won't bookmark LEM on my iPhone.

PS I bought my first Mac, a Plus in 1987.

Dave T.


Thanks for the feedback. I only played with the iPhone for a few minutes, so I didn't have the time to visit other sites or figure out how to zoom in as they do on the TV ad. For my eyes, it looked like 4-5 point text. I'm sure there are ways to improve that.


LEM Home Page Refresh

Stephen Plunkett writes:

Hi Dan,

I have been enjoying LEM for years. Of all the Mac news sites on the Web, my daily stop for what's new in the world of Apple is Low End Mac. So I am loath to register a complaint. Perhaps just an observation that you might want to consider.

I like to leave LEM's home page open in one tab in Safari and use it as a launch pad of sorts as I make my way through the links. I scroll down the page and leave it parked where I want it . . . and then it refreshes itself, and when I return, I have to find my place again. Often, the page refreshes while I'm reading it. The frequency of this is actually a little annoying.

Is there any way I can limit this behavior in Safari? Is there any chance you might want to offer a static version of your home page? I know nothing about Web development, so I ask these questions knowing that the answers may be no and no. But I thought I should share this, just in case it's something that never crossed your mind. Again, thanks for what I think is the best Macintosh one-stop out there!

Stephen Plunkett


Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I had the refresh set at 150 seconds (2.5 minutes) because we often have several updates during the day, but our own content and links around the Web. I never considered that this might have a negative impact on readers using Safari. (Camino, my favorite browser, doesn't seem to suffer from the "rewrite and go to the top of the page" bug in Safari.)

I'm resetting that to 900 seconds (15 minutes), which I hope will be a good compromise between getting the freshest links and the annoyance of a page refresh. (We don't use refresh on our other pages, just the home page.)


Using a Flat Panel Monitor with a G3 iMac

After reading External Video Options for a G3 iMac, JJ Wayne says:

Hello, Dan,

I read Low End Mac every day (I come to it thru MacSurfer), and I love your site. Thank you for it.

Having just read Kris's piece re external monitors, I came away knowing he'd successfully used a 17" CRT monitor at 1024 x 768 resolution.

My question is: Are there flat-panel monitors I can use externally? 17 inch, preferably. What specs should I look for? The fact that only mirroring is possible is not a concern - I just want more 'real estate'.

In relation: Would I be able to calibrate that external with my Gretag EyeOne program?

Thanks in advance,
JJ Wayne


Thanks for being a regular. :-) I've been producing Low End Mac for over a decade and have to be the luckiest guy in the world, as I make a living doing something I love.

It should be possible to use an LCD monitor with a G3 iMac. Since G3 iMacs don't have digital video output, the monitor will have to work with analog VGA input. For best results, the display should have a 1024 x 768 native resolution.

I don't see any reason your Gretag EyeOne wouldn't work in this situation. Just ignore the internal display. All the color correction/calibration settings are in software, so it should oughta work.


How to Transfer Files from Old SCSI Drives

Daniel Strickland writes:

Dear Dan,

Great site!

I've got a question and I'm hoping you can help. We have several old SCSI hard drives here in the office that we pulled from our old Power Macs before we donated them. All appear to be the SCSI drives that came with our 7200s, eg

Quantum Fireball 3.5 Series
1.2GB 1280S FS12S023
1.2GB 1280S TM12S023

I did some research and found that NewerTechnology sells a USB 2.0 Universal Drive Adapter for ATA, IDE, SATA or ATAPI drives. Do you know of any adapter that would work for our SCSI drives? Or some other way to transfer the files from them?



Back when FireWire first came to the Mac, there were several enclosures available that held a SCSI hard drive and gave you FireWire connectivity. With the introduction of the iMac, similar enclosures became available for USB.

Using Google, the only SCSI-to-USB adapters I'm finding are for external SCSI drives, not for raw drives. If you have an external SCSI enclosure you can put these drives in, look into listings on eBay, where SCSI-to-USB adapters start with a Buy It Now price of $9.99 plus shipping.


Sources for Used Mac Games

Ruffin Bailey writes: used to be the place, IMO, for used Mac games at a pretty good price. Now, their site isn't half of what it once was and Mac games continue to be horribly expensive on eBay.

Is there a good clearinghouse somewhere for used Mac games?

Ruffin Bailey


I'd suggest you check out the LEM Swap List and the Vintage Macs List.


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Dan Knight has been publishing Low End Mac since April 1997. Mailbag columns come from email responses to his Mac Musings, Mac Daniel, Online Tech Journal, and other columns on the site.

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