back to article Apple Mac-sprucing bores fanbois

Apple updated its Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro lines on Tuesday. And what a ho-hum set of updates it was. Admittedly, Apple-watchers have been spoiled by past announcements. Nostalgia buffs will remember how excitement was high, for example, at the introduction of the original iMac in 1997, the Power Mac G5 in 2003, and - of …


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  1. Jez Caudle

    Mini prices gone up and ...

    ... no remote included in the price.

    This morning the entry level Mac Mini would have cost £391. The Refurb Store had one for £320.

    Now they are £499 except they don't come with a remote anymore, so add £15 to that price.

    I'll be waiting on the Refurb Store to buy one, either a previous generation and pay a little extra for iLife 09 or get a current gen one. I won't be buying a new one at those prices.

  2. Robert Moore
    Paris Hilton

    Didn't get what I wanted

    I was hoping for a Snow Leopard announcement. :( I am sad.

    Paris because she makes me sad too.

  3. Tanuki


    I am truly and utterly overwelmed with what my Seussian psychoanalyst would probably call ~Apfel-Weltschmerz~.

    Can't the overpriced-fruitgum-company come up with something truly *interesting* and *useful* to the world - like a properly conformant Outlook/Exchange-compatible client?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Much like the Mac World Keynote

    The products updates were kinda Meh. I understand not making any giant leaps right now for the reasons Rik pointed out. However at the end of the day it was all kinda lackluster and yes I to would have liked some idea on the progress of Snow Leopard.

    Oh well, hopefully once things start picking up for everyone we'll see some nice alterations.

  5. Bad Beaver
    Dead Vulture


    "isn't that industrial design getting a wee bit dated?"

    No seriously, how would you change it? The mini is a box. It's about as boxy as it gets while still being nice to look at. What do you expect on the lowest end? Some fancy shell like on the Alu Macbook that is so much more expensive than the white model? Apple had a state of the art design mini, it was called the Cube, and very few people were not annoyed by the price.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    what the.....

    No mention of the stonking price increases across the board? Entry level products have all jumped by over £100..

    macmini £391 > £499 = £108 increase

    imac £782 > £949 = £167 increase

    mac pro £1712 > £1899 = £187 increase

    unhappy mac ... cos i am...

  7. Shingo Tamai
    Thumb Down

    Laughable amount of RAM...

    ...for the Basic Mac Mini.

    But 200 extra euro for a bigger hard drive and 1 Gig of RAM? Nonsense.

    Oh, well at least they finally emptied the wharehouse from the f$%££!ing COMBO drives...

  8. P. Lee

    re: boring

    I'm not sure Apple wants its product integrated into the workplace. They have built their success around being different, not "another option." If you really want integration, you could install gnome or kde and use evolution or kmail, but not everyone's definition of "useful" is "works as an MS client."

    Even desktop linux with its superior gui, command-line and numerous compatibility options is struggling to become the MS client of choice. Even if corporates thought they were worthwhile, Apple probably doesn't want its objects of desire becoming a symbol of bondage to The Man.

    Apple works well where Apple's software caters for everything needed. Their focus is on creative media and the home. Trying to compete with MS in the workplace would be a losing strategy. If you factor in iLife (and iWork) prices, Macs start looking a lot more competitive despite the high-priced hardware. Most businesses however, don't have a use for this software.

    Given the evidence, Apple's current customers, accountants and shareholders would probably suggest Apple *is* doing something very useful for the world. It just isn't concerned with anything MS might be doing.

    Having said that, I would like to have seen at least a laser-mouse with proper button-sensors become standard and a macbook-style trackpad for desktop systems.

    Icon: I'm not in creative media, so Tux is still king!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    crApple for iDiots

    Last year Apple's desktop sales were down 38% - it's only going to get a whole lot worse.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    RPC..... (re: Boring)

    One of the reasons why you won't get "outlook" is MAPI and it's (exchanges') reliance on RPC

    Funny how Outlook for MAC and Mapi support died with the introduction of unix based OSX and Linux can't do it either...

    Shame really..

    You do have to wonder why MS haven't sorted this out with Entourage ( i mean most people who have it probably run it at work on an exchange server)

    However you can't blame the OS for not supporting exchange, Windows doesn't out of the box. You've got to pay for that. At least Apple have said they are building support in to the OS.

    Can't compain really can you..

  11. Daniel Pimley

    Re: Boring..

    "Can't the overpriced-fruitgum-company come up with something truly *interesting* and *useful* to the world"

    Like an OS+hardware combo that's not a piece of shit and doesn't make me swear out loud every 5 minutes like Windows and Linux does? Oh sorry, they already did that. Wake me up when the rest of the world catches up to Apple's "boring" product line.

  12. karel

    snow leopard?!

    As long as i have been waiting for an iMac refresh, I don't I can bring myself to purchase one without an updated OS.

    Where is snow leopard?

  13. tardigrade

    @Bad Beaver

    "No seriously, how would you change it?"

    I would take out the optical drive all together use the space saved to slim the case down. Increase the HDD size to 500Gb. Stand it on it's end and make the stand part of the housing. Have a recessed bevel all the way around the base. On either side this hides slots to draw air in. On the front the recessed bevel hides either a SD card reader or front facing USB port. Don't go mad with DDR3 Ram, DDR2 will suffice for a budget machine spend the money saved on 2Gb as standard. Oh and drop the price by $100.

    That will do for a start. I am sure that Apple's very talented designers could have easily come up with some brilliant cost effective design improvements, to what is essentially a very dated design now. It looks like they got a very conservative brief though, which is a little disappointing.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, good

    Apple doesn't rely purely on the diehard faithful these days, the guys who've been hanging on to their hard-earned waiting earnestly for that Nehalem Mac Pro (and are now vacillating while they ponder just how long it is before the 22nm Nehalems touch down), who know, just KNOW that there's a quad-core iMac around the corner and won't be buying anything else, thank you. The people who walk into the Apple Store and previously considered a mini appropriate for their needs will now think exactly the same, and that's where the switchers and the growth have been coming from. The fanbois are already a dead cert to buy SOMETHING that Apple offers, although their purchasing power is usually a lot more in the hypothetical range than the people on the street who actually want to buy a computer right now, rather than wait for The Next Big Thing.

    Regarding UK price rises: seen the state of the £/$ exchange recently? Draw your conclusions from there.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Bad Beaver

    Here's a start

  16. Paul Smith
    Thumb Down

    In denial pricing.

    £650 for a useable version of the Mac mini?

    Somebody pass today's Financial Times to Apple.

  17. Anonymous Coward


    Leaving aside your enthusiastic Apple bashing and the retarded "comments" of some tragic web mongs (Microsoft employees?) on here, I have one simple request. Could you stop saying "fanbois"? Say "fanboys" if you must, but the thing is you see, "fanbois" isn't a word. It's stupid and annoying and using it makes you look like total fuckhandles.

  18. Law
    Jobs Horns

    RE: In denial pricing.

    And that is why I won't be buying the Mac Mini now... I was waiting for the update to buy one, hilariously thinking improved specs for same price... now I'm going for a popcorn hour box instead... Apple just lost out on £400+...

  19. jai
    Jobs Halo

    it's like xmas morning

    and you're all winging because Santa didn't bring you the toys you asked for on your xmas list even though you knew full well there was no way your folks were going to pony up the cash for such ridiculous items

    you can't moan at Apple for not delivering the items that you read about on the rumour websites because, duh, they're just rumours thought up by overly optimistic Mac-fans and journalists with limited originality and nothing better to write about

    i, for one, shall be buying a lottery ticket this weekend and if i win i'm spending 13k on a fully tricked out Mac Pro with all the toppings

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Meh, it's just a standard upgrade. They had to do it or no one would pay premium prices for less than current hardware. Hardware, particularly hard drives, has been improving so fast lately that they had to push out some sort of upgrade.

    I don't know why they took the numeric keypad off the keyboard though. That's just annoying. Does that make it "less simplistic" like that cumbersome second mouse button?

    The Mac Mini's are just pathetic though. They were good when they were first introduced but they're pretty lackluster for today's standards. I suspect they're there as bait, expecting people to say, "If I spent just $300 more, I could get a iMac."

    Oh well, it's still the best UNIX GUI around.

  21. Michael James

    apple reader (iBook) and apple home server

    I just hope Apple have a reader tablet in the pipeline. If they produced something with an e-paper display, that accepted open formats, with an iTunes like library manager they would have the iPod of the text generation. (Yes I'm over 50)

    A decent home server is the other appliance no-one is producing yet.

    Looks like a mac mini but higher so 4 hot swappable disks can slide into it.

    Time capsule like router/wireless/backup functionality.

    Runs a master iTunes Library for media serving.

    Has a network control panel allowing a parent fine grained control of internet gaming.

    Runs a local web cache with good logging so the parent knows what's being browsed.

    Runs a bittorrent client that can be set to take advantage of off-peak download limits.

    Very low power so it can be left running all the time.

    Small SSD cache disk (32Gig?) so it can power down its disks most of the time.

  22. Matthew
    Thumb Down

    gay keyboards

    Well our boss has a "mac only" policy, and that being the case I had to but 5 mac book pro's 17", which will go to waste on data entry mainly.. erm.. yeah.. and the keyboards.. no delete key, no keypad.. wtf..

    Its not like no one with a mac ever used excel is it?

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well if you go to the options page, at least on the UK store, there is an option for an extended keyboard at no extra cost. This certainly includes numpad, not sure about delete key.

    Not a fanboy, just considering my first Mac for various reasons I won't go into here. This is sort of off putting with the prices though, as I had my sights set on one of the 3GHz iMac models which is now about £300 more than it was. Sure it has better graphics (not by much since the 3GHz already used NVidia) and double ram, but ah well. Have to consider the 2.6GHz models now.

  24. Stephen


    The older keyboard with the numeric pad is a no cost option. And still standard on the Mac Pro. BTW check the Australian pricing if you want to see an exercise in gouging, they've been adjusted up by currency fluctuation but they never adjusted down when our dollar inmproved against the US. And their RAM prices have become even more ludicous again...

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    @ Anonymous Coward Posted Tuesday 3rd March 2009 21:20 GMT

    "Due to the recent Meltdown-induced rise of the US dollar, folks purchasing their iMacs in pounds or euros won't benefit." You can blame the bankers for that one...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @crApple for iDiots

    Tit. The WHOLE of the PC industry saw an equivalent drop in desktop sales you moron! What was that about "CrApples" 2008 q4 results. Record breaking? How much staff have they laid off?

    Nice troll attempt, FAIL though...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    That, my friend, is why you don't work in Apples Industrial Design Unit...

  28. Thomas Davie

    @AC on price hikes

    Look at the prices in the US – they didn't change. The only thing that's changed is that we brits aren't working hard enough, and the GBP is worth fuck all.

    Re the mehness of these updates. I don't think anyone thought these would be spectacular. It was well known that the graphics options across the board on desktops were... shit, now they're not, and to boot we even got Nehalem CPUs on the MacPro... Sounds like a good batch to me, just not spectacular.

  29. Tom Cooke


    I know there are strong feelings on both sides, but how many people here *know* how hard it is to produce and evolve functional, stable consumer electronics products, especially computing ones? Sure, we can all hack together programs that do stuff, most of us could probably manage to build a PC out of packaged parts, and some of us even use a soldering iron, but taking parts (e.g. processors, graphics cards) that are themselves still-wet new, and wrapping them with new drivers and support into an updated product, that can be shipped to tens of thousands of people and work solidly for 99.9% of them out of the box (and keep doing so for years) is a feat of engineering that most of us have no clue about. Same about cars; I find it a miracle that I can leave my car out in all weathers, drive it whenever I want, and I expect it to start first time and go perfectly every day - well done, Chrysler.

    So give Apple a break!

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    I'm not buying one...

    I was actually looking forward to the new Mini. It showed up on the local Apple store, and I configured one to my liking. It was over 1.000 Euros. That's what ? 1300 USD ?

    It's geting silly. 1300 USD for a 2.26 Core 2 wit 4 Gig of ram and a paltry 320 GB HD ? I

    Next time someone does one of these 'Macs aren't more expensive than PC's' articles...I hope Cupertino is paying you enough !

  31. Mick F
    Jobs Horns

    Lost Cause

    Apple's desktop sales were down 38% last year - that gap is about to get a whole lot bigger. Instead or churning out the same crap Apple should actually try asking what people want.

    Devil Jobs - there is no icon for Jobs W@nker.

  32. Paul

    The onion was right

    "And there's no longer a numeric keypad or forward-delete key on the new standard wired Apple keyboard." - just watch, we're only two releases away from an iMac with a giant click-wheel! The onion got it right!

  33. TeeCee Gold badge

    @Tom Cooke Re: cars

    If your car starts when you want it to, works in all weathers, goes wherever and whenever you want and it's a Chrysler, I totally agree with you.

    It's a miracle.

    Owners of Japanese cars get this behaviour from their vehicles without being forced to suspect the personal intervention of unseen deities.

  34. Scott Mckenzie

    What's the big deal..

    ...with the lack of delete key, hold down Fn and press Backspace, christ it's not exactly hard work now is it!

    If the Mac Mini could handle LPCM audio over it's DVI connection (via an HDMI adaptor) just about every HTPC user in the country would rejoice at the pricing... sadly I don't think it can :(

    I'll echo, the "where is Snow Leopard" though... i'm holding off on my replacement to my 3 year old MBP until it comes out!

  35. Edward Noad

    Not Disappointed Here

    So the fanbois, who generally have completely unrealistic expectations and then cry and moan when their fantasies turn out to be just that, have been disappointed again. <sarcasm> What a shame. </sarcasm>

    I'm a Mac Support Tech. We still use PowerMac G5s because when a business buys a computer, it has to last 4-5 years before it's replaced. We can't afford to suddenly replace all our Macs just because something new comes along. The "rumoured" Atom-based Mac Mini would have been a disaster for us, we use them a lot for DTP (yes, you heard, DTP, it *IS* powerful enough)

    So thank you, Apple, for not rocking the boat. We can happily wait until 10.6 comes out before we upgrade from 10.4 (with a scattering of 10.5) without worrying about "revolutionary" changes messing up our business strategy in the middle of a recession. And don't worry about the price rises, *everything* is 20-25% more expensive now.

    Now, if only the fanbois could wipe the rabid foam from their mouths and stop clogging up the Apple news channels with 85th-hand rumours about things that'll never *ever* happen...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The Mac Mini is apparently supposed to be the entry level machine that will entice people away from their PCs. You buy the Mini, you chuck your PC in the skip while retaining your KVM. Nice idea, but the problem has always been pricing. Before this refresh the price was too high to make that a viable option, hell you can buy a decent entry level PC with KVM for the same sort of money.

    However, following the refresh Apple have priced the Mini completely out of it's target market. What gave them the idea that a 28% price hike was what they needed to tempt customers to bin their PC in these recession hit times? Apple really need to wake up and smell the bullshit. Their brand alone is no justification for paying such a premium.

  37. Edward Noad

    re: Pricing

    "What gave them the idea that a 28% price hike was what they needed to tempt customers to bin their PC in these recession hit times?"

    Apple's price hikes are pretty much in line with everyone elses. If Dell and HP are having to increase the cost of their machines, why do you think Apple can somehow be immune to the same market forces? The recession is forcing the prices rises, dumbass.

    Oh, wait, why am I arguing with an anonymous coward when there's coffee brewing over there?

    *buggers off to watch the dripping from the filter instead*

  38. Ted Treen

    The REAL blame....

    Of course the fact that sterling has been devalued by over 25% against the almighty US$ has to be Apple's fault in the minds (and I use the word VERY loosely) of the trolls of the anti-Mac brigade. But I suppose that complex issues like international finance and reality are really a little too much for them.

    If they can swallow Microsoft's guff re Windows, then I suppose that they're dumb enough to believe that Brown is fiscally prudent, Darling is totally independent and it all started in America, anyway.

    Alien - to symbolise the fact that rational thought (rather than inarticulate prejudice) is a concept which is alien to most of 'em...

    Cue vitriolic (and probably ungrammatical) diatribe....

  39. Anonymous Coward

    Build a....


    It might not be a pretty.. but it's a fraction of the cost = WIN!

  40. Alexis Vallance

    Who's the dumbass?

    "Apple's price hikes are pretty much in line with everyone elses. If Dell and HP are having to increase the cost of their machines, why do you think Apple can somehow be immune to the same market forces? The recession is forcing the prices rises, dumbass."

    Please explain how cars increased by 'only' about £250 - £500 last month.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    crApple for iDiots

    I like that title.

  42. Dan
    Thumb Down

    Price rises

    I hear what some posters are saying about price rises across the board and all that, but at the end of the day, I can pick up a new Dell Inpiron laptop with 2GHZ dual core, 2GB etc for £370. I would like a Mac, but even the cheapo white macbook is £719, then add parallels/fusion and XP in a VM, and the price is getting silly. I'd like to say I'll opt for a Mini, but I could really use the portability.

  43. Chris Williams

    Onion showcases new Mac

  44. Anonymous Coward

    Bring in the clowns...

    I'm seeing some silly, silly, silly, uninformed comments here. Macs work and they work well. Period. There's not a more reliable or stable personal computer available, beause they are not built from the cheapest, shit commodity parts available this week. Mac users don't have to worry about theO/S malfunctioning at every turn (Windows) or trying to backout and clean up rom a balky patch written last night ,after a marathon, porn-induced masturbation session, by some programmer wannabe (Linux). No, mac users actuallu spend most of their time using their computers and not worrying about them. But if they so desire, they can get up to speed on BSD UNIX and climb under the hood. Linux users can too. Microsoft users? Not so much.

  45. Dave

    @Alexis Vallance

    Do I really need to dignify that with a response?

    Have you visited any dis-used airfields recently - they are all full to bursting point with unsold cars. On that basis, ANY price rise is a shock.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    re: Lost Cause

    “Apple's desktop sales were down 38% last year - that gap is about to get a whole lot bigger.”

    Apple’s desktop sales would have been affected by the amount of refreshed products, or rather the lack of them. This isn’t to say that there are other factors at play here, but this is a rather important one.

    Before yesterday, the following desktop products were last refreshed:

    Mac Pro – Jan08

    iMac – Apr08

    Mac mini - Aug07

    Previously, all of the above lines were refreshed at a considerably faster rate and for more than a few months, the advice to those considering the above was ‘only get if you need it definitely now, there’ll be an update any time soon.’

    If the price point last year of Apple’s desktop machines was the sole reason for the drop in sales, then your statement would be right. But it’s not and so it’s not.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    "Bring in the clowns... " - finally a sane voice. Thank you.

  48. Alexis Vallance

    They're not giving cars away for free

    "Do I really need to dignify that with a response?

    Have you visited any dis-used airfields recently - they are all full to bursting point with unsold cars. On that basis, ANY price rise is a shock."

    Will they sell to you at a loss? I think not. If you want a shiny new 09 plate Fiesta you will be paying more today than for a 58 plate 6 weeks ago. All for the same economic and exchange rate reasons mentioned. The point being that they're pricier, not 30% higher, as are the Macs.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thing is..

    "Of course the fact that sterling has been devalued by over 25% against the almighty US$ has to be Apple's fault in the minds (and I use the word VERY loosely) of the trolls"

    The thing is when the pound is devalued, the price for us brits goes up

    When the pound gets stronger, the price for us brits tends to also go up, just not as much, when it should be going down!

    The reason we moan is that exchange rates only affect how much it goes up, when it should also help us out when the pound is stronger.

  50. Jared Earle
    Jobs Halo


    Bought my Mac Mini this morning and ordered 2GB of Crucial.

    My mini is replacing a dual 2GHz G5 that's not been turned off apart from when I moved house a few years ago. Something that big and powerful is now tiny and uses under 13W when not busy.

    We're not bored, I'm afraid. This'll do.

  51. Hombre sin nombre
    Jobs Horns

    @Bring in the clown(s) AC

    Why on earth are you using software as an excuse for hardware prices? I should be able to buy a PC with much higher spec, for less than a mac, then purchase and install OSX. Apple won't let me.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    price increases

    Have some of you lot not realised that the pound is now worth didly squat, so now you are getting ripped off by ever greater amounts!

    Exit the UK (Unimaginable Kockup) and go and live somewhere cheaper and friendlier.

  53. Mark

    Jobsian tosspots

    They give the mac mini a mini dvi, display port and firewire 800 yet leave the macbook with usb and mini dvi only. Tossers. Absolute tossers.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    RE Bring in the clowns

    the clowns are those who insist on buying apple at inflated prices.

    'There's not a more reliable or stable personal computer available, because they are not built from the cheapest, shit commodity parts available this week'

    'fraid to break it to you, but that's exactly what they are made of. just packaged nicely in a shiny box.

    'Mac users don't have to worry about theO/S malfunctioning at every turn (Windows) or trying to backout and clean up rom a balky patch written last night'

    No because Apple is perfect, OSX is the best piece of software ever written and never has problems or vulnerabilities. Any patches that Apple provide are simply to provide extra functionality and never once have caused someones machine to go titsup.

    Typical fanboy jobs-bend-me-over-and-take-me response - no wonder Apple still make money

  55. Pierre

    @ Bring in the clowns

    Good flame, but:

    "Macs work and they work well. Period. There's not a more reliable or stable personal computer available"

    Herm, I know you can't get out of role, but I hope you realize it's probably the wrongest statement since this "the Earth is flat" was busted...

    Granted, you can find worst, but they are light-years away from being the best or even the most reliable machines around. And the value-for-money ratio is simply laughable. They do look quite good though, and tend to be quite pleasant to use. It's just a choice. I'd go for the muscle and reliability to the (possible) detriment of style and eyecandyness. I can understand people making the opposite choice. But don't give us the "Macs are the most powerful and most reliable machines for the money" crap. It's just not true. It arises from stupid people comparing Mac Pros with desktop computers instead of workstations. When comparing the comparable, macs are very expensive middle-range computers. Definitely not high-end delicacies.

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