Apple’s New Goodies Reflect Perfection

October 21, 2009

Apple announced several product updates yesterday: a new plastic unibody MacBook, updated iMacs and Mac Minis, a Magic Mouse, a new remote, and faster Airport Extremes and Time Capsules.

None of this stuff was deemed groundbreaking enough to warrant a special event. But I’d say it reflects an interesting position Apple is in: their product line is so nearly perfect, all they need to do to keep things compelling is refine details and incrementally bump up specs.

Meaning: Look at the current iMac design: absolutely nothing to complain about. It’s essentially a huge monitor with a computer affixed to the back. It’s perfect. How can you improve on it design-wise? All Ive can do is wax rhapsodic about where the monitor edge is and where it isn’t. The cheapest iMac at $1199 is solid, and the 27 inch, quad core Mac at still less than $2000 is practically overkill, like an HD television with a computer inside.

The new MacBook is a similar refinement. Now the battery is non-removable, the track pad made of glass, and the unibody case a little more rounded. What else could they do? Nothing, really. The MacBook was already selling really well so why mess with it?

With such a solid product line, Apple could focus on the little stuff. I’ve never been a fan of the Mighty Mouse; the tiny ball kept clogging with dirt. So Apple’s new Magic Mouse is button-less touch with multi-touch features. It looks cool and I want one. All I can complain about there is the stupid name.

So at this stage, everything Apple makes, from iPods to iPhones to MacBooks and Snow Leopard is solid.

The only product in Apple’s entire line I feel gripes are justified is the Apple TV. I bet we’ll hear something about this product come January. And some will always bitch about price, but with Apple just reporting their best quarter ever nobody can say their pricing strategy is failing.

And one final thought: Apple usually saves the truly groundbreaking stuff for January (MacWorld). That’s when a risky Tablet thingie will most likely appear. But Apple has positioned itself really well to take such a risk. Their current product line will continue to make a crapload of money, only adding to their huge cash reserves. So I recognize the value of this current round of incremental upgrades. A future, shiny, new tablet Mac will be enabled by sales of the “boring” white MacBook.

Comments

  1. DaveD says:

    Tradition is gone – Apple announced a year ago that last January was their final Macworld.

  2. Webomatica says:

    Yep – am well aware of Apple pulling out of MacWorld, which is why I didn't write “at MacWorld” in the article.

    That said I believe Apple will still announce something big come January. It's a safe prediction they'll host a “special event” right around the same time as 2010 MacWorld and CES, deliberately, to demonstrate they can generate huge buzz independent of a conference.

  3. webomatica says:

    Yep – am well aware of that, which is why I didn't write “at MacWorld”
    in the article.

    I still think Apple will announce something big come January. It's a
    safe prediction they'll host a “special event” right around the same
    time as 2010 MacWorld and CES. Deliberately, to demonstrate they can
    generate huge buzz independent of a conference.