A few thoughts on Apple and the new gear

by Volker Weber

Tim Cook is proud of Apple's achievements in 2012. They refreshed everything, iPad, iPod, iPhone, MacBook, iMac. Thinner, lighter, faster, it's all great. Were there any surprises this year? Not really.

This event was a grab bag of things to round out the news for 2012:

  1. iPad 4. Twice as fast, Lightning connector, front facing HD camera, LTE that works with Deutsche Telekom. Same price. If you just bought an iPad 3, you are good, but you will still hate yourself for not waiting for the iPad 4.
  2. iPad mini. Very similar to the iPad 2, smaller, much lighter, no Retina display. Entry level offering with $329 looks OK, but gets expensive really quickly as you add storage or 3G/LTE.
  3. MacBook Pro 13.3" with Retina display. Wonderful machine.
  4. iMac. Finally drops the DVD drive. I have never used mine. Incredibly thin, if you don't walk around the back. Anyway, the old one looks old now. ;-)
  5. Mac mini. Yada, yada.

A few thoughts:

Comments

Like most of the time, I fully agree with you.

Personally, I'm a bit pissed to have bought an iPad 3 and a MacBook Air in July. The 13-inch Retina Pro looks delicious. I should've known.

Valentin Wölm, 2012-10-23 22:59

> What's the fate of the Mac Pro?
> That has been looking like the iPod classic for a long time.

yes, still does. and that letter from cook? raising expectations for a new mac pro "later next year"? i want to believe in it, i really do - but there's this voice telling me to expect disappointment..
because it just doesn't seem likely to me, that apple is going to invest great ressources for their product with the least markt share or revenue. the next mac pro imho will be a compromise to calm down the professionals. and it will come at a price.

mark falkenberg, 2012-10-24 00:15

$100 should indeed buy you 120-160 GB more flash memory instead of just 16 or 32 GB more :/

Google is/was not better than Apple in this regard ... $50 more for 8 GBs of flash.

I know it's all about having different products at different price points, but still ... everyone sees how cheap USB sticks and SSD have become nowadays, that must have an effect on those prices or what customers think about companies doing differentation like this. Maybe next year, when you can buy 256 GB SSDs for under $100 :)

Sebastian Herp, 2012-10-24 00:24

Apple's perspective on upgrades is, and always has been, to appeal to those people who don't want 'fuss'. Revisiting a system after purchase (even to add a simple memory upgrade from a cheaper supplier) counts as 'fuss', and there is a particular class of users who will pay a daft premium to avoid that route; because they can afford it, and because it's worth it to them.

It happens to be diametrically opposite to my own perspective on computers; but then I'm one of those people (like others reading this blog I'm sure) who 'built his own' in the 1970s!

Nick Daisley, 2012-10-24 08:05

I don't believe that is true. Apple makes it extremely easy to upgrade memory on an iMac for instance. Built into the operating system, there is a dialog, which tells you, what memory modules you have installed and what your options are. It does not do it with Apple part numbers but with precise specs. It also links to a web page, that tells you how to open your computer and which steps to take for the upgrade. There is nothing like this anywhere else.

Volker Weber, 2012-10-24 08:42

Well, Apple has a somewhat weird policy for upgrading with 3rd party components: as Volker said, Memory upgrade is easy and I can confirm this for a 2011 MacBook Pro. However it is still a hassle to swap harddisks in a MBP for example - you have to find your way through Google and some teaching videos ... . For other devices (MacMini) Apple has changed this policy over the time.
And for the iOS devices, they are practically sealed - no upgrades whatsoever after buying.

Axel Koerv, 2012-10-24 15:03

I was very tempted by the 13” MBP rumours, but the reality is… hmm. The hard-wired 8GB RAM limit is the main issue for me (and I’m not convinced about the HD4000 graphics chipset either). A shame, as I would not have hesitated to open the chequebook otherwise.

Ben Poole, 2012-10-24 16:32

I'm one of those people (like others reading this blog I'm sure) who 'built his own' in the 1970s!

Some of us don’t want the hairshirt despite what we did in the past, some of us just want a reliable machine that will deliver day-in day-out for a few years before the need to upgrade kicks in ;-)

Ben Poole, 2012-10-24 16:35

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vowe.net is a personal website published by Volker Weber a.k.a. vowe. I am an author, consultant and systems architect based in Darmstadt, Germany.

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