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Mossberg: Apple's iMac, MacBook 'evolutionary, not revolutionary'

post #1 of 128
Thread Starter 
In his reviews of the latest MacBook and iMac upgrades from Apple, Walt Mossberg has recommended both hardware redesigns, calling them better and brighter.

But despite major hardware changes on both lines of hardware, The Wall Street Journal reviewer said the updates do not offer anything significantly different than their predecessors.

"Though both new Macs sport important improvements, they are evolutionary, not revolutionary, and neither follows the industry trend toward bargain-basement prices," Mossberg said. "The MacBook is still $999 and the iMac starts at $1,199, though the company is giving users more features at those same price points. You can pay much less for laptops and desktops from competitors like Dell and Hewlett-Packard."

Mossberg gave the new 27-inch iMac a test, and found the upgraded internals, including the addition of a SD flash memory card slot and a 1TB hard drive, to be welcome improvements. He also noted the system's ability to act as an external monitor.

"In my tests, using a 27-inch model, the machine was fast and the screen was brilliant and displaying hi-res photos and high-definition video," he said. "Its width allowed me to treat it like two monitors, with, say, a Microsoft Word document on the left and a Web page on the right."

As for the new 13-inch unibody polycarbonate MacBook, Mossberg noted the loss of a FireWire port and the continuing absence of an SD card slot, but felt the shortcomings were offset by the new hardware design and internal improvements. For example, the sealed battery offers superior uptime, as Mossberg said he could "easily top six hours" with the new hardware in a normal use setting.

The new MacBook carries the same 1.08-inch thickness, but is longer and wider than the older model. The weight, he said, has been reduced from 5 pounds to 4.7 pounds.

Mossberg said the new MacBook with a 250GB hard drive is "fast and reliable," and offers a better deal than the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which has a 160GB hard drive.

The review did note that one "revolutionary" new product came from Apple this week: the new Magic Mouse, the first-ever multi-touch hardware pointer. In a brief mention, he noted that the mouse "worked well."

The technology columnist began and concluded his review by comparing Apple's new hardware with Windows 7, which brought about the launch of numerous new machines from vendors on Thursday. When he reviewed Microsoft's new operating system weeks ago, Mossberg gave Windows 7 high praise, noting he believes it has narrowed the gap with Apple's Mac OS X.

"These new models now round out a full line of refreshed Macs," Mossberg said in his review of the new iMac and MacBook, "but they will face stiff new competition from a horde of PCs running the new and better version of Windows."
post #2 of 128
It's important to distinguish between a desirable "Industry Trend" versus an undesirable trend. Bargain Basement pricing is not a trend any company wants to follow. Mossberg should know better than to write nonsensical tripe like that.
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post #3 of 128
neither follows the industry trend toward bargain-basement prices," Mossberg said. "The MacBook is still $99 and the iMac starts at $1,199.

That sounds like a bargain-basement price to me!
post #4 of 128
I am in the Apple store5th Avenue using the 27"iMac with its Magic MOuse. The screen has way too much glare. As I've stated many times- the larger the screen the more glare- especially when viewing at such a short distance. The Mouse- meh? too small for my big hands
Off to see the MacBook now- the best in show.
post #5 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

It's important to distinguish between a desirable "Industry Trend" versus an undesirable trend. Bargain Basement pricing is not a trend any company wants to follow. Mossberg should know better than to write nonsensical tripe like that.

He's reviewing this for customers, not investors, making lower prices definitely a desirable industry trend. Customers seem to agree, as Apple sells much fewer percentage of desktops as most other companies, which points to a weakness in their desktop line compared to their laptop one.
post #6 of 128
Mossberg the Moron.

These latest two products are perhaps two of the most revolutionary products ever released onto the public. He needs to go back to journalism school.
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post #7 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

It's important to distinguish between a desirable "Industry Trend" versus an undesirable trend. Bargain Basement pricing is not a trend any company wants to follow. Mossberg should know better than to write nonsensical tripe like that.

I totally agree with Walt on this one. Apple needs to reduce the prices. I've owned over a dozen Macs (and a few Apple IIs) and never bought a PC in my life, I'm about to buy a new Mac, but Apple needs to get some more offerings in the sub-$1000 range. The new MacBook should start at $899, and the new iMac $999. And at the very least, Apple needs to upgrade the base MBP config to 250GB HD immediately (with no increase of price), otherwise it's a ridiculous comparison.

I wasn't expecting anything revolutionary design & feature-wise (and we definitely didn't get it), but I was at least hoping for a revolutionary announcement price-wise this month, but no go there either! The Magic mouse is the only really innovative news here. I don't even want to count how many Mighty Mouses I've worn out (that darn track ball just won't stay clean no matter what you do or how many times you try to clean it). So while I can't wait to get my hands on one, they're too expensive also considering how many wireless mice are available for so much less.

Too bad that Apple isn't following the pricing "Trend", because consumers are. Loyal Apple customers who know the value still cringe when they see capable PCs for half the price. No, they're not a Mac, but in today's economy, price matters! ...especially if Apple wants their growth trend to continue to accelerate.
post #8 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmurchison View Post

It's important to distinguish between a desirable "Industry Trend" versus an undesirable trend. Bargain Basement pricing is not a trend any company wants to follow. Mossberg should know better than to write nonsensical tripe like that.

Exactly. Cheapest is rarely the best in anything.
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post #9 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

I am in the Apple store5th Avenue using the 27"iMac with its Magic MOuse. The screen has way too much glare. As I've stated many times- the larger the screen the more glare- especially when viewing at such a short distance. The Mouse- meh? too small for my big hands
Off to see the MacBook now- the best in show.

I doubt the lighting in your home is the same as in the store.
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post #10 of 128
Apple can't be revolutionary every single time, LOL.

Besides, Apple's demonstrated that they understand the market far better than Mossberg does (or any other analyst, for that matter.)
post #11 of 128
Well...the mighty mouse is
post #12 of 128
Not to be facetious, by why exactly should they do this other than to make it easier on your wallet? Jobs formula is clearly working, as the profits are rolling in. You don't see BMW or Lexus racing to cut their prices on their cars. Premium products will always demand premium prices. Apple isn't a charity. Sucks for us as consumers, but good for investors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by daehl View Post

I totally agree with Walt on this one. Apple needs to reduce the prices. I've owned over a dozen Macs (and a few Apple IIs) and never bought a PC in my life, I'm about to buy a new Mac, but Apple needs to get some more offerings in the sub-$1000 range. The new MacBook should start at $899, and the new iMac $999. And at the very least, Apple needs to upgrade the base MBP config to 250GB HD immediately (with no increase of price), otherwise it's a ridiculous comparison.

I wasn't expecting anything revolutionary design & feature-wise (and we definitely didn't get it), but I was at least hoping for a revolutionary announcement price-wise this month, but no go there either! The Magic mouse is the only really innovative news here. I can't count how many Mighty mouse I've worn out the track ball (even after dozens of cleaning attempts). So while I can't wait to get my hands on one, those are too expensive also.
Too bad that Apple isn't following the pricing "Trend", because consumers are (even loyal Apple customers)...especially if Apple wants their growth trend to continue to accelerate.
post #13 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by caljomac View Post

Well...the mighty mouse is


Do you have to use that smiley every time you post? It's a little ridiculous.

I agree somewhat with what he's saying. There is nothing major, "revolutionary," change wise but these additions are a major step forward. Also, the Magic Mouse is definitely revolutionary, I really want one but it's so expensive.
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post #14 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

These latest two products are perhaps two of the most revolutionary products ever released onto the public. He needs to go back to journalism school.

What, exactly, is revolutionary about them? They are simply refinements of existing designs.

The iPhone was revolutionary. The current crop of Macs are not.
post #15 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

Mossberg the Moron.

These latest two products are perhaps two of the most revolutionary products ever released onto the public. He needs to go back to journalism school.

Mossberg is not a moron. He is highly respected by the heads of large tech companies, including Stevo. Also, two of the most revolutionary products ever released? What are you even talking about?
post #16 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morky View Post

Mossberg is not a moron. He is highly respected by the heads of large tech companies, including Stevo. Also, two of the most revolutionary products ever released? What are you even talking about?

No, but what a high bar Apple has set for itself with the tech writers. Can you imagine anyone actually mentioning whether a new Dell was revolutionary or not?
post #17 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

What, exactly, is revolutionary about them? They are simply refinements of existing designs.

The iPhone was revolutionary. The current crop of Macs are not.

The current crop of Macs may not be revolutionary but they ARE desireable.
post #18 of 128
I quite like Mossberg, but he comes out with this 'evolutionary, not revolutionary' all the time. Does he expect Apple and others reinvent the computer market every time they update their line?
post #19 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

What, exactly, is revolutionary about them? They are simply refinements of existing designs.

The iPhone was revolutionary. The current crop of Macs are not.


The new iMacs are part of a revolution already in progress... compare them to the Dell all-in-one....the displays are not in the same league, for example.
post #20 of 128
Once you reduce prices, its a little hard to go back.

If you want a cheap machine, by a PC.

Gawd, how often do we retread over this?
post #21 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

What, exactly, is revolutionary about them? They are simply refinements of existing designs.

The iPhone was revolutionary. The current crop of Macs are not.

"involving or causing a complete or dramatic change”

A display ratio change from 16:10 to 16:9, and desktop-class CPUs over notebook-class CPUs for the first time. I’d define those two things as revolutionary for the iMac line.

The new MacBook’s unibody polycarb chassis may be revolutionary, but we don’t how it’s made. The milled aluminium chassis was surely revolutionary for mass market computing industry.

It really depends at what your looking at. The whole widget, a part that, a conceptual change, or even something that changes the way your competitors do business.
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post #22 of 128
Revolution is a one time event, after that it's evolution. For example microchip was a revolution and after that it evolved year after year.

iMac G4 was revolutionary and these iMac are evolutionary. There is nothing wrong about it.

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post #23 of 128
It is kind of funny to see all these iMac wannabes introduced today.

Interestingly enough, none of them have a 27" screen with 2560x1440 resolution or a multi-touch mouse. Many of them have touch displays. If the trend catches on, companies that sell display cleaning kits and chiropractors who treat neck and shoulder problems will see their business grow...
post #24 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by daehl View Post

...especially if Apple wants their growth trend to continue to accelerate.

I think Apple knows exactly what it is doing. The growth trends are currently fine, thank you.

If and when Apple needs to up that, it can lower prices. Pricing in this space is unidirectional -- once lower, you really can't go back up. So it makes sense for Apple to milk the higher prices for as long as it can.
post #25 of 128
"You can pay much less for laptops and desktops from competitors like Dell and Hewlett-Packard."

Someone employed at the WSJ would be familiar with the phrase "you get what you pay for."
post #26 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by daehl View Post

I totally agree with Walt on this one. Apple needs to reduce the prices. I've owned over a dozen Macs (and a few Apple IIs) and never bought a PC in my life, I'm about to buy a new Mac, but Apple needs to get some more offerings in the sub-$1000 range. The new MacBook should start at $899, and the new iMac $999. And at the very least, Apple needs to upgrade the base MBP config to 250GB HD immediately (with no increase of price), otherwise it's a ridiculous comparison.

I wasn't expecting anything revolutionary design & feature-wise (and we definitely didn't get it), but I was at least hoping for a revolutionary announcement price-wise this month, but no go there either! The Magic mouse is the only really innovative news here. I don't even want to count how many Mighty Mouses I've worn out (that darn track ball just won't stay clean no matter what you do or how many times you try to clean it). So while I can't wait to get my hands on one, they're too expensive also considering how many wireless mice are available for so much less.

Too bad that Apple isn't following the pricing "Trend", because consumers are. Loyal Apple customers who know the value still cringe when they see capable PCs for half the price. No, they're not a Mac, but in today's economy, price matters! ...especially if Apple wants their growth trend to continue to accelerate.

Apple can command a premium price because it is a cut above Windows PCs. As long as this remains the perception of the buying public, Apple will never have to compete on price alone. This is an enviable position to be in, and as the company's record earnings indicate it is a tactic that is working.

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post #27 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dlux View Post

What, exactly, is revolutionary about them? They are simply refinements of existing designs.

The iPhone was revolutionary. The current crop of Macs are not.

I have to agreed with Dlux on this one, only magic mouse is really revolutionary and others especially iMac upgrades, are just that.

As for g3pro calling someone who is respected a moron because you do not like his opinion, his little weak minded.

Overall it was a good assessment of the new releases, maybe not what you want to hear, but he was been honest from his point of view. In the past he has given great reviews to Apple products, so I will always read his reviews with open mind.
post #28 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by macshark View Post

It is kind of funny to see all these iMac wannabes introduced today.

Interestingly enough, none of them have a 27" screen with 2560x1440 resolution or a multi-touch mouse. Many of them have touch displays. If the trend catches on, companies that sell display cleaning kits and chiropractors who treat neck and shoulder problems will see their business grow...

Nice list of new Win7 machines. There is an HP AIO for $599. Not fast, poor resolution, but I know of people that simply dont need or want a faster machine that can do more. I think that may fit there occasional needs swimmingly.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpellino View Post

"You can pay much less for laptops and desktops from competitors like Dell and Hewlett-Packard."

Someone employed at the WSJ would be familiar with the phrase "you get what you pay for."

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post #29 of 128
Talk about stating the obvious, I recall the Bondi iMac was not revolutionary either, there were all-in-one machines out for years at that time. Apple has to it's credit keeps giving consumers reasons to come back. They constantly refine their hardware (software too) and occasionally take a good idea too far (Cube) (Puck mouse). Speaking of mice, the new Magic Mouse is not available at the Soho - New York as of today however there are several attached to the new iMacs. Not sure Apple has a hit on it's hand with the new mouse. Scrolling was nice but does ask you to keep you hand semi hovering over the device. The side scrolling not so good though, you may find yourself pushing the mouse away from you until you perfect the gesture.
post #30 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post

I have to agreed with Dlux on this one, only magic mouse is really revolutionary and others especially iMac upgrades, are just that.

Even that is arguable. The technology in Magic Mouse has been in Apples trackpads for years and the trackpad can even do more. It also looks the Magic Mouse has removed some buttons that some people may want.

I think the move to desktop-class CPUs is revolutionary for the iMac line itself. I also wonder if the move to the wider ratio display will catch on with other AIO vendors. If it does, could that be considered revolutionary if competitors are reacting to it directly?
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post #31 of 128
Is Walt writing this on a NETtop? Of course you can buy a PC for $300 nowadays, but why not go further. You can go to craigslist and buy a used laptop that will do email and web for $150. Why doesn't the PC industry just stop making new PCs, and just resell the ones already made for cheaper and cheaper.

Mac is innovating btw, did you see those heat sinks, good luck finding those in your EEEbox.
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post #32 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylack View Post

Not to be facetious, by why exactly should they do this other than to make it easier on your wallet? Jobs formula is clearly working, as the profits are rolling in. You don't see BMW or Lexus racing to cut their prices on their cars. Premium products will always demand premium prices. Apple isn't a charity. Sucks for us as consumers, but good for investors.

Macs are not Lexus or BMWs, and Apple has never (and would be stupid to) use that as an analogy in any marketing campaign. One of their prior CEOs (Gil Amelio) compared Macs to Mag-lites, and he didn't last long after that.

Macs are general consumer electronics devices. Their not hand crafted and don't offer porter service. I happen to think their technology is (and has been) generally superior to PCs, but I know that's not the case in all situations. But I'm in a graphic arts profession and Macs are the clear superior product. But they are by no means luxury items. And I don't expect to pay a premium for their name either. They use many of the exact same componants as PCs and still charge a premium for them (check their custom config pricing, their RAM & HD prices are above competition and offer no advantages whatsoever).

So yes, while I'm glad my Apple stock is going up, I want it to CONTINUE to go up through more wide stream adoption and an increase in market share, and lower prices will help play a role in that continued success.
post #33 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Mac is innovating btw, did you see those heat sinks, good luck finding those in your EEEbox.

They are massive. The CPU and GPU are now pretty far from each other. I have to wonder if part of the reasoning for going with a wider ratio is to get the benefit of being able to space out the components horizontally for more efficient cooling. A lot of people are surprised Apple was able to go with desktop CPUs when the last machines got so hot.
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post #34 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by g3pro View Post

Mossberg the Moron.

These latest two products are perhaps two of the most revolutionary products ever released onto the public. He needs to go back to journalism school.

Hardly - incremental cannot be revolutionary. I think to call any personal computer revolutionary these days is stretching the term. The closes would be the iPhone but even that is just a miniaturization. It may be revolutionizing personal computing however. For a personal computer to be revolutionary it needs to do something like operate by thought.
post #35 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by cmf2 View Post

I doubt the lighting in your home is the same as in the store.

i'm back.
Doesn't matter- and then why are they still teaching a class using the 30" MATTE Cinemadisplay. matte is so obviously better- everybody can view it from all angles.
I asked a salesperson if they sold it and she said they have a newer version. I then asked it it was matte like the one used for the class and she had to check with the manager- who I saw shake his head then glared at me. Too funny. They must get asked that all the time.
post #36 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post

No, but what a high bar Apple has set for itself with the tech writers. Can you imagine anyone actually mentioning whether a new Dell was revolutionary or not?

Revolutionary - please. And why hasn't Jony Ive understood yet that a desktop screen needs a vertical adjustment - not just an angle swing. For god's sake - GET IT RIGHT!
post #37 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by daehl View Post

Loyal Apple customers who know the value still cringe when they see capable PCs for half the price. No, they're not a Mac, but in today's economy, price matters! ...especially if Apple wants their growth trend to continue to accelerate.

Not me. I would cringe, no check that, I would convulse uncontrollably, spasm into shock, and probably die if I ever had to buy a cheap PC running Windows.
Example: November 2008, I checked out a Best Buy and finally saw a netbook. They looked fairly interesting. Later, this past March, I finally considered buying a netbook since I frequently travel. I checked several stores and was disappointed I couldn't find any with Linux. So I didn't buy one. Instead I bought an iPod touch. I can do just about everything I wanted to do with that that I could've with a netbook. It also syncs with my Mac, it is smaller, and it was cheaper than a netbook.
One more tidbit. So I was recently at an airport going through security. One of the ladies says to me, after seeing my 12-inch PowerBook, "you must travel a lot. You're computer is smaller than everybody else's." I guess she hadn't seen a netbook.
post #38 of 128
Evolutionary, not Revolutionary.

Mossberg said this about OS X from Tiger to Leopard right? Link

Says it about Vista to Windows 7. Link

I think he needs to update his phrase dictionary.



Mossberg is careful to structure his reviews to be more positive than not. He doesn't blatantly go off the deep end like any of us die-hard AI guys would (on any OS including SL). I am not saying he can't be trusted but I am saying you have to take it for what it is worth. I question someone's review who says W7 has now made the difference between OS X and W7 close but then goes on to state differences in the versions of the OS and addresses 32 bit and 64 bit.
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post #39 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

"involving or causing a complete or dramatic change

A display ratio change from 16:10 to 16:9, and desktop-class CPUs over notebook-class CPUs for the first time. Id define those two things as revolutionary for the iMac line.

The screen aspect ratio change is not going to be noticeable to the average consumer, and as for desktop class processors, they've just gone back to the days of the iMac G5. These are solid refinements to the design that was first introduced way back with the iMac G5 nearly five years ago.

To my mind, revolutionary means massive, noticeable changes that cause changes all throught the industry. The original iMac did this. The iMac G4 with it's moveable display and swing arm did this. I'd argue that the current iMac design (going back to the G5) was nowhere near the game changer that the other two designs were.
post #40 of 128
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"Though both new Macs sport important improvements, they are evolutionary, not revolutionary, and neither follows the industry trend toward bargain-basement prices," Mossberg said. "The MacBook is still $999 and the iMac starts at $1,199, though the company is giving users more features at those same price points. You can pay much less for laptops and desktops from competitors like Dell and Hewlett-Packard."

I like Mossberg, but I take exception of his contention that the new iMacs are evolutionary and not revolutionary.

If, as many of the early reviews bear out, i.e., the new iMacs could well cause a resurgence of desktop sales and displace the current trend to the mobile platform, that in itself could be considered 'revolutionary'.

In addition, the suggestion of using them as an external display for DisplayPort devices and the new iMac display's IPS screen technology for HDTV-style viewing via a wall mount, could, in fact, help endorse Mossberg's declaration to the contrary.

But, perhaps Mossberg is more of a god than I believe him to be. Only time will tell.

As for following the industry trend toward bargain-basement prices, thank goodness. Obviously, he has missed the same competitors' trend towards bargain basement offerings and services.

I should also like to add, that Mossberg should perhaps follow his own edict and begin to provide more value for his services. Otherwise, his appearance here could be more revolutionary than evolutionary.
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