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Apple ups Mac build plans on strong reception to new desktops

post #1 of 53
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Apple this month is increasing the number of Macs on order from its Taiwanese suppliers following a better than expected response to its refreshed desktop line, according to a new report.

Speaking to clients in a research note Wednesday, Kaufman Bros. analyst Shaw Wu said sources within the Cupertino-based company's supply chain and distribution channels are seeing a "stronger-than-expected reception" to new iMacs, Mac minis and Mac Pros announced last week.

"We find this quite impressive in light of very difficult macroeconomic conditions," he wrote, noting that Mac build plans have been increased as a result. "If current rates keep up, we believe Street estimates looking for 2.2 million-2.3 million Macs for the March quarter could turn out conservative."

In particular, Wu said feedback on the new Mac mini from distribution sources has been "surprisingly positive." And while he was hoping to see Apple drop the system's price alongside the refresh, he now concedes that "perhaps $599 is a decent entry point" given that the new minis sport faster processors, larger hard drives, and much faster NVIDIA graphics chips.

The analyst even went as far as to equate the petite desktops to a premium sub-compact automobile alongside predictions that the new models could "turn out to be a surprise dark horse hit" of the Mac maker's desktop line.

"To us, the new Mac mini is like a Mini Cooper, a premium small form factor product but with decent horsepower. We believe the Mac mini could turn out to be a surprise dark horse hit," he wrote.



Wu, who was responsible for some of the off-base reports (1, 2) of quad-core iMacs leading up to last week's launch, says he believes Apple made the right move by sticking with Core 2 Duo processors in the refreshed line of all-in-one desktops, which "provide plenty of power" for the majority of users.

As for the first quad-core iMacs, he now says he's hearing a likely introduction in the "summer or fall time frame" to better coincide with the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, which will be optimized to take advantage of systems with more than two processing cores.

In the same research note, the analyst also cited "sources" who tell him Apple is working on a couple of new initiatives, namely a "smaller MacBook Air" and "larger iPod touch." The commentary, which seem more like speculation, suggests the former could arrive as "MacBook mini" and serve as the company's answer to the netbook segment.

Shares of Apple, which came under immense pressure Friday and Monday when a pair of analysts trimmed their outlook on the company citing concerns of slowing sales amid an ailing economy, have risen more than 10 percent in the last 48 hours -- after rising some 6.6 percent on Tuesday to close at $88.63, shares are up another 5.16 percent in Wednesday morning Nasdaq trading to $93.20.

In light of the positive momentum driven by new iMacs and Mac minis, Wu maintained his Buy rating and $120 price target on shares of Apple.

iMac Discounts

For those interested in one of Apple's new iMacs, Apple authorized reseller ClubMac is offering AppleInsider readers an additional 3% off its already discounted pricing using coupon code APPINSDRCWB03053 or by following the price links in our Mac Price Guide. The result is the cheapest prices we've seen so far on the new desktops, with combined discounts between $115 to $175.

Similarly, MacMall is offering 3% off new MacBook Pros with coupon code APPINSDRMWB19222, resulting in combined discounts between $188 and $320. The discounts also apply to the previous generation iMacs and MacBook Pros, meaning you can pick up a 20-inch 2.4GHz iMac for $899.17 and a 15-inch 2.35GHz MacBook Pro for $2,178.52. Full details for those interested can be seen here.
post #2 of 53
I really have to say heaven help Kaufman Bros if Shaw Wu is indictaive of the calibre of their anylists. Over time reading his "anylisis" he seems to be constantly off the mark and then quickly changes his mind in line with what has occured rather than what is he anticipated would occur. Most posters on this forum seem to have more insight than this guy.
post #3 of 53
Aside from Wu's analysis, I'm going to put it out there that this latest iteration of the Mini is the first time it's actually had good enough hardware to be a decent machine that can stack up against PCs.
post #4 of 53
The iMac catalyst is the additional 3% appleinsider discount @ club mac.
post #5 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by spcdust View Post

I really have to say heaven help Kaufman Bros if Shaw Wu is indictaive of the calibre of their anylists. Over time reading his "anylisis" he seems to be constantly off the mark and then quickly changes his mind in line with what has occured rather than what is he anticipated would occur. Most posters on this forum seem to have more insight than this guy.

We do....Wu's making a killing off of scraping AI for info (baseless speculation hehehe)

It doesn't take a Rocket Scientist to know that there was pent up demand for a decent mini. Hell i'm seeing significant interest in using them as HTPC.

Apple needs to continue to bang out the hardware and make said hardware a good value for most. Then they can focus on turning those hardware numbers into iTunes and App store eye popping numbers.

No one is monetizing their online services as well as Apple right now but they've got to keep the poker in the fire.
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post #6 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

In particular, Wu said feedback on the new Mac mini from distribution sources has been "surprisingly positive."

Gee, that wouldn't be due to 18 months of pent-up demand, would it?

/bought two
post #7 of 53
The best deal right now is the previous iMac 24" 2.8 GHz for $1,399 at the Apple Store Clearance, $1,299 for education discount, or at Amazon for $1,394.
post #8 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsteeno View Post

The iMac catalyst is the additional 3% appleinsider discount @ club mac.

LoL. I'll add a note about this in the article. The best part is the discounts on the previous gen models. You can get a 2.4GHz 20-inch iMac (w/o MiniDisplay Port) for just $100 more than the high-end mini ($899 before tax/shipping).
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post #9 of 53
Why is the mac mini selling so well? Could it have something to do with all those of us who cannot stand glossy screens? I bought two, replacing 2 G5 imacs and a good part of the reason is just this.
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post #10 of 53
"turn out to be a surprise dark horse hit"

Are you kidding me. Anyone who spends any time on a Mac forum should have seen this one coming a mile away. Every, and I literally mean every, time a new product was even rumored to be released hundreds of posters would come out of the woodwork begging or praying for a Mini update. Couple that with the decent sales ranks the woefully outdated Mini was still seeing on Amazon and who in their right mind didn't see this coming.

For all of Steve Jobs' disrespect given to the Mini it is what a lot of people want in a Mac, not all, but a lot. So, of course it sold well. Only a fool wouldn't have saw that.

EDIT: Heck, I just went and checked Amazon's ranking again. Three of the top ten best selling desktops are Minis, yeah I said three, the old Mini is actually beating the more expensive new model. By the way, it is selling for less than $500, which I guess means it was a crappy computer since Steve Jobs himself said they couldn't build a computer for less then $500 which wasn't a piece of crap.
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

As for the first quad-core iMacs, he now says he's hearing a likely introduction in the "summer or fall time frame" to better coincide with the release of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, which will be optimized to take advantage of systems with more than two processing cores.

That is pretty bold to narrow it down to a six month period.
post #12 of 53
its green to go mini, here's why, all that vista crap (we had an office melt down because they guy snuck in a vista machine) for the cost of a new system you can get a mini and use the old MS, vista whatever, keyboard and screen. screens don't go out like desktop and the form factor is so tiny it's cool and works BETTER than a new unit.
makes business sense to upgrade. away from MS ...to a MINI
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post #13 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isidore View Post

Why is the mac mini selling so well? Could it have something to do with all those of us who cannot stand glossy screens? I bought two, replacing 2 G5 imacs and a good part of the reason is just this.

A of of it has to do with the fact that it IS a Mini. It can be put where others can't.

I use one with my audio system for digitizing my LPs. My nice, big, 61" Tv acts as my screen, a wireless keyboard and mouse on my coffee table, and I'm set!

It also sells well for OEM use on cruise ships, in casinos, hotels, etc. Often, they have large screens on the wall, with the computer concealed somewhere else. Sometimes they are used in stacks as servers, which is why the optical drives are removed and an extra HDD is inserted.

These are pretty useful machines.

With the Nvidia graphics support, they can even play some 3D games decently enough.
post #14 of 53
Also there are tons of us out here, tons, that have G4 towers to which we have added everything, but they just won't cut the mustard anymore. We have the keyboards, and monitors sitting there, we just need something new to plug in. The ability to add a second monitor just makes it more enticing.

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"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

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post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

By the way, it is selling for less than $500, which I guess means it was a crappy computer since Steve Jobs himself said they couldn't build a computer for less then $500 which wasn't a piece of crap.

I don't think Steve took into account the time factor. In any case, Apple isn't building any minis that are selling for less than $500. At the time it was built in the factory, it was, according to Apple, a $600 computer.
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post #16 of 53
The 2007 Mini was just a disappointing spec bump of the first 2006 Intel Mini (only enuff to output 1080p video). so it was almost a three-year old model, and many were holding off buying, waiting for a real upgrade to current Mac performance standards. which is what the 2009 Snow Leopard-ready Mini is.

so first quarter 2009 Mini sales should be unusually good. beyond that depends on the unknown impact of Snow Leopard.
post #17 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

A of of it has to do with the fact that it IS a Mini. It can be put where others can't.

Exactly. I've been in labs where there are several groupings of minis (no displays) sitting up in the rafters, linking together a bunch of cables that flow down into and around the room.
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post #18 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isidore View Post

Why is the mac mini selling so well? Could it have something to do with all those of us who cannot stand glossy screens? I bought two, replacing 2 G5 imacs and a good part of the reason is just this.

Maybe - maybe it's people that just want a "hobby" Mac, maybe it's people (like me...) that wanted to hook it up to their TVs as an HTPC - I think the mini is unique in that it can literally go ANYWHERE. People have put them in their cars, stacked them into server farms, etc.

I believe that Mini is just Apple's hobby computer. It's why I'm not surprised that it took so long to only marginally update ... as an entry level Mac, it's great - it allows customers who wouldn't shell out the money for an iMac get exposed to OS X on the cheap. It fills the HTPC slot quite well also, and bonus, you get a Mac on the side, So if I want to take a break from watching my recorded TV shows and use the internet or iPhoto or anything else, I can do that without going and getting my laptop. There are others who have probably done much more with their minis.

It's selling well because of the constant expectation of an upgrade at every Apple announcement or event the past year or so, as well as the curiosity of those who may have missed the mini in Apple's lineup the past couple of years. They've gotten some pretty decent press from the new Mini, and I think the exposure will pull more than one or two customers to take a plunge on the mini.

Just like tv is their hobby gadget, the mini is their hobby computer. My dream would be for Apple to make a higher tier mini (called the Mac mini tv or whatever...) that combines the HD output capability and front row interface of tv with the mini's OS X experience and computing power. I don't expect it to happen anytime soon , but like I said, it's a dream....

MacBook Pro 15" 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM, 750GB HDD
Mac mini 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB HDD
iPhone 5S, 32GB

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MacBook Pro 15" 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM, 750GB HDD
Mac mini 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo, 8GB DDR3 SDRAM, 500GB HDD
iPhone 5S, 32GB

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post #19 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isidore View Post

Why is the mac mini selling so well? Could it have something to do with all those of us who cannot stand glossy screens? I bought two, replacing 2 G5 imacs and a good part of the reason is just this.

Clearly you passed up quite a few matte screens between those two purchases, so I doubt you're sending Apple the message you hope to be sending.
post #20 of 53
Demand for the new mini I can understand. I want one for my home theatre too.

Demand for the new iMac I simply cannot. All that happened was a very minor CPU/GPU bump and an increase to the quantity of RAM and HD storage that bargain PCs have had for years. The new iMac is a HUGE disappointment that has convinced me to go the hackintosh route. I should be able to get a quad core PC and 30" display for roughly the same price as the 2.93GHz iMac.
post #21 of 53
I have to say I agree with all. And now EVERYONE is finally getting the concept and point of the MacMini. For those that got it, but needed better specs. Those that didn't get it but now see that it IS a better computer. And most importantly for Apple those that see it as an easy replacement for their PC.

In the business world we have always reco'd the Mini. In previous form it had more than enough power to run OS X for email/web and Parallels for their old XP/Vista system transferred. When you bid a new set of desktops at cost + labor rates over 5hrs per unit for 100% transition, the Mini with it's low footprint, mounted behind the LCD and WAY reduced power needs tapped with the transition time of less than 1hr with NO CHANGES made to the old system they LOVE IT.

The new version, even better. We tested one here and it outscored a G5 DP 2.7, was nearly PAR with a G5 Quad (quad has dual 1tb/7200rpm drives which is where the mini fell lower). If your still on a G4, any G4 desktop... Get a Mini.

Now if the rest of the world would realize the power behind the MacPro and Parallels server... We'd really have something.

I just hope they stop comparing it to a Mini Cooper.... Smallest/Biggest POS ever built! I've had 3, I'm done. There not worth it.
post #22 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Demand for the new mini I can understand. I want one for my home theatre too.

Demand for the new iMac I simply cannot. All that happened was a very minor CPU/GPU bump and an increase to the quantity of RAM and HD storage that bargain PCs have had for years. The new iMac is a HUGE disappointment that has convinced me to go the hackintosh route. I should be able to get a quad core PC and 30" display for roughly the same price as the 2.93GHz iMac.

Have fun with those updates! I tried it, not worth it.
EDIT: I'm talking app updates, not majors. iTunes 7.6-7.6.1 crashed it.
post #23 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

The best deal right now is the previous iMac 24" 2.8 GHz for $1,399 at the Apple Store Clearance, $1,299 for education discount, or at Amazon for $1,394.

I'd get the new $1499 2.66ghz imac instead. $1360ish after AI discount.

The new one has twice the hard drive and memory. I'd rather have those upgrades than a slightly faster gpu or cpu.
post #24 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bregalad View Post

Demand for the new mini I can understand. I want one for my home theatre too.

Demand for the new iMac I simply cannot. All that happened was a very minor CPU/GPU bump and an increase to the quantity of RAM and HD storage that bargain PCs have had for years. The new iMac is a HUGE disappointment that has convinced me to go the hackintosh route. I should be able to get a quad core PC and 30" display for roughly the same price as the 2.93GHz iMac.

Um... don't you get it? 95% of Mac buyers can't tell the difference between 2 Ghz and 3 Ghz, between two cores and four, between 1 gb of RAM and 4 gb. But something that's new.... well everyone knows that's a good thing.

Don't make the common nerd mistake of thinking that the normal people out there that make up 95% of the public understand or care about these things.
post #25 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Um... don't you get it? 95% of Mac buyers can't tell the difference between 2 Ghz and 3 Ghz, between two cores and four, between 1 gb of RAM and 4 gb. But something that's new.... well everyone knows that's a good thing.

Don't make the common nerd mistake of thinking that the normal people out there that make up 95% of the public understand or care about these things.

And the reason why "the common people" don't care, is that it doesn't matter to them, computers are fast enough right now for most people.
post #26 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

And the reason why "the common people" don't care, is that it doesn't matter to them, computers are fast enough right now for most people.

Exactly. So all the whining about this feature or that feature is just wasted time - the people Apple sells computers to don't care about that stuff, and that's why Apple doesn't care about that stuff.
post #27 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

And the reason why "the common people" don't care, is that it doesn't matter to them, computers are fast enough right now for most people.

The only one that I would disagree with here is the RAM. Even the lay person will notice the difference in 2GB of RAM over the 1GB. At least if they do anything with iPhoto they will.

The other thing that people will notice is the hard drive size. Which is still the one area that I think Apple is short changing the Mini.

Otherwise, I completely agree with you.
post #28 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

The only one that I would disagree with here is the RAM. Even the lay person will notice the difference in 2GB of RAM over the 1GB. At least if they do anything with iPhoto they will.

The other thing that people will notice is the hard drive size. Which is still the one area that I think Apple is short changing the Mini.

Otherwise, I completely agree with you.

They can add RAM. It's not as hard as some think.

As for more drive space, if one REALLY needs it, this is a GREAT solution. The Ministack. I have an older one with a 1 TB drive for my audio system.

http://www.newertech.com/products/externalhd.php
post #29 of 53
How much is new Mini in US..?

Here in New Zealand, Apple is asking for NZ$1850 (roughly US$925) for 2GB RAM/320GB HDD version, no monitor (not sure if keyboard and mouse are included?).

That is hardly reasonable. I think you can still get previous generation MacBook White for the same money here. Sure it has only 1GB of RAM and 120GB HDD, but it is complete machine - and a notebook.

While I like the looks and size of Mini, I really can't digest simple fact that my new dream-PC will cost the same amount of money...
post #30 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

They can add RAM. It's not as hard as some think.

As for more drive space, if one REALLY needs it, this is a GREAT solution. The Ministack. I have an older one with a 1 TB drive for my audio system.

http://www.newertech.com/products/externalhd.php

Cool, I am getting one of those, I didn't even know they existed. Thanks for the heads up!!!!!
post #31 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikon133 View Post

How much is new Mini in US..?

Here in New Zealand, Apple is asking for NZ$1850 (roughly US$925) for 2GB RAM/320GB HDD version, no monitor (not sure if keyboard and mouse are included?).

That is hardly reasonable. I think you can still get previous generation MacBook White for the same money here. Sure it has only 1GB of RAM and 120GB HDD, but it is complete machine - and a notebook.

While I like the looks and size of Mini, I really can't digest simple fact that my new dream-PC will cost the same amount of money...

The white MacBook that you mention is essentially the same spec as the lower-priced mini, not the one you listed. What is the price in New Zealand for the base mini?

BTW, I suspect the low price mini will outsell the high price model by five to one or more.
post #32 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by mknopp View Post

The only one that I would disagree with here is the RAM. Even the lay person will notice the difference in 2GB of RAM over the 1GB. At least if they do anything with iPhoto they will.

The other thing that people will notice is the hard drive size. Which is still the one area that I think Apple is short changing the Mini.

Otherwise, I completely agree with you.

It's just not true. While iPhoto does appreciate more RAM for libraries with several thousand pictures, that 95% of the population does NOT have thousands of pictures in their libraries!

Same with hard drive size - to fill up even 120 GB, you need a hundred thousand pictures, 40,000 ripped songs or some combination of the two. That 95% of the world will never get close to those numbers.
post #33 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

It's just not true. While iPhoto does appreciate more RAM for libraries with several thousand pictures, that 95% of the population does NOT have thousands of pictures in their libraries!

Same with hard drive size - to fill up even 120 GB, you need a hundred thousand pictures, 40,000 ripped songs or some combination of the two. That 95% of the world will never get close to those numbers.

I don't know what figures you're using... but my ~15,000 song library takes up 80+GB. I'd also say the majority of the population does have thousands of photos in their library. Its very easy to take a few hundred on one trip. Maybe the people you come in contact day to day don't have large photo libraries.

@ melgross.
I've upgraded RAM in two Mac minis... it is not a user serviceable upgrade, to say the least.
post #34 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDonG4 View Post

I don't know what figures you're using... but my ~15,000 song library takes up 80+GB. I'd also say the majority of the population does have thousands of photos in their library. Its very easy to take a few hundred on one trip. Maybe the people you come in contact day to day don't have large photo libraries.

Music is different from photos. But I'd have to agree that mosr people don't have that many. i read an interesting article about a year ago that said that many people with digital cameras just keep photos on their cards, and show them using the LCD on the back of the cameras. Odd, I thought, but I'm finding that people are doing that.

Quote:
@ melgross.
I've upgraded RAM in two Mac minis... it is not a user serviceable upgrade, to say the least.

I've done a few, and it's not so tough. I suppose if someone isn't used to taking things apart, then it would be difficult. But RAM upgrade companies often provide a plastic "cracker" along with instructions. It's not for everyone, but those who need it are often more familiar with computers than the rest of the population. The rest should just pay the extra $100.

And that's what they do!
post #35 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDonG4 View Post

I don't know what figures you're using... but my ~15,000 song library takes up 80+GB. I'd also say the majority of the population does have thousands of photos in their library. Its very easy to take a few hundred on one trip. Maybe the people you come in contact day to day don't have large photo libraries.

That's right - the people I come in contact with don't have large photo libraries. I run a computer support business in the DC area, and my clients are generally top 10% net worth in the country, the kind who buy a new computer when they want one and get one for the maid as well. I have ONE client who needed to change his computer based on his photo library, out of a total of 800 clients on my roster at this point (5 years running the business). I daresay that my experience is easily large enough to be considered valuable information, and if anything, more likely than average to have heavy requirements.

And yeah, 15,000 song libraries are HUUUUGE.

Nerds have a very hard time understanding that they and their friends are FAAAAR from representative of any reasonable segment of the market.
post #36 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson1 View Post

The white MacBook that you mention is essentially the same spec as the lower-priced mini, not the one you listed. What is the price in New Zealand for the base mini?

BTW, I suspect the low price mini will outsell the high price model by five to one or more.

Basic Mini with 1GB RAM and 120GB HDD is NZ$1400 (US$700).

Still expensive, but better; Apple is charging premium for extra RAM and some more HDD space...

I know that old MacBook is lower spec than Mini 2/320GB, but it is notebook (thus expected to be a bit more expensive than equally spec desktop) and comes with screen, keyboard, touchpad, battery...
post #37 of 53
Mac fanatics need to realize that people aren't switching to Macs because of the hardware, they are switching because of OS X. It probably kills Steve Jobs to see this, but the hardware just doesn't matter. And I wish people would stop talking about the "integration" of OS X and Mac hardware. What integration? The insides of all Macs are the same as PC's now.
post #38 of 53
I think the Mac mini sells well mostly on the virtue of being the cheapest computer Apple sells.
post #39 of 53
Not entirely. Apple uses custom motherboards, and no PC currently uses the Nvidia chipset used in Macs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jocknerd View Post

And I wish people would stop talking about the "integration" of OS X and Mac hardware. What integration? The insides of all Macs are the same as PC's now.
post #40 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by jocknerd View Post

Mac fanatics need to realize that people aren't switching to Macs because of the hardware, they are switching because of OS X. It probably kills Steve Jobs to see this, but the hardware just doesn't matter. And I wish people would stop talking about the "integration" of OS X and Mac hardware. What integration? The insides of all Macs are the same as PC's now.

Mostly true, but if I'm getting lesser HW for the same amount of money, it's not that difficult for me to look away, and plan on getting a future Win7 PC instead; for about $1000, I could get a PC with a Core i7 920, 3-6 GB of DDR3 RAM, a good dedicated Nvidia or ATI GPU. etc.

There are a lot of things that I do prefer in OSX over Windows, but it's not like the OS' are that different anymore, or that iLife some sort of wunderapp, same goes with iWork - lightweight apps. for lightweight uses. Give me Office 2007, every day of the week, twice on Sunday, over iWork, Picasa over iPhoto.

I like iWeb, but don't do any web sites anymore, nor do I have a camcorder, so I've never had a use for iMovie/IDVD.
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