Thursday, August 9, 2007

Apple's at it again

It was previously anticipated that sometime soon Apple would renew its iMac all-in-one desktop, however, never in my wildest dreams has it occurred to me that this change would take place so quickly.

Viola! Load the Apple homepage today and a gorgeous striking picture of the latest iMac, clad in shiny aluminum casing with a black border surrounding its glossy screen, will greet you. It’s thinner than before, which immediately raises questions about air circulation and over-heating problems especially now that these machines are running chips up to 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. That’s beastly.

As with many of Apple’s new products, they are not completely new or foreign. I would call this new iMac more of an upgrade and a facelift rather than a complete overhaul. The concept for its outer design has been retained, but the usual white glass-coated plastic covering has been abandoned as consumers favour the more durable aluminum shell, citing that it makes the product look classier. And finally Apple has heard the boos and whines from environmentalists, repeatedly assuring everyone, during the Apple Special Event held at the Apple campus, that this iMac is made of recyclable materials and high-quality plastics that can be recycled and is environment-friendly.

Together with the spanking new iMacs, Jobs also announced improvements to the lacking and almost stagnant .Mac online services, a revamped iLife and a fresh new version of iMovie and significant new features to iPhoto, finishing it off with upgrades to iWork, including the introduction of an Excel compatible spreadsheet software, Numbers. With the complete suite, Pages, Keynote and Numbers, this could be the final nail in the coffin for Office for Mac.

So Apple has been busy busy busy this year! And in a few months time Leopard will ship. I have a few theories as to why Apple suddenly released so many new stuff all at one go.

For many consumers that are aware of Leopard, Apple’s next operating system, they would patiently wait for Leopard to arrive before purchasing a new Mac. Hence, there would be a drop in the number of people buying the Mac at this period, as many would prefer to wait for Leopard on their Macs, and not install another OS over the existing Tiger. So, in a bid to keep consumer interest and sales going, Apple has to introduce many new enticing upgrades and new products to keep the demand high. For people who do not know anything about Leopard, they will fall for this trap and purchase the new iMac running Tiger and in a few months time when Leopard ships, their system will be outdated and more money has to be spent buying Leopard and going through the hassle of installing it. Knowing that fans are so crazy over new products and can’t wait, Apple has taken this opportunity to release these fantastic stuff.

Also, the new iMac can be seen as a more powerful machine released in preparation for Leopard, which surely demands more processing power than Tiger. Furthermore, the fact that Apple is giving students free iPod nanos with every current purchase of a new Mac confirms my theory that these are desperate attempts to keep sales going. And guess what, this offer ends at around the time when Leopard is released. HAH!

Be smart, wait for Leopard before buying the new iMac, like I’m going to do, then get iWork, use the free Boot Camp, install Vista Home Premium, give it a RAM boost to 2GB (you’ll need that), and finally get rid of XP on that old PC in the living room, and replace it with the neat 20/24-inch beauty!

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