MacCentral Week in Review
Editorial: Stand and deliver: The iMac G5 ships
By Peter Cohen, firstname.lastname@example.org
Well, what do you know? Apple shipped a product on time. Actually, Apple ships plenty of equipment on time. It's just that Apple's stumbles often take center stage in media reports, so I figure we should give equal time to Apple's successes too.
Apple first announced in July that it had discontinued its iMac G4 for a new model that would be announced and released in September. Later Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer explained to financial analysts that the delay was caused by a parts shortage from G5 processor maker IBM. Apple Expo in Paris was the iMac G5's coming out party, just a few short weeks ago. And Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller told the crowd that the new flat-panel all in one design would start shipping in mid-September.
"Yeah, right," said many. Apple doesn't have the best reputation for shipping a product when it first says it will. The company has been famously late with some products, and it seems that delivery problems have periodically plagued certain G5-based systems since they first debuted in 2003.
Lo and behold, this week, early adopters began to get theirs, and in mid-September, just as Apple had promised -- apparently there's no rush to build a supercomputing grid out of these systems, as there was with Apple's first batch of dual-processor Power Mac G5s. MacCentral readers first received shipping confirmations from the online Apple Store earlier this week. Some particularly excited iMac G5 buyers provided regular updates documenting their system's trek from Shanghai, China, where the new iMacs are being manufactured, to their own front doors, thanks to FedEx's online tracking system.
What's the verdict? Everyone with whom I've exchanged e-mails and instant messages seems to love their new system, and there's a common thread that may interest folks who are cold to the iMac G5's appearance: I've heard repeated variations on the phrase "looks much better in real life."
Apple Vice President of Product Marketing Greg Joswiak cautioned customers to be realistic about availability of the new iMac in an interview with Macworld earlier this month, but he reiterated that Apple would ship the new system when they said they would ship, and indeed, he's been proven right.
Online Apple Store customers aren't the only ones who have their new machines, either. A quick call to several Apple Stores and independent Authorized Apple Resellers confirmed that many already had the iMac G5 in stock, or at least on their show floors. Some had waiting lists, however, and many reported constrained availability of specific models.
"On day one, there's all this demand that's built up, and inevitably, there's a shortage," Joswiak said. That's a keen observation worth considering before you run out to your local Apple Store or Mac reseller with cash in hand. So call ahead first to find out if the iMac G5 is in.
Are you one of the lucky ones who has one, or are you still waiting? Drop me a line and let me know what you think.
British consumer watchdog group Consumers' Association, publishers of Which? magazines and books, on Wednesday announced that they've written to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) alleging that Apple may be unfairly pricing songs sold through the UK version of its iTunes Music Store. But they appear to be one of the few people who think so, if the comments of the organization's own head of policy is any indication.
Apple Computer Inc. on Thursday released its third security update in recent days. Security Update 2004-09-16 fixes a security issue with Apple's iChat application that allowed Remote iChat participants can send "links" that can start local programs if clicked.
Lots of digital camera news
A busy week for digital camera news: Konica Minolta rolled out its Maxxum 7D and DiMAGE A200, Olympus intro'd its D-535 Zoom and C-7000 and Nikon offered up its new D2X SLR and three new Coolpix models. Pentax unveiled a new Digital SLR also.
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Adobe Systems Inc. introduced on Wednesday Photoshop Elements 3.0, a major upgrade to its consumer-level photo editing application. The update adds several new features and enhancements that allow the amateur and pro alike to edit photos with a few mouse clicks.
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Around the Web
Yahoo! Inc. on Tuesday announced plans to acquire online music service Musicmatch Inc. in a cash deal valued at US$160 million. It's Yahoo's maneuver to become a player in the online digital music download world, currently dominated by Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes Music Store, and populated by a variety of other competitors including Napster, Microsoft's MSN Music, Wal-Mart and others.
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