Resellers: Apple Refresh Not Enough To Spur New Business


Apple Tuesday refreshed its iMac, Mac Pro and Mac Mini lines with faster processors, larger displays and expanded memory, and, for the most part, left prices alone.

But Apple resellers aren't expecting to see a huge uptick in business such as they might around a more highly anticipated release from Apple. Instead, the refresh is a rote move by Apple to update some hardware that was bordering on the edge of neglect, resellers said.

"The refresh, simply put, just reinforces Apple's dedication to all three platforms," said Michael Oh, CEO of Boston-based Apple reseller Tech Superpowers.

"Apple did exactly what it needed to do, but it won't have a huge impact on my business," said Vinny DiSpigno, CEO of Holbrook, N.Y.-based Apple reseller Webistix.

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Oh agreed, calling the refresh of the Mac Mini, Pro and iMac business as usual.

Apple gave its iMac a bigger display, increasing it to 24 inches, and doubled the memory on the machines. The upgraded Mac Mini includes 1GB of 1,066MHz DDR SDRAM, expandable up to 4GB, with AirPort wireless and Bluetooth included. Apple gave the Mac Pro a more powerful processor and dropped the price $300 to $2,499.

"There is not anything overly revolutionary about the changes," Oh said. "It was very clear what all three of the products delivered to customers and there's nothing major about the changes."

But even if the changes aren't revolutionary, there is some opportunity, resellers said.

"The refresh is one more reason to talk to customers," Oh said. "There's an element of customers getting more for the money. The 24-inch iMac starts at $1,499, and that's a pretty good price point for a very capable machine."

Like the decline in spending many companies are seeing across the board currently, it's the economy that is the determining factor. Rather than upgrading or refreshing on a regular basis, partners are finding that customers are hanging onto their hardware for as long as possible.

"A lot of companies just don't have an impetus to do a refresh right now, and the new models aren't enough to push them over the top," DiSpigno said. "Every time Apple comes out with a new product, there is a little bump from people saying, 'That's neat,' but it is a small number. People are being careful with budgets. We see people replacing things that are really old and have broken. A couple years ago people would buy equipment and turn it over after three years. Now people are stretching the life span of the product."