As expected, Apple announced long-overdue and, in certain places, eagerly-awaited refreshes of its Mac desktop PCs, including the Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. There are two separate announcements--and no special event, as often happens with Apple--one for the consumer Macs, and one for the Mac Pro (which is still a luxury item and not worth discussing).
Here's the consumer Mac announcement:
Apple today announced updates to its iMac® and Mac® mini desktop lines, including a 24-inch iMac that is priced more affordably than ever before and a Mac mini with powerful new integrated graphics. For the same $1,499 price as the previous generation 20-inch iMac, the new 24-inch iMac delivers a 30 percent larger display, twice the memory and twice the storage.
So. The iMacs are fine-looking machines, but then the form factor hasn't changed since the previous generation. Ditto for the Mac mini, which is still too expensive, by about $200 per model. And it's form factor hasn't changed ... ever.
Delivering up to five times better graphics performance, the updated Mac mini now features the same groundbreaking NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics introduced with the aluminum unibody MacBook family. The Mac mini is the world’s most energy efficient desktop, drawing less than 13 watts of power when idle.
Starting at $599, the Mac mini is an innovative, tiny desktop measuring only 6.5 by 6.5 by 2-inches.
Separately, Apple also updated its expensive wireless hardware:
Apple also announced that its popular AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi Base Station and Time Capsule now feature simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band networking for optimal performance, range and compatibility. An innovative Guest Network feature allows setting up a secondary network for friends and visitors with Internet-only access so you don’t have to hand out your WiFi password. Time Capsule combines an 802.11n router and server-grade hard disk for automatic wireless back-up with Time Machine, and is immediately available in two models: a 500GB model for $299 and a 1TB model for $499. The AirPort Extreme Base Station is also available immediately for a suggested retail price of $179.
Long story short, the Mac updates were overdue and don't change the value equation at all.