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.Mac: No. 2 seller in Apple retail, next big thing?

updated 02:15 am EST, Wed December 12, 2007

.Mac is no. 2 seller

Apple's second hottest seller this year has been little more than an empty box, since the company's retail stores are selling large amounts of the .Mac packages - largely due to the integration of the service with Mac OS X and iLife. Computerworld reports that the .Mac retail box, which contains a serial number on a slip of paper and empty space for the most part, has been leaping off shelves at the Apple stores. According to NPD research analyst Chris Swenson, this could indicate a growing trend with software developers, offering a boxed idea or service, rather than distributing software for users to install on their machine.

With the emergence of several free options, such as notMac, and the availability of large-storage email services like Google's Gmail, the key to Apple's success with the service will revolve around staying competitive. Apple updated .Mac in August, introducing 10GB of storage for single users and 20GB for families, larger mail attachments, Widget integration with web .Mac web pages, and more.

The notMac Challenge recently received an answer to its request posed to developers around the world: create a free, open-source utility that provides client-side .Mac services for users who run their own servers. Ben Spink has claimed the prize of almost $9000 for indulging the challenge. His solution currently involves using a server running Mac OS X, but Windows and Linux ports are currently in development.

by MacNN Staff





  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    get a whiff of that..

    A real key that's not stated is the ease of use with .Mac- many of the iLife apps funnel directly to .Mac Syncing. Of course, there are options to use other providers services, but they aren't as easy. With .Mac's very simple sync integration, it takes a lot of effort to go the other way, not to mention you can't be sure of what you're going to get using the 3rd party.

    In a way, this bundling smells of an MS-esque bundling program, but not as insidious. In all reality, .Mac appeals to people who just aren't savvy enough or don't have the time to make everything work through other avenues.

    I have the service on the issues of time earlier this year, but I'm not impressed with the price. Their only saving grace, in my opinion, is the simple, yet polished nature of the unlimited photo storage. It's good to know there's a slick interface out there that family members can get their favorites photos from at full-resolution, mind you, from the photo guy.

    If they elevate some of the functionality of iLife, in particular iWeb, to the point where it's not just templates templates templates, you may even see some businesses buy into that software along with the .Mac service to build and support their site. After a while people recognize "just another fill-in-the-blank" sites, and don't see the cool graphics, but just another poser.

  1. LtCarter47

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: get a whiff of that..

    I think that was probably the best comment I have ever read on MacNN, h***, it's better than a lot of the stuff MacNN even posts!

  1. starwarrior

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So easy

    Been doing a home brew site using service. It is so easy but: Iweb 2 completely blew it away so I stick to iweb 1.0. No time to sort out the ins and outs. Put domain at .mac for awhile but things got complicated. Got caught with a downtime because traffic exceeded monthly allowance with no way our but to wait for month to end. Fixed with buying more. Always keep backup site for fast pointer change.

    But .mac is so easy.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: get a whiff of that

    Their only saving grace, in my opinion, is the simple, yet polished nature of the unlimited photo storage.

    Unlimited? Since when did they come up with 'unlimited'? Last I checked it now clocks in at 10GB of disk space, but that's not unlimited.

    starwarrior is right on with his complaints on iweb, but I believe that's more of iweb's failings (in so many different ways) then .mac.

    It just would be nice if we didn't keep reading stories and complaints about issues with .Mac syncing blowing up on people, esp. with leopard. And it would have been nice if certain .mac features weren't 'disabled' recently for those still running 10.3.9 or earlier.

  1. scottrussell

    Joined: Dec 1969


    can't recommend it...

    For most people I've convinced to become new Mac users, I don't recommend dotMac. Most of them aren't building websites with iWeb. Most of them don't have multiple Macs that require sync services or the "back to my mac" feature. Most of them use TIme Machine so don't need dotMac's backup (though having some key files backed up online is nice). Most of them already have email accounts that don't cost $100 annually; I recommend Gmail which allows POP or IMAP access and is free.

    I like dotMac because I do need many of the sync & web hosting features. In fact, I've used it since it went live in 2002. But for the average new user, it's just not a compelling product.

  1. jumanji

    Joined: Dec 1969


    need to copy google

    it would be great if they allowed you to use your own domain with the .mac tools.

  1. wadepeeler

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I recommend it

    I'm not sure what jumanji is saying. iWeb does allow you to use your own domain. It's even easy to use your own domain with an older version like I have; it's supposed to be a feature of iLife '08, but it works with iLife '06.

    Anyway, I recommend .Mac to people I know who buy Macs. If they don't have a website now, iWeb is so easy that once they start using it, they'll want to have a website. Pretty much everyone in my family has set up their own blog now using iWeb, and they all rave about how easy it is (I don't use it personally, but my wife does). Plus, most of the people I know who buy Macs usually get an iMac and a MacBook, so those people can benefit from syncing and Back To My Mac.

  1. Peter Bonte

    Joined: Dec 1969



    .Mac is to slow outside the US but the networking feature alone is almost worth the account.

  1. cblackmo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Easy, slick but too slow

    I loyaly and enthusiastically try to recommend as much Apple technology as I can to friends and family - if only to make my life easier in knowing we're all using the same platform and tools.

    However, .mac as a photo sharing tool has left me disappointed enough to refrain from recommending it to anyone else. I give it high marks for stylishly integrating email, website building, group building, RSS, and etc. But photo sharing and commenting is where the action currently is for most lay users and "switchers" and surprisingly Apple has allowed their service to fall short in this area - especially when you consider it's a paid subscription and that FREE services such as Flickr, Picasa and Snapfish, though specialized, are much smoother/quicker and come with a handful of cool features absent in the .mac/iPhoto arsenal.

    With all the attention that .mac is getting and with all its hooks that iLife depends on - Apple should be making it as flawless and dependable as iTunes was when it started becoming hot.

  1. MRsneezy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    One Word

    Over priced..

    .Mac Is over priced I cannot Justify $135 (Australian Dollars) for something that my internet provider and Google provide free (or as a bundle with my internet) if they even Halved the price I would consider using it.

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