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Summary:

Last week, Apple announced the Magic Mouse, which is its new standard pointing device, complete with Bluetooth connectivity and multitouch gesture support. I promptly called my local Apple store, and a staff member told me they weren’t in stock and to try back again later in […]

magicmouseLast week, Apple announced the Magic Mouse, which is its new standard pointing device, complete with Bluetooth connectivity and multitouch gesture support. I promptly called my local Apple store, and a staff member told me they weren’t in stock and to try back again later in the week. I did, and again, no luck. It’s now been over a week, and no stores seem to have stocked them yet.

One staff member at the flagship Toronto store said that the delay was due to software incompatibility, and that the mice would be available following an update release from Apple. Late yesterday, we received said update, which makes the Magic Mouse compatible with Mac OS X Leopard, includes a driver for 10.6.1. OS X 10.6.2, which is coming soon, and is said to support it out of the box.

Both the 10.5.8 and 10.6.1 update descriptions say nothing beyond that they allow you to “take advantage of your Magic Mouse special features.” They don’t even explicitly say anything about multitouch, but what other special features could they be talking about? The Snow Leopard driver is nearly double the size of the Leopard one, at 64MB vs. 36MB. Both have to be downloaded from Apple’s support site, and won’t show up in your update menu unless you actually have the Magic Mouse already.

Which brings me to my second point: Does anyone actually have the Magic Mouse already? I mean, besides those early adopters of the new iMac model, with which it ships. I know for a fact us TAB staffers are finding it hard to get our hands on one (short of trying out the store display models), both through Apple’s brick-and-mortar retail stores and its online counterpart.

All Apple stores seem to have them on display, but I’ve yet to run across one that actually has them for sale when you ask. As I mentioned above, the Toronto Eaton Centre Apple store employee seemed to think it had to do with Apple getting the necessary software out so that it wasn’t selling unsupported hardware, but they hadn’t even received a shipment yet — they weren’t just holding off on actual sales.

Is it just me, or is this the most poorly executed product launch Apple’s had since the iPhone 3G and iPhone OS 2.0 were introduced? It seems like the Magic Mouse was rushed out to meet a deadline that centered around the iMac and new unibody plastic MacBook, despite the fact that the software backend wasn’t actually ready for release.

The resulting delay could affect sales. I know my initial fervor about the Magic Mouse has been tempered now that I’ve been able to think about it. My current pointing device needs are more than met, and unlike with the iPhone, delayed availability is weakening my desire to own a Magic Mouse, rather than strengthening it.

  1. It’s a horrible mouse anyway. I wouldn’t lose a moment of sleep over the delay. It is by far the most uncomfortable mouse to work with I’ve ever tried.

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    1. joejoetheidiotpet Wednesday, October 28, 2009

      This item will change your computer experience forever! I don’t work for these people I just love this product.

      http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/mice_pointers/trackballs/devices/4680&cl=us,en

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  2. You guys really are a negative bunch aren’t ya.

    ‘is this the most poorly executed product launch Apple’s had since the iPhone 3G and iPhone OS 2.0 were introduced?’ Really? Really????

    They announce a mouse that ships with a new product. On the Apple website I have only ever seen ships in 5-7 days, never for immediate dispatch. How often do Apple unveil a laptop, especially 17 inch, but say ships in 4 weeks etc?

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  3. I view a “poorly executed product launch” one that launches a product that does not have working software and you have to sit around for days waiting for a patch to make the product work. Hey I want one too, but I’d rather get one that works instead of getting frustrated with a product that does not work.

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  4. The Charlotte store had plenty of Magic Mice to fondle this past Friday. Dunno if they had any available for purchase, though.

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  5. i used one in an apple store in new jersey. and my neighbor just got a new imac and recieved one with it

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  6. we got em here in minneapolis.

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  7. just got my email shipping notification! : )

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  8. Read the press release; it’s not late until Nov. 1

    http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2009/10/20magicmouse.html

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  9. I don’t like the mouse either. You can’t do expose with it which is crazy. I also don’t get the product launch complaint

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  10. Design wise Apple’s mice have always been gorgeous and great to look at, but realistically they’ve always had issues when it comes to working and using them.

    I hated the Mighty Mouse with all my guts. The new mouse looks really good, but I think it has many flaws to make it practical to use. You have to hold the mouse with two fingers to use the multi-touch feature. Seems very awkward to me. Similar to trying to drag and drop using the Mighty Mouse.

    I wish they not only looked good, but worked good as well.

    I’m trying the Magic Mouse tonight with my friend’s new iMac. We’ll see if I’m wrong or not.

    Apple should have input from people that actually use mice for a living when they design these things. Looks are important, but not just looks.

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    1. This is an interesting point. Has anyone ever participated in, or even heard of anyone participating in, an Apple focus group that was focused on the operating features of their computers? Do they ever actually take user feedback?

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