With Apple, there's a fine line between paying a premium and being a sucker

It's no secret that I'm a Mac guy (and yet I always find the need to disclose that). Therefore, I must be one of those types of people who finds value in Apple products and is willing to pay a premium for them.

It's no secret that I'm a Mac guy (and yet I always find the need to disclose that). Therefore, I must be one of those types of people who finds value in Apple products and is willing to pay a premium for them. But that doesn't go for every product.

Apple made a series of announcements this morning regarding upgrades to the lineup of iMacs, Macbooks and MacMinis. They correctly highlighted the enhancements - battery life on the Macbooks, glass displays on the iMacs and increased performance on the MacMini lineup. These are the sort of things I'm willing to pay for.

Then, the company put out a separate press release about a new mouse, called the "Magic Mouse."

Some people laugh at us Mac types because we think $999 for a 13-inch Macbook is a bargain. They howl when we defend ourselves for spending $600 or $800 for a computer that doesn't come with a keyboard, mouse or monitor. That doesn't bother me at all - the computing experience that I get with a Mac is worth it to me.

But unless this new Magic Mouse can actually do something amazing like respond to voice commands or read my mind, I just cannot see dropping $69 - yes, Sixty-Nine Dollars - for a mouse. And if I did, I would fully expect friends and family to laugh directly in my face.

Yes, I realize that the Magic Mouse is extremely innovative and probably so ergonomically-correct that folks in HR departments everywhere are excited about getting one - if they weren't $69 each. But that doesn't change the fact that these are tough economic times and asking anyone to cough up those sort of bucks for a peripheral seems unrealistic. I don't know... Maybe it's just me that doesn't see the value. From Apple's press release:

The Multi-Touch area covers the top surface of Magic Mouse, and the mouse itself is the button. Scroll in any direction with one finger, swipe through web pages and photos with two, and click and double-click anywhere. Inside Magic Mouse is a chip that tells it exactly what you want to do. Which means Magic Mouse won’t confuse a scroll with a swipe. It even knows when you’re just resting your hand on it.

It sounds nice, doesn't it? And for some people, it may be a real bargain. But if it's all the same, I'll hang on to that $70 and apply it toward some other sort of iProduct that I'll certainly want on another day.

As for today's other announcements, the upgrades to the Macbook, iMacs and MacMinis seem to be winners - a real bargain for us Mac types who already have skewed perceptions of computing value.

As a side note, I would also like to thank Apple for just releasing the news and not summoning the press to a big event for these announcements. These announcements certainly didn't warrant that sort of splash.

Apple announcements today: