Apple vs Matte Screens

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iSlave, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. iSlave macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2007
    Exactly what does Apple have against matte screens? I'm really struggling to see the benefit to them considering how they have upset and alienated a great many users (and potential buyers) with the mandatory glass displays. This applies most to Pro customers who really cannot work effectively with the current line-up.

    Surely it makes not only common sense, but business sense to allow matte as an BTO option? Charging people a premium for something they used to get for free seems like a no-brainer from a profit-making point of view, and there's more than enough people who'd line up to make the most of it (myself included).

    As things stand, can anyone perhaps offer any suggestions as to why Apple are so dead set against matte screens? How could it possibly be benefitting them?
  2. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    If Apple saw this as a major problem to their business model, they would add a matte display option. As this has not happened, it seems clear from the company's perspective, those that want a matte display are a small minority, albeit a vocal minority.
  3. PrincessPeach macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2009
    As far as I can tell they're either phasing out their screens entirely or about to announce some updates, because the current lineup is so specific that it leaves a lot of people out in the cold regardless of the gloss/matte issue. For the first time in my life I bought a non-Apple screen recently (the Dell 2209WA) to replace an old Studio Display because Apple no longer offers any monitors that even get close to my specification (i.e. matte, connectable to my graphics card and not so big that I can't fit two on my desk).

    Maybe they just weren't making enough money on their monitors and trimmed some fat to focus on the two very high end options they now provide? I miss the old Mac monitors but unless they announce some new ones people like us are going to have to look to third party manufacturers.

    If they don't announce some more soon, I'll be buying another Dell 2209WA to go with my current one. Or the new LG W2220P if it ever comes out, perhaps.
  4. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    Much like the small, vocal minority who raised hell about apple not including firewire on the unibody macbooks?

    Apple would never admit it, but I think the inclusion of firewire was a win for those folks.
  5. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    Yeah I'm surprised they pulled that one off ( the people complaining not apple).

    As far as matte vs. glossy thing, its just a buyers gimmick. Apple will have no problem selling these computers because the fact is the have stopped offering good choices for real pro users. What gets me is before this whole redesign the MATTE was standard and the GLOSSY was $50 extra. But now you have to pay extra for getting a matte screen on the 17". I don't see what the big deal is, they could simply have a BTO matte MBP. Carry only the glossy screens in store and call it a day.

    I found it funny that during this past keynote they didn't even use one of their fancy new displays because the glare from the light on stage would have made it extremely difficult to use.

    And yes for a $7-800 PRO monitor, I would expect to see a matte option. I still have yet to see many people using that new monitor especially in my practice. Its a shame they care more about numbers than making great products. That's just how they have evolved recently.
  6. azentropy macrumors 68020


    Jul 19, 2002
    Apple can offer 9 different iPod Nano colors but can't offer a matte screen option on their laptops?? Pretty Sad. It should at least be an online custom order option.
  7. 007bond macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    DFW, Texas

    people just don't want/need them. glossy is perfectly fine for me and even though matte is cool it just isn't needed for most people. if 10% of people who buy your product want something that the other 90% don't, which one would you choose?
  8. Scarlet Fever macrumors 68040

    Scarlet Fever

    Jul 22, 2005
    How many people do you reckon go for the anti-glare option on the 17" MBP over the glassy? In fact, how many sales do Apple get from the 17" MBP relative to the 15" MBP?
  9. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    Well that's treating matte like its some gimmick feature when in fact its the other way around. Matte was the standard option with glossy as an upcharge. Glossy is cool and nice to look at in a room with no lights but it just isn't needed.

    I'd love to see the numbers, but I don't think Apple will release them because I bet there were more matte sales because it was the default. So if you are going to make that glass a default I would like the option to pay to get it removed and use a matte screen.

    And probably the majority of the people buying Apple computers don't care what it is they just care that it is an Apple computer.
  10. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    I agree as well that the inclusion of firewire on the 13" notebook was a win for those folks, and was a direct reaction to that wrapped up in some typical Apple rhetoric.

    I think the next 15" refresh might have the express card back, in one of the upper level models if there is enough backlash there.

    We saw similar things with the introduction of the macbook pro and lack of firewire 800 or dual layer superdrive.

    I think the display issue is a little different.

    The first compulsory glossy display was the macbook in 2006. We also saw the option for the macbook pro at that point. We also saw the iMac go glossy in 2007. Since then, it has been a steady path towards all glossy.

    If there was indeed a severe backlash against these displays there would have been a move to deal with that beyond just the 17" macbook pro option.

    Look, I think it would be good for Apple to offer matte displays for their notebooks. Clearly though there is little evidence besides anecdotal stuff from vocal critics that this issue is hurting Apple over the last 3 years.
  11. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    Yeah, it seems like Apple hasn't been hurt at all by not having matte. I have a Macbook Pro 4,1 (classic, with matte) and I love the display. The matte look is really great but eventually I will upgrade it to a new Macbook Pro, even if it is glossy.
  12. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    But did it ever hurt their sales to offer both when you had to pay for one or the other? I don't know, but my guess is probably not that much.

    And unlike you I will struggle to buy a new MBP because of that screen. So for now I will keep this one I have until it dies. Maybe in the next year before AppleCare runs out everything will break and it will be replaced/refreshed then I can go ahead and upgrade the RAM and HDD myself after to keep this thing going until either windows 7 looks good or apple makes a computer I am interested in buying.

    But even past this option Apple is focusing more towards sales for the average consumer (who knows next to nothing or cares next to nothing about most of these features) which is the majority of their buyers.
  13. pesc macrumors regular

    Jan 20, 2006
    But would it hurt them to have matte as BTO and charge extra $$$ for it? Really? I'd pay $300 extra. I won't use any of their current glassy laptops at all.
  14. ayale99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 6, 2007
    It's just the fact that it's a slap in the face to the people that kept Apple alive before they became popular again. Apple's bread and butter was the design community. Designers want/need matte screens for accurate color. Now we are being abandoned for the shiny glossy. That's why I too, had to buy the Dell matte screen (which is made with the same parts as the Apple monitors and sold for almost half of the I'm told) Plus the Dell monitor has multiple usb / vga / rca / dvi / memory card inputs and a 3yr warranty.
  15. Hal1980 macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2009
    Could not agree more. Pass any extra costs for the matte directly to the customers - even with a mark-up. I'm sure there are enough of us to warrant it if they pass all costs to us. I'd gladly pay at least $300 more to get matte. As is, I'm stuck with the used resale market and Apple doesn't get any of my money. It is stupid, because I would have bought a 15" MBP last fall if there was a matte option. Then in a couple years would probably upgrade again. It is stupid because Apple dragging their feet on the issue, I'd probably have bought 2 computers in the span that I am likely to own 1.

    That cannot be good business sense, as although we may not be a majority of the total customer base, there is likely a reasonably sufficient market to justify a BTO matte option with costs passed to customers.
  16. jb1280 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 13, 2009
    This is an honest question as I am not in the visual design community. I have many friends who do work in different aspects of the field, and in the majority of their offices they use Aluminum iMacs with glossy displays. These people are definitely professionals. Why do they work with these computers?

    This lends me to believe that this whole thing is more about personal preference rather than truly being a non-starter with a vast majority of the community.
  17. L0s7man macrumors 6502

    Feb 26, 2009
    It's not only the issue of not giving a matte option. I can live with glossy, but with normal glossy.

    What Apple now has is a glossy screen + glass coating on the whole display and bezel!

    Now, glossy is reflective; add the glass coating and you have a mirror. And add a bezel, which doesn't have backlight which is covered in reflective glass and you have uber-reflective frame around almost as uber-reflective screen (here the backlight competes with the glare to diminish it slightly).

    My friend has some decent Dell laptop with glossy screen. And I like his screen. It's glossy, but not 'too much'. Similarly, Sony laptops mostly have glossy screens, but they're not too glossy. Neither Dell nor Sony use glass coating, so it helps. And the damn bezel is just plastic/carbon-fibre/magnesium, whatever, but it's matte! Not a glossy bezel...

    (Dell offers those edge-to-edge displays with glass on the whole display as an OPTION).

    So I won't buy non-matte MBP. I'd buy glossy in the style of the pre-unibody glossy MBP. It was really hard to see which is which when they were standing next to each other.
  18. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    The problem with comparing sales of the matte and glossy 17" MBP isn't fair. You need to pay extra for the matte screen option, which automatically makes a comparison unfair. It's also not the model they carry at most stores.

    Furthermore, the sale of the matte screen doesn't need to be equal to the glossy screen for Apple to offer an option. Even if only 20% of users opted for the matte option, and were willing to pay $50 extra for it, it would still be a viable option for Apple to offer it BTO. They'd lose nothing.

    At Apple, it seems now that they want you to "think different" using the exact same Mac as everyone else. There's no configurability of the machines based on needs/requirements.
  19. xhambonex macrumors 6502a

    Apr 17, 2008
    Ah I wasn't comparing the 17". Before the unibody update the default was matte and glossy was least when I bought my MBP it was.

    So if you released numbers from then I bet most people bought matte displays...just like most people buy glossy displays post unibody. My real point is that you can't look at the numbers because the majority of Apple computer buyers just buy what Apple tells them is right.

    And I totally agree that they could simply offer matte BTO. I'd even pay an extra $100 or more just to get rid of that glossy screen.

    Like Los7man said, theres glossy, pre-unibody glossy, and then theres Apple glossy with glass. They don't even deny glare on those things as an issue, look at their illustrations on their website and best of all watch the latest keynote where they used a 20" ACD instead of their brand new 24" LED because the reflection would have made it to hard to read and demonstrate on.

    A girl I work with uses a near black desktop image (with an apple logo) because it works as a mirror so she can see behind her if anyone walks into the room or is doing anything else. That's how bad it is.

    Case and point...:D

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