It might have been a long wait for the iPhoto printing service to make its way to the UK, but that hasn't sullied the enthusiasm of Mac users here. Over half (56 per cent) voting in this week's poll plan to use the new services when they launch here in March.
Nearly a third (31 per cent) will be opting for an iPhoto book, and a quarter (25 per cent) will be switching to ordering their prints directly through Apple.
For the remaining 44 per cent the Apple offering doesn't hold much sway. Slideshows are the preference of 10 per cent, another 19 per cent would rather stick with their inkjet printer, and 15 per cent just aren't interested.
For many readers, the decision of whether they will use the printing services depends entirely on the price, with many highlighting the fact that pricing in the UK is often much higher than the equivalent pricing in the US.
One reader said: "I'll definitely be interested in the bound books – as long as the prices are reasonable and don't follow the usual policy of $1 is equal to £1."
Another said: "If the UK price is increased more than 10 per cent of the US cost then I won't buy on principle that I'd rather not be ripped off."
"The price has to be low enough to keep the 'on second thoughts' down," commented another.
Some readers express concern about other hidden costs. One said: "Does this mean that we will need a .Mac account and an updated version of iPhoto to be able to order prints?"
But the idea of producing their own professionally bound books of photos has many iPhoto users hooked. One reader explains: "My other half is going to love it when a iPhoto book turns up detailing the first year of our son's life. I also expect to use the book format for special occasions and gifts for relatives – the grandparents will love it."
Another readers agree that the iPhoto books are what swings it for them. One says: "Grandparents will go all gooey over books on the first years of their grandchild's life, and it's so much better to give them an album than loose prints. I think this could quickly become the preferred way of presenting a set of photos."
By delaying the launch of iPhoto printing here, Apple may have missed the boat. Since Apple introduced the services in the US the number of affordable inkjet photo printers on the market have increased. Some readers, having invested in an inkjet printer and quality paper, will be sticking with conventional photo-labs.
One pollster said: "Having devoted hours to learning to use and experimenting with my inkjet, I feel rather disinclined to try the iPhoto service." But he points out: "Had the service been introduced when I started using iPhoto, I might have used it from the outset."
Other readers highlight the fact that since the service was launched in the US back in January 2002, many "good alternatives" have been launched on the High Street. "To compete, Apple will need to offer a real USP to get people to use its service," was the thought of one reader.
He concludes: "If Apple won't treat European customers in the way that they cater for Americans, it's hardly surprising if we discover alternative solutions and then stick to them."
For some readers there are already equivalent or better services available online. A few mentioned Photobox. One said: "I currently use Photobox and I am very impressed. iPhoto has to be able to beat Photobox's 19p per 6-x-4-inch print and offer next-working-day delivery for me to even consider it."
Digital cameras may have been one of the biggest sellers this Christmas, but there are many readers haven't yet been converted to digital. One said: "I'll stick with Jessops, thanks."
Apple might have made a few UK Mac-users happy with the announcement that they will soon be able to use the iPhoto services available to Americans, but for some there is one other service that they would prefer to have access to: "I'd rather be able to use the Music store," said one reader.