Mac Mini – iPod all over again?

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Date: Wednesday, January 26th, 2005, 10:50
Category: Opinion

What was the problem with the original iPod? It used a tiny hard drive with a higher price and lower capacity than the laptop drives found in other players. It could not be opened by the user. It was expensive.
What was so good about it? The small size, Apple iTunes software, great interface and fast Firewire connectivity.
What about the Mac Mini? Read on…………


What was the problem with the original iPod? It used a tiny hard drive with a higher price and lower capacity than the laptop drives found in other players. It could not be opened by the user. It was expensive.
What was so good about it? The small size, Apple iTunes software, great interface and fast Firewire connectivity.
What about the Mac Mini? It uses a laptop drive that is slower, has lower capacity and is more expensive than a 3.5? HD. It comes in a case that is sealed along with a premium thin slot loading notebook optical drive. It does not have much memory or bluetooth or Wifi or keyboard or mouse included in the base configuration.
What is so good about it? The small size, iLife software, great OS-X interface and lots of potential connectivity with USB-2, Firewire and Ethernet included. Bluetooth and WiFi can be added internally to cut down on clutter. It is very much like the original iPod in concept.
The Mac mini costs about a $100 more than a bare bones PC, but offers things that are unique. It has an external power supply, so people are already sticking it in cars. It is tiny, so it has uses that desktop PC?s are ill suited to. It can go in a kitchen or under your Plasma display and fit right in. It is quiet. It can deep sleep and then wake up quickly. It is a premium product, not a bare bones product. It comes with a full version of OS-X and fantastic software for creating movies and music. It can organize your photos and songs.
The iPod experience is tightly controlled by Apple and works so well, it has dominated its market. The Mac mini is not as tightly controlled. It will be hooked up to a lot of low quality CRTs and awful keyboards, but the price point is so darn good at $500. Most people will get by just fine without added memory, the small hard drive and no wireless out of the box. Those who need more will pay the premium price that this product justifies. The low priced base configuration will help volume sales and avoid the failure that befell the pricey G4 Cube which never sold well enough to recoup the cost of development or even justify the cost of continued production. The Mac mini should help Apple to expand market share, just like the original iMac did. Nothing earth shaking, but a reversal of recent trends.

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