“Apple Computer on Tuesday introduced… a revamped Mac mini aimed at making the pint-sized computer an easy addition to living room entertainment centers,” Jefferson Graham reports for USA Today. “The updated Mac mini units sell for $599 (up from $499) and $799 (formerly $599.) They now have Intel processing chips, which make the computers from 2 to 4 times much faster, Jobs said. The mini was introduced with great fanfare in January 2005 as a low-cost way for Windows PC users to switch to the Apple platform. Apple, which has a whopping 78% share of the digital music device market, has just a 4% to 5% share of the total PC market.”
“Apple won’t say how many Mac minis it has sold. Shawn Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research, estimates sales at 1 to 2 million units — ‘just okay,’ he says. He says the new Intel chips add power, a problem for the first Mac minis. The revamped machines will have greater appeal to consumers, he says, especially with the remote control feature. ‘Apple wants to run the living room,’ he adds. ‘Apple is better positioned there than any of its competitors, but the new mini is missing one important element—there’s no PVR (TiVo like personal video recorder) or TV tuner. It’s not the complete solution,'” Graham reports.
“Microsoft works with Hewlett-Packard, Dell and other computer manufacturers on “entertainment PCs,” which do everything the mini promises, plus record TV shows on some models. However, they sell for over $1,000,” Graham reports. “Van Baker, an analyst with researcher Gartner, says the Microsoft units haven’t caught on with the public because the computers are too large for the living room. The majority of the entertainment PCs, he says, were sold without PVRs. ‘The mini is small enough that people will consider adding it to their living room consoles,’ Baker says. ‘The transition of bringing the computer into the living room won’t happen overnight, but this is a good first step.'”
“Apple vice president Phil Schiller says the company chose not to add PVR functionality to the mini because it would have made the unit too complicated. ‘We’re not trying to replace the TiVo,’ he says. ‘This is about taking the media from your computer and accessing it via the TV.’ To run media from other computers using the Mac mini, other PCs have to store music, videos and TV shows in Apple’s iTunes software. If users listen to music in, say, Musicmatch or Real Player, the Mac mini won’t be able to find the songs,” Graham reports.
Full article here.
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