Bill Palmer calls Apple’s Mac mini a ‘groundbreakingly stupid, terrible idea’

“For the love of God, it doesn’t even come with a keyboard or mouse. You have just got to be kidding me. This just might turn out to be the darkest day in Macintosh history. And yeah, I’m as aware as anyone just what a bloody history it’s been. But this, I think, might top all of it,” Bill Palmer writes for

“Let me get one thing out of the way right off the bat. A bad idea deserves to be exposed for what it is, and that’s exactly what I’ve been doing for the past week. Those who spend years spreading around a bad idea deserve to be called out for it, so no apologies for anyone who needed to be put in their place in the process. And most of all, a company that bets its future on a bad idea deserves to slammed in the manner that I’m about to do now,” Palmer writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you remember, Bill was the guy who “gave the headless iMac rumor a zero percent chance of being true” last Saturday. So, Bill had clearly staked out his limb and now it seems he’s trying to defy gravity by clinging to said now-treeless limb. We like Bill. We like reading Bill, even though it takes a loooong time to get through some of his pieces. (Hire an editor, Bill, will ya?)

Still, what Bill’s trying to do with his article is a nice try at hovering in midair, but he puts way too much emphasis on the prospective Windows Switchers’ displeasure at learning they may have to buy a new keyboard and mouse for $48 bucks extra. We will point out that we agree that it would be nice if Apple did have a cheapo monitor somewhere in the store to sell to the Mac mini buyers. Having the lowest-priced monitor at $999 and leaving your salespeople with no other option than to send people upstairs to the mall’s Best Buy (actually happened to us at an Apple Store in the past) to find a monitor priced accordingly for a $499 computer isn’t probably the best idea. Yes, we realize that Mac mini buyers are supposed to be using their cheeseball Dell or Gateway CRT monitor and, theoretically, their Windows-key laden USB keyboards (if they even have USB keyboards), but that’s in a perfect world, which, if you haven’t noticed, isn’t the world in which we live. Palmer was wrong about there being no $499 Mac. We think he’s wrong about the Mac mini being “groundbreakingly stupid,” too. Palmer’s article goes on forever, but it’s a fun read, if only to see Bill trying to twist free from the straightjacket in which he dressed himself and for some valid points strewn throughout his article, too.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple finally stops overreaching for ‘switchers’ and goes for ‘adders’ instead – January 12, 2005
Bill Palmer: ‘Headless Mac’ a phony rumor that doesn’t exist – January 08, 2005


  1. I was never out on a limb, certainly not when you consider that none of the pudits who have been “guaranteeing” a headless iMac for the past five MacWorlds were out on a limb when it turned out not to be true time and time again. My arguments made sense, Apple’s actions didn’t, that’s no sweat off my reputation.

    And for the record, I could care less about being right or wrong, and I can’t tell you how much I hope I AM wrong about this thing doing far more damage to the Mac product line than good. But sadly, I don’t think I am.

  2. To fellow Mac users in the know: what are the possibilities for a monitor for the new Mac? Prices? It would seem a good idea for apple to perhaps offer a bundle with a CRT or flatscreen (nothing that will knock your pants off or anything…) Cheers…

  3. Sounds like all the airheads in modern talk radio. They have an opinion and no matter what fact refute it they feel they must maintain their stance out of spite.

    Brought to you by “feet”. As in Bill’s should be wearing some concrete shoes.

  4. Among its many purposes it that of a PC accessory. From the Apple Website;

    “Set a space-saving Mac mini atop your workstation PC and add a KVM switch to share keyboard, monitor and mouse.”

    Sorry Bob. it is brilliant – you just need to learn to Think Different.

  5. I wasn’t sold on the idea either, but I’m willing to admit how wrong I was. And I’ll prove it by buying one! Bill needs to get over it. The only thing he loves more than Apple is his own opinion of how the place should be run.

    Brought to you by the magic word: lived, as in, “You haven’t LIVED until you’ve made a mistake, ‘fess up Bill.”

  6. With the greatest possible respect, a groundbreakingly stupid, terrible idea would be Napoleon thinking “Let’s invade Russia – sure, it’s a little cold, but we could get some winter sports in on the way”.

    Another groundbreakingly stupid, terrible idea would be Abraham Lincoln saying to Mrs. Lincoln “How do you feel about a night at the theatre”.

    But, in the annals of groundbreakingly stupid, terrible ideas, nothing beats the time around 40 years ago when Mr. Thurrott suggested an early night to Mrs. Thurrott. Now that’s something that makes me wish that time travel was possible�

  7. This was a great day for Apple. It seems that Steve Jobs and Apple are not doomed to make the same mistakes that they made with the original Mac – which, let’s face it – can be largely attributed to hubris. They believed that simply being ahead of the pack and having a great product would win the day – and they were almost swept away.
    For a man like Jobs to recalibrate his vision with the facts he has gathered, often the hard way, and come through like he did yesterday is nothing short of astounding.
    I can’t think of a single Machead who would pass on the next high-end gadget to buy the cheapest thing at the Apple Store (likely they will add it to thir collection – or like me find some way to make it a delightful gift to a PC friend or family member), but I have already talked to some PC colleagues who may bite for the first time due the Mini. This was a home run of the highest order.
    I think the little maker of the keyboard/monitor switches better start hiring more people!

  8. Wasn’t Bill also one of the morons who predicted that the iPOD Mini would be a dismal failure?

    You would think that these clueless bozos would be humbled by their gross errors with past predictions, but I guess when it comes down to it, the ignorant are just too damned ignorant to learn from past mistakes.

  9. MacMall is offering a free keyboard and mouse with every Mac mini. Many people have purchased more then one computer in their lifetime. Some even have an old display and keyboard lying around as well as a mouse. Otherwise go out and buy them for less then $50.00. 17″ LCD dusplays are available for $175. The mini is certainly not going to beat the pants off Dell or HP/Compaq on price. It’s not really for the Wal-Mart crowd. It’s for savvy PC users who are tired of viruses, malware, blue screen and all the baggage that comes with Windows. You can’t beat the bundled software nor the small footprint of the mini. I think it has a good chance for business use as well. Apple is NEVER gonig to get back to the 25% market share. Too many intrenched Windows users. What they can do is possibly add a few percentage points. That will bring some increase in earnings. I’m afraid, however, that the mini is not going to provide the 25%-27% margin Apple makes on their other computers. In the end, they cannot and should not sell a $500 computer with screen, keyboard, mouse, etc. It would cut their margins to the 5% that Dell makes. It would be suicide. Dell must continue to keep market share high to overcome their low margins.

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