“The Mac Mini may sound like good news to some, but one Fool thinks he hears the sound of Steve Jobs slipping his foot into a neoprene booty, slipping on Fonzi’s leather jacket, and preparing to take a trip off the ramp and over the shark tank. The Mac Mini — I’m pretty sure Minimac is something you get from Kraft — is a cute little device. Yes, it cribs mercilessly from PC-based mini-ITX designs that have been around for over a year now, but it does put low-end Mac guts into a smaller, stylish little Mac package. The most interesting magic trick here is the illusion — somehow completely lost on the mainstream press — that this is really a $500 computer. Check out this sleight of hand,” Seth Jayson writes for The Motley Fool.
“It comes with no keyboard, no mouse, no monitor, no speakers. Kind of like Ford promising you a $7,000 car with no steering wheel or windshield,” Jayson writes. “Long story short: Gathering the cheapest components I could find at Apple’s online store, I came up with an $800 system before shipping (and the low-end monitor had a wait of six weeks). I think it’s ludicrous to expect that someone buying a Mac — and looking for Apple style, after all — is going to want to plug in a pizza-stained, three-year-old keyboard and a mouse chock full of desk scum. Why not just shell out the extra $500 for the low-end iMac, which has more juice and comes loaded and packed inside a crisp, flat-screen monitor?”
Jayson writes, “But this isn’t about Mac fans, right? It’s about ‘converting’ the unrepented. Unfortunately, Apple won’t be competing on price, contrary to Jobs’ claims. Mac fans who’ve been sipping Steve’s Koolade have often claimed that price — in addition to various Microsoft conspiracies — is the only thing keeping the masses from switching to their favorite brand, but take heed. Even if that were true, a quick online check shows you can get a comparable, full Dell system for $450. A quick peek at margins (Apple, 3.3%; Dell, 6.6%) explains why.”
“I’m sure Mac-happy Walter Mossberg will go into one of his uncharacteristic fits of apoplectic ecstasy when he gets his hands on one of these. (He must look like Bernini’s Saint Theresa about this time every year.) And I’m sure the Mac masses will praise it to the skies. But I’m also pretty sure Ma and Pa Kettle can do the third-grade math that escapes the headline writers for now, which shows the cheapest Mac system you can build around this thing is still 78% more expensive than a comparable PC,” Jayson writes.
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Jayson’s missing the point that you can’t get a comparable, full Dell system for $450, or for that matter, any comparable PC for any price because PCs can’t run Mac OS X. As we like to point out, “It’s the software, stupid,” but it seems you have to have used a Mac to understand that very basic point. Many writers, like Jayson, obviously haven’t fully grasped all that you get when you buy a Mac mini for US$499. Unfortunately, it seems we’re in for a lot of similar thoughts from writers who’ve never touched anything but a Windows PC.