“Apple Computer reinvented itself Tuesday, transforming its image as the exclusive BMW of home computers into more of a mass-market Honda. The new Mac mini at $499, unveiled at the Macworld show in San Francisco, is the most important product from Apple in nearly a decade, since co-founder Steve Jobs revived the Cupertino company with the original iMac in 1998,” Mike Langberg write for The Mercury News.
Langberg thinks that the “iPod Halo Effect” is a hunch that, “was dead wrong. I believe iPod owners may have swooned over the sleek lines of the new iMac G5 this holiday season, but swooned again when they saw the sticker price and headed over to the Windows aisle. We’ll know for sure this afternoon when Apple releases its earnings for the final quarter of 2004.”
“The unquestioned star of the show is the Mac mini, due in stores Jan. 22, a fully functional Macintosh computer that’s no bigger than a cigar box and weighs only 2.9 pounds. It runs the latest version of Mac OS X, known as Panther, and has enough computing power for almost any home computing task, including Web browsing, e-mail, editing digital photographs and home video, downloading and playing digital music, and writing school reports,” Langberg writes. “You need to supply a monitor, keyboard and mouse, but these can cost as little as $150. Or you can use an old computer monitor taking up space in the closet; I’ve got several in my house.”
Langberg, “By sliding under the $500 mark, Apple has blown open the castle doors and made the Mac’s excellent software truly affordable to Windows users. I don’t expect Microsoft’s choke hold on PCs to relax overnight, but I do think Apple for the first time in a generation has a fighting chance to climb out of the low single digits in market share for home computers. Not that Apple’s strategy is risk-free. The company is likely to cannibalize existing iMac sales — and there’s a lot more profit for Apple in selling an iMac G5 at $1,299 than a Mac mini at $499. At several crucial moments in its 30-year history, Apple has blinked and pulled back when it was on the verge of switching to a high-volume, low-margin strategy. This time, I suspect, there is no turning back. There may be some short-term pain, but the long-term gain could be spectacular.”
A great read, highly recommended, read the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The Mac mini is a more important product for Apple Computer than even the original iMac.
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