You think Apple’s going to magically rule the world with the Mac mini?  Think different

“There are a lot of differences between Mac people and PC people. Mac people, conventional wisdom says, stand for creativity; PC people represent conformity. Mac people don’t care about cost; it’s all PC people care about. But a new one dawned on me while watching Apple Computer CEO Steve Jobs deliver a keynote at Macworld on Tuesday,” Michael Kanellos writes for CNET.

“All the presentations looked great, but they also seemed foreign and impersonal. Who puts a soundtrack to their family photos? ‘Mom’s second-wedding shots–cue up the Skynrd.’ Most of us are lucky to have poorly labeled computer files, a cardboard box with prints and/or a vague idea of who is in the picture,” Kanellos writes. “Again, it looked wonderful on stage, but if you actually synched your home photos into a slick presentation, your friends will fear that a pitch to buy a time share is coming next.”

Kanellos writes, “Then there was the new computer, the Mac Mini. Measuring 6.5 inches by 6.5 inches by 2 inches, the computer is one of the more stylish desktops out there. Dell’s mini desktop is about twice as big*, measuring 12.7 inches by 14 inches by 3.8 inches. Sony’s handheld Type U computer is smaller but costs more. Still, consumers pay for the style of Mac Mini. The $599 model comes with a 1.42GHz PowerPC processor, 256MB of memory, an 80GB drive and a DVD/CD-RW drive. A similarly configured Gateway 3250 (2.66GHz Pentium 4, 80GB drive, 256MB memory, same drive) costs $499; $100 less with a rebate. But the Gateway also comes with some important extras–namely a keyboard, a mouse and a 17-inch screen. The Mac Mini has none of this. Cool industrial design with an artsy interface or a monitor? It depends what you’re looking for.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: How does a well-done slide show composed of photos you’ve personally taken combined with the perfect piece of music you’ve carefully chosen equal ” foreign and impersonal?” Only to the average Windows PC user who equates quality computer output with the impossible. You might be asking yourself, “is Kanellos stupid?” We don’t think he’s any more stupid than the average Joe, but he’s an excellent example of what Apple’s up against, $499 Mac or not.

You think Apple’s going to magically rule the world with the Mac mini? Think different. There’s a lot, and we mean a lot, of work to do first. This question from Kanlellos says it all: “Cool industrial design with an artsy interface or a monitor?” Average schulbs just don’t get it. They haven’t for 20 years and a $499 Mac isn’t going to magically fix the problem until Apple gets the message out that it isn’t RAM, GHz, GBs, keyborads, mice, and monitors, it’s the OS, stupid. Good luck to Apple because, if this article is any indication, it’s going to be like talking to hundreds of millions of blank walls.

[* UPDATE, 12:10PM: MDN Reader, Joe Architect (who actually passed 2nd grade math), writes: “Mac mini = 6.5 x 6.5 x 2 = 84.5 cubic inches, Dell = 12.7 x 14 x 3.8 = 675.64 cubic inches, Truth = 7.99 (round to 8) times as big.]

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Analyst: Mac Mini and iPod Shuffle are big winners for Apple – January 11, 2005
Apple introduces Mac mini, most affordable Mac ever starts at just $499 – January 11, 2005
More evidence that Mac users are smarter than Windows users – July 16, 2004
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 20, 2003


  1. I infact, used iPhoto to make a slide show and put it to music for a PC using friends wedding. she loved it. and couldn’t believe how easy it was.

    as far as are PC people going to go for the mac mini? i think the theory is ( and I may be wrong ) that PC people will buy it who ALREADY have a monitor. you know, for their PC! I honestly don’t know if PC keyboards and mice are usb.

  2. The change is happening – mostly because the more intelligent Windows users (and there are many) have realized for some time that Windows is a liability.

    They know that Macs are stable, secure and intuitive.

    The Mac Mini will be the push they need – because they will gladly spend seven or eight hundred dollars, but really couldn’t see spending $1500 or more for a new iMac.

    I personally know of five relatives and friends who are ordering a new Mac Mini today.

    Real orders, real customers, real switchers – today.

    I say that years from now, the Mac Mini will be looked at fondly as the second most important event in the exponential expansion of Apple market share – the first most important event being the iPod.

    Great strategy Steve… iPod is the Trojan Horse, and the Mac Minis are the hidden soldiers climbing out while the city sleeps.

  3. Maybe it’s time Apple ADVERTISED!!!

    Just a little would even be nice to see. Not just an arty, feel good image piece either.

    Show the average person iChat and they are amazed..

  4. I know that all of the HP keyboards and mice are not USB, at least the ones that my family has. They may have changed that in the past year or so, I don’t know, but I doubt it.

  5. I am hopeful that they will finally start advertising OS X. Why? A while ago, either Steve, Phil Schiller, or someone else said something to the effect that “we’re not interested in increasing market share,” which many on these forums thought was an odd thing to say, since Apple had already debuted their “Switch” campaign. With the Mac mini, it sure seems like they have changed their mind. They’ve spent the past few years developing and marketing the iPod, the Xserve, the G5 cheesegrater, and OS X. it could be that the time is finally coming for “increase market share” to get crossed off the list.

  6. Based on the Dell and other Wintel systems I have seen and owned, PC keyboards and mice are usually serial devices. However, lots of USB keyboards and mice exist for Windows (as well as wireless). But they are usually an upgrade accessory, not standard.

  7. A lot of people have told me over the years that their biggest gripe with Apple is that it’s so expensive. Well, maybe the mini is still somewhat relatively expensive — but with people paying almost that much for an iPod that does so much less, I can’t see that the argument is justified any longer. $499 or even $599 is nothing for a computer.

  8. He is both right and wrong in his statements. Most PC users do not think of doing the kind of creative things with their computers that Apple users do – but why? Remember the articles indicating that the apple customer base was “smarter” than that of other systems? They may be, because it takes a smart person to discover that it cost more in time to manage a Windows system than the differance in cost of the systems. The lower cost will get these people in the door – they may discover they are smarter than they think.

    Perhaps the reason they do not think of doing these kinds of things is they think a good computer day is one where they have to spend less than an hour managing their computer.

    When I told my sister about the movie editing capabilities of my Mac she asked why she would care. Then I took their camera and a tape of my niece’s birthday party and handed her a DVD in three hours – with music and menus. Now they have a Mac and do thier own DVD’s.

    The typical Mac user is the average user that has discovered that a computer can be a tool to let them do more than they immagined they could. A lot of people will take a chance with an inexpensive mac and discover that Mac people “Think different” bacause the system is different – not that they are.

  9. There will many, many who continue to poo-poo Apple, no matter what. The psychology is interesting– I know many who act as if admitting Apple is better somehow personally smears them. It’s reverse snobbery in a way– turning up your nose at something because you don’t want to be “demeaned” somehow. It’s essentially “who needs great when ‘good enough is good enough?”

    Sounds odd, but I know it to be true for many. It’s not just Apple that suffers from this, but many high-end products.

  10. I agree with some posters above, it’s about the software, that’s why you switch. I’m already drooling over what I’ll be able to do with Keynote 2, and hell, I’m never using word again after pages, especially with all the great page layout it should be able to do.

    I’ve said this before, Apple needs to make great commercials showing their software in use, and put them EVERYWHERE. I’ve even suggested that mac users get together and have commercial contests, then raise money to put them on local TV stations. I mean, that’d get it started at least. Commercials could be restricted to iMovie only, that kink of thing, to prove what it can do. Well, maybe I’ll start that myself, who knows, anyone with me??

  11. You can always buy the PS/2 to USB KVM switches (KVM for 2 computers with built in cables is about $30-$40). I always loved Macs but work requires to use PCs. Now that the Mac Mini is affordable I can finally buy one without my wife complaining too much about it ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  12. I don’t know if this guy is typical of Windows users, but he certainly isn’t all that swift with math. That Dell he is talking about is a lot closer to SEVEN times larger than the Mac, given that all three dimensions are almost twice the size. This guy doesn’t need a computer, he needs a refresher course in second grade arithmetic.

  13. What is it with the fixation on a monitor? MOST PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE A MONITOR. These guys just don’t get it. MDN is right… if this is the mindset we’re up against, it’s going to take some superb advertising and all of us to counter such stupidity. But you know what, these guys are starting to see the writing on the wall. They can TRY to keep people scared of trying something new, but now they’re just starting to run scared.

    BTW, MacMall is offering a free keyboard and mouse with purchase of Mac mini… I’d suggest that to friends looking to buy one in case they have serial connections on their Pieces o’ Crap.

  14. No, the average schulbs don’t get it.

    A $499 Mac isn’t gaing to drive the masses to the nearest Apple Store. These people are well aware of their malware world and accept the fact that their computer is ruled by anyone but them. These are also the same people that the extent of their creativity is the Wizard they are presented with.

    People who live in these gray worlds will continue to live there and even a free Mac will never change that. Old men with the creative skills of a rock and consider spread sheets to be masters of art will not be effected by Mac mini, but who cares?

    Where the mini will really start to take shape is the new generation of computer users. It’s the kids who want a computer, but who’s parents shutter at the cost of a $1500 G5 or the Best Buy electronincs dad who doesn’t want the all in one iMac, that will consider this an option.

    The kids who are creative, the college students who will change the world and the new home computer market who is sick and tired of having a malware infected computer at home that they can’t even use. New users are waking up and seeing that there are options other then M$.

    That is who the Mac mini is for. The people who do like to watch their digital slide show with a favorite song.

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