Mac mini is the future of Apple Computer

“When Steve Jobs held a mini Mac on his fingertips Tuesday, what did you see? A low-priced ‘crippled’ version of its bigger brothers? A device designed to lure away budget-minded consumers from Windows machines? Maybe. For now,” Tom Steinert-Threlkeld writes for Baseline. “What I saw was the future of Apple Computer: A device that fits anywhere in the home and hooks up to any screen that can handle digital input.”

Steinert-Threlkeld writes, “Lots of Windows-side executives are making big noise about producing machines for the living room. They call them ‘media centers.’ A few are on the market. Some get good reviews. But Jobs is the first executive, in the view from here, to really give a carrot that will pull along the move to convert the living room to digits.”

“The Mac mini now becomes the platform that can slide directly under the TV, even if Jobs isn’t saying so. As it surely adds storage capacity and memory capacity, it will soon be in position to replace the cable TV box, the stereo receiver box and the VCR/DVD player on the shelf under the big screen in the family fireplace room, the playroom or the basement. Jobs does not leave much to the imagination to see how this will take place. Apple is also the only company in the digital industry to really begin to solve how all sorts of new forms of digital content will be organized, presented and easily retrieved by everyday users,” Steinert-Threlkeld writes.

“In this case, the product, already delivered, is iLife, Apple’s pretty ‘seamless’ software suite that allows the average person to manage huge digital playlists of music, create and sculpt large libraries of digital photos, develop and edit digital movies, and even build professional sounding songs from scratch,” Steinert-Threlkeld writes. “So look at what iLife really is, sitting on a Mac mini under the TV. It is a digital content manager, connected to the kind of screen that is used outside the corporate and home office. You’d be a fool, were you Jobs and his cultural as well as product design accomplices at Apple, not to turn iLife in future incarnations into a channel switching and storage management system for the rest of our electronic lives.”

Another great read, the full article with much more, including Apple vs. Google thoughts, here.


  1. Imagin if you could record anything on your mac mini just like a Tivo, then have it cataloged in an iTunes-like program that sincs with your iPod photo. Last nights episodes on the go anyone?

    That would fulfill Steve’s vision of the digital hub.

  2. Jobs will still have to be carful with the mac as a tivo like device. There are a lot of large companies lurking to smash Apple in the entertainment community, so Apple will have to convince the TV/Movie industries that it is a good idea. iTunes for video recording = iVideo.

  3. I was just discussing this with a couple of Japanese Macheads today. You could have Remote desktop in the Mac mini and run it from your regular computer with wifi. You would not even need another keyboard and mouse. Apple should consider putting a very simple version of remote desktop in the mini as it starts to function as a media center. Also a TV recording program and video in so you could record TV. Right now it can act as a slide show presenter and DVD player through your TV and can also stream music to your stereo via wifi and Airport express. All the pieces are there, Apple just needs to add the “glue” of a great overall managing app to pull it all together.

    brought to you by the magic word “programs” – go figure.

  4. Its the perfect media center except for games. Im getting down on the mac games market, but you need a real connection, nintendo or sony, and Apple just needs to buy elgato, they make the final pieces of the puzzle

  5. I ordered a Mac mini Tuesday night. It was not ordered to replace a Windows box but, rather, an aging PowerMac 7600. I ordered the 1.4ghz model and bumped up the memory to 512meg and added an AirPort card.

    For just over $700 I was able to get a very capable replacement for that PowerMac at a fraction of the cost of the iMac G5.

    I may be wrong but I figure Apple took the basic motherboard design out of 2003’s “desk lamp” iMac and slapped it in a new box. Who cares? It’s cool. Compared to the iMac G5, I realize I’m not getting the latest bells and whistles hardware-wise but, then again, the Mac mini is for my 5 year old daughter!

    The Mac mini will make a perfect children’s computer. It’s accessible and friendly and makes her happy using it (at least the PowerMac does!). As an IT guy who has seen and used it all, I refuse to bring her up as a Windows user! Linux maybe … definitely the Mac. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  6. Seeing the Mac mini in the flesh yesterday, I was struck by what was left out. The top of the machine is the same white plastic that is used in the iPods and powerbricks. Why didn’t Apple add a dock slot for the iPod directly on top? There must be plenty of room inside for this little connector. Next model, perhaps?

  7. I’m sure they thought about it (putting a dock slot for the iPod directly on top). They probably thought it would ruin the design aesthetic.

    For me, the Mac Mini is a great computer that’s come along at just the right time. Now i’m getting impatient to see Jobs turn this into a fully fledged media center device with TV recording features

  8. The Mac mini is a worthless POS.

    The processor is ancient and crap, 32 megs of video ram a joke, hard drive too small for serious video editing or storing movies, and try to soup it up and it gets too expensive.

    And eveyone is excited about it. NO iPod users in the PC world want it or need it …. why …. they have iTunes on their PC, they have access to the ITMS store from their PC, all iPods are compatible with their PC, hell, even Airport Express is compatible with their PC. Stop kidding yourself.

    What it might do is cannabalize iMac sales some, incent some Mac users with extra peripherals around to buy it.

    But it won’t bring Apple lots of PC users, and as their CFO hopes, it may, just may, MAINTAIN their market share.

    Too underpowered for serious use, wrong configuration for media center use, not interesting to PC users who love iPods ….. a waste of time.

    Why didnt Apple roll out something insanely cool for the living room.

  9. I think the mini Mac is great but… For those that look at price only it is great. It will be a terrific entry level computer so we must all remember that is what it is for when we compare it to PCs. What I am waiting for though, is the midi Mac, a mac with a 1.6Ghz G4 at least, 1GB memory (that doesn’t cost $475), 80GB drive, super drive, many more than just 2 USB ports and upgradable graphics or at least 5200. If it was in a package twice the size of the mini and cost $1000 I would still be happy. But this summer when Tiger comes out and the first upgrades are done, I’m in.

  10. Worthless

    The mini isn’t supposed to be spectacular. It isn’t a PowerMac, it isn’t even an iMac, and that’s exactly why it’s $500 rather than $1500. It’s not been released so that people throw out their PC, it’s meant for those Windows users who want to use iLife apps, but want to keep Windows for other things. That’s why it’s so tiny.

    People aren’t going to switch just because of Mac mini, but a lot of people are going to finally get a taste of OSX for the first time, and a few of those will switch later.

    Why are the PC folk finding this difficult to understand?

  11. I spent about �2200 on my 1Ghz TiBook around 1 and a half years ago – it still rocks and still lets me do everything from video editing, to DTP and webstie design.

    The faster G4 Mac mini at �339 is a steal! What a bargain computer.

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