With Mac mini Apple CEO Jobs attacks the Achilles heel of Windows dominance: the living room

“It’s definitely no rival to entry-level PCs, but Apple’s new Mac mini – combined with the iPod – could be the basis of a perfect Trojan horse strategy… Many rightly point out that given the market share of the Macintosh platform, even doubling the number of Macs sold would hardly dent the Windows predominance,” Andreas Pfeiffer writes for ExtremeTech.

“But before jumping to conclusions, let’s see what the new Mac mini is not to better understand the strategies behind it. First of all, the new Mac is not what most rumors predicted: a pizza-box, cut-down version of the Macintosh, as an entry-level Macintosh to compete with entry-level PCs,” Pfeiffer writes. “And as far as the Macintosh lineup goes, the Mac mini is very close to Apple’s high-end PowerBooks. Not the speed of a G5, but certainly not a Macintosh on the cheap.”

“As far as potential market share is concerned, the comparison of the Mac mini with low-end Windows PCs is both interesting and flawed. Steve Jobs is not attacking the Windows market per se. The way the new Mac is styled (and will presumably be marketed), it will stay safely out of the low-cost PC arena. Instead, Jobs is going after the Achilles heel of Windows dominance: the living room,” Pfeiffer writes.

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Apple Computer will own the living room, not Microsoft – January 10, 2005


  1. Sort of. If Apple were really targeting the living room though, they would have included HDMI rather than DVI, so that you could have surround sound when playing DVDs.

  2. how does the mac mini have anything to do with the living room? don’t get me wrong, I love this little machine, but, “Jobs is going after the Achilles heel of Windows dominance: the living room”

    wha? where do you get that?

  3. “It’s definitely no rival to entry-level PCs” ?????

    so why are you writing about it?? why is there an achilles heel then??

    just see the most recent cost comparison for small sized PCs and the Mac mini and, surprisingly, even throwing in the keyboard, mouse, free printer, it comes out to be $50 less!

    of course, Andreas does not bother to comparison shop, especially with regard to size/software package/default configurations.

  4. I think I see where they’re going with this and I agree. I’m thinking small little mobile robot base with arms that you plug a Mac mini and an iSight into. It would be AppleScript controllable and there would also be a plug-in for Automator (in Tiger). The Macbot base would have the capacity to serve as a web cam server. It would have an IR port so it can act as a voice controlled TV remote control. You could have it chase around your Roomba for fun. I’d have that roaming my living room all day. Unfortunately it would still be unable to wash my dishes, make me coffee, or walk my dog. Maybe in version 2.

    Or maybe they’re just thinking of it being an media hub?

  5. Boy, it sure looks like the Mac mini will have one thing in common with the iPod mini: it’s gonna be darned hard to get your hands on one for the first 4-6 months. One can hope Apple can keep up with demand, but if demand is as ridiculously high as it appears to be, there is no hope… Of this I am “certain”, my magic word.

  6. “Since when has windows dominated the living room?”

    It doesn’t. No one does, which is the point the author was trying to make. What he was trying to say, in case all of you were hyperventilating to loudly to notice, is that the living room is where Apple has it’s best chance to break Wintel dominance in its totality. Microsoft has so far failed to make the breakthrough, and with the Mac mini, Apple has the opportunity to fulfill Jobs’ vision of the Digital Hub. Do you really think that more computers than DVD players are sold every year? The Mac mini could supplant many electronic devices in the living room, DVD players, CD players, PVR’s etc. The potential is huge.

  7. Welllll…

    perhaps the piece we’re all waiting on is some type of firewire breakout box. All the digital goodies:

    HDMI/Component/S-Video/Composite video out(AND in’s)
    Digital Audio/Analog Audio Out (AND in’s)

    perhaps even some nifty sofware to record TV shows..

    I like the Mini, I think it’ll play a role with Apple for some time to come.

    But it is NOT the living room “killer box” I’m waiting on from Apple.

  8. Since when has windows dominated the living room???

    What a load of rubbish!!!

    Well I guess ppl are gonna start talking about the Mac now… We have to get used to it. Before morons would ignore the Mac, now they write entire theses on it.

    The low cost Mac in the living room.. erm… I know Media Centers are very expensive.. sooo.. I give up..

    Well.. perhaps future Mac minis will come with a tricked out Media edition but Jobs has already poohpoohed the compuer in the living room thing.. It could have a Media Center OS, though.. so it’s not a general purpose PC..

  9. Jeffrey is right on the money
    It is not a rumor, currently there are adaptors and breakout boxes that perfom all the functions that he listed. We’ll read articles on multi-channel audio out of the mini writen very soon in a couple of magazines.

  10. I think Pfeiffer is right. One target (though not the only target) of the Mac mini is to get people used to the idea of having a computer in the living room – not a full media hub yet, just music and photos for now. I’m looking for Apple to release an iLife center application that will simplify getting into iTunes and iPhoto.

    When Apple is ready to revolutionize video and TV with Quicktime and H.264 AVC and IPTV, then the next device will be unveiled in the same 6.5 x 6.5 form factor, perfectly stacked above the Mac mini.

    Does anyone know if Apple has bought ad time for a Mac mini ad during the Super Bowl? Or is it going to just be another Pepsi ad for iTunes?

  11. That iLife center app will be usable via the remote (as SJ told Mossberg) that Apple was working on back in July 2004 but has yet to be released or mentioned again.

    BTW, Jobs has only said people don’t want to watch movies on their smallish computer screens, and don’t want a PC (ugly noisy boxy costly) in the living room. The Mac mini is not ugly, noisy, boxy, or costly. You see, it’s not really a “PC”, it is a piece of consumer electronics, just like the iPod.

  12. Think about one of these in a motor home. Under the counter, nice display on the wall. Vacation time and you can email your photos and videos from the day on the road. Stop by the starbucks and log on or at the campground.

    My DVR has a record to tape command and connector for a VCR. All I need is a simple S-Video to firewire converter, basically what is built into my camcorder in a cable. I have iMovie. I have a DVD burner.

    Apple has moved the Mac into the living room. I for one will get on to connect to the TV. It is bound to last longer than the last 3 cheap DVD players I have had to buy because they are disposable pieces of s**t in my mind and generally develop problems in short order. It can be a server for iTunes, and iPhoto. I already have a G4 for Photoshop, iMovie and all the other stuff I do on my Mac. My iMac server that died won’t have to be repaired.

    The after market will create the momentum for Apple. The PC is not popular because IBM made a great product, or M$ made a great OS. It was because everybody and their mother started making things for it and making clones. An industry was born.

    Apple won’t have the benefits of the clones and they should not care but the market will entrench this baby in peoples living room, cars, motorhomes, garages, etc.

    Someday a wireless touchscreen display. Think about it.

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