Apple’s newly released Mac mini “is designed to appeal to computer users who have a screen and keyboard already. Some will be Mac users who are upgrading, but the real goal is to win over customers of Microsoft’s Windows. There is evidence that this had started to happen even as the Mini was still in the design labs. Apple’s latest quarterly results, also released last week and covering the Christmas season, showed Mac shipments were up 26 per cent on last year. While analysts had expected Apple to announce strong iPod sales, the boost to the Mac business was more surprising,” Stephen Pritchard reports for The Independent.
“It seems Apple’s computer business is benefiting directly from iPod sales. ‘The ‘halo’ effect [of Windows PC-owning iPod users moving to Macs] seems real to me,’ says Ted Schadler, principal analyst for consumer technology at Forrester Research. In addition, some of the problems that are affecting other parts of the IT industry also appear to be working to the benefit of Apple. Macs are, for now at least, not as attractive to virus writers and spammers as Windows machines,” Pritchard reports.
“IT experts also point out that the Mac operating system is inherently more secure. ‘Microsoft and its partners will struggle to improve Windows against viruses and spam until Longhorn [the next version of Windows], and that is two years away. In the meantime, Windows customers might move to a Mac because it’s safer,’ suggests Mr Schadler,” Pritchard reports.
“Analysts have gone as far as describing the Mini as a ‘disruptive’ technology, and one that could give Apple a foothold in corporate computing. Mike Davis, senior research analyst at Butler Group, says banks could be tempted to buy the machine as a low-cost, compact alternative to Windows computers or terminals from firms such as Wise. Apple’s operating system allows companies to disable external ports and even the hard drive, making the machine extremely secure. Other businesses pushed for space, such as retailers, might be drawn to the Mini,” Pritchard reports.
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