“Might the Mac mini mean a bigger bite of the personal computer market for Apple Computer Inc.? That’s the hope of Apple whose approximately 100 retail stores are opening an hour early on Saturday as the highly touted and low-priced Mac mini computer and iPod Shuffle portable music player go on sale,” Reuters reports. “Analysts are betting Apple’s mini might just tempt users of rival Microsoft Corp.’s Windows to switch operating systems and go with the Mac and its Mac OS X operating system.”
“‘I believe the Mac mini is actually going to have more of an impact on Apple’s market share position than their digital music efforts have so far,’ said IDC analyst Roger Kay,” Reuters reports. Echoing the sentiment, Needham & Co. analyst Charlie Wolf wrote to clients, ‘The iPod’s only failure so far has been its inability to stimulate meaningful purchases of Macintoshes.’ With the Mac mini, that could change, and Wolf now estimates that 11 percent of those who have iPods and PCs that use the Windows operating system may shell out the $499 for a Mac mini now that they’re available. Before the mini, Wolf had predicted 4 percent could switch. Apple is opening its stores at 9 a.m. local time on Saturday. Store personnel contacted by Reuters in California, Colorado, Florida and New Jersey said they had been receiving a slew of calls about the mini and the Shuffle. The Shuffle is Apple’s smaller, cheaper version of its market-leading iPod and holds either 120 or 240 songs, costing $99 and $149, respectively.”
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