USA Today: Apple’s new Mac Mini could sell in mass quantities

“Matthew Williams started thinking about switching to an Apple computer after he fell in love with the company’s iPod digital music player last year, but he found them too pricey. That has all changed now. The release Saturday of Apple’s new $499 Mac mini computer, ‘is finally the kicker that’s going to bring me to the other side,’ says Williams, 21, a student at Morrisville State College in upstate New York,” Jefferson Graham writes for USA Today. “‘After seeing pictures of the Mac mini, everything else looks bloated,’ Williams says of the 2-inch-tall computer.”

Graham writes, “The Mac mini is being sold without monitor, keyboard and mouse, under the assumption that most people already have them… Dell Vice President Mike George says his January door-buster prices are not a response to the Mac mini. ‘We’ve been on a pretty steady path,’ he says. ‘We don’t see any need to respond to that product.'”

“‘This is the first time Apple has gotten into the mass market game, and it’s going to make a dramatic difference for them,’ Gene Munster, an analyst with securities firm Piper Jaffray says. ‘The computer hits the sweet spot of what people want — Internet, e-mail, music and digital photos.'” Graham reports.

“Already, the Mac mini has hit a real chord on the Internet, where bloggers see it as more than just a device the size of a Cheez-It box. Fill the 40-gigabyte hard drive with music, put it in the trunk and use it to run your auto stereo. Hook the Mac mini into a home stereo system, make a few alterations, and you’ve got a digital hub that can tie the TV, music, photos and DVD together. ‘I’m really excited about its potential,’ says Tom Yager, the technical director for InfoWorld magazine’s test center. ‘By the time you add the options needed to do these things, you come in at under the sticker price of existing technology.’ Microsoft, with partners Hewlett-Packard, Dell and others, sells the Windows Media Center PC, which has similar goals. But they tend to be big, clunky and sell for about $1,500,’ Graham writes.

Full article, with sidebar explaining how to “Make Mac mini master of multimedia” here.

17 Comments

  1. I’ve always said the best computer (ultimately) would be the one that was “smaller” than the cube. A computer that you could mount on the wall.

    I could see one on your TV serving media, one in the den, one in the garage, one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom. Touch screens in the kitchen and garage. One in your car, one in your motor home.

    This is a revolutionary design, coupled with Apples focus on iLife, etc. that will result in a significant change in how we use our computers.

    iSight and iChat turns into a security system, as easy as using iChat. The grandparents take the kids on vacation in the motor home and while the kids are chatting with the parents through iChat, the gp’s are capturing the days video, and within minutes send the parents a video postcard, through the wireless network in the campground. (This would make a great commercial.)

    The effects of this idea go well beyond switchers. Magic word children.

  2. <<“The Mac mini is being sold without monitor, keyboard and mouse, under the assumption that most people already have them”>>

    Or maybe this gives computer buyers the option to custom it to their taste by purchasing one of the large variety of third party mice and keyboards out their. Many eons ago I remember the Mac being criticized for including Apple mice and keyboards with ALL their computers thereby suppressing the third party market.

    BTW – With all the talk about where the mini can fit, has anyone talked about whether or not you can operate it on it’s side?

  3. One thing I’m concerned with is can Apple make them fast enough.

    If you believe rumors, Apple plans to make around 100,000 per month (well, according to the link, “>100k/month”). That amounts to 300,000 per quarter. I’d guess they’ll need to be able to ship more like 500,000 in order to make big money off the things.

    On the other hand, Apple may be trying to be smart and keeping the initial production low so, just in case they end up with another Cube, they don’t have a ton of them to get rid of.

  4. “And they will, MacMinute is reporting that they are selling at Target.com, no confirmation about local stores, yet!”

    Actually, MacMinute got it mixed up with this.

    (Just kidding. It really is here.)

  5. I don’t think the commitment is to make 100K units/month, rather it is a commitment that Apple will need a minimum[.b] of 100K units/month.

    That way the Asustek (or whoever is doing the assembly work) knows that they have to resource for a minimum level of production, and then if Apple needs another 25K/month or whatever, that’s a negotiation between the two parties with regards to price and timelines.

    If you remember Apple stated in September that they intended to make 1M iPods/month from October, and yet they actually sold over 4.5 million units for the quarter thus exceeding the target by 50%.

  6. Interestingly enough, Target doesn’t seem to carry the iPod shuffle. Target shoppers are much more likely to spend $99 than $250 for the iPod mini. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time.

  7. Wow.. this is just so weird. i got a switcher at work.. I told him about the mini.. he’s gonna be so stoked when he sees one in pictures..

    I can’t believe i’m actually talking about a Mac, “The only downside is they’re hard to fine, they’re pretty much selling out everywhere”

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