“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.