Analyst: Apple’s new Mac mini ‘a good first step into the living room’

“Apple Computer on Tuesday introduced… a revamped Mac mini aimed at making the pint-sized computer an easy addition to living room entertainment centers,” Jefferson Graham reports for USA Today. “The updated Mac mini units sell for $599 (up from $499) and $799 (formerly $599.) They now have Intel processing chips, which make the computers from 2 to 4 times much faster, Jobs said. The mini was introduced with great fanfare in January 2005 as a low-cost way for Windows PC users to switch to the Apple platform. Apple, which has a whopping 78% share of the digital music device market, has just a 4% to 5% share of the total PC market.”

“Apple won’t say how many Mac minis it has sold. Shawn Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research, estimates sales at 1 to 2 million units — ‘just okay,’ he says. He says the new Intel chips add power, a problem for the first Mac minis. The revamped machines will have greater appeal to consumers, he says, especially with the remote control feature. ‘Apple wants to run the living room,’ he adds. ‘Apple is better positioned there than any of its competitors, but the new mini is missing one important element—there’s no PVR (TiVo like personal video recorder) or TV tuner. It’s not the complete solution,'” Graham reports.

“Microsoft works with Hewlett-Packard, Dell and other computer manufacturers on “entertainment PCs,” which do everything the mini promises, plus record TV shows on some models. However, they sell for over $1,000,” Graham reports. “Van Baker, an analyst with researcher Gartner, says the Microsoft units haven’t caught on with the public because the computers are too large for the living room. The majority of the entertainment PCs, he says, were sold without PVRs. ‘The mini is small enough that people will consider adding it to their living room consoles,’ Baker says. ‘The transition of bringing the computer into the living room won’t happen overnight, but this is a good first step.'”

“Apple vice president Phil Schiller says the company chose not to add PVR functionality to the mini because it would have made the unit too complicated. ‘We’re not trying to replace the TiVo,’ he says. ‘This is about taking the media from your computer and accessing it via the TV.’ To run media from other computers using the Mac mini, other PCs have to store music, videos and TV shows in Apple’s iTunes software. If users listen to music in, say, Musicmatch or Real Player, the Mac mini won’t be able to find the songs,” Graham reports.

Full article here.

MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
iMac and MacBook Pro owners: Apple USB Modem. Easily connect to the Internet using dial-up service. Only $49.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Old Apple Mac mini G4 vs. new Mac mini’s graphics and video specs – February 28, 2006
With today’s announcements, Apple’s vision is becoming clearer and bolder – February 28, 2006
Apple introduces new Intel-based Mac mini – February 28, 2006


  1. The new Mac Mini is not really designed as a “Home TV” content delivery system.

    The entire US market is switching from analog to digital with HDCP as we speak.

    For that it needs a HDCP controlled HDMI or DVI (Y-Pb-Pr) and a really really fast internet connection to stream full resolution HD.

    I think the cable companies would b*tch a fit since they make mega-bucks delivering content.

    Also some sort of DRM is required to the monitor so the HDCP cleaned video is not swiped on the video cards ports.

    These Mini’s are like before, just outputing to a DVI computer monitor.

    Read on for more info

  2. Botox

    Considering that you are getting Front Row with remote control etc, It’s not so bad for the extra $100. I never thought I would but I’m going to get one. I already have a iBook which I use mostly. Front Row on a portable dont really make sense to me but on the Mini it’s perfect.

    Just tonight I recommended this new Mini to a PC friend who was looking for a new video, pictures, music and general computing use computer and the Mini with iLife fit perfectly for this. I was proud to recommend it to him.

  3. botox, they did keep the price on the bottom Mini the same feature for feature. The Mini G4 was $499 but WiFi & Bluetooth cost and extra $99. The new Mini is $599 with Wifi & Bluetooth plus faster ethernet (1000Mb).

  4. not even he high end unit is useful for a set-top box if you’ve got an HD screen.

    For 1280×720 (720p) video at 24-30 frames per second:
    QuickTime 7 for Mac OS X:

    * 1.8 GHz PowerMac G5 or faster Macintosh computer; 1.83 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster
    * At least 256MB of RAM
    * 64 MB or greater video card

    QuickTime 7 for Windows:

    * 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 or faster processor
    * At least 512MB of RAM
    * 64MB or greater video card
    * Windows 2000 or XP

    For 1920×1080 (1080p) video at 24 frames per second:
    QuickTime 7 for Mac OS X:

    * Dual 2.0 GHz PowerMac G5 or faster Macintosh computer; 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo or faster
    * At least 512MB of RAM
    * 128MB or greater video card

    QuickTime 7 for Windows:

    * 3.0 Ghz Intel Pentium D (dual-core) or faster processor
    * At least 1GB of RAM
    * 64MB or greater video card
    * Windows 2000 or XP

    nuts to it, then.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.