With today’s announcements, Apple’s vision is becoming clearer and bolder

“For those used to big announcements from Apple, the company’s media event at its headquarters here on Tuesday might have been a disappointment,” Troy Wolverton reports for TheStreet.com. “Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised some ‘medium-scale’ product introductions and delivered along those lines, introducing a new version of the company’s low-end computer and an iPod-powered boom box. But if the actual products were underwhelming, the company’s vision is becoming clearer — and bolder. The product announcements indicate that Apple is clearly trying to establish itself as a player in the battle for the digital living room, where computer and networking technology is married with consumers’ traditional entertainment systems.”

“The updated version of the company’s Mac mini computer, for instance, has sophisticated audio-out jacks, a remote control and Apple’s Front Row software, which allows users to access digital video, pictures and music using the remote,” Wolverton reports. “With the Mac mini, the company is releasing an updated version of Front Row that allows the software to connect with other computers on a user’s network, meaning that consumers will be able to watch video or listen to music stored on computers other than the Mac mini… But the Mac mini and Front Row are just part of the company’s new advance into the living room. The company’s iPod Hi-Fi is the other. Essentially a speaker box that connects to an iPod, the Hi-Fi represents Apple’s first effort by itself to transform the iPod from a personal music device to a home audio device.”

“That lack of a ‘wow’ product rollout was seemingly reflected in Apple’s stock price, which began slipping Tuesday after the products were announced; the shares were recently off $1.77, or 2.5%, to $69.22,” Wolverton reports. “Still, the products did represent important steps. The new Mac mini will include Intel processors, marking the latest models in the company’s Macintosh computer to make the transition from PowerPC chips. As Jobs noted, the company has now moved half of its Macintosh line over to Intel chips since the start of the year.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: The stock price slip is more likely due to the Google mess than today’s product announcements.

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Related articles:
Apple debuts iPod Hi-Fi speaker system, leather cases for 5G iPod, iPod nano – February 28, 2006
Apple introduces new Intel-based Mac mini – February 28, 2006

60 Comments

  1. The FORM of the annoucement is probably what Apple was refering to several months ago when they said they wanted to move away from Huge product annoucements at MacWorld which slowed sales prior to those events.

    I am perplexed at the stock slip myself. I see this an an opportunity for Apple to establish itself in the living room and thereby the home. Unfortunately, the price point is about $100 higher than I for one expected.

    Still, one can hardly blame Apple. Recognizing that in the short term they will likely sell every unit they can make, why not open at a higher price? the units will still sell and it is much easier to lower the price by $100 later (or add features) than to raise the price later.

  2. One other comment for those looking for a Movie announcement INSTEAD:

    How could Apple really announce movies without having a mini to play them on? This announcement had to come first. Apple has to build the case for feature length downloads. With the infrastructure, success of TV shows, and now the mini, the stage has been set.

  3. I’ve been waiting…….

    Now I’m get rid of the DVD player, Tuner, EQ, CD Changer, VHS and anything else sitting beneath my HDTV. Movies, music, pictures and anything else I want to do from my couch.

    Now if I just had that “magic fridge”.

  4. I think I see some of what’s taking place with Apple’s announcements these days. Evolution. Get ready for more of the same, because Steve Jobs is peeling us like an onion, playing us like a violin.

    Layers. It’s all about layers.

    Layers. Moving to Intel means Apple puts the DVR/PVR, updated Front Row capability on the Intel Macs, so there’s an incentive for owners of older Macs to upgrade to new Macs.

    Layers. Apple needs the Intel Macs to hit the streets sooner than expected. iMac first, Mac mini, the iBook to MacBook, then 17-inch MacBook Pro, then the new Pro series later this summer.

    Layers. The new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system fits into an already existing ecosystem with nearly 50-million customer universe. It’s better to push it now than a year ago.

    Layers. Step by step, everything cool and new will show up in new iPods, new Macs. You will be upgraded. Resistance is futile.

    Layers. Mac OS X Tiger looks good compared to Windows XP, even to what Vista may be in December, but it’s OS X Leopard (another layer), that will set Bill Gates’ hair on fire.

    Layers. Macs still appear expensive to Windows users, and the new Intel Macs don’t do much to dispel that thinking. But notice, no one pays much attention to megahertz/gigahertz anymore. It’s a non-issue.

    Layers. Steve Jobs is getting good at spreading out the announcements. We’ll probably see something on April 1st, then again by late spring at the developers conference.

    We live in interesting times, but we’re being peeled like an onion and played like a violin.

    Tera Patricks
    Mac360

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