Yesterday’s announcements of the iPod Hi-Fi and two new versions of the Mac mini by Apple CEO Steve Jobs “aren’t world-changers, [but] they represent important steps in Apple’s move into the digital living room. Maybe the most important new feature is the inclusion of Apple’s Bonjour wireless networking technology in the Front Row software that will now come standard on the new iMac minis. While Front Row lets Mac owners play music or view movies or photographs while sitting on the couch with the help of Apple’s tiny remote, Bonjour lets them play content that is not only on their hard drives, but also on any other PCs in the house — whether it’s the desktop model with the huge hard drive in the den, or the laptop full of obscure tunes your neighbor brings by,” Peter Burrows writes for BusinessWeek.
“Apple has indeed stepped lightly, even as Microsoft and partners dumped gazillions into creating products designed to do many of the same tasks. But Apple’s latest devices leave no doubt whether Apple is on the attack — or that the immediate target is home audio. For all the hoopla over the iPod and iTunes in the past four years, it’s almost all been focused on how to listen to music through mediocre PC speakers or via earbuds — but not in PC-less rooms of the house,” Burrows writes. “Now, that’s changing. ‘This will go down as the shot heard round the world for the home-audio business,’ says Tom Cullen, CEO of Sonus Networks, a startup that’s been making digital home audio gear for the past few years. ‘Everyone at Bose, Denon, Harmon has got to be wondering what this means for them.’ Indeed, the latest update of Apple’s iTunes software gives users the ability to wirelessly stream music up to three different stereos or powered speakers, suggesting that it wants to create easy multi-room sound systems that few conventional stereo setups can match.”
“This is just Apple’s first shot at an audio-hardware product, and Apple most likely learned a great deal about acoustical engineering and speaker design in the process. Asked if Apple had relied on outside companies for any of the product development, iPod division chief Jon Rubinstein said it was ‘designed entirely by Apple,'” Burrows writes. “All that may not be a big deal right now, but it’s ultimately bad news for rivals such as Microsoft that want to knock Apple off its perch in digital music. And it will have a lasting impact on the raft of new home electronics players that will have to contend with — as well as partner with — Jobs & Co. in the years to come.”
Full article here.
• Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
• Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
• 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.
• 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:
Apple’s new Mac mini: perfect for HDTV – March 01, 2006
Videos of Steve Jobs introducing Mac mini, iPod Hi-Fi – March 01, 2006
Analyst: Apple’s new Mac mini ‘a good first step into the living room’ – February 28, 2006
Old Apple Mac mini G4 vs. new Mac mini’s graphics and video specs – February 28, 2006
Apple introduces new Intel-based Mac mini – February 28, 2006