Apple Stakes Its Claim

It seems that the theme of this year’s Mac­world Expo is going to be afford­abil­i­ty . With the keynote speech announce­ments of the head­less iMac, called the Mac mini, as well as the sporty iPod Shuf­fle; Apple seems to be tak­ing the Tar­get approach to design. That is to say, great design need­n’t be expen­sive. You’ll make up the cost of the design in volume.

There was a great deal of spec­u­la­tion about the “head­less” iMac online, lead­ing to some law suits. It appears that the iHome was indeed a hoax, but on the right track when you take into con­sid­er­a­tion the Mac mini as well as the announce­ment of Final Cut Express HD. Of course, I’ve yet to play around with one, but a G4 Mac in a small square-ish box (stop me if you’ve heard this one) sounds like a cool lit­tle com­put­er. Pro­vid­ed it does­n’t over­heat like the cube. Based on what I know about the per­for­mance of the new iMac, I’d say it’s safe from over­heat­ing. They’re putting lit­tle fans in there just for good mea­sure these days. All of that aside, I’m glad to see a well-designed Mac with some decent specs at what seems like a super price. Par­tic­u­lar­ly since most of us already have a mon­i­tor, mouse, key­board, & speak­ers we can plug into one. While I love the design of the iMac (which is, by the way, a G5 now, instead of a G4), if you already have those things on your desk, buy­ing them again seems waste­ful. Just buy a KVMS switch (like the one I have from Belkin for my PC & Lin­ux box).

I am impressed with the iPod shuf­fle as well. Do I real­ize it’s just a USB key dri­ve with a speak­er jack & music play­er but­tons? Of course I do. How­ev­er, it’s a nice­ly priced one that hap­pens to have the über-cool name of iPod attached. Demand greater than sup­ply? Unless they’ve already pro­duced these things buy the 100’s of thou­sands, than you bet. I bought a 1GB USB key for about $70 a few weeks ago, and I’m already wish­ing I’d just wait­ed and bought this thing for twice that. I’m hap­py to pay pre­mi­um for this kind of cool.


  1. I think the new Apple prod­ucts rock. I fol­lowed the keynote and the fol­low-up very close­ly. The only prob­lem I have with the Mac Mini is that–apparently–the RAM is not user upgrade­able. This thing is like a gam­ing con­sole. If you want to mess around with the insides of it, you’ll be break­ing the war­ran­tee. Am I right here?

    I am cur­rent­ly try­ing to get my moth­er to buy one. She has lots of prob­lems with her Dell.

  2. Not hav­ing had an Apple com­put­er in my house in about 18 years, I could­n’t say for sure how they feel about user mod­i­fi­ca­tions vs. war­ranties. I found this arti­cle on their site, but it does­n’t real­ly go into what defines “user upgrad­able” or which prod­ucts this applies to.
    I think they’re pret­ty cool with peo­ple replac­ing bat­ter­ies in their iPods, althought that would be most like­ly to occur long after the war­ran­ty was up. How­ev­er, since they kind of got caught with their pants down on the issue of lousy bat­ter­ies which they weren’t will­ing to replace, that may be a one-of type thing.
    I men­tioned these com­put­ers to my younger broth­er, Dave (who reads this site, I hope). I thought a Mac would be per­fect for him and this is a nice option for some­one who isn’t pre­pared to lay down $1,300 for an iMac.

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