Macs For The Masses

Yep, that time of year again, time for a Mac conference. Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod shuffle, the Mac mini and iWork.

Lucie’s quick takes on these:

iPod shuffle is the size of a pack o’ gum, has no screen but can run on 2 AAA batteries when the internal one is drained, and has a flash based memory unlike the iPod. Love the battery thing, would be nice to see that incorporated to the rest of the iPod family. With the $150 price tag surely this baby will catch the eye of even the most cynical anti-iPodders.

What do you do with excess igloo shaped iMacs? Crush it into a small rectangle, trim off the monitor and keyboard, finish it off with that famous Apple styin’, and voila! Mac mini. This ‘puter is BYO mouse, keyboard and monitor/tv. It’s also the cheapest Mac ever! So if you’re a Windows iPodder, you might want to take a longer walk on the Apple side.

iWork is Keynote (slideshow program), and Pages (word processor). It’s cheap and Pages imports and exports Word docs. This is very good and means that you don’t need to fork out a lot of cash to create and view Word docs. Yay!

Side note: I like the new graphics on the iWork and iLife boxes.

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One Comment


  1. Red Wolf

    12 January 2005 at 8.50 pm

    Check out Bob Cringely’s predictions for 2005:

    3) Apple will take a big risk in 2005. This could be in the form of a major acquisition. With almost $6 billion in cash, Steve Jobs hinted to a group of employees not long ago that he might want to buy something big, though I am at a loss right now for what that might be. Or Apple might decide to throw some of that cash into the box along with new computers by deliberately losing some money on each unit in order to buy market share.

    We might see that as early as next week with the rumored introduction of an el-cheapo Mac without a display. The price for that box is supposed to be $499, which would give customers a box with processor, disk, memory, and OS into which you plug your current display, keyboard, and mouse. Given that this sounds a lot like AMD’s new Personal Internet Communicator, which will sell for $185, there is probably plenty of profit left for Apple in a $499 price. But what if they priced it at $399 or even $349? Now make it $249, where I calculate they’d be losing $100 per unit. At $100 per unit, how many little Macs could they sell if Jobs is willing to spend $1 billion? TEN MILLION and Apple suddenly becomes the world’s number one PC company. Think of it as a non-mobile iPod with computing capability. Think of the music sales it could spawn. Think of the iPod sales it would hurt (zero, because of the lack of mobility). Think of the more expensive Mac sales it would hurt (zero, because a Mac loyalist would only be interested in using this box as an EXTRA computer they would otherwise not have bought). Think of the extra application sales it would generate and especially the OS upgrade sales, which alone could pay back that $100. Think of the impact it would have on Windows sales (minus 10 million units). And if it doesn’t work, Steve will still have $5 billion in cash with no measurable negative impact on the company. I think he’ll do it.

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