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Mac Mini, a Fixed Mobile PC

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macmini1.jpgMac Mini, the cheapest mac ever has been introduced and it clearly is a powerhouse. It is better than a iBook 14 inch and is competitively priced to some of the equally powered Windows machines. Scoble thinks it is a tad more expensive than machines sold in Wal-Mart. Same logic as why is Toyota more expensive than Kia. I don’t think Apple is going to get many switchers for the device is priced $100 too much. That doesn’t meant it is not a great little computer.

Regardless, I think we are not looking at Mac Mini for its true potential. I think with this device, Apple might just have invented a new product category – the fixed mobile PC. Unlike a lot of us who jet around the country lugging around a laptop everywhere we go, there is a vast majority of people, who leave their homes early in the morning, get in their car, drive to work, where they boot up their computers and get to work. And then they do the reverse commute in the evening, and boot up their home computers. In other words, they are trying to sync home-and-work computing lives. Now with this tiny tot of a Mac, you can simply unplug and take your computer to go. It is light enough, small enough to become a fixed mobile PC.

Now think of Mac Mini as a “home media server.” Last month when rumors were flying thick and fast, Jonathan Greene very rightfully pointed out the true potential of this device. Mac Mini is perfect sitting next to your Sony FlatScreen TV. I think just like an iPod economy sprang up around the hit digital device, it is time for peripheral makers to bring to market add-ons like TV connectors, remote control modules and the sort. Elgato can turn your Mac Mini into a nice TiVo replacement. All it needs is a little imagination.

12 Responses to “Mac Mini, a Fixed Mobile PC”

  1. couldn’t agree more about the home server idea.

    the wifi option and quiet running are the 2 things which do it for me. and a cable in case i want to plug it in at the router and run it as a regular server.

    comes preinstalled with apache and php.

  2. “This is the year of HD video” – Steve Jobs 1-11-05

    The Apple home media server is still making its way to market – possibly in that same 6.5×6.5 form factor. Its waiting for HD in the form of H.264/AVC, nee Tiger. Same goes for the Airport HD Express. Oh, by the way, where’s that remote that Apple has been working on since July?!!!?

    Note that iTunes will now convert higher rate AAC to 128Kbps AAC for the iPod shuffle. That’s what H.264 will do for video – provide instant conversion to whatever rate is supportable by the transport medium – whether that be wireless (WiFi, UWB (if it ever comes), 3G cellular), or wired (DVI, Firewire, etc). Can’t wait to see what happens in July.

    These budget devices make me think that SJ has read The Innovator’s Dilemma. Don’t you think so?

  3. Although I think the iMac Mini will be a huge success, a $500 iMac plus the cost of a solution like Elgato’s does not make for a competitive solution in the consumer electronics sphere compared to a dedicated device like a $100-$300 Tivo or an almost free solution from your local cable company. I’m sure some will do it, but it will be the more adventurous among us who do so.

    If Apple really wanted to confront this market, a dedicated device at a much lower price would be more appropriate. Oh, how I wish the Airport Express had come with video-out on it.