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  Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius? 
 Date Written 
Rooin Jan 28, 2005, 02:26pm EST Report Abuse
Well I must say, the marketing they are doing must be working. I have yet to see a Mac Mini Commercial on the TV, but imagine its not far off.

I myself am a sworn PC user. Mac's are not designed for the gaming power that I wish to have, not a mac slam, just saying games and applications are cheaper and more available to PC users. So ive never really wanted to own a Apple PC. Now, I did on the other hand happen to stumbled apon this Mac Mini a few weeks ago on the apple website when I was getting iTunes for my freshly overhauled machine. Just looking at the specs and thinking of the possibilities for this Very small PC, it got me thinking of how cool it would be to own one. Granted Im a gadget guy, I myself dont own a iPod, but I do love music, I also love being able to have access to a PC almost whereever I go, I work for an ISP, I own 3 Desktop PCs and a Laptop, I run a wireless network at home so I can lounge wherever I feel. But, to beable to buy a PC, even if it IS Mac, small enough to place in my TV stand or heck even on my TV, have it have Wireless access, and a blue tooth keyboard an mouse so I can sit on the couch accross the room, surf, listen to tunes, (on the HTS of cource) shall we say 'Glorious'. The thing is so small, it puts a shuttle to shame. For the IT/gadget person it sells itself. It, atleast for me, solves a lot of ideas ive had. A: Small enough to fit in a TV stand that isnt huge, I have a ~3 foot tall 4 shelve Entertainment system stand, it already holds a 32 tv atop it, 5 consoles a HTS and DVD player already. 2: They designed a special DVI-TV adapter (extra cost) So It can be hooked to one of my TVs Many Input selections. 3: it Plays and if paid for Burns both CD's and DVDs. 3: your watching your favorite show on G4-TechTV and they post a link for a website, you can pick up your keyboard an mouse, turn to the right input, an surf to it on the spot. (yeah its lazy) But I mean common, thats just damn handy.

enough blabbing someone else post their short an sweet response....

"Even Satan wouldn't use customer service as a form of punishment." - Lucas
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Albert Crocker Jan 28, 2005, 06:52pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
Sander asks: ... "Or will this spawn a whole new breed of mini PCs, styled much like the Mac mini, but with PC hardware at work inside?" ...

As has been typical for many years, I think that PC (and PC component) manufacturers will follow Apple's lead, at least to some degree. Many of us like to slam Apple, but conveniently forget what the PC and its GUI would be like if there were not an Apple out there to push the boundaries and blaze new trails in areas we wouldn't have thought important enough to bother with. And yet, is your latest PC an ugly biege box? Why not? If fuctionality is all that matters...

i7-920 @ 3.3 | GA-EX58-UD5 | 6GB OCZ 1600 7-7-7 | 4870X2 | ~7.4TB Storage | PCP&C S750 | BenQ FP241W | Win7 64
Sean B Jan 28, 2005, 07:04pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
Mac's efforts are to make RISC processing more accessable to the common consumer.

They aren't in direct competition with CISC based PCs because RISC processing is in an entirely different league.

CISC processor manufacturers adhere to different specifications... such as backwards compatability.

Because everything on the Mac is proprietary... and all of the licensed software out must be licensed through Apple, they can choose to start from the ground up everytime they come out with something new.

Vic Schmidt Jan 28, 2005, 10:12pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
The person who wrote this article is much like the "Blue State" people during the last elections. They are convinced they have their finger on the pulse of the country and almost three months after the elections, they are STILL trying to figure out why they lost. (Odd, though Steve Jobs is a genius with marketing, design, etc. etc. he is a Kerry supporter!!). Anyway, the author just 'doesn't get it'. It's NOT about having something 'cool' and being part of the 'in crowd' - at least not for the millions of Apple users around the world. It's more like... well, imagine all your friends, neighbors, and co-workers wanted to go to the movies. What do they do? They go to the theatre and buy tickets and go watch the movie, right? Well YOU don't, instead you go out and scour the Web and discover a place where you can buy your tickets online for 75% off what your friends just paid, not only that, you simply Click one button on the site and pay for, download, and print your movie ticket - and then YOU go to the movies. It's one of those 'best kept secrets' things. Apple users all know (from first hand experience) how 'different' the Mac computing experience is from Win-doze... Windows lets you do anything you want with your PC... as long as you do it the way windows wants you to. The Mac lets you do whatever you want also, bu the operating system stays TOTALLY out of your way and lets you actually get your work done. 'It's the USER EXPERIENCE stupid'. Also, since Apple makes the whole 'widget' (hardware AND software) everything 'just works'. So, unless you've used a Mac LATELY (post OS X) you really DON'T have a clue how much different the overall computing experience is on a Mac. It is NOT (just) the 'cool factor', I'll GUARANTEE it...

Carter Sudeith Jan 28, 2005, 10:27pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
X86 jumped to the ultra-micro platform first (assuming you don't count PDAs).

Sean B Jan 28, 2005, 11:53pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
Vic, you don't have a clue what you're talking about.

Apple is entirely focused on aesthetics for the common consumer. The only reason people get iPods is for the "cool factor".

Real techies that want MP3 players would much rather have a Pocket PC, Creative Zen Touch, or Creative Zen Portable Media Center. All of which offer more than the iPod in the same small design.

You used the election as an example... well I might as well correlate to it too.

The only reason people voted for Bush was because the Republican party's message saturated the media and infiltrated people's true ideals.

Instead of worrying about a dozen equally important matters, such as AIDS and the country's financial instability, people diverted their minds to national security.

This is just an example of how easily influenced and manipulated people can be.

The iPod advertisements saturated magazines and TV... not just through commercials, but also through shows. You even have them being nestled in celebrity gift baskets at the Oscars.

The only thing I would ever use an iPod for is the hard drive, which I'd transplant into a PDA or nano-ITX embedded PC.

Jan 29, 2005, 09:42am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
OK Let me explain why they will sell so many Mac mini's. The fact that it is beautiful is just icing on the cake and will NOT be the main reason people buy it.

Many people who are currently on PCs may have been exposed to Apple products through the iPod recently. Many have said that they would like to try a Mac but that the entry costs are too high. Many people have an old computer that they would like to upgrade but then they would have to throw their old monitor away. Alternatively many people would like to add a Mac to their present system with a KVM switch to use for managing their personal digital life and/or as a means to have at least one machine that is highly secure for surfing the internet without worrying about malware. The Mac mini is the computer to perfectly fill their needs.

They can use their current monitor. They can also use their current keyboard and mouse if they want. Even if the mouse and keyboard are the outdated PS/2 style a 5 dollar PS/2 to USB adaptor is all it will take. So for the basic home user wanting to upgrade or add a Mac, for 499 dollars they will get:

A great small computer that is highly portable and will save them space.

An end to battling viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, or other malware (Currently there are ZERO viruses in the wild for OS X, yes that is right, ZERO. Contrast this to the over 70,000 viruses that exist for windows. It always bugs me when everybody says Macs have fewer problems with malware that windows. For the last four years we have had ZERO problems so it should be "Macs currently have NO PROBLEMS WITH VIRUSES" not "fewer problems")

OS X which is rock solid and almost never has to be re-booted, is highly intuitive and easy to use (my three year old son and my 78 year old mother can both do pretty well on it) AND is nice to look at (Life is too short. If you are going to be looking at something all day long, it should at least be nice to look at and easy and fun to use)

Lots of best of class free software bundled in. The Mac mini includes:

The iLife fully integrated suite (iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, and Garage Band - this integration is incredibly important and it is too much to explain all the things that these applications can do interactively here, if you are interested you should look at the website),

Appleworks for word processing and spreadsheets (and which can save documents in a Microsoft Office compatible format),

Quicken 2005 to manage your finances and balance your checkbook,

Address book software which also prints labels,

the iSync syncronization software to sync your calendar and addresses with your phone or PDA,

The Safari Internet browser software (which also blocks popups),

Email software which is also integrated with iPhoto and the Address book,

Calendar/Scheduling software,

and my favorite - iChat AV - free video conferencing software which is also best of class, can go to full screen, and is smooth with perfect voice video synchronization.

They even throw in a couple of games in (Nanosaur 2 and Marble Blast Gold).

Think of it as a 499 dollar software package that is all good and includes many best of class components. AND they throw in a pretty good basic computer FOR FREE to run it for you.

Sounds like a pretty good deal to me.

P.S. I would recommend upgrading to 512 mb Ram for seventy five dollars tho. That brings the total to $574.

Sean B Jan 29, 2005, 09:51am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
The problem is that Apple is trying to target the SFF PCs, like the Shuttle

On the surface that would seem perfectly fine... but when you look at the proprietization you're forced into with Macs, the SFF PCs become a lot more desirable.

You can't upgrade much on the Mac Mini... besides a new hard drive, processor, or ram. The display unit is soldered to the motherboard and there's no room for expansion.

An SFF PC, on the otherhand, gives you upgradability, from adding an HDTV tuner such as the ATI HDTV Wonder to adding a 7.1 channel surround sound card.

Not to mention, it's not proprietary... so you choose what goes in it, including the OS.

Jan 29, 2005, 01:35pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
Sean, you are not making much sense. You said "Not to mention, it's not proprietary... so you choose what goes in it, including the OS ". And what pray tell are your choices in the OS? Window 98, 2000, or XP?

I am not anti-windows, there are some things that PCs enjoy an advantage in. More product choices as you mention, the ability to build your own, and the fact that the top games are available more quickly and some of the lesser games never make it to the Mac platform. So if you are into those things, windows may be the way to go for you. And the mini is certainly not designed to meet those needs.

BUT Macs and OS X enjoy great advantages in several areas. For example, security, ease of use, digital media management with the iLife suite (video, photos, managing and creating music, and production of DVDs) - there is nothing available to you outside of the Mac Platform which even begins to approach these and the all important integration and ease of use they have, oh and did I mention security? For the vast majority of windows users security headaches and malware are a major problem. Plus Macs just work the way they are supposed to BECAUSE of the limited hardware. Apple is the last company to still manage the whole widget and the advantages of this would make themselves very apparent if you ever tried using one for a couple of months so you would actually KNOW the system. Most Mac Users have used both systems (I myself just helped my son build a windows computer for gaming recently) and so have firm ground to stand on when they state their opinions. Have you tried out OS X long enough to really know it and understand where Mac users are coming from? You should check out this link for a very unbiased view:

Make sure you take his advice at the top and "Before proceeding, be sure to read Parts I and II of our Month with a Mac series to get a good idea of the strengths and weaknesses of the Mac platform from a PC user's perspective."

The mini is very well tailored for the market segment it addresses. Your pointing out that it is not an ideal machine for market segments it was never meant to address in the first place is meaningless.

Jason Snyder Jan 30, 2005, 05:08pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
you can turn off half the services in windows. thanks sean. good stuff.

Martin Hill Jan 31, 2005, 02:19am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Re: Apple's Mac mini, product of marketing genius?
Sean B,
You are correct that the Mac Mini is less expandable most SFF PCs. However, that is not the playing field the Mac Mini is competing on. Think about it's much smaller size (1/4 the size of a Shuttle) and cost and instead compare it with the DVD Player/writer, CD player, MP3 organiser, digital photo storage, malware-free email/web browsing internet appliance and you're more in the ballpark. It is an iPod peripheral! From an expandability and functionailty point of view (in such a tiny size) it far exceeds *those* sorts of devices.

>Not to mention, it's not proprietary... so you choose what goes in it, including the OS.

Are you not aware of the fact that you can install any of several flavours of Linux on any Mac (including the Mac Mini) totally replacing the Mac OS (or dual-booting between), or that Mac OS X is far less proprietary than Windows having as it does a huge amount of Open Source software built-in - Darwin, BSD Unix, X11, Linux compatibility, CUPS, Apache, etc all standard parts of Mac OS X.

check out:

If you are serious about non-proprietary open-source software, Mac OS X is the place to be:

And even serious die-hard PC hardware enthusists find it alluring:




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