No, I'm not talking about Chris and Gwyneth's new child. I'm talking about those makers of well-designed non-crashing computers, iPods, and a huge cult following.
After selling about a zillion iPods last year, Apple just announced the release of the iPod shuffle, a diminutively-sized audio player starting at $99, and the Mac mini, a tiny multimedia-focused Mac starting at $499.
Sure, this may sound like nothing new to most techies, but I see two distinctive elements Mac is addressing that may lead to another huge market-share gain. First, PRICE. Macs have always been written off as being too expensive for the great mass of computer buyers. Why buy a Mac for $1500 when you can get the "same" thing in a PC version for $750? Well, with a machine starting at $499, they've certainly made a strong argument to put the "too-pricey" qualms to rest. Ditto goes for the iPod shuffle, and with a price tag from $99-$149 (instead of the normal $299+), deeper market penetration certainly seems to follow.
The other interesting feature to these gadgets is SIZE. Apparently the iPod shuffle is about the size of a pack of gum, and the Mac mini is "just 6.5 inches square and 2 inches tall." Why does this matter? Smaller size = greater transportability and therefore greater assimilation into people's everyday life.
Sounds like a good year for Apple. I just wish I had some cash to buy some new toys (and maybe a few shares of their stock).
I followed along with the Steve's keynote and I think the additions to the Apple's product lines are great. I am sure Apple will not hold back to let people know that when they want to upgrade, just send in the crappy dell to be recycled and plug in the tiny new computer.
However, I am a little disappointed. I have been ready to buy a new powerbook since mid-november and I thought I would wait till today to get one, assuming they would release a new rev. Well, now there is no news and I am not sure if I should just wait a couple of weeks, or go to the Bookstore tonight and buy one.
By the way, this is the lamest/sell-outiest thing I have ever seen.