FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

[BREAKING NEWS] Apple to Produce $499 "Mac Mini", Flash-Based iPods

Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced today that Apple will unveil a $499 "Mac Mini" aimed at the budget PC market. The computer will be sold without monitor, mouse or keyboard, but will include "Panther" (the latest version of Mac OS) and a suite of digital media tools. The Mac Mini will go on sale later this month.

Apple is also debuting two new iPods that use flash memory instead of a hard drive. The 512MB version will retail for $99, and the 1GB version for $149. These iPods will be much smaller than the standard models, and will lack the iPod navigation screen, instead playing songs in "shuffle" mode by default. Like their bigger brethren, these iPods are compatible with both Windows and Mac computers.

Analyst see the new iPods as a move by Apple to gain a foothold in the budget-priced flash-based MP3 player market, which has been growing rapidly. Indeed, one of the big complaints historically directed at Apple has been that its products are too expensive for entry-level and price-sensitive consumers.

Additionally, Jobs announced iWork, an office suite designed to compete with Microsoft Office; agreements with several luxury car companies to include iPod adapters in select models; and an update on "Tiger," the next version of the Mac OS tentatively scheduled for release in the first half of this year.

Source: ZDNet