<img src=”%%dir[1]%%bt_mwsf.gif” border=“0” alt=“pic” width=“32” height=“9” /> Keynote: Mac Mini, iP | iLounge News


“pic” Keynote: Mac Mini, iP

On a day in which Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised “a lot of firsts,” the company unquestionably delivered: most importantly, a $499 iPod-matching “Mac mini” was introduced with a January 22 release date, followed by the announcement of “iPod shuffle,” the least expensive and smallest capacity iPod at a $99/512MB configuration. Both products were touted as the cheapest ever introduced by Apple in their respective categories, and offered in modestly upgraded versions at $50 and $100 premiums. Prices for their higher-end brethren were left unchanged, such that iPods now range in price from $99 to $599, and Macintosh computers from $499 to $2999.

For the full story of all of the major announcements at Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ keynote speech in San Francisco, please click on Read More. Today’s major announcements are as follows: the introduction of the iPod shuffle, a $99-$149 flash memory-based iPod, the introduction of the Mac mini, a $499-$599 Macintosh computer to attract ‘switchers’, a collection of new iPod shuffle accessories from Apple, changes to iTunes, a Motorola phone with an ‘iTunes client,” updated sales figures, and new Mac software.

View over 180 photos in the Macworld keynote photo gallery including the purchase of many iPod shuffles.

Mac mini

The new Mac mini was touted as a response to the question Steve Jobs is often asked, “Why doesn’t Apple offer a stripped down Mac that is more affordable?? His answer: “Today, we think we know what they have in mind.” At the physical size of a CD drive, only thicker, the Mac mini features white, rounded edges like the company’s AirPort Express, and is a fully equipped but low-end G4 Macintosh computer - mostly equivalent in horsepower to currently shipping PowerBook notebooks. Each Mac mini comes with Apple’s OS X Panther operating system and the iLife ’05 software suite, described below. “We want to price this Mac to that people who are thinking of switching will have no more excuses,” said Jobs, unveiling the $499 price tag for a 1.25ghz G4 with 256mb of RAM, a 40GB hard disk. An 80gb, 1.42ghz model will sell for $599. Each unit has Ethernet, FireWire, USB 2, DVI, VGA out, a modem, slot loading combo drive for burning and reading DVDs. Apple noted that the unit will be “BYODKM - bring your own display, keyboard and mouse.” Jobs first said, “any display, keyboard or mouse,? but then repeated the phrase, adding “Almost? at the beginning.

Touted as “the most affordable Mac ever,? the Mac mini is the “cheapest computer Apple has ever offered.” It will be available on January 22, in an impressively small carrying box only modestly larger than that of a full-sized iPod, equipped with a hand carry strap.

Apple concurrently announced the release of iLife ‘05, a beautiful update to its existing suite of photo, movie, and music editing applications, which will be included with every Macintosh computer or sold separately for $79, and iWork, which includes applications Pages, an incredible synthesis of word processing and page layout tools that for casual users will destroy Microsoft’s Word (while remaining compatible with Word files), and Keynote 2, Apple’s alternative to Microsoft’s PowerPoint.


The biggest news of the day was the introduction of the iPod shuffle, which Apple’s Jobs explained was the company’s product to capture the remaining market for flash-based digital audio players. “Let’s go back to January 2004, a year ago,? said Jobs. The iPod’s market share was 31%, flash-based players had 62%, and “iPod wannabes” had 7%. A year ago, Apple introduced the iPod mini to go after the high-end of the flash player market. In January 2005, iPod’s market share is 65%, flash has been cut in half to 29%, and wannabes are down a percent to 6%. The iPod mini worked.

“So, what’s next?” asked Jobs. “Well, we’d like to go after the mainstream flash market.” Showing a variety of the competing options, he noted that “the products are all pretty much the same.” A slide noted that they all featured “a tortured user interface, very small display, no click wheel, and AAA battery (non-rechargeable)? for power, “so you’re going to feed this thing about $100 worth of batteries a year,? said Jobs. And it’s “really hard to find your music.?

iPod shuffle is the company’s solution to that. “We want to make something that’s even easier to use than existing iPods… We had to come up with a new original idea… then we saw it. Something happened in the iPod market with all of our iPod users last year. They discovered a new way to listen to their music, that became the most popular way people listen to their music – shuffle… We decided to base a flash-based player around shuffle.”

The iPod shuffle is a white plastic stick with a play/pause button in its center, plus/minus volume controls, and a set of forward backward buttons. Headphones plug into top, minus the larger iPods’ accessory pins. It is described as “smaller than most packs of gum… Weighs the same as 4 quarters, less than an ounce… It’s so simple.? There’s a hidden green led at top of wheel, and you can shuffle your music using a switch in the back. The switch flips between shuffle, playlist and straight play, each marked with gray text. There’s a cap on bottom, hiding a USB2 port for “fast transfers,” but no FireWire or Dock Connector interface. iPod shuffle includes a 12-hour rechargeable battery, and is PC or Mac compatible. Jobs noted that users can turn it upside down and wear it on a lanyard, which is supplied with it. There’s an iPod logo in grey on back, and it can also be worn on a new Armband accessory.

On the software side, Jobs said that “where we’ve really brought new value is the integration between the device and the jukebox. We’ve invented something new for iTunes – ‘autofill.’ You can push this button and it will go through your music library in any way you want.” The feature lets you pull songs onto the iPod shuffle randomly, or only higher-rated songs, and so on. You can use iPod shuffle as USB storage device, too. A screen shows a music-to-data ratio of 200 songs + 170 MB of data,

In the existing flash player market, Apple notes, the most popular size is 256 Megabytes, which holds 60 songs. Prices of these devices range from $99 to $149. To compete against them, the iPod shuffle is available in 2 models. First is 512MB at 120 songs, $99. Second is 1GB at 240 songs, $149. It comes in a green box, and they’re shipping out of Apple’s factory starting today. Apple’s randomized shuffle icon appears on box, and the slogan “240 songs. A million different ways.” is the marketing angle for the shuffle unit.

There are four new accessories introduced with the iPod shuffle. Apple has a new Armband for athletes. There’s an iPod shuffle Dock. There’s also a sport case with a new lanyard, and a Battery Extender pack with 2 replaceable AAAs for 20 extra hours. Each of the four accessories is priced at $29.00. They’ll roll out in the next 4 weeks, said Jobs. iPod shuffle hardware would be available in limited quantities at the Apple retail store in San Francisco immediately.

iPod Sales

Apple reported that 733,000 iPods were sold in the holiday 2003 season, but for the same season in 2004, 4.5 million sold, a 500% rate of growth year over year.

The iPod crossed the 10 million sold mark as of the end of 2004. Eight point two million were sold in calendar year 2004. The 10 millionth unit was made on December 16, 2004. “I’m going to keep it rather than sell it,” said Jobs. And Amazon’s top 5 consumer electronics products included three from Apple. Number one was the 20gb iPod, followed by the mini. Number four was the iTunes $15 gift card.

Accessories, and Certification?

Apple briefly flashed a “Made for iPod” logo on screen during its display, and noted that over 400 accessory products. Whether Apple intends to use this as a seal of quality is as yet unknown.

On car adapters: Apple noted that BMW has sold out of the ones they’ve made. Now Apple is working on a next-generation version with BMW for this year. Other companies will join the in-car adapter market with Apple: Mercedez Benz, Nissan, Volvo and Scion. “These companies are going to be rolling out their adapters in 2005,? while Alfa Romeo and Ferrari will roll out in Europe. Mercedes has brought two cars to Macworld with iPod adapters controlled from steering wheel: the SLK Roadster and a “super-hot CLS” are on the show floor.

On cell phones: Apple developed what Jobs called an “iTunes client” for Motorola their cell phones. He flashed a shot of Motorola’s E398 (see our separate article on pricing and features of this phone), and noted that a Spring 2005 rollout would see the phones that support the client. Motorola appears poised to take the lead on releasing the phones and developing them, without direct Apple participation in their exterior design.

« iTunes, iPod software updates released

Macworld: iPod grabs passenger »

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For Apple’s sake, I hope the new mini Mac is a hit because it needs one badly. The latest (12/04) figures show Mac market share still declining, now standing at only 2.7% of online activity (via the W3C). This is below even Linux’s 3.1% market share.

Unless Mac manages to raise its share, it risks dwindling into Amiga-like obscurity.

Posted by Demosthenes on January 11, 2005 at 12:32 PM (PDT)


I think the mini Mac will be a hit, I’ve owned several apple computers and after seeing this, might be purchasing one of them because they looks so cool.  Besides I know many windows users who want Mac’s but can’t justify the price of one, I’m sure when they see this it’ll change their mind.

Posted by MATRIXsjd in Burbank, Ca on January 11, 2005 at 12:54 PM (PDT)


PC users who have never used a Mac really need to go into the stores to really understand it. This $499 minimac combined with iLife, people will have everything they need all in one tiny box.

Plus, I love how Apple is marketing this thing so that people can toss their old PC’s towers and still use the monitors and keyboard/mice. That’ll sit well with people who don’t want to feel that their previous purchase was worthless.

A good day in Apple history, I think. Lets hope these sell like hot-cakes.


Posted by narco in Burbank on January 11, 2005 at 1:10 PM (PDT)


The mini Mac is a drop in cure for Windows! Should sell like crazy, think of a school dealing with Windows virus and security problems. A drop in fix.

PS iTunes 4.7.1 is out on Software Update!

Posted by fizzbang in New Zealand on January 11, 2005 at 1:35 PM (PDT)


It really is all you need right out of the box. One thing I think would have helped would be the bundling of Move2Mac or some such product to make it easy to move stuff.

Posted by leertracy in Los Angeles on January 11, 2005 at 2:01 PM (PDT)


Well Apple surprised me. I was expecting reality to fall short of the most extreme rumors as usual… but this time they did not!

Go to Dell.com and TRY to build something with the warranty, software bundle, connectivity (Firewire, DVI/VGA/TV-out, concealed wireless antennas), and optical drive of a Mac Mini. You may find higher Mhz in a bottom Dell, but you won’t find dedicated VRAM. (And wow, Dell sure nickles and dimes you on the software options!) You’ll easily end up paying more than $600! Especially if you buy what you need to gain a little of the Mac’s security from viruses/spyware. But if you want to match OS X, iLife ‘05, the portable size, the style, and the quiet… you can just give up smile

I really like how the thing doesn’t seem “cheap”! A real slot-load drive, built-in speaker, aluminum case… compare again to the bottom Dell smile But where’s the low-end 17” Cinema Display? You know Apple wants to sell you one…

And as always, I am jealous of the education pricing that all my friends can get! They can now get a Mac for $479! Or an iPod Shuffle 1GB for $139.

BTW, they do offer Move2Mac—and a key/mouse/video switch—on the Mac Mini accessories page. Ready-to-go companion for your Windows PC! Until you realize you don’t turn that thing on anymore…

PS: Linux-only people are out there, but I’ve never met one smile Plenty of people are willing to deal with Linux usability problems as times—and dodge Windows viruses for safer surfing—but few do so as their PRIMARY and ONLY desktop—vs. all the Mac users who need nothing else.

And Mac market share being lower now doesn’t mean Apple’s in trouble anyway—they make more from Macs than from iPods, and the number of Mac users is growing fast! Just not AS fast as the number of Windows users. That’s the difference between user base and market share. Of course, that ignores the fact that Macs stay usable longer, while PCs need to be replaced more often.

Replaced, perhaps, with a Mac Mini?

Welcome, all, to the virus-free world where things “just work.”

Posted by Nagromme on January 11, 2005 at 3:07 PM (PDT)


i think apple is stupid and thats why they never in this lifetime will expand thier market share
how in the world are thy going to release a computer for $499.00 and no mouse and keyboard? by the time you spend on the additional items you need you might as well go for the emac? apple knows theres alot of people that go for looks instead of performance and they are going after shallow minds whoever buys this computer is really stupid? i mean it looks very nice but look at the price tag wich is nice but no needed accesories? by the end youll spend close to 800 dollars on this little old processor pieve of crap man DONT YOU PEOPLE SEE WHAT THEY ARE DOING WITH YOU?

and im a mac fan who owns 2 ibooks but apple is stupid every year

to that dell guy you buying the top end mini mac and needing to buy the mouse and keyboard youll spend about the same amount as an emac or a very good computer
im sorry but apple is just plain stupid

Posted by Frankie from da bronx on January 11, 2005 at 3:09 PM (PDT)


Frankie: they are targeting people who have monitors and keyboards and mouses. The point is you buy one of these mini macs, throw out the old tower and connect the mac mini with your old keyboard/mouse/display.

Anyone who wants to try a Mac would make a good choice to start here hooking up their old peripherals and then once they are hooked, will by something more.

Posted by studogvetmed in Loveland, CO on January 11, 2005 at 3:25 PM (PDT)


Sorry Frankie, but I certainly do not see it your way.  Keyboards and mice are cheap…if you want cheap that is.  If you do not have one that you already like, I’d say $20 will get you one of each.  Monitors?  Everybody is different on this one. 

Personally, I like this tiny little guy.  I can see a lot of people setting them up with a half decent LCD, a wireless keyboard and mouse, and getting right into the fray of mac ownership.  It’ll let them dump iTunes for Windows and get a real OS.

I also expect to see a lot of Linux users picking one up to FINK around with.

Time will tell.

Posted by randomthinks in Michigan on January 11, 2005 at 3:52 PM (PDT)


Frankie: Some basic mathematics for you-
$499 (Mac Mini)+ $29 (Apple Keyboard)+ $29 (Apple Mouse)+  $69 (Cheap CRT Monitor)= $626 for a damn fine Mac. That is a better price than you would find on a comparable Dell.

I do however agree with Nagromme. Apple needs to make a cheap display. Even a CRT similar to the eMac would be acceptable. The Mini Mac is so beautiful that it is kind of sad to ruin it with a beige box display.

Posted by podskater on January 11, 2005 at 4:34 PM (PDT)


i know but whats the matter with paple man i see your points and thats why i love forums because i see other views like a 360 but why is apple doing this? why dont they sell the mini mac with the mouse and keyboard how much money are they going to loose…im pretty sure alot of people will see my point yeah the mini mac looks awesome and all but 500 on a box only with software that most people wont use? man like i said i see ya views but i seriously think apple need to rethink alot before they release

Posted by Frankie from da bronx on January 11, 2005 at 5:19 PM (PDT)


if Apple EVER stops making Macs (and i agree that is a long way off) they should get into the PC building buisness. i would love to see the Apple designers make a PC computer… many people would buy instantly, AT A PREMIUM.

also iLife apps would be great on Windows.

Posted by canyonblue737 on January 11, 2005 at 5:25 PM (PDT)


Why are people obsessed with “beating” Dell on price? Dell is generally quite a high-priced PC box shifter these days. You want cheap, go for an emachines or s Microtel or something like that. The low-end places are selling these nowadays for $200-$300 with no monitor, and around $500-$700 with CRTs/LCDs.

But it is an amazing price break for Apple. If it works as well as the Performa/LCD, then it should give the market share a boost for the next couple of years.

And people who say market share doesn’t matter! Are you living on Planet Amiga? If your market share is too small then third-party software evaporates and your company is left footing the bill to develop *all* the software. That takes a lot of money, and attention, and is less innovative than a healthy software ecology. Get a grip! Market share is key!

Posted by Demosthenes on January 11, 2005 at 5:35 PM (PDT)


Of course, the Microtels are POSs. Personally, if I wasn’t attached to my laptop and wanted a semi-portable small form factor unit, I’d spend around $600 for a Shuttle XPC P4 2.8Ghz, 1GB Ram, 16X sony DL DVD Burner, 160GB Hard drive, and 128MB ATI X300. That’s a nice little game machine and media server.

Posted by Demosthenes on January 11, 2005 at 5:42 PM (PDT)


Hey, Jeremy

can I have one of those ‘iPod Shuttles” that you’re talking about?


Posted by StinkieDMB in Pittsburgh, PA on January 11, 2005 at 6:39 PM (PDT)


Market share matters, but ONLY because it creates user base. A software developer could care less about market share: if Macs had 90% marketshare but the market was only 10 computers worldwide per year, that wouldn’t be very enticing!

But a small % of a huge market means LOTS of Mac users. More now than ever before, and increasing. 3rd-party developers know that, which is why there is so much great Mac software—including the big names.

The Mac user base is astronomically larger than the Amiga user base was when Commodore’s leadership killed that one off.

Posted by Nagromme on January 11, 2005 at 7:59 PM (PDT)


I’ve been a dedicated Mac user since…. 1988 maybe… So this is not a rant from a jealous nay-saying PC user.

Apple’s offerings today on the whole are disappointing, with possible exception of the miniMac.

iLife2? Yawn… Then again I don’t use iLife1 very much except iTunes.

iWork? Yawn… Office is a standard still, and vital for cross platform interactions (a reality - like it or not).

Macmini… Good potential, but what use is it with iLife2 (or iLife1) if there is no friggin’ audio in port? Hello?! Garage Band?! I thought iLife was a selling point for the Macmini… (then again- I don’t use iLife much).

iShuffle??! - Puh-leeze! What a waste of hype and potential. No friggin’ screen? No control of what to download? This shuffle thing is a feature on most mp3 players I’ve seen. This is not a competitive product I’m afraid - poor in features. Its only plus is that it plays iTunes store offerings.

I have and enjoy my 20Gb 3G iPod, and hoped for a decent flash iPod to replace my aging RioSport player with a busted screen. Guess what? The iShuffle doesn’t do this at all. Pathetic.

Where are the G5 PowerBooks? Was there even a speed bump line released? Apple is falling behind in power user expectations…

I’m sorry - but the computer savvy public is starting to see that the emperor has no clothes. Apple better stop wasting money and effort on lawsuits vs. rumor sites and focus on real innovations.

Posted by umijin on January 11, 2005 at 8:48 PM (PDT)


Guys - you are all missing the point with this.  People may justify not buying a Mac because of the space of two machines and all the cliutter, not to mention cost.  For about $50 on eBay or up to $150 in a store, you can buy a KVM switch, and use the new Macmini for itunes, ipod, digital camera, etc..

Well at least thats what I plan on doing.  Plus at this size, the wife may not even notice it! wink

Posted by granitopod on January 11, 2005 at 10:05 PM (PDT)


Man, i finaly have realized that there are way too many stupid people in this world. We need to get all these discussion board idiots and buy them a couple editions of hooked on phonics and deport them to cuba, or some 3rd world country.

First of all Steve Jobs hits the nail right on the head every time, and that is because Apple is the only computer business in the world to have everything WORK, unlike PC which makes the computers, so you can #### them up with corrupt software, incompatable hardware, that even if you get it working, it is obsolete in like 4 weeks.

Apple owns EVERYTHING, they own rights to itunes (MUSIC) iLife (PHOTOS, MOVIES, etc.)... now most all of the softwars for macs ARE MADE MY APPLE THEREFORE THEY WORK.

As for this ####### ##### (frankie from da bronx), who obviously doesnt know a prostitue from his mom can’t listen, can’t comprehend a simple well based statement, and can’t perform 3rd grade aritmetic.

The Mac mini works with ANY monitor / LCD, and works with all mice, if you guys havent noticed, EVERY MOUSE AND EVERY KEYBOARD TODAY IS USB!

Dont worry Frankie from the Bronx, you probably dont have evough money to even pay the power bill of even running a Mac mini, much less owning one,.... as for making a fool of yourself in front of the world,... shut up, and go get your welfare check.

sigh…. i cant stand stupid people

Posted by Youre a moron on January 11, 2005 at 10:26 PM (PDT)


> iLife2? Yawn… Then again I don’t use iLife1 very much except iTunes.

But some of us do—it’s a GREAT suite of apps, amazing value for $79, much less thrown in free with a Mac. The new iPhoto alone is worth the price to me. The new GarageBand is better yet!

> iWork? Yawn… Office is a standard still, and vital for cross platform interactions

Office costs a LOT more, and lacks much of iWork’s ability to make creating really nice LOOKING documents easy… And Office is not vital—I often rely on exchanging Word docs with PC users for my living. TextEdit reads and writes 90% of them just fine. The rest are fine in AppleWorks. iWork’s Pages has even better Word support.

> Macmini… Good potential, but what use is it with iLife2 (or iLife1) if there is no friggin’ audio in port?

Audio in is just one feature of GarageBand, and not the most commonly-used. You can create music from a USB music keyboard, or just from loops! And GarageBand is just one aspect of iLife. And iLife is just one aspect of the Mac Mini. And the Mac Mini has the option to add audio-in via USB.

> Shuffle??! - Puh-leeze!

It costs less than some thumbdrives that AREN’T iPods, with the same capacity.

Different products for different users.

> Where are the G5 PowerBooks?

A half a year off if not more. G5s are hot and draw power. It takes time for Apple and IBM to solve that. Meanwhile new G4s are coming, so you can still get a great OS X laptop.

Posted by Nagromme on January 11, 2005 at 11:06 PM (PDT)

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