MacMini is the attack dog.

  • Posted: 03 March 2009 10:08 PM #16

    The most important thing to me is that we got the refresh! I don’t like the danger of so many potential buyers sitting on the wallets waiting for the new versions to arrive(as there are already enough reasons to sit on thy wallet in this environment).

    I’m happy with the update and don’t think every refresh needs to introduce huge innovations. We need those at times, but we also regularly require smaller updates to keep up with the more mundane technological advances.

    I think the mini occupies a very important spot in the product line-up, but I do admit that while I completely subscribe to better margins for better machines model, I do think the base mini would have made more impact at $499. I also think some larger internal hard drive options are called for off the base models. Basically, a little cheaper and those odd folks buying those netbooks or those teetering on the decision whether they are really ready to switch to Mac might just reach that tipping point.

    Question - why all this talk about “Hackintosh”. Is this something we are really seeing in measurable numbers? I can’t imagine this being a serious threat to hardware sales, but have I perhaps been missing credible reports on this phenomenon?

         
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    Posted: 03 March 2009 11:18 PM #17

    THIS is just a small example of the Hackintosh phenomena.  I don’t know what has changed with Wintel hardware, but there is no hacking involved on these machines, just take a standard Leopard install disc and install it.  That simple.

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  • Posted: 04 March 2009 02:07 AM #18

    Play Ultimate - 03 March 2009 11:42 PM
    geoduck - 03 March 2009 11:13 PM

    Well put. Apple does not need to revolutionize the industry every year. I’m happy with these improvements.

    It has been argued that one of the reasons for the VW Beetles success was its continuity of design from year to year. Likewise, BMW and Lexus both have recognizable designs. And each year they improve a little more. Likewise with AAPL. These improved, not new, computers are just that. . .improvements. 
    And in the current market place, there is lots of comfort in the familiar.

    There are a ton of products that specialize in the incremental improvement, and have for years.  Today they are the leaders in their respective industries.

    I don’t know why anyone responds to tan, he is horribly uninformed, and knows not a twit about marketing strategies, or general business strategies for that matter.  If he were as smart as he purports to be, he would be on Apple’s payroll with gobs of stock options.  He isn’t, and that says it all.

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    Posted: 04 March 2009 05:59 AM #19

    macglenn - 04 March 2009 03:18 AM

    THIS is just a small example of the Hackintosh phenomena.  I don’t know what has changed with Wintel hardware, but there is no hacking involved on these machines, just take a standard Leopard install disc and install it.  That simple.

    I thought Apple had hardware in their machines that made it so only they could run OS X without hacking it. How come Dell can now put out a machine that can run it? Dell clearly has to be behind Psystar and their legal action as that is looking increasingly like a survival strategy now.

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    Posted: 04 March 2009 07:45 AM #20

    wheeles - 04 March 2009 09:59 AM
    macglenn - 04 March 2009 03:18 AM

    THIS is just a small example of the Hackintosh phenomena.

    I thought Apple had hardware in their machines that made it so only they could run OS X without hacking it.

    Wheeles, from everything I’ve read on the Hackintosh sites (for info purposes only, mind you), you use the retail disk to build a hacked install disk that includes a bootloader patch. Then you run the hacked disk from an external drive or USB stick to install the OS. The hardware does not need to be hacked - all the components are recognized by stock Apple drivers.  I have no idea if Dell decided to build the Mini9 with this in mind, but my BS detector says ‘doubtful’. They just use the cheapest components they can find. That Apple’s drivers work speaks volumes about how dedicated Apple is to the user experience.

    Apple has given us some big signals with this round of releases. First, their hardware can be released without Steve Jobs. Second, the next round of updates will be iPods and iPhones, probably memory bumps. Last, the Airport dual band is a signal for their direction in devices. I think this last has the biggest potential for disruption of all the releases yesterday. With an Apple base station, the Apple TV is poised to take advantage of full N speeds for HD content and interface with a home network server. Smaller devices (iPod/iPhone/tablet) can retain their battery-saving 802.11g. Both can exist in harmony.

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  • Posted: 04 March 2009 10:28 AM #21

    I’m also very happy with the updates, and in fact, everything in particular that started with the aluminum unibody laptops and which has now been extended, internally or externally, to the entire product line.

    The 13” MacBook is a huge win for anyone who needs a fast, solid system for various uses. In my ongoing list of Mac recommendations and eventual purchases by family, friends, and associates: two family members bought 13” MacBooks early this year and are thrilled with them. A client just bought one yesterday morning (I was at the Apple Store with him to help advise him on the purchase) and I spent the rest of the day transferring his business documents, images, etc. from an old G4 tower. He can now use the MacBook and retire the tower, with it’s old LaCie huge/clunky low resolution analog CRT. (Plus, now all of his Mac systems are fully modern, he also has an iMac that he bought a year ago, and I can maintain him remotely with screensharing) He’s not unhappy with the screen size and knows he can add an external display later if he wants.

    This client is price sensitive in this environment. He was initially thinking about netbooks, but based on his past experiences with PC laptops (2 years ago, he’d spent around $2K on one, without asking me, and he had nothing but trouble with it in fact, that laptop is now in the trash), he had no problem making the initial mental bump-up to the $999 MacBook. Once he went into the Apple Store over the weekend, at my suggestion, and tried out all of the systems, he was willing to go up another $300 for the Unibody.

    Another client has been desperate to buy a new Mac Pro, but I advised her to wait, 3 weeks ago, knowing that these refreshes would be coming along soon. It was pretty good advice…:-) Roughly twice the performance now, starting at $300 less than the previous system.

    Personally, I’m due for a hardware refresh, as I’m running a dual 2.5Ghz G5 radiator-cooled system that noisily heats a downstairs room and which is now slower than my silent, 2-year-old MacBook Pro 2.16Ghz. I work with huge photo and video files (just added a Canon 5D Mark II in February) and I need the horsepower. I’ve been holding off on a Mac Pro, waiting for just this update. I’m thrilled that it’ll be available in a week or so, as my client will buy one -immediately- and I’ll pick one up at some point in the next few months.

    The iMacs: two other family members are running older swivel-arm iMacs and need updates. The new $1199 20” system is perfect, they’re currently running what are now old/slow G4 systems with very slow internal drives, limited RAM and no built-in video chat.

    All of my daughter’s friends at high school are gradually replacing their computers, and all (or nearly all) are getting new, unibody MacBooks.

    Do we see a pattern here?

    I see every one of these systems, at different price points and configurations, as best-of-class. The laptops are extremely solid, fast slabs of thin rigid aluminum running the best OS on the planet (and also able to natively run the worst, for anyone who doesn’t mind self-inflicted pain). All systems including the mini! now have the new nVidia graphics, and Snow Leopard will be able to take advantage of this for even better overall system performance. (Something that I think has been slipped in fairly quietly, under-the-radar, and that will potentially be huge once Snow Leopard is out) The design of the iMacs still feels elegant, perfect, incredibly minimal and yet still extremely functional, and I’m not sure what kind of redesigns would be even remotely appropriate here. More horsepower is what’s important, and that’s what all of these systems have gotten. (Plus the 24” iMac at $1499 is an effective price drop for the largest screen)

    Incremental improvements in these systems may seem small, to some, but to me, they’re natural evolution and refinement that has gotten us to this point, which is a very good place to be. Innovation doesn’t have to be radical for it to be effective; “just right” changes, implemented over time, can make all the difference in the world. Often, less is more. (See your history of this decade: the evolution of the iPod, and the iPhone, are perfect examples of this)

         
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    Posted: 04 March 2009 10:32 AM #22

    Gregg Thurman - 04 March 2009 06:07 AM

    I don’t know why anyone responds to tan, he is horribly uninformed, and knows not a twit about marketing strategies, or general business strategies for that matter.  If he were as smart as he purports to be, he would be on Apple’s payroll with gobs of stock options.  He isn’t, and that says it all.

    Greg, just to put your comments to bed….

    How many large firms have you been VP of?

    How many companies have you owned?

    How many new products have you brought to markets?

    How many employees have you hired and fired in your lifetime?

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  • Posted: 04 March 2009 10:51 AM #23

    In an earlier, pre release, post I wondered why anyone will need five USB ports. Thinking about it now, I realize that Apple wants every household to have at minimum three iPhones/iPods. I suspect many already do,

         
  • Posted: 04 March 2009 11:58 AM #24

    TanToday - 03 March 2009 07:45 PM

    Where and for whom?

    The market has moved to small form netbooks…

    Netbooks are projected to nearly double in 2009 to about 8% of PC units (probably less than 5% of PC dollars, and less than 2% of PC dollar margin). So Apple has at least a year to “respond” to netbooks. But it’s plain as anything that Apple has prepared for the past five years for a massive presence in this space, with a product designed from the ground up to meet the consumer needs. It’s not a netbook, because that way lies commodity status dominated by far east makers.

         
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    Posted: 04 March 2009 12:12 PM #25

    dmiller - 04 March 2009 02:28 PM

    All of my daughter’s friends at high school are gradually replacing their computers, and all (or nearly all) are getting new, unibody MacBooks.

    I know this has been talked into the ground, but I truly believe this is the key for Apple’s future dominance.  For the first time, a whole generation of people is growing up with Apple products as “the” thing to have.

    When I started college 9 years ago (pre-iPod) I was one of maybe 3 people in my entire dorm that brought a Mac to school.  We’re talking less than 2% “college-share”.  Nowadays, with the anecdotal evidence suggesting around 50% “college-share”, that is MASSIVE growth in less than 10 years.

    Once these kids graduate and get their first job, and decide to make the first computer purchase of their own, how many of them would choose to buy anything other than a Mac?

    I think the party’s just getting started.

         
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    Posted: 04 March 2009 12:39 PM #26

    geoduck - 03 March 2009 08:32 PM

    The only downside I see is that this may very well spell the end of the AppleTV as for just a couple hundred more you get a huge increase in capability.

    I have suggested (in either this forum or another one) that there is a good possibility that the Mac Mini & Apple TV could eventually merge. I’m not sure where the specs stand on the latest GPU, but when it’s capable of running full screen video on an HDTV (if it’s not already), then that will seriously dilute the need for Apple TV.

         
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    Posted: 04 March 2009 12:47 PM #27

    wheeles - 04 March 2009 09:59 AM

    I thought Apple had hardware in their machines that made it so only they could run OS X without hacking it. How come Dell can now put out a machine that can run it? Dell clearly has to be behind Psystar and their legal action as that is looking increasingly like a survival strategy now.

    I have wondered early on if Psystar had a backer - and after news got out that Apple was trying to uncover whoever was behind it, the prime suspect seemed to be Dell. With that Dell netbook being openly touted a a cheap way to make a Hackintosh, it seems even more likely that they are playing the puppet master role. The coming months could be very interesting!

         
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    Posted: 04 March 2009 01:22 PM #28

    macglenn - 04 March 2009 03:18 AM

    THIS is just a small example of the Hackintosh phenomena.  I don’t know what has changed with Wintel hardware, but there is no hacking involved on these machines, just take a standard Leopard install disc and install it.  That simple.

    Has anyone looked into these new Macs to see if there is hardware in there to make Hacintoshes or Pystars more difficult? I am thinking that Apple might be putting a proprietary chip in there that must be present in order to run Snow Leopard. Sure it could probably be reversed engineered and software emulated, but maybe not so easily and maybe much more illegal.

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    Posted: 04 March 2009 02:15 PM #29

    This seems unlikely.  Snow Leopard is intended to run on all the Intel Macs, more or less.  By the time OS X 10.6 is released, I expect over 95 per cent of Macs will still be pre-nVidia GeForce 9400 (presumably the first chipset in which this DRM chip would somehow be installed). 

    In any case, such a chip would almost certainly be discovered, given the penchant for stripping down Apple kit, and would cause an unseemly uproar.

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    Posted: 04 March 2009 02:26 PM #30

    xmattingly - 04 March 2009 04:39 PM
    geoduck - 03 March 2009 08:32 PM

    The only downside I see is that this may very well spell the end of the AppleTV as for just a couple hundred more you get a huge increase in capability.

    I have suggested (in either this forum or another one) that there is a good possibility that the Mac Mini & Apple TV could eventually merge. I’m not sure where the specs stand on the latest GPU, but when it’s capable of running full screen video on an HDTV (if it’s not already), then that will seriously dilute the need for Apple TV.


    I don’t see this replacing the Apple TV.  Especially if you are buying a box for each TV.  The ATV is 229/329 vs 599 so I think their is room for both.  That said I would expect to see the Nvidia Ion or a new Apple ARM base SOC in the ATV this year.  This would open it up to 1080p and a low end gaming machine to compete with the Wii.  If they can get the price point under $200 and enable the device via the App store and add an SDK they could sell a bunch of units.
    As far as the 9400 according to Nvidia
    NVIDIA PureVideo HD Technology
    GeForce 9400M G includes a dedicated PureVideo? HD processor that offloads all the complex and demanding video decoding from the power-hungry CPU. With this purpose-built HD video post processing engine, the GeForce 9400M G brings clear and crisp high-definition video to life, accurate color, and precise image scaling for movies and video while using less power for longer viewing on-the-go.