Apple Begins Shipping Mac mini; Some Arriving by Jan. 31

Apple Computer has begun shipping some of the first online and retail stores orders of its new ultra-small Mac mini, Mac Observer readers have reported. Some buyers are being told to expect their new Mac by January 31.

David Alexander of Mount Pleasant, Mich. reported receiving an e-mail from Apple Tuesday night informing him that his Mac mini had been shipped.

"The mail said my order had been fulfilled and had been shipped from Shenzhen, China via FedEx," Mr. Alexander said. "A co-worker of mine also recieved confirmation of his order, which we both made the day of the keynote (Tues., Jan. 11), but his confirmation gave no delivery date."

"I got a similiar confirmation," said Mike Dwyer of Little Rock, Ark. "I checked the FedEx Web site and its showing it will clear customs sometime by the middle of next week."

Some readers reported receiving shipment confirmations of their 512 megabyte iPod shuffle, while others reported receiving their flash-based players on Monday and Tuesday.

The Mac mini, which was introduced at Mac Expo last week, is expected to be available for purchase this Saturday at Appleis retail stores.

The Mac mini comes with either a 1.25 gigahertz or 1.42GHz G4 processor and either a 40gigabyte or 80GB hard drive at US$499 or $599, respectively.