New York Times Ponders Low Cost Mac

In an opinion piece for the New York Times, John Markoff examines the latest buzz about Apple, rumors of a low cost Mac. Already having received comment from Wall Street analysts and numerous mainstream media outlets, Mr. Markoffis piece examines the issue of whether or not Apple would introduce an inexpensive, headless Mac mainly from the standpoint of Apple CEO Steve Jobs.

"For Apple, the nightmare consequence of a low-cost Mac scenario is that it might do no more than cannibalize the companyis high-margin markets," wrote Mr. Markoff. "Unless a cheap Macintosh is artfully crippled, many existing Apple customers might decide to scale down instead of scaling up. And if a low-cost computer is crippled in some obvious way, it might fail to increase the Macintosh market by any meaningful amount."

Coming back to Steve Jobs, Mr. Markoff calls the possibility of this inexpensive Mac out of character. "In all his years at Apple and NeXT, Inc.," he said, "the one surprise that has never come from Mr. Jobs is a low sticker price."

Mr. Markoff thinks instead that it is more likely that Mr. Jobs is "counting on his proven ability to create new markets seemingly from whole cloth," a reference to such achievements as the iPod.

There is much more in the full opinion piece at the New York Times (free subscription required).