ZDNet Asks if Mac mini Could Lead to Mini PCs

ZDNetis John Spooner has asked if Appleis new Mac mini could lead to a wave of similarly tiny computers in the Wintel world. Mr. Spooner addressed the question from the standpoint of such issues as people looking for smaller units as second or third computers in the household, and products that came along before the Mac mini. The question, though, is whether or not the success of the Mac mini will open up yet another market.

Apple has so far struck twice in this regards. USB had been available for a couple of years, but it gained no traction in the world of peripherals until Apple released the original iMac with USB as the only means of connecting peripherals. Within a couple of weeks, the first iMac peripherals appeared on the market, and within a few months, USB became omnipresent in the PC world, too.

The second time Apple did this was with the hugely successful iPod. Archos, Creative, and other manufacturers had portable digital media players on the market, but it was a very quiet market until Apple released the iPod.

Contrast this to markets like PDAs, which Apple literally invented with the ill-fated Newton. The Newton was cancelled after only a few years, and just as it was finally growing in popularity, while Palm set the PDA market on fire.

With miniature PCs, however, we have another case where such products have been on the market for several years, according to the ZDNet article. Dell and HP both have had mini-PCs in the past, though nothing as small as the tiny Mac mini.

What has happened in the Wintel market, however, is that most customers are concerned about expandability, even if they will never, ever actually upgrade their computer.

Apple could change that, showing once again the companyis reach outside of its core Mac user base.

Thereis more in the full article at ZDNet.