January 25, 2005 1:12 PM PST

Apple cuts Mac Mini upgrade prices

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Apple Computer has quietly cut the cost of souping up its new Mac Mini.

When Apple introduced the Mac Mini earlier this month, it was the lowest-price Mac ever. However, customers at Apple's online store noted that adding extra memory or wireless abilities could quickly add several hundred dollars to the $499 price tag.

As of Tuesday, though, many of those build-to-order options are a little less expensive. Upgrading the diminutive desktop to 1GB of memory initially cost $475--almost as much as the computer. It now costs $325. Apple also reduced the price for adding Bluetooth and AirPort Extreme to $99, a $30 drop, and it cut the price for upgrading to an 80GB hard drive to $50.

Apple declined to comment for this report.

The Mac maker has received strong interest in the Mini, which went on sale last Saturday. There is already a backlog of several weeks for those ordering from Apple's online store.

Although it is positioned as an ideal Mac for Windows users who have shied from Apple's generally higher prices, many people are finding other uses for the Mini, some of which benefit from the beefier hardware that can be added through Apple's online store.

"I feel that this is a smart move by Apple, especially since the low price-point of the Mac Mini could previously be brought up by a few upgrades," said Justin Hyatt, a real-estate worker in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Hyatt praised the moves. "I would love to purchase a Mac Mini and plan to in the near future," he said.

24 comments

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SuperDrive Not Upgraded and Price Protection for Mini Purchasers
I spoke with Apple Customer Service this afternoon and they will honor price protection for those that purchased the mini within the last 14 days. You must call. All Mac Minis with BTO Superdrive shipped with the same Superdrive (8X) that is offered today. While
it does read at 8X it still only burns DVDs at 4X
according to Apple Customer Support.

Specs for "8X SuperDrive" on the Apple Store today....

The SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW) allows you to create music and data CDs, read DVDs, and create DVD-video discs for playback on most standard DVD players. Along with Apple's iDVD software, your Mac mini is a full-featured DVD authoring studio. The SuperDrive reads DVDs at 8x, writes to DVD-R at 4x, writes to DVD-RW at 2x, writes DVD+R at 4x, writes DVD+RW at 2-4x, reads CDs at 24x, writes to CD-R at 16x, and writes to CD-RW at 8x. The drive supports CD-ROM, CD-Audio, CD-R, CD-RW, CD-I, Mixed Mode CD, Photo CD, Video CD, Enhanced CD, DVD-Video, DVD-ROM, and DVD-R,
DVD-RW, DVD+R, and DVD+RW media.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Is this a promo? (my english is not perfect)
From what I understood this "SuperDrive 8x" is a promotion. Right?
You say it ends 14 days from now... being that 08/01/2005?

I want to buy the Mac mini next month and take the advantage of this promo, the problem is that I'm also considering what software to buy. If this promo ends in so short time, I'll have to spend more time "considering".

Thanks for any reply, in advance.

Greets from Portugal,

JCSE - 26/01/2005
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
And for those with 15+ days...
...you are flat-out screwed, and Apple WILL NOT honour returns to upgrade your systems or provide you a return refund for the difference in cost.

More shady business practises...
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Link Flag
Happy me!
This is a excelente action and I couldn't be more happier, as I'm of to buy my first Mac ever next month, and I was preparing every single cent to configure a Mac Mini to a bit more "powerfull" hardware, as I'll be working with Video and Macromedia Studio tools. Anyway... I'm aiming for a:

Mac mini 1.42GHz
Internal Bluetooth + AirPort Extreme Card
80GB Ultra ATA drive
8x SuperDrive (DVD±RW/CD-RW)
1GB DDR333 SDRAM - 1 DIMM

By the way, on this review when you say that the «80GB HDD upgrade» got also cheaper, you guys should mentioned that this just for the Mac mini 1.25GHz computer, and that the price of the Mac mini 1.42GHz didn't changed. Anyway... details, right?

At the end, it's excelent news.

JCSE - 26/01/2005
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Apple realises it's stupid design decision
The price of 1GB of RAM is due to Apple's stingey decision to
include only one RAM slot in the machine. Adding another
probably would have added about 50c in manufacturing costs,
but Apple chose to limit it to one slot to ensure there was a
strong disincentive for anyone who might have been weighing
up the difference between a Mac Mini, and, say, a hugely
profitable (for Apple) PowerMac G5.

I'm glad they've reduced the price of 1GB RAM - they're probably
selling it closer to cost now as a damage control measure. Serves
them right.
Posted by danwarne (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dan, think before you type
Have you seen the inside of a mini? Where would you propose
they put the second slot? I didn't think so.

Also, you should keep the term "stupid" for yourself. The mini is
aimed at people that will probably never need more than 512MB.
But then again, that's why Apple makes millions and you are who
you are.
Posted by Dr Dude (49 comments )
Link Flag
Warning! If you do this, you forfeit refund/return potential!
If you customise ANY Apple product you purchase from the Apple Store (i.e. you purchase a wireless add-on which Apple installs prior to shipping you the Mac you bought), _YOU FORFEIT YOUR RIGHT TO RECEIVE A RETURN OR REFUND ON THIS PRODUCT_.

I found this out when purchasing an iMac 15" when they came out -- I chose the 802.11 wireless add-on and extra RAM -- only to find that the unit had dead/lit pixels and a couple other problems. Apple REFUSED to allow me to return the iMac on an RMA, and REFUSED to provide me a refund, simply because I had "customised the product to my own specifications".

If you read the "fine print" on their Apple Store site, section "Sales and Refunds Policy", you will find the following clause:

=====
Please note that Apple does not permit the return of or offer refunds for the following products:

Product that is custom configured to your specifications
Opened memory
Opened software*
Electronic software downloads
Personalized iPods
Software Up to Date Program Products (SW upgrades)
=====

This is literally the _WORST_ business practise I have ever seen in my entire life. I am AMAZED someone has not sued over this, especially since Apple is presenting the "customised configuration" method as a default, and DOES NOT WARN YOU during that configuration stage that you agree to forfeit returns and refunds on a customised product.

BUY BEWARE.
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
J C, Apple's Build to Order Policy & Consumer Law
J C, you don't state which country you live in; in the UK (and
probably all other EU countries), if you buy something brand
new and it's faulty or it doesn't match the description given by
the seller, you then have a legal right to a repair or even a
refund. I doubt Apple can have the policy you describe within
the UK or even the European Union.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
Unsold stock behind price reduction
Apple is very good at public relations.
They say the mini MAC is doing well but it seems their sales prediction are wrong.
Now they realise that the stock of peripherals will remain in their stockhouse so they lower the prices.
These lower prices are stiil VERY expensive.
DO NOT bye , not yet , and new price reductions will follow.
Do not worry APPLE is not going to close down, the profit margin is huge.

Viron.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Get the facts before you show your ignorance...
1. FACT: Apple Retail Stores are having a hard time keeping Mac
Minis in stock, back ordered or fly out the door as soon as they
arrive.
2. FACT: Apple Web Store states that there is currently a 3-4
week delivery time for Mac Minis ordered / BTO from Apple
directly.

OH, YEAH, YOU know that there's an "inventory problem" behind
the Apple discounts...RIGHT. The "inventory problem" is that
Apple cannot build them fast enough or keep them in stock.

Get a clue dude.
Posted by Llib Setag (951 comments )
Link Flag
Good to see that......
.....Apple finally realize people are not that STUPID to spend almost $500 for 1GB RAM :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I just got mine...
...and it rocks!

An actual 80GB Hard Drive for $50:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.dvcentury.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&#38;Product_Code=43-466-8054" target="_newWindow">http://www.dvcentury.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&#38;Product_Code=43-466-8054</a>
802.11G PCI Network Card for $20
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.outpost.com/product/4056572?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG" target="_newWindow">http://www.outpost.com/product/4056572?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG</a>
Bluetooth USB for $16
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.chiefvalue.com/app/productdetails.asp?submit=search&#38;item=33-180-103&#38;ATT=&#38;CMP=" target="_newWindow">http://www.chiefvalue.com/app/productdetails.asp?submit=search&#38;item=33-180-103&#38;ATT=&#38;CMP=</a>

Oh Yeah good thing Apple dropped them prices. Now I'm switching right away.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not the right products
The HD you talk about is the cheap 3.5" variety that comes in
any WalMart box. The Mac mini uses a 2.5" drive to keep the
slim form factor.

The wireless card as well is not built for the Mac. Just a large
card for a huge, ugly beige box.

Get a clue.
Posted by Dr Dude (49 comments )
Link Flag
Upgrading for $325??
Could someone PLEASE tell me why UPGRADING to 1 gb of ram costs $325? Why is it everytime Apple gets something right, it does 3 things wrong? Do they NOT want market share or something?
Posted by Damien_Lucifer (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Personalized IPODS cannot be returned
You're right, the whole 'free laser' engraving offered by Apple is an attempt to get around the 30 day return policy. I did find a way around that though, if you haven't gotten the item yet just refuse to sign for it and have it returned. By law they MUST return your monies. I found this out when my sister ordered me a customized IPOD which I didn't want and would never use. Apple tried to fast talk me but I just refused to accept delivery of the item. My sister got her money back.
Posted by Food doc (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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