February 28, 2006 10:38 AM PST
Apple launches new Intel Mac Minis, iPod Hi-Fi
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"This has been a long transformation, having consumer electronics devices and PC devices in the house play well together," said IDC analyst Susan Kevorkian.
Video: The iPod goes hi-fi
Steve Jobs introduces the "home stereo quality" iPod Hi-Fi speaker system, which will sell for $349.
Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said in a research note that Tuesday's releases were likely to be strong products, but were unlikely to materially affect Apple's growth. Future versions of the Mac Mini would likely be more specifically designed as home media hubs, he predicted.
Apple confirmed last week that it planned to introduce some "fun new products" on Tuesday but declined to say more at the time about what those offerings might be.
Once details of the mystery products became public, CNET News.com readers were quick to respond. Some said they were perfectly happy with the news, and others said the announcements were "boring" and fell short of expectations.
"Too bad Apple doesn't come out with a universal gaming platform that works with PlayStation, Game Boy and Xbox," wrote reader Mark Walinske. "Now that would be Apple's style...and definitely be FUN."
A reader who goes by the name Markdotnet lamented: "Yet another in a long string of disappointments from our friends at Cupertino. Steve Jobs is a master at making something from nothing. Somehow, I just knew this one would be no big deal."
But other readers pointed out that Apple usually saves its biggest-ticket products roll-outs for trade shows and chided other product watchers for letting their visions get too grandiose.
"Wow, what's with everybody?" Roberto Felgueiras asked fellow readers posting on CNET News.com's Talkback boards. "Apple never promised anything other than new fun products, and that's what they delivered."
Added Dexter Sampson, "I think the Mac Mini was long past due for an upgrade. The boombox is a nice added touch and thank goodness for a nice-looking leather iPod case that doesn't look like it was sold at a swap meet."
At $599 and $799, the new Mac Minis do add a bump to the machine's price tag, however. The previous, non-Intel versions, were priced between $499 and $699.
CNET News.com's John Borland and Leslie Katz contributed to this report.
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