February 28, 2006 10:38 AM PST

Apple launches new Intel Mac Minis, iPod Hi-Fi

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February 28, 2006

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February 27, 2006

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February 26, 2006

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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.

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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.

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"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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172 comments

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Add your comment
That was lame. like we say in german, Wazu?
I was very excited. But, these products are lame. Now I have to wait
tille April 1st. Ekscuse my Englisch.
Posted by xxtrashcanxx (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A theory...
... OK, really a *hypothesis.* Could be that Apple was tentatively
set to announce additional products today. They probably
figured that a MS event attempting to "steal the thunder" was at
least a possibility, and thus had a contingency plan to hold back
on certain products. Since MS did exactly that, they put plan B
into motion. Again, this is only a hypothesis...

BTW, Apple DID low-key this event. As others have pointed out:
most of the HYPE of this event was generated by media, pundit-
wannabees, etc. The whining, criticism, etc. is-- in my mind--
self-inflicted punishment resulting from unwise expectations.

Watch for the 30th anniversary event...
Posted by keyboard55 (11 comments )
Link Flag
im gonna go cry
BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
a boom box
some cases
and a bumped price mini?
thats all.....
WEAK
Posted by thomusvoo (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ok, now when are the ViiV minis coming out?
Thought this would announce a mini that is going to be a home media center....

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://70.84.186.131/content_images/idf_images/goldengate4.jpg" target="_newWindow">http://70.84.186.131/content_images/idf_images/goldengate4.jpg</a>
Posted by jfalkingham (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re:
Apparently, this Mac mini and virtually all Macs (and Vista PCs) will have media center capabilities. However, I do not believe Apple plans to participate in any Intel marketing programs (like Centrino Mobile Technology, ViiV, Intel Inside), though their computers will use the same processors and do the same things the PC counterparts will be able to do.
Posted by darrius3365 (98 comments )
Link Flag
When is the REAL announcement
I'm a Mac FREAK and this was super, super, lame. An overpriced speaker? A new MacMini which is $100 more? What happened to the $500 dollar Mac? Oh well.

I think of it this way, sometimes you are walking your dog and he takes a crap. You look in your pocket and realize that you don't have any bags. At that point, you think to yourself "oh well, I can't win them all"
Posted by Don Key (186 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Mac mini
The base model mini did pick up built-in wireless networking and
Bluetooth, which were add-ons before. Also has: much faster
processors, Front Row and the remote, 2 more USB ports, digital
audio out, and 20 GB more hard drive space.

On the downside, integrated Intel graphics. Still, on the whole, it's
worth the extra $100.
Posted by Thrudheim (306 comments )
Link Flag
Has Apple Lost It?
I know that Apple needs to focus on getting the new Intel Macs out,
but is anyone excited by it? Plus who has been dying for an Apple
stereo? Hasn't everyone already figured out how to play their iPod
on their current system.
Posted by John Goecke (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Anti-Apple-Climax
Ok, new mac-mini's, fair enough. Fun? Exciting? Not so much,
they don't really do anything new and with no native Tivo-ness
going on, it's no media center. The inflation in price reflects
their new found power, so why not market them to people that
would need this increase in speed. Playing music and watching
photo's and videos (which they're plugging) doesn't need this
extra power and makes it look way over priced. The PC
alternative, doesn't look so attractive to me now... not until a
price drop!

New speakers...pish. If you really care about good quality sound
that much chances are you'll own or want to own a good set of
hi-fi seperates, which you can plug your iPod into and do a
whole lot more with too, rather than blast your wallet with this
purchase.

$5 piece of cow skin + Apple logo = $99 iPod case. They're
really aiming for the more money than sense crowd now then.

Your turn Microsoft.
(Though whats happening on 1st April?)
Posted by monkeyhouse (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Isn't that the truth
Yes, Mac Mini's are still nice machines, more than enough features and power for for 95% of all non gamers. Dual boot OSX and Vista would be the best of both worlds (provided Vista isn't bug riddled still needs a service pack to be truly complete).

Ditto on the iPod HiFi. If you want REAL hi-fi, and not just hi-fi in name, Apple shouldn't be your first stop. Of course marketing means more than real world performance, go figure.
Posted by webdev511 (254 comments )
Link Flag
Intel graphics
Ummm.....64mb of video ram? They have to be kidding. Seems like
a big step backward, but I guess they had to skimp somwhere to
keep the price down.
Posted by muckeymuck (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
64mb of video ram
I'm using a PowerMac G5 with two 20-inch screens right now. The
videocard installed in it? A GeForce FX 5200 with 64 Mb of VRAM.
So 64 Mb is perfectly fine for routine work, which squares nicely
with the target customers of the Mac Minis.
Posted by mofo111 (107 comments )
Link Flag
Re: Intel Graphics
It is a step backward. I only hope that the new iBooks dont have Intels craptacular graphics, but mostlikely will
Posted by naterandrews (256 comments )
Link Flag
re:
Yeah, I have Intel integrated graphics on my PC and I can't play any games...(mine you it is 4 years old now, but couldn't do much back then either)...
Posted by darrius3365 (98 comments )
Link Flag
Mini Video
From MAc FixIT:

The GMA950 uses "Dynamic Video Memory Technology" (DVMT)
to support up to 224MB of video memory; system memory is
allocated where it is needed dynamically. It has 64MB of DDR2
SDRAM of its own, shared with main memory

Still, on paper, the GMA950's specs best those of the Radeon
9200 card used by the PowerPC-based Mac mini. For instance,
the GMA950 claims 1.6 billion pixels per second vs. 1.1 billion
pixels per second for the Radeon 9200. And the GMA950
includes a 256-bit graphics core running at 400MHz while the
Radeon 9200 uses a 400 Mhz 128-bit core.

Again, benchmarks have yet to be recorded, but we wouldn't be
surprised if the new Intel-based Mac mini's integrated graphics
performance exceeds that of the previous PowerPC-based
generation with a separate graphics card for most tasks.
Posted by originalbitman (16 comments )
Link Flag
Re: Intel Graphics
No, Intel graphics is not very exciting. But be real, people. You're not going to get a hot gaming machine for $599 or $799, from Apple or from anyone else. If you want a fast processor and 256 MB of DDR3 VRAM, you're going to have to pay A LOT MORE, and you're going to have to put it in a much bigger box (with a bigger power supply, bigger cooling fans, bigger everything). This machine is very well designed for the job it is intended to do.

And no, it is not a step back. The early benchmarks make the graphics out to be more than twice as fast as those of the G4 Mini. Doesn't seem to be a step back to me.

My $.02.
Posted by mwaldyke (6 comments )
Link Flag
yaaaaawn...
classic example of apple overhype and the fawning media following them with ultimately ho hum results...
Posted by tlite722 (160 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re: yaaaaawn...
Kind of reminds me of Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone's safe years ago! LOL
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Link Flag
Unbelievable BORING non-news --- Apple hype at its best
Apple hype at its best
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unbelievably boring stan-johnson post
Apple hating at its best
Posted by open-mind (1027 comments )
Link Flag
Wow, what's with everybody!
Apple never promised anything other that new fun products,
and that's what they delivered. Anything you guys are mad at is
because you all over hype anything they call call attention to.
Apple never said they were after the Tivo market, never said they
would release a new iBook, what do you guys want!?! Seriously!
Did they rent out a convention centre? Did they Send out an
invite saying they were changing the way you view television?
No. They are new products that Apple thought needed more
explaining then just posting on the website and a PR release.
The mini looks awesome and I like the new feature in front row
(I'll be upgrading) and the HIFi sounds like it has some killer
audio reproduction. Nothing was promised, so you can't feel let
down. Stop putting so much weight behind rumors. Also, they
sent out emails. They didn't take out full page ads in the Times
or buy air time during "24", so how did apple over hype?
Posted by rfelgueiras (189 comments )
Reply Link Flag
true
i thin kwe were just expecting something..... better.
Posted by thomusvoo (26 comments )
Link Flag
one word
BORING
Posted by Stan Johnson (322 comments )
Link Flag
What's with Apple
Wow just what I really needed a piece of leather for $99. Come on Apple, branding is cool until you start ripping off your base of supporters. It's not what was promised but how little was delivered. Seems that evverything has been done before by 3rd party suppliers and cheaper too..
Posted by Sir Limey (43 comments )
Link Flag
Total boring.
Why would anyone like to hear about the hardware updates which isn't anything new. They could have announce it last time. PC users can do it on fly buying it from outside.

Who would like to buy a 100$ case for 145 $ nano? its crazy. The speakers sound interesting but price to statisfaction ratio will be a big deal.
Posted by hemen thacker (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unbelievable!!!!
$340 for iPod Hi-Fi. For crying out loud...over prices Bose SoundDock costs $299! I doubt anybody in their right mind would pay $340 for a boombox. But then, if your are in your right mind your are not a fanboy.
Posted by indrakanti (90 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What did you expect?!
Seeing as Apple's 30th aniversary is coming up then why would they release a new ipod or anything BIG today? really, what did you expect?
Posted by oli666 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Can I get Windows XP on that?
I wonder how hard it would be to load Windows XP on the Intel Mac Mini. I've been looking for a small, very quiet (preferably fanless) PC with gigabit ethernet for awhile now. This might work, but I have all Windows software and won't be switching to another platform.
Posted by Yet Another Mark Johnson (66 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re:
This doesn't help, but there is a (start-up?) PC company that is making computers in the same size range as the Mac mini.
Posted by darrius3365 (98 comments )
Link Flag
you may be able to find a solution here
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.logicsupply.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.logicsupply.com</a>.
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Link Flag
Re: Can I get Windows XP on that?
Check Google in the next few days. I'm sure someone will have some instructions on how to downgrade the system to XP. My question would be why?

The OS is the reason people buy Macs, their hardware is a bonus.

If you just want to run XP, buy a Dell. If you want XP on high quality hardware, buy Alienware.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
Macs use OS X
There may be emulation software down the road, but, for now,
Mactel computers are OS X only. As they should be.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
PC, small as MacMini and fanless
this parson asked for PC able to run XP, quiet, Gigabit Erth
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://aopen.jp/products/baresystem/mp915-b.html" target="_newWindow">http://aopen.jp/products/baresystem/mp915-b.html</a>
cant find item in ENG page of the same company HP
im sure ordering through JP using just English is possible
Posted by shoonbassjp (1 comment )
Link Flag
ho Hum...
Intel Mac Mini, nice machine overall, will the price increase defeat its purpose?

Ipod Cases: Big **** deal, like that has not been done before, you can get a nice leather case for a lot less then 99 bucks, 10 bucks leather 89 buck apple logo

Hi-Fi system, again big **** deal, I have a Bose surround system and a high end reciever, why would I pay 3xx bucks for this? ok so its portable on batteries, so what if im outside im not expecting the greatest sound in the first place.
Posted by capfan12 (101 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bitchin' and whinin'
ME, you usually keep it short by just saying anything Apple does
sucks. Why the full paragraph? A person who would buy a Bose
sound system would also buy the new Apple sound system. You
are either insincere or a liar.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
Who Hyped this?
You are complaining how lame this announcement was and that is should have been more. it was not apple who made this a big media event. It was the MEDIA that made this a big event. Remember this took place in a small room with limited invitations. It was not suppose to be a big deal.

So would everyone quit whinning....if you think apple should come out with this product or that product...well then build it yourself if you think it is so easy.
Posted by grossph (172 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You are wrong
"it was not apple who made this a big media event."

In fact it was Apple who made this a big thing by sending a mysterious invitation to the press.
Posted by indrakanti (90 comments )
Link Flag
Whats wrong with you guys
i never believed those retarded rumors people were putting out. ipod video or apple tablet? the patent was JUST accepted! how could you expect the product to come immediately after the patent? no, ill say either the end of the 4th quarter or 2007.

all this over-hype about an announcement that was clearly not big news. if it were huge new products, they would have made it public and not just secretly to the media. the public wasnt even supposed to know about this announcement.

this announcement was leaked to the public by the media but apple never intended this to happen. wait until next macworld
Posted by assman (1101 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re: Patent
The patent does not necessarily have to be applied for before the product release. So, Apple could have releaed the touch-screen device today if it wanted to...
Posted by darrius3365 (98 comments )
Link Flag
Hideously ugly Hi-Fi
Honestly, who would be caught dead with that thing in an office, living room, or kitchen? It's a disgustingly massive, completely spartan, totally non-Apple design they should be ashamed to put in their product lineup.

I can only hope Ol' Jobsy's flogging the design engineers as I write this.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Reply Link Flag
the hi-fi was the best announcement today
it looks to be the highest quality all-in-one ipod speakers
available. i think it was absolutely excellent of apple to go high
quality sound instead of skimpy cheap tinny speakers like most
every other accessory maker did.

kudos to apple for going for big heavy GOOD sound!
Posted by assman (1101 comments )
Link Flag
As if...
You people aren't thinking.

What makes you think groundbreaking stuff would be released
today? Especially after Steve Jobs started the event talking about
"mid-level" stuff.

And why would they possibly release groundbreaking stuff now,
half way through a quarter, especially when their 30th
anniversary is 32 days away? (April Fool's Day.)

I would expect more to be announced on their anniversary.
Posted by ewelch (767 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's good to see...
...that some people use their brains. I mean, people actually thought they were going to announce a VIDEOGAME system? As much as I'd love to see an aliance between Nintendo and Apple, I don't believe it would happen.
Posted by Ryusuke78 (10 comments )
Link Flag
Your kidding right?
That's it?

A friggin leather iPod case?

Yeah I know the mini and boom box.

That's it?

I know I enjoy the Apple mystique. But I can only imagine how
the tech press feels schlepping all the way to Apple
Headquarters via a mysterious invitation? I know as a consumer
how I feel. That's it? A friggin iPod case?!

I can only assume Jobs is giving Gates the opportunity to shine
today with whatever he's announcing. Unless it's a leather case
for carrying around your Windows install cd!

The financial markets, consumer markets, music markets and
film markets as a whole have been looking as Apple/Jobs as the
innovators and visionaries of the tech sector leader for the
future of technology innovation. They lost a lot of credibility
today in my opinion. Calling an event and summoning the press
to them for a truly non-event amazes me. And I bet everyone
else too. As the stock fell almost $3.00 so far.

I'm an Apple devotee. But a non-event is damaging to Apple and
the leadership they've earned the last two years.

Stop stroking your ego Steve with the ability to make the press
jump. You introduced nothing today. These items are a press
release at best. But in reality these products should have just
shown up in the Apple store and marketplace.

A friggin leather iPod case. I got mine on eBay for about 10
bucks each. Yes for my 40 gig, 20 gig, mini, 30 gig video, 60 gig
video and shuffle ipods. So yes I am a Mac person. Always will
be. But today is a shame. or sham?
Posted by mozart11 (30 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Welcome to the real world
DM (Dyspeptic Man), it is not Steve Jobs' fault you prefer to buy
also rans at a discount from eBay. Those of us who prefer
quality believe the three items announced today live up to
Apple's reputation.

Apple promised 'fun' items and delivered. No rational person
really believed it was going to produce peripherals for the Game
Boy or a rival for the Tmobile Sidekick. People who held
unrealistic expectations should blame themselves, not Apple.

I also am not expecting Yahoo's subscription service to suddenly
become iPod friendly or Microsoft to co-brand a new Apple
product, either. That is because I'm realistic person. Reality,
more people should try it.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
These products are so "FUN"!
I also remember watching the PBS Nightly Business Report which stated that Apple stock went up slightly in "anticipation" of new products.

Wow these are so FUN!!! Let's generate money for stockholders.

Guess it'll be that much harder for the media to care about Apple if this happens once or twice more.
Posted by sanenazok (3449 comments )
Link Flag
OMG mac book pro+new intel mac mini shock
New intel mac mini more expensive????? what is the point in that
Just got MacBook Pro battery life is only 2.4 hours. I am not kiding.
I wa on the phone with apple they sad that they have no stats but i
measured it myself. My 15inch G4 gets around four. I am shocked.
SRY didnt know where to post this
Posted by xxtrashcanxx (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ZOMG how i spell words?
Post it somewhere with a spellcheck, maybe?
Posted by Ryusuke78 (10 comments )
Link Flag
Goodbye to the eMac
Not surprisingly, the eMac is now a thing of the past with the coming of the new Intel Mac Mini's.
Posted by RedRider977 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Is the eMac a goner?
I'm not aware of an official announcement. Seems to me that a
low-end computer with a screen is still needed for the elementary
school market. Laptops are more suitable for tweens and teens.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
Why it makes sense
A lot of the people complaining are regular Apple bashers.
They've said in the past they would never buy any Apple product.
They were going to ***** and moan regardless of what was
released today.

I think the reasons Apple is producing these items are obvious
to people who follow the company.

1) Designer iPod cases are selling very well, including in Apple
Stores. Apple decided to collect some of that bling for itself.

2) The Mac mini is the ambassador computer for Apple -- the
inexpensive model first time Mac buyers are urged to try. So, it
makes sense that it get the Intel processor. It is also the closest
thing Apple has to a Tivo-type device. A larger hard drive for
storing video was a must.

3) Bose has done quite well with high-end home audio for the
Mac. I will hazard a guess Steve Jobs thought that a device
could be even more iPod friendly. So, he had Apple produce that
device.

Apple has withdrawn products from the market, such as the
Cube. But, to prematurely find fault with new releases is naive.
Time will tell.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
re: Ambassador
I'd rather see the iMac used as the ambassador computer for consumers. When the average person sees "Mac Mini for $599", they will be shocked to discover that it doesn't come with a monitor, keyboard, or mouse, while the $299 after-rebate PC counterparts (regardless of how bad they are)come with all of that.
Posted by darrius3365 (98 comments )
Link Flag
How boring - shows no initiative
yet again Apples hype doesnt meet with reality. $99 for a leather case what an absolute rip off.

I wont be touching these items.
Posted by (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
$100 is not a grand
Don't get out much, do you, Phil? There are designer cases for the
iPod in the $200 range. Apple decided to take a middling stab at
getting some of those elitist purchases for itself.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Link Flag
how dare you...
say that! With Apple you are not paying for the prodct. You are paying for the design excellence and the quality of engineering..hmmm..wait. OK I give up.
Posted by indrakanti (90 comments )
Link Flag
Hmmm
I was very excited about Apple making the announcement today. While I was disappointed, I know that is no one's fault but my own. I, like many of you, had great dreams of what might be introduced today. But Apple is not responsible for us, media, etc. reading a lot more into the invitation than was there. That is a dangerous game, sometimes you win sometimes you lose. Just take it for what it is.
Posted by altagrace (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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