March 1, 2006 09:04 AM PST
This post is mostly for your comments. I'm pretty unimpressed by the iPod HiFi from a strategy standpoint. Why is Apple spending engineering resources for something that could (and is) readily available in the iPod ecosystem? Greed? Hubris? Apparently there's no one out there who can design mp3 players like Apple, so why aren't they sticking to their core strengths? Leave the stereos and leather iPod skins to the 3rd parties. How about a sweet controller/faceplate/voice navigation system for using your iPod in the car?
New Intel based mac-mini was announced. It's pretty impressive that they got this built already. They're moving fast and executing well on the transition (although let's see how the benchmarks look). The achillies heel of the new mini seems to be the built in Intel graphics processor. I suppose it could be OK for "the market" it's in - will have to wait for benchmarks on this. I would hope it can at least do the Quartz UI and play 3d games (all 3 of them on the mac) decently at perhaps lower resolution. This is actually an issue with PC based platforms too - Intel seems to be taking control over more of the chips on the motherboard, and they really can't compete in some areas. They probably provide good pricebreaks for buying the whole solution from them, and the manufacturers have no problem using this junk for the baseline specs and charging upgrade prices to get the graphics that really should be included. I suppose it makes sense, but is frustrating - it's the core competency thing again, this time with Intel.
Also, the price raise is I hope just a premium for the new mini machines vs. an actual component cost increase. Otherwise this bodes poorly for a potential iBook line, and also the trend of Apple going after a lower price point consumer market to increase market share.