Originally Posted by blogorant
You're assuming that Apple has decided that it has grabbed all the "switchers" it can grab. If 10% of the market is Mac (notebook and desktop) then the remaining 90% of the market would have to be non-Mac or a potential switcher. Oh, and I never said anything with respect to pricing, old or new. Has Apple figured out that the Mac Mini has found a niche among home entertainment PC types? Has it determined that switchers are just as likely to go for a lower end Macbook or iMac? Probably yes to both.
You are making some irrational assumptions here. If there is even one person who has not "switched" then that is a potential Mac customer. the problem with your comment is that they have to decide
that they have grabbed all they can grab. Why can't the simply be using a more effective method for getting switcher? Do you really think the Mac mini is the most popular machine for switchers when notebooks are the most sought offer type of PC sold and most common Mac sold? I don't. It seems more likely to me that they don't see the Mac mini as the golden child for potential switchers or that, as stated earlier, they simply weren't buying the $600 version. Then there is the cost to profit ratio of going after every last potential Mac switcher. You get to a point that it ends up costing you money, not making you money, which is the point. There are plenty of other possibilities that come before "Apple are big doodie heads that don't know how to run a business" but those are most relevant here.
Even worse is your argument that Apple is going after 100% of the PC market OS marketshare. IF that were true they would have licensed their OS back in the 80's. Even when they were on their last leg and big, rich vendors like Dell and Compaq were begging to get out from under Microsoft's thumb they still didn't license their OS despite it obviously being a ticket to rapid marketshare growth. It's impossible for Apple to ever gain even a 50% of the desktop OS marketshare (beating Windows) with their business model. This should be easily understood without anyone having to explain it. Take what 50% per quarter would mean in terms on OS licenses, now turn that exact number into Macs. That is 2x as many PCs as HP sells and they are number one in the world with budget PCs. now figure how much revenue and profit that is considering the average Mac sale is around $1,200. That's even without figuring the impossible production issues they'd have trying to produce 10x as many Macs per quarter all using the same components that even caused a delay in this last release.
It's simply foolish to remove Apple's HW aspect from their Mac sales and then imply that they want to overtake MS' Windows monopoly yet ignoring that they could license their OS to any and all OEMS if they wanted to.
Really not sure where you were headed here. Did you mean to denigrate Boxee, XBMC or Plex? All three work fine (in that order) for the non-technical members of my family. Unboxing and connecting the Mac Mini took about 5 minutes. Installing Plex and a few other tools was another 15 minutes. Many well written articles on the intraweb on best practices. If someone has made the decision to acquire a media center computer (much less knows what one is) they're motivated and are doing some homework. And I think one of the pitfalls of the technically minded (us) is that we underestimate the ability and understanding of the "non-technical".
You overestimate the the technical abilities and desire for the average to tinker with their system. They want it to work. Based on your statements above it's clear you don't think the iPhone shook up the iPhone business by making a simple device that the average person could understand. Or you probably think that they bought it because its pretty because they are sheep. Who the hell knows, but I'm not going to tell my mother or grandmother that the Mac Mini makes a great HTPC or MEA for $700 and then have them figure how to search for, install and run MC software. That's insane on that face of it. The AppleTV, PS3, XBOX, TiVo, Popcorn Hour, Scientific Atlanta, etc. all are designed to interact with your TV out of the box using a 10-Foot User Interface. You can pat yourself on the back and say how easy it is all you want, but we both the reality of what you're talking about.
I would argue that Mac Mini's are an even more attractive option than a Windows PC for folks that want their media center computer to "just work", although Windows 7 does seem to be a major step forward for MSFT. The Mini is physically attractive (or at least not unattractive) and has a very small form factor. My only gripe is that I bought my last one 60 days before the refresh.
It's expensive and you can buy Windows Media Center that is designed with the HTPC in mind and you build your own for $700 with a BRD, Core-i7, tuner card, etc., so no, I don't think many would find it a more attractive option. Apple simply doesn't play in that market with their Macs.
As for AppleTV, I think it has been a sales disappointment because left unhacked, it's little more than an iTunes device. Not that there isn't a lot of value there for $229, it just doesn't address everything someone would want or soon discovers they want in a media center device.
I'm sure it's been a dissapoinement yet I think it's also by far the most profitable MEA that has been release. It's 2010 and that 1GHz Pentium M processor and anemic GPU have got to go. Remember it hasn't been updated since it first debuted. It seems obvious that the next one will be much smaller and use an A4 with iOS sans Cocoa Touch.
Note the unusual way the AppleTV was brought to us. Jobs offered a teaser demo in late 2006 for the AppleTV, then know as iTV. When have they ever done that? Sounds to me like this was for the content owners to show that they had a secure method for digital distribution. For comparison, Google didn't even buy YouTube until the month after 'iTV' was demoed.
Then they showcased it in 2007 right before the iPhone announcement. Another failure here because it was bound to get overshadowed by the iPhone. Then it was delayed a month and year after it as released we still only had the Disney umbrella for content distribution. To me this speaks volumes as to why it has never gotten out of "hobby" mode and why it's only "hobbled" along. The content owners played hardball and won, so Apple was never able to come to the living room as planned.
But they can't give it up. Even if they have to create another place holder for 3 years they have to have something there, which is why the AppleTV has been set to rot. it's still a great interface (v2.x notwithstanding) and now there is enough focus on that segment and enough has changed that I think they can make it work. I expect something out this Fall during the iPod/iTunes Special Event.