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Killer deal: Mac mini for $599; albums for iPad; Android gets in-app billing

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
AppleInsider sponsor MacMall has again teamed up with eBay to offer serious savings on a Mac mini for just $599. Also, labels and musicians have begun to bring enhanced albums to the iPad, and Google has debuted in-app billing for Android.

$100 savings on 2.4GHz Mac mini

MacMall and eBay have partnered yet again to offer AppleInsider readers a killer deal on Apple's 2.4GHz Mac mini. The limited promotion amounts to a $100 savings off of Apple's regular asking price for its diminutive desktop.

The deal, part of eBay's March Madness blowout sale, is for a new, unopened Mac mini with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of DDR3 memory, a 320GB SATA hard drive, Nvidia GeForce 320M graphics, 8X SuperDrive, AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, gigabit Ethernet, HDMI port and SD card slot. The limited quantity sale is strictly available to just one per customer.

eBay's March Madness deals are limited to 24 hours or less, or while supplies last. To compare this deal to prices from Apple's other authorized resellers, see the AppleInsider Mac Price Guide, of which the Mac mini section is included below:



Labels, artist create enhanced albums for iPad

As noted by The New York Times, numerous music labels and artists have begun creating iPad-specific versions of albums, allowing greater interactivity and enhanced features.

One album profiled was released by EMI last week: "Until One" by Swedish House Mafia. Selling for $9.99, it comes with documentary video scenes, a large photo gallery, notes from the band, and is arranged like a coffee table book.

The goal is to preserve the value of complete albums, as record labels struggle with lost revenue from sales of single tracks. Universal Music Group has teamed up with Eagle Rock Entertainment to bring classic albums, like "Nevermind" by Nirvana, to the iPad as well.

A similar concept to sell entire albums, iTunes LP, was launched by Apple and record labels on iTunes in September of 2009. iTunes LP content includes and entire album with media rich bonus content, like photos and videos. But iTunes LPs cannot yet be played on the iPad.

In-app purchases come to Android

Google this week announced that the long-awaited in-app billing feature is now available for developers on the Android Market. Applications can now offer users the ability to make purchases from within applications

"In-app Billing gives you more ways to monetize your apps with try-and-buy, virtual goods, upgrades, and other billing models," said Android development manager Eric Chu.

A number of applications already support in-app billing, including Tap Tap Revenge, Comicx by ComiXology, Gun Bros, Deer Hunter, Challenge HD, and WSOP3.

Google revealed its plans to add in-app payments to the Android Market earlier this year. Chu also revealed that the search giant was "not happy" about the limited number of applications actually being purchased on the Android Market, and saw in-app payments as a way to potentially boost revenue.

Apple first introduced in-app purchases for the iPhone with the release of iOS 3.0 in 2009. Initially, they were restricted to paid "premium" applications, but later that year Apple granted developers the ability to offer in-app purchases in free software.
post #2 of 27
Are these said iPad specific albums downloaded thru the app store as a stand-alone app, or purchased thru iTunes, but then where would the extra content be located?
post #3 of 27
I am in the market for a new MM for Livingroom. Dies this have anything to do with a new MM being released???
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

But iTunes LPs cannot yet be played on the iPad.

Nor on the new Apple TV, even though the old Apple TV can play iTunes LPs and iTunes Extras. I feel like Apple has really dropped the ball on iTunes LP (and iTunes Extras). An iPad or Apple TV would be the ideal formats to experience that content, but we're stuck with just viewing it on our computers.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by RepreeThis View Post

Are these said iPad specific albums downloaded thru the app store as a stand-alone app, or purchased thru iTunes, but then where would the extra content be located?

This, like the WB movies apps a month or so again, are Apps. Everything is isolated in the app. So just as you can't play iTunes LPs on your ipad, you can't play these (not even the music) off it.

Which I think is lame. There should be a way to make something so if I want to put the tracks on my nano or such I can. Without having to buy it all over again. Or in the case of the movie apps if I already bought the movie before the app was released it shows and I get the extra bonuses, streaming etc. Or say if I got a Blu-ray set that had the free download of the movie I could pay a reduced amount to unlock the other stuff.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AbeFroman View Post

I am in the market for a new MM for Livingroom. Dies this have anything to do with a new MM being released???

I would say all signs point to a stock purge for new stock, which more than likely means yes. Especially with the new processors and upgraded GPUs that have been integrated into the new MacBook pros.

Btw, anyone else notice there has not been ab updated MacBook released?

I would say this points to the iPad taking over for the MacBook and the MacBook pro and MacBook air being the only laptop offerings from apple now.

I will suspect thunderbolt will also take over as the ONLY port on all knew MBAs in the near future.
post #7 of 27
The day Apple computers price their hardware to be competitive then I will believe that they COULD have a deal. I purchased a mini a couple of years ago and the poor quality of the cheap ass hardware they put into it is abysmal. Let's take a look shall we?

512 (2 x 256) MB memory upgrade = $100 | actual cost of memory (2 x 256) online (not apple) $5
DVD-ROM $14
Micro motherboard (proprietary) We'll go conservative since there is no reseller of this product $100
Processor (Dual core Intel) (can't remember anymore what that cost) so we'll say $100
60GB 2.5" 5400 Hard drive $100 (which failed after 1 year & 1 month)

$319 total (if I could get all of the components)
Paid.... over $800
This is the definition of rip-off
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pand0ra View Post

The day Apple computers price their hardware to be competitive then I will believe that they COULD have a deal. I purchased a mini a couple of years ago and the poor quality of the cheap ass hardware they put into it is abysmal. Let's take a look shall we?

512 (2 x 256) MB memory upgrade = $100 | actual cost of memory (2 x 256) online (not apple) $5
DVD-ROM $14
Micro motherboard (proprietary) We'll go conservative since there is no reseller of this product $100
Processor (Dual core Intel) (can't remember anymore what that cost) so we'll say $100
60GB 2.5" 5400 Hard drive $100 (which failed after 1 year & 1 month)

$319 total (if I could get all of the components)
Paid.... over $800
This is the definition of rip-off

And where's the engineering, packaging (and packaging design), and staffing costs?

There's a lot more to a product than the value of the pieces inside of it. Plus, they're a business. Gotta add a little profit in there too.
post #9 of 27
Albums for iPad sounds interesting. I tend to buy CDs but I'll buy at least one of these albums to check out what they're capable of.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pand0ra View Post

The day Apple computers price their hardware to be competitive then I will believe that they COULD have a deal. I purchased a mini a couple of years ago and the poor quality of the cheap ass hardware they put into it is abysmal. Let's take a look shall we?

512 (2 x 256) MB memory upgrade = $100 | actual cost of memory (2 x 256) online (not apple) $5
DVD-ROM $14
Micro motherboard (proprietary) We'll go conservative since there is no reseller of this product $100
Processor (Dual core Intel) (can't remember anymore what that cost) so we'll say $100
60GB 2.5" 5400 Hard drive $100 (which failed after 1 year & 1 month)

$319 total (if I could get all of the components)
Paid.... over $800
This is the definition of rip-off

Mac OS X = Priceless
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pand0ra View Post

The day Apple computers price their hardware to be competitive then I will believe that they COULD have a deal. I purchased a mini a couple of years ago and the poor quality of the cheap ass hardware they put into it is abysmal. Let's take a look shall we?

512 (2 x 256) MB memory upgrade = $100 | actual cost of memory (2 x 256) online (not apple) $5
DVD-ROM $14
Micro motherboard (proprietary) We'll go conservative since there is no reseller of this product $100
Processor (Dual core Intel) (can't remember anymore what that cost) so we'll say $100
60GB 2.5" 5400 Hard drive $100 (which failed after 1 year & 1 month)

$319 total (if I could get all of the components)
Paid.... over $800
This is the definition of rip-off

It's too bad you didn't (over) analyze before your purchase. Sorry to hear you're so dissatisfied.

Personally, I've been thrilled with the Mac mini. I've owned four and still own two.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pand0ra View Post

The day Apple computers price their hardware to be competitive then I will believe that they COULD have a deal. I purchased a mini a couple of years ago and the poor quality of the cheap ass hardware they put into it is abysmal. Let's take a look shall we?

512 (2 x 256) MB memory upgrade = $100 | actual cost of memory (2 x 256) online (not apple) $5
DVD-ROM $14
Micro motherboard (proprietary) We'll go conservative since there is no reseller of this product $100
Processor (Dual core Intel) (can't remember anymore what that cost) so we'll say $100
60GB 2.5" 5400 Hard drive $100 (which failed after 1 year & 1 month)

$319 total (if I could get all of the components)
Paid.... over $800
This post is the definition of stupidity

Fixed that for you.

-kpluck

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post #13 of 27
Apple does not keep its resellers in the loop of new product. So, I would guess this does not hint at a new Mac Mini around the corner.

However, I'm waiting patiently for an i3 or i5 Mac Mini to upgrade my C2D 1.83 Mac Mini in my living room. Hint, Hint, Apple.
post #14 of 27
OK, this is a somewhat a cool idea. Who wouldn't want videos, liner notes, lyrics, making of docs and cool visualizers for their digital albums? It's exactly where the industry needs to move. But limiting this content to just the iPad? Ridiculous!

I LOVE my iPad and use it daily. I even enjoy listening to music on it. But I don't want to have to buy an app for each album just to enjoy this content. Especially if that means I can't play the music on any other device. Apple has iTunes LP and iTunes Extras already in place. Trouble is that their content is not available on all Apple hardware much less competitors devices.

Apple has this much vaunted ecosystem (and rightly so) but it's not being used to it's fullest extent. iTunes LP and iTunes Extras should work on your Mac, Windows machine, iPad, and Apple TV. Maybe even your iPhone and iPod Touch too. One purchase and you can enjoy the content anywhere. All the devices and infrastructure are in place all that's needed are the deals with the record industry. Sadly, that's a BIG hurdle.

In the meantime, we're all being trained to purchase singles over albums and the music industry is crying. if iTunes LP is a failure it's the music industries own fault for not allowing the content to be played in more than one place. Now they want to introduce another cool service with its own set of limitations. Sorry, I'll continue to skip both options. Get it together music industry and make your product desirable!
post #15 of 27
Quit feeding the troll guys, he didn't say anything worth reading or quoting.
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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harleigh Quinn View Post

I would say all signs point to a stock purge for new stock, which more than likely means yes. Especially with the new processors and upgraded GPUs that have been integrated into the new MacBook pros.

Btw, anyone else notice there has not been ab updated MacBook released?

I would say this points to the iPad taking over for the MacBook and the MacBook pro and MacBook air being the only laptop offerings from apple now.

I will suspect thunderbolt will also take over as the ONLY port on all knew MBAs in the near future.

I think they will keep the plastic Macbook for one more year and will upgrade it just before the school shopping season.


Oh nuts.....fool me once.
The last two times I bought a new Mac they released a new model and or drastically dropped the price! \

Of course if they upgrade the mini and go with the integrated Intel GPU then maybe this closeout would be the smarter choice for me.

Hmmm........

I gotta go, something just came up.
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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post #17 of 27
I was recently given an android based tablet and I can tell you from first hand experience that, in app purchases or no in app purchases, the OS and available quality apps are SO far behind iOS devices, it's really sad.

No where near the experience that Apple has provided.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by larryinfl View Post

Apple does not keep its resellers in the loop of new product. So, I would guess this does not hint at a new Mac Mini around the corner.

However, I'm waiting patiently for an i3 or i5 Mac Mini to upgrade my C2D 1.83 Mac Mini in my living room. Hint, Hint, Apple.

You are correct in that they don't tell the resellers there is a refresh coming. However, they do give certain signs that are pretty predictable. This may be a regular promotion or maybe Mac Mall is reading the tea leaves and is clearing the inventory. Either way, for a HTPC this mini at that price would be a sweet deal.
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
Reply
Crying? No, I am not crying. I am sweating through my eyes.
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post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

...or maybe Mac Mall is reading the tea leaves and is clearing the inventory.

Doesn't Apple have to give resellers permission to sell below a certain price? For example, normally, you usually won't see a Mac mini discounted more than about $20 except after rebates. If such permission was granted in this case, it might mean something. Or maybe I'm altogether wrong.
post #20 of 27
was there all kind of back lash on apple because apps could bill directly to your itune account only to have kids running up bill, do you really think this will not be a problem for android apps. In the case of the Android market people can not complaint to google, I bet google will tell them to go to the app developer, let see how this is going to work when the developer is in a foreign country.

This is going to be a mess that is for sure.
post #21 of 27
This was very timely - I'd been tasked to buy a Mac Mini for my fathers birthday in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for posting this AI. You've just saved me a hundred bucks!
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by pand0ra View Post

The day Apple computers price their hardware to be competitive then I will believe that they COULD have a deal. I purchased a mini a couple of years ago and the poor quality of the cheap ass hardware they put into it is abysmal. Let's take a look shall we?

512 (2 x 256) MB memory upgrade = $100 | actual cost of memory (2 x 256) online (not apple) $5
DVD-ROM $14
Micro motherboard (proprietary) We'll go conservative since there is no reseller of this product $100
Processor (Dual core Intel) (can't remember anymore what that cost) so we'll say $100
60GB 2.5" 5400 Hard drive $100 (which failed after 1 year & 1 month)

$319 total (if I could get all of the components)
Paid.... over $800
This is the definition of rip-off

Wait a second, you forgot a few things:

case
software (including the share of development costs) including OS X, iLife, etc.
cables
power supply
packaging
marketing

I'd estimate the cost was closer to $400-$500 (assuming you paid $599 for the device; Apple wasn't making quite the profit margins on the Minis as they were on other machines).

Look at the bright side, at least *you* got to select the keyboard and display :-)
post #23 of 27
Android Insider
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post

This was very timely - I'd been tasked to buy a Mac Mini for my fathers birthday in a couple of weeks.

Thanks for posting this AI. You've just saved me a hundred bucks!

Make sure you don't put 10.6.7 on it. I have one with 8gig of ram and with the new update it acts like there's 128Mb of ram...

I'm very, very disapointed. It was very, very quick before the new 'update'.
post #25 of 27
I love the Mac Mini. The problem is when you come to peripherals--or the lack thereof. The cheapest Apple keyboard is $50 (wired). The cheapest Apple mouse is $50 (also wired). And the only Apple-branded display is $1000. So, conservatively, an all-Apple-branded solution based on the Mini is going to cost you $1,800.

So, if I want any kind of deal I can afford, I end up using the Mac Mini with some other brand of 22" monitor for $200 and another brand of mouse and keyboard for $30 combined. Sure, it works great. But is this really how Apple wants us to use the Mini?

Could they possibly come up with a 22" display and bundle a mouse and keyboard so that the whole bundle costs about the same as a 21.5" iMac? The components and specs are all the same otherwise, and it shouldn't cost that much extra (if anything at all) to put them in a smaller case. It seems only reasonable to me.
post #26 of 27
[QUOTE=alpha10711;1839377]I love the Mac Mini. The problem is when you come to peripherals--or the lack thereof. The cheapest Apple keyboard is $50 (wired). The cheapest Apple mouse is $50 (also wired).

<And the only Apple-branded display is $1000. So, conservatively, an all-Apple-branded solution based on the Mini is going to cost you $1,800. >

i have a mac mini and have used a 24" viewsonic and a 27" samsung monitor for many years with no problem. each cost much less than 1/2 of the $1000 you quote for the apple display.

same goes for memory. just as good as apple memory if you buy from a legit seller. far far cheaper.
post #27 of 27
What will happen to the MacMini Server pricing?
I see that MacMall is now offering the MacMini Server at a $50 discount, rather than $100 for the regular MacMini. Far from proportional, I would say (or it would be $125 rather than $50).

Considering that MacOSX Server will be included in Lion, there won't be a further price premium for MacOSX Server over regular MacOSX.

Therefore the MacMini Server's price may come down.
(Expect the MacMini Server to come with a 10 user limit at the lower price, though. Price as before for the MacMini Server unlimited, or just slightly lower.)
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