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Mac mini misses its target consumer - Page 8

post #281 of 290
Dave,
just like I maybe overstating the slow speed of a G4 Mac, I think it's fair to say that the stereotype of a PC user having a PC full of adware and viruses is not true, in my experience at least.
Do viruses happen to get onto PCs? Yes. Same with Adware. But this is not a common site, contrary to what the media all AOL/ MSN/ Earthlink/ GeekSquad want you to believe.


Quote:
Does an average PC as you describe with DVD burner, fast hard disk, etc. really cost $499 or $599?

You can get close to that price, but that is exactly my point!
If a Mac person wants to try and experience working on a PC, I will never recommend a $500 PC. It just will not be worth his while because he will not be able to do all the things that modern PCs do well.

Quote:
Problem with your suggestion about buying an iMac G5 is that iMacs are just too expensive for people to take a risk, when they're not sure about switching platforms.

I do agree with you there. If I "ran the zoo", so to say, I would have put an iMAC in a case twice as big as the Mini and sold it for under $1k.
Another alternative would have been to put the current Mini mobo in a case twice as big as the mini, but a normal 5.25'' DVDRW drive (MUCH cheaper than 12.7mm drives), put in a 3.5'' 7200RPM drive, and make 2 memory slots. The computer would have been cheaper and MUCH more balanced. Even more importantly, expecially to PC users, it would have been easily upgradable.

Mini is an interesting machine for a niche market. A Mac laptop with no screen/ keyboard/ mouse. A Mac user, like you, knows this and picks it for a proper application.
However, an average PC user will expect it to be a Mac desktop and I'm just not sure how well the Mini will play that role.

I would be really interested in knowing what percentage of all Minis are bought by PC users who have not worked with Macs in the last few years?
post #282 of 290
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
From my experience with Macs and PCs, I would say that the $499 Mini is not a good choice if one wants to make a good first Mac impression on a PC user.
Here is the reason. A person who has enough disposable income to splurge on an extra computer already has at least a mainstream PC. He/she/it will buy a mac mini to try it out... because it's not a big investment and they AREADY have something than works well.

Let's say they're not splurging on an extra computer. Let's say, instead, that they're looking to replace an older PC, and hey, there's this Mac thing, and it's only $499, and you can simply plug it in to the peripherals you already have...

As for your case, that's part of the reason the mini is so tiny and so inexpensive: So that it won't feel like the big honking PC, and you won't expect it to act like your big honking PC.

Quote:
So this person gets a mini, sets it up and then... that person finds that this Apple is DOG slow compared to his/her/its PC.

I don't really see it as that clear-cut. For one thing, although some things are more regularly sluggish in OS X, the biggest bottleneck is sitting between the chair and the keyboard. Once you realize how easy it is to make something worth using the DVD burner, and import the photos, and how well OS X multitasks generally (much more smoothly than XP does, to this day), I really don't see the few places where it is slow as being much of an issue.

Hell, I'm typing this on a 450MHz G4, and it's never felt particularly sluggish to me. There are a few tasks where its age becomes apparent, but mostly things move right along fluidly. And, when they upgrade their OS, the machine will get faster, not slower. My 4 year old Cube actually runs better than it did the day I set it up, because Apple's been optimizing their OS over time instead of making each release slower to force a new round of upgrades.

It's true that few browsers are snappier than IE on Windows, but few browsers are as insecure (or as unstable, for that matter). If Windows users are starting to adopt Firefox in droves, they won't mind Safari, or the OS X version of Firefox. It's a few seconds here and there, and again, it's just the little bitty box, not a big roaring tower.

Quote:
If I was to recommend a PC user a MAC to get his/her feet wet in, it would the G5 iMAC. It's feel and apparent performance is a lot more similar to an average PC these days.

Well, Apple will cheerfully sell iMacs to anyone curious, and I will cheerfully recommend them. The Mac minis' main job is to reduce the perceived cost (= risk) of switching to the extent possible, not to reproduce the performance of a $1500 PC tower. It only has to perform well enough to do its job.
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post #283 of 290
Steve,

You entirely miss the point with the Mini. It's an emotional buy item, for the person that has a PC, maybe even a fairly new one, that they want to rip off the floor and toss out the window for one reason or another. They then have a keyboard, video and mouse to hook up to their miniMac.

It's not for people that want to "compare," because those folks aren't frustrated with PCs looking for an alternative, they are trying to see if they can get a different something for nothing from Apple than they get from HP/Dell/etc.
post #284 of 290
Quote:
As for your case, that's part of the reason the mini is so tiny and so inexpensive: So that it won't feel like the big honking PC, and you won't expect it to act like your big honking PC.

FYI, PCs come in all different sizes. You can get them as large as G5 or smaller than the Mini.

Quote:
I don't really see it as that clear-cut. For one thing, although some things are more regularly sluggish in OS X, the biggest bottleneck is sitting between the chair and the keyboard.

OSX is a fine operating system. The problem of the Mini is in hardware, not software.


Quote:
Once you realize how easy it is to make something worth using the DVD burner, and import the photos, and how well OS X multitasks generally (much more smoothly than XP does, to this day),

That is a topic I will gladly discuss with you in another thread.

Quote:
Let's say, instead, that they're looking to replace an older PC, and hey, there's this Mac thing, and it's only $499, and you can simply plug it in to the peripherals you already have...

First of all, you can't "simply" plug older PC periphrals into the Mini (as was already posted) because older PCs use PS2 connections.
The other argument here is that if you need a new computer, and not an additional one, you go for something proven, something that you have experience with.

But let's say I'm wrong and a person has had a really bad experience with PCs and is set on getting a Mac desktop. Well, he/she/it expects desktop performance. With 256MB RAM, 5400 RPM drive, lack of extra external connection ports, I doubt, from my experience, that this person would be really impressed with a Mac.
I've worked on OSX with 256MB of memory. It's not something I would wish somebody else.
post #285 of 290
Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
...If I "ran the zoo", so to say, I would have put an iMAC in a case twice as big as the Mini and sold it for under $1k.
Another alternative would have been to put the current Mini mobo in a case twice as big as the mini, but a normal 5.25'' DVDRW drive (MUCH cheaper than 12.7mm drives), put in a 3.5'' 7200RPM drive, and make 2 memory slots. The computer would have been cheaper and MUCH more balanced. Even more importantly, expecially to PC users, it would have been easily upgradable.

That's another good point. I would have preferred that too and would have gladly paid for the privilege of owning [one of those options]. But, I'm happy with the mini and there is something to be said for such a compact box, if only for the "wow factor."
post #286 of 290
Quote:
Originally posted by iDave
edit, one more comment: Does an average PC as you describe with DVD burner, fast hard disk, etc. really cost $499 or $599? Perhaps they do; I haven't looked.

I just built (a few weeks ago now) an average PC for my dad's wife for $508 (including shipping).
post #287 of 290
[QUOTE]Originally posted by skatman
Dave,
I do agree with you there. If I "ran the zoo", so to say, I would have put an iMAC in a case twice as big as the Mini and sold it for under $1k.


Apple would never do this because it would pretty much kill off sales of the full-blown iMac.

Quote:
Originally posted by skatman

Another alternative would have been to put the current Mini mobo in a case twice as big as the mini, but a normal 5.25'' DVDRW drive (MUCH cheaper than 12.7mm drives), put in a 3.5'' 7200RPM drive, and make 2 memory slots. The computer would have been cheaper and MUCH more balanced. Even more importantly, expecially to PC users, it would have been easily upgradable.

yeah, that would have made more sense, but Apple is about "cute", not "practical".

Quote:
Originally posted by skatman
I would be really interested in knowing what percentage of all Minis are bought by PC users who have not worked with Macs in the last few years?

Well, one of the guys in my office bought one (we're Windows programmers), and it's going to be his 1st ever Mac (he ordered the 1.4/80gb model).
post #288 of 290
Quote:
Originally posted by jsimmons
I just built (a few weeks ago now) an average PC for my dad's wife for $508 (including shipping).

No offense but most people do not "build" computers so it doesn't really answer the question. Sounds like a good deal though.
post #289 of 290
Quote:
Originally posted by iDave
No offense but most people do not "build" computers so it doesn't really answer the question. Sounds like a good deal though.

But for the person who owns it, it does answer the question because they technically bought a pre-assembled PC with an OS on it, and started using it immediately upon plugging it in.

I actually tried to get her to buy a Dell, but the only way she'd get the hardware she wanted was to order a machine with XP installed. She hates XP (and I don't blame her one little bit), and already had Win2K.

I built that machine a week before the Mac Mini was announced. If my timing had been a bit better, I would have recommended she buy a Mac Mini.
post #290 of 290
In regards to the statement about most Windows PC's having some sort of infection of Spyware or adware:

Again, in our retail environment this has been a plague and a bountiful harvest for us. Our wait time for our tech room is now 72 hours before a unit BENCHES let alone the time it takes to dig some of this crap out. $39 Canadian for BASIC spyware removal - $60 if you've got ten or more individual pieces. Tack on the $99 that everyone ends up spending on Norton IS (does a decent job of keeping some of the crap off) and you've got a nice tasty $165 job after taxes at the least.

Now factor in some of these customers coming in two or three times in a quarter (I kid you not, we know some of them on a first name basis). Add in $29 for express service to jump the queue and... well, does it really matter how cheap the system was when you bought it? When you have to take that much time armoring your computer against foreign invaders, when you've got firewalls and spy filters and anti virus programs and delousers to run, when your computer spends upwards of three to four days in my shop - was it worth the bargain?

I'm writing this on my PC. I was thinking about selling it, but until I can afford a G5 system cash, I'm gonna hang on to it - for two reasons: Half Life 2 (which I intend to play the life out of and strangle the last ounce of fun from it) and World of Warcraft. I'm interested to see how WoW looks and plays on my new mini - it's *great* on my iBook (I was flat out SHOCKED at that - tried playing it on some similarly priced notebooks at work, the integrated video cards just spat the game out asking for something more palatable)

Meh, if you've made your mind up about the world, it's quite difficult to change an opinion. I think the above arguments are valid - they certainly paint a vivid image in my own life.

Getting back to the point of this thread - I don't think the mini misses its target market at all. I wish we were carrying them - it'd make life a HELL of a lot simpler (albeit it would probably slice into my tech revenue - viva el casa de Windows!)
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