Monday, November 07, 2005

Strategic Move: Intel-Based Mac Mini at Macworld 2006?

Apple Could Unveil Intel-Based Mac Mini In January -

Could Apple release an Intel based Mac mini in January? A quote from the article:

"the company may be ready to launch lower-end Intel (nasdaq: INTC - news - people )-based Macs earlier than its original June 2006 target, with the possibility of an Intel-based Mac Mini at Macworld."

Strategic Play
With stories indicating that the PowerPC and Intel builds of Tiger 10.4.3 are esentially identical, I would have reason to believe that a release of an Intel based Mac mini at Macworld 2006 is possible. Furthermore, it would be a great headline story to jump start Macworld as it would demonstrate to the market that Apple has the ability to make the transition.

If Apple can get an Intel based system out well in advance of Leopard OS X 10.5 (scheduled for release as early as late 2006), they'll likely to accomplish the following:

- The ability to increase the test base as Apple would get more feedback from users on any problems faced on the new platform. This would give Apple plenty of lead time to resolve these issues prior to the release of Leopard.

- Get the ball rolling from a developer perspective as Apple would have a "non-development" environment to test applications

- Kick off a new wave of buying from potential Windows switchers as consumers wouldn't be restricted from running Windows on the mini

- Generate momentum and fuel the interest for the next wave of the Mac upgrade cycle. Many current Mac owners have indicated a willingness to hold off on upgrading their systems until the Intel based Macs are released. The success of an Intel based Mac mini could drive those current Mac owners to purchase the intial round of Intel based iMac, iBook, Powerbook, and Powermac systems instead of opting for second generation systems.

- Get another leg up on Microsoft, yes, I said another!

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