Is the sound of the head of every CEO of every flash based mp3 player company exploding.
Apple has joined the fray and no one else has a chance. Ever since the introduction of the iPod other manufacturers have been squeezed down towards the low end of the market. With over 80% of the hard drive based mp3 market cornered, Apple has decided it needs to take over the low end of the market. I almost pity the competitors, they don’t have a chance. Apple - iPod shuffle
In addition, Jobs also announced Apple’s attempt to stop the complaints that Apple doesn’t offer an entry level Mac. The Mac Mini seems to me to be squarely targeted at PC users. It doesn’t come with a monitor, mouse, or keyboard. PC owners can buy this relatively inexpensive ($499) computer, hook it up to their existing peripherals, and they will be all set to experience something they haven’t ever before. Not to mention the fact it is tiny! (6.5 x 6.5 x 2 inches. wow.)
So what does this mean for Apple? I think this is a big move for them. It is the first time in a very long time they are trying to compete on price. Since the return of Steve Jobs to Apple, he has positioned Apple as a high-end niche vendor that produces products that are the epitome of cool. Virtually every television show, movie, and teen idol has an iPod and show it off. Every issue of Wired has a section profiling a famous individual and what’s on their iPod. It has entered the culture. It appears that they are going to capitalize on that now. The perception of Apple has been cool, but I can’t afford it. But now that a whole new range of people can afford Apple products (and their wonderful simplicity and craftsmanship) interesting things will happen
I think this will be good for Apple. I look forward to them succeeding.