Apple Changes Course With Low-Priced Mac

  Apple Computer introduced its first low-priced Macintosh on Tuesday, signaling its bet that most consumers now see computers as simply another appliance in the modern house.

  While computers have long been sold as machines that can turn a home into an office, most Americans now use them in their bedrooms and kitchens as e-mail terminals; as hubs for playing music, storing and editing photos; and as stations for navigating the Web.

  The new Mac Mini, priced as low as $499 without a keyboard, monitor or mouse, is aimed squarely at the needs of this new digital household. The new Apple strategy, which moves the company deeply into the consumer electronics market, positions the new Macintosh as an entertainment and communication device. It also promises to intensify Apple’s battle with Microsoft in the personal computer market dominated by machines using Windows software.

  The move is in part propelled by Apple’s success with its iPod digital music players; with 10 million sold in the last three years, the iPod has pulled Apple into the mass market. The popularity of iPod, analysts say, may persuade consumers who have not been Apple computer users to consider the Mac Mini.

  Steven P. Jobs, Apple’s chief executive said at a conference on Tuesday, "We want to price this Mac so that people who are thinking of switching will have no excuse."

  More important, Microsoft is also moving to turn PC’s into entertainment centers with its Windows Media Center Edition software, which lets a computer double as a television and video recorder.

  Gene Munster, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, said that Apple’s consumers were probably not going to give up their Windows PC’s but might buy a Macintosh as an additional computer for entertainment.




  报道说,这款小型电脑估计不会给微软的垄断地位带来很大冲击。目前,微软电脑依然牢牢占据着90%的个人电脑市场;微软现在也在向娱乐电脑方面转型,微软推出的Windows Media Center软件将电视和录像机合二为一。分析人士认为,人们购买这款迷你电脑不会用它来替代微软,而是作为一个新增电脑。