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Tuesday, January 11, 2005 

MacWorld Stuff - Pt 2

Here is a good news.com wrap up:

update SAN FRANCISCO--After decades of being criticized for producing luxury items, Apple Computer is aiming squarely at the mass market with a new budget PC unveiled Tuesday.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new Mac Mini during his keynote address at the Macworld Expo here, promising the machine would help further expand Apple's audience beyond the Mac faithful.

The Mac Mini is a tiny cube with a processor, hard drive and optical drive--you supply the monitor, mouse and keyboard. Jobs said the package will settle long-standing complaints that Apple extracts too high a premium for its products. "This is the most affordable Mac ever," Jobs said. "People who are thinking of switching will have no more excuses."

The new Mac Mini will go on sale Jan. 22 and will cost $499 for the base model, or $550 for one with a bigger hard drive. The device marks one of Apple's boldest moves yet to expand PC sales beyond a loyal but limited market of Mac addicts. The iPod and Apple's iTunes music store have been responsible for a dramatic surge in Apple revenue, but to date there has been little evidence that those products have done anything for Apple's PC business.

Jobs also confirmed several other high-profile debuts--including a tiny flash memory iPod--that have been grinding through the Mac rumor mills, prompting the secretive company to sue the alleged source of several information leaks.

Many of the reports turned out to be true, with Jobs beginning the cavalcade of products by announcing a new flash memory-based iPod.

The new breed of iPod went on sale Tuesday in two versions--a 512MB model (enough memory for about 120 songs) for $99 and a 1GB version for $149.

Both models work with a Mac or PC and have no display screen for navigating through a music library. Instead, Apple expects the player's largely will be used in "shuffle" mode that serves up songs in random order.

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