Another solid Gruber read: “Small, Cheap, and Without a Display” hammers the point(s) home re: iPod Shuffle and Mac mini. And a gracious admission of defeat on one point in particular.
Gruber’s of the mind that the mini will be a moderate success but won’t succeed at it’s mission:
While offering adequate performance for its price, the Mac Mini strikes me as very unlikely to steal away sales that would have otherwise gone to high-end Apple products such as PowerMacs, PowerBooks, or iMac G5s. Apple is going to sell plenty of Mac Minis to existing Mac users, but I think they’re usually going to serve as second or even third computers, not primary workstations.
The uncertainty is whether the Mac Mini is enough to sway switchers. Apple’s original “Switch” campaign, backed by a series of high-profile TV and magazine advertisements, fizzled out without making a dent in Apple’s overall market share.
Where “mini’s mission” is read as “getting near-Switchers to Switch.” It’s going to be an interesting story to watch this year and I believe that we’ll know by the end of Q1 what’s going to happen. What’s the availability of the mini going to be come Q1’s end? If you can get one shipped same-day, then Gruber’s right. If you have to wait a couple of business days (Apple’s near-ubiquitous “3-5”) then the thing is going to be smashing away. Or qualitative analysis will be a Q2 thing…