Writing about web page http://www.thinksecret.com/news/0412expo2.html
According to this report from the normally-reliable ThinkSecret, Apple will announce a $499 (£262) Mac at Macworld Expo on January 11. The idea seems to be to offer something with the following characteristics:-
- Enough performance for web browsing, email, word-processing, iTunes and iPhoto, but no more.
- No monitor; the assumption is that this won't be the first PC in the house for most buyers, so it can share a monitor with whatever you've already got, or you can spend as much (nice 20" LCD) or as little (17" CRT) as you want. (Maybe there will be TV-out too?)
- Ethernet, 802 wireless, Firewire and a 56K modem onboard as well as USB2, so it'll be easy to get it connected to the internet or your iPod or your camera.
- Living-room form factor – thin, small, quiet. Maybe even styled like a hifi or TV component so that it can go with your stereo or under your TV.
For years, Apple have said that they don't want to compete in the sub-$800 desktop space, but it seems that the enormous success of the iPod has persuaded them that many iPod owners would also become Mac owners if it could be made cheap enough. I think that's exactly right; at around £300 or so, I'd buy one just as a media server, and so I suspect would other iPod owners.