Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Mac mini easy to disassemble

One of the biggest issues with the new Mac mini is Apple's statement that the memory is not user upgradable. Unfortunately, if one buys the Mac mini configured by Apple with 1 GB RAM, it is very expensive because of Apple's high memory prices.

Fortunately, it appears that disassembly of the Mac mini is a relatively simple process. All that is required is a thin putty knife, and some care. Once the Mac mini is disassembled, there is easy access to the memory slot.

Furthermore, some Apple reps have suggested that Apple may still honour the Mac mini's warranty if nothing is damaged when memory is installed by the user. That is good news, since third party 1 GB RAM DIMMs are a lot cheaper than what Apple charges, and 1 GB is often necessary for those users wishing to use the Mac mini for more than basic web surfing and office applications.

One might guess that within a few weeks, some enterprising soul will be selling cheap flat tools specifically for this purpose.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Mac mini: Outselling 4G iPods, appeals to enterprise

Although it is too early to declare the Mac mini an all around success, early signs for Mac mini sales are very positive. The Mac mini is now the number one selling computer at the Apple Store UK. Not only has the Mac mini dethroned the iMac G5 as the best selling Mac computer, it is even outselling the fourth generation iPod.

The iMac G5 is now the second best selling computer, which indicates to us that iMac G5 sales are still relatively brisk, enough to top sales of the popular iBook laptop. While it may be that a small amount of cannibalization of iMac sales may be occuring, it appears the Mac mini has opened up a new market for Apple at the low end, and overall Mac market share will increase. Led by the iMac G5, Apple sold 1.046 million Macs last quarter (2005 Q1), and 3.29 million Macs in the 2004 financial year. Now with the Mac mini, Apple could sell well over 4 million Macs in 2005.

We earlier had discussed the implications of the Mac mini for enterprise. Since the release of the Mac mini, other sites have been thinking along the same lines. The inclusion of a headless low priced Mac into Apple's lineup makes the Macintosh platform that much more attractive to enterprise customers, and this should provide yet another significant boost to overall Mac sales in 2005.

Xserve G5 2.3 GHz may point to low power G5 for PowerBook

Apple released the Xserve G5 2.3 GHz two weeks ago to the general public. What many have overlooked about this machine however, is the mention of its power specifications, namely a maximum power utilization of 55 Watts per CPU. That is significant because it suggests that the G5 used in this new Xserve may be a lower power version of the 970FX. When the first G5 Xserve was released last year, its 2.0 GHz G5 had the same 55 Watt spec listed in Apple's marketing materials.

It seems that IBM is now finally getting the G5's power utilization under control, and if true it's possible that a G5 PowerBook may be released sooner rather than later. IBM has hinted in the past that a 30 Watt 1.9 GHz laptop G5 part was doable, but that newer versions of the 970FX (like in the new Xserve G5 2.3 GHz) were required to achieve this goal.

The DigiTimes has said that the PowerBook G5 is due in 2005 Q2, and the existence of the 55 Watt 2.3 GHz Xserve lends at least some credence to that prediction. Unfortunately, the DigiTimes does not have a history of accurate predictions about Apple releases.