Today Steve Jobs announced some new products. I want them all. The Mac mini is a small cube Mac that weighs less than 3 lbs. It doesn’t include a monitor, keyboard or mouse and sells for $499. I have a spare monitor that would work until I can save up enough to get a 20" Cinema display (now priced at $999). I’m sure a lot of people will be thinking of getting a Mac if it’s only $499 (many of them will be previously devoted PC users). Actually, I already have all the Macs I can afford right now, but that doesn’t stop me from lusting.
The iPod Shuffle is something I really want, er, need. I was thinking the other day that I really don’t use my iPod as much as I used to because I have my laptop with me whenever I’m away from home and want to listen to music. What I really need is a small, light player that I can jog with or use periodically to listen to a few tunes. Having 256 songs on a compact flash card that quickly creates a shuffle playlist from my iTunes is quite cool. And I’ve got to have one. So it’s time to sell the old 15 GB iPod on eBay.
In addition to the hardware announcements, Apple also announced a new program called iWork 05 that has an upgrade to the Keynote presentation program, as well as a new word processing program called Pages. The concept here is to make it easy for the average home user to quickly create sensational looking documents (note I said ‘home user’ and not ‘lawyer‘). Since Pages integrates with iPhoto it’s easy to move images into your documents. The documents you create can supposedly be exported into a Word document if necessary. I like the idea of a simple easy to use word processing program for everyday documents. If it’s from Apple you know it’s going to be easy to use. So I definitely see this program working its way into my hard drive. And then into my heart.
I think that, barring stock market turmoil in general, Apple’s stock is going to rise even further. They clearly have staked out solid ground with the iPod, iPod Mini, the iPod Photo and now with the flash-card based offspring: iPod Shuffle. Just the other day a friend of mine was cursing his PC and saying that the first chance he got he was going to switch over and get a Mac. Looks like it’ll only cost him $499 and I’m betting he will be like a lot of loyal Apple customers, people who start out looking for a nice easy to use computer system but then unexpectedly wind up falling in love.