Low end Apple

There's not much point in pontificating too much on the Mac Mini and the iPod Shuffle. The world and his wife has done this.

Of course I'm still going to do it.

Personally I think the shuffle looks like a nice flash player, but it hasn't had me reconsidering my decision to get an iPod. The Mac mini looks fun, and if they're still going in 12 months I'll probably get one to retire my current iMac. With any luck they'll be G5 based by then.

The response to the new Apple products has been largely predictable. People are largely hailing them as the affordable Mac/iPod for granny or castigating them for being underpowered / underfeatured and not as cheap as they look. I can't decide which side I'm on.

What I am surprised about though, is doom laden predictions that they undermine the Apple brand. I can't believe this is true. The smart luxury brands always have an affordable range as well to keep the aspirational masses happy. I'm strongly reminded of a documentary I saw not so long ago the jewelry market. The gist of it was that recently Cartier neglected its low end range in favour of its more traditional uber-jewelry. All they found was that Tiffany ate them for breakfast across the board.

I'm thinking that Apple has decided that it's brand building has been successful enough at the high end that less expensive versions are not only desirable, but necessary. All they have to do to make it work, is maintain their perceived quality.

At the end of the day, these products are simply more affordable. They're not exactly cheap.