Apple is doing market research on Mac mini

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by feakbeak, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. feakbeak macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    This morning I received a call from a market research company on behalf of Apple. They wanted to ask me questions about my recent Mac mini purchase. Normally, I don't care for these types of questions, although sometimes I answer them. This time though, I was actually interested in particpating to see what questions they would ask.

    They did the usual, and asked me how I would rate the hardware and various software on a scale of 1-5. Then the boring questions, my age, occupation, ethnicity, where I use it, what apps I use, etc... I won't go into the boring parts. There were a few intersting questions though, which I'll list.

    1. What if anything would change, add or remove from your Mac mini?
    My response: I wish it had a 7200 RPM hard drive.

    2. Which would you like to see come standard with the Mac mini?
    - SuperDrive
    - More USB ports
    - 512 MB RAM (my response)
    - There may have been one more option... sorry bad memory

    3. Did you upgrade the RAM from the stock 256 MB? If so, did you get the BTO upgrade or upgrade afterward. If afterwards, did you install it, have friend/relative install it, have service company install it?
    I was surprised they asked this question. I told them I installed 1 GB myself.

    4. Asked about what keyboard, mouse and monitor I was using and if I had already owned them or bought them specfically for the mini. For the monitor they asked if I used an Apple monitor. When I said, no they asked for the brand of monitor I was using and if I used the included DVI to VGA adapater.

    I'm hoping that the results come to Apple showing most people think the Mac mini should come with 512 MB RAM so that they might actually make it standard. It seems that most reviewers and people on these boards are in agreement, but we are probably an atypical subset of the intended market of the mini.

    Did any other Mac mini owners on MR get called about this research?
     
  2. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #2
    If you didnt say a word about its poor Ati 9200 you should be shot executed and buried. Just kidding a little but i wish they would call me. The 9200 is the only thing holding DOWN the MacMini. It needs the lackluster 5200. The 9200 doesnt cut it at all. Nanosaur looks horrible compared to my 3 year old Geforce 3. Apple should spend the 5 Bucks that would make this a excellent consumer machine.
     
  3. feakbeak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #3
    Bring on the executioner...

    I actually forgot about the 9200. But for my uses, I really don't care. I don't game on my Mac - I have a PC for that purpose. I use my Mac mini for iLife. I use iPhoto with my digital camera. I don't own a videocam, so I don't really use iMovie or iDVD. I've played with iMovie once just to check it out, but I'm not going to use it much until i get a videocam and by that time I might be in the market for a more powerful Mac. Aside from that, I just listen to music, surf the web, do email and IM. I bought the Mac for the iApps and to learn more about OS X. I'm pushing a 1600x1200 20" LCD and I don't get any slow-downs or glitches when using Expose or anything.

    I agree the Ati 9200 is a weakness of the Mac mini, but its a budget system, some corners have to be cut. I understand that this is not one of the corners you would have cut, but for me, it's fine. What would be nice is if during the next rev of the mini they offered a slightly larger model with the following:

    - Second RAM slot
    - 3.5" 7200 RPM hard drive with higher capacities
    - Upgradeable graphics card, to a 64 MB or even 128 MB option.
    - Some extra USB/FW ports

    I would think Apple could include the above enhancements and still keep the mini to at least 7-8" squared and 3" high.

    I know, I know... if I want these things I should be looking at a PowerMac. But I think there is a market for people, like myself, who don't want a budget Mac and do not want a Pro Mac but also do not like All-in-Ones like the eMac/iMac. Plus, the Mac mini has a great design. I have mine out near my kitchen/dining area in a little nook (hard to describe). But the fact is that the Mini with an LCD looks nice out in a living area - the huge PowerMac does not. Again, for this purpose an iMac might be good, but I don't like the flexibility you lose with an All-in-One. Just my opinion, but there are many others who agree with me - enough, I think, to warrant a "super-sized" Mac mini model.
     
  4. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #4
    Digital audio would be sweet for media center applications.
     
  5. aswitcher macrumors 603

    aswitcher

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canberra OZ
    #5
    Well its good to see Apple is entertaining the idea of better base standards.

    Faster and bigger HDD, more base ram (or 2 slors), better graphics card are all logical advances for this machine.

    Wonder if Apple have woken up to the fact they need to put back the 17" LCD on the market yet with a 4 port USB hub just for the mini and screen spanning laptop users....
     
  6. AtHomeBoy_2000 macrumors 6502a

    AtHomeBoy_2000

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    #6
    I applaud Apple for making the Mac Mini. They did a great job at designing it and trying to aim for a lower audience. I intend on buying one as my first ever Mac. However, they made a few mistakes. In their attempts to “shock” the market by making it so small, they overshot the size. If they would have made it just a third larger, they could have done so much more. Faster Hard drive, more ram slots, more USB ports, ect…. I imagine that Revision B will be slightly larger with more stuff. I think they under anticipated what consumers might want. I expect Rev B to be slightly larger.
     
  7. john1123 macrumors regular

    john1123

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2005
    Location:
    Down Under
    #7
    somehow i don't think apple will change the size... it's just not like them. however i do hope that they will get more standard ram into it and maybe a 5400RPM HDD. the space for the rumored missing ipod dock could be used for something else. and i do believe it should be possible to cram two more usb ports into it.

    but remember people that the mac mini is meant to be low end. it would be great if apple could, once they sell more macs, introduce a middle class tower which would have more room for upgrades though. :D
     
  8. KD7IWP macrumors 6502a

    KD7IWP

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2004
    Location:
    American living in Canada
    #8
    It's fine

    wow, I'm so surprised to see all the requests people are asking of the mini. I think it is perfect the way it is. It's supposed to be budget and basic, exactly what it is. At the same time, I think it is more than that. Even having the option for a Superdrive and up to 1 gig of RAM is pretty good for a small budget computer. I couldn't ask anymore, especially for the size.
     
  9. Eastend macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Location:
    Nara, Japan
    #9
    Agree that is what held me back the most was the video card, number 2 was the slow hard disk. Also, maybe I was just really waiting for Tiger. Anyway, even in it's present form, the Mac Mini looks like a winner.

    Brian
     
  10. feakbeak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #10
    One more thing...

    Another significant line of questioning they had was whether I owned an iPod. (I do) If I bought my iPod before my Mac mini (I did) and whether I would have considered buying a Mac before I had my iPod.

    So, they are obviously checking to see if the fabled "halo effect" is real or imagined. I'm not part of it though because I had wanted to buy a Mac since before I had my iPod.
     
  11. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #11
    Last night i had a little phone call and had the same survey, it must had taken at least 25 minutes to do but i was able to voice my view of Apple using weak graphics everywhere :) also praised the mini's quality and silent operation. Glad they called me. something i cant say about telemarketers 95% of the time. :cool:
     
  12. Lacero macrumors 604

    Lacero

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2005
    #12
    Apple doesn't need to spend all this money on a marketing rersearch firm, they just have to read MR for all the info. It's pretty gay to have a 9200, 1 RAM slot, and a laptop drive in their consumer machine. I mean, if they made the case an inch larger around, they could have upgraded the HD to 7200RPM and potential capacities of 400GB.
     
  13. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2002
    Location:
    Yahooville S.C.
    #13
    Apple should just make what we want instead of the games of one Mac vs another. In the end they are competing with their own products instead of product lines complimenting other lines. Instead of Powermac vs imac vs Macmini they need to allow options to each line and let the market do the rest. Macmini& fx5200 would make for a great little machine and would make this a home run success. At the moment the 9200 is holding down the mini :( with Tiger and a fx5200 Mini could be playing Doom3 :)
     
  14. feakbeak thread starter macrumors 6502a

    feakbeak

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Michigan
    #14
    They would get some information from reading MR, but we are a small segment of the Mac mini's intended market. I'm betting that most Mac mini buyers would not frequent a Mac-related message board. With that said, I agree, it would be cool if the offered a slightly pricier model that was a little bigger and had a 7200 RPM, 3.5" drive, another RAM slot and a better videocard (at least as an option).
     
  15. AstroManLuca macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2005
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #15
    I just got a Mac mini something like three days ago. Interesting that they're surveying people.

    Definitely the biggest thing holding it back is the lack of standard RAM. I already ordered an extra 1 GB module that I will install myself once it gets to me on Monday, but until then I have to put up with 256 MB. Basically it means I can't run more than two applications at once. It's not as bad as running OS X with 128 MB (which I have done before), but I can just imagine all the new Mac users buying minis who don't know why it's so slow. This poor thing stutters all the time from lack of RAM. RAM prices just fell to about $50 for a 512 MB module, so this is an inexpensive way for Apple to make all those mini-buying switchers actually like the Mac instead of lumping it with all the other slow, crappy computers they've used over the years.

    Second biggest is the video, I think. I would have liked something a little nicer than the Radeon 9200... even a Radeon 9550SE, which runs at the same clock speed as the Radeon 9200 but supports new features like Pixel Shader 2.0 and such, and would probably be fully supported for CoreImage under Tiger. But just as important as the GPU is how much VRAM it has. For general use, 32 MB is not very good. It works, but if you have a lot of windows open, Exposé will stutter. 64 MB would have been much better. In fact, it's very difficult to even find a 32 MB graphics card nowadays. Just putting 64 MB on the existing Radeon 9200 would have made me much happier, because hampering a video card like that with only 32 MB is definitely holding it back. You have to remember that although the 9200 isn't very fast by today's standards, it's still very similar to the Radeon 8500, which originally came with 64 MB of VRAM.

    And finally there's the hard drive. This isn't a huge concern for me, because I have a Firewire case with a 250 GB hard drive, as well as a 5400 RPM internal drive (it shipped with one). But I think it would have been nice if they had made it a little bigger to fit a full-size hard drive. Then I could put my 250 GB drive internally instead of having to use a bulky Firewire case.
     

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