The premium pricing of Apple's Mac Mini desktop is due to its laptop lineage, according to a teardown analysis by iSuppli.
Though probably not a surprise to Mac Mini connoisseurs, the diminutive desktop bears higher component costs due to its use of parts designed for mobile PCs, iSuppli said in a report released Friday. In short, inside the Mini is a virtual laptop.
The entry-level version of the new-generation Mac Mini carries a bill of materials (BOM) of $376.20, which increases to $387.14 when manufacturing costs are added, iSuppli said. The low-end model in the Mac Mini lineup is priced at $599, "reflecting the relatively thin BOM/manufacturing margins" of Apple's PCs in relation to its lower-cost consumer items, specifically the iPod line, according to iSuppli.
"Unlike most desktop computers from other brands, the Mac Mini and, indeed, Apple's entire Mac line make extensive use of components designed for notebook computers," said Andrew Rassweiler, director and principal analyst for iSuppli. "Apple knows how to make computers better, smaller, and more attractive," he said. "Such an achievement, however, comes at a premium."
This sentiment is echoed in a CNET Reviews write-up of the Mac Mini. "While we're still impressed with the Mac Mini's ability to pack so much into a tight package, Apple can't get away from its PC competitors that offer more features for less money," CNET Reviews said.
That said, mobile components abound.… Read more