Amongst Robert X Cringely’s predictions for 2005 is the idea that Apple will release a very cheap Macintosh, sold as a box without peripherals. He speculates that they might even use some of their $6 billion cash reserve to discount the initial price:
…there is probably plenty of profit left for Apple in a $499 price. But what if they priced it at $399 or even $349? Now make it $249, where I calculate they’d be losing $100 per unit. At $100 per unit, how many little Macs could they sell if Jobs is willing to spend $1 billion? TEN MILLION and Apple suddenly becomes the world’s number one PC company.
Hell, at $249 I’d buy one of them in seconds. Especially if it had an S-Video port so I could use my TV as the monitor. For that price, it would be worth getting one just to save the hassle of getting my laptop out to check email.
The whole concept also gels with the existing rumours (including photos) of some sort of small-ish Apple iHome PC. The plot thickens…