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Apple end-of-lifes G4 Mac Mini

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With yesterday's introduction of Intel-based Mac Minis, Apple quietly killed off its PowerPC-based predecessor. The G4-based Minis have gone from Apple's online stores, leaving just the Power Mac G5 and the 20in iMac G5 as the remaining legacy desktops.

Apple's clearly getting better at this sort of thing. It took a month to drop the 17in iMac G5, then a week or so for the MacBook Pro to displace the 15in PowerBook G4 completely. Managing such an inventory switch-over is no simple task, but Apple does appear to be doing so smoothly.

The company didn't unveil the anticipated MacBook - the Intel version of the iBook - though that name remains open to question. How strong is the 'i' branding these days? Mac Mini, Mac and Mac Pro; MacBook and MacBook Pro all make for nice sequences, but Apple may be tempted to retain the iMac and iBook branding for the consumer lines for just a little while longer.

Apple's FrontRow media centre software is getting an update, CEO Steve Jobs said yesterday, but not with the much anticipated PVR functionality, just the ability to share music, video and photo content between other Macs on the networks. But why offer PVR functionality when you can get folk to pay two bucks to download missed TV shows from the iTunes Music Store? I suspect this may be behind Apple's refusal to offer such a feature - or integrate a TV tuner into the Mini.

iPod users unimpressed by the boombox can at least look to Apple's other new music player accessory: a $99/£69 leather case for the Nano and regular iPod. Alas, with the Nano's earphone socket placement - on the base of the player - owners of the leather case will need to insert their player upside down, which means, of course, you have to take it out completely to look at the display, a 'feature' not shown on Apple's photography. Whoops. ®

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