Apple Computer Inc chief executive Steve Jobs introduced a cut-rate computer the size of a paperback book on Tuesday and a tiny iPod that starts at US$99 but holds far fewer songs than Apple's hard drive-based music players. \nThe new products seek to make inroads against the traditionally more affordable PC market and against lower-cost competitors to Apple's wildly popular iPod. \nThe Mac mini computers go on sale Jan. 22 and represent Apple's first foray into the budget desktop PC arena, which has been largely confined to personal computers that rely on Microsoft Corp's Windows operating system. \nSmaller than even some stand-alone external computer drives, they lack a monitor, mouse and keyboard. The 40-gigabyte Mac mini will cost US$499, an 80-gigabyte model US$599. \nThey ship with Apple's latest operating system, Mac OS X Panther, as well as the newest version of its iLife suite of digital media software programs, also unveiled on Tuesday. \n"People who are thinking of switching will have no more excuses," Jobs told devotees during a keynote speech at Macworld Expo. "It's the newest and most affordable Mac ever." \nApple has just a 3 percent share of the US computer market, and company executives say they're aiming with the Mac mini to woo PC users who may have felt Apple products were too high-priced. \n"This is also a great second or third computer in the home," said Jon Rubenstein, an Apple senior vice president. \nThe iPod shuffle, on the other hand, seeks to build on Apple's heady success in the portable music business while appealing to people seeking flash memory-based players, which are more durable and lightweight than those using hard drives for storage -- and thus better suited as exercise partners. \nThe shuffle is smaller than most packs of chewing gum. Unlike its larger cousin, the iPod mini, the shuffle lacks a display. There's a scroll wheel for the controls so stored songs can either be played sequentially or automatically shuffled in random order. \nApple is selling two versions of the iPod shuffle. The smallest model will have 512 megabytes of storage, which holds up to 120 songs, and costs US$99. A one-gigabyte version, which holds up to 240 songs, will sell for US$149. \nUntil Tuesday, the lowest cost iPod was the mini, which costs US$249 for four gigabytes -- enough to store about 1,000 songs. \nAnalysts expect the new iPods will help Apple hold its lead in the MP3 market. \n"There are plenty of people who want an iPod but haven't been able to afford the US$249 Mini, so offering these lower-priced players allows Apple to attract not just new users but those who already own an iPod but want an even smaller version," said Susan Kevorkian, an industry analyst with IDC.
SCHEDULE: The delegation is due to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen this morning and witness the signing of an MOU on bilateral health cooperation in the afternoon US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar yesterday arrived in Taipei aboard a US government plane at the head of a delegation that is the highest-level visit by a US official since Washington switched diplomatic recognition to China in 1979. Azar’s flight landed at Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) at 4:48pm, nearly one hour earlier than scheduled, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The apron where it landed is reserved for military aircraft, the Songshan Air Force Base Command said. The members of Azar’s delegation included HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, HHS Chief of Staff Brian
CHINESE FIGHTERS: Beijing marked the US Cabinet member’s visit by briefly sending two warplanes across the median line of the Taiwan Strait yesterday morning President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday met with US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in the highest-level official meeting between the two nations since 1979. “It is a true honor to be here to convey a message of strong support and friendship from [US] President [Donald] Trump to Taiwan,” Azar said during the open portion of his courtesy call to the Presidential Office, which was streamed live online before Tsai and Azar held a closed-door meeting. “Taiwan’s response to COVID-19 has been among the most successful in the world, and that is a tribute to the open, transparent,
PARTNERSHIP AND LEARNING: A Princeton University health policy researcher said that the nation would be a ‘treasure trove’ of information for the US health chief US Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar on Friday said he wants to learn about Taiwan’s “incredibly effective” response to COVID-19, even though the nation did things that the US has fumbled, such as having a unified strategy and citizens willing to wear masks. Azar leads a US delegation arriving today for a three-day visit to Taiwan. They are to meet with President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) and health system leaders, and Azar is to give a speech to public health graduates. “The message of this trip is about Taiwan,” Azar said in an interview, deflecting a question about China.
Taiwanese-independence advocates yesterday accused former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) of breaking national security laws and called on the judiciary to investigate after his statement that “China will wage a battle, which will be quick and will be the last battle for Taiwan.” Ma showed his true colors “as a mouthpiece of the Chinese Communist Party” in his speech on Monday when he said the “first battle will be the last,” Taiwan Republic Office (台灣國辦公室) director Chilly Chen (陳峻涵) said. “Ma is threatening Taiwanese by claiming that Beijing will launch a quick invasion of Taiwan, but that the US military will have no