Gene Steinberg at the Tech Night Owl Newsletter makes a convincing argument for Apple to bring out a Mini-tower ASAP in issue #348.
The gist of it is that many a potential Mac user, many currently of the Windows persuasion, want a moderately priced (about $1000) traditional sort of a PC box. One that is open. Where you can add a graphics card or an extra hard drive.
And many of us, in this age of the $400 PC, don't want to cough up $2000 for that privilege. We don't need the fastest machine out there - just current technology like the a midrange processor based on the new Intel Core 2 Duo. We need whatever would typically go in the next iMac with a little less concern for power conservation because we have a little bigger box to work with. That should translate to cheaper than what goes in a notebook or iMac (but it might be cheaper for Apple to use the same board as the iMac due to economies of scale).
Sizewise, I'm thinking small mini-tower. At least twice the size of the Mac mini. Bigger than a cube. Something that looks cool, of course.
Most computer users have already spent a chunk of change on a nice flat screen monitor (I have a 20" and 17"), so we would *prefer* to buy a headless Mac.
The Mac mini is too minimalist for flexibility, upgradeability and individuality. We are going to get a lot of PC-types who want to play PC games. And play them with a nice graphics card or at least a decent one. That's not possible with a Mac mini. I actually play games now and then and, if I'm going to bother to sit up in front of a monitor, I want a nice gaming experience. Not the compromised experience the current Mac mini and MacBook provide.
Apple could easily acquire a lot more Mac users, read marketshare, if they saw their way clear to address this big honking market.
The doors are swinging wide for Apple right now with the Intel Macs, all sorts of options for running Windows applications (like games) on Macs and the iPod's continuing popularity drawing lots of *new* people into Apple stores and Apple's website. Here's hoping Steve's minimalism doesn't limit the Mac's potential. He's very, very smart. Cross your fingers.