Minutes after the conclusion of Steve Jobs keynote of MacWorld, Apple is leading their new product announcements with an upgraded version of iLife. While the suite of digital lifestyle software is great I find it interesting that they have down played the significance of the Mac Mini, a tiny Mac ‘box’ that is the first Apple computer to be priced under $500.

Even though you still have to buy a keyboard, mouse and monitor, this is not an insignificant move for the line of computers that have traditionally been priced too high for the average consumer, but even that’s not the real talking point about the new Mac.

For the first time, I believe, the computer has become an accessory to ‘secondary’ device or computer peripheral — the Mac Mini is something you buy to use with your iPod. No doubt this new entry level Macintosh is a great way to get the platform out to the masses but I don’t believe this would have happened, at least not in this fashion, if it had not been for the phenomenal success of the iPod.

Perhaps the time of computers, as they have been defined them since the late 70’s, is over.