Reaching further into living rooms, Apple Computer Inc. on Tuesday introduced a speaker system for its iPod music players and a revamped Mac Mini computer that will let users access music, video and photos across their home networks.
IPOD HI-FI SYSTEM: Users can dock their portable players into the $349 boombox-like speakers and use a remote control to operate it from afar. That means there's no longer a need for a cabinet full of CDs, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said.
MAC MINI WITH FRONT ROW SOFTWARE: The new Mac Mini, which looks much like its previous incarnations but is the first to include Intel Corp. chips, includes Apple's Front Row software so users can connect the computer to their televisions and control their music, videos or photos with a remote control. Front Row software will let users find and share media content from other computers within a local wireless network, so a user can play songs or stored TV shows that are pulled off a computer in another room in the house. The new Mini will cost $599 for one with a single-core chip that operates up to three times faster than its predecessor, or $799 for one with two computing engines in one processor that runs about five times faster.
Target sees food as the way to consumers' hearts
Target hopes to drive more shoppers into its stores, and stave off increased competition from Wal-Mart Supercenters, by expanding its food offerings.
The Minneapolis retail chain says it will incorporate larger food sections into most of its 1,239 discount stores. When the renovations are complete, Target's stores will have as much as 50 percent more space for food than is typical now.
The company also said it will add a wider assortment of ready-to-eat food at its SuperTargets, which have expansive grocery departments.
Fast food changes ...
MCDONALD'S BREWS A STRONGER COFFEE: McDonald's is changing its conventional cup of coffee for the first time in 30 years - hoping a stronger, richer blend will boost breakfast sales and better arm the burger giant in the ever hotter battle for coffee drinkers. The new "premium roast" coffee comes in a new paper-covered foam cup and black lid. The coffee costs about $1.20 for a 12-ounce cup, about 20 cents more than the cup of coffee it used to sell.
BURGER KING LAUNCHES VALUE MENU: Burger King plans to sell 10 products from $1 to $1.39 after it lost customers to discount menus from competitors. Burger King's permanent "value menu" includes the Whopper Jr. sandwich, four-piece Chicken Tenders and a Dutch Apple Pie.
CALL IT UPS FREIGHT NOW: UPS Inc., the world's largest shipping carrier, said Tuesday that trucking company Overnite Corp., which it bought for $1.25-billion last year, will be renamed UPS Freight in May. The Atlanta company said the name change will include new uniforms and newly branded trucks. The rebranding includes a move to the UPS logo and new colors that blend a gray similar to the Overnite gray with UPS brown.
Information from the Associated Press, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Chicago Tribune and Bloomberg News was used in this report.