A Mac mini look-alike is set to be unveiled at a trade show this week.
According to Wired, the Mac-mini wannabe uses Intel's Pentium M CPU and is built by Taiwanese PC manufacturer AOpen – affiliated to Acer - at Intel's request.
The AOpen product, currently being shown at the Computex trade show, is modeled on its XC Cube product line is part of a larger effort backed by Intel to promote the use of the Pentium M processor in small PCs designed for living rooms and entertainment centers, an Intel spokeswoman said. The company is working with several PC manufacturers and vendors on similar PCs, which should be released later this year, she said.
The device is roughly the same size as the Mac mini, but pricing and specifications are not yet available. Computex runs until June 4.
Apple need not fear. Analysts don't expect much consumer demand for the "clone", writes Wired.
IDC analyst Roger Kay said: "I don't think the two - Mac mini and whatever Intel puts out - are really in the same market; that is, of course, unless Apple starts running OS X on x86 hardware."
Kay does not expect Intel to benefit from the success of the Mac mini – said to be selling at the rate of 40,000 a month. "The Pentium M and Windows XP are pretty expensive components. It would be hard to hit the Mac mini's $499 price point with that combo," wrote IDC's Kay.
To suggest that the Mac mini should have a competitor in the Wintel market could be seen as ironic, considering that the Mac mini was designed to compete in exactly that market.
Intel first showed its tiny Concept Entertainment PC three months ago. At the time it said that it was "just a concept" and it is unlikely it would build such a device.