I think Apple is on to something with their iPod mini. My 12 year old cousin is so excited to get one, she couldn’t stop talking about it for 5 minutes (though she’s rarely short on words). Not only did she know what color she wanted (pink), she was able to rattle off all five colors available. Clearly, she had spent some time researching this topic. If Apple is seen as cool to the kids in this age group, I’d say their on the right track. I doubt a 12 year old would tell you that Dell, HP, or Microsoft is cool. And maybe these kids will be buying a Mac in a few years.
One last note: according to her, Best Buy is selling them for only $200, which if true is a huge boost for the iPod minis. The $250 price tag was really the only negative observation I could come up with, when they were first released. I haven’t been able to substantiate this claim, though, and it would be surprising given Apple’s usually tight control on its product pricing.