Apple is NOT interested in being another low-cost email provider. Yahoo! and Hotmail and all the rest to cheap/free email already.
Apple is betting that once you use .Mac, you will begin to see that it is far more than an email service – it is a tool for system-wide integration of your personal data. It detaches you from the single computer paradigm, and from the walls that separate you from others. No more “address book apps” “no more “I bookmarked that at home, I’ll have to look it up later” it’s you, communicating with others from anywhere.
Please remember, that you get all this for $8.25/month!
What is frustrating, however, is that I already have an established email adress at my own domain, and I can’t integrate that with .Mac. I also can’t use services like Movable Type on a .Mac account. I’d be willing to pay another $20-40/year for such services, but until .Mac can serve *all* of my web hosting needs, I’m not sold.