Has the Mac Mini been a Failure?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by MacSA, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. MacSA macrumors 68000

    MacSA

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    #1
    I believe the original idea behind the Mini was a "switcher" machine. How successful has it been at this? The idea and price of the Mini seemed great at first, but the price has crept ever upwards - and it seems many people see it as being very poor value for money now (at least in it's current configuration).

    I'm really surprised Apple haven't updated it lately - 206 days since the last update, the longest time between updates since it was introduced. They must be waiting for something (Santa Rosa?) as surely it would easy to drop Core 2 chips in them? It's certainly looking neglected... poor Mini :(
     
  2. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #2
    It wouldn't surprise me if it gets C2D when Santa Rosa comes out, and keeps the 950GMA. the Mac Mini was always a step behind the iMac in the PPC days..

    If it ever gets a dedicated graphics card, I would gladly trade in my MBP for a mini and macbook though.. it's a pitty Apple's so annoying.
     
  3. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #3
    I think the Mini has been a success - despite the price increase it's still a cheap computer with a powerful CPU that can do most things you could ask of it very well.

    As a "switcher" machine it's harder to say but its low cost and low profile make it a great second computer, which is an argument in favor of it being a good first Mac for as switcher.
     
  4. BoyBach macrumors 68040

    BoyBach

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    #4
    Whether the Mac Mini has been a success or not is question that only Apple can answer since only they know the sales figures.

    However, I agree with your comments about the price of the Mini creeping up, but I disagree about updating it with a more powerful processor. I think Apple should introduce a much cheaper version with a basic Intel processor (Core Solo, maybe?) and more BTO options (why do you need to buy the top-of-the-line Mini to get the SuperDrive?) in an attempt get the price into the £300-£350 price-bracket. In my opinion a more 'switcher friendly' price.

    But then what do I know?

    ;)
     
  5. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #5
    What about an "unlocked" Apple TV with a better CPU and upgradeable RAM? Hmmm....

    (Won't happen, but food for thought)
     
  6. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    #6
    The only problem I have with the Mini is that it makes Apple's desktop line up seem a bit disjointed. At the low end you have a standalone unit, then the mid range is the iMac with its integrated monitor, and then the top end is standalone unit again. To me it'd make more sense to have an absolutely basic Mac with a cheap integrated monitor at the low end, and the everything else above it as a standalone unit.

    Of course you could just turn that on it's head and say that it's actually the iMac which makes the desktop lineup disjointed.
     
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #7
    I'd like to see a cheap minitower from Apple. It wouldn't be as pretty as a Mini, or anywhere near as small, but it could accept powerful GPUs, multimple HDDs and faster CPUs requiring more robust cooling solutions. Imagine a shrunken Mac Pro.

    I doubt it will happen though, it goes against Apple's consumer design philosophy that stresses integration. Apple only sells a tower because the pro users demand the flexibility of the tower configuration - I imagine if they could they would go with an all integrated, all-in-one design across the range.
     
  8. Lancetx macrumors 68000

    Lancetx

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    #8
    I don't believe it's been a failure, but it's definitely had a chunk of it's market cannibalized by the iMac. In the 2 years since the Mac mini was introduced, the price of the entry level mini has actually increased by $100, while iMac prices during that time have steadily decreased. Where it used to be an $800 price difference to upgrade to an entry level iMac ($499 -> $1,299), it's now only $400 more ($599 -> $999). It's definitely to the point now where the iMac simply has a lot more bang for the buck than the Mac mini does.
     
  9. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #9
    I remember there being talk about how sales were long then wanted when they were G4 chips, but not sure about the Intel ones.


    Personally if someone has a keyboard, mouse and screen the Mac Mini, even currently is a great Mac. Core Duo is still SUPER fast, faster then a G5
     
  10. rikers_mailbox macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    the mac mini offers good value as a second computer.

    i'm waiting for the mini to be updated and come with Leopard installed... it will make a nice upgrade from my 12" PowerBook. Since I already have a Dell 2005FPW and Apple wireless keyboard + mouse, the mini will be a cheap upgrade. If I wait, the price of the mini will include Leopard and iLife '07 (any rumors on iLife lately?) I'll still keep my 12" PB for travel and school work. Yeah, the G4 chip is getting aged and slow, but so what? It still does what I need it to.
     
  11. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #11
    The Mini is a very good business desktop computer. Low entry point, quality machine, easy to administer and no viruses. If the recent rumor of a much more robust iWork is truly in the near future, the Mini becomes a serious challenger, perhaps the new leader in that class.
     
  12. emac82 macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I sell Macs, and back in the day when they first came out, we sold a lot. This was because the iMac's were more expensive, and the mac mini's were a great switcher machine, and they were a cheap mac.

    Now, the iMac's have gotten better and cheaper, and it's not much more to buy an iMac than a mac mini, so my store hasn't sold a mini in like a month. It is a hard sell. Even if people already have a keyboard, mouse, and monitor, they still find the iMac for appealing, and it takes up a little less space on the desk, for not much more $$.

    Apple should either revamp the mini so they cost a lot less, or get rid of them.
     
  13. Vidd macrumors 6502a

    Vidd

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    #13
    The mini's great for making you think you can cheaply buy a Mac without much thought and then convincing yourself for just a *little* more you should get the 17" and for a *minimal* increase you should just opt for the 20".
    :/

    The Mini is a pretty nice machine and the allure of getting one just for media purposes hasn't really dropped, imo, since the AppleTV was released.
    If I had a HDTV, I'd get a Mac Mini over an iMac but their negligence now is a bit harsh. I nearly got one a couple of weeks ago (I was all set to go down to Dublin to pick one up) but this insistance it was going to be upgraded and the G950 put me off.

    I don't regret waiting (I'm planning on getting an iMac :D) but I can't believe that they still haven't updated it.

    EDIT: In terms of being a success, it's enough to get people looking for a low-risk Mac and possibly getting more adventurous and getting an iMac.
    I forgot that they took the iMac price down and as someone said, the Mini doesn't look as much value for money now.
    They really need something to set it apart now with a proper upgrade.
    (Maybe that's why it hasn't seen an update in so long).
    Even something like that old rumour about the iPod dock would have been interesting.

    What reasonably feasible new feature would persuade anyone to buy a Mini where they previously wouldn't?
     
  14. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #14
    I will reiterate what I posted earlier. The Mini is a potential gold mine for the business desktop. The major market in corporate America is with admins. They do light word-processing, low-intermediate spreadsheets and data entry. The Mini is a great solution for them.
     
  15. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #15
    Which is why my department is replacing all of our older Power Mac G4's with Mac mini's and keeping the LCD's.
     
  16. Suture macrumors 6502a

    Suture

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    #16
    I have noticed the price has krept up as well. I was considering one to try a Mac, but eventually decided to spend only a fraction and get a used G4 to experiment with (and so far I like it mostly).

    I am by no means an Apple expert, but I can tell you from the PC-side of the crowd, that it did the job in getting peoples' eyebrows raised. I know quite a few people that picked one up, and now love Apple. It was huge in regards to image, IMO.
     
  17. netdog macrumors 603

    netdog

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    #17
    Does anyone have any realistic idea of how many Minis have been sold? I really think they are making a mistake keeping the current offering so crippled. It just isn't a bargain given its specs and limitations vis a vis the rest of the Apple lineup. A shame as it seems a good idea and could make for a very elegant and simple system, a headless iMac if you will.

    Has it been a failure? I don't have the numbers to say.
     
  18. jim.arrows macrumors regular

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    Dec 11, 2006
    #18
    Update it!

    Apple's insistence that it's always a generation behind the other models insures that it's going to be less appealing; if they're so certain that everybody wants AIO solutions they should keep the mini's hardware on par with the iMac's and let the consumer decide.

    As a potential switcher, they're keeping me at arm's length with this policy. IF the mini was up to date or if they offered the headless iMac (even at the same price as the AIO) I'd have switched already. I really don't understand their fetish for hokey AIO solutions, sure they're appealing to some but they already own that demographic. If they want to continue to grow the brand by attracting more switchers then they need to give us what we want, and that certainly isn't a crippled mini lagging a generation behind the iMac.

    So, if it's been a failure, they have only themselves to blame. I have money burning a hole in my pocket but refuse to spend it on "old(er)" technology. Now I'll just wait for Leopard and hope that they update the mini or announce the headless iMac in conjunction with the Leopard release.
     
  19. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #19
    I don't think it has to be on par, but it would be nice if it was closer.

    You have to understand that Apple's design philosophy has always favored AIO solutions. Apple sees the PC as an appliance rather than an instrument. The only reason Apple sells a tower at all is because pro users demand it. All-in-ones are more attractive, give the designer tight control over the ergonomics of the machine, and they give Apple more control over what range of hardware they need to write their software for.

    I still don't think it's a failure. The Mac Mini is not for the technophile - if you agonize over the spec sheet (like I do) when looking at a new computer then get a Mac Pro or 24" iMac. The Mini offers great performance for the average computer user who doesn't game or run pro apps.

    My biggest criticism is the integrated graphics - this is a contentious issue I won't delve into here but the fact that the iTV has a GeForce 7300 makes the case (in my mind) for integrated graphics in the Mini weak, and I hope it's a sign we'll see a "real" GPU in the next rev. Mini with a C2D (at least as CTO options).

    You also have to realize that if a Mac Mini's price brings a PC user into an Apple Store, and they then get a MacBook or iMac instead, the Mini has done its job even though one hasn't been sold.
     
  20. vin8tan macrumors newbie

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    Mar 12, 2006
    #20
    I dont think it can be measured

    I think the Mac mini was design to be used for simple applications, like onboard computers or a base for future product like the apple TV. I think it was more experimental than to actually hit a sales target.
     
  21. Nukemkb macrumors 6502a

    Nukemkb

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    #21
    the mac mini for me is perfect. as is. no changes needed! (was that sacrilege?) I am completely contented with mine, and cannot imagine the need for more....:) :D
     
  22. iW00t macrumors 68040

    iW00t

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    #22
    More would be nice though. A small GPU would be perfect.
     
  23. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #23
    I hope that the next rev of the Mini comes with an entry-level GeForce 8 GPU instead of the X3000 (though I'm afraid Intel will twist Apple's arm to use the integrated chip), Much like I think that the next rev. iMac should be able to be configured with a GeForce 8600GT (or similar Radeon R600 chip) as an option. The 7600GT in the 24" iMac is a great card but it should be available in the 20" iMac as well...
     
  24. k2k koos macrumors 6502a

    k2k koos

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    #24
    Mac Mini

    I don't think it's a failure, but if Apple doesn't update it very soon, it will become a failure, throw a C2D CPU in it at current mini speeds if needs be, but something needs to be done.
    Apple would also do good to release a relatively low cost 17" display to go with it (may by in the illustrious new line up?)
    Then drop the 17" version of the iMac, bring back the price to the 499,- levels from yesteryear, to create a little bit of a gap between the models, and Apple has a perfect , relatively lowcost switcher machine again.

    :apple:
     
  25. Nukemkb macrumors 6502a

    Nukemkb

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    #25
    my need is beach ball related. no beach ball, no need for upgrade....:)
     

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