2013 Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by dogslobber, May 21, 2016.

  1. dogslobber macrumors 68030

    dogslobber

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    #1
    I'm wondering if this one was cancelled by Cook as we were on a regular yearly update cycle when Steve was running things but I reckon that may have been the first victim of a unilateral Cook decision. We can only hope a new Mac Mini appears by October this year or we're in big trouble.
     
  2. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    #2
    I don't think Apple will do away with the Mac mini as that's their entry-level machine and it allows adding your own keyboard, mouse and monitor. Having an entry-level offering brings in customers who, for one reason or another, aren't able to pay for a high-end machine. It wouldn't make sense to remove it from their offerings.
     
  3. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    #3
    Technically there was no 2008 Mac mini, but I see your point.

    A 2013 Mac mini would have been pointless, though. They would have just used the slightly slower 1.3Ghz Haswell Intel chip in the base model rather than the 1.4Ghz. I say this because that's what the MacBook Air went through.
     
  4. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #4
    Why wouldn't it? Apple has the iPad Pro now, which Tim Cook argues is the new PC replacement. If that's the new entry level PC, there's no need for the Mini any more...
     
  5. Andres Cantu macrumors 68030

    Andres Cantu

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    #5
    Sad, but true. This is even more evident by the fact that the Mac mini hasn't gotten a redesign since 2010, and even that one was silent.
     
  6. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    #6
    I own the iPad Pro and the Mac mini and there are some things that are easier on a desktop machine than on an iPad. I do heavy graphics work and the iOS graphics apps that I've seen simply aren't up to the work load that can be easily handled by desktop apps like GIMP or Photoshop. How well does Xcode run on an iPad Pro? How about BootCamp?

    Perhaps I'm in the minority, but I feel the Mac mini should always have a place in the Mac lineup.
     
  7. brendu macrumors 68020

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    #7
    I'm eagerly awaiting a new Mac mini. If Apple discontinues it rather than updating it I will be buying an Intel NUC and installing Linux.
     
  8. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #8
    I was being sarcastic. :) Personally, I don't do tablets. I don't do all-in-ones, either. Basically, if Apple drops the Mini, I'll be dropping Apple.
     
  9. ardchoille50 macrumors 68020

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    #9
    Sorry about that, I've never been good at detecting sarcasm. I really don't think Apple will drop the Mac mini - though I do believe it isn't Apple's priority machine. I wouldn't even be on OS X if it weren't for the Mac mini and I doubt I'm alone. It's too difficult to justify the price of an iMac or Macbook when it's so easy to install Linux or BSD on a PC.
     
  10. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

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    #10
    The Mac Mini was introduced in 2005 and updated twice that year. There were two updates in 2006, one mid 2007, and then two in 2009. The current form was introduced mid 2010, with updates mid 2011 and late 2012….. Hardly a regular yearly update cycle. More an irregular pattern of updates, reflecting changes in available hardware (not just the CPU) and OS X.
     
  11. dogslobber thread starter macrumors 68030

    dogslobber

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    #11
    2006 ++
    2007 +
    2008 -
    2009 ++
    2010 +
    2011 +
    -> Cook takes over
    2012 +
    2013 -
    2014 +
    2015 -
    2016 +

    If you reconcile the early 2009 model as the late 2008 then you have yearly to suddenly alternating years then something is trending.
     
  12. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

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    #12
    And Cook is full of **** for saying that.

    Sorry, but there's a whole bunch of people that still need a desktop computer and those same people are well-served by a mini and not by a tablet with little to no processing power. I'm sorry, but that's just the way it is.

    Perhaps in a few years it can become a tablet for entry-level computing power, but it's not that way now. And Cook is full of ****.
     
  13. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #13
    Wait, you're marking 2016 as a year with an update? I certainly hope 2016 will see a new Mini, but there's been no announcement yet that I know of...
     
  14. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

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    #14
    It's based off the classic "When's the last update" model. The Mac Pro and mini are currently the oldest ones. So they're the ones where an update is likely.
     
  15. jpietrzak8 macrumors 65816

    jpietrzak8

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    #15
    Ah, well, dogslobber was using past update dates to predict the pattern of future updates. Using a prediction that 2016 will be an update year as part of the basis to show a pattern that predicts that 2016 will be an update year is a bit of circular reasoning, I think. :)

    Also, given that the duration between updates on the Pro line have actually been consistently increasing, I could imagine a pattern where we go three years between updates, then four, then five... Or, like the Xserve, Apple simply decides not to support that segment of the market any more, and simply drops the Mini.

    In any case, hope springs eternal (the new Mac Mini is almost certainly coming! :) ), but at this point I'm not at all certain that we can assume 2016 will be an update year for the Mini.
     
  16. MysticCow macrumors 6502a

    MysticCow

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    #16
    As I've said in meaner words, dropping the mini right now would be the single most idiotic mistake Apple will ever make. It would be on "G4 Cube" levels of idiocy, but with even greater consequences since 1/3 of their entire desktop line would be eliminated.

    If Apple wants me to dump my 2011 mini in my sig and want me to buy a new mini, they need to give me a reason. DUMP Iris graphics on the high end model and give me a discrete graphics card. DUMP the "you can't upgrade RAM" in the high end model and let me upgrade the RAM. Just those two things will make me want to buy a new mini and it would be the high end model.
     
  17. sublunar macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Good bit of work there. I think recent strategy seems to be to amortise the lower development spending on new models by skipping years rather than just slotting in the logical speed bump processor if only to give sales a mid-life boost. Sounds like a Tim Cook bean counter type of move. Remember they tried this with the iPad Mini 3...

    And this is made worse by Apple not budging on their price points for the entire lifetime of the model in question. It's just about acceptable on an annual refresh but it grates heavily for models that only appear to get updates every two years.

    For an average consumer who follows the Apple Mac range it can't be seen as good value for money 20 months into the lifecycle of a Mac Mini for the same hardware to be sold at the same price but then Apple don't have a competitor to keep them on their toes so you can't be too surprised at their strategy, especially as it appears to offer them profits.

    Effectively it means a Mac mini can only really be seen a value for money for the first few months after release by purchasers, with Apple profiting more and more the later into the lifecycle whereas a Dell computer would be gradually discounted over months until replaced by the next model just months later. The price graph would show a steady decline to keep sales up, compounded by regular discounts from Dell themselves or reputable vendors.

    Imagine the state of play with Mac Pro owners, the first ones to buy the 'new' model got theirs in December 2013 or January 2014. They've had 2.5 years to gnash their teeth (or decide to switch to Windows and HP). In that time, Intel have gone from Ivy Bridge EP to Broadwell EP Xeon CPUs, and Skylake EP will be available next year. No price cuts, no special offers, no indication of road map. Remember the 2012 classic Mac Pro bump only happened because Intel were discontinuing the ancient CPUs that were in the 2010 model.

    There's also a theme that's built since around 2012 with unbelievably under specced models kept hanging around for no other reason than to hit a price point and to convince certain users to up-sell themselves to the mid model.

    Don't forget Apple still keep an Ivy Bridge Macbook Pro hanging around (see the bottom of the page) and that unloved thing is 4 years old! The base Mac Mini 2014 is based on Macbook Air innards, same as the base iMac 21.5". In Jobs' day the base model would have had parts from the same generation at least even if something like RAM was poverty spec to distinguish it from upper models.

    And the iPod Touch got an update recently probably only because it had to run the latest iOS for a few years so needed a 64-bit ARM CPU. See how long it takes you to find it on the Apple site...

    Ironically, the Macbook Air 13" only got a RAM bump in April when the Retina Macbook was upgraded to Skylake, leading to speculation that Apple are going to let the Air line languish for years in one form or another as a disassociated entry level model to hit a price point, while making upmarket models look more attractive, until they decide to kill it off.

    The way I see it, there will probably be an October 2016 update for the Mac Mini, and they might go one of two ways:

    a. Update the mid and top end models to Skylake dual core with Iris Graphics 550, keep everything else the same, and maybe throw in USB-C Thunderbolt 3 if they are pulling the trigger on refreshing the rest of the range with Thunderbolt 3. Horrifyingly, the base model remains exactly the same, possibly with a bump to 8Gb of RAM as standard like the MBA 13" got this year. I've seen an awful lot of refurb base model 2014 Mac Minis on the UK Apple store recently.

    b. Same as a. but create a genuine bottom of the range model with Skylake cpu - it might be a 15w MBA cpu if the MBA gets updated this year or perhaps drop the base model altogether.

    c. With Thunderbolt 3/USB-C and the increasing availability of affordable 4k monitors, Apple decide that more graphics grunt is the way to go and do something surprising. With Virtual Reality coming up on the rails, can Apple afford to let the Mini get refreshed and then ignored for 2 years while VR becomes the hot new thing? 50w Polaris GPUs are on the horizon, Skylake R CPUs have been announced and seem destined for the iMac 21.5" retina, and the Skull Canyon NUC, while flawed, seems to have briefly caught the imagination for small form factor users.


    It would certainly be worth looking at the trajectory of the iMac 21.5" model and compare with the progress of the 27" retina line. In late 2014 they introduced the Retina 5k 27" as a range topper only, by mid 2015 they had replaced the mid model with a 5k equivalent, and by late 2015 they had made the entire 27" line a Retina one and introduced DCI-P3 screens to the range too.

    The Retina 4k 21.5" was introduced in late 2015. Perhaps they might see fit to silently refresh the mid model to 4k as well around the time of WWDC and then flush out the bizarre base model with the MBA cpu by October to fully convert the line to retina 4k.

    Worst case scenario sees the mid model go 4k in October, leaving the base model limping on with the MBA cpu for a few more months until a 2017 refresh.

    If indeed the 15w MBA cpu is being effectively discontinued from most Apple products to streamline things then it wouldn't surprise me to see the cpu lingering in certain pointless base models just to big up the mid models. I certainly hope its presence this year is kept to a minimum if for no other reason than to simplify the range.
     

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