How long will the minis stay?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ebook, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. ebook macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I had a thought today as I was wishing that I could get a new computer. I'm kinda bummed that the new iMovie won't work on my iMac G5 1.8 20" and I was thinking maybe I should have gotten a mini at the time. If I had, then I could keep my same monitor and just upgrade to a refurb Mac mini every couple of years.

    So, how long do you prognosticate the Mac mini staying in the line up? I know that nobody has a clue, but I also know that some have thought it would die for the last little while.

    I bet if I went ahead and picked up a Mac mini they would discontinue them :) isn't that how it always works?
     
  2. MK2007 macrumors regular

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    #2
    First, they will change the color to all silver. Then they will discontinue them. :)

    Realistically, no one knows how long the mini will last. Until recently there were rumors circulated that the mini was going to be discontinued when the new iMac was introduced. Look what happened instead.
     
  3. Squonk macrumors 65816

    Squonk

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    #3
    I think that Apple will always have a headless computer for the consumer level. (aka, not the MacPro) Or, at least I hope so. The cube bombed but that was because it was too expensive for what it was. Since the mini is built with cheaper components, it's price is closer to the mark. I think it's still $200 too high for what it is.
     
  4. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    #4
    Given that they were just bumped up to C2D, I would expect them to hang around awhile longer. They will also continue to be sold after the MacBooks make a switch over to Santa Rosa to soak up any spare Napa parts. After that, they will last as long as they are selling. Even if they cancel it, I doubt Apple will abandon the low-end or switcher groups any time soon.
     
  5. Yvan256 macrumors 601

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    #5
    All I know is that once Leopard ships, I'm getting the low-end model. :cool:

    I've switched more than 2 years ago now, and my Mac mini G4/1.42GHz with 1GB is starting to become slow at times (Safari with about 12 tabs, Mail, iTunes, Keynote '08, Pages '08, Adium, TextWrangler, OneButton FTP).

    I'll be more than happy to get a new Mac mini for Leopard, iLife '08, Core 2 Duo, 2 more USB 2.0 ports and 2GB RAM. I might even do the "external SATA hack" to speed it up even more with a 3.5" drive, but I'll give it a few months before trying that out. Not to mention that the only 3.5" drives I have are all PATA. :p

    The Mac mini costs 649$ CAD. The cost of Leopard (assuming it's the same price as Tiger) is 149$ CAD and iLife '08 is 79$CAD. Those two alone are worth more than a third of the price of the Mac mini.

    As for the iMac being a better value, let's keep in mind it starts at 1299$ CAD, which is exactly twice as much as a Mac mini. I'm not paying twice as much for a 3.5" drive and a good GPU.

    And please, nobody start adding up the cost of a Cinema display and an aluminum keyboard and a mighty mouse. Most Mac mini owners aren't buying Cinema Displays. :rolleyes:

    My 17" ViewSonic LCD, ergonomic Logitech mouse and (brand new) Apple aluminum keyboard are working just fine, thank you. I don't need to replace those when I upgrade my computer.

    The old G4 will probably end up as my iTunes server, connected to my 1TB drive.

    Apple needs to offer a low-cost headless computer and the Mac mini fits the bill just fine.


    P.S.: I wouldn't mind paying 100$ CAD more for a decent dedicated GPU with 128MB, but anyway... The only computer game on my list is Starcraft 2 and who knows when it will be available. All I can bet is "before Duke Nukem Forever". ;-)
     
  6. ebook thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I know that I wouldn't be getting as much technology as the iMac, but if I upgraded from what I have now to refurb mini it would still be a step up and every couple of years I could just upgrade to some new mini from the refurb store! The iMac was so expensive when I got it that I told my wife that I would keep it for 5 years ... well, no we are 3 years in and I can't update to the new iMovie :(

    Maybe I just need to jump over to the Mac mini track. It would allow me to update more quickly and probably do everything I need (internet, iTunes TV shows from time to time, rare Garageband, iMovie for the family videos, and an occassional game - my games are old so not that big of a deal).
     
  7. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #7
    I thought the mini was going to be dead before they did the latest refresh - I'm surprised they did it actually. Now, I hae no idea when they'll kill it. But whenever they do it, they'll do it quietly, just like the iPod Hi-Fi. :p ;) :D
     
  8. MikeL macrumors 6502

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    #8
    The answer has little to do with speculation, and everything to do with business realities.

    The Mini will last as long as it meets three conditions: The margins remain at a point Apple feels is acceptable, Apple doesn't feel the Mini is cannibalizing sales of other product lines beyond a certain point, and Apple can continue to use MacBook R&D in the Mini.
     
  9. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #9
    Another factor to consider is the future roadmap of the AppleTV.
     
  10. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #10
    Very true. We could end up seeing a hybrid product that does both, or one that does something entirely revolutionary.
     
  11. Decrepit macrumors 65816

    Decrepit

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    #11
    The Mini G4 is the first Apple computer that I was willing to touch for nearly 20 years. I had an Apple IIgs, and Apple screwed me when they canceled the whole Apple II line 3 months later.

    The Mini plugs into my great LCD display, I can use it with my KVM so if I *HAVE* to use my PC, I still can, but the Mini is my primary system.

    I would upgrade tomorrow (ok, when Leopard hits) if they offered a Mini with at least a mid range Nvidia graphics chip.

    I have no use for a Mac Pro. I have a graphics workstation of epic proportions already, but only turn it on when I have to use it. I don't need a notebook. I don't need something with an integrated screen that I can't use if the computer hardware gets outdated in 3-5 years.

    I want another silent machine that sips electricity. The Mini that I have now is one of the main reasons my electricity bill is only $16.00 a month.

    If they discontinue the Mini, and don't have a viable headless system, then I'm stuck going back to the Windows world again as the Mini dates itself further.

    They'll make their decision based on the numbers, as any business should. But they'll lose a segment of their customers that they fought hard to win.
     
  12. MikeL macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Nope. Just because some people use the Mini in their home theater doesn't mean there's any convergence coming. They're very different products.
     
  13. EricNau Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #13
    I disagree. With form-factors, configurations, and price points so similar, we can't rule out that they'll eventually be combined into one product.
     
  14. Yvan256 macrumors 601

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    #14
    Just because they look similar doesn't mean anything. The :apple:TV is not really the same form-factor anyway, the Mac mini is 6.5" x 6.5", the :apple:TV is 7.7" x 7.7". Granted they both look like squares with rounded corners but so does the new iMac (rectangle with rounded corners). It's just Apple's current style.

    Their configurations are nothing alike, either:
    :apple:TV:
    • 1.0GHz Pentium M-based chip which is down-clocked for a 350MHz bus (according to Gizmodo)
    • 256MB
    • no optical drive
    • TV outputs only
    • only one USB port (and cannot be used for anything unless you hack)
    • not a real computer (unless you hack)

    Mac mini:
    • 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo processor
    • 1 to 3GB (even read about people putting 4GB in it and having access to 3.3GB RAM)
    • Combo or SuperDrive
    • VGA/DVI output
    • Four USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 400 port
    • full computer

    Granted, everything in the specs is by design, but that shows you the target use of each device. As someone else above said, just because a lot of people are using the mini as a HTPC doesn't mean it's an :apple:TV.

    I've been using my Mac mini as my main computer for over two years now. I mean, apart from the GPU and hard drive speed, the new Mac mini is more powerful than an old iMac G5 for crying out loud, what do people want? :rolleyes:

    As for their prices being similar, I really don't see how the 349$ CAD :apple:TV is similar to the 649$ CAD Mac mini.

    And let's keep in mind that the MacBook starts at 1249$ CAD and the iMac starts at 1299$ CAD, which is twice the price of the low-end Mac mini.
     
  15. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #15
    They're different products now, but that doesn't mean that they'll stay that way. Apple has been stressing the future of a digital lifestyle, with all of it being connected to a computer at one stage or another.

    Think about it, there's the iPod for music and movies that you might want to watch on the go, and then there's the :apple:TV for when you want to watch movies and shows on your tv through your computer. Then there's the iPhone for all kinds of communication on the go.

    In the future, Apple may see that the Mini would be able to convert more people if it served as BOTH a baseline computer, and as a hub for entertainment centers. It isn't outside the realm of possibility.
     
  16. MikeL macrumors 6502

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    #16
    A $300 million dollar Powerball ticket showing up in my wallet isn't outside the realm of possibility, either.

    Many of you people don't seem to understand business. Thinking that Apple would take a $600-$800 product and combine it with a $300 product is foolhardy to begin with. Particularly when those products fill very different niches in Apple's marketing scheme.

    I know, I know... it's so easy to say "hey, they're almost the same size!" without having a clue as to which markets the two products are aimed at. In the same way, it's easy to say "hey, they're almost the same price!" without understanding that they are not. People also assume that ATV is a success, when so far it isn't.

    Then there's the killer assumption--that ATV buyers and those that buy Minis for home theater use them in the same way. I'm a tiny bit of a home theater nut. Just a tiny bit. I've got an HD projector, 92" screen, nice audio system. The basics, in other words. Feeding all of that is a ReplayTV, an Xbox 360, an HD receiver, and an ATV. I've got a nice home network, with a file server. Why on Earth would I want a Mini in my HT rack? What I want is to get away from DVDs and loose media. So I've ripped my DVDs onto my server. The ATV has optical and component outs, which is perfect--I don't have to waste precious HDMI or VGA connections as I would with a Mini. Using a Mini to stream movies from my server would be overkill. It would also be an unnecessary complication. For me, the ATV replaced Xbox Media Center. ATV isn't a perfect replacement (not even close), but it has a charm of its own.

    My guess is that those arguing that the Mini and ATV will converge don't understand profit margins, aren't home theater enthusiasts, and haven't really given things much thought. Those are just my assumptions, however. I assume about people who make what I think are silly assumptions derived from a lack of knowledge or experience (ignorance is the right word, but that upsets people). :)
     
  17. smurfy macrumors member

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    #17
    They should make literally an iMac without a screen. A slim as hell tower that sits behind your monitor.
     
  18. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #18
    By your logic, PDAs and phones should have never become merged products because they served two different purposes and had two different price points prior to their merge. Times change, as does consumer demand. The market is not stagnant, and Apple is one of the few companies that realizes this. Just because it isn't a possibility now doesn't mean it won't become a possibility in the future. If you haven't noticed, electronics are now being consolidated more than ever now. You claim that you're a marketing professional, so even you must realize that in order to increase demand for products, a new "digital lifestyle" must be sold. A hybrid product which does it all might serve that purpose.

    By the way, your lottery ticket example is terrible. Comparing a 1:1,000,000 chance lottery ticket to the potential future of Apple's product line is illogical. Historically, very few people have been able to predict which way Apple is headed with their products, which incedentally happens to be why this site is so popular. At least it's a fairly safe bet that a lottery ticket is a waste of a dollar; the same cannot be said about predicting Apple's future products.

    PS, you need to learn how to chill out. No one attacked you personally, and despite that, you felt the need to call me ignorant. Be a little more civil; if you really know what you're talking about, you'll be able to lay out your argument in a calm and constructive manner.
     
  19. Yvan256 macrumors 601

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    #19
    It would lower costs even more, since they could take the iMac motherboard and simply make a new casing for it. No R&D, nothing.

    Heck, even put previous-gen iMacs in such a case to lower inventory, minimize losses or something.
     
  20. gazelleintense macrumors regular

    gazelleintense

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    #20
    if minis make it to jan 2008 i'll be surprised.
     
  21. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #21
    I think the only thing standing in way of that is the iMac's "concept." It's meant to be an "out of the box, three steps to setup" computer. Having to get your own display might ruin the notion of an easy to setup machine. Granted, it's not too hard to plug in a moniter, but I think this is one of those cases where Apple is saying, "we want to make things easier for you, even if you already know how it works."

    They will. They're essentially a refuse for old macbook/macbook pro parts. The components are cheap, and the margins are probably good; no reason to get rid of it.
     
  22. vendettabass macrumors 6502a

    vendettabass

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    #22
    I think they'll hit Santa Rosa around April next year, and the MacBooks this November.

    They're awesome computers for a lot of people
     
  23. MikeL macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Since when is being called ignorant a personal attack? Do you really think you know everything? There are plenty of subjects on which I'm completely ignorant. Get a grip, man.
     
  24. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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  25. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

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    #25
    It's a personal attack when you assume someone else's ignorance simply because they disagree with you. Hate to break it to you, but you can't see into the future. Your opinion about the Mini's future is as good as mine. I think you need to get a grip, because I never claimed to know everything. In fact, that attitude is more prevelant in your posts from other threads.

    Either way, this little side discussion is over.
     

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