Is the Mini the future or is this..

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by zipur, Jul 24, 2013.

  1. zipur macrumors 6502

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    #1
    The future PC
    Lets face it, for the average user all they do is email and web surfing (like you're doing now). Also people are using tablets more and more. So as long term future home internet access, Google may have hit first. Small, Simple and Cheap/Inexpensive compared to apple TV. And given that Google is more open than iTunes; it may be a peoples choice. Does this mean the Mini will fade away for average uses? I know the power users must have more power, but for surfer this makes a cheap alternative to a desktop device.
     
  2. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040

    FreakinEurekan

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    #2
    Not even remotely comparable.

    Mac Mini is not for the "Average user" and it's Apple's least popular computer. It's for the person who wants a full-blown computer but wants to use their own peripherals. Or, for the person that wants HTPC-capability. Or, for the person who wants a compact server. Or, for the person who wants "Embedded" capabilities such as in a POS environment.

    Basically instead of being for the "Average user" the Mac Mini is really the go-to choice for a diverse group of very specific users. For some of these applications the Mac Mini is the perfect solution, and for any of those applications devices like the Chromecast are of no use at all.
     
  3. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68020

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    #3
    That's a whole lot of suppositions to draw from one little dongle.

    Yes, it's 1/3 the cost of an AppleTV. It's dead simple to install. But it's not a content delivery system - it delivers content that can be accessed by the mobile device. So, while Apple TV can be used sans mobile device, this thing is dead in the water without it.

    So, if you already own the mobile device(s), it's a $35 proposition - a nice, cheap enhancement of your Android device's capabilities. If you don't, adopting this system also requires the purchase of at least one Android device, which costs a good bit more than $99. Could this be one more temptation to switch from Apple to Android or a reason for first-time mobile device purchasers to choose Android over Apple? For some. Would $64 be enough to induce people enmeshed in the Apple ecosystem, who already love their iDevices, to desert in droves? No chance.

    The plain truth is, the vast majority of home entertainment customers buy all-in-one solutions. They always have, they always will. The big battlefield is and will be the "smart TV." That's why an Apple television set will sell in far greater numbers than the outboard Apple TV box.

    Yeah, the tablet is deeply hurting the desktop computer in the home environment, and will continue to do so. The number of people who will put their browsing sessions, email, and text messages up on the 55" HDTV for the rest of the family to see? A very small fraction of that.
     
  4. COrocket macrumors 6502

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    #4
    That looks closer to Apple TV than the Mac mini IMO. The mini is used by people who surf/email, but many use it for server storage and video/photo tasks, where having a computer is still advantageous. I personally don't like web surfing on my couch so I don't think the desktop is dead yet. Hopefully apple will still offer the mini in the future even though they don't sell a ton of them.
     
  5. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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  6. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #6
    The future PC is Windows 9. Fortunately my future lies elsewhere.....
     
  7. fig macrumors 6502a

    fig

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    #7
    I was using PC in the generic sense. I think we'll keep having competing devices, but I'd bet most folks are going to move to tablet type solutions and not be as nailed down to a desktop.

    The iPad/Nexus/etc. does everything your average home user needs already.
     
  8. wallysb01 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 30, 2011
    #8
    No, its compatibable with pretty much any device almost everyone already owns. It will work with:

    Android 2.3 and higher
    iOS® 6 and higher
    Windows® 7 and higher
    Mac OS® 10.7 and higher
    Chrome OS (Chromebook Pixel, additional Chromebooks coming soon).

    What else does anyone with an electrical code plugged into a wall have?
     
  9. OhHaiThere macrumors regular

    OhHaiThere

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    USA
    #9
    HDMI mini-PC's aren't new and the way technology is moving, most certainly PC's like that are the future. Technology keeps getting smaller and more powerful and the progression is exponential. Isn't it exciting to think about where computing will be 10-years from now? ;)
     
  10. VanCleef2012 macrumors newbie

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    Jan 27, 2012
    #10
    Anyone else notice it bears the mark of the beast 666 in the chrome logo? :p
     
  11. TC25 macrumors 68020

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    Mar 28, 2011
    #11
    Yes, when people will be starting threads asking;

    • "Do I absolutely need 128 gigs of memory?"
    • "Is the i30 really worth it?"
    • "Can I run Windows20 on it?"
     
  12. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

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    #12
    No its not, at least in my opinion.

    You need to get into mindset of "non Western" average computer user, you could even include some countries from eastern Europe and South America.

    Let's see, it's a dongle that costs few bucks, then you need HDMI enabled display which costs something too plus another device (cheapest probably being some android crap with 2.3 or very cheap PC).

    I havent been everywhere but I live in eastern/central Europe, I've been to Africa and South East Asia as well, usually going by buses and living in their houses, no fancy stuff. It looks like this: people share computers, usually via internet cafes. Increasing number of them have their own devices. Guess what's that? Dumbphones with very simple internet browser (Africa) or Blackberrys/cheaper Androids (saw 1.6 in SE Asia).

    Those mobile handsets are bit expensive for them, usually leaving them with little money to spend on another TV set. Those who can afford HDMI enabled sets can benefit from it. Broadband wi-fi isnt that common, a lot of people use Edge/3G internet at most.

    Also Netflix is only in few countries.

    But when I saw PCs there was a LOT of netbooks, yeah those things that everyone considers extinct now are really popular elsewhere. Nokia survives from this market, as well as Blackberry/RIM.
    I saw lot of crappy Acers circa 2004-2006 models, Im not sure those can even run Windows 7.

    I think for anything to become really mainstream and revolutionary, you have to penetrate different markets, like these. I dont see that happening now in big scale.

    Its great this device is cheap but i dont think it will replace what we consider traditional computer yet, I see mobile devices taking that spot more or less.

    As for mini: there are way more demanding users that buy mini's than OP thinks. it is not as powerful as big workstations but since 2011 you can very easily edit multiple 1080P videos on it and export it quite quickly, I think that says a lot.
     
  13. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #13
    Do you mind pointing me to your data source? This is tough info to track down as Apple doesn't split out their sales figures by model. All I could find was the following sales data from Amazon and Best Buy that's somewhat inconclusive...

    http://www.amazon.com

    http://www.bestbuy.com
     
  14. talmy, Jul 26, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2013

    talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #14
    Right on MacRumors: http://www.macrumors.com/2013/07/22/survey-shows-older-and-cheaper-iphones-and-ipads-remain-popular-macbook-pro-is-best-selling-mac/

    but this comes up repeatedly especially in the "Mac mini is to be discontinued" rumors that have existed ever since it first came out in 2005. It doesn't help that it's always been the laggard in getting technology upgrades and that it has been priced so high that iMacs are usually better deals. That's why it's a niche product.
     
  15. marzer macrumors 65816

    marzer

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    #15
    That's not hard sales data, it even admits it in the survey write-up, "Apple does not break down sales by model, and though this data is from a survey and not company-provided, it gives some insight into the sales preferences of Apple's customers."

    Therefore, sales figures from major retailers are far more reliable given the survey does not explain how it selected it participants. Best Buy and Amazon are listed, respectively, as the world's 20th and 23rd largest retailers.

    http://retailindustry.about.com/od/topusretailcompanies/a/us_2013_worlds-largest_retail_companies_chains_retailers_biggest_American_globalpower_2.htm

    My point is, the mini sells far more than a niche or "not for average" product. Particularly when you consider Amazon's data, the mini is not just their best selling Apple desktop computer, its their best selling of ALL desktop computers.
     
  16. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #16
    Wait a second. You want to know if the Mac Mini or any PC will be replaced by Google Chromecast?

    Um no.
     
  17. OhHaiThere macrumors regular

    OhHaiThere

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    #17
    Why not? Let's take a walk down imagination alley for a second.

    Based on reports, this little dongle contains a chip with support for Bluetooth, so we can certainly attach peripherals like keyboard and mouse to it. Now imagine what happens when you root/jailbreak it to have unrestricted ChromeOS on it. Well, ChromeOS might be a bit limiting, but how about we install another flavor of Linux, like Android?

    Besides the difference in processor architecture and overall computing power, how is that setup drastically different from a MacMini? These machines already exist, but they're not mainstream.

    This *could* be the future of Mini...
     
  18. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

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    #18
    +1

    It's the software. You're restricted on Android or ChromeOS. Unless you have all your data in the cloud which is impractical for bigger files. Same goes for file management, some people still like to have control over their music and photo library locally. Yes this could work in the future, I don't think the infrastructure is there yet, at least not for the rest of the world (see my previous post).
     
  19. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #19
    I'm still not with you on this one, sorry.
     
  20. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

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    #20
    I always thought that base Mac mini (which is actually always fine for email&browsing) was always priced competitively, you know considering it has Apple tax and there's no comparable product around really (yeah there are those Asus boxes, but I mean comparable - design,power supply, CPU, storage, form factor, etc.).

    Well that changed a bit in EU when we received price hikes on all Apple stuff last October (Mini was like 20 percent cheaper). I am really glad they introduced Quad core version without needing to have server version (now with discrete graphics, it'd be really nice).
     
  21. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #21
    Why not just buy and use the $35 Raspberry Pi instead?
     
  22. Omnius macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 23, 2012
    #22
    I think he meant the mac mini is for the truly casual user. It is. It doesn't need the horsepower of an imac or mac pro. It doesnt need the large high end screens. It's relatively cheap but offers some versatility. It's a casual user's machine.

    The fact that this forum is packed with us crazies who use these things for wild purposes and max them out just speaks to its versatility and the fact that you don't need a high horsepower machine to accomplish most tasks or uses.

    Many of us favor the mini for its low cost, low power draw, easy expandability for those who are technically inclined and the ability to just use whatever screens and peripherals we have laying around.
     
  23. zipur thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Great responses and thanks for not flaming me on such a crazy idea.
    I've always viewed the MINI for "Average" users, maybe thats my error. My definition of an average uses is tied to what I see that most people doing.. Kids and their Games, Email, Surfing that what folks do. This is proven out by the fact that tablet sales have dominated the market because people use them as a laptop replacement.

    My point on this post was more to the future of these consumers. Soon everyone will be after the 4K internet TV's with the ability to surf and/or watch TV all from the couch. The Chrome Dongle will be well placed to fill the void for people who can't afford a 4K TV. Just as the Mini can fill that need now. The issue is Cost and Size and to that point I still believe the "Dongle" Idea will be interesting to watch. Will it replace desktops? Not in the next few years but who knows.
     
  24. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

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    #24
    But there are already dongle computers, there have been way before Chromecast came, I think they started popping up 2 years ago or so. To me they see much more practical then Chromecast since you don't need another device for it to function.

    Hell this has quadcore A9 and 2GB of RAM:
    [​IMG]


    This has also plethora of ports:
    [​IMG]

    I can imagine these being sort of computers, they might be a good HTPCs. But they're nowhere anywhere close to Mac mini. So if we're talking about HDMI dongles replacing "average" devices - I think these are more likely candidates than Chromecast.

    I can imagine something like this becoming the future:
    [​IMG]
     
  25. philipma1957 macrumors 603

    philipma1957

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