New Mac Mini at WWDC 2015 (Cube form factor)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by rekhyt, Apr 19, 2015.

  1. rekhyt macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I'm calling it!

    New Mac Mini at WWDC 2015, in a cube form factor. Release alongside a redesigned MacBook Pro 14" with USB Type-C. Essentially the NeXT/Power Mac G4 Cube, but in a significantly smaller size.

    Why?

    • It's possible: Intel's NUC hardware platform shows that small-size computing is feasible.
    • Minaturisation of parts: The new MacBook 12" shows that Apple has invested significant resources in minaturisation. I think it's coming to the Mac Mini. The purpose of the Mac Mini was never to be a large desktop (unlike the iMac, or a Mac Pro) but a portable, small device that connected to your components.
    • It's about time: The Mac Mini's been in the same rectangular prism form factor for a long time. The previous constraining factors on its size and shape have been the CD/DVD drive, the hard drive and the logic board. The CD/DVD has been phased out, the hard drive has been converted to a SSD (which can now be in the form of a 'blade' SSD, rather than the traditional 2.5" harddrive-sized SSDs), and the logic board is capable of being minaturised (See: MacBook 12"). Thus, a change of shape is in in order. Thinner. Lighter. Fully alumnium.

    People have joked about and said that it's going to be a mini version of the 'waste basket' Mac Pro, but I think it's going to be an aluminium Cube instead, with 2-3 ports (USB Type-C). 1 Type-C port for power, 1 for display, and 1 for whatever connections you want. Hard drive, etcetera.

    The rumours about a new Apple backlit keyboard, and the lack of update for the other peripherals (Apple LED Cinema Display, Magic Mouse/Magic Trackpad) suggests that they'll be refreshed all at once.

    • Apple aluminium keyboard: With keyboard backlit. May feature the same 'butterfly' switch mechanism as the MacBook 12".
    • Apple LED Cinema Display: Will gain 4K screen. Less bezel and more screen.
    • Magic Mouse: Will probably be discontinued. If not, then it'll gain Force Touch in the same form factor.
    • Magic Trackpad: Same form factor, with Force Touch support.

    The new Mac Mini will probably launch alongside a 4K cinema display and a redesigned MacBook Pro 14" in WWDC 2015 (Along with the usual OS X announcements, and Apple Watch OS announcement. iOS announcement will be pushed to late Q3/early Q4, and launch alongside the iPhone 6S).
     
  2. Celerondon macrumors 6502a

    Celerondon

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    #2
    I am ready for this part of your prediction. Force Touch on the Magic Trackpad is coming.
     
  3. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #3
    No no, if they're releasing a Mac computer with USB-C, they should at least have some extra USB and HDMI ports. Other than that, I like the idea.
     
  4. BenTrovato macrumors 68020

    BenTrovato

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    #4
    Bold predictions! I think a newer Mac Mini in a cube form would be cool but it wouldn't really make sense since they just updated the line-up. I'd love to see it though.

    A Macbook Pro option seems likely since the 15" hasn't been touched in a while.
     
  5. fuchsdh macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    On one hand I can see Apple being "this is the future!" and ditching Type-A ports entirely. On the other they have in the past kept a legacy port for at least a gen revision or so (such as with ADB, although that was on a pro model.)

    A more compact cube form does seem possible, given the .ac Airports, and the fact that the AppleTV is the AppleTV—no need for the mini to necessarily serve as one in the same form factor.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G3

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  7. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

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    #7
    It's a nice thought but I don't see it happening. I am a huge Mac mini fan and would love to see it but I see Apple going more for a Core M mini down the road sadly.
     
  8. Smeaton1724 macrumors 6502a

    Smeaton1724

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    #8
    I like What you have written and agree to an extent.

    The accessory update we all know is coming - Trackpad and Keyboard, anyone can call that.

    The 14" not this year, the reason for no 15" update is what new chips are there? Answer - none, so no update. The Intel roadmap dates end of year for Skylake, at best estimate a new 15" in October - which I expect to be 16" with a new design. Then next March the 13 Pro will become the 14".

    So by next March (Not in June) the laptop lineup will be -
    Air 11
    MB 12
    Air 13
    MBP 14 (Same footprint as current 13)
    MBP 16 (Same footprint as current 15)

    I think the Mini will be -
    Base - Same spec as MB 12
    Other - Same spec as MBA 13
    As for appearance, I agree, new form factor.

    You've missed the iMac, I think 21.5 will go and we'll see 24 and 30.

    This year we don't need a new OSX or iOS so I think we'll see updates only. The software has moved on so much, we need hardware to catch up, especially on iOS, more RAM to take care of Home Automation, Car Play, Watch Management, Health Monitoring etc. The iPad Air 2 has it but no other device can compete on iOS.
     
  9. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

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    #9
    A cube form factor? Unlikely. Cubes take up more vertical space and are harder to put on a shelf. If anything they'll be making the current profile smaller and thinner.
     
  10. Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

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    #10
    IMHO Apple would be foolish to change an almost perfect design which offers 47 watts TDP that still is suitable for quad core processors and Iris Pro graphics. The design offers a quiet unit with excellent thermal dissipation with the aluminum enclosure.

    If they do not plan on quads any longer they will miniaturize the enclosure for ultra low voltage processors and possibly offer a fanless M Intel processor as the new MacBook has.

    The Mini normally launches with iMacs and MacBook Pros in October and I think they will stay with that schedule.
     
  11. L7qPayF19I6 macrumors newbie

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    #11
    While the redesign painted by the OP is a logical next step, I'd bet money it's not going to happen at WWDC. The Mini doesn't seem to be a priority. A new model within a year of the last is far-fetched.
     
  12. frompast macrumors member

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    #12
    It was my longing desire......

    Mac Cube ®

    Baby you don't know what cube is like..
     
  13. sonicrobby macrumors 68020

    sonicrobby

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    #13
    I definitely see a refresh of the mini to significantly reduce its size. The MacBooks fanless design is one that will be ported to mini in the future. I don't think if this year or a few years down. I can't help but feel that Apple is neglecting the mini :[
     
  14. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816

    jnpy!$4g3cwk

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    #14
    I guess it would be sad for the Mini.

    I would like to see it in the Mac Micro.

    I have a fanless notebook PC and I love it. Well, except that it runs Windows 8. :( CPU speed is awesome for such a small system. Graphics speed is OK. The new Core M will be even better for such a configuration. I'm thinking something slightly bigger than the ATV, with Mini connectivity, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB flash, and no moving parts whatsoever.
     
  15. DanCorleone, Apr 20, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2015

    DanCorleone macrumors member

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    #15
  16. toddzrx macrumors 6502a

    toddzrx

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    #16
    If anything, Apple's release schedule is almost entirely dependent on Intel's processor release schedule. It wasn't too long ago that most of the computer updates were released (not just announced, but up for sale) immediately after Apple's keynote at WWDC. That pattern has been tossed out the last couple of years, from Ivy Bridge on (2012 to the present).

    Personally, I preferred the summer release of computing updates, and iPhones in the fall.
     
  17. rekhyt thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    They might have to.

    Reasons:
    • Nothing to release on the Mac front at WWDC. Delay of Skylake means that the redesigned MacBook Pro is held up. iMac just got refreshed. MacBook 12" just got released. Can't be just a software update (OS X, Watch OS) without any corresponding hardware. Redesigned Mac Mini+backlit keyboard+Force Touch Trackpad makes sense.
    • Release of Mac Mini to space things out throughout the year. Mac Mini at WWDC, redesigned MacBook Pro or the iPad Pro a few months later, iPhone 6S after that, and then the redesigned MacBook Pro or iPad Pro.


    As said in my original post:

    • It's about time: The Mac Mini's been in the same rectangular prism form factor for a long time. The previous constraining factors on its size and shape have been the CD/DVD drive, the hard drive and the logic board. The CD/DVD has been phased out, the hard drive has been converted to a SSD (which can now be in the form of a 'blade' SSD, rather than the traditional 2.5" harddrive-sized SSDs), and the logic board is capable of being minaturised (See: MacBook 12"). Thus, a change of shape is in in order. Thinner. Lighter. Fully alumnium.

    The main constraining aspects of the size of the Mac Mini were:
    • CD drive
    • Hard drive
    • Logic board

    Now that all of them are gone, and that the SSD can be converted to a laptop-style blade SSD, the size can be anything, from a small NUC-like cube, to an Airport Express-esque rectangular prism.

    Smaller, lighter, more portable. Desktop computing isn't all massive towers anymore.

    Yep. NUC shows it's possible.
     
  18. Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

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    #18


    • The MacBook Pros will be updated to Broadwell this year with quad core mobile cpu s coming in late summer. The iMacs will be upgraded this fall also with Broadwell quad core desktop cpu s and retina displays. Probably late fall as has been the case.

      The Mac Mini may not get an upgrade this year since they were so slow to even upgrade last year 6 months after everything else. They may add a redesigned fanless core M cube which may eliminate the Mini altogether.

      Just guessing on the Mini since it is the red headed step child of Apple. :)
     
  19. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

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    #19
    iOS 9 is almost certainly a lock for WWDC 2015.

    There needs to be several months of beta testing and the third quarter is too late for that relative to Apple's annual iPhone release in September.
     
  20. Miat macrumors 6502

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    #20
    A lot depends on whether Apple want to permanently cripple the Mini by not using quad-cores in it ever again. If so, then they have some room to move in reducing the thermal ceiling and redesigning the whole package.

    If they want to keep quad-cores, then it is a different game.

    However, I suspect they want the Mini crippled, to reduce competition against Mac Pros and especially iMacs.

    But, hey, at least such a Mini will be small. :rolleyes:
     
  21. Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

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    #21
    Joe....I think you put this in the wrong thread.
     
  22. The-Pro macrumors 65816

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    #22
    There is no point in a usb type c port for power because the mac mini doesnt have a battery so if you unplug the power it will turn off. Hence it does not make sense to have a power and data port when you have to have power all the time.
     
  23. dazzer21 macrumors 6502

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    #23
    It'll be this!

    The new Mini will be designed to work in the same way as the Apple Watch needs an iPhone. It'll be in the form of a snazzy-looking USB stick and you'll just need another Mac to plug it into to use it.
     
  24. Joe Rossignol Editor

    Joe Rossignol

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    #24
    He said at the very end that iOS 9 would be pushed to late Q3 or early Q4.
     
  25. rekhyt thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #25
    Doesn't feel like it.

    The reason why there's been iOS 8 updates planned (Music, ...) is because WWDC 2015 will be OS X/Watch OS-only.

    iOS will launch with the iPhone 6S.
     

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