state of the Mac Mini as of April 2017?

wfriedwald

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
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does anybody have any gut feeling as to whether or not there will ever be Mac Mini?

last time I asked was a few months ago, and at that point everyone seemed to feel that no, Apple was NOT continuing the mini line.

I hope that's not the case!

w
 

jdblas69

macrumors regular
Aug 15, 2012
244
80
Well last update was Apple saying the mac mini was an important option in their lineup. So at least maybe there is still hope for an update based on that. The question when is anyone's guess. Ideally when the new imac's are announced but who knows
 

Bart Kela

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Well last update was Apple saying the mac mini was an important option in their lineup. So at least maybe there is still hope for an update based on that.
It was a pretty vague statement made by Apple management and they did not elaborate further.

We can consider several factors and guess what the most likely course of action would be.

The Mac mini is a low sales volume, low price computer; it is not a major part of Apple's revenue stream so there is unlikely that Apple will spend a lot of engineering resources on future development.

In order to improve margins, Apple is using low cost, low power notebook CPUs with integrated graphics with almost everything soldered to the motherboard including RAM and mass storage basically eliminating all avenues of user upgradeability. If they are to continue with the Mac mini (or something at its price point), it is pretty clear that cost considerations and simplified product development will be Apple's M.O.

Elsewhere in this Q&A forum, there is wishful thinking that there might be a Mac mini "Pro" or something modular or upgradeable like the old Power Mac G4 Cube. That does not seem to be a likely scenario based on the this product's sales volume, price point, and limited revenue generating potential. Note that the Cube sold at $1,800 in 2000; that's about $2,600 in today's dollars adjusted for inflation.

As for timing, that's anyone's guess. Apple has had several opportunities to refresh the current model with newer silicon, but has not acted.

At this point, it's all pure speculation.
 

wfriedwald

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 1, 2017
179
12
this is clearly what I need to know ... I think a new Mini would be the idea new machine for me, but wish I had some clue as to when to expect one OR even whether to expect one at all.

thanks!
 

Boyd01

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Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
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New Jersey Pine Barrens
Well last update was Apple saying the mac mini was an important option in their lineup.
Well of course Schiller said that when he was pressed. He wasn't going to say they didn't care. But he refused to say anything else about the Mini. Then the next day he said Apple had a "two prong desktop strategy" with the iMac and Mac Pro. I don't see how anyone could have any hope for a serious update based on this. Some guy on a blog said "the next Mini won't be so Mini" and did not explain that. I would not put any faith in that whatsoever, although there's a thread here where people are fantasizing about what it could mean.

Schiller said the Pro would get a major update and everyone got all excited. But later it was revealed that they only made this decision a few weeks ago and it could take one to two years before a new Pro would hit the market. Since they won't even talk about the Mini, it could be even farther away… if at all.

About all you can do is wait and hope. And there's a good chance you will be rewarded with nothing. I got a used 2012 2.6 ghz quad Mini last summer and am really happy with it. They are not exactly a bargain these days, but still cheaper than the top of the line 2014 Mini and also 50% faster. Since I'm using it exclusively for video that is very important to me for reducing render time.

The current 3.0 ghz/16gb i7 Mini isn't a bad machine if you need something today. It seems rather expensive considering what you get however.
 
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jpietrzak8

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2010
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I've gotta admit, from a wider perspective, the future of the Mac in general seems bleak. Apple has gone off and running with a series of wildly popular portable devices, from the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad. During all that time, the Mac has atrophied; the entire concept of the Mini, putting the power of a full-blown desktop into a compact package, has gone pretty much nowhere; while at the same time, other manufacturers have picked up the SFF concept and run with it, coming out with even smaller units, or gaming-optimized SFF machines, or powerful workstation-like SFF machines, or any number of other concepts.

On the Pro side, the cylinder Pro seemed like an interesting concept, but has obviously gone nowhere. The iMac is the only desktop still being maintained, but it looks more like an iPad with every successive release (and, in doing so, shares many of the same problems of an iPad; no expansion capabilities, limited CPU/GPU due to heat and power issues, etc.). Even the laptops are starting to fall behind, with the new Macbook "Pro" trying to cover too many niches with too few features.

Apple just isn't bothering to do their due diligence on the Mac lineup any more. I don't know what they have in mind specifically for the Mini today, but unless they get their head back into the game for the entire Mac lineup, I don't see myself bothering to invest my future in Mac products any more. :(
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
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Phil Schiller's exact words were:
... Mac Mini is an important product in our lineup... The Mac Mini remains a product in our lineup, but nothing more to say about it today.

If we haven’t communicated that, we have a lot of people working on the Mac — a lot of really brilliant people invested in great new products in both infrastructure and people — then we haven’t done our job here today because we do have a lot of resources on the Mac, and that’s gonna stay.
While I am glad that Mac mini remains an important product for Apple, I am frustrated by John Gruber, Lance Ulanoff, Ina Fried, and John Paczkowski not pressing Apple on why the company choose not to refresh their products (not just Mac Pro) as new components become available.

Apple used to refresh most of their products as new CPUs became available (although Mac mini always lagged by a year or so).

I would frankly love Mac mini graduate from "My First Mac" status and join iMac in becoming more mid-range product ($999 and up).
 
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Boyd01

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Feb 21, 2012
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Phil Schiller's exact words were
These were also his exact words which seem to totally contradict the statement that the Mini is "important"….

"I do think that we have a two-prong desktop strategy. We think both iMac and Mac Pro are going to be important for pro desktops."
 

Partron22

macrumors 68020
Apr 13, 2011
2,474
698
Yes
An important product in their line up, yet lacking a prong in their future two pronged desktop approach.
Mac Pro is 2019, that puts the new mini at 2020, 2021, if then.
They've forgotten the high and low end desktops since 2014, and have only just started thinking again after shocking reminder. Starting from scratch, assembling a team, could well take 3 years. It's doubtful the old Mini and Pro groups are together and poachable for new product. They're either gone, or designing new watch bands.
 

Miat

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2012
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Apple just isn't bothering to do their due diligence on the Mac lineup any more.
There it is. They can say whatever they want, but their prolonged neglect of their desktops speak far louder than the finest PR spin could ever drown out.

Apple obviously have the resources to keep developing their desktop range, and keep it highly competitive. They choose not to, for whatever reason.

What kind of dumbface company doesn't offer their loyal customer base – especially pro users – a clear and reliable upgrade path, and still expects these customers to keep hanging around and forking over their cash for increasingly substandard products?

If I was getting my first desktop computer today, it would be a Linux box, and that remains the leading option for my next desktop upgrade, and only becoming more so.

After nearly 30 years with Apple, if I have to go through the hassle of switching operating systems, which I really, really don't want to do, then I will certainly be one of those who won't be returning to Apple to risk getting burned twice.

Pretty sure I am not on my own there.
 

teksurv

macrumors regular
May 25, 2008
114
13
San Diego, CA
My take is, the "two prong" reference was for Pro machines. It's possible that they envisioned the iMac Pro as a replacement for the MP, but then the Pro community barked loudly at no updates since 2013, oh and "modular." So now we'll have both of those, albeit one at least a year later.

It's just my opinion, but Apple Inc. is a revenue generating giant. Leave a product to become stagnant, see how loudly the consumers bark (excluding mobile of course) and react one way or the other. I love the mini line, I have a new to me 2012 quad core coming today. I realize the shortcomings, but for the next 2-3 years (don't need every OS update) my needs will be met.

Quick question, how many of you have barked at Apple vs. these forums about the mini? <-- And I totally get the I should not have to thought. But you're here, and you seem to have a lot to say....
 

masterbaron

macrumors 6502
Nov 22, 2012
494
457
3rd Planet from the Sun
point-blank though ... after having a seamless system with integration on the device I use everyday and access to every device and file I'll be damn if I'm going to settle for anything less - so legacy it is but oh what beautiful synergy it is!
 

teksurv

macrumors regular
May 25, 2008
114
13
San Diego, CA
I believe a new mini is coming. When, who knows. Maybe wishful thinking. I'm happy with my 2012 model, and that's likely the reason for the delay. Or end of line.
 

Count Blah

macrumors 68040
Jan 6, 2004
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I've given up waiting. I so wanted to upgrade my son's old 2008 iMac, with a capable Mini that would last a number of years. But as my sig says, Tim just doesn't want me as an Apple customer anymore.

I hope your patience lasts longer than mine did.

Thanks for nothing, Tim.
 

hvfsl

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2001
1,782
100
London, UK
I personally think Apple saw where computer sales were going (people moving to laptops and tablets) and so decided to concentrate on them, to the point where the only desktop they needed to sell was the iMac. But what they are now realising is that while desktop sales don't make up a big percentage of sales, there are a lot of dedicated users who still rely on a good desktop. And many of them have a lot of influence in the IT industry, often affecting the computer purchasing decisions of many others. So to keep them happy, Apple has decided to start concentrating on desktops again. While it might not have a very big short term effect on the bottom line, it will help Apple in the long term.​
 
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Miat

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2012
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But what they are now realising is that while desktop sales don't make up a big percentage of sales, there are a lot of dedicated users who still rely on a good desktop. And many of them have a lot of influence in the IT industry, often affecting the computer purchasing decisions of many others.
Brakes might only be a very small part of the car business and its profit margin. They may even be a net cost. But try driving or selling a car without them.

Same with desktops for Apple's future long-term success. Desktops are not going away. In one form or other they will remain a critical part of the IT world for many years to come.

I don't think Apple have much time left to fix this – and fix it properly – before it is too late. And they will have nobody but themselves to blame if they blow it.
 

HighDesert50

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2011
98
56
You might find a more diminutive Mac Mini in the form of a Raspberry Pi 3. Wrap it in a sexy Zebra case and you have a Mac Mini jr running native Raspbian or another linux of your choice on a quad core ARM Cortex A53 processor with 1 GB of RAM. At about $35 you have a GUI system that comes bundled with LibreOffice suite, Mathematica, Chromium etc. It will drive an HDMI monitor or you can opt for the $60 7inch touch screen. Add a keyboard, mouse, 5V USB power supply or 6 or 8 rechargeable AAs and an SBEC and you have complete system for under $150. My point is that about 5 million of these have sold in about the last three years creating yet another low-cost alternative to the Mini, particularly so for education where cost is always an issue. While the Mac Mini is quite appealing as is OSX, this may no longer offer the profit margin that Apple needs to sustain it.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Mar 30, 2004
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Maybe the current Mac Pro will become the next Mac Mini, reconfigured for the consumer market.
I would love lower-speced Mac Pro (consumer grade CPU with integrated GPU, fewer ports), starting at high-end Mac mini price ($999).
 
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DonCarlos

macrumors regular
Dec 14, 2009
141
21
Las Vegas
Every year it seems this rolling wave of "the mini is dead' and the like, starts hitting the forums. And every 2-3 years there is a refresh. I have no doubt Apple will provide another mini, it is the only affordable desktop Apple makes.
 

Miat

macrumors 6502a
Jul 13, 2012
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Maybe the current Mac Pro will become the next Mac Mini, reconfigured for the consumer market.
They could do a lot worse. It would have the advantage over the current Mini form of a bigger thermal envelope, without increasing the footprint.