The new Mac mini is almost certainly coming

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by GabrieleR, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. PickUrPoison, Dec 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017

    PickUrPoison macrumors 65816

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    #11401
    This thread has been speculating about a new Mac mini and what it might look like for over four years. It’s the entire purpose of this thread! If people wanted to stay silent until after Apple releases their update, this thread wouldn’t have 11,400 posts.

    Apple currently sells a mini that seems like a good configuration for the average home user: $899 for a 2.6/3.1GHz i-5 dual core CPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD drive.

    A similar 21.5” iMac (2.3/3.6GHz i-5 dual core CPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD drive) is also available, but that costs $1,299. (It’s also a newer platform, so it has USB 3.1 and Thunderbolt 3.)

    People say Apple should have kept the mini more up to date between platform refreshes. That’s a legitimate criticism. The hypothetical explores that.

    With a current CPU, would the mini be a good choice for the average home user?
     
  2. Boyd01, Dec 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017

    Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    #11402
    I think it's fine to speculate on the future of the Mini. But you asked if we would recommend a model that doesn't exist and didn't say what specs it might have.

    But for your new question, is the current 2.6ghz/8gb/256gb mini a good choice for an average home user, I imagine it would meet their needs. I upgraded my 2012 base mini with 16gb and a 500gb SSD and gave it to my daughter's family a year ago. They are still very happy with it and it feels very responsive. They only do very basic stuff - mostly involving a browser but my 7 year old Granddaughter has a bunch of games that she enjoys.

    I don't know what an "average user" is anymore though. My kids use iOS devices for almost everything and only turn to the Mac when they want a bigger screen, keyboard and mouse. Another "average user" might want to edit 4k video that they shot on their phone or create big Garageband projects. Even so, I think the model Mini you suggested would be OK, although I would want it to have 16gb for that sort of use. I think 16gb is a good idea for any new computer that you can't upgrade later. A 256gb SSD seems a bit small for a machine you plan to keep for awhile too.

    In the case of the Mini, going to 16gb and a 512gb SSD is going to make it a lot more expensive. I don't think the current higher configurations of the Mini are very compelling due to their price. So all things considered, I would say that the configuration you suggested would meet the needs of many "average home users" but it's not a "good choice" because of the price.
     
  3. Michael Scrip macrumors 601

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    #11403
    I'm also confused about what an "average home user" is.

    There is a suggestion of an almost 4-year-old Mac Mini... but I wonder what kind of Mac this hypothetical user is currently using? Or are they using a Mac at all?

    Maybe if they are using a 6 or 7 year old Mac... then a 4-year-old Mac Mini would be an upgrade (?)

    I dunno... $900 sounds like a lot of money for any desktop computer for the "average home user"

    Don't most users prefer laptops now anyway? Why not spend more money to get a Mac laptop... and then plug it into a monitor when you want a bigger screen at the desk?

    A laptop can function as both a laptop and a desktop... while a desktop can only be a desktop.

    Since he used the words "average home user" I just can't imagine that kind of user would want a new computer that they can only use in one room of their house. :p

    At $900 too.
     
  4. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

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    #11404
    For "average home user" I think of some of my friends that fall into two distinct groups.

    One group has a smartphone and tablet for most things but for paying bills and writing they want to sit down at a desk with a real keyboard and bigger screen. It is set up in the bedroom office - a place to concentrate, not to surf or to be distracted. A laptop doesn't fit their view of what they need - something that just works to attach to their monitor. They don't want to deal with clamshell mode or screen mirroring vs. extended. Then regardless of price feel that they don't need a laptop as it is a waste for them.

    Other friends have a smartphone and a laptop that doesn't leave their sides. Wouldn't use a desktop as that would mean sitting up/getting off of the couch. A monitor and keyboard on a desk would not be part of their lifestyle.
     
  5. masterbaron macrumors 6502

    masterbaron

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    #11405
    It's 2018 ... to even have to contemplate such requirements or be restricted to one configuration or the other is outrageous! In the era of mobility ... fluidity should have just as much focus allowing you to address multiple configurations from one platform - the headless, modular and scalable solutions afford this.
     
  6. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

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    #11406
    I don't understand what you are addressing. The mini, iMac, and MP are not mobile devices. Is that outrageous? Should Apple not sell a device that is not battery operated? Or does the iMac Pro need to be re-designed to fin in you pocket?
     
  7. masterbaron, Dec 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017

    masterbaron macrumors 6502

    masterbaron

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    #11407
    said another way ... technology being an enabler should not present restrictions that were previously non-existent as in dongles, lack of upgrade capability, access to internals. Mobility should also relate to freedom of configuration in that you should be able to modify the platform to address whatever your "home"computing needs may be. Ultimately ... one day, when you walk in with your smartphone you should seamlessly be able to begin to work on your desktop and vice versa.

    Specifically to this forum the Mini afforded everyone an economical choice ... in lieu of economical we still need choice - the ability to swap things around - maximize investment and adjust as needed.
     
  8. PickUrPoison, Dec 26, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017

    PickUrPoison macrumors 65816

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    #11408
    I am he :) I used the words “average home user” because I assume that was the market Apple was targeting with the 2014 refresh of the Mac mini.

    I mean, what else are we to think? They dropped:
    • the supported CPU options from a TDP of 45W down to 15W/28W
    • the quad core CPU option
    • dual 2.5 internal drive bays
    • upgradable RAM
    • the Server bundle SKU
    It was a clear pivot away from most “pro” usage toward home/consumer usage only, including the so-called switchers. It was quite deliberate, and left quite a few mini users with no good option going forward.

    Anyway, your reply is interesting because a lot of it boils down to, “who even wants a mini, especially at Apple prices?”

    Indeed, 80% of Macs sold are laptops. The remaining 20% is split between iMac, Mac Pro and Mac mini. The large majority of those are likely iMacs; I can’t see how Mac mini and Mac Pro combined reach even 10% of sales.

    Before I posted I read the last 10 or so pages of this thread. People were unhappy mostly about 4GB RAM, soldered memory, mechanical hard disks, no quad core option, lack of 4K@60Hz, price and certainly the lack of updates/attention the mini lineup has received since 2014.

    I like the mini. I have a mini. I’ve wanted an update for years. I absolutely think there’s demand for a headless Mac that’s less expensive than the Mac Pro.

    And I can understand why people have problems with the 2014 platform. Most of these issues can be fixed. Apple is going to upgrade the mini, even though it comprises only a few percent of Mac sales overall.

    Those that think Apple shouldn’t even offer a mini with 4GB RAM or a traditional spinning drive may well be right. That’s why I was soliciting feedback on the current $899 machine with 8GB/256GB SSD.
     
  9. Michael Scrip macrumors 601

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    #11409
    That's what I was thinking too... which is why the "average home user" thing caught my eye.

    You're right... and overwhelming majority of all Macs sold are laptops... which is what most of the average home users would be buying.

    If you're sure Apple is going to (finally) update the Mac Mini... don't buy the current model!

    Though Apple keeps saying the Mac Mini is "an important model in their lineup"... but we haven't seen anything in almost 4 years.

    At least the Mac Pro delay was explained in their "apology" meeting in April. :p
     
  10. Cape Dave macrumors 68000

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    Nov 16, 2012
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    Northeast
    #11410
    It is not coming. I am signing off. This has been a truly epic thread. I have enjoyed sharing it with you all. Amazing what passion a tiny little computer can generate, even though it is 4 years old. And remember, even if it is an entry level computer, if does not have an SSD, that is a pathetic sad joke. SSD's rule, spinners suck!
     
  11. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

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    #11411
    Apple is not alone here. Please let Dell, HP, Lenovo, and the other manufacturers know that they should stop selling spinning disk drives in their machines as well. Somehow people keep buying them and don't think it is a joke.
     
  12. masterbaron macrumors 6502

    masterbaron

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    #11412
    One voice of reason ... one less reason to visit. If not for the grounded and experienced comments that stabilize this forum I would have left long ago - always seeking reasons to hold out hope sort of investing in the experience of others.

    I should hope Apple nails it in 2018 ... I also hope to see some of you hopping back on board ... firing up another frenzy of Apple pie.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 27, 2017 ---
    Like dating ... at some point when she stops calling you've got to realize its over. Understandable why some use the term "fanboys or sheeple" - to cling to an obsolete product in hopes of a resurrection is pointless and humiliating - especially when we're being ignored.

    So I get it ... one by one we move on!
     
  13. DesertSurfer macrumors 6502a

    DesertSurfer

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    #11413
    Cape Dave, wait! I had a premonition - the new mac mini is almost certainly coming on 4-1-2018!
     
  14. triptolemus macrumors 6502

    triptolemus

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #11414
    The Mac mini is like the Apple IIe for the current generation.
     
  15. dogslobber macrumors 68030

    dogslobber

    Joined:
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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #11415
    It'll be here when it arrives. Let's not rush things as it's not Apple's style.
    --- Post Merged, Dec 27, 2017 ---
    I think other manufacturers have more cuddly upgrade paths than Apple. With Apple, you can't help but feel you've been royally ripped off. You can also upgrade Dell, and others, yourself still.
     
  16. Moonjumper macrumors 68000

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    Lincoln, UK
    #11416
    How different would those numbers be with appropriate (i.e. Mini and Pro that are what the customers want) and up-to-date models across the desktop lineup? The current sales are not a good indicator of demand because the models are old and do not meet the needs that previous versions did.
     
  17. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

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    #11417
    First: How have you been ripped off? Did you buy a mini that doesn't function? What promises were not met?

    Other manufacturers have their own upgrade issues with entry level boxes. Complaints used to be that full size cards would not fit. Now some units don't even have a PCIe slot to install a card in. Next is that you can put in a SATA SSD but no m.2. Yes to USB3 but nothing approaching Thunderbolt port speed. Their "cuddly" upgrade paths are similar to Apple's: Buy a new machine when you need something. Apple at least provides (cuddles you with) Migration Assistant. With most of the others you are on your own.
     
  18. PickUrPoison, Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017

    PickUrPoison macrumors 65816

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    #11418
    I get what you’re saying. Here’s my thoughts.

    Apple wants to sell Macs. They didn’t cancel Xserve and later the quad core Mac mini Server (also the Mac Pro Server configs) because they sold well. Considering the R&D, ongoing development, support and maintenance, I wouldn’t be surprised if they lost money on server products as a whole.

    The products that are popular and that make Apple money, like iMac and MBP, are updated yearly. The ones that don’t sell well, tend to be ignored and are updated much less frequently. Aging products sell even worse than newer ones, so it’s a downward spiral until Apple decides what to do.

    They have to decide whether it’s a product line that makes sense for them to continue, going forward. Are sales low because people don’t want that product in general, or just their version of it?

    Server products are dead since 2014 so that ship has sailed. Mac Pro was on the bubble I think, with high-end iMacs taking a chunk of users that previously may have needed Mac Pro, but instead were getting the power they needed from i7-4790K, i7-6700K and i7-7700K iMacs, with excellent 5K screens, at decent prices.

    But Apple decided to re-dedicate themselves to pro users. New iMac Pro have been released, with Mac Pro still to come.

    Which leaves us with Mac Mini. What will Apple do? Well, Cook has said that it’s not yet time to share details, but Apple does plan for the Mac mini to be an important part of their Mac product line in the future.

    Why some choose to read Cook’s statement as, “we’re canceling Mac mini and we will never again update the product” is something I suppose only they can answer. But for the rest of us, we understand that a new Mac mini is happening. I think it will be released in 2018, but others I’m sure will disagree.
     
  19. EightyTwenty macrumors 6502

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    #11419
    That statement is totally and completely false. Almost every desktop PC on the market is extremely easy to upgrade, leading to drastic improvements in performance / storage space. The Mini is soldered and sealed.

    You are just speaking gibberish if you claim any different.
     
  20. Synchro3, Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017

    Synchro3 macrumors 68000

    Synchro3

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    #11420
    Tim Cook: “Inventory is Evil”: http://cmuscm.blogspot.ch/2014/09/inventory-is-evil-well-done-tim-apple.html

    Hypothesis: Tim Cook is waiting until inventory of Mac Mini's from 2014 is almost empty. o_O

    He refuses to write off the inventory. No new Mac Mini until the inventory is almost empty. It is fitting that the MacBook Pro 2012 13" was sold until 2016:
    https://www.cultofmac.com/405009/why-is-apples-ancient-2012-macbook-pro-still-so-popular/

    Well, the Mac Mini 2014 is not so popular and not selling well like the Mac Book Pro 2012 was...

     
  21. PickUrPoison, Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017

    PickUrPoison macrumors 65816

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    #11421
    What inventory? As the article points out, Apple doesn’t do inventory.

    They know exactly how well their products are selling and manufacture on a just-in-time basis.

    When a new model is coming soon, inventory of the current model dries up pretty quickly, often to the extent that there’s a gap in availability. Or shipping times will suddenly lengthen, a product will go from in-stock to not shipping for weeks, as manufacturing of the older model ramps down.
     
  22. Synchro3 macrumors 68000

    Synchro3

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    #11422
    And if they they were wrong and produced to many Mac Mini's? I don't think they would admit it.
     
  23. PickUrPoison, Dec 27, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017

    PickUrPoison macrumors 65816

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    #11423
    Made too many when? In 2014?

    They new exactly how well the old mini was selling. Say it was a couple million a year, for instance 200,000 a month, Apple’s not going to expand production by 10x and suddenly make millions in a few months. They’re going to see how the demand changes after the new model is released and adjust production accordingly.

    Assuming demand has been dropping over the past 36 months, Apple would have been slowing production to match. Apple doesn’t stock up warehouses, and they don’t build products that aren’t selling.
     
  24. saulinpa macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2008
    #11424
    You are looking at a different crowd. The "average user" will not take a cover off of a PC to upgrade components so never sees any improvement in performance or storage. The majority of upgrades ever done are at the point of sale. There are no "cuddly" upgrades except for maybe a USB stick that Microsoft was pushing (ReadyBoost).
     
  25. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

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    #11425
    Or they call in a family member. For myself and the extended family, I’ve upgraded 3 Mac mini’s, 3 iMacs(2 included SSDs :eek:), 2 MacBooks, and 5 MacBook pros in the last 10 years.

    At least that is when they could be upgraded. I know a couple techie friends who have done similar things for their families as well.
     

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