Why such a lengthy delay for a Mac Mini refresh?

What is the key reason behind the delay?

  • Skip Haswell in favour of Broadwell

    Votes: 27 17.4%
  • Drive buyers to the new Mac Pro

    Votes: 8 5.2%
  • They are redesigning the form factor

    Votes: 22 14.2%
  • It's not a priority product

    Votes: 84 54.2%
  • It will be discontinued

    Votes: 5 3.2%
  • Some other reason not listed here

    Votes: 9 5.8%

  • Total voters
    155

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
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Vancouver, BC
Why do you think there has been such a long delay for a Mac Mini refresh?

Is it because...
- Apple decided to skip Haswell on the Mac Mini and wait for Broadwell?
- Apple wanted to delay an update on the Mac Mini to drive buyers to the more expensive new Mac Pro?
- Apple needed this time to redesign the Mac Mini to a smaller form factor?
- Apple simply has other priorities
- Apple is planning to discontinue the Mac Mini
- Some other reason?
 

haravikk

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2005
1,487
19
I dunno about number 2, but 1, 3 and 4 certainly; I expect Apple wants to wait for Broadwell so they can redesign the Mac Mini due to the better thermal footprint, and the Mac Mini likely isn't a high priority to update as its current CPU offerings are fine for the majority of users, especially since Haswell isn't a huge upgrade on CPU performance, but is more integrated GPU focused.

So while Iris Pro in a Mac Mini would be sweet, Apple likely doesn't see enough of a market for users who want it to bother pushing forward an update or doing an interim update to Haswell (I suppose we'll see for sure in September whether this has changed or not). Broadwell offers more meaningful progress over the current processors, and would enable a more drastic redesign.

I think that with all this considered, Apple likely wanted to update this year and felt that that leaving the Mac Mini that long was fine, but now Broadwell is delayed up to a year.
 

terryblyth

macrumors regular
Jan 19, 2008
111
1
Walton-on-Thames, UK
I'm not sure they'd discontinue it, but I can see it being the lowest priority out of the entire Mac lineup. I'd be very surprised if it's not updated by the end of the year though (and if so, I would think that would be it until the new processors in February).
 

paulrbeers

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Dec 17, 2009
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Anyone who thinks that a new Mac Mini wasn't released due to Apple worrying about Canabalizing the Mac Pro sales is just delusional. Oh sure, there may be a few that ended up purchasing a $3000+ computer instead of a $600-800, but most just would not. Besides, the Mini lacks a discrete GPU, Maxes out at 16GB of RAM, and a mobile quad core processor. If you can live with those three limitations then you have no reason to buy a workstation and an Ivy Bridge Mini would be just as good for you as a Haswell.
 

iDave

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2003
887
14
Anyone who thinks that a new Mac Mini wasn't released due to Apple worrying about Canabalizing the Mac Pro sales is just delusional.
Not just the Mac Pro but all of their more profitable computers. It's the same reason Apple has never released a mid-Mac desktop; it would kill sales of a lot of other Macs, especially the Mac Pro and iMac.

I suspect there are lots of people who settle for an iMac who'd prefer a more powerful headless desktop computer with which to use any display. I almost did.
 

paulrbeers

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Dec 17, 2009
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Not just the Mac Pro but all of their more profitable computers. It's the same reason Apple has never released a mid-Mac desktop; it would kill sales of a lot of other Macs, especially the Mac Pro and iMac.

I suspect there are lots of people who settle for an iMac who'd prefer a more powerful headless desktop computer with which to use any display. I almost did.
Right, but the option in this thread is that they delayed the Mini to not cannibalize the MAC PRO. Outside of a handful of users, a new Mini would have had little to no affect on the Mac Pro sales.
 

iDave

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2003
887
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Right, but the option in this thread is that they delayed the Mini to not cannibalize the MAC PRO. Outside of a handful of users, a new Mini would have had little to no affect on the Mac Pro sales.
I'd bet there are only a handful of users who buy a Mac Pro anyway. A better Mac mini would reduce those sales even more. But your point is taken, they're in totally different categories; $600-1000 vs. $3000+.
 

iDave

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2003
887
14
Yeahhh... that's why there was a 2 month waiting period to start the year for the Mac Pro. ;)
Brand new model, assembled in USA, it probably took some time to ramp up parts procurement and production. Anything less than 50,000 units is what I'd call a handful and I'd guess units sold are 20,000 to 50,000. But we'll never know.
 

VirtualRain

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Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
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Vancouver, BC
Right, but the option in this thread is that they delayed the Mini to not cannibalize the MAC PRO. Outside of a handful of users, a new Mini would have had little to no affect on the Mac Pro sales.
I'd bet there are only a handful of users who buy a Mac Pro anyway. A better Mac mini would reduce those sales even more. But your point is taken, they're in totally different categories; $600-1000 vs. $3000+.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Mac Mini's impact on the New Mac Pro was a topic that came up at the conference room table at Infinite Loop. I think they would have been remiss not to consider it.

The Mac Pro may actually be the key driver behind a desire to skip Haswell and wait for Broadwell with the Mini. Consider the value proposition impact an updated Haswell Mini would have launching around the time of the new Mac Pro... it would have been extremely difficult to position the Mac Pro at an entry level $3000 price point when a $800-$1000 BTO Mac Mini can outperform it in CPU benchmarks - certainly in single-core, if not in multi-core performance.

It was already difficult enough with a $2000 Haswell iMac nipping at the heels of the New Mac Pro. At least the iMac and the Mac Pro truly are in different categories. Apart from GPU intensive tasks, an updated Mac Mini would overlap significantly with the New Mac Pro's entry level option.

We'll never know if a refreshed Mini would have impacted early Mac Pro sales, but there's plenty of reasons to want to let the Mac Pro have it's lime light for a while as the top performing desktop.
 

narfcrunk

macrumors newbie
Jul 30, 2014
15
0
I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Mac Mini's impact on the New Mac Pro was a topic that came up at the conference room table at Infinite Loop. I think they would have been remiss not to consider it.

The Mac Pro may actually be the key driver behind a desire to skip Haswell and wait for Broadwell with the Mini. Consider the value proposition impact an updated Haswell Mini would have launching around the time of the new Mac Pro... it would have been extremely difficult to position the Mac Pro at an entry level $3000 price point when a $800-$1000 BTO Mac Mini can outperform it in CPU benchmarks - certainly in single-core, if not in multi-core performance.

It was already difficult enough with a $2000 Haswell iMac nipping at the heels of the New Mac Pro. At least the iMac and the Mac Pro truly are in different categories. Apart from GPU intensive tasks, an updated Mac Mini would overlap significantly with the New Mac Pro's entry level option.

We'll never know if a refreshed Mini would have impacted early Mac Pro sales, but there's plenty of reasons to want to let the Mac Pro have it's lime light for a while as the top performing desktop.
So under this theory we won't see a new mac mini until 2015 when broadwell is released?
 

VirtualRain

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Aug 1, 2008
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Vancouver, BC
So under this theory we won't see a new mac mini until 2015 when broadwell is released?
No... What I was suggesting, is that the launch of the new Mac Pro may have prompted Apple to defer an update to the Mini until Broadwell under the assumption that Broadwell might be available in the latter half of 2014. That would give the Mac Pro time in the spotlight and make an ultimate refresh of the Mac Mini something more substantial (perhaps with a new smaller form-factor). Now that Broadwell has been delayed by Intel, it may have caused Apple to rethink waiting on Broadwell, and instead do a Haswell update after all.

We will never know the true cause for the delay, but if a refreshed Haswell Mac Mini comes out after all this time in the same form factor, it's almost certainly a plan B.
 

blanka

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
1,549
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The whole PC market is on its bottom. We are on the Tibetan highlands performance-wise. Geekbench 12000-13000 it is for a couple of years now.
So there is no need, because no-one else makes faster in a nice small package for less.
Don't expect anything happening to the Mini (a Haswell model is NOT something happening) until Broadwell is mainstream and Intel is coming with 6-core 12 thread consumer/laptop processors: not before late 2015.
 
The whole PC market is on its bottom. We are on the Tibetan highlands performance-wise. Geekbench 12000-13000 it is for a couple of years now.
So there is no need, because no-one else makes faster in a nice small package for less.
Don't expect anything happening to the Mini (a Haswell model is NOT something happening) until Broadwell is mainstream and Intel is coming with 6-core 12 thread consumer/laptop processors: not before late 2015.
Realistic comment. I think Apple have "other priorities". Though I appreciate why some people continue waiting for updated Minis, it's also understandable why for many non-power users, casual gamers, etc. the Mini's current specs & design are easily good enough. Presumably Apple are also satisfied with the Mini's ongoing sales figures. FWIW, I'd buy a current model without too much hesitation if my 2011 Mini died on me (I have a PC for most of my gaming).
 

Crosscreek

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Nov 19, 2013
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No... What I was suggesting, is that the launch of the new Mac Pro may have prompted Apple to defer an update to the Mini until Broadwell under the assumption that Broadwell might be available in the latter half of 2014. That would give the Mac Pro time in the spotlight and make an ultimate refresh of the Mac Mini something more substantial (perhaps with a new smaller form-factor). Now that Broadwell has been delayed by Intel, it may have caused Apple to rethink waiting on Broadwell, and instead do a Haswell update after all.

We will never know the true cause for the delay, but if a refreshed Haswell Mac Mini comes out after all this time in the same form factor, it's almost certainly a plan B.
I really don't think Haswell brings enough to the party if Iris Pro is not in the mix and that chip is very expensive to put in the Mini.

I'm not saying it won't happen but unlikely.

Broadwell will provide a better IGPU and come as a standard part of the chip with a new high end Iris Pro at another substantial price.

Apple is probably mulling over the Haswell refresh but considering constant sales of the current Mini, I think they will wait for Broadwell which will give them another 2-3 year refresh period.
 

paulrbeers

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Dec 17, 2009
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Brand new model, assembled in USA, it probably took some time to ramp up parts procurement and production. Anything less than 50,000 units is what I'd call a handful and I'd guess units sold are 20,000 to 50,000. But we'll never know.
While we will never know the exact number, people who get paid a whole lot to know these kinds of things predicts the current Mac Pro will sell about 1.1 million units....

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-12-18/apple-s-cook-kicks-off-made-in-usa-push-with-mac-pro.html

That's no drop in the bucket and certainly much higher than your 50,000 top end estimate. That's at least 3 billion in revenue.
 

iDave

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2003
887
14

paulrbeers

macrumors 68040
Dec 17, 2009
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In how many years?
Seriously? Do you bother to even click? 2014 only. Seriously the laziness of society is rediculous....

I guess let me spoon feed from the article that I already linked to...

He predicts the company will sell 1.1 million Mac Pros in 2014, compared with 300 million iPhones and iPads.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
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Vancouver, BC
I really don't think Haswell brings enough to the party if Iris Pro is not in the mix and that chip is very expensive to put in the Mini.

I'm not saying it won't happen but unlikely.

Broadwell will provide a better IGPU and come as a standard part of the chip with a new high end Iris Pro at another substantial price.

Apple is probably mulling over the Haswell refresh but considering constant sales of the current Mini, I think they will wait for Broadwell which will give them another 2-3 year refresh period.
Let's face it, any given CPU generation from Intel is only an incremental improvement over the last. But that's no reason not to refresh every applicable product with every generation. Long delays in product updates are not good for anyone... consumers or the vendor. And 2 years is very long time for a computer to be on the market without an update - at the same price as launch. When the 2012 came out, it was great value, not so much any more.
 

iDave

macrumors 6502a
Aug 14, 2003
887
14
Seriously? Do you bother to even click? 2014 only. Seriously the laziness of society is rediculous....
[/I]
Get off your high horse. I skimmed that lengthy article and didn't see what you could have quoted in your original post. Consider me done with this discussion. Sorry to bother you.
 

Crosscreek

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Nov 19, 2013
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Let's face it, any given CPU generation from Intel is only an incremental improvement over the last. But that's no reason not to refresh every applicable product with every generation. Long delays in product updates are not good for anyone... consumers or the vendor. And 2 years is very long time for a computer to be on the market without an update - at the same price as launch. When the 2012 came out, it was great value, not so much any more.
I do agree with you but the Mini is just not as much as a seller and not as profitable as IMacs and Macbooks so it just is not worth the R&D every year to update it.

I very much agree that the price should drop on a machine that is over a year old.

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