Will Apple Quietly Let the Mac Mini Go?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Wrangler, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. Wrangler macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2008
    Oakland Park, FL USA
    I wonder, could it be that Apple plans to just let the Mac Mini disappear quietly from the lineup? A friend who works at the Apple store says that they really don't sell very many Mini's, and that it being a low priced item also makes it a lower priority for updating.

    That, coupled with the fact that the really hot thing in computers right now is tablets, and since desktop sales in general across the board are waning, he says it would be no great surprise to see the Mini get dropped.

    Of course, since Apple keeps so quiet about their new releases, they certainly wouldn't be anxious to reveal plans to drop a model, would they?

  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Apple doesn't usually announce the discontinuation of a model. It simply ceases to appear in the model lineup after a new product release. That being said, the Mac mini provides a good entry to the Mac lineup, as well as being a very cost-effective and versatile computer. I think many would consider it a mistake to drop it from the Mac stable any time soon.
  3. numlock macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2006
    certainly hope not.

    however with regards to many of apples decisions for the last few years they are not that bothered with what users think are mistakes
  4. hudson1 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2012
    What your friend didn't say is whether the decline in desktop sales has impacted mini sales more or less than the other models. No doubt Mac Pro sales have essentially dried up completely and I have to wonder how the iMac has been doing, too.

    I don't think Apple drops it but I also know it can't account for much in overall revenue or earnings for the company. For this reason, if it carries on I doubt they invest much if anything into a redesign -- just basic updates.
  5. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    I think Apple understands that "quietly" doesn't happen. A product temporarily goes out of stock, and it makes headlines here (often on the assumption that the product is being killed).

    I think the Mini will be around for at least another couple of years. It fills a unique niche in the product lineup, sales are probably good enough to keep the current version in production...

    On the theory that Apple would next bring out a disruptive product rather than a new design for a small niche, perhaps it'll be replaced by some sort of Time Capsule/Apple TV/iTunes media server/DVR/Mac/home server/who-knows-what-else product, perhaps if/when Apple moves to ARM processors for its Mac line. Something where media functions take center stage, the sales hook being, "..and it's also a Mac, if you need it."
  6. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    One data point is bad statistics. Not trying to be smug, but it just shouldn't be taken too seriously. What location is your friend's Applestore?
  7. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    I think desktops are still an essential. For me the iPad replaced my MacBook. I've kept the Mini. You need one "base" machine and a MacBook / iPad seems an odd combination as its two portable devices.

    I hope Apple don't let the Mini go as it's a great machine but to be honest I could see it happening. I could also see them combining the MacBook and MacBook Air into a single line.
  8. MikhailT macrumors 601

    Nov 12, 2007
    Mac Pros were more likely to be let go than the Mac Mini. Since Apple is releasing a massively updated model this month, the odds are slim that Mac mini will disappear soon.

    Now, it is more likely that iPod classic would be let go long before the Mac mini.

    I'm hoping that Mac mini over time will become more useful as a central hub for Mac households. For an example, Mac mini with the Server component installed can cache OS X/iOS downloads to let the local users pull it from Mac mini instead of Apple's servers. Storing iCloud data locally, so that all iOS restores would be much faster, quick iCloud-LAN syncs, and so on.

    Imagine Mac mini takes over the responsibilities of Airport Extreme, Time Capsule, and so on. At 300-400$ with TB ports for extended NAS drives, it'd be a killer.

    Many developers do use Mac minis as local development server farms. Such as coding on their MBA and then offload it to more powerful Mac mini for compiling.
  9. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    What possible difference does it make if they're both portable? One's a computer, the other isn't. Your iPad doesn't care what kind of computer it syncs with and your MacBook isn't a dog - it doesn't mind if you leave it in the house all day and night.
  10. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012

    I dont know real sales figures, judging by the traffic here in the Forums, the mini is still searched and preferred by modders/media buffs for diverse usages. Maybe the cash flow is not in the mini, but dont hurts to have a "cheap" item in the Apple lineup. But updates to that line can be tricky, being the comeback of discrete graphics a goal for many (dedicated GPU instead of integrated). And flash storage in plenty another item in the wish list for the mini....

  11. animatedude macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2010
    why do people think Apple will discontinue Mac mini?! Mac mini is very popular and even important entry level Mac....i don't have numbers but if many reports of big companies like Facebook are using Mac minis doesn't convince you then i don't know what else will...

    the future of Mac mini is very important for Apple in my opinion, they still need to do the "smallest lightest desktop we've ever created" scenario and now it's their chance..

    Honestly, i can't stop thinking how sexy the Mac Mini will be once it has an all PCI SSD and will be lighter and smaller,maybe that will not be in the next refresh but the one after.
  12. AshTemple macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2013
    I think the minis market is different, ipads etc look so more attractive in a store and get much more marketing compared to desktops, but companies buy minis etc in bulk via online retailers. Eg my company bought over 100 last year. They wouldn't have done that in a store, so I think it's hard to really see how popular the mini really is.
  13. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Guess they don't teach Apple Store people to sell mini's. They probably earn the least loyalty points with that model. I get almost all my friends who want a Mac to buy Mini's, just because it's the best Apple product. So it is not that they sell few Mini's, they WANT to sell few mini's.
  14. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2013
    My point is that the MacBook is a compromise because it's portable. My fully portable device is now an iPad replacing my MacBook. My Mini has been constant. As I posted I don't like using a laptop as my "main" machine. If I replace the Mini it will be with an iMac or if there is a refresh I may get a new Mini although my 2009 machine (with a few upgrades) is still going strong.
  15. Locoman macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2011
    An Apple Convert

    I like my MacMini. If it was for the fact that the Mini was priced reasonably
    and that i could use my existing hard are to start with, i don't think I would have switched from Windows to a Mac. But I did and haven't not once regretted the move. Since then, I have gotten an iPad, several Mac accessories and a MacBook Air. I really like how all my devices sync with each other and that that OS and hardware are more compatible then the PC's and Windows. I think, if Apple wants to continue getting more Convert's from Window's, the Mini is one way to go.
  16. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    Actually, the future of computing IS the mini.

    OK, probably not THE mini, but the mini's form factor. Ex: the new MacPro. The future of desktop computing is in a small box with the processing power while most everything else needed to make the computer worthwhile to the user is outside that box. The days of "all that crap in a big box" are almost gone.

    Unless Apple intends to ditch their desktops completely, the mini won't be dropped--it is an entry level to their full computer line. A kid with a mini will grow up to want a Pro. Tablets will expand power every year, but they won't be desktop-like until the end of the decade. Until then, the mini will probably remain.
  17. Schnort macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2013
    I think that the box only really needs to have the processor, memory, power supply, and a video card.

    If Apple could make a mini priced desktop system with a single PCIEx16 slot for graphics, they'd have a real winner on their hands. Actually, if they had done this years ago, they'd have a lot more penetration into the personal computer market.

    Instead they seem to want to go the boutique route with the Mac Pro, which mildly makes sense because everybody is going tablet for their home websurfing needs.
  18. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    While tablets are undoubtedly a bigger market, I don't know anyone that doesn't prefer browsing, e-mailing and using office apps (and higher apps in general) on a desktop. Tablets are great, but personally I find using one all the time a pain as I just miss the extra capabilities of the desktop.

    Tablets have definitely taken a chunk of the market for people that may not have really needed a desktop for what they did anyway (light browsing/e-mail) but anything more is still better on a proper computer. While laptops are a step up from a tablet, and plenty of people are happy there, it still has some of the same problems. Plus there's plenty of reason to have both a desktop and a tablet working together.

    Anyway, that aside I don't think Apple will discontinue the Mac Mini. It's an ideal entry computer, plus it would leave them with just the iMac as a consumer desktop, but that's of no use whatsoever to people who already have a monitor, and an iMac isn't a desperately cheap entry-point.

    While the iMac is fine for people looking for their first computer, or throwing away their whole previous computer setup, the Mac Mini is still ideal for enticing switchers, especially considering Windows is still the most common desktop OS out there. An iMac isn't as good for that market IMO.
  19. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Fact remains that iMacs vastly outsell Minis and MacBooks vastly outsell iMacs.

    Most people switching from Windows buy MacBooks. Most of the ones who don't, buy iMacs. And Minis? They're bought by Mac enthusiasts. The rest of the world doesn't even know they exist.
  20. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

    Dec 21, 2009
    Far away from liberals
    It would be a real shame if Apple cancels the Mac Mini line. I'm a huge fan of these remarkable little computers. I'm on my third, and I plan on buying the next gen. Since I have no interest in Apple's other products, if discontinued, I guess I'd be history. :(
  21. MacCruiskeen macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2011
    I hope they don't drop the mini. It does fill a useful spot in the lineup. I used a G4 mini for a few years, and it was fine, until it was replaced by my current iMac. I've been thinking that when this iMac dies, I might get another mini. The difference between a mini and an iMac is fairly small, and the mini and the Mac Pro are the only macs left that are not some sort of self-contained "all-in-one" design. And I can't afford a Mac Pro.
  22. ioannis2005gr macrumors 6502


    Aug 10, 2013
    I agree.

    My opinion is APPLE is going to redesign Mac Mini to host Iris Pro and other technologies (such as TB2 etc). If it happens in Q1-Q2 2014, Haswell processors will be included...For sure, PCIe SSD and Wi-Fi ac. More RAM has a good chance, too....

  23. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000


    Nov 20, 2007
    I think the mini is not only NOT going to be dropped, but rather it's actually in line for a refresh.

    It's too small to simply move over to PCIe-based flash storage without fundamentally changing the overall design spec. I'd rather they didn't drop the 2.5" bays, or at least not both of them, but I'm picking they might.
  24. haravikk, Dec 15, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2013

    haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    That's not the fault of the product though, except perhaps because they're so small that they're not as visible as something with integrated screen.

    But that doesn't mean there isn't plenty of potential still in them; Apple could make them even easier to integrate with an existing setup, for example by providing a free choice of adapter to supply with it. They could add out-of-the-box support for VESA mounting, or sell a bracket, that could make it more appealing to offices and schools. A bigger push for adoption by schools and businesses could make a big difference too.

    My personal hope is that they also push the possibility as a media centre and return Front Row (but more in line with the AppleTV interface); after all the Mac Mini is tiny in its own right, and while the AppleTV is great for supplementing another machine, the Mac Mini can sit in your living room and do everything. You can even run Steam games and dual boot to run Windows ones; okay it's not great for this but it's a complete package. They could even give it more capability to function as a wireless router (you can sort of do this on most Macs but the performance isn't great) and make it a real hub computer for a household of devices.

    There is a lot that Apple could do with the Mac Mini. But all that said, it isn't a machine that has to sell in huge numbers, it just has to help people to switch to the Mac ecosystem so they'll be more likely to get iOS devices (if they didn't switch because they already have some).
  25. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I switched over to Mac because of the iPhone. Was using Windows Desktop Machines since they came our in 1981. I now have 3 Mac Mini's at the office running VMWARE with multiple Windows Servers running underneath for testing. We also use native Mac OS for other things. We are a software company and have to have some Windows Machines. Several of us now use Mac Mini's as our Desktop Computer because we like the separation of the display and the computer so that one can be replaced without the other. However, one in our office like the iMac because of the all in one design and look. My main complaint about the iMac is the bottom silver bar. I like the looks of the standalone display much better. However, the display is over due for a refresh. Anyway, we are now > 50% switched to Mac's over the last 4 years.

Share This Page