Whither Apple’s Mac mini?

“As bad as the Mac Pro’s lot in life has become, the Mac mini isn’t far behind it. The machine was last updated in late 2014 and is still powered by Haswell Core i5s and i7s,” Stephen Hackett writes for 512 Pixels. “Those chips are one generation older than the MacBook Air.”

“Their common neglect aside, it is weird that the Mac mini and Mac Pro are so often linked in people’s mind,” Hackett writes. “Start talking about a cheaper entry-model Mac Pro gets people excited, and the question is always at hand: What if a cheap Mac Pro was the Mac mini?”

“I truly believe the Mac mini and Mac Pro will remain separate computers in 2018 and beyond,” Hackett writes. “I think the Mac mini deserves to be overhauled. There’s clearly a market for a $499 entry-level Mac for those who are looking for a basic yet capable machine running macOS.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s pretty clear what people want in a Mac mini:

SEE ALSO:
Apple CEO Cook: The Mac mini will be ‘important part’ of our future product lineup – October 19, 2017
Apple’s embarrassing Mac Pro mea culpa – April 4, 2017
Who’s going to buy a Mac Pro now? – April 4, 2017
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
Apple to unveil ‘iMac Pro’ later this year; rethought, modular Mac Pro and Apple pro displays in the pipeline – April 4, 2017
Apple’s apparent antipathy towards the Mac prompts calls for macOS licensing – March 27, 2017
Why Apple’s new Mac Pro might never arrive – March 10, 2017
Dare we hold out hope for the Mac Pro? – March 1, 2017
Apple CEO Cook pledges support to pro users, says ‘we don’t like politics’ at Apple’s annual shareholders meeting – February 28, 2017
Yes, I just bought a ‘new’ Mac Pro (released on December 19, 2013 and never updated) – January 4, 2017
Attention, Tim Cook! Apple isn’t firing on all cylinders and you need to fix it – January 4, 2017
No, Apple, do not simplify, get better – December 23, 2016
Rare video shows Steve Jobs warning Apple to focus less on profits and more on great products – December 23, 2016
Marco Arment: Apple’s Mac Pro is ‘very likely dead’ – December 20, 2016
How Tim Cook’s Apple alienated Mac loyalists – December 20, 2016
Apple’s not very good, really quite poor 2016 – December 19, 2016
Apple’s software has been anything but ‘magical’ lately – December 19, 2016
Lazy Apple. It’s not hard to imagine Steve Jobs asking, ‘What have you been doing for the last four years?’ – December 9, 2016
Rush Limbaugh: Is Apple losing their edge? – December 9, 2016
AirPods: MIA for the holidays; delayed product damages Apple’s credibility, stokes customer frustration – December 9, 2016
Apple may have finally gotten too big for its unusual corporate structure – November 28, 2016
Apple has no idea what they’re doing in the TV space, and it’s embarrassing – November 3, 2016
Apple’s disgracefully outdated, utterly mismanaged Mac lineup is killing sales – October 13, 2016
Apple takes its eye off the ball: Why users are complaining about Apple’s software – February 9, 2016
Open letter to Tim Cook: Apple needs to do better – January 5, 2015

23 Comments

  1. I could have bought a new mini 3 years ago but the new version was not very compelling. In the end I bought a new MBP and used my old laptop to replace the 2009 mac mini that has been my media server for 7 years.
    I get that the revenue is not that much for Apple but they are still leaving money on the table. Minis don’t have to be technological marvels but should be updated on a regular basis.

    1. It’s beyond sad Apple does not upgrade Macs in a timely fashion. After all unless you want to deal with a Hackintosh hassle they ARE the only source for Macs. I wish they’d spin the Mac on to a separate unit that truly cares and is passionate about it. A new upgradeable Mac Pro (that pros actually want) should’ve come out long before an iMac Pro did. Misplaced and lazy priorities along with unfathomably dead end design that never had to be.

      Hey Apple if you run it right you should be able to fire on all device cylinders and please ALL your customers and their wants and desires. The Mac has simply GOT to be stop being ignored. It may not seem that way to you but it sure does to us.

      1. Actually hackintoshes are not that bad if you go on YouTube and find someone who will show you how they built the hackintosh. You simply purchase all the parts they bought and download their config.plist and you’re all set. Piece of cake.

        My wife’s old laptop died on her and I was going to buy a Mac mini, until I saw how bad and old the hardware on it was.

        I just got a pc and converted it to a Mac hackintosh. She’s more than thrilled. She doesn’t care about the “looks” of the pc chassis. She just wants the Mac experience and looks at the screen like almost all normal people do.

    2. I agree. This is sample of one of the situation possible converts could encounter. Information is from the first mini PC in my search results at NewEgg.

      ASUS Desktop Computer VivoMini VC66-B019Z, 3.6 Ghz Intel Quad-Core i7 7th Gen 7700, 8 GB DDR4, 1 TB 5400 RPM HDD, DVD, USB type B + C, 3 video ports on an Intel HD Graphics 630, Windows 10 Home 64-Bit
      https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16883221444
      $699.99

      Apple Mac Mini 2014 (Current model), 2.6GHz Dual-Core 4th Gen Intel Core i5, 1TB 5400 RPM HDD, 8GB memory, Intel Iris Graphics
      https://www.apple.com/us_epp_141196/shop/buy-mac/mac-mini
      $657.00

      I know that one is a Mac and one is a WinBlows computer, but looking at this from a consumer point of view…which one is a better value? Get the ASUS, and add a four year warranty for $109, or a Mac Mini with AppleCare for $89?

      In choosing the Mac, they could ask; “Is the (significant) loss of performance and flexibility while gaining the MacOS and its features worth it?”

      They could upgrade the Mac Mini to a 4th gen dual-core i7 for 939.00. It is still three generations and four cores behind the other one. No comparable Mac Mini option exists any longer.

  2. a mac mini with two M.2 SSD slots, one HDD bay, user replaceable ram, 3 USB 3.1, 2 Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, and ethernet ports on the back and one USB 3.1 port and one SD port on the front. Base with fastest i5 and option for second fastest i7. That’s all. For $800 to 1000.

      1. It’s a shame that Apple thinks that giving consumers what they want is a failed business model. Apple doesn’t have to focus only on extravagantly high-priced items only.

    1. That is crap, trondude, if by “cheap” you mean “less expensive.” Apple created the Mac mini in the first place. They also pursued price accessibility with the MacBook and MBA and, in the case of the iPod, Apple developed the low-cost Shuffle.

      The problem is that people who want high-end quality and performance at bargain basement pricing are doomed to disappointment. And those people tend to complain a lot.

  3. Word to Cupertino:
    Not everybody wants an iMac or a laptop. And not everyone in that camp needs a Mac Pro.

    Here are the preferred specs:
    1- Current CPU offerings- not a step down from the iMac & MacBook lines.
    2- BTO option for QUAD CORE i7 CPUs and discrete GPU to replace Vampire Video.
    3- Return to the design allowing users to pop in standard laptop memory.
    4- Prefer to build with socketed CPUs instead of soldered in.
    5- Plenty of connectivity- stop taking away ports.
    6- Stop trying to make a fashion statement and let function determine the form.

    The Mac mini does not have to be marketed as a budget or bargain Mac. Have two at the house and they run matte finish 4K H-P monitors 32″ each, since Apple has decided to give the finger to people who used to buy the LED Cinema display.

    While we are at it, Apple should easily be able to incorporate the Gizmo Bar and Touch ID into a wired or wireless Keyboard for all desktop Macs- including the new iMac. It should also be illuminated like my Logitech K811 which has been on sale for years. Turns the light son when needed and off when not.

  4. Not sure why he is saying that they will not merge the mini with the Mac Pro. It makes sense, as that is exactly what they just did with the iMac. They have a regular iMac and the iMac Pro. Why not have a Mac and Mac Pro?

  5. What’s really sad is that Apple doesn’t find it necessary to upgrade the MacMini in a timely fashion AND doesn’t allow users to upgrade their own machines. That seems a bit unfair on Apple’s part. Apple should at least do one or the other. I’m not complaining but it just seems as though Apple would sell more MacMinis if they did leave a little leeway. It may not matter to Apple but from my perspective, it just seems as though Apple is throwing away MacMini sales. Of course, I may be completely wrong.

  6. I had a thought the other day about the modular Mac Pro. What if the basic configurations of this new Mac are essentially Mac Mini, and what differentiates it into a Mac pro is what you expand onto it afterwards?

  7. I wish Apple would do something quick. Got two Mac minis. One is a 2011 model for the wife and also used as home theater set-up. The other is a 2012 model I bought to replace my 17″ MBP when it died.

    Bought both as refurbs from Apple. Mine is almost 5 years old. No idea what I’ll do if one of ours dies.

    Haven’t bought another Mac since then… and no intentions to buy another until I see something better than what’s available. No laptops. My 17″ MBP was treated like it was made of glass and the MB died about six months past Apple Care expiration.

    No more AiO Macs either. Went thru 4 G4 and Intel iMacs during our business days… all of which still run btw, but one of the Intel units is having problems.

    Current and post 2012 Mac minis are out of the question. At the very least I want to be able to upgrade ram.

  8. Unlike the old days, you can get a Wintel Mini easily, they are called Intel NUC. And Mac Minis are way WAY overpriced compared to them. Apple are asleep at the wheel.

  9. If they simply modernized the 2012 model, I think a lot of people would be happy.

    Bring back user upgradeable RAM
    Bring back quad core processors, especially quad core i7
    Keep the ability of users to upgrade storage drives.
    Add to the USB B ports, a couple of USB C ports
    Add modern processors and CPU features
    — That would make most of us happy.

    If there was an optional connected base that the Mini could sit on that, if the user decided not to use the “integrated or built-in discrete” video, would allow the use of a small form factor video card in it. Even an Apple branded one, just a faster than built-in option.
    — A bit cumbersome, but it would allow for video upgrades.

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