Apple's Mac mini an 'important product,' staying in lineup

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware
Despite being one of Apple's most neglected lines, the Mac mini is an "important" product and won't be cancelled anytime soon, according to Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller.




"On that I'll say the Mac mini is an important product in our lineup and we weren't bringing it up because it's more of a mix of consumer with some pro use," Schiller said during a Tuesday press gathering revealing new iMacs and Mac Pros, attended by outfits like Daring Fireball. "The Mac mini remains a product in our lineup, but nothing more to say about it today."

The comments could imply that Apple is finally planning to refresh the Mac mini, which was last updated in 2014 and yet still starts at $499. It's nevertheless the cheapest Mac, and has found a niche as a server and/or a media set-top.

Schiller's comments align with those from an AppleInsider source saying the Mac mini is still alive within Apple, but without news on how the company will take a step forward.

Since it lacks a built-in display, Apple will presumably concentrate on upgrading to modern processors, RAM, and storage, for instance adding an SSD option. The company might also add USB-C and/or Thunderbolt 3, which would be useful for extending the Mac mini given its size.

While little is known about the upcoming iMacs, 2018 Mac Pros will have a modular design enabling more regular upgrades. They'll be joined by a new Apple-branded display, which might be compatible with an upgraded Mac mini as well.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    brifbrif Posts: 4member
    I am happy to hear Mac Mini is still alive. It is, IMO, stuck in a vicious cycle of being underrated and underpowered, one the result of the other. Personally, I wonder why Apple doesn't tout it like the ultimate small business machine: I cannot help but think that many smaller companies would be better off buying it instead of buying low-spec'd PCs and then spending a fortune on maintenance.
    williamlondonargonautwozwoz1983jesusfreaktipoochiaadm1lozblankowatto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 56
    indiekidukindiekiduk Posts: 184member
    Mac mini 901 days
    Mac pro 1202 days

    Yeh real important

    williamlondonsmaffei1983techprod1gyjesusfreakelijahgentropystallest skiladm1
  • Reply 3 of 56
    scottw2scottw2 Posts: 12member
    I use a Mac Mini as my main computing machine. I'm an advanced user and would like to see the following feature:

    (1) Upgradable RAM & SSD. Apple can make a Mac-not-so-Mini (or call it just a Mac!) to accommodate that

    (2) More ports on the front

    (3) Discrete GPU option (hey, Apple is making its own graphics chips soon)
    daven1983Mal_RGeorgeBMaclozblankowatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 56
    6toecat6toecat Posts: 27member
    I need a second Mac-mini to run as a file server for 4K production, but I'm waiting until the Mini has USB-C and/or Thunderbolt3.  'Apple', are you listening at all?
    elijahgwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 56
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,358member
    Mac mini 901 days
    Mac pro 1202 days

    Yeh real important
    Are you one of the single-digit percentage of Mac customers who actually own a Mac Pro? If not, why complain?
    Soliwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 56
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,358member
    6toecat said:
    I need a second Mac-mini to run as a file server for 4K production, but I'm waiting until the Mini has USB-C and/or Thunderbolt3.  'Apple', are you listening at all?
    I doubt it, since this is not their corporate website or suggestions box. Also, the Mini is designed as an entry level desktop, I doubt they're catering it to the "cheap server" use case. My parents use a Mini as their desktop computer just fine tho.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 56
    williamhwilliamh Posts: 471member
    6toecat said:
    I need a second Mac-mini to run as a file server for 4K production, but I'm waiting until the Mini has USB-C and/or Thunderbolt3.  'Apple', are you listening at all?
    I doubt it, since this is not their corporate website or suggestions box. Also, the Mini is designed as an entry level desktop, I doubt they're catering it to the "cheap server" use case. My parents use a Mini as their desktop computer just fine tho.
    Apple did sell a "cheap server" configuration a while back, though not currently.
    Eric_WVGG1983elijahgadm1
  • Reply 8 of 56
    djames4242djames4242 Posts: 446member
    scottw2 said:
    I use a Mac Mini as my main computing machine. I'm an advanced user and would like to see the following feature:

    (1) Upgradable RAM & SSD. Apple can make a Mac-not-so-Mini (or call it just a Mac!) to accommodate that

    (2) More ports on the front

    (3) Discrete GPU option (hey, Apple is making its own graphics chips soon)
    I don't see any of these things happening. My (mid-2011) Mini has been upgraded multiple times, from 4gb to 8gb to 16gb RAM, from 500gb HDD to a 250gb SSD, then a 500gb SSD and a second SSD. These upgrades have let me keep my Mini going happily for the past 5.5 years. I've done similar upgrades to my (early 2011) MBP including replacing the never-used optical drive with a second SSD. Unfortunately, Apple is going full steam with the appliance model. Upgrades (and fixes) require a full replacement. It's very sad, but those of us who upgrade are clearly in the minority.

    At this point, I'll be thrilled if the new Mini returns the quad-core option. I'm almost always running at least one virtual machine, sometimes two, and frequently transcoding video. Additional CPU cores would help tremendously. If the next Mini does not offer a quad-core option, I may be forced to find some room on my desk for a 27" iMac.
    argonautadm1GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 9 of 56
    auxioauxio Posts: 1,721member
    williamh said:
    6toecat said:
    I need a second Mac-mini to run as a file server for 4K production, but I'm waiting until the Mini has USB-C and/or Thunderbolt3.  'Apple', are you listening at all?
    I doubt it, since this is not their corporate website or suggestions box. Also, the Mini is designed as an entry level desktop, I doubt they're catering it to the "cheap server" use case. My parents use a Mini as their desktop computer just fine tho.
    Apple did sell a "cheap server" configuration a while back, though not currently.
    I have one which I use as a router/NAS box.  It was more designed to be a small-to-medium (average) business server.  The requirements of a server used for 4K video editing are definitely in the high end server realm.
  • Reply 10 of 56
    stompystompy Posts: 292member
    ... will presumably concentrate on upgrading to modern processors, RAM, and storage, for instance adding an SSD option. The company might also add USB-C and/or Thunderbolt 3...
    Now that Apple has a universal power connection (USB-C) that could logically be used on the mini, I'd actually like the next mini to go back to an external power supply -- ship it with the appropriate wattage laptop adapter and a USB-C cable.

    It would be a big improvement as a server. If you're using it as a desktop with a (powered) USB-C display, a nicer setup there as well. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 56
    smaffeismaffei Posts: 117member
    Are you one of the single-digit percentage of Mac customers who actually own a Mac Pro? If not, why complain?
    I am a 2010 Mac mini owner who doesn't want the buy the current one because a new one may be in the pipe. 2 1/2 years is a long time between updates, eh?
    GeorgeBMacwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 56
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 132member
    "They'll be joined by a new Apple-branded display"   -----------> Hooray!
    1983watto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 56
    I don't know why Apple doesn't update the Mini more often. It's basically a Macbook minus the battery, keyboard, trackpad and Retina display. Should be pretty easy to adapt a design from any current or recent model Macbook.
    tipoowatto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 56
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 4,702member
    Mac mini 901 days
    Mac pro 1202 days

    Yeh real important

    An entitled Millennial perhaps?
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 15 of 56
    Mac mini 901 days
    Mac pro 1202 days

    Yeh real important
    Are you one of the single-digit percentage of Mac customers who actually own a Mac Pro? If not, why complain?
    What does that matter? It is not ok to abandon your users like this.
    elijahgwilliamlondonentropysadm1
  • Reply 16 of 56
    I think it's disgraceful that Apple has allowed these products to languish for so long.  Apple also needs to up the anti in their Remote Desktop functionality and get more involved in Cloud computing.  If they don't start taking these markets seriously, they are going to be looking like IBM before they lost the PC market.  There is still a significant market in these areas.
    techprod1gyentropys
  • Reply 17 of 56
    appexappex Posts: 510member
    Great! Brand new Apple Thunderbolt Display for brand new Mac Pro and brand new Mac mini.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 56
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,358member
    Mac mini 901 days
    Mac pro 1202 days

    Yeh real important
    Are you one of the single-digit percentage of Mac customers who actually own a Mac Pro? If not, why complain?
    What does that matter? It is not ok to abandon your users like this.
    I find the insesant complaining by people who don't even own or plan to own Pros childish and revealing an ulterior motive. 

    As for the line, while it's easy to build products in the safe confines of your head, reality is a different beast. things happen. As Craig explained they bet on parallel processing being the future of GPUs but the industry didn't go there. Pro was thermally constrained by this bet. things happen. time machines don't actually exist. 

    But it let me guess, you've never misstepped at your job or business? Must be nice. Then again, you don't make as many forward thinking, big bets and risks with your product lines as Apple does. With their big bets come big rewards. 
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 56
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 1,358member
    I think it's disgraceful that Apple has allowed these products to languish for so long.  Apple also needs to up the anti in their Remote Desktop functionality and get more involved in Cloud computing.  If they don't start taking these markets seriously, they are going to be looking like IBM before they lost the PC market.  There is still a significant market in these areas.
    "Disgraceful!" rolling my eyes.... Go read the detailed articles where they explained why. Hint: it wasn't just to screw with your day. 
    williamlondonpscooter63massconn72watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 56
    scottw2 said:
    I use a Mac Mini as my main computing machine. I'm an advanced user and would like to see the following feature:

    (1) Upgradable RAM & SSD. Apple can make a Mac-not-so-Mini (or call it just a Mac!) to accommodate that

    (2) More ports on the front

    (3) Discrete GPU option (hey, Apple is making its own graphics chips soon)
    Me too.  I love my 2010 Mini, though it is getting regrettably long in the tooth.  For me, I plan to upgrade the RAM to 8gb and use it as a dedicated media server.  Would love to get another one if a future model has a discrete GPU onboard.

    #2 is highly unlikely however.  Do you really think Jony Ive would let that happen?
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