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$100 increase for Apple's redesigned Mac mini seen as disappointment

post #1 of 272
Thread Starter 
Apple's redesigned Mac mini was released on Tuesday starting at $699, a $100 premium over the previous model -- a new price that one prominent Wall Street analyst said he believes is somewhat disappointing.

Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. issued a note to investors noting that the Mac mini refresh is the most significant for the desktop hardware since it was first introduced in January of 2005. The new hardware added an HDMI port and now has an aluminum unibody exterior. But those additions weren't enough to offset some dissatisfaction with the new price for Wu.

"The only disappointment we have is the price point of $699 vs. the previous price of $599," Wu wrote. "For the new form factor, faster processor, faster graphics, HDMI port, and more HDD storage, (Apple) believes the $100 premium is justified. The original Mac mini cost $499 and over the past (5-and-a-half) years the price point has increased by $200, though the technology has gotten significantly better."

Still, Wu remains impressed by the new hardware, particularly the adoption of the 320M embedded graphics chip already found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and $999 MacBook. He said having the same embedded graphics across a variety of devices will allow Apple to simplify its supply chain and streamline software development.

While Tuesday's update to the Mac mini was welcome, Wu said he is still waiting for refreshes to the Mac Pro desktop and ultraportable MacBook Air notebook. He expects those updates to come soon, as signs of pending changes from supply chain sources have indicated to the analyst.

Rumors of a Mac Pro update have persisted for months. The new desktop is believed to adopt Intel's latest Core i7 processor with six cores. In March, AppleInsider reported that Apple is expected to release a major update to its Mac Pro workstations in June, along with a larger version of its LED Cinema Display.

The last major refresh to the Mac Pro equipped it with its Nehalem Xeon processors, with a high-end eight-core Mac Pro offering two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 chips. Earlier this month, Apple quietly upgraded that to a potential maximum 2.93GHz eight-core system.

Rumors of a MacBook Air upgrade have also lingered, but failed to materialize thus far. In January, it was suggested that the MacBook Air refresh might have seen a delay due to limited availability of Intel's Core i5 ultramobile processors. Those reports suggested Apple could adopt the ultra-thin 18W TDP processor. The Core i5-520UM has a maximum processor speed of 1.86GHz, and an integrated GPU with 500MHz of processing power. The 32nm dual-core chip also includes 3MB of L3 cache.

Apple last updated the MacBook Air in June 2009, dropping its entry price to $1,499 for a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-based system.

Wu and Kaufman Bros. reiterated their recommendation for investors to buy AAPL stock. The firm has a $320 price target based on expectations of $15.77 earnings per share in calendar year 2011.
post #2 of 272
maybe i'm just the jerk that keeps hammering at dead horses, but where the hell is the IR port on the mini? The old one had an IR port for the remote. The new one doesn't. What the hell, apple? This isn't a media center if it doesn't have a tiny remote!!!!!

GAH!

iPad FAIL.
Mini FAIL.

Stop going backwards!


EDIT:

Turns out it's just REALLY really well hidden this time. It still exists. I rescind my inflammatory reply.
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post #3 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple's redesigned Mac mini was released on Tuesday starting at $699, a $100 premium over the previous model -- a new price that one prominent Wall Street analyst said he believes is somewhat disappointing.

Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. issued a note to investors noting that the Mac mini refresh is the most significant for the desktop hardware since it was first introduced in January of 2005. The new hardware added an HDMI port and now has an aluminum unibody exterior. But those additions weren't enough to offset some dissatisfaction with the new price for Wu.

"The only disappointment we have is the price point of $699 vs. the previous price of $599," Wu wrote. "For the new form factor, faster processor, faster graphics, HDMI port, and more HDD storage, (Apple) believes the $100 premium is justified. The original Mac mini cost $499 and over the past (5-and-a-half) years the price point has increased by $200, though the technology has gotten significantly better."

Still, Wu remains impressed by the new hardware, particularly the adoption of the 320M embedded graphics chip already found in the 13-inch MacBook Pro and $999 MacBook. He said having the same embedded graphics across a variety of devices will allow Apple to simplify its supply chain and streamline software development.

While Tuesday's update to the Mac mini was welcome, Wu said he is still waiting for refreshes to the Mac Pro desktop and ultraportable MacBook Air notebook. He expects those updates to come soon, as signs of pending changes from supply chain sources have indicated to the analyst.

Rumors of a Mac Pro update have persisted for months. The new desktop is believed to adopt Intel's latest Core i7 processor with six cores. In March, AppleInsider reported that Apple is expected to release a major update to its Mac Pro workstations in June, along with a larger version of its LED Cinema Display.

The last major refresh to the Mac Pro equipped it with its Nehalem Xeon processors, with a high-end eight-core Mac Pro offering two 2.26GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon 5500 chips. Earlier this month, Apple quietly upgraded that to a potential maximum 2.93GHz eight-core system.

Rumors of a MacBook Air upgrade have also lingered, but failed to materialize thus far. In January, it was suggested that the MacBook Air refresh might have seen a delay due to limited availability of Intel's Core i5 ultramobile processors. Those reports suggested Apple could adopt the ultra-thin 18W TDP processor. The Core i5-520UM has a maximum processor speed of 1.86GHz, and an integrated GPU with 500MHz of processing power. The 32nm dual-core chip also includes 3MB of L3 cache.

Apple last updated the MacBook Air in June 2009, dropping its entry price to $1,499 for a 1.86GHz Intel Core 2 Duo-based system.

Wu and Kaufman Bros. reiterated their recommendation for investors to buy AAPL stock. The firm has a $320 price target based on expectations of $15.77 earnings per share in calendar year 2011.

What, Apple should cheapen up their stuff just to make the investors happy? I just recently threw away my Flowerpower imac after almost years. NO VIRUS, NO BREAK DOWNS NOTHING. It just got old and started to naturally break down. Speakers didn't work, ejection mechanism was sometimes working and it couldn't be upgrades to the latest OS.
You get what you pay for with Mac and the price is worth it. Macs keep their value. The price point? No big deal. I'll pay the price as long as I can receive the best user experience. Period.
post #4 of 272
Eh, I'll be using my good old education discount anyways.
post #5 of 272
I have to hold off on this due to price. I'll stick with my AppleTV for now. But, damn, it would be nice to use this beast. Gorgeous.
post #6 of 272
At least ram looks very easy to switch out. I remember switching the ram on the old one, geezus was that a chore. I recall using a putty knife to get off the shell.
post #7 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post

iPad FAIL.
Stop going backwards!

If that is failure, what would be success?
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post #8 of 272
it should have had Blu Ray. Doesn't that seem logical?
post #9 of 272
For that price, they should have at least thrown in 4GB RAM and 500GB hard drive.

Very disappointing. (I'll wait for the inevitable price drop).
post #10 of 272
If anything they should have lowered the price $100, not raise it.
post #11 of 272
You do generally get what you pay for with a mac system. Besides using the smallest, most highly refined parts, Apple (usually) does not find the cheapest off the shelf components like some other computer manufacturers tend to.

However, $699 for this little machine does put it a bit into the boutique category.... Don't know if I can justify this one.
post #12 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

If anything they should have lowered the price $100, not raise it.

Nail on the head.
post #13 of 272
That explains the "quiet" roll out.
post #14 of 272
How much does Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. get paid by investors in Apple to tell them stuff they could find out for themselves?

New hardware, new features, extra cost? How is that "disappointment" for investors? The only disappointment is that somewhere somehow Shaw Wu and his Kru are making money off Apple that those investors aren't getting a share of.
post #15 of 272
Clearly, Apple is a failure. They can't make ipads and iphones fast enough for demand. They can't please investors. I mean, just look at their stock price over the last 5 years. An abomination if ever I have seen one. They make the baby jesus cry.

The feds should investigate them and leave the good companies (BP, massey energy, etc alone). Those companies are doing such wonderful things. Also, I think the telecoms are doing a great job. I could not ask more of my cable or phone providers. The fact that I have one choice of semi-fast internet in my area and the price goes up for no reason every other month pleases me as a consumer and citizen. You're doing a heck of a job brownie! Meanwhile, apple puts out crap and more crap. I demand an investigation immediately.
post #16 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tardis View Post

How much does Shaw Wu with Kaufman Bros. get paid by investors in Apple to tell them stuff they could find out for themselves?

New hardware, new features, extra cost? How is that "disappointment" for investors? The only disappointment is that somewhere somehow Shaw Wu and his Kru are making money off Apple that those investors aren't getting a share of.

It's disappointing because they used to offer a Mac starting at $499, then it was $599 and now it's $699. The price barrier will deter would-be Mac owners; whether it's worth the extra $200 is irrelevant for people who are willing to spend $499 but not $699 sans monitor/keyboard/mouse.
post #17 of 272
The new mini has got some really nice features, but I think it's starting to stray from its original mission of providing a fairly inexpensive alternative to the folks contemplating switching from a Windows-based desktop machine.

Maybe getting people to switch isn't such a big priority with Apple anymore.
post #18 of 272
I had resigned myself to wait for the new model and was ready to buy at introduction, specifically because I wanted the 320M.

I went to the store this morning and saw the price. Um, what? More expensive?

Then I went to the specs and saw 2GB as the base memory config, taking up both slots.

You have got to be kidding me.
post #19 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by cxc273 View Post

The new mini has got some really nice features, but I think it's starting to stray from its original mission of providing a fairly inexpensive alternative to the folks contemplating switching from a Windows-based desktop machine.

Exactly. Great machine and great update, but it either ought to be cheaper or there ought to be a lower-end model.
post #20 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadMac View Post

it should have had Blu Ray. Doesn't that seem logical?

Apple believes that digital is the future and Blu-ray is a flash in the pan. They are not going to put it in their machines. Aside from perhaps the Pro and even then I bet not. They perhaps might maybe make the DVD player Blu-ray compat for when you add a 3rd party machine but I wouldn't count on that either

Quote:
Originally Posted by archer75 View Post

If anything they should have lowered the price $100, not raise it.

There used to be three models, $599, $799 and the server at $999. They kept the server as is and split the difference on the other two.
post #21 of 272
Apple figured out that $699 was the most common config that people bought, so no loss. If this feature-matches that config, then they did the right thing, despite the perceived price jump.
post #22 of 272
I'll wait for the first batch of refurbs due to melting motherboards!

Cheaper AND field tested!
post #23 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

Apple believes that digital is the future and Blu-ray is a flash in the pan.

A 15 year flash in the pan. Buy-to-own digital movies are going nowhere fast. Apple needs to pull their head out of the sand.
post #24 of 272
The price is even worse outside the US. And I don't even start to compare it to the US prices because Apple is always way off, and there is sales tax here of course. That said, the price has increased by an unbelievable EUR 200 in Germany from the previous version to the current one. That's USD 245 (!!!). Actually, it's even more, but that's due to a new EUR 15 copyright charge.

An increase of EUR 100 = USD 120 might even have been justified (1) compared to the USD 100 increase in the US and/or (2) the slightly better specs and the EUR-USD exchange rate. But USD 245 is just crazy.
post #25 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by wvmb99 View Post

Don't know if I can justify this one.

That's what I was saying to myself, even as I clicked the "Buy" button. I just couldn't help myself.

Before you ask, yes I do have "mug" written across my forehead.
post #26 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post


GAH!

iPad FAIL.
Mini FAIL.


Mac Mini + iPad + Jaadu VNC = Remote display touchscreen. No need for wireless keyboard and mouse.

Add in plexapp or boxee and Airvideo for iPad = ultimate entertainment experience.
post #27 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post

maybe i'm just the jerk that keeps hammering at dead horses, but where the hell is the IR port on the mini? The old one had an IR port for the remote. The new one doesn't. What the hell, apple? This isn't a media center if it doesn't have a tiny remote!!!!!

GAH!

iPad FAIL.
Mini FAIL.

Stop going backwards!


EDIT:

Turns out it's just REALLY really well hidden this time. It still exists. I rescind my inflammatory reply.

Thats what happens when you go off the deep end before looking into the matter.
post #28 of 272
For this price, I would have expected at least an i3 processor. As it is, the processor is barely faster than the last generation and the prices have fallen on processors, so that's moot. Same for the graphics, yes it's faster, that is exected over nine months. They basically raised the price due to the aluminum body - I don't see anything else that justifies the price increase. And it makes no sense to make an aluminum body on this machine. They put the i5 and i7 into their laptops, so there isn't a technical reason they couldn't get it in here.

Apple just got out of the lower end and turned the Mac mini into a fancy, but underpowered machine. I was ready to get 5 of these for a lab, but the increase in price will make these unjustifiable. They either need to be faster at this price or they need to be cheaper. Apple chose aesthetics over function this time and they've unfortunately lost my order.
post #29 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

I'll wait for the first batch of refurbs due to melting motherboards!

Cheaper AND field tested!

THERE we go.

The one thing about the price increase that I don't understand is, why isn't the Server model an additional $100 more? Disappointing that the price went up, or as others have speculated that the consumer model is now priced in-between the original entry level model and its uprated midrange one.

I'd probably be looking at the server version myself, so in that regard it's a nice update in a smaller package for the same price.
post #30 of 272
For that $100 extra dollars Apple could have added a cheap Blu-Ray drive...
post #31 of 272
I can't believe they raised the price on the thing. Spec wise I don't feel it's justified. I have 2 Mac mini's an iPhone and a pile of Apple stock. I live in reality though, I'm not a fanboi. I'm not happy to see the Core 2 Duo still in there and why in heck did they put the SD slot in the back? The back is for stuff that gets plugged in once and stays that way. The slot should be in the front where it can be easily used.
post #32 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by NomadMac View Post

it should have had Blu Ray. Doesn't that seem logical?

Yeah, I wonder for how long they are gonna ignore BluRay. The iTunes Movie Store is an international failure so far with just a couple of countries, and it's really cunning to leave their customers that can't access digital movies (the way Apple want it) without an option to play today's best movie format. And even if the iTunes Movie Store was world wide, it'd still be cunning...

But.. is there a super duper drive that read and write all formats?
post #33 of 272
I've been pretty pissed about the price increase as well. But if you go to dell's website and price out a 50/50 comparable machine (the Dell Studio Hybrid) it prices out at $689.
2.2 Ghtz w/ 3MB cache, 2 gigs ram, SD slot, HDMI, etc. So even though i'm pissed abotu the price of this, it's competitive. I guess it all boils down to components.

It still is a little amazing that you couldn't get the price down to at least $499 at the entry level.
post #34 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by maccherry View Post

What, Apple should cheapen up their stuff just to make the investors happy? I just recently threw away my Flowerpower imac after almost years. NO VIRUS, NO BREAK DOWNS NOTHING. It just got old and started to naturally break down. Speakers didn't work, ejection mechanism was sometimes working and it couldn't be upgrades to the latest OS.
You get what you pay for with Mac and the price is worth it. Macs keep their value. The price point? No big deal. I'll pay the price as long as I can receive the best user experience. Period.

Call me a troll, but sorry to say the design and engineering is brilliant but the component and assembly quality is significantly poorer compared to Macs from 3 to 6 years ago.

Sure, some will want me to quote "facts" and "statistics", but, well, truth will out.

And I'm not anti-Apple (see my 4,000+ posts )
post #35 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by wvmb99 View Post

...Apple (usually) does not find the cheapest off the shelf components like some other computer manufacturers tend to...

For the most part, but nowadays, not always. Not always anymore.
post #36 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post

... And I'm not anti-Apple (see my 4,000+ posts )

If memory serves, you could be classified as anti-Apple based on your posting history.
post #37 of 272
The price isn't a disappointment - the price is a joke.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #38 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

It's disappointing because they used to offer a Mac starting at $499, then it was $599 and now it's $699. The price barrier will deter would-be Mac owners; whether it's worth the extra $200 is irrelevant for people who are willing to spend $499 but not $699 sans monitor/keyboard/mouse.

for anyone who cares to spend $499 on an Apple product, we have the iPad ....
post #39 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tardis View Post

for anyone who cares to spend $499 on an Apple product, we have the iPad ....

And if the iPad wasn't a slave device that requires a computer, that would be a very viable solution.
post #40 of 272
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cory Bauer View Post

A 15 year flash in the pan. Buy-to-own digital movies are going nowhere fast. Apple needs to pull their head out of the sand.

Who wants to own a movie when they're all available for streaming? One day. I have never understood why people would want to have racks of plastic discs in their living rooms.
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