Originally Posted by Bregalad
Intel does decrease prices from time to time as yields improve, but you're right that all OEMs have access to those price adjustments.
The previous suggestion implied that if Intel drops the price by a few dollars Apple should do so as well. This ignores Apple's pricing structure would then have to be reset for new Macs when new chips are inserted, usually at the same price point for the chip, and that Apple buys in bulk which makes the whole notion of what a vendor does at one point forcing a customer to alter their prices immediately pretty silly. These aren't gas prices where it's based on futures (and wouldn't it be horrible if it was set up that way?).
We also can't be so shortsighted as to think that Apple prices a machine for what it costs that day coming out of the factory. Apple, like any successful company, uses many metrics to figure out a price point. Let's say that zero days sales of the MBP have component costs that are 25% more than at the end of the production cycle for that machine. That's fine, because at the end of the cycle they probably aren't selling as much so the cost for production could actually go up per unit, and, most importantly, Apple has figured in the total cost for producing that model for it's lifecycle when figuring out the price. If ones wants to pay less at the end of the cycle then one might as well slap extra cost to the start of the cycle.
Today the 2.6GHz i7-3720QM and 2.7GHz i7-3740QM both cost exactly the same amount and that price is identical to what customers previously paid for the 2.3GHz 3610QM yet the Mac mini continues to carry the older, slower CPU. It's safe to assume that Apple doesn't worry about giving Mac mini customers the best possible bang for their buck.
This is something I'd like to see, but making the next Mac mini about the footprint of the current AirPort Extreme could work. Not as tell as it doesn't need to support a 3.5" HDD, but it could support one or two 2.5" HDDs for the server model. These could be laid sideways (which would be length longways as the width of a 3.5" drive). I think using less desk space is a good thing here, plus you want to limit things being placed atop it.
Of course, Apple seems to be moving away from HDDs so the next Mac Mini would probably only have a PCIe SSD with a couple TB2 ports for external storage.Edited by akqies - 10/9/13 at 6:35pm