Apple's new Mac mini, server surprise with strong sales start

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
While Apple's new iMac got all of the desktop-related attention when new hardware was announced in October, the new Mac mini and its debut Server companion have found early success.



Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis with market research firm NPD Group, told AppleInsider that he was surprised by the strong performance of the Mac mini. Previously, he said, the low-end desktop had been "dead in the water" in terms of sales.



"The new mini has done very well compared to what we received previously," Baker said. "I think (it was due to) Apple giving it a little bit of support and talking about it a little more. They went back and kind of reminded people it was there again."



In October, Apple introduced three new Mac mini models: a $599 model with a 2.26 GHz processor, a 160GB hard drive, and 2GB of RAM; a $799 model with a 2.53GHz processor, 320GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM; and a $999 version equipped with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server and sporting two 500GB hard drives. The server option drops the optical drive to make room for its 1TB of total storage, in addition to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 4GB of RAM, all fit into the system's 6.5-inch square, 2-inch high frame, weighing in at 2.9 pounds.



The new Mac minis were part of a desktop refresh from Apple and were released alongside new iMacs. The 21.5-inch iMac was the best-selling desktop in the U.S. in the month of October, while the 27-inch model came in third for all hardware. The new Mac minis did not crack the top 10 for hardware sales.



But combined with the success of the new iMacs, desktop sales for Apple increased 74 percent year-over-year in October and November. While some assumed that increase was based solely on the strength of the iMac, Baker said the new Mac mini line played a significant role.



"We definitely saw some uptick on that as well," he said, "and it was probably a surprise for me too."



When Mac mini sales were flat years ago, Apple left the hardware line mostly stagnant, with only a handful of minor updates. Though sources suggested Apple could abandon the desktop line entirely, in 2008 new life was breathed into the Mac mini. It was a smart move by Apple, given the apparent success of the October refresh.



Baker said the addition of the Mac mini Server helps to diversify Apple's line of products, and will likely prove to be an important asset to the company. The dual-drive, optical-free Mac mini Server saw a relatively quiet launch in the face of the new iMacs and MacBook.



"I think it's going to help it in the long term," Baker said of the server version. "It probably broadens the audience a little bit."



The new hardware is optimized for Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, and comes bundled with the operating system software. Previously, users had to spend $500 for the retail box option. For comparison, prior to Snow Leopard, the unlimited user version of Mac OS X Server cost $999. Now, users can pay the same cost and get a Mac mini along with the software.



Also significant is the fact that the Mac mini Server comes with the full-featured version. On the mini PC side, business users must spend hundreds of dollars extra to obtain the Small Business Server Standard software. For a greater comparison and close look at Snow Leopard Server, see AppleInsider's in-depth analysis of the Mac mini Server.







Shoppers can find the best deals on the Apple's new Mac mini models in the AppleInsider Mac Pricing Guide:



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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 96
    Well if they got around to adding a Blu-Ray movie playback option, just imagine the success for the home theater applications... It's a bigger bag of hurt waiting for Apple to catch up to the rest of the industry with Blu-Ray.
  • Reply 2 of 96
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    i was doing some price comparison and it's cheaper now to get a basic iMac than a Dell
  • Reply 3 of 96
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    i was doing some price comparison and it's cheaper now to get a basic iMac than a Dell



    Dell stinks so bad Michael Dell should think about selling the company and retiring.
  • Reply 4 of 96
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by libertyforall View Post


    Well if they got around to adding a Blu-Ray movie playback option, just imagine the success for the home theater applications... It's a bigger bag of hurt waiting for Apple to catch up to the rest of the industry with Blu-Ray.



    i cannot wait for apple to add blu ray so i stop reading comments like this



    blu ray support in a mac mini server? really??
  • Reply 5 of 96
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 13,377member
    Hopefully by the time comes to replace the MBP Apple will have a Tablet to do what I need done while traveling and thus can move back to a desktop machine.



    Of course it is then a toss up between the Mini and the iMac. That is off in the future but a Mini ought to be looking impressive then. I'd expect Arrandale in the current rev soon which would be a healthy boost. By the time I buy it ought to have four cores.



    Dave
  • Reply 6 of 96
    smiles77smiles77 Posts: 668member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Traqqer7777 View Post


    Dell stinks so bad Michael Dell should sell the company and give the money back to the shareholders.



    There, I fixed it for you.
  • Reply 7 of 96
    boogabooga Posts: 1,082member
    Why isn't it being compared against a Windows Home Server box? That's what most people would use it for anway, and you can pick one of those up on Amazon for $312 including hardware and OS.



    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0021L9HKK/...=ATVPDKIKX0DER



    If you're going to have 100 or 1000 users, the mini is going to be underpowered. And if you're going to have 10 users, it's overpriced.
  • Reply 8 of 96
    The article is about Mac Mini SERVER primarily, and the pricing guide at the bottom of the article shows NO Mini SERVER pricing.
  • Reply 9 of 96
    I'm not even talking about the Server version (which, of course, doesn't include an optical drie at all); just the plain old Mac mini. Bump it up to a 500 GB HD, add a Blue-Ray drive and an HDMI port in back, and voila.



    I understand why they're also keeping the Apple TV around as a lower-priced option, but with standalone Blu-Ray players running as low as $90, the time has come to make the BR move:



    http://electronics.pricegrabber.com/...742295853.html
  • Reply 10 of 96
    gmcalpingmcalpin Posts: 266member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post


    i cannot wait for apple to add blu ray so i stop reading comments like this



    Seriously.



    Although then they'll just complain about how long it took. And about the glossy screens that I don't see a problem with at all.?
  • Reply 11 of 96
    I just got one for our small office of 9 people. Converted over from a G4 tower. It's great.
  • Reply 12 of 96
    i would say the article is totally rubbish
  • Reply 13 of 96
    MacProMacPro Posts: 19,776member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BlueDjinn View Post


    I'm not even talking about the Server version (which, of course, doesn't include an optical drie at all); just the plain old Mac mini. Bump it up to a 500 GB HD, add a Blue-Ray drive and an HDMI port in back, and voila.



    I understand why they're also keeping the Apple TV around as a lower-priced option, but with standalone Blu-Ray players running as low as $90, the time has come to make the BR move:



    http://electronics.pricegrabber.com/...742295853.html



    IMHO Apple want everything to be supplied via the internet / iTunes and that is why no support for Blu-Ray. I pass no judgement either way simply stating what I thing is behind the lack of BR.
  • Reply 14 of 96
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by doyourownthing View Post


    i cannot wait for apple to add blu ray so i stop reading comments like this



    blu ray support in a mac mini server? really??



    Did you read the article? It's not just about the mini server.
  • Reply 15 of 96
    cv45cv45 Posts: 1member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    While Apple's new iMac got all of the desktop-related attention when new hardware was announced in October, the new Mac mini and its debut Server companion have found early success.



    Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis with market research firm NPD Group, told AppleInsider that he was surprised by the strong performance of the Mac mini. Previously, he said, the low-end desktop had been "dead in the water" in terms of sales.



    "The new mini has done very well compared to what we received previously," Baker said. "I think (it was due to) Apple giving it a little bit of support and talking about it a little more. They went back and kind of reminded people it was there again."



    In October, Apple introduced three new Mac mini models: a $599 model with a 2.26 GHz processor, a 160GB hard drive, and 2GB of RAM; a $799 model with a 2.53GHz processor, 320GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM; and a $999 version equipped with Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server and sporting two 500GB hard drives. The server option drops the optical drive to make room for its 1TB of total storage, in addition to a 2.53GHz Core 2 Duo processor and 4GB of RAM, all fit into the system's 6.5-inch square, 2-inch high frame, weighing in at 2.9 pounds.



    The new Mac minis were part of a desktop refresh from Apple and were released alongside new iMacs. The 21.5-inch iMac was the best-selling desktop in the U.S. in the month of October, while the 27-inch model came in third for all hardware. The new Mac minis did not crack the top 10 for hardware sales.



    But combined with the success of the new iMacs, desktop sales for Apple increased 74 percent year-over-year in October and November. While some assumed that increase was based solely on the strength of the iMac, Baker said the new Mac mini line played a significant role.



    "We definitely saw some uptick on that as well," he said, "and it was probably a surprise for me too."



    When Mac mini sales were flat years ago, Apple left the hardware line mostly stagnant, with only a handful of minor updates. Though sources suggested Apple could abandon the desktop line entirely, in 2008 new life was breathed into the Mac mini. It was a smart move by Apple, given the apparent success of the October refresh.



    Baker said the addition of the Mac mini Server helps to diversify Apple's line of products, and will likely prove to be an important asset to the company. The dual-drive, optical-free Mac mini Server saw a relatively quiet launch in the face of the new iMacs and MacBook.



    "I think it's going to help it in the long term," Baker said of the server version. "It probably broadens the audience a little bit."



    The new hardware is optimized for Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server, and comes bundled with the operating system software. Previously, users had to spend $500 for the retail box option. For comparison, prior to Snow Leopard, the unlimited user version of Mac OS X Server cost $999. Now, users can pay the same cost and get a Mac mini along with the software.



    Also significant is the fact that the Mac mini Server comes with the full-featured version. On the mini PC side, business users must spend hundreds of dollars extra to obtain the Small Business Server Standard software. For a greater comparison and close look at Snow Leopard Server, see AppleInsider's in-depth analysis of the Mac mini Server.



    Shoppers can find the best deals on the Apple's new Mac mini models in the AppleInsider Mac Pricing Guide:



    With the new quad-core processors, both the regular Mac mini and the server model would be compact powerhouses.
  • Reply 16 of 96
    jabohnjabohn Posts: 583member
    When I went to pick up the 2.53 model for myself in November, there were none to to found anywhere in my city. I found 1 of the lower end model and one of the previous general model. They had no idea when they would get them in. I checked 4 different places.



    I ended up finding one in another city about an hour's drive south of here.

    They can't keep them in stock apparently, but I did notice Future Shop has a display model now.
  • Reply 17 of 96
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,430member
    Fellas



    No more thread jacking. This isn't about HTPC configurations with Bluj-ray, it's about basic server duties. Let's keep the focus on the articles original intentions.



    For me it's no surprise that it's doing well. The 2.5Ghz Mac mini is $799. For only $200 more you have a full fledged OS X server.



    Perfect candidate for the SOHO setup or remote office. Apple's seemed to have a change of heart regarding the mini and their desktop lineup. If there's potentially one good thing that's come from booming iPhone sales it's that Apple isn't trying to bludgeon their way to desktop revenue/profts by hobbling the Mac mini.



    They've seem to accept that it's a great little platform to have as an entry level.
  • Reply 18 of 96
    elrothelroth Posts: 1,201member
    I'm going to get a Mac Mini, since I can't get an iMac without a glossy screen. It's the only solution for me right now, since I don't want a laptop. I'd get a Core i7 iMac if the screen was right.



    If Apple sticks to glossy screens for the iMacs, it would be nice if they would make a more powerful headless computer (other than the Mac Pro) - a Mac Midi?



    P.S. My original iMac G5 (20") has a great screen - even after 6 years, the colors look better to me than any new glossy Mac. I wish I could find a way to hook up a Mac Mini to that screen.
  • Reply 19 of 96
    If only they would have had a built in power supply. The stupid external brick is just a pain.



    Now, if they really wanted to be cool about it, they could build a brick that is the same size as the server so it could stack on top of the power supply. Then, add a battery backup in the same package. Nice little jumper cable to the server and you're set. Now we're talking!
  • Reply 20 of 96
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bjojade View Post


    If only they would have had a built in power supply. The stupid external brick is just a pain.



    Now, if they really wanted to be cool about it, they could build a brick that is the same size as the server so it could stack on top of the power supply. Then, add a battery backup in the same package. Nice little jumper cable to the server and you're set. Now we're talking!



    If they did that, it would probably ruin the 6.5"x6.5" form factor, since heat dissipation would become a major problem squeezing the power supply and battery backup in with the rest that tightly. This in turn would cause incompatibilities with all of the peripherals that have already come out to stack above/below the mini.



    Now, if they had simply gone with the old G4 Cube's dimensions (8"x8"x8"), they would have had room for 5.25" hard drives (at 7200 rpm) as well as the power supply/etc, but it *still* would have been extremely compact. Not sure why they didn't do that--an extra 1.5" wouldn't have killed anyone...
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