Apple's supply of Mac minis dwindle ahead of new models

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Supply of Apple's existing Mac mini lineup has become increasingly constrained over the past two weeks as the company prepares to introduce refreshed models that may serve as a harbinger for some new I/O technology on the Mac.



The shortage has been verified four times over by AppleInsider, which has received numerous reports that suggest the constraints are indicative of new models on the horizon, rather than intermittent delays resulting from the onset of the back-to-school buying season, which sometimes sees Apple curb the flow of Macs to its distribution channels in favor of filling large orders to universities.



For example, one buyer for a higher-ed institution placed a bulk order for Mac minis two weeks ago through the school's Apple rep, noting that receipt of the machines was required by June 1. Although the Apple representative initially indicated that the delivery date would not be a problem, the buyer last week saw his ETA pushed out from 1-3 business days to a definitive date of June 14.



"Every time this has happened in years past, it means that the item we ordered would be revised," the buyer told AppleInsider.



Meanwhile, another Mac consultant serving as a buyer for a separate firm ran into similar problems while attempting to secure some high-end Mac minis. This person was informed by his supplier that the model was completely out of stock at the distributor, which had no ETA from Apple on when restocking would occur.



Similarly, a third person who regularly purchases Mac minis in bulk directly through the Mac maker was advised by his Apple contacts to only submit his latest order for what he absolutely needed "for the next few weeks," serving as yet another hint that the days are numbered for existing models.



Those reports of Mac mini shortages were further corroborated by AppleInsider's own routine checks while updating its Mac Pricing Guide. As of this week, roughly half of the resellers who maintain a seat in the pricing guide began reflecting no inventory of either current Mac mini configuration and are recommending that customers call in to check on availability. Calls to these resellers suggest new orders won't be filled until next week at the earliest.



All of these findings bear all the telltale signs that Apple is ramping down production of existing Mac minis and preparing its distribution for refreshed models. In March, AppleInsider exclusively reported that next-generation Mac minis making their way through the Cupertino-based company's verification tests were seen with an HDMI port in place of the existing model's DVI port.



Apple's existing Mac mini offers users the choice of DVI or mini DisplayPort for video output.



At least one of the Mac mini prototypes described by those privy to the hardware was said to include Nvidia's MCP89 chipset, which is the successor to the existing MCP79 (or GeForce 9400M) chipset found alongside Intel's Core 2 Duo processors across the majority of Apple's 2009 Mac product line. Both tips came by way of the same people who accurately predicted in February that Apple was about to introduce advanced automatic graphics switching on its professional MacBook Pro line -- a prediction which panned out when the company unveiled new models in April.



An unannounced version of the Mac mini has been spotted with an HDMI connector instead of a DVI.



Apple last updated the Mac mini line in late October, introducing models with faster Core 2 Duo processors and adding a third server-oriented configuration that forgoes an optical drive in favor of two 500GB hard drives for a total of 1TB of storage. All three models were billed by the company as "world?s most energy efficient desktops."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    bigmc6000bigmc6000 Posts: 767member
    I'm taking back what I said about Apple TV and... am going to say it'll work for the Mini!



    How cool would it be to be able to go into "iPad/iPhone" mode with the included iPod touch-esque touch controller and play games or do whatever else you want. It'd be an interesting way to 1) broaden the reach of the App Store and 2) serve as a demo to what might be a Mac App Store. I know some don't want that but I, for one, know there are apps out there I would like but don't have a way of knowing what or where they are.



    With HDMI of course
  • Reply 2 of 84
    anakin1992anakin1992 Posts: 283member
    it would be best if newer ones have that new mini display port. a mini hdmi port would be the best.
  • Reply 3 of 84
    joe hsjoe hs Posts: 488member
    When will they update the monitors? The 30" still has a picture of tiger on the box for goodness sake, that's like 4 years old!

    What about a 42" at the same price as the current 30"?
  • Reply 4 of 84
    cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Yay!



    Looking forward to the new model, my MacBook's days are numbered now.
  • Reply 5 of 84
    feynmanfeynman Posts: 1,087member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post


    When will they update the monitors? The 30" still has a picture of tiger on the box for goodness sake, that's like 4 years old!

    What about a 42" at the same price as the current 30"?



    Yeah it really is about time. If they got a 42" my current 40" HDTV would go the way of the living room. Currently I have a Mac mini and an external FireWire 800 based RAID for a movie server hooked up to the TV but watching movies, while nice, is not optimal due to the fact that most movies do not go "Full Screen" in DVD player and have a lot of space around them (no not the black bar at the top and bottom) but having an actual 42" display I think would take care of that problem.
  • Reply 6 of 84
    That HDMI photo is poorly photochopped. Don't even need to run it through Curves or anything to see that.
  • Reply 7 of 84
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    This would be a really nice little HTPC if only it had a blu-ray drive. Without one there's no alternative but to rely on 1080p torrents, which you wouldn't imagine is what Apple would approve of.
  • Reply 8 of 84
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by requieminadream View Post


    That HDMI photo is poorly photochopped. Don't even need to run it through Curves or anything to see that.



    While they could have done a better job of making it clear this was an artists rendering... AI never claimed to have photographic evidence of this unannounced Mac mini.



    In fact, If the photo WAS real they certainly would have said as much... and shortly after been visited by the Apple Goon Squ... errrr CA police department with a battering ram in one hand and a quickly scribbled search warrant in the other and they would now be computer-less and likely missing any random non specific person care items they may have left lying around the office.



    Sorry, what were we talking about again?
  • Reply 9 of 84
    davegeedavegee Posts: 2,765member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kotatsu View Post


    This would be a really nice little HTPC if only it had a blu-ray drive. Without one there's no alternative but to rely on 1080p torrents, which you wouldn't imagine is what Apple would approve of.



    Yea, but I think its quote clear that Apple has no intention of ever supporting BluRay on their devices...



    Interesting question...



    What makes BluRay licensing a 'BAG OF HURT' while MPEG-LAs h.264 is fully backed and supported technology? Thats what *I* wanna know.
  • Reply 10 of 84
    l008coml008com Posts: 163member
    I would MUCH rather see two miniDP ports, rather than one miniDP and one HDMI. The miniDP to HDMI adapters are only $10 and they work great. Hooking up a second monitor to an HDMI source on the other hand... not so easy. Plus you might only be able to use 720p and 1080p resolutions.
  • Reply 11 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by l008com View Post


    I would MUCH rather see two miniDP ports, rather than one miniDP and one HDMI. The miniDP to HDMI adapters are only $10 and they work great. Hooking up a second monitor to an HDMI source on the other hand... not so easy. Plus you might only be able to use 720p and 1080p resolutions.



    Since mDP can link multiple monitors via one port multiple ports aren't necessary unless you want maximize the bandwidth of each port. On the Mac Mini, I can't see that as being likely.



    I think HDMI is an alright option, so long as they keep mDP, too.
  • Reply 12 of 84
    l008coml008com Posts: 163member
    Yeah but is monitor daisychaning actually supported by ANY monitors OR GPUs yet? Apple could INCLUDE the miniDP HDMI adapter in the box, if they wanted to advertise the new mini "With HDMI"
  • Reply 13 of 84
    min_tmin_t Posts: 74member
    In 2010, Apple intro "lightpeak" in the new mac mini, signaling the end of FW and USB and eSata, and ...
  • Reply 14 of 84
    svnippsvnipp Posts: 430member
    Hmm... I really had my heart set on one of the newly refreshed MBPs, but it's really tough to squeeze that into the budget. However, since we have an iPad now to cover the portability needs maybe we will just get a Mini to cover the need for a second computer. Really not sure, but I'm definitely interested in seeing the new Mini.
  • Reply 15 of 84
    pxtpxt Posts: 683member
    HDMI ! At last a Mac that can connect to things I already own.



    I could be tempted at last.
  • Reply 16 of 84
    cgc0202cgc0202 Posts: 624member
    I welcome this potential development, and I hope Apple continue to accelerate further improvement of the Mac-mini. Coupled with a good screen at a discount, its form factor, might be ideal for some small business enterprises.



    I heard there are server farms also using the high end Macmini as their server of choice.



    I plan to have one also as the server/wifi center for a string of iPads for a proposed business. I like the idea that the Mac OS X is more secure. Any tips from those who did this for their small enterprise would be much appreciated.



    CGC
  • Reply 17 of 84
    leonardleonard Posts: 528member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaveGee View Post


    Yea, but I think its quote clear that Apple has no intention of ever supporting BluRay on their devices...



    Interesting question...



    What makes BluRay licensing a 'BAG OF HURT' while MPEG-LAs h.264 is fully backed and supported technology? Thats what *I* wanna know.



    I think it's all the licensing fees for HDCP that are a "BAG OF HURT".
  • Reply 18 of 84
    christopher126christopher126 Posts: 4,280member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe hs View Post


    When will they update the monitors? The 30" still has a picture of tiger on the box for goodness sake, that's like 4 years old!

    What about a 42" at the same price as the current 30"?



    Yep, I used to want the largest Apple iMac and the largest Apple Monitor available...You know, 'you can never have enough screen real estate!'



    But now, the last thing I want to do is sit indoors working on my iMac. I much prefer sitting in a restaurant or somewhere, anywhere and working....so now I want an iPad and new and improved MBA along with my iPhone 3Gs. And be good to go!



    Best!
  • Reply 19 of 84
    apples4meapples4me Posts: 14member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cgc0202 View Post


    I welcome this potential development, and I hope Apple continue to accelerate further improvement of the Mac-mini. Coupled with a good screen at a discount, its form factor, might be ideal for some small business enterprises.



    I heard there are server farms also using the high end Macmini as their server of choice.



    I plan to have one also as the server/wifi center for a string of iPads for a proposed business. I like the idea that the Mac OS X is more secure. Any tips from those who did this for their small enterprise would be much appreciated.



    CGC



    I agree, this would be a welcome change, i'm hoping that apple would also update the processor of the mini.
  • Reply 20 of 84
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Leonard View Post


    I think it's all the licensing fees for HDCP that are a "BAG OF HURT".



    The excuse Jobs gave about Blu-ray licensing being a "bag of hurt" was true, but it was also a misdirect. I say that Apple is waiting to purge optical drives from their systems as they are slow, power hungry, and expensive. I think a 9.5mm slot-loading Blu-ray writer would cost an extra $600 per unit.



    Note, that Macs include HDCP support, it's AACS that Apple doesn't support, which makes protected Blu-ray movie playback possible.
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