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

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 274
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 274
    maccherrymaccherry Posts: 924member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 274
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,272member
    Eh, I'll be using my good old education discount anyways.
  • Reply 4 of 274
    teunisteunis Posts: 23member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 274
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 274
    robin huberrobin huber Posts: 3,478member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffreytgilbert View Post


    iPad FAIL.

    Stop going backwards!



    If that is failure, what would be success?
  • Reply 7 of 274
    nomadmacnomadmac Posts: 96member
    it should have had Blu Ray. Doesn't that seem logical?
  • Reply 8 of 274
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 20,225member
    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).
  • Reply 9 of 274
    archer75archer75 Posts: 204member
    If anything they should have lowered the price $100, not raise it.
  • Reply 10 of 274
    wvmb99wvmb99 Posts: 23member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 274
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by archer75 View Post


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



    Nail on the head.
  • Reply 12 of 274
    That explains the "quiet" roll out.
  • Reply 13 of 274
    tardistardis Posts: 94member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 274
    2 cents2 cents Posts: 307member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 274
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 274
    cxc273cxc273 Posts: 46member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 274
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 274
    cory bauercory bauer Posts: 1,286member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 274
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,217member
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 274
    jpellinojpellino Posts: 652member
    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.
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