Belgian retailer claims Apple planning to release Mac mini update soon

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited February 2014
A Mac reseller in Belgium claims to have received inside information suggesting Apple plans to update its Mac mini desktop before the end of February.

Mac mini


New Mac mini configurations in both Intel Core i5 and Core i7 Haswell processor configurations have been listed on Computerstore.be. However, the listings are just placeholders representing assumptions made by the store.

But one shopper who contacted the stores about the listings posted on MacRumors to reveal that the retailer believes the new Mac minis will launch by the end of February. Computerstore.be based this on information they claimed to have received from "reliable sources."

The Mac mini was the only product in Apple's Mac lineup that didn't see an update in 2013. The desktop was last refreshed in October of 2012 with Intel's Ivy Bridge processors, as well as upgrade options allowing up to 16 gigabytes of RAM.

The Mac mini starts at $599, making it Apple's most affordable Mac, undercutting the $999 11.6-inch MacBook Air.

Apple resellers saw regular stock-outs of the Mac mini throughout 2013. Though low supply has historically suggested that a refresh could be imminent, it's believed that Apple has recently become more conservative with its inventory levels to prevent a glut of stock on the market.

Intel's Haswell line of processors were mostly focused on mobile devices such as notebooks, as the chipmaker concentrated on reducing power consumption to enhance battery life. Such performance gains would obviously not translate to the Mac mini, which is not a mobile computer.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 76
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,785member
    Boy would I love this. I want to upgrade my current Mac mini. I'd love to see Iris Pro graphics as well instead go just Iris graphics.
  • Reply 2 of 76
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,719member
    It would be nice if this was the truth. The lack of a Mini update last year was a big disappointment especially considering how good the Haswell GPUs are.
  • Reply 3 of 76
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    please please please.
  • Reply 4 of 76
    gwmacgwmac Posts: 1,796member
    Given that the Mini doesn't include a display and the CPU in the mini is updated far more frequently by Intel than the Xeon line, it is surprising Apple took this long to issue an update. With all the backlash against Windows 8 and HP even going so far as to bring back Windows 7 as an option citing "back by popular demand" the Mini is the perfect gateway computer to give disgruntled Windows 8 users a reason to check out OS X.

    Many of these unhappy Windows 8 users may already have an iPad or iPhone. Apple used to have a Mini for $499 I wonder if they offered one again at this price point along with a big TV advertising campaign if they wouldn't sell in far larger numbers. Not everyone wants or needs an iMac for a variety of reasons and $600 does seem on the high end for what you get. No keyboard, no mouse, no display, and usually low specs. If not a price discount then at least consider including a free or at least discounted keyboard and mouse which would probably cost Apple very little.

    The main reason the Mini has not been selling well recently is because it was very long in the tooth but the price was also a factor. An update with perhaps a small price cut would come at exactly the perfect time with the dissatisfaction over Windows 8. Perhaps a revived and modernized version of the PC or Mac campaign with different actors would have a much more receptive audience this time around. Imagine all the ways they could poke fun at Metro.
  • Reply 5 of 76
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,785member

    I don't think cost is the problem with the Mac mini (if there really is an issue). Its pretty much as low as it can go. Adding a keyboard and mouse would mean they'd have to create a larger package which does increase costs. I think the prices are fine. Maybe they could give you a voucher to get an Apple wired keyboard and wired Apple mouse. The Mac mini has never really been a large seller. Most people would rather go to an iMac, or a laptop. Now days, probably even an iPad. 

     

    What they should really do is just spec it better. Use quad-core CPU's instead of dual core (at least with the i5), maybe through in a fusion drive, thunderbolt 2, and Iris Pro graphics (Crystalwell anyone?). Okay, now were getting ahead of ourselves!

  • Reply 6 of 76
    bobschlobbobschlob Posts: 1,074member

    Shove an Apple TV chip inside the box, and we're on our way.

    Weeee!!!!

  • Reply 7 of 76
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,139member
    Great, I just bought none in December!
  • Reply 8 of 76
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,785member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post

     

    Shove an Apple TV chip inside the box, and we're on our way.

    Weeee!!!!


     

    What exactly is an AppleTV chip???? The only thing that really makes an AppleTV what it is, is the software. You can use a Mac mini for the same purpose for the most part if you really wanted to. Its small enough to fit almost anywhere. 

  • Reply 9 of 76
    neilmneilm Posts: 586member

    Haswell is only a moderate upgrade for non-battery use, although its improved integrated graphics would be nice. I'd expect much of the benefit from the next Mini upgrade to come from faster RAM and a PCIe SSD. Apple should really take that old 5400 rpm drive out and shoot it. Hope they won't drop the FW800 port, but they probably will.

     

    I'm tempted to wish for a new form factor. Maybe something vertical, like the love child of a Mac Pro and the newest Airport Extreme? Small footprint, vertical cooling. The current Mini form factor was in part determined by the optical drive, but that's long gone.

  • Reply 10 of 76
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

     

    I don't think cost is the problem with the Mac mini

     

     


     

    Maybe not when it is first released, but currently it is expensive for its out-of-date specification.

     

    At this point Apple might as well wait for Broadwell to become available from Intel unless they plan to speed up the refresh cycle on the Mini. Otherwise in a couple of months it will be architecturally out-of-date again.

  • Reply 11 of 76
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

     

    I don't think cost is the problem with the Mac mini (if there really is an issue). Its pretty much as low as it can go. Adding a keyboard and mouse would mean they'd have to create a larger package which does increase costs. I think the prices are fine. Maybe they could give you a voucher to get an Apple wired keyboard and wired Apple mouse. The Mac mini has never really been a large seller. Most people would rather go to an iMac, or a laptop. Now days, probably even an iPad. 

     

    What they should really do is just spec it better. Use quad-core CPU's instead of dual core (at least with the i5), maybe through in a fusion drive, thunderbolt 2, and Iris Pro graphics (Crystalwell anyone?). Okay, now were getting ahead of ourselves!


    You have to go back a few years but the Mini at $499 I believe sold in far bigger numbers than the subsequent models starting at $599. I think the cost to build of that unit was around $274. It also used a PowerPC which was not a cheap CPU. Apple could still continue to offer Mini's at price points of $599, $699, or even higher depending on specs. As bad as Windows 8 may be, when you can buy a comparable computer that matches specs in terms of CPU, more ram, and larger storage storage and also includes a display, keyboard, and a mouse for $600 it makes for a harder sale. Maybe differentiate them with a Core i3 or even give the AMD Elite A8-6500 a shot at $499, then a i5 and i7 at the higher price points. 

     

    Yes including a keyboard and mouse would increase shipping charges due to a bigger package. Maybe a $50 Apple voucher good towards the purchase of any Apple Keyboard, mouse, trackpad, or even Airport would be a nice gesture if they continue at the $599 price point. At least that way people would have a choice as to what if any Apple accessory they chose to buy or not buy and it would give them an incentive. 

  • Reply 12 of 76
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,785member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

     

    Haswell is only a moderate upgrade for non-battery use, although its improved integrated graphics would be nice. I'd expect much of the benefit from the next Mini upgrade to come from faster RAM and a PCIe SSD. Apple should really take that old 5400 rpm drive out and shoot it. Hope they won't drop the FW800 port, but they probably will.

     

    I'm tempted to wish for a new form factor. Maybe something vertical, like the love child of a Mac Pro and the newest Airport Extreme? Small footprint, vertical cooling. The current Mini form factor was in part determined by the optical drive, but that's long gone.


     

    I think if they were to add a 2nd Thunderbolt port then getting rid of the FW800 port would be fine with me. I agree with the 5400 RPM hard drive. Thats almost shameful.  I too would like to see a Mac Pro type design. Maybe this is why you didn't see it updated???

  • Reply 13 of 76
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,785member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ScartArt View Post

     

     

    Maybe not when it is first released, but currently it is expensive for its out-of-date specification.

     

    At this point Apple might as well wait for Broadwell to become available from Intel unless they plan to speed up the refresh cycle on the Mini. Otherwise in a couple of months it will be architecturally out-of-date again.


     

    I do think they should spec it better when/if updated. Things like 2 thunderbolt ports (nix FW800), fusion drives, maybe even PCIe based flash,  Iris Pro graphics, quad-core chips across the lineup, maybe even a redesign of the case. 

  • Reply 14 of 76
    They need to blow this space up and come out with the super mini. Essentially a Apple TV size device with the power of an iPhone/iPad. Sell it for $199.00

    Average user doesn't need the power of the current mac mini.
  • Reply 15 of 76
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TechProd1gy View Post



    They need to blow this space up and come out with the super mini. Essentially a Apple TV size device with the power of an iPhone/iPad. Sell it for $199.00



    Average user doesn't need the power of the current mac mini.

    So an underpowered Mac that will utilize an old sub-par and cheap (ugly) PC monitor, keyboard and mouse?

     

    Doesn't sound like the kind of Apple experience Cupertino would ever aim for.

  • Reply 16 of 76
    hodarhodar Posts: 260member
    I have the current Mini; and the base i5 model is remarkable at this price point. I did opt to upgrade the RAM courtesy of Amazon, and was able to bump the RAM to 16 GB for ~$100.

    Add Parallels and Win7 Pro; and the only thing that really holds this back is the Intel 4000HD Graphics chip. So while the Haswell upgrade will reduce what little power/heat this device generates; the biggest improvement I can see would be improved Graphics capabilities.

    Consider, running Parallels with Win7 Pro on an external USB3 dock, then running Steam's install of Skyrim - I get reasonable performance on the "Good" graphics setting, Excellant or Ultra basically cripple the game. Perhaps an updated graphics system would allow the Mini to do better.

    All in all, it's a very impressive computer in it's own right.
  • Reply 17 of 76

    Define underpowered.  If you powered a Mavericks version for ARM processors using the current A7 chip a majority of users would not notice any performance issues for 90% of tasks completed.  This thought was for the masses.  If you need more horsepower the updated mac mini would be just fine.  The new mac mini will have the same ugly components you describe anyway.

  • Reply 18 of 76
    Hmmm...

    How nice if the delay translate to the followings:

    1. Mini Mac Pro form factor (maybe half the size?)
    2. Quad-core Hanswell CPU as baseline
    3. 128GB SSD

    All the above @ still the same price point.

    That should be a steal to swing dissatisfied Windows 8 users over, and maybe attract some by-standers who are holding back upgrades of their aged system due to poor feedbacks from word-of-mouth among their trusted friends/relatives/family members. Right?
  • Reply 19 of 76

    I've been thinking along similar lines but in the other direction, what if the nMP was a test of the waters and that somewhere down the road Apple produce different sized nMPs with say dual CPU's, more RAM slots, extra SSD.

  • Reply 20 of 76
    neilmneilm Posts: 586member

    Regarding timing, a Mini refresh is obviously overdue; but even a company like Apple doesn't have unlimited resources. Rolling out everything all at once isn't an option: "Thanks Mac hardware engineers, your work is done for now. Come back later in 2014 sometime." Like any other company, Apple has to set priorities for their product updates and stagger the work. Laptops got Haswell first because the battery life benefit was huge and obvious. Next came the iMac, as a big earner and the flagship desktop Mac. Then there's the Mini...

     

    I'm pretty fond of the Mini. We have four at the office, two as desktops and two driving conference room displays. If one of our Mac Pros (no, not the new kind...) craps out I can backfill using one of the Minis with only moderate inconvenience. They're cool little machines.

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