If you're expecting a Mac mini at WWDC, you're probably going to be disappointed

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited April 21

Apple appears to be planning to skip an M3 revision to the Mac mini in favor of a more significant update featuring the M4 chip.

M2 Mac mini to skip M3 generation entirely, update to M4 later this year



Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has previously reported that Apple would update the Mac mini line with M4 and M4 Pro chips towards the end of 2024 or early 2025. In a report on Sunday, he's amplified that, and said that there probably won't be a M3 Mac mini at all.

The Mac mini was last updated in January of 2023 with the M2 and M2 Pro.

That Mac mini M2 Pro update also came with more Thunderbolt 4 ports, Wi-Fi 6E, HDMI 2.1 for the M2 Pro model, and updates to Bluetooth. It isn't clear if the next Mac mini will sport any further hardware changes, beyond the M4.

The M4 is thought to get big upgrades to the Neural Engine component of the chip, alongside other AI enhancements. Such improvements are expected to be a major topic of June's WWDC conference.

Since the M1 was first introduced, Apple has staggered releases of some models. The iMac, for example, was upgraded to the M3 chips late in 2023, skipping the M2 entirely.

Other models are still waiting. The Mac Studio and Mac Pro, like the Mac mini, are currently on the M2.

Rumor Score: Likely

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 13
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,346member
    I recently bought a refurbished m2pro Mac mini because I gave up on an m3 mini being released. I also would not be surprised if the studio skips m3 too. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 13
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,347member
    blastdoor said:
    I recently bought a refurbished m2pro Mac mini because I gave up on an m3 mini being released. I also would not be surprised if the studio skips m3 too. 
    Agreed. Anything still on the M2 family at this point is likely to jump to M4 sometime in the fall or early next year.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 13
    blastdoor said:
    I recently bought a refurbished m2pro Mac mini because I gave up on an m3 mini being released. I also would not be surprised if the studio skips m3 too. 
    With regard to the Mini and the iMac refresh cadences, whatever. It’s fine. But if Apple skips the M3 Ultra, they need to explain what they are doing with the silicon. It raises a lot of questions, not all of which are (how shall I put it?) strategic.

    It’s not enough to just say it’s all product-driven, and they only build the silicon their products need. Everyone understands why Apple doesn’t talk about unreleased products. But expectations need to be managed.

    Marketing and management needs to wake up and realize the architects and engineers need to be allowed to explain more than what is currently being explained.
    VictorMortimerwilliamlondonAlex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 13
    blastdoor said:
    I recently bought a refurbished m2pro Mac mini because I gave up on an m3 mini being released. I also would not be surprised if the studio skips m3 too. 
    With regard to the Mini and the iMac refresh cadences, whatever. It’s fine. But if Apple skips the M3 Ultra, they need to explain what they are doing with the silicon. It raises a lot of questions, not all of which are (how shall I put it?) strategic.

    It’s not enough to just say it’s all product-driven, and they only build the silicon their products need. Everyone understands why Apple doesn’t talk about unreleased products. But expectations need to be managed.

    Marketing and management needs to wake up and realize the architects and engineers need to be allowed to explain more than what is currently being explained.
    My understanding is that the M3 is based on a dead end as far as process tech goes.

    Apple's failure to release roadmaps has been a huge problem for years.  It's why we're forced to rely on rumors sites like this one for planning purposes.
    blastdoorAlex1N
  • Reply 5 of 13
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 3,346member
    blastdoor said:
    I recently bought a refurbished m2pro Mac mini because I gave up on an m3 mini being released. I also would not be surprised if the studio skips m3 too. 
    With regard to the Mini and the iMac refresh cadences, whatever. It’s fine. But if Apple skips the M3 Ultra, they need to explain what they are doing with the silicon. It raises a lot of questions, not all of which are (how shall I put it?) strategic.

    It’s not enough to just say it’s all product-driven, and they only build the silicon their products need. Everyone understands why Apple doesn’t talk about unreleased products. But expectations need to be managed.

    Marketing and management needs to wake up and realize the architects and engineers need to be allowed to explain more than what is currently being explained.
    My understanding is that the M3 is based on a dead end as far as process tech goes.

    Apple's failure to release roadmaps has been a huge problem for years.  It's why we're forced to rely on rumors sites like this one for planning purposes.
    I agree that’s its most likely because of the process. Also, for the mini, the M3 pro isn’t much better than the m2 pro, so that might have been a pointless update.

    i wonder if when the m4 comes out we might finally see the whole Mac lineup updated at once — that would be something.
    Alex1Nwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 13
    dewmedewme Posts: 5,423member
    blastdoor said:
    I recently bought a refurbished m2pro Mac mini because I gave up on an m3 mini being released. I also would not be surprised if the studio skips m3 too. 
    With regard to the Mini and the iMac refresh cadences, whatever. It’s fine. But if Apple skips the M3 Ultra, they need to explain what they are doing with the silicon. It raises a lot of questions, not all of which are (how shall I put it?) strategic.

    It’s not enough to just say it’s all product-driven, and they only build the silicon their products need. Everyone understands why Apple doesn’t talk about unreleased products. But expectations need to be managed.

    Marketing and management needs to wake up and realize the architects and engineers need to be allowed to explain more than what is currently being explained.
    My understanding is that the M3 is based on a dead end as far as process tech goes.

    Apple's failure to release roadmaps has been a huge problem for years.  It's why we're forced to rely on rumors sites like this one for planning purposes.
    Why? Just curious, but do you or your company/employer release product roadmaps to the public? Apple is in a highly competitive market and doesn't want to telegraph what they're working on to their competitors. I'm sure Apple's shareholders are in no mood to have Apple spill the beans on what is in the product pipeline to the competition. Some companies like Microsoft used to play fast & loose with telling too many people, especially developers, what was in the pipeline, only to go on to fail to deliver what they promised. Sometimes they did this to freeze the competition, create fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) in the market, and get developers (and partners and investors) lined up to commit to what was supposedly coming only to have egg on their face for trusting Microsoft when they failed to deliver.  The reality is that roadmaps also have a lot of uncertainty and the further you project the more what seems like concrete turns into jello.

    In general, architects and engineers should not be talking to anyone outside of the company unless expressly tasked with doing so under very constrained conditions. When they do talk, it's usually behind closed with NDAs in place. Apple's secrecy is not just to benefit from the wow factor of public announcements, it's also important to preserve the trust relationships with their partners, select customers, channel partners, and investors who have been given insight, i.e., established expectations, into what is coming so they can hit the ground running when the new Apple product drops, e.g., accessory makers, case makers, high profile app developers, etc.

    Apple owes absolutely nothing to rumor mongers and speculators who earn a living weaving their rumors and prognostications. Worse yet, when they do gain access to privileged information by forming relationships with unscrupulous Apple employees or channel partners who have neither respect nor loyalty to their benefactors or those who have  trusted them to live up to their obligations, legal and moral. We don't get to decide how or when Apple sets expectations surrounding upcoming product releases. That's something that Apple's senior executives like Tim Cook get to decide on their owns terms, not ours. We have no skin in the game. Apple has its entire hide in the game and Tim Cook is responsible for ensuring that Apple doesn't get skinned alive. 
    tenthousandthingsravnorodompaisleydiscocommand_fmike1ramanpfaffwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 7 of 13
    Alex1NAlex1N Posts: 137member
    Frustrating, but ultimately worth being patient and waiting. If nothing happens by early 2025 though, mini-wise, there is going to be a Great Squawking and Clucking from this particular chook. Waaark.
    argonautcommand_fchasmwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 13
    tmaytmay Posts: 6,378member
    blastdoor said:
    I recently bought a refurbished m2pro Mac mini because I gave up on an m3 mini being released. I also would not be surprised if the studio skips m3 too. 
    With regard to the Mini and the iMac refresh cadences, whatever. It’s fine. But if Apple skips the M3 Ultra, they need to explain what they are doing with the silicon. It raises a lot of questions, not all of which are (how shall I put it?) strategic.

    It’s not enough to just say it’s all product-driven, and they only build the silicon their products need. Everyone understands why Apple doesn’t talk about unreleased products. But expectations need to be managed.

    Marketing and management needs to wake up and realize the architects and engineers need to be allowed to explain more than what is currently being explained.
    My understanding is that the M3 is based on a dead end as far as process tech goes.

    Apple's failure to release roadmaps has been a huge problem for years.  It's why we're forced to rely on rumors sites like this one for planning purposes.
    Laughable.

    The primary reason there is even Apple Silicon today, is that Intel created a roadmap, that they failed to follow for so long, that Apple had no choice but to move on.

    I don't believe that Apple needs to provide a roadmap for anything other than the Mac Pro, and even that, is going to be so limited in volume, that I even wonder if it matters to the market anymore.
    command_fwilliamlondonchasmwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 9 of 13
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,301member
    blastdoor said:
    I recently bought a refurbished m2pro Mac mini because I gave up on an m3 mini being released. I also would not be surprised if the studio skips m3 too. 
    With regard to the Mini and the iMac refresh cadences, whatever. It’s fine. But if Apple skips the M3 Ultra, they need to explain what they are doing with the silicon. It raises a lot of questions, not all of which are (how shall I put it?) strategic.

    It’s not enough to just say it’s all product-driven, and they only build the silicon their products need. Everyone understands why Apple doesn’t talk about unreleased products. But expectations need to be managed.

    Marketing and management needs to wake up and realize the architects and engineers need to be allowed to explain more than what is currently being explained.
    My understanding is that the M3 is based on a dead end as far as process tech goes.

    Apple's failure to release roadmaps has been a huge problem for years.  It's why we're forced to rely on rumors sites like this one for planning purposes.

    Oh, please! Why is anyone entitled to Apple's or any company's product roadmaps?! Nothing like tipping your hand to the competition or delaying sales for the person who is always waiting for the next thing or failing to meet a random deadline and pissing off customers. Nothing to be gained at all.
    williamlondonwatto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 10 of 13
    coolfactorcoolfactor Posts: 2,259member
    I'm still  waiting for Apple to resurrect Xgrid. Imagine a "Mac Stack".... need to upgrade your computer? Don't replace it.. just add another block to the Stack. More RAM, more storage space, one computer".
    edited April 22 watto_cobraAlex1N
  • Reply 11 of 13
    chasmchasm Posts: 3,347member
    blastdoor said:
    i wonder if when the m4 comes out we might finally see the whole Mac lineup updated at once — that would be something.
    I think that this is exactly what Apple has in mind, but it will start later this year and spill over into next before every Mac is on an M4.
  • Reply 12 of 13
    keithwkeithw Posts: 142member
    I would think that they would get the M4 Studio out sooner than later. I can't imagine many people are buying the M2 variants currently available, especially since the M3 Max has been out in laptop form for months.   I'm STILL waiting to upgrade my aging (but still competent) iMac Pro from 2017.
    Alex1N
  • Reply 13 of 13
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,360moderator
    blastdoor said:
    I recently bought a refurbished m2pro Mac mini because I gave up on an m3 mini being released. I also would not be surprised if the studio skips m3 too. 
    All the remaining M2 products (mini, Studio, Pro) are within their typical release cycle. The Studio and Pro M2 were updated in June 2023, mini was in January 2023.

    Apple only launched the M3 Air 7 weeks ago.

    Even if Apple wanted to push ahead with AI and M4, that can come in October. This gives them 7 months to update the M2 models.
    keithw said:
    I would think that they would get the M4 Studio out sooner than later. I can't imagine many people are buying the M2 variants currently available, especially since the M3 Max has been out in laptop form for months.   I'm STILL waiting to upgrade my aging (but still competent) iMac Pro from 2017.
    There aren't many people buying desktops at all, which is why they get the least attention. There's no compelling reason for Apple to put M4 in the Studio model early.

    I would guess the mini would be quietly bumped to M3 at the same time as the iPad Pro at the upcoming event. Then Studio and Pro to M3 Ultra at WWDC. In October, they can have an AI Mac event for M4 after they have an AI iPhone 16 event showcasing on-board AI models with an updated Neural Engine in A18 Pro.
    Alex1N
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