Closing the book on Apple's Mac mini

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  • Reply 61 of 575
    benroethigbenroethig Posts: 2,782member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jootec from Mars View Post


    In the Intel Mac World has the Mini ever made sense? It was designed as a cheap Mac aimed at the PC to Mac switcher. And that is what happened to me with the G4 model.



    The thing is it uses Intel's mobile platform and mobile components - all more expensive and less powerful than desktop counterparts. If you buy a Mini, a keyboard, a mouse, a half-decent monitor, you might as well have stumped up that little bit more for a 17" iMac (2.0ghz Core 2 Duo, X1600, 1GB RAM, 160GB HD and super-drive) - a much more capable Mac.



    Ok the Mini is small and sexy but it is expensive because of its mobile components. Now that you can actually compare a PC spec to a Mac spec, many PC owners might think about buying a Mac but then look at the spec and think, "I can buy a more powerful Dell with a keyboard, mouse and monitor for less." It is especially so because of its core duo.



    Apart from the Mac Pro, all Macs make use of Intel's mobile platform. Obviously you'd expect this in mobile models but not in desktops. It also makes the iMac totally silent. But this means that Apple desktops are more expensive and less powerful than PC desktops using x86 desktop CPU's. Why is it Apple don't use Intel's CPU platform which has the greatest bang for your buck - those designed for the desktop?



    For some odd reason Apple introduced the 24" iMac with a different motherboard design to the 17" & 20" models. Again that increases costs - 2 board designs rather than 1. Why? The 24" iMac board design is the future of the iMac platform? Or it is a temporary stopgap design until the nextgen of iMac but its being used to test out some ideas around user's GPU choice?



    Another odd one - Boot Camp. What possible reasons would I have to use boot camp to run Windows rather than say Parallels? I can only think of one reason and that is playing Windows games. But why would I want to play Windows games on my Mac when the only GPU available to a Mac owner that a gamer can take seriously is the 7900XTX that is only available for the Mac Pro.



    May be the lack of Mini updates, the odd things listed above, the rumor that started this thread, are because Apple are finally listening to people and re-energizing their desktop offerings. Updated iMacs and the headless Mac. A headless Mac would bring many advantages. It would allow Apple to create a highly configurable machine that would suit many people and many price points - from the buyer after the cheap Mac with entry dual-core CPU, Integrated graphics, small hd, combo-drive etc to the serious gamer who wants a quad-core CPU, two dual-core top of the range GPU video cards, large hd, oodles of memory etc. Every body is happy.



    It makes lots of sense unless Apple is planning to get HP and Dell to do their converting for them.
  • Reply 62 of 575
    jasenj1jasenj1 Posts: 923member
    I'll toss in $0.02 saying that I'd be sad to see the mini go. I don't own one, but as others have said, they are a great little Mac appliance machine. And a great switcher machine.



    What could be the motivation for killing it? Low margins? I doubt it. If the machine pays for itself, and brings in a profit, why discontinue it? Maybe Apple doesn't have the resources to maintain the machine?



    Does Apple have a phobia about selling sub-$1000 computers? First the 17" iMac rumor, now this. What, Apple wants to make sure only the upper-middle class can afford an "Apple"?



    I hope the "mini" will be replaced with a very similar product with a different name if it is killed.



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 63 of 575
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    It's interesting to note that AI is reporting that 1) the mac mini is going away and 2) that the 17" iMac is going away. It looks like they're clearing out room for a new product.
  • Reply 64 of 575
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    First of all, anyone who "wants" the Mini to die is a plain idiot!!! Why?



    1. Having a cheaper headless Mac is important for the supposedly growing number of switchers like my relatives who don't need a new monitor yet.

    2. Why do you care if it looks like an aTV? If people want it even if it is a minority, why get rid of it?

    3. Unless Apple is losing money on it, why throw away the R&D that went into designing it?

    4. Why does the fact that ubergeeks in a Mac forum not liking the Mini make any difference to keeping the market open to the rest of the computer buying public? No one who walks into a Walmart cares what we think.



    The Mini should have stayed at $500 even if somewhat crippled. It would have been good enough for those who need it and it wouldn't hurt Apple sales to the base of the party. If your only problem with the Mini is about price, that has nothing to do with the form factor or the needs of those who could use one. It is a problem with Apple.



    AppleInsider is being as stupid as Apple (if it actually does this) for no reason other than to act as all powerful arbiters of what computing must be to Mac buyers. Stupid pseudo-intellectual, wannabe-marketing dweebs!
  • Reply 65 of 575
    danielchowdanielchow Posts: 142member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Whether Apple will squeeze another revision from the mini, and how long it plans to allow existing models to linger, are both unclear. But as the extended Memorial Day break dawns upon us, the point being driven should be clear:



    Ladies and gentlemen, AppleInsider believes in all sincerity that the Mac mini is dead.



    nah, only the product name is dead. i think it has simply evolved into something else. that is, it's now Apple TV.
  • Reply 66 of 575
    charkocharko Posts: 84member
    There is only one all-Mac internet café here in Berlin and it only uses minis.

    I do too, but I'd prefer a small tower. I think, because of it's size, the mini was relative expensive to make - it had to use 'lap-top' parts.

    A small tower, being much more flexible and configurable, could cover the $500 to $1500 range and, in the lower price ranges, be ideal for switchers, schools, penniless students and those who need only modest performance, and in the higher-priced configerations, for some professionals and the more demanding Mac-users.
  • Reply 67 of 575
    stonefreestonefree Posts: 242member
    I wonder if Apple really even cares about market share anymore. Maybe this move (if true) , along with the delay of Leopard because of the iPhone, is reflective of them dropping "Computer" from their name.



    How can you gain market share by severely restricting choice? Want a laptop with a 15 or 17" screen but don't need a high end graphics card or processor? Want a single processor tower? So do a lot of others, but look elsewhere because Apple won't offer them.
  • Reply 68 of 575
    rolorolo Posts: 686member
    Wouldn't it be nice if Apple could just give people what they want? They never gave the mini a chance. It should be larger, have a full sized 3.5" HD, a TV tuner/ASTC combo, and an option for a Blu-ray drive. Let it be what @tv isn't. Let it be a full fledged media server and Mac hooked up to an HDTV. Let it work with a wireless KB with built-in trackpad. Let it be Santa Rosa with flash cache and a 2 GHz Core 2 Duo. Let it be what switchers, Mac users and media mavens want to own!
  • Reply 69 of 575
    macgregormacgregor Posts: 1,434member
    Whether any new device takes the place of the Mini, it is pretty obvious that the key will be to slowly wean music and video away from the computer.



    As much as a Mac with iTunes is great at organizing things smartly and keeping a leash on content, we all know that content will increasingly be available on phones and mobile devices and setboxes that do not require a Mac or a Windows pc.



    Verizon has set their future on competing for content by just using a phone. That has major disadvantages, but those will fade over time as wifi enlargens and phones get smarter.



    aTV, if it is to "replace" the Mini, will need to become more than just a really expensive wireless holding cell for content. It needs to access the web and deal with DRM (for awhile anyway) and run more independent of the Mac itself, or it will be leapfrogged. This is a few years away, but my point is that the Mini can help with that transition for some years to come.
  • Reply 70 of 575
    aegisdesignaegisdesign Posts: 2,914member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jootec from Mars View Post


    Apart from the Mac Pro, all Macs make use of Intel's mobile platform. Obviously you'd expect this in mobile models but not in desktops. It also makes the iMac totally silent.



    It also makes the Mac Mini totally silent, cool and small.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jootec from Mars View Post


    But this means that Apple desktops are more expensive and less powerful than PC desktops using x86 desktop CPU's. Why is it Apple don't use Intel's CPU platform which has the greatest bang for your buck - those designed for the desktop?



    Because Apple design silent, cool and small computers.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jootec from Mars View Post


    For some odd reason Apple introduced the 24" iMac with a different motherboard design to the 17" & 20" models. Again that increases costs - 2 board designs rather than 1. Why? The 24" iMac board design is the future of the iMac platform? Or it is a temporary stopgap design until the nextgen of iMac but its being used to test out some ideas around user's GPU choice?



    There are 4 different iMac motherboards. Two 17", 20" and 24". All different. No conspiracy theory needed.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jootec from Mars View Post


    Another odd one - Boot Camp. What possible reasons would I have to use boot camp to run Windows rather than say Parallels? I can only think of one reason and that is playing Windows games.



    It's not for games. It's a safety net for users who still have to run some windows applications, be that for work purposes or otherwise. It's there to attract switchers who might feel nervous making a transition to the Mac.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jootec from Mars View Post


    But why would I want to play Windows games on my Mac when the only GPU available to a Mac owner that a gamer can take seriously is the 7900XTX that is only available for the Mac Pro.



    No idea. Why not just buy a PC in the first place if you're into Windows games. Seems patently stupid buying a more expensive Mac to do so.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jootec from Mars View Post


    May be the lack of Mini updates, the odd things listed above, the rumor that started this thread, are because Apple are finally listening to people and re-energizing their desktop offerings.



    I fail to see how dropping models and piss poor Macbook updates is Apple 're-energizing their desktop'. They need a Mini in their lineup or an iServe just as much as they need a mid tower.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Jootec from Mars View Post


    Updated iMacs and the headless Mac. A headless Mac would bring many advantages. It would allow Apple to create a highly configurable machine that would suit many people and many price points - from the buyer after the cheap Mac with entry dual-core CPU, Integrated graphics, small hd, combo-drive etc to the serious gamer who wants a quad-core CPU, two dual-core top of the range GPU video cards, large hd, oodles of memory etc. Every body is happy.



    Gamers are never happy IME. And if a Mac Mini isn't a headless iMac then just what is it? It's almost an identical spec to the low end iMac except for the screen and drive.
  • Reply 71 of 575
    charkocharko Posts: 84member
    ... but if it does get 'put down', buy one quickly on the cheap, use it as a second computer or media-centre and then you might even make a small profit in the future when you sell it, because they might well become collector-items.
  • Reply 72 of 575
    camroidv27camroidv27 Posts: 523member
    I agree with most people on here. Bring down the price to that magic $500 level, and you'll get more switchers / happier consumers.



    But honestly, I don't think the Mac Mini should be axed. I do think Apple should release a mid-tower to stay competitive. Then again, they are enjoying being propietary. Isn't that how Apple almost killed themselves back in the Performa age? Apple, please heed your customers' ideas, they are the ones you want to please, as they are they buying power, as much as you wish it was your investors.



    I own a Mac Mini PPC 1.42ghz. I got it cheap when the intel version first came out. It runs quitely and nicely hooked up to my TV, sitting under my GameCube, acting as my media server, my print server, dashboard running all the time when I'm not watching a show or movie so I can see latest weather and other useful info. I'll be getting an EyeTV soon for it to use it as a DVR, and life will be happy. True, not the fastest machine in the house, but it does serve a purpose.



    I know many college students on my campus with Mac Mini's since they are the only mac they could afford. Our media department is all Macintosh, and so lets the students work at home. It can run Final Cut Express just fine, you just have to wait a little while longer to do rendering. I've sold many people onto macs using the Mac Mini, and am about to buy one for my campus TV studio as a simple mobile editing machine (laptops break when handed to some students).



    Please apple, keep this little machine going. Cut the price back to the original cost, and we will be happy customers.



    (The more and more I see Apple do, the more and more I'm disliking the company. Ubuntu, here I come)
  • Reply 73 of 575
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,403moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post


    Why would you hook up a beautiful little computer to a dirty old keyboard, mouse and monitor?



    Because it's cheaper than having a clean keyboard with badly designed keys and a badly designed mouse and a sparkly low-quality built-in display that costs a fortune to fix when it breaks. That's why I have my home Mac mini hooked up to a scissor-key PC keyboard, a Microsoft mouse with 4 proper buttons and a CRT display. I have a setup that I like and my display will cost me £30 to fix in the worst case scenario not £600.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ak1808 View Post


    This is for a niche of nickle-pinchers and media-center freaks. It is simply not a mainstream computer. Axe it!



    Wrong, I can run Shake and Final Cut on a Mac Mini and the rendering speed can on occasions keep up with a £2500 quad G5 but on average is only about 1/3rd the speed, which I'd say is pretty good going. It's to do with software optimization too. The only reason you could say it's not a mainstream computer is because Apple cripple it with slower CPUs and graphics capabilities.



    I can understand why they'd make this move. The laptop is in two models - pro and consumer, the desktops have 3 models. Now if, as I've said before, they manage to redesign the iMac well and hit a reasonable price point, I won't object too much but given the price of 20" displays and rumors that the 17" is going, I don't see them hitting a price that's within the reach of most consumers. This will drive Apple further into the niche that the Mac Mini was pulling them out of.



    There's just no way consumers will take Apple seriously if there's no desktop cheaper than the lowest end laptop.



    What I could see is Apple cutting the cost of the iMacs so that a 17" ended up at £499 with GMA, then £599 with the X1600 then £799 for the 20" and £1199 for the 24". It seems reasonable that this could be done because retail 17" LCDs are under £100. The lowest iMac has the same components as a Mini (besides the CPUs which we know cost the same), which is at £399. LED backlighting is cheaper and the parts must have come down in price since 9 months ago so this seems plausible.



    If Apple hadn't designed the Mini so badly - clips instead of screws, GMA chips only, slower CPUs, 512MB Ram default, I would be not only sad but angry to see it go but having seen how easy it is to upgrade stuff in the iMac, especially Ram, I think that design is better overall.



    But as mentioned, there are just things you can't do unless it's headless like put it in a car or use it as a media center. I guess we'll have to wait and see, but I'm a bit sceptical. If they ditch the Mini, the cube has to come back.
  • Reply 74 of 575
    buckbuck Posts: 293member
    Gee, horrible news indeed!

    I have about 40 machines working in the enterprise. Not one of them has ever failed, but that's besides the point. And the point is that they are affordable for the enterprise, even more so when they used to have G4s in them. That was the key point for replacing the PCs. I doubt the management would go for expensive iMacs and it doesn't make sense from their perspective since they want just a computer, not a monitor, and any additional gadgets are perceived as "expensive". So I really hope it's wrong or that we'll see the return of the Cube, or something of that sort. PLEASE! I'm pretty sure the Mini is one hell of a gateway Mac. Heck, I've bought a G4 some 2 years ago or so and still very happy with it, typing this on the "petite computer" as AI puts it. I wonder if iMacs really sell so bad they have to kill the Mini line... Ahhh...
  • Reply 75 of 575
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    I really hope we see a low cost tower emerge, there is NO EXCUSE for not having a C2D Mac(almost?)Pro that uses standard DDR2, with 4 Dimm slots, and PCIx16 GPU for sub or-about $1000: Hate to say it, but if I do not see a system like this at WWDC, I will be ordering a Dell...My credit card is rareing to go. Is Apple willing to take my cash?



    I love Apple, but I refuse to pay $2500 for a PC and the iMac is unacceptable, period!



    My mini is nice, but it is so crippled, I would LOVE to be able to toss in a 750 gig HDD in there, but that is not a possibility.





    Who needs dual Xeons (or even one for that matter) for web, music, watching video and such?
  • Reply 76 of 575
    jaycrjaycr Posts: 25member
    I really hope they don't. The Mac mini is SO great for special projects because of its small size and price point, I'm looking at purchasing 11 of them shortly for a project I'm working on. While I can understand wanting to focus consumers on the iMac as much as possible it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to continue to use the Mac platform for special projects if the Mac mini goes the way of the dodo. Please Apple, don't drop the mini from your desktop lineup!
  • Reply 77 of 575
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aegisdesign View Post


    Gamers are never happy IME. And if a Mac Mini isn't a headless iMac then just what is it? It's almost an identical spec to the low end iMac except for the screen and drive.



    You ignore 2 improtant acronyms GPU, and HDD
  • Reply 78 of 575
    porchlandporchland Posts: 478member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bdj21ya View Post


    Sorry, thanks for pointing that out. It was confusing to have the sources cited so far down in the article. I'm used to the news convention of putting the more concrete stuff at the top of the article, with the opinion following.



    You're confusing journalists who have web sites from people who happen to know how to type and have web sites. Macrumors goes one step worse and actually cites AppleInsider at its source.



    It's a constant frustration for me too.
  • Reply 79 of 575
    kenaustuskenaustus Posts: 924member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Coolie View Post


    Mac minis were always underpowered when compared against competitor's PCs, and you always got less for the money. At any time, you can go on Dell or HP, and get a more powerful computer than Mac Mini, which INCLUDES a monitor (even if it's crap), and essentials like, I dunno, A MOUSE AND KEYBOARD??



    You also get Windows and a huge mass of trial software.
  • Reply 80 of 575
    a_greera_greer Posts: 4,594member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kenaustus View Post


    You also get Windows and a huge mass of trial software.



    Here is what I dont get: sure it is annoing, but that crapware subsidises the cost of the PC...what is so damnd hard about going into add/remove programs and deleteing everything on the first boot up? Then just install what you want and defrag and you are golden...





    Now-a-days it is a lot cheaper to do that than even to build.
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