Apple tells Mac mini fan to hang in there

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple appears to be taking its policing of the rumor mill to the phones, in one case dialing a customer who expressed concern over Internet reports on the Mac mini's fate to assure him the situation would be addressed in due time.



Having read a blog post speculating that a discontinuation of the current Mac mini line overseas may be indicative of the product's ultimate demise, one advocate of the tiny desktops fired off an email with his concerns to Apple's newly-crowned Mac hardware engineering chief Bob Mansfield.



Although Mansfield didn't issue a personal reply, a colleague in Apple's executiveÂ*care division did almost immediately, offering no timetable for a Mac mini update but assuring that the company was well aware of system's market value, and suggesting the customer continue to exercise patience.



"I got a prompt reply by phone from an AppleÂ*executiveÂ*care person essentially giving me no new information but assuring me that Apple knew the mini was a popular machine and to be patient," the customer told AppleInsider. "I certainly appreciated the contact, and I think it was a nice way of letting me know that rather than bug their head guys."



Fans of the diminutive desktop have become increasingly restless in recent months, as the mini continues to grow long in the tooth. The 6.5-inch square systems haven't seen significant architectural advancements in years and were last refreshed with component updates over a year ago.



Apple's behind-the-scenes customer guidance appears to back similar reports which have recently stood out in resistance to claims that the mini may again be on the chopping block. Following AppleInsider's report on the beginnings of a Mac mini overhaul earlier this year, an entrepreneur with a vested interest in the prolonged development of the computers spoke out in a report titled "The State of the Mac mini."



He outlined the mini's popularity among businesses, particularly small organizations, as well as those in the hospitality, entertainment, and security sectors. Expressing certainty that a new version of the mini was on the way, he outlined several features expected in future models.



One of those feature revelations, to which AppleInsider can lend a nod, suggests that Apple will offer new options that will allow the systems to better cater to the server and storage markets for which they've become extremely popular.



"In ordering a Mac mini from Apple, there will be an option to have two SATA HDDs and eliminating the optical all together," the report said. "With the new Remote Disc introduced with the Macbook Air, this option will be tempting for many."



Although there's no evidence to make a solid prediction at this time, overdue updates to the Mac Pro and Mac mini, combined with Apple having forgone a once-planned bump of its iMacs ahead of the holiday season, next January's Macworld Expo could be shaping up to be a Mac desktop-tinged affair.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 143
    eriamjheriamjh Posts: 1,086member
    The mini is a nice machine, but I don't understand why Apple doesn't make it better.



    It should have the same HW as a MBP. Losing the optical disk might be a good way to boost storage without increasing size.



    I still think that the mini and the AppleTV should be one kick-ass device.
  • Reply 2 of 143
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Eriamjh View Post


    The mini is a nice machine, but I don't understand why Apple doesn't make it better.



    It should have the same HW as a MBP. Losing the optical disk might be a good way to boost storage without increasing size.



    I still think that the mini and the AppleTV should be one kick-ass device.



    I agree and it wouldn't take much- just discontinue AppleTV, add it's software to the mini, add an HDMI port and boom - it's a combo of both. I would keep the optical drive though -with an option for blu-ray.
  • Reply 3 of 143
    A mini with two hard drives would solve another problem besides offering server services, and that is storage for all your media downloaded from an AppleTV. Perhaps we will see a redesign to conform to the AppleTV enclosure dimensions and a stackable option might come to fruition. A media mini stack as it were. Blu-Ray would make sense here as well since it displays in 1080p and it will be a long time before we see 1080p downloads. Not everyone needs or wants 1080p so it doesn't seem like it would compete with their iTunes strategy. A stackable option would allow people to pick and choose how they consume media and Apple gets to sell hardware.
  • Reply 4 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    I agree and it wouldn't take much- just discontinue AppleTV, add it's software to the mini, add an HDMI port and boom - it's a combo of both. I would keep the optical drive though -with an option for blu-ray.



    I definitely agree. The Mac Mini is awesome for home theater systems and would be even better if they combined the Mac Mini and the AppleTV.



    I've been so tempted the last couple of months to get a Mac Mini and hook it up to my DirecTV satellite box with EyeTV and use it as my DVR, DVD player and media player. Combing the two would make the whole process a lot easier and consumer friendly.
  • Reply 5 of 143
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    It's sounding more and more like Apple *intended* to update the Mini (and perhaps the iMac as well), but that "something happened."



    Add in the fact that they barely got the MacBook and MacBook Pro out the door recently (with some members of the group missing in action no less), and it almost looks like you could use the word "struggling" to describe their performance of late.



    Oh well, at least we won't have to see that "beleaguered" word ever again.
  • Reply 6 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by teckstud View Post


    I agree and it wouldn't take much- just discontinue AppleTV, add it's software to the mini, add an HDMI port and boom - it's a combo of both. I would keep the optical drive though -with an option for blu-ray.



    No reason to discontinue the AppleTV, just add a more feature rich (and expensive) option for those who want it. Some might opt for the simplicity of an AppleTV the way it is.
  • Reply 7 of 143
    zunxzunx Posts: 620member
    The perfect Mac is a quiet Mac. As powerful as possible, but mainly quiet. That is why I have a Mac mini instead of a Mac Pro. The dream Mac for me would be a quiet Mac as powerful as possible. A Mac miniTOWER!
  • Reply 8 of 143
    Apple could also use the mini for a larger corporate strategy. The mini's diminutive size and price would appeal to businesses considering swapping out their old PCs. No optical drive works in this context too. Remote administration features, Exchange support, virtualization, ect. This might be a good time for them to take a more serious stab at that market since Vista is floundering and Windows 7 is still years away.
  • Reply 9 of 143
    I disagree with the idea of merging a computer with the ATV, I've had an ATV for over a year without a Cable subscription. ATV still has a huge potential, and Apple needs to pay more attention to this little device. It's one of those device that are "almost there", all that is required are a few pivotal features such as Live Vodcasts, plugin architecture, monthly membership, and some non-pivotal features such as a better remote, keyboard for faster typing (sans iPhone), able to leave comments and read comments on shows, movies and vodcasts.
  • Reply 10 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post


    I definitely agree. The Mac Mini is awesome for home theater systems and would be even better if they combined the Mac Mini and the AppleTV.



    I've been so tempted the last couple of months to get a Mac Mini and hook it up to my DirecTV satellite box with EyeTV and use it as my DVR, DVD player and media player. Combing the two would make the whole process a lot easier and consumer friendly.



    DirecTV OWN HD drv is has a lot cool stuff in + a bigger HD and they have VOD.
  • Reply 11 of 143
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Object-X View Post


    Apple could also use the mini for a larger corporate strategy. The mini's diminutive size and price would appeal to businesses considering swapping out their old PCs. No optical drive works in this context too. Remote administration features, Exchange support, virtualization, ect. This might be a good time for them to take a more serious stab at that market since Vista is floundering and Windows 7 is still years away.



    No optical drive too soon for the base system and case will need be easy to open with no voiding of warranty when you removed the HD / add ram.



    DELL and others let you remove the HD before sending the system in for warranty work.



    There is no why that you must send back the full system with HD will work for corporate systems.
  • Reply 12 of 143
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    These comments about making the Mac Mini as powerful as a MBP and then replacing it with the AppleTV make absolutely no sense. The market for a $229 AppleTV is small enough, so making it a $600 to $800 media extender is excessively outside the media extender market, especially for a device whose purpose is to be an extension to your home computer.
  • Reply 13 of 143
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    I think Apple acknowledging the importance of it means it's up for a redesign. Since it's not as popular as other Macs, it takes longer to clear out the inventory, which I figure should be pretty much cleared out by MWSF in January.



    The Mini would be a great contender for a solid aluminum shell since it runs so hot. The clue is that they will offer 2 hard drives instead of an optical drive. The current shell would never be able to handle the heat of 2 hard drives and the processor.



    So my bet is in 2 months there will be a streamlined aluminum Mini and aluminum Apple TV.
  • Reply 14 of 143
    Canny wait for this new mac mini - it'll be the boz!



    By the by, I cannot see Apple taking away the drive, as this is firstly and foremost aimed at the consumer market - i.e. a family/home PC. Taking away the DVD drive would be daft, however if Apple really want to inovate this totty wee machine, they are going to have to add something different - which I reckon they will.



    It would be too boring to up the spec to reflect the macbook range - they are going to add some "cool" new features such as............. don't really know, but it'll have to be something innovative as it deserves it.



    At the worst they will up the spec to the current macbook range, however for God's sake and mine, would they please, please, please make the machine user upgradable so that we don't have to gut the device with wall paper scrapers to add RAM and a new Hard disk.



    Come on Apple people, don't be daft, make it user upgradable and watch the number of folk flock to buy it - well me anyway.
  • Reply 15 of 143
    slapppyslapppy Posts: 331member
    Yet no word on Copy and Past, Sync To Do's, Sync Note or PUSH.
  • Reply 16 of 143
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,195moderator
    If there are two drives, they could form a RAID setup. Two 7200 rpm drives would have one over on the iMac. I wonder if they'll have different shells though. Putting an extra drive in but leaving the slot wouldn't seem very Apple-like.



    The reassurance that the rep gave is good to hear but it's still annoying. The Christmas holidays are all but ruined now. What good is having a new home computer in January when everyone goes back to work? A new toy gives you an excuse not to have to be around family you don't like. This is the whole spirit of Christmas.



    The Mini is a perfect Christmas gift because it costs about the same as a games console. Few people can afford to drop £1000 on a computer, least of all over Christmas. Now people have an idea that new machines are coming in January so either they won't buy now or will be very disappointed 2-3 weeks later and possibly try to return their machines.
  • Reply 17 of 143
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,770member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post


    It's sounding more and more like Apple *intended* to update the Mini (and perhaps the iMac as well), but that "something happened."



    I wonder if pushing all the updates to 2009 is a response to the incredible customer feedback on Firewire.

    FW400 is certainly dead, and FW3200 will almost certainly be ready for 2009.



    Maybe Apple figures that going next-gen Firewire is something customers wanted and they decided to do it in the next updates, rather than 6-8 months later.
  • Reply 18 of 143
    macroninmacronin Posts: 1,131member
    A new Mac mini with dual HDD ability is cool; if Apple would adapt the server components of OS X for home/consumer users, that would be even cooler…!
  • Reply 19 of 143
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


    The Mini is a perfect Christmas gift because it costs about the same as a games console.



    Hmm... That is something to ponder. Instead of Apple simply adding the 9400M to the next Mac Mini, or it's replacement, having an option the dedicated Nvidia GPU in the MPB would make it a decent gaming machine at a low price.
  • Reply 20 of 143
    adjeiadjei Posts: 738member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by slapppy View Post


    Yet no word on Copy and Past, Sync To Do's, Sync Note or PUSH.



    And what does this gotta do with article?
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