Rumored Mac mini update will arrive much later than expected, says Ming-Chi Kuo

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware
Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now expects Apple won't release a revised Mac mini until 2023, instead of the 2022 that he previously predicted.




Ming-Chi Kuo has tweeted his updated predictions for Apple's major hardware releases in 2022 and 2023. Following his first version on March 6, 2022, the revised tweet pushes the Mac mini into 2023.

Predictions for Apple's new desktop products:
1. 2022: More powerful Mac mini and more affordable external display (27-inch without mini-LED).
2. 2023: Mac Pro and iMac Pro.

-- (Ming-Chi Kuo) (@mingchikuo)


Kuo offers no further details about the Mac mini, nor why he believes it's been moved.

A major update to the Mac mini has been rumored for some time, with claims from mid-2021 including a radical redesign of the smallest Mac Apple currently sells.

While retaining the same general square puck shape, the design of the Mac mini is thought to include a metal rim and a polycarbonate top, along with rubber feet instead of a circular base.

An AppleInsider render of the rear of an updated Mac mini
An AppleInsider render of the rear of an updated Mac mini


Around the back are thought to be considerably more ports than the first M1 Mac mini, with four Thunderbolt ports accompanied by two USB-A ports, Ethernet, and HDMI. Borrowing the idea from the 24-inch iMac, it is also speculated that the Mac mini could inherit the magnetic charging connection.

The analyst has also recently predicted that Apple may not release any new hardware with mini LED technology in 2022, because of current cost concerns. That had meant no "Studio Display Pro," but his claim of a non-mini LED monitor fits with analyst Ross Young's claim that another display is already in production.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 16
    Suggestion to AI, if you are going to talk about the revised tweet in the story maybe you should quote it rather than the older one that has the Mac mini still coming out this year. 

    As for the predictions go, In 2020 Tim Cook said the transition would take two years. There are two possible ways to interpret that. I think he meant two years from when he said it, June of 2020. But maybe he meant two years from when it started, November 2020. Using either date the Mac Pro has to come out this year or Apple has missed its deadline. So 2023 seems unlikely and I’m guessing WWDC in a few months. 

    That said, Tim Cool also said there would be new Intel Macs as well and those haven’t materialized. Maybe Apple will release one final Intel Mac Pro alongside the new M-series for customers that can make the move yet? Or maybe Apple just had a change of plans? 
  • Reply 2 of 16
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 2,572member
    Suggestion to AI, if you are going to talk about the revised tweet in the story maybe you should quote it rather than the older one that has the Mac mini still coming out this year. 

    As for the predictions go, In 2020 Tim Cook said the transition would take two years. There are two possible ways to interpret that. I think he meant two years from when he said it, June of 2020. But maybe he meant two years from when it started, November 2020. Using either date the Mac Pro has to come out this year or Apple has missed its deadline. So 2023 seems unlikely and I’m guessing WWDC in a few months.

    Nothing wrong with missing a deadline on such a marginal product. But... I don't think they'll miss anything. The Pro will be announced at WWDC and released in the Fall.


    Tim Cool also said there would be new Intel Macs as well and those haven’t materialized

    A few months after Tim said that, they released a new Intel-based 27" iMac, which has now gone the way of the Dodo. (But I believe will come back with the next gen Pro/Max.)


    When they do announce the new Mac Pro with Apple Silicon, they will also update and continue to sell the Intel model, as a large chunk of their pro-level customers' workflows may be tied to Intel. They also continue to sell Intel-based Mac mini because they are still extremely popular with server farms. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 16
    mjtomlin said:
    Suggestion to AI, if you are going to talk about the revised tweet in the story maybe you should quote it rather than the older one that has the Mac mini still coming out this year. 

    As for the predictions go, In 2020 Tim Cook said the transition would take two years. There are two possible ways to interpret that. I think he meant two years from when he said it, June of 2020. But maybe he meant two years from when it started, November 2020. Using either date the Mac Pro has to come out this year or Apple has missed its deadline. So 2023 seems unlikely and I’m guessing WWDC in a few months.

    Nothing wrong with missing a deadline on such a marginal product. But... I don't think they'll miss anything. The Pro will be announced at WWDC and released in the Fall.


    Tim Cool also said there would be new Intel Macs as well and those haven’t materialized

    A few months after Tim said that, they released a new Intel-based 27" iMac, which has now gone the way of the Dodo. (But I believe will come back with the next gen Pro/Max.)


    When they do announce the new Mac Pro with Apple Silicon, they will also update and continue to sell the Intel model, as a large chunk of their pro-level customers' workflows may be tied to Intel. They also continue to sell Intel-based Mac mini because they are still extremely popular with server farms. 
    I didn't say there was anything wrong with missing the deadline, I just think the odd that prediction is in 2023 when Apple has stated that they will be done with the transition by then. Given Ming-Chi Kuo completely bungled the most recent round of predictions I'm also taking the 2023 thing with a large grain of salt. 

    I guess they did do an update. Man, how did I miss the Comet Lake update in Aug 2020? Okay, you have no way of knowing how I missed that. That was totally an unfair question to ask you. I'm guessing I saw the news but since it wasn't Apple Silicon I didn't pay it much mind. 
  • Reply 4 of 16
    mike1mike1 Posts: 3,018member

    I didn't say there was anything wrong with missing the deadline, I just think the odd that prediction is in 2023 when Apple has stated that they will be done with the transition by then. Given Ming-Chi Kuo completely bungled the most recent round of predictions I'm also taking the 2023 thing with a large grain of salt. 

    What?! The Mac Mini was among the first to move to Apple Silicon, so being whether the next Mini launches in 2022 or 2023 has nothing to do with Apple meeting their 2-year transition plan.
    williamlondonfastasleep
  • Reply 5 of 16
    mike1 said:

    I didn't say there was anything wrong with missing the deadline, I just think the odd that prediction is in 2023 when Apple has stated that they will be done with the transition by then. Given Ming-Chi Kuo completely bungled the most recent round of predictions I'm also taking the 2023 thing with a large grain of salt. 

    What?! The Mac Mini was among the first to move to Apple Silicon, so being whether the next Mini launches in 2022 or 2023 has nothing to do with Apple meeting their 2-year transition plan.
    You are correct, the next Mac mini has nothing to do with Apple meeting the timeline. If you look at my original comment you will see that I was talking about he Mac Pro and Ming-Chi Kuo's prediction that it will move to Apple Silicon in 2023. That would mean Apple missed it's self imposed timeline of two years. 

    Quote from my original post:
    "Using either date the Mac Pro has to come out this year or Apple has missed its deadline. So 2023 seems unlikely and I’m guessing WWDC in a few months." 
    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 6 of 16
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,893member
    Smart money would say that the next Mac mini looks like a short Mac Studio, so more like the current Mac mini. The rear port placement should be very similar not like the mockup photo above.

    Clearly various prototypes of the next iteration of the Mac mini reside in secure labs in Cupertino and they have probably been there since 2020. Various designs have probably already been tossed.

    If the M2 die size and TDP end up being similar to the M1, it might not be an enormous effort to refresh the current M1 model with second generation Apple Silicon. When the M1 Mac mini came out, it's not like the chip magically appeared and they had to decide what to do with it.

    For sure Apple has some sort of plan (like a roadmap). It's not like Tim, Jeff, Johny, Craig, et al. are sitting around drinking coffee trying to figure out whether or not they should ship a new Mac mini later this year.

    "Hey, I came up with a new chip. What should we do with it?"
    "I dunno..."
    "I got it! Let's put in a Mac mini!"
    "Brilliant, I never would have thought about that!"
    "Good idea! Any idea what the gross margins will be?"
    "No idea, let's just build it, ship it, and find out!"
    "Great, I'll get started next week. Oops, I'm on vacation... when I get back."
    "Sure, sounds great! We'll have the interns start working on it while you're on holiday."

    That's not how Apple runs its business.
    edited March 11
  • Reply 7 of 16
    mpantone said:
    Smart money would say that the next Mac mini looks like a short Mac Studio, so more like the current Mac mini. The rear port placement should be very similar not like the mockup photo above.

    Clearly various prototypes of the next iteration of the Mac mini reside in secure labs in Cupertino and they have probably been there since 2020. Various designs have probably already been tossed.

    If the M2 die size and TDP end up being similar to the M1, it might not be an enormous effort to refresh the current M1 model with second generation Apple Silicon. When the M1 Mac mini came out, it's not like the chip magically appeared and they had to decide what to do with it.

    For sure Apple has some sort of plan (like a roadmap). It's not like Tim, Jeff, Johny, Craig, et al. are sitting around drinking coffee trying to figure out whether or not they should ship a new Mac mini later this year.

    "Hey, I came up with a new chip. What should we do with it?"
    "I dunno..."
    "I got it! Let's put in a Mac mini!"
    "Brilliant, I never would have thought about that!"
    "Good idea! Any idea what the gross margins will be?"
    "No idea, let's just build it, ship it, and find out!"
    "Great, I'll get started next week. Oops, I'm on vacation. When I get back."
    "Sure, sounds great! We'll have the interns start working on it while you're on holiday."

    That's not how Apple runs its business.
    I like to think that the have a giant fish bowel full of little pieces of paper with product names written on them and they just fish one out every so often. And somewhere at the bottom is little scrap that says "Hypercard".
  • Reply 8 of 16
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,893member
    Yeah, I think some online commenters believe that Apple senior management plans products using fortune cookies that they get at the end of their lunch at some Chinese restaurant on Stevens Creek Boulevard.

    Of course, I'm sure AppleInsider commenters are far too savvy to entertain such naïve thoughts.

    :p  
    edited March 11
  • Reply 9 of 16
    mjtomlin said:
    they will also update and continue to sell the Intel model, as a large chunk of their pro-level customers' workflows may be tied to Intel. They also continue to sell Intel-based Mac mini because they are still extremely popular with server farms. 
    1. Software and workflows tied to x86 not Intel. Were Apple to switch their remaining non-Mx products to AMD it would be outstanding as thanks to AMD benefiting from the same TSMC foundry advantages as Apple - though a node or two behind - then AMD based Macs would have superior performance and power per watt. As Apple already uses AMD discrete GPUs exclusively it would result in a more integrated hardware stack also. But as Apple won't be releasing any more x86 products after 2023 it is all academic anyhow.

    2. I really question why anyone would build a server farm out of $1000 machines with 4 year old Intel laptop CPUs: for macOS software the M1 is faster and cheaper for less power and for everything else an AMD Zen 3 Ryzen 5 is the same. In any event, Apple is only offering the Core i5 Mac Mini because the M1 has limitations (16 GB RAM, 2 external displays, initially 1 GB Ethernet). I say that they should have replaced it with an M1 Pro Mac Mini, and if 9to5 Mac is to be believed, it was strongly considered. But it appears that they are going to use the M2 to replace the Core i5 and Core i7 Mac Minis. In this scenario the M1 Mac Mini sticks around as an inexpensive entry level device. As it has been rumored that the MacBook Air refresh will also stick with the M1 - upgrading from 7 GPU cores to 8 - then that fits. I haven't read anything about the 13" MacBook Pro, but that had a Core i7 model at one time too, right? So it would make sense to give that one an M2 chip also. 

    Apple is going to refresh Apple Silicon on a 2 year cadence. Makes sense to have the MacBook Air, Mac Mini, 13" MacBook Pro and Mac Pro every even year using the Mx chip with the 14" MacBook Pro, 16" MacBook Pro, Mac Studio and iMac using the Mx Pro, Mx Max and Mx Ultra chips every odd year. 
    edited March 11 williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 16
    algralgr Posts: 26member
    Now that the Mac Studio is out, and updated Mac Mini has far less importance.  They could (should) just put an M1 Pro in the existing case and nothing else will be needed until 4mm chips come out.  At that point, maybe they will have an even lower cost Mac with an A16 chip in an Apple TV case.
  • Reply 11 of 16
    tiger2tiger2 Posts: 30member
    algr said:
    Now that the Mac Studio is out, and updated Mac Mini has far less importance.  They could (should) just put an M1 Pro in the existing case and nothing else will be needed until 4mm chips come out.  At that point, maybe they will have an even lower cost Mac with an A16 chip in an Apple TV case.
    I’m not sure about the less importance part now that there isn’t (won’t be?) a larger iMac. 

    There is no way I could afford or justify buying a Mac Studio and one of the new displays. So, to replace my current 2015 5k iMac I’ll need to go with a Mini and a display in the next year or so. I suspect many others will be in the same boat. Maybe the strategy is to make the Mini a more important piece of the lineup.  It’s probably much less expensive to produce the mini and the new display separately than a larger iMac and splitting the screen from the cpu makes things more interchangeable. Studio/display/mini/air/MacBook/iPad can all be mixed and matched in so many ways vs an all in one. 

    But perhaps I look at it from my own perspective too much. 
  • Reply 12 of 16
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 5,386member
    I call BS on this claim unless it was supposed to get some kind of M2 variant and there's a delay with the M2 SoC. 

    And the Mac Pro in 2023? I highly doubt that. 
    williamlondon
  • Reply 13 of 16
    TRAGTRAG Posts: 42member
    Suggestion to AI, if you are going to talk about the revised tweet in the story maybe you should quote it rather than the older one that has the Mac mini still coming out this year. 

    As for the predictions go, In 2020 Tim Cook said the transition would take two years. There are two possible ways to interpret that. I think he meant two years from when he said it, June of 2020. But maybe he meant two years from when it started, November 2020. Using either date the Mac Pro has to come out this year or Apple has missed its deadline. So 2023 seems unlikely and I’m guessing WWDC in a few months. 

    That said, Tim Cool also said there would be new Intel Macs as well and those haven’t materialized. Maybe Apple will release one final Intel Mac Pro alongside the new M-series for customers that can make the move yet? Or maybe Apple just had a change of plans? 
    I wasn't sure about the start date either but when they released the MacBook Pros in autumn 2021 he said during that event that they were '1 year in' to the transition so it appears he is counting from the first M1 releases in November 2020.

    I wouldn't be surprised if they are aiming to beat that target by announcing the Mac Pro at WWDC, whether they sell it from then or later, but only they know...
  • Reply 14 of 16
    macguimacgui Posts: 2,191member
    Ming--Chi-Quo said:
    Predictions for Apple's new desktop products:
    1. 2022: More powerful Mac mini

    Gotta say it takes balls to go out on a limb and make such an unbelievable prediction. The next Mac mini will be "more powerful"? Who would have thought! How tweet-worthy.

    I got an M1 mini and I'm done with them until we get a fair amount of port and much better graphics. I can't justify an eGPU, so maybe a base Mac Studio one day. Beaucoup CPU isn't even near the top of my list anymore, but a beefy GPU is. Don't know much about the Apple Silicon architecture but we were never going to get much in the way of graphic goodness with the Intel innards.

    muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 15 of 16
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,182member
    It's always possible that they will update the Mac Mini chip to an M1Pro or M2 this fall AND then release a major redesign of the whole computer for 2023. 
  • Reply 16 of 16
    mpantonempantone Posts: 1,893member
    DAalseth said:
    It's always possible that they will update the Mac Mini chip to an M1Pro or M2 this fall AND then release a major redesign of the whole computer for 2023. 
    Possible but improbable.

    Apple had a blank canvas for the Mac Studio. They could have picked a form factor like the Cube, LC, IIci, another stupid cylinder like the trashcan Mac Pro or even non-Mac devices like the last AirPort Extreme or original HomePod. Or something like Playstation 5, Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S. Or even Nintendo64 for that matter (which is roughly the same dimensions as the Mac mini).

    And yet Apple made the Mac Studio a tall Mac mini despite a universe of alternatives. That shows commitment to this footprint.
    edited March 28
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