Apple to retire the Mac mini?

Nearly two and a half years ago, Apple unveiled the Mac mini, its attempt to pull the Mac platform down from its up-market roots. The diminutive system came without a display and had a price tag of $499, making it Apple’s cheapest Mac system ever. Following an initial wave of curiosity and attention, however, Apple appeared to neglect the system somewhat. Indeed, the latest iteration of the machine features a somewhat outdated Intel Core Duo processor, and at either $599 or $799, it costs significantly more than the original.

Well, according to AppleInsider, Apple is now planning to retire the Mac mini indefinitely. The Mac rumor site quotes sources “for whom AppleInsider holds the utmost respect” as saying that the mini’s demise is coming, although it adds, “Whether Apple will squeeze another revision from the mini, and how long it plans to allow existing models to linger, are both unclear.” AppleInsider suggests that the Mac mini concept has been transformed “under more economical standards” into the newly-introduced Apple TV set-top system.

Comments closed
    • PetMiceRnice
    • 12 years ago

    It would seem to me that retiring the Mac Mini would be the logical thing to do even if the box itself has a small footprint. I have found myself occasionally flirting at the idea of getting a Mac (although not seriously), but when I saw what the Mini comes with compared to the iMac, I think even the entry-level iMac is the better value (although admittedly the next model up is a much better idea). Correct me if I’m wrong, but I have the impression that the Mini does not even come with a keyboard and mouse, and it certainly does not come with a display. By the time you’ve bought these “extras”, the iMac is the better option. I suppose it might be a different story if you are an existing Mac user and have stuff to carry over, but the Mini is a tough sell at it’s price point for what you get.

    • hermanshermit
    • 12 years ago

    Current minimac + integrated 8500GT = complete killer HTPC / entertainment centre I’ve been waiting for.

    You could have HDMI (with HDCP), support 1080p with full hardware acceleration for h264.

    • droopy1592
    • 12 years ago

    So apple is canceling a product that they neglect. I wonder what idiot came up with that idea.

    So many people have been waiting for a refresh, but at the same time it’s so outdated and overprice for the stuff you’re getting. x3100 chipset, C2D processor, super drive with 1GB ram and 100GB HD would sell like mad for $650 or so.

    Apple needs those high prices though, their too stubborn to let the entry model help them get more market share.

    • adisor19
    • 12 years ago

    I hope this isn’t true ! The Apple TV does not have the horsepower to decode 1080p content ! 🙁 I was really planning for a Mini next to the TV…

    Adi

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    #8 – So Apple deliberately makes unimportant products? Having an entry-level product isn’t important?

    I don’t dispute the right of Apple to make business decisions based on market conditions, but killing the low-end of the spectrum without a replacement at that price point seems rather short-sighted in light of Apple’s desire to gain marketshare. It also reeks of the whole Cube affair which appeared to have been more of a PR stunt than a product.

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      1.) Learn to use the reply feature

      2.) Good job misinterpreting my post but I’ll go ahead and roll with it: depending on your definition of “important”, yes, Apple makes unimportant products. One could easily argue that if a) a product isn’t profitable enough, or b) a product doesn’t sell very well, or c) discontinuing a product won’t upset too many of your customers (and what constitutes “too many” is decided by Apple and not its customers), then the product is, in fact, unimportant.

      • Taddeusz
      • 12 years ago

      You also have to realize that since Jobs came back to Apple they have not made low-end products. The Mac Mini was their first step back into low-end products since Jobs’ return. It obviously didn’t build the momentum that they were expecting so it will obviously get canned as any responsible company would do with a product not performing well.

    • Kurlon
    • 12 years ago

    My mini will be getting a refresh soon… 2gb of ram and a C2D cpu swap. : )

      • derFunkenstein
      • 12 years ago

      that’s the spirit!

    • derFunkenstein
    • 12 years ago

    I hope it’s because they’re going to make something like a mini-Mac-pro with a desktop chipset, desktop processor, desktop discrete graphics, and room enough for 2 HDD’s and an optical drive. Who else would like an E6300 with a GeForce 7900GS and 1GB of RAM for $800?

    Or, knowing Apple, the same specs but a GeForce 7300GS. 😆

      • danazar
      • 12 years ago

      Knowing Apple, it’ll have the 7300GS, and be priced at $1499. $800 in your dreams!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 12 years ago

        OK, I tried to build this on Newegg and came up very close to $800. I’ll meet you in the middle – $1100. WIth the 7300GS.

          • d2brothe
          • 12 years ago

          don’t forget the the standard 20% apple tariff. Anyway, that would hardly be a mac mini, the point of the mini was to be small…2hd will not fit in that small a case.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 12 years ago

            I remembered the 20% tarriff – that’s why I’m saying you can buy a machine you can build for $800 (with OS) for $1100. It’s actually more in line with their standard margin of profit.

            And I don’t want a Mini. I want a Mac I can upgrade, like the G4 towers.

            • danazar
            • 12 years ago

            Maybe $1100 for a weak base model, and then $1400 for a model with the actual stuff you want (faster processor, decent sized hard drive, Superdrive). I’d believe that.

            And my problem with the Mini is the lack of dedicated graphics. The Mini comes with a dual-core CPU but has weak Intel GMA graphics, and Final Cut Studio won’t run on anything with GMA graphics. Of course, I’m sure that’s a ploy to make people who want Final Cut Studio to buy the $2000+ Pro models…

    • herothezero
    • 12 years ago

    Can’t say I’m surprised…they don’t seem to care much about maintaining product line viability, and with captive Macolytes buying their stuff, they don’t really have to care.

      • flip-mode
      • 12 years ago

      They keep the important products viable. It’s not like this thing is used by corporate customers. If this product line isn’t selling or isn’t profitable then from a business perspective it’s the responsible thing to do to discontinue it.

        • blastdoor
        • 12 years ago

        There’s an endogeneity problem here. If a computer company fails to update a computer for nearly a year, you can bet that sales aren’t going to be great. I know I’ve been putting off purchase of a mini because I’ve been waiting for a refresh. If the MBP hadn’t been updated since last summer I bet its sales wouldn’t be great either.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 12 years ago

          they sell more laptops than desktops anyway. Aside from an AIO consumer desktop and a pro tower, they probably don’t see any important desktop segment, which is too bad.

    • blastdoor
    • 12 years ago

    I hope that this doesn’t happen. I’ve been waiting for a Mac Mini refresh to go under the TV in the living room. AppleTV doesn’t cut it for me — I don’t have an HD-TV and I don’t like the limited codec support.

    • flip-mode
    • 12 years ago

    I’m really taken by the Mac Mini’s but the specs / price ratio leaves a little to be desired. But if I had the disposable income I’d grab one.

    • king_kilr
    • 12 years ago

    hehe, I saw another blog predicting the Mac Mini would get a revamp at WWDC.

    • StashTheVampede
    • 12 years ago

    I’m a fracking magnet for h/w and s/w that’s dead. A quick inventory consists of:
    – OS/2
    – Bebox/BeOs
    – PowerMac G5
    – Palm based Treo
    – Mac Mini G4

    Man, I’m a dead man walking, constantly. Good thing I haven’t bought into some modern H/W like S939, i925x, etc.

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