On the Mac mini's passing: not so fast

On the Mac mini's passing: not so fast

Summary: On 21 October 2008 some European Apple retailers kicked off a whirlwind of speculation that the Mac mini was being discontinued or EOL (End Of Life) in Apple parlance. While the rumor was a bit of a stretch, mini fans expressed heir displeasure with the little Mac's untimely death in droves.

TOPICS: Apple, Hardware

On 21 October 2008 some European Apple retailers kicked off a whirlwind of speculation that the Mac mini was being discontinued or EOL (End Of Life) in Apple parlance. While the rumor was a bit of a stretch, mini fans expressed heir displeasure with the little Mac's untimely death in droves.

One concerned mini customer emailed Apple's new Mac hardware engineering chief Bob Mansfield about the reported death of the mini. AppleInsider reports that the individual received a phone call from Apple's executive care division almost immediately. And while Apple wouldn't provide a specific timetable for a Mac mini update, they told him to that they "knew the mini was a popular machine and to be patient." Hmm.

After Apple spokesman Bill Evans told Macworld that its "holiday line-up is set" the next logical time for any hardwares update would be at Macworld Expo on 05 January 2009. It has been 457 days since the Mac mini was updated, previously it was updatedd, on average, every 188 days.

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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  • The Mac Mini is the only Apple device I would consider buying

    The 2 people I know who bought a Mac Mini are very happy with it although they very quickly replaced OS X with Windows so they could use the far superior MCE. It truly makes me wonder what on earth Apple was thinking when they released the utter failure called AppleTV. That product is so bad that Apple still refuses to release any sales figures for it. :)
    • Isn't a cheap pc in a box better?

      Is it that the mini is already packaged?

      Its such a niche product I'd expect only enthusiast who how to put machines together to buy it.
      • The mini's form factor is excellent for HTPC

        It is still lacking a couple things that I have in my current HTPC (HDMI out, BluRay, video capture card, lots of diskspace) but most of those could be added externally. Although, come to think of it, by the time you've added all that stuff, the form factor isn't so fantastic any more! :)
    • i like my apple tv

      i acquired it almost by accident--a friend got one for a gift and didn't want it, and so sold it cheaply. it's been really convenient--i stream content to my tv all the time now and my girlfriend loves renting movies with it. the os is a little flaky and needs work, but overall i think it's a pretty good product. of course, i'm only one person.
    • Apple TV rocks

      Those who have the Apple TV pretty much all agree that it is
      fantastic. It just hasn't sold a ton of units, and Apple admits
      that, calling it a hobby product. I think its because many
      people still don't have HDTVs, and there is nowhere near as
      much of a compelling desire to have one as there is with the
      iPod. There are MANY competing products which have been
      discontinued - of the pack, Apple are clearly ahead.

      I like my Apple TV very very much...

      ...apart from the remote.

      Apple, the tiny white remote is great for iPod docks, etc, but
      for Apple TV, pleeeeese give us one with more buttons
      (standby, root menu, subtitles, genius, chapters, etc, etc). And
      while you're at it, add a "auto standby after X minutes"
      function in the Apple TV settings!

      That is all.
      • I'm glad you like your AppleTV

        Had you done some research, you would have quickly realized that WMC + XBox >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> iTunes + AppleTV and is cheaper too. If games aren't your thing then the Mac Mini with WMC connected straight to your TV + [url=http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/keyboards/keyboard/devices/3848&cl=ca,en] Logitech diNovo Mini [/url] would work too and give you so much more functionality than AppleTV. I'm guessing the Mac Mini could handle Vista.
        • I'm glad you like your noisy Xbox

          I've tried WMC + XBox and agree it is nice enough and has lots of

          But personally (note this word "personally" - and don't moan at
          me), I much prefer to use the Apple TV. It, like OS X, just "feels"
          nicer. It's so streamlined and quick, quiet as a mouse, very nice
          looking, just works,
          and provides all the functionality I care for (except the remote
          issue which I already shared).

          My experience with the Xbox was different (like Windows actually)
          - NOISY (main issue), slightly ugly, a little bit slow to get things
          done, too much going on on the screen at any given user interface,
          too much prominence given to features I don't care for, etc.

          As for storage, I don't want all my media on my Apple TV, I stream
          it over ethernet from my Drobo, on which all the data files are
          stored with full redundancy.

          Mac Mini - I don't want OS X on my TV. I turn on my Apple TV and
          am immediately presented with what I want - my media. And
          movie rentals are only one step away as well.
    • Re: MCE

      Hmm, how did the 2 people happen to get a hold of a copy of MCE?

      Let me give you a little info about MCE...

      [b]Due to strict hardware requirements, Microsoft did not sell Media Center Edition in retail markets alongside the Home and Professional editions. Microsoft only distributes it to MSDN subscribers and OEM System Builders in certain countries. Consumers generally purchase Media Center preinstalled on a new computer, or from a reseller that sells OEM versions of Microsoft software.[/b]
      Arm A. Geddon
      • One certainly has an MSDN subscription

        It is possible he, umm, lent it to the other guy since they do know each other. I don't know for sure though. Does it matter?

        Of course, now that WMC is free with Vista, this restriction no longer applies.
        • Re: Does it matter?

          Hmm, not really. I just recently had to do a reinstall of someones HP Media Center PC and I had quite the time acquiring a copy. Anyway I did and all is well. :-)

          Btw, in Vista, I believe it's just for "Home Premium" and "Ultimate" editions.
          Arm A. Geddon
          • ouch.

            that bumps the price up alot.

            I guess its a way to differentiate vista flavors.
          • How does it bump up the price?

            You get it with Home Premium which is the version that is sold with something like 75% of Vista computers. When the price of a Vista computer is mentioned, it nearly always includes a license for Home Premium.
    • Myopic view

      The Apple TV isn't about sales figures. Apple has 25 billion in the bank -- it doesn't need money. Apple TV is an experiment, and is about using it to test technologies. If it costs them 5 years of support to sell a few of those things and figure some stuff out, what's wrong with that? Oh and dear god, you might fail, but maybe you'll learn something.

      Maybe if all American companies took some risks and invested in new ideas, the economy would be in a lot better shape.
  • RE: On the Mac mini's passing: not so fast

    Love my AppleTV too. At $229 I don't think it's supposed to be a HDPC.
  • RE: On the Mac mini's passing: not so fast

    Sorry but Apple is going to ditch this thing!
    • No, Mac Mini is not being ditched

      Everyone knows the Mac Mini is well overdue for a re-
      vamp, and now you have the confirmation - I read this 2
      days ago in Appleinsider, indicating that it will be revised,
      not ditched as it is in fact sold in fairly high volumes for
      any number of applications.

      Quote from Appleinsider -

      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

      Although Mansfield didn't issue a personal reply, a
      colleague in Apple's executive 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 Apple executive
      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."
  • Mac mini not! We need a Mac Midi

    Let the Mac mini die what we need is a Mac Midi. This is a
    desk top machine not a portable where power
    consumption is critical. Here is what Apple needs to do

    1) Dump the slow dumpy 5400 RPM laptop HDs and put in
    a real 7200 3.5" HD.

    2) If you feel you must keep an integrated video option to
    create a low cost entry point OK but provide a single
    expansion slot for a real graphics card.

    3) Create a build to order option to put in the best optical
    drive Apple offers. Doesn't matter if it is slot loading or
    not that is a design issue but let us create a machine that
    can do the type of computing work we want to do.

    4) Allow for easy Memory upgrades (ship with 2GB but
    support up to 8GB)

    5) Provide a full suite of I/O ports (USB, Firewire, DVI, etc)

    Yes this will make it a larger form factor but it will still be
    far smaller than the honking huge Mac Pro and it will
    make it a useful machine rather than the emasculated
    computer it is today.
  • RE: On the Mac mini's passing: not so fast

    Just like Steve Jobs "demise" earlier this year, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." so I wish this report of the demise of the Mac Mini.
    I have a Mac Mini and it is perfect for those who have limited space and have both a Windows PC and Mac so they can share a single monitor.
    I wish that Apple will not remove the Mac Mini from computing line up but hopefully "freshen" up the Mac Mini since they haven't really changed the physical form since they introduce it in 2005.
  • RE: On the Mac mini's passing: not so fast

    Come-on people. There were buyers out there that thought
    the passing of Apple's SE/30 was a crime. Never bought a
    Mini nor did I want to because of the limits of expansion you
    could or couldn't do with it. I can see Apple maybe coming
    out with a Mini II.
  • RE: On the Mac mini's passing: not so fast

    I love my Mac Mini. It's compact, space saving, quiet and efficient. Please Apple, continue supporting it and, even better, support the Power PC version.

    I have several Power PCs and no immediate plans to go to Intel unless I have no other option.

    Cathy Manners Victoria Australia