back to article Apple Cook's half-baked defense of the Mac Mini: This kit ain't a leftover

It has been three years since Apple released any major update to the Mac Mini family, but CEO Tim Cook says that doesn't mean the minimalist systems are dead. Answering a loyalist's email, the supply-chain-man-turned-Steve-Jobs-corporate-heir said the iPhone giant still has plans to remake the Mac Mini, just don't expected to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Actions speak louder than words.

    You claim it's important, we see it hasn't been updated in three years, so all we're left with is the fact that your words don't seem to mesh with Reality.

    You want us to believe it's an important part of your product line up? Then stop dicking around, refresh the fekking thing, & prove you're not just blowing smoke out your arse.

    Pull the other one, it's got bells on.

    1. macjules Silver badge

      Re: Actions speak louder than words.

      I am still using an Early 2013 MacBook Pro (i7, 16Gb RAM and 512Gb SSD). In benchmark tests I can see that there is a speed gain to be had by upgrading to the 2017 model, but it is relatively minor ... such as 20s boot time compared with 13s in the MBP 2017. Certainly it is not worth the £2,669.00 that Apple want for this ... even with the £150 trade-in for my existing MBP.

      My point being that the 'improvements' that Apple are making to their range are so negligible as to make a new product pretty much irrelevant. Unless someone can come up with a 1,000 core processor or a new amazing 20 hour battery (why can't make the battery life on the MBP longer?) then I don't see the point of investing in new Apple kit. I also suspect that Apple's R&D is so, almost exclusively, focussed on the iPhone, that this is to the detriment of all other products.

      Sorry Mr Cook.

      1. big_D Silver badge

        Re: Actions speak louder than words.

        You mean like 12 Core Skylake Xeons or Ryzen Threadrippers? Not a thousand cores, but much more than on current devices.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Actions speak louder than words.

        "or a new amazing 20 hour battery"

        I believe that's what the upcoming ARM Microsoft machines are claiming (actually a lot more than that).

        But we'll see.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Actions speak louder than words.

      This comes off like an old man ranting at clouds, but he generally nails why Apple has gone downhill. Nothing we here don't already know though.

  2. Bradley

    Maybe they haven't found a way to tack a touch bar onto the thing.

    More likely Tim had to check the Apple store to see if they were still selling the things.

  3. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
    Linux

    Too late

    It's not just that the existing design is three years old, it's that people who have a much older system have no Apple replacement to buy now. Would you replace a 8 to 10 year old Mac with a 3 year old Mac? No.

    I replaced my Mac Pro desktop with a System 76 Linux box and I'll do something similar with my Mac Mini Server. Yes, I have to replace all the software. It's replacing 5 - 10 year old software so it's not a big deal. Linux is a bit shitty but it's better than Windows or trying to use an iMac where an iMac is the wrong form factor.

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Too late

      What are you doing that required a new computer? I, too, am looking forward to new Macs - but the old Mac Pro can still be a comparably quick computer (when compared with recent computers, I mean). I upgraded the RAM on mine (to 64GB), the GPU (to Radeon RX480), the CPU tray (dual 3.5GHz 6 core) and the storage PCIe SSD from OWC.

      Of course, the very very latest CPUs have more cores - and therefore higher multithreaded performance - but right now there seems to be a sweet spot around eight cores where adding more doesn’t give you a whole lot extra. Single thread performance has more or less stagnated for years. My PCIe bus or RAM isn’t the latest generation, but I can’t say that I’ve noticed the performance hit.

      You might argue, of course, that the upgrades must have cost an arm and a leg. And yes, they probably did - but I didn’t have to spend the money all at once. The upgrades were carried out gradually, over the years, so I didn’t really feel the pain. And at the end of it all I have a computer running High Sierra and running High Sierra fast. Very fast. A computer that edits video, photographs, sound without raising a sweat. That compiles large projects quick as winking. That barely raises its CPU utilisation even under load - and, yes, that also makes a good storage heater (the only downside!)

      The raison d’etre of the Mac Pro wasn’t particularly its performance. It was its upgradability (which is why Darth Dustbin is a bad Mac Pro). You said that you had a Mac Pro - but I can’t help wondering why when it appears that you just chucked it out and replaced it, rather than upgrading it and squeezing every last drop of life out of it. And if you weren’t going to upgrade then an iMac was probably perfect for you.

      1. CheesyTheClown

        Re: Too late

        It’s not about performance. It’s about connectivity.

        I don’t like Mac keyboards... used them a long time and when I started using a Surface Pro, it was like a blessing from the heavens. Mac keyboards are a curse... especially the latest on which has absolutely no perceivable tactile feedback. I might as well be typing on hard wood.

        So, I need a Mac to remote into.

        A Mac Pro is just not a sound investment. It’s several generations behind on Xeon... which means more than on i7. It has an ancient video card. It has slow ram and slow SSD. If you’re going to spend $5000 on a new computer, it should be more. Even so, a modern version would be 10 times more machine than would be worth paying for. After all, Mac doesn’t have any real applications anymore. Final Cut is dead, Photoshop and Premier don’t work nearly as well on Mac as on PC. Blah blah.

        Then there’s iMac. Right specs, but to get one with a CPU which isn’t horrifying, it takes a lot of space and doesn’t have pen support. In addition, you can’t easily crack it open to hard-wire a remote power switch and it doesn’t do Wake On LAN properly. So, you can’t use it unless it’s somewhere easily accessible.

        Then there is the Mac Mini. Small, sweet and nice. I use a Mac Mini 2011 and a 2012 which I won’t upgrade unless there is a good update. The latest Mac Mini doesn’t offer anything mine doesn’t already have except USB3 and Thunderbolt 2. But to make that interesting, consider that to get that is $1500 as the cheaper ones are slower than my old ones. If I were to spend $1500 on a machine, I want current generation.

        So... that means that there aren’t any Macs to buy.

        Let’s add iRAPP. Apple has the absolute worst Remote Desktop support of any system. iRAPP was amazing, but it’s dead and now there is no hope for a remote management.

        So that leaves a virtual hackintosh. Problem is, that requires VirtualBox or VMware... neither are attractive as I program for Docker which is on Hyper-V which can’t run side by side with either VMWare or VirtualBox.

        The end result is... why bother with Mac? It’s too much work and there’s just no reason to perpetuate a platform which even Apple doesn’t seem to care about anymore. No pen, no touch, no function keys, no tactile feedback. I can’t use my iPhone headphone on Mac unless I use a dongle on the phone or play the pair and repair Bluetooth game when not looking everywhere for my other earbud which I forgot to charge anyway.

        I still use iPhone... but I’m seriously regretting that since the last software update that has an iMessage app that looks like an American highway covered with billboards for 20 companies, doesn’t scroll properly, etc... let’s not get started on the new mail app changes.

        Apple is a one product company. They make the iPhone and the make a computer to program it on. iPad is basically dead... well you wouldn’t buy a new one at least. I’m happy with my 5 year old one. AppleTV is cute, but I ended up buying films on Google now because it works on more devices. I’d actually switch to Android for now if Google makes a “important my iTunes stuff” app which would add my music and movies to my Google account.

        1. Philippe

          Have you heard of the iMac Pro

          Please have a look at what you get for your $5K and stop talking nonsense.

          The Mac Pro was a dead end, they admitted so and changed course. You might want to do the same.

      2. Rob Willett

        Old Mac Pro's - Why they aren't so good

        There's a couple of reasons why the old Mac Pro's aren't quite as good as we'd like.

        1. The CPU's are quite old now. They are power hungry and noisy and not that fast.

        2. There is no EASY way to add two decent graphic cards, I know because I did it, you can have dual 5770's but you can't put dual 280X cards in as the MB won't take the load. There are ways round this but they're not easy. This is the number one reason I didn't replace my old one.

        3. USB 3.0 isn't built in, I know you can add an internal card, but thats more hassle. There's also not many PCI slots.

        The big issue for us was the lack of dual GPU's. We really, really wanted to buy a new Mac Pro but the lack of expandability, the lack of decent GPU's, the sheer high cost meant we didn't buy a new mac pro and replaced our old Mac Pro with a hackintosh. if Apple get their act together and get a decent expandable mac for the 2018 market, we'll look again. Until then, forget it.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: Old Mac Pro's - Why they aren't so good

          There are no expandable Macs any more nor will there be. It's all glued up and unexpandable by design.

          It started when Jobs asked the engineering team why the MacBook battery life doesn't last as long as the iPad and they ended up redesigning everything so internally it was as like an iPad as they could get but running Intel.

    2. ratfox Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Too late

      Would you replace a 8 to 10 year old Mac with a 3 year old Mac? No.

      Why not?

      If you're considering the mini line, you're looking for a cheap option that's good enough, and the 3 year old model fits that. It's not like you need to double the speed of your computer every year to run the latest programs; that era is over. What else do you want?

      If you're looking for performance, or any kind of pride in having a recent, cool model, then you're not buying a mini anyway. That's what the iMac is for.

      You know that Apple is still selling the iPhone 6s? That's because for people who are not chasing after the latest gadget, it's plenty good enough.

      1. Martin an gof Silver badge

        Re: Too late

        Would you replace a 8 to 10 year old Mac with a 3 year old Mac? No.

        Why not?

        If you're considering the mini line, you're looking for a cheap option that's good enough, and the 3 year old model fits that.

        I think the point is that a 3 year-old model is already part way through Apple's lifecycle. If value for money is the consideration, rather than absolute lowest price, then by not buying a "current" model, you have effectively reduced the life span of the device. Apple is quite ruthless about ditching older models - that is, from OS updates and security patches.

        M.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Put an SSD in your Mac mini

    They under spec'd the base model with an Hitachi 5400 RPM harddrive that was as slow as .. anyway .. with a little help from YouTube I voided my warranty and put in an SSD of similar size and enjoy my "late 2014" (i.e. the current one) Mac mini even more. It makes all the difference in the experience of the machine.

    1. Martin an gof Silver badge

      Re: Put an SSD in your Mac mini

      Remember to do the shuffle to enable TRIM though. It does make a difference long-term.

      M.

  5. Andy 73

    Pity

    As a box I can sling in a backpack and take to a client who almost certainly has a monitor around, it's a very handy little device. It can sit on a desk running services for months whilst not costing the premium of a MBP. Doesn't need a power brick, pretty much silent and enough power to run reasonable jobs.

    Apple: Put a 1 line LCD on the front, sort out some bare I/O - Mic and speaker so it can run Siri without any additional hardware. Build in wireless dongles for keyboard and mouse and keep the rest pretty much as is.

    1. Blake St. Claire

      Re: Pity

      > Build in wireless dongles for keyboard and mouse...

      I have a pair of late 2012s, one on my kitchen counter, one on my TV; they have bluetooth. I use Apple's bluetooth keyboard and mouse on both.

      What I'd like to see is Apple support the LG Ultrawide monitors natively. I'm tired of having to patch my system after every OS update.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pity

      > sort out some bare I/O - Mic and speaker so it can run Siri without any additional hardware.

      Mac Mini's already have built in speakers. But for adding a microphone which can't be disabled? Hell No.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Agree, way too late and shows how much they care

    Ditched my last mac about 6 months ago after years of buying them.

    Spent way more on mac machines than comparable non mac machines, year in, year out.

    My loyalty was rewarded with a cold shoulder equivalent to someone staring at their iPhone screen.

    I have previously likened buying apple stuff to an abusive relationship and this "oh no honey, we do care about you... just not right now (or at any time in the future we're prepared to commit to)" affirms that.

    We can also see the typical abusers confidence diminishing trick in the "no one else wants you (will run your apps)" approach.

    Fu*k apple. I am free now and I run both Windows and Linux, they both show me the love that was lost with apple years ago.

  7. razorfishsl

    The guy is so full of shit it is just unbelievable.

    With the money they had made from phones, they could have become a major player.

    1. Rainer

      > With the money they had made from phones, they could have become a major player.

      Microsoft thought along these lines, with their phones.

      But the PC market is shrinking. Why would you take money from a good business to invest in a bad business with small ROIs?

      I got a 2012 i7 in 2014, about 6 months before the 2014s landed. So I'm covered until 2019 or so, whenever the hardware gets obsoleted and no new OSs work on it.

      I like its ability to drive a 2560x1600 display and a 1920x1200 on HDMI.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        OK, but I had a 2014 MacMini (lovely bit of kit),

        But a minor problem couldn't be resolved without having to resolder items on the motherboard. When these failed in just a few days, I was told it was a motherboard problem.

        I'd invested in a new SSD, and decent non-Apple memory, but after several hundred pounds of re-soldering, was told the unit was unusable, and my RAM and SSD couldn't be re-used in a newer model.

        So miffed off was I about a new(ish) item that appeared to be unrepairable without significant exploratory costs (£450), and even then was unrepairable, that after 20 years I've moved over to Win10. And couldn't be happier.

        20 years of a relationship with Apple, and countless recommendations to others, but now I wouldn't touch one with a barge pole.

        Wondering if they're like Ryan Air, that they figure they can abuse their customers as much as they want yet still keep them interested? If you just want a trendy over-priced phone, then OK, but they're a joke as far as computers are concerned.

        Addendum. My iPhone friends are all rather jealous of my new Moto G5 Android mobile. (£140). I didn't have the heart to tell them how much it cost.

        1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

          Well duh. Hacking about a new product instead of exchanging it. Silly you.

          G5S ftw here - android pay + aptx + reasonable battery life.

          The capabilities of a £200 android now are amazing. Also have a Sammy A3 from work. Impressed.

        2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          I’m confused too as to why you’d piss around soldering bits on a product rather than Exchanging/returning it, unless you bought it second hand in which case there’s no telling what it might have been through.

          With you on the G5 though. Nice bit of kit.

      2. Hans 1 Silver badge
        Happy

        i5 1.4Ghz with pre-Cambrian spinning rust -> $499

        i5 2.6Ghz with pre-Cambrian spinning rust -> $699

        i5 2.8Ghz with antique spinning rust -.$999

        Low ROI ? Bohr, you must be smoking something dangerous, stop now!

        I like macOS, but this puts me off: https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Mac+Mini+Late+2014+Hard+Drive+Replacement/32815

      3. Aitor 1 Silver badge

        Shrinking market

        You want to invest in desktops and workstations for the same reason the supermarket sells milk: so the customers only go to their shops.

  8. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Resources

    Apple has the resources to handle phones and TV devices AND computers all at the same time. Tablets and phones are consumption devices and the one thing that Mac desktops excel at is creating content to play on those little screens. The only real tasks getting done on small screens is web browser and email. Trying to edit images from a 25mp camera on an iPad is futile. Video? The more HP, the better. The iMac is ok, but I need more expandability and hate Windows. I do like being able to run a Windows or Linux VM when I need them and my big silver MacPro still goes fast enough to do real work, but it's getting long in the tooth.

  9. vaguearoundtheedges

    Another bitch about Apple selling me a dead, non-upgradable MacMini.

    Apple used to offer 'pro-rated' apps. But FinalCut is now far less popular than the cross-platform Adobe Premiere. And DaVinci Resolve, free for most users, is light years ahead.

    My £700 Win10 gaming laptop, is a far more powerful video editor than a £2500 Mac. And has sockets I can plug things into.

    Moving on to Aperture. Oh, Apple got rid of it, so it's cross-platform Lightroom now. And now there are some interesting Win alternatives coming along, like Luminar.

    Everything now seems to run on PCs. I just wonder what the point of having an over-priced Mac is now? Again, said as a 20 year Mac enthusiast.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Must admit I really really wanted to refute your arguments. But I can’t. You’re right.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Pint

      My £700 Win10 gaming laptop

      Model, please .... I want one!

      Icon coz it is beer o'clock where I am at this moment (Grimbergen Blonde to my left)!

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        You build it yourself. £700 is plenty enough.

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      I like second hand Apple Macs. Problem is that they command way too high prices. If people only knew how high the risk was that some solder joint would give up, etc, then prices wouldn't be so inflated.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        ”If people only knew how high the risk was that some solder joint would give up, etc, then prices wouldn't be so inflated.“

        Products are worth exactly what people will pay for them - no more and no less. The fact that Apple products continue to hold their value so well means that on average, people consider the risk to be acceptable - otherwise as you say they’d have a shoddy reputation and nobody would buy them.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I went against my better judgement and bought a MBP in 2014. The screen died in 2016 and Apple explained it was out of warranty therefore would cost £350 to repair. I looked online and found I could do it for £250 but I've never bothered. Will be the last Apple product I'll ever buy. They've killed off some decent stuff; iPod, Cinema Displays, AirPort / Time Capsule, the software mentioned above, plus more I'm sure. Not sure Jobs would be impressed with the state of Apple nowadays.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

            In Europe you have a mandatory 2 year guarantee on purchased electronic goods. No excuses, no exceptions. See http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/consumers/shopping/guarantees-returns/index_en.htm.

            EU law also mandates 'Fitness for Purpose' under the Consumer Rights (Statute of Limitations) Act 2015, which means that for electronic devices costing more than GBP1000 the product should work acceptably for a period of six years from purchase. You would need to prove that the defect was not your fault, but for a failed laptop screen that shouldn't be a problem. With a bit of luck, if you still have your MBP you could still make a claim.

  10. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    IMac Pro is kinda interesting though..... if you have deep pockets.

  11. Tim99 Silver badge
    Gimp

    Servers

    The old style mini had a built in CD/DVD and made a brilliant, nearly silent media player. The $20 server add-on was/is an opportunity to install a workgroup/small business server that has a similar function to the old Microsoft Small Business Server line. The Server's Profile Manager is a useful tool to manage iOS devices - Joshua Jung (Medium Link) has a tutorial, and MacStadium (now merged with Macminicolo) host minis and may be worth a look.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I use the last new Mac mini as a tv box and file server. It’s still usable though it’s definitely starting to slow with high Sierra - I think it will last a couple more years. The great thing about macs if that you can get 5 years out of them at a push.

    I wouldn’t consider using an iMac because it’s connected to my main Samsung TV in the lounge. Media server not desktop.

    1. itzman
      Linux

      "The great thing about macs if that you can get 5 years out of them at a push"

      The great thing about Linux boxes is that you can get 20 years out if them at a push...

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: "The great thing about macs if that you can get 5 years out of them at a push"

        Absolutely. First 3 years useful, then 2 years running renice -16 cron jobs, then 15 years as a footrest.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      RAM requirements have shot through the roof for OSes after Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard would run respectably on 1GB, but the Lions needed 2GB, Yosemite and El Capitan needed around 4GB (and even that's slow on El Capitan), and the Sierras need about 6GB.

      Still can't figure out why memory requirements have gone through the roof though. If you were to put High Sierra and Snow Leopard side by side what are the differences? Save As is knackered, iCloud integration, Continuity, some new APIs which do the same thing as the old APIs, and that's about it.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        "Still can't figure out why memory requirements have gone through the roof though."

        No Steve Jobs to get angry when what they churn out isn't that good, is my guess.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The great thing about macs if that you can get 5 years out of them at a push.

      I've had more that 7 years out of my MacBook Pro so far (though it is on it's third PSU due to the MagSafe connector's lack of strain relief, and I had to replace one of the rubber feet recently). Hoping to get a couple more years before I have to decide what to replace it with...

  13. itzman
    Linux

    I hear they make great paperweights

    lol!

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

      Re: I hear they make great paperweights

      So does yer mum. Lol.

  14. schafdog

    2010 and 2011 owner. Still hopeful for Mac mini with multiple disk and upgradable RAM in a new formfactor. But looking at Intels NUC as alternative for now running Hachingtosh or Linux. I am not buying 2014 model

    Wishful thinking: the Mac Pro will be so modular that it can start as a Mac mini but be expanded into a powerful work station.

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      If the new Mac Mini is any larger than the AppleTV then it’s not worthy of the moniker ‘Mini’ any more. If it is that small then I’m interested in buying one!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 2011 one still works

    Did a bit weird during the High Sierra update, got very hot didn't respond but after a hard reboot it managed to get it installed and everything is still intact. Got the cheapest 2GB one six years ago (about 550/600 euro) Put 8GB of RAM in it for 40 euro. That improved a lot OSX needs a bit of mem. And a SSD when they became affordable. Worst was the special cable for it...

    Later versions of the mac mini with soldered RAM didn't appeal.

    Use my Linux box for everyday stuff because it is quicker and bit less expensive.

    1. David Shaw
      FAIL

      Re: The 2011 one still works

      I have a few 2011 MMs and had problems specifically with the one used for email etc. One with a 3TB usb3 timecapsule was always commiting self-DoS to the fruity ‘Magic-Mouse’ and BT trackpad and wireless keyboards. This hopping, skipping, jumping of the cursor happened with all attempted layouts of the desktop & wires and eventually I reverted back to wired peripherals. Putting the electromagnetic non-compatibility down to a poorly screened LaCie USB3 cable.

      Recently however, when I bought the nano-connector and SATA harness to add a lower or was it upper SSD to max out the 16GB mini, I was surprised that the nice supplier included completely freely and off their own bat a linear inch of copper sticky screening foil. They had independently determined that the 2011/2012 macMini Bluetooth radio card is insufficiently screened from the rest of the Mac mobo, and with this five ha’porth of foil - solved all my EMC probs.

      I had submitted the failures to Apple in bug reports as I’ve been beta-testing their OS’s over the years, there was never any feedback from Cupertino, good to see that the MM will be updated (probably with an hexacore A11X in a year?)

      It’s nice to finally have a working macMini, thanks due NOT to Apple

    2. Richard Boyce

      Re: The 2011 one still works

      I'm typing this on a 2010 mini with its original HDD. It's been running 24/7 since new. The only upgrade was to put 8GB of RAM in when new. I have long considered replacing the HDD with an SSD but have instead been waiting for a new mini because I also need more than two cores.

      If my mini fails (likely to be the HDD) before a new mini is out, I will simply buy a new PC, transfer my existing Windows VM to that, and give up on running native Mac apps. I certainly won't spend a fortune on new Apple kit with a screen I have no use for.

    3. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: The 2011 one still works

      re: soldered RAM

      Apple don't want to make computers, they want to make appliances.

      If you make some devices upgradable, people will notice the restrictions on the appliances.

      Compute-power and RAM now generally exceed what people need - so we don't upgrade. Apple is busy downgrading compute and upgrading screen resolution, adding the "touch bar" and soldering in memory to create a future upgrade requirement.

      I came across a similar thing in the enterprise space. A vendor (the market leader) put a large price tag on the hardware (which was just a branded PC) rather than the user-count. The client didn't know their capacity requirements up front. If they bought too low, adding more hardware was prohibitive; pushing them to over-provision - the upgrade. The client did the sensible thing - they ditched the vendor and went for a provider who billed per user - i.e. cost scaled with function.

      Apple appear to be going one step further, they restrict the memory in things like the MBA so you can't over-provision and either purchase twice or buy newer kit which has a higher-price-tag for lower cpu specs. Yes it has a better screen, but I need glasses - that ultra-high res is all slightly blurry for me anyway.

      So yes, I still run a desktop, with a large screen. If I need something small/quiet, I run an old laptop and hide it like a book near or inthe cupboard under the telly. I find the AI in WOPR frequently ahead of its time - "The only winning move is not to play."

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: The 2011 one still works

        P. Lee

        Dont know why you got downvoted, it was a good post. I think I recognise the vendor you’re talking about - and if I’m right their proprietary locked-down approach to hardware nearly killed that part of their business.

  16. chivo243 Silver badge

    Wait and see

    I'll just wait and see. I love the Mac Mini. We have many deployed as servers. Also a lab with 25 or so. We waited for the current form factor, using the old model with the horrendous power brick for many years. Maybe the new model will come in time to refresh our current fleet.

    It is a shame that Timmy has turned a blind eye to the Mac Mini. How much longer is he scheduled to be at the helm? Apple needs a breath of fresh air...

  17. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

    Nothin says ‘priority level zero’ like three years without a refresh; despite protestations to the contrary. Judge by behaviour not words. What I could imagine is an unholy hybrid of AppleTV and Mac Mini at some point in the future; the ATV4 has enough processing grunt to run a full OS, so I could see them adding Safari+Productivity apps, bundling a keyboard and mouse and letting that loose on the market; might be just the niche the ATV needs to gain traction.

    Also:

    ”Answering a loyalist's email, the supply-chain-man-turned-Steve-Jobs-corporate-heir said the iPhone giant still has plans...“

    No Idiot Tax reference!!! Color me impressed, surprised and happy. Thanks Shaun.

  18. coconuthead

    where's the Kaby Lake?

    This is a machine well suited and often used for a home cinema, yet doesn't have the more modern Kaby Lake processor which has hardware support for 4K.

    I get that Apple want to be a services company and sell you a 4K Apple TV instead, but the price difference should be enough for a 4K-capable mini not to threaten that strategy.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gave up on the Mini

    and built a Hackintosh.

    i7 3.4GHz, 64Gb Ram 4TB SSD and an nVidia graphics card that drives 2x 4K Screens.

    Brilliant at 4K Video rendering.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3 whole years!? OMG!

    In reality, of course, CPU and RAM development has stagnated, as predicted.

    I think nVidia seem to be onto something with their new low power GPUs. Don't know if AMD/s newest APUs are powerful enough -but they too are low power. So the next Mac mini might be a low energy use high-res gaming platform, which would be nice. I dislike the 300W+ used by even modest gaming platforms.

    1. casinowilhelm

      AMD's Ryzen&Threadripper has at last shaken things up a bit on the CPU front at least.

  21. Bad Beaver

    Yawn

    Unless someone else is footing the bill, the Mini is the only sensible desktop Mac out there for most applications. Yes, it is still darn expensive once you put some decent specs in there but then it will do, for a long time, with very little footprint and very little noise. Oh my gawd, it even hat plenty of ports. Different ones! So you do not even need a pricy TB-dock to connect it to crazy things like your wired network. And you get to choose your own screen! So much convenience!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yawn

      @ Bad Beaver

      I love working with mine. I voided the warranty by swapping out the oh-so-so-slow baseline Hitachi 5400 RPM HDD for an SSD - makes all the difference, and really frees the thing up to be what it should be. Beforehand, I put El Capitan on a USB stick so I could just clean install.

  22. Disk0
    Coat

    What, no speculation...?

    Rumor has it they are building the new Mini with 18-core ARM cpus, a bunch of onboard media coprocessors, network-APFS keeping track of all your files everywhere always like a personal cloud system, HomeSiri plugging into your every device and keeping track of everything that goes on in our house, car and office, it will be powered by a fuel cell that lasts 5 years, it has a built-in coffeemaker and a vape-slot.

    Finally, it will be the size of an iPhone so you can just keep it in your pocket, but it has no connectors - all connections are wireless. It is cast from a single piece of Bolivian crystal glass. At the same time Apple will launch a 3-d holographic pocket projector with gesture and voice input to go with the new Mini.

    Oh and the iPad pro pen doubles as a remote for it.

    1. Dave559 Bronze badge

      Re: What, no speculation...?

      Actually, I could well believe that Apple have been quietly beavering away to develop an ARM based Mac Mini for release some time next year, as a prelude to switching over the rest of their computers later?

      Marklar? Marklar!

  23. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Apple Pi?

    I know it will be a cold day in hell before something like this would be contemplated for even a nanosecond over in Cupertino - it's just not what they do...

    How about a RPi like SBC to a similar form factor running iOS?

    Now, it won't be on the same price range as the RPi, but still. Like the BeagleBoard, it could have rounded corners too.

    https://beagleboard.org/black

    Fanboi tinkerers can use Apple hardware instead of RPis or other cheap devices

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Just a note:

    This is exactly the same language used for the Windows phone when their new CEO took over

    We haven't abandoned it, but we're not telling you what we have planned.

    Enjoy.

  25. Valerion

    The last Mac Mini was obsolete at launch

    When the 2014s came out (which I had been waiting for), they removed all the quad-core processors, and stopped the RAM being upgradable.

    So I picked a 1TB 2012 quad-core from the refurb store (I think it was clearance of old stock rather than a refurb), bought 16GB of aftermarket RAM, and a 256GB SSD to boot it from.

    The fitting of the SSD was a real pain (by far the hardest and fiddliest computer surgery I've done in 20+ years of fiddling), but the result was a stonkingly good machine, but it's now a few years old. It's still running fine, but what do I do when it isn't? A current Mini is out of the question, and I won't buy an iMac as I don't like All In One devices. Sure, they look nice, but I don't want to chuck an entire PC away because the monitor broke. And, of course, they are expensive.

    I want to stay with Mac because I like the OS, so my options are build my own Hackintosh, or ditch Mac altogether.

    Sort it out Tim!

    1. Inspector71

      Re: The last Mac Mini was obsolete at launch

      With a bit of tinkering you can get an external GPU running over Thunderbolt on the 2012 Minis. Sort of semi Hackintosh project you could try. Could get it to run 4K even.

  26. confused and dazed
    Alert

    One trick pony ?

    Bit worried about Apple. The success of the iphone seems to have allowed them to become arrogant enough to feel they can ignore their (old) core business - pro type users. If the iphone stops being groovy (as it's beginning to look) they could fall fast .... hope not

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