Here’s a quick run down of what Apple released yesterday:
Apple Keyboard Compact design of the Apple wireless keyboard without the need for battery switching and with the benefit of two USB 2.0 ports
AirPort Extreme Base Station Simultaneous dual-band Wi-Fi broadcasts on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands so you have maximum range and full compatibility with all Wi-Fi devices. Guest networking broadcasts a second Wi-Fi network for guests to use the internet without having access to all of your network devices.
Time Capsule Gained the same features as the AirPort Extreme.
MacBook Pro Added 2.66GHz and 2.93GHz Core 2 Duo options.
Mac Pro The entry level is now $300 cheaper, at $2,499. It also received brand new Nehalem processors, and obviously Mini DisplayPort.
Mac Mini 5 USB ports, Mini DisplayPort (exactly as the leaked picture suggested, take that doubters), Geforce 9400M graphics.
iMac Entry level now has a 2.66GHz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB of memory, 320GB hard drive, Geforce 9400M graphics, for the same price of $1,199. 24″ iMac now starts at $1,499.
I don’t claim to know a whole lot about spotting photoshopped images but the the analysis done below does seem to make some sense, the only problem is that now we have a video of the same Mac Mini that these analyzers say isn’t real.
The jury is still out as to whether or not this is the new Mac Mini but we won’t know until Apple actually announces it themselves.
The image above shows the rear of a Mac Mini that has 5 USB ports, FireWire 800, both Mini DisplayPort and mini DVI, Ethernet, along with audio in and out.
The port configuration on this new photo does seem to confirm previous rumors about the upcoming Mac Mini revision.
The image was posted on the MacRumors forums and it seems that they are the originator of the image. The forum member also claims the system will ship with a 2GHz Core 2 Duo with 3MB of L2 cache, 2GB DDR3 RAM, and an ATA Super Drive. The user didn’t comment on the rumors of the new Mac Mini featuring a chipset made by Nvidia, as the new MacBooks have.
I’m considering purchasing a Mac Mini in June to be used as a media server, I plan on connecting a Turbo.264, an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid, and maybe even an external hard drive so all of those USB ports will be greatly appreciated.
There has been some question on the AppleInsider forums as to why Apple would have FireWire 800 in the Mac Mini instead of FireWire 400, claiming that 400 is more consumer level. But, I see Apple attempting to completely remove FireWire from its products over the next few years and one of those steps is to move all of their products that will have FireWire up to the highest standard so that the idea of having an adapter might convince some people that FireWire won’t be around forever. It is a simple mind trick that will probably get people to start buying USB drives just because they don’t want to mess with adapters.
Currently this is just a rumor and I haven’t found any confirmation of it yet but allegedly a Mac Mini enthusiast sent an email to Bob Mansfield, Mac hardware engineering chief, regarding the possible demise of the product.
Mansfield didn’t personally reply but a colleague did reply, not stating a time table for a Mac Mini update but assuring the enthusiast that the company was well aware of the system’s market value and suggested that enthusiast be patient.
“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.”
The Mac Mini hasn’t received any significant updates in over a year and this has started to worry many Mac Mini enthusiasts of the possible discontinuation of the computer.
There have been several rumors of the Mac Mini being discontinued for about a year now and none of them have seemed to come to pass but with MacWorld coming and with so many updates happening recently (entire iPod lineup and entire notebook lineup) one has to wonder what will be announced at MacWorld.
There have been many rumors of updates to the iMac lately and it is possible that we could see a refresh at MacWorld but it is more likely that the iMac will only get speed bumps and the only announcement made about it would be in the form of a press release.
I truly think that we could see a brand new Mac Mini replacement at MacWorld. Not necessarily a new revision of the Mac Mini but a computer that would sit in the same price bracket with maybe even a new design.
The addition of the new Nvidia chipsets and DisplayPort would make the Mac Mini much more appealing to a lot of consumers and a spec jump that would bring it up to par with the current MacBooks is much needed.
I will continue to tell Mac Mini lovers not to get their hopes up, the Mac Mini hasn’t exactly shown any sign of being that well liked by Apple but don’t be too surprised if we see new ones at MacWorld.
AppleInsider is claiming that the Mac Mini will be discontinued saying:
” Therefore, it comes as little surprise that sources, for whom AppleInsider holds the utmost respect, are now pointing towards the mini’s impending demise.”
I think that Apple may be making a big mistake with the Mac Mini if they discontinue it at this point. I believe that this was a slow death starting when they raised the price of the Mac Mini from $499 to $599. But now there is almost no reason to buy a Mac Mini unless you are low on cash or would like a more power full AppleTV-like device.
I don’t really doubt AppleInsider, especially since they say they hold the “utmost respect” for their source. I do however think that Apple may just be replacing the Mac Mini with a new computer possibly a more power full slightly larger computer.
The sub-$800 computer market is still one of the largest price points when it comes to sales, the Mac Mini was made to get people hooked into the Mac platform cheaply. The Mac Mini is a very important part to the Apple ecosystem. The MacBook might have become a more important part of the Apple ecosystem but the Mac Mini is still incredibly important. The only thing that I could think of that may be hurting sales of the Mac Mini causing Apple to want to drop it from its line is that unless you have a monitor keyboard and mouse it will cost you as much as a iMac for less power.
The fact is that the Mac Mini is really important and if/when they do kill it off they definitely need to replace it with something that can fill its place.
Apple has announced when this years WWDC (World Wide Developers Confrence) will be. It will be June 11-15th. As I mentioned on Jan 31st there is only 1 computer that does not use the newer Intel chip. The Mac Mini. The older chip, only being a 32-bit chip. I wonder how great it would make steve jobs in June if he could say during his keynote, “all of our macs now feature 64-bit processors.” This would be cool because I’m assuming that Leopard will be coming out at WWDC and it is a 64-bit friendly operating system.
Developers I’m sure would like to start coding for 64-bit processors but there is still that little Mac Mini that doesn’t have a 64-bit chip. Apple has always been one to push technology forward and making their OS 64-bit friendly and every computer they make 64-bit its just one more step forward.
Why hasn’t Apple updated the Mac Mini yet to Core 2 Duo. They were able to do it in all of the other computers. I’m wondering why because I’ve been eying it as a better alternative to the AppleTV. For an extra $300 I can have a fully functional computer with a heck of a lot more options. The only thing that I wish I could get was the cool interface. I’m hoping that in the future, such as in Leopard, Apple will update Frontrow to the cool AppleTV interface. I’m not sure what to do. I might buy the Mac Mini I might buy the AppleTV, I’m just not sure.
The Apple store is now showing a “We’ll be back soon” sign. their were some rumors yesterday that something would be updated. I hope we’ll bet some of the stuff that we thought we were going to get at the MacWorld Keynote. Like, updated Mac Pros, new cinema displays, updated Mac Minis?