Bloomberg is reporting rumours of a new Mac Mini in time for the back-to-school market this year. The source of the rumours is claimed to be “people familiar with the plans”.
Apple is also planning the first upgrade to the Mac mini in about four years. It’s a Mac desktop that doesn’t include a screen, keyboard, or mouse in the box and costs $500. The computer has been favored because of its lower price, and it’s popular with app developers, those running home media centers, and server farm managers. For this year’s model, Apple is focusing primarily on these pro users, and new storage and processor options are likely to make it more expensive than previous versions, the people said.
You can still buy a Mac Mini, but it has not been updated since 2014, making it particularly poor value. It is useful for developers since a Mac of some kind is required for iOS and of course Mac development. It is also handy for keeping up to date with macOS.
The latest rumours sound plausible though the prospect of being “more expensive than previous versions” will not go down well with some of the target market, who want to minimise the premium paid for Apple products. Another reason why the 2014 Mac Mini is unappealing is that additional RAM is factory-fit only, which again means extraordinarily high prices. Check out the iFixit teardown:
Unfortunately, the RAM is soldered to the logic board. This means that if you want to upgrade the RAM, you can only do so at time of purchase.
Will Apple do the same again? It seems likely. My guess is that the new Mac Mini (if it exists) will be even smaller than before, but just as hard to upgrade.