Some Apple rumors make sense. For example, an ultra thin MacBook Pro mini.
Other rumors don’t make sense at all. For example, delaying the introductions of iPhone and OS X Leopard. How about this one? Is Apple set to drop the Mac mini?
That’s what AppleInsider claims in “Closing the book on Apple’s Mac mini.” It’s all over but the shouting fat lady.
The Mac mini is one of my favorite Macs. Should this rumor prove worthy, I’ll grab an extra Mac mini or two as quickly as I can—unless—unless I’m assured that Apple has something even more exciting waiting off stage.
Over two years ago Leander Kahney outlined all the delicious coolness of the Mac mini following its introduction at Macworld 2005. Back then, the Mac mini was a mere $499 and slower than slow.
Today, the Mac mini costs a bit more but comes with more Intel speed, WiFi, and so on. It’s still BYODKM—bring your own display, keyboard, and mouse.
Early reports from media pundits such as Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies said Apple would sell two to three million Mac mini’s the first year. So far as anyone can tell from Apple’s cryptic sales reports, that didn’t happen.
What did happen? Not much. The Mac mini received very few updates, upgrades, and changes over the past 30 months. Even at $599 the mini doesn’t compete well with Dell, HP or others in the sub-$500 price range.
Still, the mini makes for a perfect second Mac, more common in Mac households these days as notebook sales continue to grow. I have two Mac mini’s which I use as web and mail servers.
Apple hasn’t had much of a clunker product since the beautiful but slow selling and expensive Cube. Apple pulled that plug. What reason would they have to pull the plug on the Mac mini?
It’s no secret that Apple doesn’t want to play in the sub-$1,000 price bracket, especially since Mac sales are running over 30-percent growth rate in the much more lucrative notebook and desktop arena above $1,000.
Apple’s overall market share with the Mac may be around 6-percent, but could be double that in the more expensive above-$1,000 range.
Does the Mac maker have a new Mac ready to step in to fill the void? The iMac design is rather old by computer standards. Perhaps Apple has a whole new line of iMacs ready for introduction at WWDC in June, including an ultra low-end Mac.
That’s unlikely as the all-important education selling season is going on right now, so this would be poor timing for a completely new line of Macs.
The major reasons Apple would dump the Mac mini would be poor sales or a better replacement model. Or both. Or, maybe it’s just a rumor and we’ll have the Mac mini around for awhile longer. I hope so.