Alright, I’m trying. But I got nothing. Apple CEO Tim Cook says the Mac mini is an important component to Apple’s product line but you would never know it based on how anemic the device is. Show some love, Apple.
What’s wrong with the Mac mini? Other than price, what’s right? And even the price is subject to some raised eyebrows. Click on Apple.com, click the Mac in the menu and you’re greeted with a long line of Mac options, included a handy comparison chart. The Mac mini is there but you’d be excused if you missed it.
Child Left Behind
If high tech companies were subject to scrutiny from Child and Family Services then Apple would be under investigation for neglecting the Mac mini. It’s the last Mac child on the family tree. Even the Mac Pro, which went almost four years without an upgrade, comes before the Mac mini.
Apple says the Mac mini is mini in a massive way. Cute ad copy for a product that hasn’t seen an upgrade in many years and the last upgrade was really a downgrade. Take a look at how Apple feels about Mac mini.
Mac mini makes everyday tasks a breeze with fourth-generation Intel Core processors, a flash storage option that’s up to 50 percent faster, and wireless performance up to three times quicker than its predecessor. With Intel Iris Graphics or Intel HD Graphics 5000, it also delivers graphics performance up to 90 percent faster than the previous generation. And with great connectivity features like Thunderbolt 2 and support for HDTV, Mac mini makes the perfect centerpiece to any setup.
4th generation Intel Inside? 8th generation Intel CPUs are shipping from Apple’s competitors. Thunderbolt 2? Come on, Apple. New Mac notebooks are shipping with USB-C and Thunderbolt 3. Take a look at this promotional graphic from Apple’s Mac mini website.
What’s missing is anything new. The Mac mini is years old and not as powerful as previous Mac mini models for the same money. Worse, the display Apple connected to the Mac mini on the website is the old Thunderbolt display which Apple doesn’t even make anymore.
Fortunately, the Mac mini will run macOS High Sierra, so there’s that.
Now, exactly how does the Mac mini which hasn’t seen an upgrade since 2014 become, as Tim Cook said, “an important part of [Apple’s] product line going forward.”
Important? How? When?
This is one area where I dislike how Apple operates. It is willing to leave customers to buy old products while the company takes its good old sweet time to come up with something new. And when it finally bows to public scrutiny and some viral messages about losing the innovation crown, Apple still doesn’t deliver.
Remember a year ago when complaints rose to a loud roar that Apple hadn’t updated the Mac Pro in like, forever and a half? What did Apple do? It promised a modular Mac Pro. Maybe in 2018. But no promise. It also upgraded the now end-of-life Mac Pro to a more recent chipset and configuration. Oh, and it promised a new iMac Pro at the end of 2017. It also promised the iPhone X in November and how much would you like to bet that most of us who order on October 27 will also wait until 2018 to get an iPhone X.
So, Mr. Cook, just how important is the Mac mini to Apple? I ask because I care. It’s also obvious that Apple doesn’t care much about upgrading any major product on a timely basis. iPhone 8 and 8 Plus? Looks much like iPhone 7 and 7 Plus which, along with iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and the iPhone 5s turned iPhone SE remain in the product line. Old products.
Apple sells old products as if they are new. Unopened? Maybe. Unused? Maybe. But new? Nope. The Mac mini is important to Apple because there are Mac
customers suckers who still pay full price for old products in new boxes. Don’t wonder why Apple doesn’t invite me to their new product shows. I know.