Apple Silicon MacMini?


There is lots of talk that the first Apple Silicon device will be a MacBook etc…

Since the dev kits were essentially MacMinis, is there a possibility of releasing that? If the dev kit was some off, non-Apple shape I’d think “yeah it could be anything and the battery arguments are good indicators of a laptop”. But since a MacMini with Apple Silicon essentially already exists, why not just release that?

Am I missing something?

1 Like

The dev kits are using an unmodified iPad CPU at the moment, so it will be slower and more aimed at the thin case of the iPad for its TDP and heat dissipation restrictions. Therefore a “real” mac Mini should have a much more powerful processor.

I think it comes down to volumes. The MacBook probably outsells the mini by a wide margin, so they will want to get production of those chips out of the way first. Then I suspect iMacs will come next, with the Mini being further down the line. I think it will all come down to production yields, how quickly desktop processors will start appearing and in which models.

I’d like to see a Mini as one of the first, because I don’t want a built-in screen - I have enough monitors kicking around - and I don’t need a laptop. If the Mini has a reasonable price, I’d like to take a look at it. But looking at Apple’s history, I suspect it might be further down the list…


That makes a lot of sense, thanks!

Same here, no need for a laptop or built-in screen, so the Mini is perfect for me.

If it’s perfect for you, then get one today with the current CPU? I don’t understand the hype over Apple silicon… it’s not like the iPad Pro has rocked the world or anything… In the end it’s just a new arrangement of sand.


Using my current one (2014) until I cannot update OS anymore (so, this will likely be the last year).

In the WWDC presentation, they seemed to emphasize it could do gaming better and run iOS apps, which would be nice.

But, yeah, likely no big difference immediately

1 Like

The ability to run iOS and iPadOS apps without modification will be a huge feature for all of the Apple Silicon Macs. Users will have immediate access to a vast library of inexpensive mobile apps. Apple will have been using those A12Z Developer Transition Kits in-house – they will be bringing some new optimizations to Apple’s standard and professional apps. They’ll also be working hands-on with select developers – and I’m sure they will work with key developers to port their iOS apps to Catalyst and SwiftUI versions for the SiMac. Most interesting will be the Mac apps that access the chip’s Neural Engine – something that has no analogue in Intel-land.

Apple was very quiet about the capabilities of the A14 in their September iPad Air 4 announcement, and the processors; the slowest SiMacs will almost certainly have more capabilities than that new mobile chip.

Software will have significant improvements on this platform immediately, and hardware will not be sitting still. IMHO, calling this a rearrangement of sand is a bit of an undersell.

Same here. I already have a monitor, I don’t want to pay for another machine with a built-in display. I would rather take that money and use it to upgrade the machine itself.


I don’t think Apple is promising this, at all. There is no touch. (That they’ve announced.) Doing that is not in their best interests either, because now people who make powerful desktop apps get extra competition from “weak sauce” iPad apps that won’t work right/well without touch.

It’s up to the developers. If they want to make their iPad apps MacOS compatible, they can do so. Regarding touch support - the iPad has had keyboard and cursor support for a while now. There are quite a few apps that do a good job of utilizing both. I imagine that they will translate well to MacOS.

Yes, they did promise it. There was a session at the 2020 WWDC about it: “Running your iOS Apps on macOS”. That session goes into the nitty gritty about how the multi-touch interface maps to macOS. Developers do have the option of excluding their iOS apps from the Mac App Store, but there seems little reason to do this. That same session also describes why developers may prefer to create a full-blown Catalyst app – those apps will run on any modern Mac.

The framework to run iOS apps on the SiMacs is available as soon as the first one ships. Here’s the press release from Apple on the topic. From that article:

iOS Apps on Mac lets users run your unmodified iPhone and iPad apps on Apple silicon. There is no porting process to bring your iOS app to the Mac. Your apps use the same frameworks and infrastructure that Mac Catalyst apps use to run, but without the need to recompile for the Mac platform.

Do you now understand why this is an exciting thing – available on Day 1 for the SiMac?

1 Like

You have a strange sense of exciting… but if it’s exciting for you, then I am happy you’re excited :wink: It doesn’t interest me in the slightest, I have totally given up on iOS since my iPad 4 got locked for no apparent reason on iOS 10.

1 Like

This has nothing to do with iPad hardware. It’s about running iOS and iPadOS apps on Macs – Macs running on Apple Silicon processors.

No, it’s not up to the developers. Developers have nothing to do to have their iOS and iPadOS apps run unmodified on Apple silicon Macs. Please look at the links I posted above if you missed the WWDC announcement.

1 Like

It is funny, I’ve always experienced this the other way round, wishing that the “full fat” applications’ functionality was available on the phone or tablet. I’ve never found myself wanting a phone or tablet app on my desktop…


That’s interesting. I could imagine both cases for different demographics, or even for the same person. The two wishes are not opposites. You could simultaneously miss certain “full fat” Mac apps on mobile devices and also want to have the full iOS/iPadOS app arsenal available on your Macs.

I help seniors work with their mobile devices. Dedicated apps for AAA, banking, insurance, libraries, health providers, etc., are all quite useful. They are a vast improvement over using the web for accessing those services. “Use the app” is a far better rule than managing one random browser tab to access those vendors’ services. I think it will be great when that same rule applies to Macs.

One thing is certain: Apple will definitely broadly promote this capability when Apple silicon Macbooks are available.

What specific “full fat” apps do you find yourself missing on your mobile devices?

Both of these questions would be interesting for @mikahsargent to explore. :slight_smile: