Any thoughts or speculation whether or note we will see a more pro-like version of Mac Mini announced at the June keynote? Maybe with more RAM and support for two 5k monitors?
I don’t think so; it would cannibalize higher end MacBook Pro and iMac sales. I think Apple sees the Mini as a solution for entry level consumers or for pros that need to deploy a bunch of them in some kind of server or rackable role.
As long as a market remains for the current hardware (the M1) there probably isn’t a rush to supersede it. The Mini isn’t a big profit center for Apple (because of its lower price), and it’s targeted at switchers more than power users, so expect them to indefinitely restrict its RAM and other capabilities to a workable minimum.
Thanks. I could definitely be happy with the 16 gigabyte RAM configuration, but I really want to drive two 5k monitors. I’ve been using a 5k iMac (late 2014) for seven years. Most of my work is productivity based kind of stuff, so crisp resolution for text, spreadsheets, etc feels essential to me. I could do two of the LG 4k ultrafine monitors, but I would be disappointed in any real noticeable difference versus my 5k iMac now. Any thoughts how much of a difference to the eye there would be comparing 4k to 5k side by side?
Makes you wonder what a M1 Mac Pro would look like.
I’ll agree with “no mac mini pro,” but not for the reasons posted thus far. I believe another dark gray mini could be offered, but June is too soon.
The most likely “pro” Macs are of course the rumored (and confirmed by recent hack?) 16" and maybe 14" MacBooks. After that is the larger size iMac, which may or may not be called “pro.” Apple warned on it’s investor call that Mac supply would be constrained in the second half of 2021, so any available “M2” processors will likely be in new Mac models, not upgrading models already sporting M1.
BTW, I don’t see how a “pro mini” would cannibalize any MacBook sales – they are completely different product classes. And don’t see an expensive “pro mini” taking sales from colorful, all-in-one iMacs… Again, not really similar. It this were true, wouldn’t the current Mac mini take sales from the new iMac? The mini is for customers who don’t want to invest in the premium integrated display that comes with iMac – and that’s not only price sensitive buyers.
I’ll put my predictions in writing so you can see how I did…
June (WWDC); Pro laptops, 14" and 16" with M1X procs, more RAM, 4-T3 or maybe even USB4 ports.
September: iMac Pro and maybe Mac mini. I feel like they may not revisit the mini until everything else is updated.
December: Mac Pro full-size and Mac Pro mini.
My Mac Pro is starting to act really funky, so I feel like I’ll be desperate by the end of the year. But I’ll hold on as long as I can. (Come on, Apple!) If it gets worse before then, I’ll trade it in for a refurbished Mac Mini, then trade that in for the real deal later…
These are all solid bets, in my mind👍🏻
I erred in not being more specific. Risk of cannibalization is higher with the rumored/expected high-end iMac (replacement for the 27"), where buyers would theoretically be able to save a lot of money by not having to invest in the premium display tech and design stuff. Depending on the price ranges for a theoretical Pro Mini. To the extent that it would overlap with more expensive versions of the 24" iMac (16GB, 1TB model is $2100), then some portion of those buyers in the $2000 range may decide they’d rather get more performance bang for their buck. No risk of cannibalization with the laptops.
Whatever the price ranges or the risk of cannibalization, the foundation for my original supposition that we will not see a Pro Mini this year (if ever) is that Apple has never seemed particularly infatuated with the Mini, and has lavished more attention on the iMac; I think that is where Apple’s heart is at (if it could be said to have a heart). I think there are some folks at Apple who probably love the Mac Pro because it gives them a chance to build the most powerful computer they can, expenses be damned. But how many people at Apple are deeply into small form factor computing, and the chance to build the best bang-for-buck Mac? I don’t know why that would change now.
I think the Mini was the first M1 product because it was the easiest one to do, with the lowest barrier to entry and the lowest expectations any Mac user could have. It would also be the easiest way to get as many developers as possible into the new silicon to bang on it for a bit. I think Apple now goes back to getting as many people into an iMac as they can.
I appreciate what you’re saying. To your point, there has never been a “base” and “pro” Mac mini at the same time. The 2018 mini is just a pumped up space-gray intel Mac mini. (It did add TB3 ports, so that’s “pro-ish”?) Is this due to cannibalization? Maybe. I tend to think it’s more about Apple’s product differentiation choices.
I still would not expect a “pro” mini to take sales from “expensive versions” of iMac 24: they are simply close enough. One comes with a fabulous display, 16GB RAM and a 1TB SSD (plus keyboard and mouse). The other would be just a fast Mac mini. The upgrades to SSD and RAM would cost the same.
The Mac mini was easy because it had already been done – as you note – for developers. All they had to do was swap M1 for A13X (or whatever it was), more or less. I think the 2018 Mac mini was a bit of an anomoly that resuted from the withering of Mac products prior to iMac Pro, 15" MBP refresh, and the final iMac intel refreshes. We will likely return to more clear boundaries between base and pro offerings – that sure seems like what pastel iMacs are signaling!
I’m getting more convinced that there will not be another space gray Mac mini (unless it’s just a color option). The mini will probably just get an upgraded processor when the other “non-pro” Macs do.
Enjoying the discussion! Cheers!
I got burned with an iMac. I won’t buy another AIO any time soon. With my 2007 24" iMac, the display is still good today, but Apple stopped updates with Lion. It ran another 4 years in Bootcamp with Windows 7, but then the logic board failed, so I just had a monitor left that couldn’t be connected to anything.
My 2005 24" LG display is still going strong and attached to my wife’s laptop. When I replaced the iMac, I went with a Ryzen 7 mini-tower PC - a full desktop processor, interchangeable parts and the display can be swapped out - it has been, twice, from the LG 24" to a Dell 34" UW to an LG 43" UHD. And I can match the display to my needs and budget. No money left for a decent new monitor? Carry on with the old one. Suddenly need a bigger display for photo editing? Buy a bigger monitor with better colour correction etc.
Likewise, if the PC side breaks, I can replace the failed components or replace the PC, but that display that still works? Yeah, I’ll carry on using that.
A mini Mac Pro would be ideal - expandable storage and RAM, possibly replaceable graphics unit and I’ll supply my own display(s).
For the record, yes, I did expand my PC - a replacement graphics card and it has been expanded from SSD + HDD to 3 SSDs + HDD - system, data, VMs and the HDD as a local replica of the documents on the SSDs, before they are offlined to external backup solutions.
This is just a shame with iMacs. They are beautiful displays, but the lock-in! Still, I have the top-line 2018 Mac mini and just got a 35" LG ultrawide display to replace a 24" Apple Cinema Display (circa 2008, which I bought used about 6 yrs ago). The LG is a disappointment in many ways. The OSD is terrible. Display controls are wonky (despite Lunar and MonitorControl). Brightness and contrast look meh next to the Apple… And iMac displays are even better, going back many years.
I am simply not price averse enough to NOT buy a new bigger iMac “pro-ish”. The display integration, touch ID, M2(?) speed will all be great for years to come. Of course, I was using a 2012 Mac mini since about 2015, when I got that used, and the first white rectangular iMac before that.
I was going to say a 2005 display would not be ok for my needs, then I realized the Cinema display dates from only a few years later. But again, i replaced that because I wanted (and could have) more real estate and
I’m glad you’re happy with you PC; that’s just not interesting to me. This thread isn’t about PC vs Mac; that’s been done many times. But still the investment in the iMac form factor with built in display presents issues, as you observed.
I probably am price adverse… but the bigger issue for me is the e-waste. I don’t want to stop using a working device simply because some corporation thinks it’s time for me to trash my old one (that can’t easily be repurposed) simply so I can “give” them more money.
I wasn’t trying to make it Mac vs. PC. If I could have got an expandable Mac with 8 cores in my price range I would have bought it.
It was about the form factor, from AIO back to a traditional form factor.
It could have been an iMac, a Lenovo, a Dell or any other brand of AIO. It is the form factor that is wasteful, not that it was akkreditiert an iMac.
Sorry, I didn’t mean Mac vs PC in terms of a flame war. Sorry if that came across. I guess what I mean is macOS vs Windows. Or Linux, or what have you. I’m not interested in using Windows. At all. And not interested in transition to Linux either. (I have a PC with Win 10 and Ubuntu 20.something, just don’t use it for much).
The investment in macOS software is not trivial and even if I wanted to use Windows or Linux as my daily computer(s) that would be an expensive transition – if even possible – in terms of software licenses and learning curve for the many apps not available on those OSs.
I appreciate your points about the downsides of all-in-one design for sure. But clearly the iMac design is appealing to a lot of people.
Yes, I was lucky. All the software I had on Mac was cross-platform and either open source or I had cross-platform licensing available. As I have always used macOS (since 1984), Windows (since 1987) and Linux (since 1996), I don’t really care which OS I have, just as long as the software I need works.
For many, that is not an option.