Mac Mini to be Discontinued? Say it isn’t so!

Apple Insider is reporting that Apple plans to discontinue the Mac Mini. I can only hope they’re wrong. The last two Macs I’ve bought, including the one that powers this site, are both Minis; and I’ve assumed I’ll be able to buy more in the future.

The Mini is a wonderful apartment computer: fits in a small space, draws little power, makes almost no noise. I’m tempted to replace my dual G5 tower with a Mini next go round. The expandability of the tower is nice, but to be honest all I ever do is plugin one USB or Firewire device after another. I’ve never actually bothered to pop the hood and install a new drive or ATA card or anything.

If I were buying a new desktop today, a tricked out Mac Mini with 2 gigabytes of RAM and 160 GB hard drive would cost $1249. By contrast the minimum Mac Pro (1GB, 250GB) starts at $2200, and goes up to $2499 when I add enough RAM to run Parallels. I could use the bigger hard drive in the Mac Pro and might want a more powerful graphics card (though I’m not sure about that) but otherwise the Mini is adequate for my needs.

Small is beautiful. More importantly, small is convenient and cheap. Add an HDMI port, a cable card, and DVR software; and the Mac Mini could become the digital hub that AppleTV so much isn’t. We need more Minis, not less. Please Apple: don’t kill the Mini.

7 Responses to “Mac Mini to be Discontinued? Say it isn’t so!”

  1. Jonathan Says:

    Really, what a bad decision killing the mini will be. The mini was my entry into the Apple market. At the initial cost I figured how could I go wrong when I was looking to explore Mac OSX vs. Linux. It also seemed like a way to maybe get my family off the weekly Windows virus scare train with a higher likelihood of success than getting them to adopt Linux.

    It was the ease of using the mini that convinced me to get an iPod for my daughter. When my wife’s PC got too old I bought a second mini for her. I’ve pretty much given up using the original mini because the kids have essentially taken it over. My wife is off doing her first Keynote presentation as I type this. I can now say my family has been Windows-free for nine months. When relatives ask what they should get I now recommend a Mac, with the mini being high on the list if they are clueful enough to deal with the external component issue.

    Doesn’t anyone at Apple know about the principle of the loss leader?

  2. Dolan Halbrook Says:

    If it had an eSATA port it would be perfect.

  3. Mike Roberts Says:

    Here here! Start a petition Rusty – I’ll sign it! :)

    Seriously though, my G4 Mini might not be the fastest computer on the planet but a (hacked) Apple TV wouldn’t allow me to do nearly as much as my little white ‘n’ silver media center lets me do – if it gave up the ghost and I couldn’t replace it I would be pretty miffed.

  4. bob Says:

    I agree with you: I love my Minis. Yes, plural.

    One nice thing about them is I don’t worry much about doing things like attaching an eSATA adapter, or hacking its hardware in other ways. It’s cheap enough I can replace it if I kill it accidentally.

    And a stack of several Minis might work better than an Octocore Mac Pro in some cases. Xgrid and Xcode’s distributed build work better with a uniform array of nodes, and not-so-well with one super-powerful node.

    Personally, though, I’m not worried that Apple will kill the Mini. If it’s being discontinued, there’s almost certainly going to be something else to occupy it’s product position. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a quad-core in the AppleTV form factor.

    And I don’t necessarily believe everything I read at Apple Insider, either.

  5. Clarence Odbody Says:

    I sure hope it’s not true.

    I’m towards the end of a project for a small (five person) office. They’ve been using a home-grown system based on Access 2000. In fact, almost everything in there is from 2000. Office, several computers, and some other software. I rewrote the whole thing in Rails, and when I had enough to show them I told them I’d be bringing in the server.

    I came in carrying my briefcase in one hand and a small white box with a handle in the other hand. The owner asked if I needed help bringing in the server from my car. I held up the small white box and said “I’ve got it right here.”
    I got a skeptical look as I set it up and connected it to the network. I had the owner go to his own computer and point his browser at it, showed him how to log in and he was off and running. “I don’t need to install anything?” he asked. “Nope. You don’t even need to run Windows computers if you don’t want to.”
    Then while he was playing with it I configured the router to send port 80 requests to the Mini. “Here’s a bonus. You can work from home if you want to,” I said. “What do we need to buy for that?” he asked. “Nothing. It’s already done. It will work right now.”

    More skepticism. He called his wife and had her try it. He was floored. Now he’s replacing the old computers with Minis.

    Rails and a Mini is a deadly combination for a one-man shop like mine.

  6.  TV ≠ Mac Mini. at Daily Ablutions Says:

    […] And of course, Apple upgraded  TV HDD to 160 GB. Does that mean Apple is ending the Mac Mini phenomenon? […]

  7. Alan Francis Says:

    Apple also killed the iPod Mini at the height of it’s success, and I’m sure a few folks would have been tempted to start a petition there. Of course, it was replaced with the Nano. Just because the current Mini [might be | is] being replaced, doesn’t mean to won’t be by something equally small and and powerful.

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