The death rattle in the Mac Mini’s throat

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According to Gizmodo, the Mac Mini’s dead as a donkey. A dead one, I mean.

The Mac mini may be pronounced dead as soon as today’s Apple earnings conference call, as two major retailers in Europe have confirmed to me that they can’t order any more of the little computers. While this could signal an updated model coming in, they have been told by Apple to expect no more of it. Their impression is that–once again–the Mac Mini may be dead dead DEAD for real, even while you can still order it at the Apple Store.

I never bought one — for some reason, it being Apple’s cheapest Mac somehow made it seem more over-expensive, not less — but this is still something of a shame, if only because I still think the form factor is gorgeous. And if I were sticking with an Apple only house, I’d still pick the Mac Mini as a theater PC over the Apple TV.

Apple stops Mac Mini shipments to retailers, says to expect no more [Gizmodo]

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15 Responses to The death rattle in the Mac Mini’s throat

  1. acb says:

    That’s the problem with Apple having total control of a platform. If benign dictator Steve Jobs decrees that something is to go (like FireWire ports/non-glossy screens on laptops or Mac Minis), there is nowhere else one can go.

    Having said that, the alternative (Windows) sucks. It’s bloated, insecure, and full of the sort of DRM crapware that shows a contempt for the person who actually uses it. The other alternative (Linux) is fine, as long as you don’t need to use anything proprietary. Don’t expect to use your shiny new Ubuntu box for, say, music creation or HDR photography or video work unless you’re one of those hair-shirt reductionists who likes hand-coding everything from first principles and/or fiddling with half-baked, opaquely documented collections of proof-of-concept command-line tools. (Which is all very well and good, though not when one just wants to do something without having to earn a degree in the theory behind it. It’s like wanting to drive to the shops and being given a box of car parts and a wrench.)

  2. toxonix says:

    I got one to replace my unreliable macbook or whatever the laptops are called. Its fast, quiet, tiny, cheap. I run logic pro on it and have never maxed out the dual core or disc I/O.
    Maybe someday I’ll hit the ceiling and want something with more power, but it’ll be a while. Hopefully.

  3. Toby says:

    It is a shame. I’ve upgraded my Core mini about as much as I can (7200rpm drive, 2G). So I’ll be crossing my fingers that January will bring some choice of a mac that’s about as brawny as an iMac, but with the shiny screen, but is still smaller and quieter than a Pro. Oh, and quad-core, and blu-ray, and…

  4. drtwist says:

    the death of the mini would be a shame. I use 6 of ‘em as cheap, reliable, _quiet_ server platforms that don’t draw a bazillion watts just to run some TCL scripts.

  5. aTanguay says:

    Yeah, it’s a great home theater PC frankly. I’ll be sad to see it go…if they don’t update it. I’ve used one hooked to my Samsung LCD for at least 2 years.

    And I’ve sold several of them to friends and relatives over the years too. It works just fine for people who just surf around and answer emails. Ah well…pour one on the curb for the mini.

  6. mattbr says:

    let’s hope they replace it with something that can do hardware de-interlacing.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Crap! I’d better order one NOW … cause my ‘Cube’ just isn’t cutting it anymore.

    Off to the on-line store!

  8. ChibiR says:

    This really is a shame. I got a low-end G4 Mini when it first came out, mostly to make the jump from the PC platform without instantly investing 1000+ Euros into The Unknown.

    Since then, I came to love it. It’s incredibly quiet, it’s small, it looks neat, I can easily do my day-to-day work with it, and OSX is great. I never regretted my decision to switch.

    Then I wanted to switch to a better Mac, and I wanted it to be another Mini. That was a few months after the last update, and I told myself that I’d definitely pick up the next iteration once it comes out. And then I waited. And waited. And waited.

    This month, I finally added a new MacBook as an alternate upgrade path (I figure they’re also quiet, small and neat, and mobility is an added plus), but deep down, I still longed for a new Mini.

    Yeah, thanks for stomping on that particular dream, Apple. Though maybe I should just appreciate the sense of closure now… *sighs*

  9. Halloween Jack says:

    I got one a couple of months ago, and I love it more and more each day.

  10. bardfinn says:

    ;__;

  11. Aaron says:

    So sad… and what an opportunity for Microsoft.

    They need to take the lead on making an affordable HTPC reference platform, with a focus on good design.

    PC laptop design has finally come close to Mac design quality in the last year.

    If Microsoft can come up with an affordable platform that makes sense for HTPC installations (cablecard, bluetooth, HDMI, silent operation) they’ve got a great chance to take over a market Apple dabbled in but never had the cojones to win.

  12. Jack says:

    No! Do not kill this product. Rebrand it as a new Apple DVR to replace the Apple TV and the Mini but do not get rid of it.

    I’ll echo what others have said. I used to have a full-sized G4 tower. Replaced it with a G4 Mini. Bets decision ever. Small. Low power. Very quiet. And does as much as I ever needed to do on the G4 tower.

    I’m now using a Mac Mini Core 2 Duo (2Ghz) and it’s the best machine I have ever owned. Why? Because outside of the RAM upgrade I have NEVER had to do anything else to it.

    Yeah, an iMac would be a next choice for a replacement. Or a MacBook. But I would prefer to have my own screen and not be forced to use Apple’s screen-choices. I also like the fact that the times I’ve had to work remotely, I simply need to throw it and the power supple in a bag and then hook it up to a client’s computer and that’s it.

    Kill off the Mac Mini and I will not be happy.

  13. zuzu says:

    So… was Apple supposed to also release a TV product that included an ATSC + QAM tuner, or something?

    What’s happening again with an updated 30″ iMac?

    (Are the optical drives and hard drives in those difficult to replace? Apple wants +$250 to upgrade to a 1TB drive, when a new 1.5TB drive costs $180. Also, I’d need to replace the DVD drive to one that has RPC-1 firmware, in order to backup my DVD collection with Handbrake.)

  14. Phelyan says:

    The Mini is still only full 1080p resolution away from being the best HTPC out there. Of course I have one hooked up to my TV, where it happily plays anything I throw at it and makes less noise than my Virgin Media STB.

    Bah! Boo! Leave! Mini! Alone!

  15. pewma says:

    I sure hope they make some sort of replacement for the mini. I have one at the house which is essentially my media center. (and occasional garageband station.) They work great as long as you’re not editing hi-res video! I have another I run as a web server. A great headless machine considering I host 23 sites from it and it’s still running Tiger client. Not once a crash!

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