The Mac Mini turned four years old on October 16, meaning it has now been four years since its last update. Apple aficionados across the internet are itching for an October product launch that just might bring a complete iPad Pro overhaul, a cheaper MacBook Air, improved iMacs, and yes, a long-awaited refresh to the Mini.
Update, October 18: Apple announces October 30, 2018 as date for event. Read more and get the details.
The compact computer packs Mac software inside a 7.7-inch chassis and is the cheapest desktop product Apple offers, starting at $499. Instead of splashing out $1,200 on an all-in-one iMac, users can plug the Mini into their own display, keyboard, and mouse to begin surfing the web for less than half the price.
This makes it a tantalizing device for people looking for a budget MacOS experience. Compared to the four-figure price tags a lot of other Macs come with, the Mini is a bargain. But what could be an entry-level product for would-be Mac users is completely undercut by four-year-old-hardware.
“What I’d really like is to get a Mac Mini either with the Intel-AMD combo chipset where Intel has VEGA replacing the iGPU,” writes a user on Reddit. “Will Apple even make another Mac Mini? I sure fucking hope so. Their barrier to entry is currently too high for me, but I absolutely hate Windows.”
But there’s a glimmer of hope at the end of the tunnel in which Mac Mini users have been stuck. Two reliable sources have claimed that the tiny desktop is destined for an update by the end of 2018. Inverse predicts these updates will go down in late October (https://www.inverse.com/article/49839-apple-october-event-invitation-watch-what-day), based on past events, and the fact that the iPhone XR will be released on October 26 (Apple may not want the phone release to overshadow the event). This is still an educated guess, though.
Apple October Event: Mac Mini Internal Upgrades?
The neglected Mac Mini could soon see much-needed processor changes, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. Currently, all Mini variants come with an Intel Core i5 processor while other products, like this year’s MacBook Pro, tout Core i9s.
The most souped-up Mac Mini processor is capable of calculating 3.3 billion operations per second, operating at 3.3GHz. The most recent MacBook Pros is advertised to max out at 4.3GHz. Retrofitting the Mini with an i7 or i9 core would increase its capability, and make it more attractive for customers with jobs that demands more of their computer.
Apple October Event: Mac Mini Pro?
The Mac Mini could be going pro. Much like the MacBook has a “Pro” variant, the Mini could see this kind of rebranding, predicts to Apple journalist Mark Gurman.
Since the device is just a small box, this could come in the form of big CPU upgrades, a new chipset, more ports for accessories, and a color change. Apple’s cheapest Mac could see some not-so-mini changes this year.