Late last night a photo that is purported to be of the butt-end of the upcoming new Mac mini surfaced on the internet causing quite a fuss within the Apple community. Starting with the most glaring specs we see there are five USB ports, one FireWire 800 port, Mini DisplayPort, Mini DVI and last but not least an RJ-45 ethernet connector. As for the guts of the Mac mini, it’s said to feature a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 3MB L2 cache, 2GB DDR3 RAM at 1066MHz and SATA hard-drive. In other words, if these rumors turn out to be true then we don’t see anything that would really cause a jump in sales over its predecessor. Then again this thing is just as capable as a low-end unibody MacBook and is likely to be half the price, which may help Apple access more frugal users as it continues its push to gobble up Windows users.
Fanboys (and girls) were disappointed this year when Macworld ended without a bang, and more importantly, without an updated version of the Mac Mini. Just because the shindig is over doesn’t mean rumors are going to be squashed of course. A partner to NVIDIA, the company currently providing GPUs for MacBooks and MacBook Pros, said that there is a new unit the company is developing for the Mac Mini. Unfortunately, the news was almost solid until there was more speculation the GPU would be used for the Apple TV, but that unnamed NVIDIA partner stands by his or her claim that it’s coming to a refreshed version of the Mac Mini. All you Mac Mini fans out there waiting for a refreshed Mini to use as a media center, we’ll be sure to keep you informed as the news develops.
The Apple rumor mill never stops, does it? According to the newest bit of hype circling through cyberspace, we might see an updated Mac Mini might see dual display support when/if Apple announces the new machine at the upcoming Macworld conference. MacRumors is reporting that the new Mac Mini will sport both a mini Display Port and Mini DVI connector, leading them to believe that Apple is gearing the machine towards those looking for multiple screen access from the company’s low-end model. Other rumored new features include a modular design that might allow for a second hard drive in place of the optical drive, a signficantly enhanced graphics chipset, and a new color scheme. We’re not entirely sure what to make of this, and we think it’s a bit more likely that Apple is simply trying to include a wider range of connectivity options rather than explicit dual monitor support, but we’re confident all will be clarified soon.
So Macenstein received an image from an anonymous tipster that supposedly depicts Apple’s upcoming Mac mini refresh. Presumably, the image is of an on-screen ad or a slide that would, in theory, be displayed during the Mac mini announcement many still expect to come next month. Macenstein posted it with skepticism, the blogosphere immediately dismissed it as fake and it probably is. That being said however, the reasoning most blogs are using to dismiss it isn’t exactly firm – at all. Firstly, the marketing blurb, “The world’s smallest desktop computer.” Many dismissed the phrase as missing Apple’s common word play but in reality, Apple uses simple bold statements quite often in its marcom. In fact, this slide lines up pretty well with early MacBook Air slides. The second item of contention is the groove around the perimeter of the mini, above the CD slot. While many jump to the conclusion that this is a fold up display, that’s not what we’re getting. To us, it looks like a venting system. Anyone who has used a new MacBook or MacBook Pro knows that these things can get hot – fast. As the new Mac mini will be made of aluminum, whether or not the image above is real, it stands to reason that Apple would need to cool a device that stuffs all of its guts into a package so small. Sure the image above could be fake, but if you think it’s because of the blurb or the groove you might want to think again. On the other hand, if you think it’s because some anonymous guy sent it to Macenstein, well, you’re probably right. If it is fake however, don’t expect it to be far off from the real deal.
[Via Boing Boing]
Perhaps it’s a sign of things to come, but Apple has announced that its presence will no longer grace the Macworld Expo after January 2009. What was speculated earlier about Steve Jobs’ keynote is also true — he will not be delivering his usual keynote speech. Instead, Philip Schiller, SVP of Apple’s Worldwide Product Marketing, will be giving the opening keynote. This is going to be rather interesting since Steve has quite a presence when addressing the crowd and announcing new products (one of the new rumored products is a refresh of the Mac Mini line and possibly an Apple “netbook”). We’re not quite sure why there has been a sudden change in plans. It could be health-related or that Mr. Jobs will be slowly handing the reigns over to equally capable hands as he has mentioned several times before. With the recession going on, other companies, such as Adobe, are shrinking their presence at Macworld. Regardless of the direction the famous expo heads, we’re going to miss the exciting announcements and speech from our favorite turtle-necked CEO and we wish he would have at least finished the tradition by delivering the final keynote.
According to a report from MacWorld, Apple is wiping its hands and walking away from the Blackjack table for the remainder of 2008. It’s been quite a year for the Cupertino crew, arguably with plenty more ups than downs (stock price aside). An Apple spokesperson told MacWorld simply that, “our holiday line-up is set.” Hmm. This might come as a bit of a disappointment to plenty of Apple fans who have been hoping rumors of refreshed iMacs and Mac minis held true, but Apple feels it has done enough for this year and for the holiday season. What may likely end up being the biggest story for Apple this holiday season is unfortunately not a positive one. The iPhone 3G, a handset that has cemented Apple’s position as a force to be reckoned with in the mobile industry, is going to be a tough buy this time around. As the in-store activation requirement remains in effect for the holidays, many could be deterred from including the iPhone 3G on their holiday shopping lists. When contacted, one Apple Store location in New York recommended we, “just buy a gift card instead, [the recipient] won’t mind!” Right then. Many people eying a mobile gift this season are likely going to be deterred by the fact that their recipient will have to battle through holiday traffic just to get their hands on the gift right away. The alternative, actually handing someone a phone, is obviously a bit more desirable. Regardless, Apple addicts, it looks like your next fix isn’t coming until 09 so in the meantime you’ll have to look elsewhere for some fresh new gear.