An Open Letter To Apple On The Mac Mini

To the great guys and gals at Apple, an open letter on the future of the Mac Mini.

The Mac Mini has suffered from next to no focus now since late 2012 – the release of the last meaningfully powerful not to mention the last upgradeable, and truly useful Mac Mini.

Mac Mini
Mac Mini – Courtesy Apple Inc

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If you doubt this statement, just look at second hand prices. Late 2012 Mac Minis command greater, and if anything increasing prices compared to 2014 models. The 2012 i7 is in overwhelming demand despite the processor being several generations old.

Why is this so?

The late 2012 Mac Mini was the last with upgradeable memory (and if one is determined, upgradeable storage).

I know it goes against the grain of all recent Apple Mac releases, however the prices being asked and paid for late 2012 Mac Minis demonstrate the continued love of the Mini as a product, and significant demand for the upgradeable feature. Later model Minis are in less demand, and lower prices, due to upgrade at time of order only and the deletion of the second drive slot.

Regrettably, with non user upgrade later versions and only i5 Dual Core, the Mini seems, to many observers, on a deliberate path to oblivion. (Say it isn’t so!)

Tim, Johnny and friends, as a gesture to Mac aficionados around the world, please (should that be PLEASE?) do not consign the Mac Mini to history, and give thought to a new upgraded Mac Mini, reinstating the ability for end user upgrades. We have no need for a smaller/sleeker enclosure that makes it impossible to work on. By all means let Johnny lose on sexing it up a little, but UPGRADEABLE!

Hey, with automated assembly, you might even be able to assemble in the US and get a certain person off Apple’s back.

My dream machine:

Choice of i5 or i7 QUAD CORE (or even possibly AMD Ryzen with it’s lower TDP, opening the possibility of better graphics performance?)

Standard 8GB RAM, user expandable to 32GB

4 x Thunderbolt 3 ports

Return of the two drive connectors for the adventurous, (with M.2 form factor, and the NVMe protocol?) Industry standard, PLEASE, no Apple proprietary interface.

Now for the blasphemy:

HP have a stackable Mac Mini copy, featuring USB interconnect. A ‘unique format’ that looks close to a black Mac Mini with a few tweaks. It has even been successfully ‘Hac’d’. Does this prove the market for small, discrete, but powerful computers?

From the specs the HP’s performance could easily be surpassed by Apple.

Thinking total outside the current ‘box’, perhaps an Apple Stackable Mac Mini series with Thunderbolt 3 interconnects and either Apple, or 3rd party hard drive bays (again featuring industry standard M.2/NVME), external video card bays… The possibilities may not be endless, but they are many.

By all means Apple, continue to make the amazing MacBooks and other non user upgradeable products, but please, give serious thought to this one suggestion.

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