2007-07-24

The Mac Mini Discontinued?

There are rumors that the Mac Mini is going to be discontinued. I disagree. Instead, I think it will evolve by being merged in with the Apple TV product. Of course, I don't work for Apple, so I have no idea if my plan is workable. But I do think that it is a possibility, as it considers:
  1. Leveraging current engineering projects
  2. Reducing manufacturing costs
  3. Simplifying the product line
  4. Staying reasonable in terms of product costs
Here's my thought of how I would converge the Apple TV and Mac Mini concept into one compelling product:
  1. Stick the guts of a MacBook into an Apple TV sized case
  2. Drop out the LCD, the battery, the keyboard, the DVD
  3. Drop in a (cheaper, bigger) 3.5 inch HDD drive, in lieu of a 2.5" notebook drive.
  4. Add various Video Out options
  5. Provide a standard MacBook power brick
Now you've got a fully capable computer - a computer as powerful as a MacBook - that basically cost nothing to engineer (other than reboxing the thing). You still have a computer that is essentially a MacBook, but it just doesn't have all the expensive components of a notebook computer.

Of course, this computer has USB, Firewire, Bluetooth and 802.11. So there are no limitations in terms of adding peripherals or storage. Need a DVD? USB or Firewire is there. Plus, this device would have two video-outs. With suitable dongles, you can send video over HDMI, DVI, Component, VGA, and even S-Video and Composite.

Conclusion

I agree that both the Apple TV and the Mac Mini aren't going to be around for much longer - in their current form. But I think its because they are evolving back into a more capable computer that could leverage Apple's pre-existing efforts.

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