While nobody can exactly be disappointed with the plethora of products unveiled by Apple at this week’s Peek Performance event, one device conspicuous by its absence was the Mac mini 2022.
Last updated with the M1 chip treatment for the Mac mini 2020, Apple’s cheapest desktop was tipped to receive two upgrades this year by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, so at least one of them seemed likely for Tuesday. But it was ultimately a no show, presumably to give the new Mac Studio a bit of breathing space.
The question is how big that breathing space will be, and for Ming-Chi Kuo, the Apple analyst with a decent 70.4% accuracy rating on AppleTrack, it could be a whole year.
Ahead of this week’s event, Kuo tweeted the prediction of a “more powerful Mac mini and more affordable external display” as 2022 products. But now he’s backtracked, pushing the Mac mini into 2023:
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[Updated]2023: Mac Pro, iMac Pro and Mac mini https://t.co/NiloxXy0jvMarch 11, 2022
This is especially odd as just yesterday Apple sources were claiming that two versions of the Mac mini were in the works: one with M2 and the other with M2 Pro. The sources stated that the former of these was expected to arrive sometime later in the year.
To further muddy the waters, that doesn’t quite match the predictions Gurman made last week: he was expecting the Mac mini to get M1 Max and M2. But according to 9to5Mac’s sources, the former was likely scrapped to give the Mac Studio a free run, so the two predictions aren’t completely contradictory.
Who to believe?
It’s difficult to know who’s more likely to be correct here. On one hand, Kuo has a strong knack for being right on this stuff, and the fact that he amended his earlier prediction could indicate new information. On the other hand, 9to5Mac’s sources were published just yesterday, so it would have to be very new information indeed.
Then there’s the fact that the Mac mini is undoubtedly due an upgrade, and a refresh with newer chips would be relatively trivial. But perhaps Apple has taken the executive decision that to give its new Mac Studio product line a chance to shine, the Mac mini has to look suitably inferior.
If that’s the case, then perhaps a 2023 release date isn’t so far fetched after all — especially if the stopgap M1 Max model really is dead in the water.