AppleInsider caused a few ripples in the Mac blogosphere when they recently claimed that Cupertino will soon discontinue the Mac mini (Apple’s sub-$800 entry level Macintosh.). The reasoning is that Apple was never 100% behind the device, which, AppleInsider suggests, was only released to appease shareholder wishes.
Since then, the Mac mini has been treated to a rather mundane life-cycle. It has seen just four updates since inception, one of which was so insignificant in Apple’s own eyes that the company didn’t even bother to draft a press release.
However, one of those updates was a switch to an Intel processor, and perhaps more importantly, the addition of Apple’s Front Row software. For many Mac fans (including myself), this confirmed the device’s potential as a media center. When I bought my Intel-based Mac mini, I plugged it straight into my television, where it’s remained ever since.
Then along came the AppleTV…
Not coincidentally, Apple TV turned out a lot like a next-generation mini, with the stripping-out of the optical disc drive representing the essence of Apple’s long-term digital media strategy.
… with the advent of Apple TV, Apple seems to have shoved the diminutive device into the far corner of what had already been a niche audience.