Mac Mini 2022: Release date, Pricing, Expectations, and more
Apple revealed its own M1 system-on-chip (SoC) last year. It was first included in a custom-built Mac Mini, sold exclusively to select developers. This was for testing reasons and optimizing macOS apps to run on M1 Macs natively. The Cupertino tech giant announced the first commercial M1 Macs during the November 2020 Mac event — MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini. The all-new colorful M1 iMac followed them last Spring. And finally, we got redesigned MacBook Pro models that feature upgraded M1 Pro and Max chips earlier this month. For a while, though, rumors have been surfacing online regarding a redesigned Mac Mini. Here’s everything we know about this upcoming compact Apple computer.
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Mac Mini: Release date
Rumors initially suggested that Apple would release the upcoming Mac Mini in late 2021, during its Fall Mac event. However, we were disappointed by the “Unleashed” event’s end, when that didn’t happen. Based on Apple’s history, if we had to assume a release date, it would be in Spring or Fall 2022. Apple refreshed the iMac last Spring and the MacBook Pro this Fall. So the Mini’s turn could be either in half or a full year.
If we had to speculate, we would go for Spring 2022 because earlier rumors pointed at a late 2021 release. This suggests that the redesigned Mini is almost ready for the big reveal. However, rumors and leaks can always be inaccurate. So we will never know for sure, until the actual event occurs.
Mac Mini: Pricing
Apple currently sells the Mini in three different configurations. The base M1 model costs $699, while an upgraded M1 variant costs $899. However, the Apple Store still lists an Intel model for $1099. There are no solid rumors regarding the pricing of the upcoming Mac Mini 2022, but it’s safe to assume Apple will keep it in the same price range. The Mac Mini is the most affordable in the Mac lineup, so increasing its price significantly might be a deal breaker for customers on a limited budget.
There’s a possibility that the tech overlord will release redesigned M1 Pro and/or M1 Max variants for a higher price tag. However, it might keep the existent M1 Mac Mini around for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on a computer. This would be a similar case to that of the new M1 Pro/Max MacBook Pro models. They start at a whopping $1999, but Apple still sells last year’s M1 model starting at $1299. Getting rid of budget-friendly models would only hurt their sales.
Mac Mini: Expectations
The upcoming compact beast is expected to have an even smaller body, partially because Apple’s chip takes less space compared to Intel’s. Renders reveal that it will no longer have a circular base, and the aluminum top will be replaced by a new material. We don’t have information regarding the finishes, but Apple is selling the redesigned MacBook Pro in Silver and Space Gray. So we could be seeing Apple adopting these two colors on the upcoming Mini as well.
When it comes to the ports, we have some good news for the dongle-haters (everyone?). Just like Apple reintroduced port types that it had removed from previous MacBook Pro models, we are expecting the Mini to get a similar treatment. Leaks suggest that it will have a magnetic power cable, similar to that of the new colorful iMac. That’s in addition to four USB C, two USB A, ethernet, and HDMI ports. Unlike the new MacBook Pro, we aren’t likely going to see an SD card reader on this model. Renders also show a missing headphone jack, so that’s some bad news for the audiophiles.
When it comes to the processor, Apple could be including M1 Pro and possibly M1 Max chips. It’s unclear what configurations will be available, and whether Apple will keep the M1 Max chip as a Pro Mac exclusive, such as the MacBook Pro. It’s hard to see the Cupertino tech giant releasing the new Mini with only an M1 configuration. An M1 Pro model is a safe bet.
The Apple M1 Pro supports up to 32GB of RAM, so that would be an upgrade from the current 16GB limit. If Apple decides to release an M1 Max Mac Mini, then that would allow a RAM expansion for up to 64GB. As for storage, it’s expected that the new Mini will support up to 8TB of SSD.
Mac Mini: Everything we want to see
There’s a lot to hope for when it comes to the upcoming Mac Mini. Some of which might come true, while other ones will remain mere wishes. Personally, here’s my wishlist for the upcoming Mini:
- A cheaper M1 variant with the redesigned chassis, rather than selling last year’s M1 model. So in this case Apple would release a redesigned Mac Mini with three processor options — M1, M1 Pro, and M1 Max. The existent M1 Mini with the older design would be discontinued in this case.
- M1 iMac’s colorful finishes, rather than plain Silver and Space Gray.
- A headphone jack for audiophiles, producers, and editors who heavily depend on wired headsets.
- The option to buy colorful Magic Keyboards and Mice that come with the new iMacs directly from Apple. The Mac Mini doesn’t come with a keyboard or mouse included. If they release it in colorful finishes, it would only make sense to allow users to buy matching accessories.
- This one is very unlikely to happen but it would be convenient if Apple turns the Mac Mini’s top to a MagSafe or regular Qi wireless charger. This way users can easily charge their iPhones or AirPods, while keeping them within reach when working on their computers. However, this would contribute to the heating up of the Mac, which might be fan-less in the first place. It’s still a cool and futurist concept nonetheless.
What are you looking forward to the most in the upcoming Mac Mini 2022? Let us know in the comments section below.