Though it was last updated in 2020 with Apple’s original M1 chip, we didn’t get a new Mac Mini announcement in March as hoped. Instead, we got the Mac Studio, a higher-end and bigger model with a doubled version of the same M1 Pro and M1 Max chips found in the company’s latest MacBook Pros. Unless Apple wants to get out of sub-$1,000 desktops — which I doubt because the Mac Studio starts at $1,999 — we’re bound to see a new Mac Mini. It’s just a matter of when we’ll see it and what will be new. At the moment, though, the news is pretty thin.
When will the new Mac Mini be announced?
The latest in March from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who’s usually pretty accurate, is that the Mac Mini will slip from this year to 2023.
Given that on the inside the Mac Mini is usually a desktop version of the MacBook Air, we’d expect them to launch around the same time as each other. And the Air is also expected for 2023.
One possible (but unlikely) curveball Apple could throw is if it plans to announce new silicon, such as an M2 chip, that differs in a meaningful way from the current line. The company sometimes uses the Mac Mini as a way to seed the new chips to developers, which means a slim chance of news about it at WWDC this June. Apple could always retrofit current Minis with the a new processor, though.
What might be new?
In the Tweet thread referenced above, Kuo also refers to a new model as “more powerful.” Given the size of the Mini, it will probably contain a slightly improved version of the current base M1 (like an M2!) to keep the heat and noise down, but which, like the M1 Pro, Max and Ultra, can be scaled up for the next generation of higher-end systems.
Kuo does say that he doesn’t expect a redesign, although others floated rumors about one a while back. Apple adding connections to the front is the only design change I really care about, though a USB-C/Thunderbolt power cord (like a MacBook Pro) or iMac 24-like colors might be nice.
When will we be able to buy a new Mac Mini?
Given that we don’t expect an announcement until the end of this year/early next year, the only way to really answer this question is “soon after that.” Nor do we have an idea as to price, though I don’t think it would rise a lot from the current $699 base, nor do I think it will go down, though the configuration options like memory and storage might “upsize” for the same prices as the current ones.