“Apple topped the list of intended brands for desktop purchases for the first time this year,” said John Barrett, director, Consumer Analytics, Parks Associates. “In 2011 and 2012, Dell was the top desktop brand, but Apple has displaced it, making Apple now the most popular brand across even more key CE categories.”Apple quietly updated the iMac this past September with Intel's Haswell processors and faster PCI-Express based flash storage, which followed a major design revision to the desktop in 2012 that brought a thinner and lighter design. The company also currently sells its lower-priced Mac Mini and is getting ready to launch the high-end Mac Pro sometime in December, with a German retailer stating a possible availability date of Monday, December 16.
Archive of Mac Mini Rumors
- iPad: Expect a new iPad mini-inspired design that is thinner, narrower, and lighter. [Read More]
- iPad mini: Retina display expected, but there have been questions about production and whether Apple be able to ship the new device in significant quantities, if at all, before the holidays. [Read More]
- OS X Mavericks: Reportedly due for launch before the end of the month, we should see a final unveiling next week. Other software updates including new versions of Apple's iWork and iLife suites, including iWork for iCloud, are also expected. [Read More]
- Mac Pro: Announced by Apple as launching "this fall" following a sneak peek at WWDC in June, Apple's radically redesigned professional desktop should get a thorough introduction next Tuesday. Some have speculated that updated displays may arrive to complement the new Mac Pro, but there has been no specific evidence of a display refresh. [Read More]
- MacBook Pro: An update for Apple's Retina MacBook Pro line has been expected for several months, moving to Intel's new Haswell processors for improved battery life. While it seems that Apple would want to feature the MacBook Pro improvements at its event, the list of products to be covered is beginning to get rather long and so it is unclear if the updated notebooks will make an appearance at or alongside the event or at a separate time. [Read More]
- Mac mini: There have been no specific rumors about the Mac mini, but it too is due for an update to Haswell processors. [Read More]
- An Apple TV wildcard: There have been some rumblings over the past several months that Apple is planning some sort of TV-related announcement for late this year, but there has been no concrete evidence of any imminent introduction. While Apple has been said to be planning its own connected television set product, that product may not be ready and the effort could continue to progress incrementally with an updated set-top box.
With the new iPhones and iOS 7 now launched, we're continuing to update those articles with information to help site visitors stay on top of the latest developments, but we're also launching a number of new roundups today to address Apple's upcoming iPad and Mac product launches expected over the next several months.
New roundups include:
- iPad 5
- iPad mini 2
- MacBook Pro
- Mac Pro
- Mac mini
As with the original set of iPhone and iOS roundups, the goal of each of the new roundups is to simply answer the question of "What are you expecting" for any given product. That opinion is certain to change over time as new rumors are revealed, and the roundups will be updated regularly to reflect that. Roundups for recently updated products will also include details on the new models to help bring visitors up to speed on what they have to offer.
Our roundup index page continues to include a full list of our available roundups ordered by most recently updated. Roundups are also accessible directly through the "Roundups" tab in the navigation bar on all MacRumors pages. We will continue to update the existing roundups and add new ones for other products over time.
Apple has tweaked pricing on some accessories as well in other countries. For example, UK customers have seen price increases on the Apple Wireless Keyboard (£2), Mini DisplayPort to VGA Adapter (£4), and Cinema Display VESA Mount Adapter Kit (£4). More significant prices increases have come on replacement MacBook and MacBook Pro batteries (£8), and the Mini DisplayPort to Dual-Link DVI Adapter (£15).
Earlier this year, the Mac Mini's shipping estimates increased to 5-7 days on the Apple Online Store, leading to hope for a potential refresh, but they returned to normal a few days later without an update. Notably, the Mac Mini is still using Intel's last-generation Ivy Bridge processors, with the 2013 MacBook Air and recent iMac refresh using Intel's new Haswell processors, which contain features such as lower power usage, better performance, and increased battery life for laptops.
If Apple is to refresh the Mac Mini this year, it would potentially be a part of a number of updates to various products in its line, including a new line of iPads, a new Apple TV, and a new MacBook Pro with Intel’s Haswell processors, as well as the company's dramatically redesigned Mac Pro. All products are expected to be refreshed in the following months before the end of the year.
Update: Contrary to the original report, Mac mini prices have not increased in Portugal.
All other Macs on the online store have shipping estimates of "within 24 hours". That said, most Apple Retail Stores do show availability for the mini, as does Amazon.com.
Apple sometimes does have temporary product shortages of computers mid-cycle, but they can also portend intentional drawdowns of stock ahead of a product refresh. The Mac mini is a candidate for an upgrade to Haswell processors, and it is coming due for a possible update according to the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.
The first series of codes that we have received are:While the identities of the products corresponding to the four model numbers is unknown, the pattern showing two sets of two models suggests that they may be either MacBook Air or Retina MacBook Pro models at two different screen sizes, corresponding to Apple's current stock configurations. Apple's non-Retina MacBook Pro is currently offered in only a single stock configuration at the larger 15-inch size, suggesting that these model numbers may not represent that line.
MD711LL/A — Better — USA
MD712LL/A — Best – USA
MD760LL/A — Better – USA
MD761LL/A — Best – USA
A second set of model numbers have also leaked, but it is unclear to what products they refer:
ME177LL/A — Better — USAA notebook refresh is expected to the hardware highlight of WWDC, although Apple is likely to introduce a number of new products once accessories and configuration options are accounted for.
ME182LL/A — Best — USA
ME918LL/A — Good — USA
9to5Mac also notes that, beyond the notebooks, supplies of the Mac Pro and Mac mini are also somewhat constrained, although not to the same level as seen for notebooks. As a result, desktop updates may come somewhat later in the year.
The suppliers originally expected to finish digesting their Mac inventories in April, but are now stranded waiting for further instructions from Apple.The report claims that Apple generally provides shipment forecasts to its supply chain partners at the beginning of each quarter, but the company has not done so for the second quarter. The lack of information has reportedly left suppliers wondering when they will be able to resume production.
The sources revealed that Apple's Mac orders to the supply chain dropped to almost nothing after the Lunar New Year holidays. Apple had high hopes for its Mac product lines and placed aggressive orders at the end of 2012; however, the company is now badly affected by the decision.
Just last week, Digitimes claimed that Apple is likely to refresh its notebook lineup at the end of the second quarter, so it seems that suppliers may need to start ramping up production for new models in the relatively near future.
Apple frequently has to juggle its supply chain as it approaches product updates, seeking to accurately estimate consumer demand in order to deplete its existing inventories just as the new models are released. But if today's report is true, it seems that Apple may have overestimated customer demand for the early part of 2013 and is now finding itself with substantial inventories heading into its next round of product updates.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has also warned about reading too much into rumors from Apple's supply chain, noting that its "very complex" nature makes it difficult to accurately interpret what is actually going on from limited data points, even if that data is accurate.
- iPhone: Kuo expects that Apple will introduce both an iPhone 5S and a revamped iPhone 5 around June or July of this year, with the iPhone 5S appearing very similar to the current iPhone 5 but carrying a number of upgrades including an A7 system-on-a-chip for better performance, a fingerprint sensor, and camera improvements such as an f2.0 aperture and a smart LED flash. He also believes that the lower-cost iPhone will in many ways simply be an iPhone 5 repackaged into a slightly thicker (8.2 mm vs. the current 7.6 mm) plastic enclosure available in six colors.
- iPad and iPad mini: Kuo forecasts that Apple will update both lines during the third quarter of the year, with the iPad mini gaining a Retina display as the most notable change. He also predicts that the full-size iPad will become considerably slimmer and lighter and adopt the thinner side bezels seen on the iPad mini.
- MacBook Pro: In line with his predictions from last year, Kuo believes that Apple will do away with the non-Retina MacBook Pro line in 2013, moving to an all-Retina lineup at cheaper price points than the current Retina models. Kuo also believes that Apple will tweak the design of these thinner Retina MacBook Pros, despite having just introduced the current form factor last year.
- MacBook Air: Retina displays remain a challenge for the MacBook Air given their relative thickness, and Kuo predicts that they will not be appearing in the 2013 MacBook Air lineup. Kuo believes that a move to Intel's forthcoming Haswell platform will be the main upgrade for the machines, with the update coming perhaps as soon as late in the second quarter.
- Desktops: Kuo notes that the iMac redesign has been well-received, but it appears that he does not see Retina displays coming to the lineup in 2013. He simply predicts a shift to the Haswell platform for the iMac and Mac mini in the fourth quarter of the year. Kuo's report does not address a new Mac Pro, even though Apple CEO Tim Cook had personally shared that a significant update for the line was due in 2013.
- iPod touch: Apple will reportedly discontinue the fourth-generation iPod touch, which is currently being sold alongside the new fifth-generation models. In order to fill the gap, Kuo believes that Apple will introduce a scaled-back fifth-generation model with 8 GB of storage and no rear camera at $199.
- Apple TV: Kuo predicts a minor update to the existing Apple TV product as soon as late this quarter, but he offers no details on what the update would entail. He also notes that Apple's more substantial television effort is unlikely to appear in 2013, with content issues and a lack of experience in the television set industry pushing things back until 2014.
Apple is reportedly set to move its Mac mini production lines back to the US with Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to be responsible of handling establishment, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.According to the report, Foxconn already has "about 15 operating bases" in the U.S. and the company plans on recruiting workers for 2013 for new automated production lines. The Mac mini is expected to reach 1.8 million sales units in 2013, up from 1.4 million units in 2012.
During a recent interview with NBC's Brian Williams, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured exclusively in the United States next year. Early speculation had suggested the Mac Pro might be that Mac model due to its relatively low volume of sales.
The issue seems to be a known one related to the Intel HD 4000 graphics used in the Mac mini, and Intel has now acknowledged the issue in the Mac mini and indicated that a fix is on the way. A timeframe for a fix delivered through Apple is, however, so far unknown.
We are aware of the flickering issue, and there will be a fix provided in the future. The overall flicker issue is also being addressed here; http://communities.intel.com/thread/32932Apple has begun developer seeding of OS X 10.8.3 with an emphasis on graphics drivers, but it seems to be unclear at the present time whether the current beta version of OS X 10.8.3 contains the specific fix for this issue.
Your OEM (Apple) will provide the driver with the fix when they are done configuring our driver (that has the fix). An ETA on this is currently unknown.
Geekbench results, which focus strictly on processor and memory performance, show a marginal increase in performance for the entry-level machine compared to the previous generation, with more substantial gains coming in the higher-end models tapping into quad-core Ivy Bridge processors. Early impressions of the latest models include:
- Don’t look now, but the new Mac minis are getting comparable to the last gen Xserve and 2010 Mac Pros as far as benchmarks. Tech progress marches on.
- All Mac minis now come standard with 4GB of RAM. Thank goodness. As of last week, the base Mac mini had 2GB of RAM and that was brutal with Mountain Lion.
- The Mac mini can officially be upgraded to 16GB now. It’s been possible for over a year, but it had to be done after ordering. Now, Apple offers the 16GB of RAM.
- The base mini is still i5, but the middle and high end minis are quad core i7 Ivy Bridge processors. That middle mini is the most interesting. Many customers prefer the quad core for things like an Xcode build server or for plenty of cores to spread between virtual machines. That $799 Mac mini is going to be very popular.
- The machines now come with 1600MHz DDR3 Memory. Seriously, 16GB of 1600MHz RAM in such a small machine. It’s really quite amazing.
Another colocation center, Mac Mini Vault, has also taken a look at the new Mac mini, noting that their machine arrived running a custom Build 12B2080 of OS X 10.8.1. The company also performed a quick teardown of the machine, noting that Apple has tweaked the fan design since last year's model and also made some changes to the wireless antennas.
With Fusion Drive in your iMac, disk-intensive tasks — from booting up to launching apps to importing photos — are faster and more efficient. That’s because frequently used items are kept at the ready on speedy flash storage, while infrequently accessed items go to the hard drive. The file transfers take place in the background, so you won’t even notice.
Some thought the drive might be Apple's implementation of a Hybrid drive which uses SSD as a caching system, but it appears that Apple's system is distinct. The MacObserver digs into some details and clarifies:
To be clear, this is not a caching concept, at least not in the current use of the word. Cache would imply that the data on the SSD is duplicated, and it's not. If you have a 1TB mechanical drive paired with the 128GB SSD, you have a 1.12 TB storage platform. This truly is the fusion of all the space on two separate disks.Ars Technica compares it to an enterprise feature called Automated Tiered Storage.
In a caching solution, like Intel's, files live on the hard disk drive and are temporarily mirrored to the SSD cache as needed. In an enterprise auto-tiering situation, and with Fusion Drive, the data is actually moved from one tier to another, rather than only being temporarily cached there.The Mac Observer reports that there are two separate drives that appear as one logical partition. As a result, if your Hard Drive fails, it could be replaced with a 3rd party drive and reconfigured as a Fusion Drive.
Meanwhile, they note that all writes take place on the SSD drive, and are later moved to the mechanical drive if needed, resulting in faster initial writes. The Fusion will be available for the new iMac and new Mac mini models announced today.
The updated Mac mini models have new processors, including quad-core chips on the high end, as well as new build-to-order RAM options of up to 16 GB. Pricing remains the same as the prior generation Mac Mini models, starting at $599. There are two standard configuration and a server configuration:
- $599, 2.5 GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i5, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDHigh-end Mac mini models can now also be configured with Apple's new Fusion Drive technology, which seamlessly integrates a traditional 1 TB hard drive with 128 GB of fast flash storage for both speed and capacity. System files and frequently used apps and data are automatically placed in flash storage to optimize speed, while other data is housed on the slower traditional hard drive.
- $799, 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 1TB HD
- $999, 2.3 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7, 4GB RAM, 2TB HD, Includes Mountain Lion Server
The Mac mini was last updated in July of 2011, marking some 460 days since the last update and the new models are available starting today.
Unlike the 15-inch lineup, however, the entry-level 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro will come with 128 GB of flash storage, with higher-end standard models moving up to 256 GB and 512 GB of storage. The 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro starts at 256 GB of storage.
- 2.5 GHz, 128GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
- 2.5 GHz, 256 GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
- 2.9 GHz, 512GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
Pricing on the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is said to start at approximately $1699, a $500 premium over the non-Retina model. For that premium, users will receive a Retina display, 128 GB of flash storage instead of a 500 GB traditional hard drive, and a bump from 4 GB of RAM to 8 GB. The Retina version of course also comes in a thinner form factor that omits the optical drive and Ethernet and FireWire ports.
The site has also received details on the new Mac mini models coming out today, with the high-end models now moving to quad-core processors. As with the existing lineup, there are two standard configurations and a server configuration.
- 2.5 GHz dual-core, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard driveThe new Mac mini models should retain the current pricing and gain build-to-order RAM options of up to 16 GB.
- 2.3 GHz quad-core, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard drive
- Server: 2.3 GHz quad-core 4GB of RAM, 2TB Hard drive
With another Apple media event right around the corner, we've added new Roundups to include a significant number of products expected to see releases next week. Our new pages, all of which are accessible through the "Roundups" tab in the site navigation bar, include:
- iPad mini
- 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro
- Mac mini
We will be continuing to update each one in the days prior to the event, and will continue to add new roundups for additional products over time.
The three Mac mini models will likely be priced at the same $599, $799, and $999 for the two standard models and single server model, respectively.The news conflicts with a report from earlier this month claiming that the iMac would be seeing a price increase alongside a thinner form factor.
The new iMacs will also feature similar or same pricing as the current iMacs, but the top 27-inch and 21.5-inch models may feature slightly cheaper pricing in some countries. The current iMacs come in at $1199, $1499, $1699, and $1999 U.S. price points.
In a separate post, 9to5Mac also reports that Apple will for the first time offer 8 GB RAM module options for the iMac and Mac mini. While third-party RAM vendors have long offered 8 GB modules for Apple's machines, Apple itself has sold only 4 GB modules and thus only listed official support for 16 GB of RAM in the iMac and 8 GB in the Mac mini.
The higher-density modules will allow users to configure Mac mini orders with up to a total 16 GB of RAM in the machine's two RAM slots. The iMac could potentially see up to 32 GB of RAM, although that assumes the machine will continue to offer four slots as on the current models. Considering rumors of a thinner profile, this may or may not be the case.
These new Mac minis are said to begin shipping immediately after announcement. Apple last redesigned the Mac mini with a unibody aluminum enclosure in 2010, and last updated the computer with faster processors last summer. These current Mac minis are on last-generation chipsets and lack USB 3.0, so we should be seeing those components updated in these new models.According to the report, the Minis will come in similar configurations to current Mini models, two standard versions and a third setup that runs Mountain Lion Server.
The Mac Mini is overdue for an update; the last refresh occurred in July 2011, some 450 days ago.
The most solid candidate for an upgrade is the MacBook Pro, which has been reported by numerous sources to be gaining a slimmer form factor with the update. Apple's iMac and MacBook Air lines are also considered solid bets for upgrades next week. The report claims that both the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air will receive ultra-high resolution Retina displays, but while the iMac has also been rumored to be gaining the feature in the future, it is unclear whether it will make it into the next update of Apple's flagship desktop line.
If Apple is planning to only update four of its lines, the final spot would come down to the Mac mini and the Mac Pro, with 9to5Mac arguing that the Mac mini is the most likely to see an update given that just-released Ivy Bridge chips that could also be appearing in a 13-inch MacBook Pro would be suitable for a Mac mini refresh.
Xeon E5 chips suitable for a significant Mac Pro update have been available for several months now, but Apple has so far elected not to refresh its professional-level workstation product and there continue to be questions about its fate given that it has been nearly two years since it was last updated.
Finally, today's report indicates that Apple may also be taking the opportunity of a massive Mac update to also introduce new and updated accessories, although details on Apple's plans for those products remain unknown.
As noted in our forums, Apple today pushed out a new firmware update specifically targeting users of the company's Mid-2010 13-inch MacBook Pro model. The new MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.5 brings compatibility with Lion Internet Recovery, allowing users of OS X Lion to reinstall the operating system from scratch on a brand-new hard drive without the need for physical recovery media.
About MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.5The update has not yet appeared on Apple's support downloads site, but weighs in at a small 2.9 MB for the user who posted the Software Update screenshot.
This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection on MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2010) models.
For more information about Lion Recovery, please visit this website: http://www.apple.com/macosx/recovery/.
Lion Internet Recovery debuted alongside OS X Lion on new MacBook Air and Mac mini models introduced last July. The feature adds a minimal bootable install onto a machine's firmware to allow it to connect the Internet and download the full Lion operating system for installation. OS X Lion by default installs a recovery partition on the machine's hard drive for this purpose, but for users who are installing a blank hard drive or whose recovery partition becomes inaccessible, Internet Recovery provides yet another fallback option for Lion installation.
Following the July introduction of Internet Recovery on the current MacBook Air and Mac mini models, Apple extended the feature in mid-September to the then-current Early 2011 MacBook Pro models that had been released in February 2011. One month later Apple brought the feature to Apple's current-generation iMac line, leaving only the aging Mac Pro without support for Internet Recovery.
With today's firmware update, Apple has for the first time reached back to a previous-generation model to bring Lion Internet Recovery to the 13-inch MacBook Pro that was offered from April 2010 through February 2011.
Update: Users are also reporting that similar EFI firmware updates are available for the Mid-2010 white MacBook and the Mid-2010 Mac mini.
- Macbook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.2 (4.17 MB)
This update enables Lion Recovery from an Internet connection and includes fixes that resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on MacBook Pro (early 2011) models.
- Mac mini EFI Firmware Update 1.3 (4.26 MB)
This update includes fixes that enhance the stability of Lion Recovery from an Internet connection, and resolve issues with Apple Thunderbolt Display compatibility and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode performance on Mac Mini (mid 2011) models.
Apple has begun shipping the Apple Thunderbolt Display to stores and resellers, and should be delivering them to customers in the near future.