Tuesday October 30, 2018 12:24 pm PDT by Mitchel Broussard
Apple today announced two new Mac-related device updates, including a new MacBook Air and Mac mini. The refreshed MacBook Air includes an updated keyboard, larger Force Touch trackpad, slimmer display bezels, two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, Retina Display, reduced footprint, Touch ID, and Apple's T2 security chip. The Mac mini comes in Space Gray with 8th-generation Intel Core processors, flash storage up to 2 TB, Apple's T2 security chip, and more.
According to The Verge, the new MacBook Air looks a lot like a MacBook Pro, but the tapered design gives away the computer as a MacBook Air device. The site called the MacBook Air's Retina Display great and essentially on par with the screens on MacBook Pro models.
Image via The Verge
The Verge acknowledged that Apple's third generation keyboards are still polarizing, with super minimal key travel, but the site didn't think this is enough of a reason not to upgrade. Ultimately, The Verge enjoyed its first hands-on time with the MacBook Air and said that this is the MacBook most people should get, but wondered if the $1,199 entry price is still too high:
We’ll do a fuller price breakdown and comparison to other laptops soon, but my initial impression is that while I think this machine is worth $1,199, I still wonder if that’s too high of an entry price. But the only real way to know the answer to that question is to wait to see how it sells.
TechCrunch also pointed out that the new MacBook Air looks largely similar to the MacBook Pro, comparing the two in an image (seen below). The site said that the update to the MacBook Air was solid, and they commended Apple for keeping the MacBook Air around and not discontinuing it in favor of the low-cost MacBook.
MacBook Air on top of MacBook Pro, via TechCrunch
Touch ID is now present up top — a great addition — though Apple opted not to include the Touch Bar. That could be for any number of reasons. There’s some speculation that the company will ultimately move away from the feature, but more likely, it was simply a cost cutting measure.
All in all, a solid and long awaited update to Apple’s best loved laptop. It’s nice to see the company keeping the model around, rather than simply doing away with it in favor of the low end MacBook.
Switching over to the Mac mini, numerous sites praised the long-awaited update to Apple's miniature desktop device, which last saw a refresh in October 2014. The Space Gray Mac mini comes with quad- and 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 4.6GHz, making it 5 times faster than the previous generation, and up to 64GB of 2,666MHz RAM.
SlashGear liked Apple's boosted internal specs for the Mac mini, and noted the numerous ports on the back of the device, including four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI 2.0, 3.5mm headphone jack, and an ethernet port. The site argued that there is enough inside of the updated Mac mini to potentially convince iMac owners to switch over to a Mac mini and display setup:
Image via SlashGear
For a compact desktop, the Mac mini always punched above its weight for user upgrades. No, you can’t change the processor – in this case a choice of 4-core or 6-core Intel Core i3, Core i5, or Core i7 chips – but Apple has stuck with SO-DIMM memory. If you don’t want to pay Apple for an upgrade to up to 64 GB of RAM from the standard 8 GB, you should be able to do it yourself later on.
It’s little things like that which give the new Mac mini its charm. The $799 starting price, too, is aggressive – especially with the new MacBook Air Retina nudging up to $1,200. If you can do without Apple’s Retina display and provide your own, this first rung on the macOS ladder no longer feels like such a compromise. In fact, there’s plenty here that could sway iMac buyers back to a familiar old form-factor.
More news from Apple's New York event will be coming out as the day progresses, so be sure to keep an eye on our front page and on our Twitter feed for the latest coverage.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 11:28 am PDT by Juli Clover
With the Mac mini getting a long-awaited update today, Apple took the opportunity to highlight the use of the tiny computer in a number of unique areas where full-size machines might not quite fit — literally.
In The Secret World of Mac mini, Apple takes a look at country star Dierks Bentley's live show, the touring production of the Finding Neverland musical, and the Mac mini-focused datacenter provider MacStadium.
When Dierks Bentley performs live, Mac minis travel with the show to monitor the band's 18 wireless guitar rigs. According to the piece, Dierks' sound engineer uses a Mac mini to power his equipment — well, actually it appears to be a Mac Pro in the picture, weirdly. Not sure what's going on there, but there is a Mac mini with a banana sticker on it:
“If Dierks is out in the crowd and this setup alerts me that his guitar’s wireless strength is going down, I can adjust it and avoid an issue,” says Gutierrez. “And I’ve always run this setup on Mac mini — I’ve been using the same Mac mini for five years, and I’ve never had a problem.”
The Finding Neverland performance uses a Mac mini running software to produce sound that can't be sung or played live, including electronic music and sound effects.
Finding Neverland is the true story of how author J.M. Barrie conceived the fantastic world of Peter Pan. The production takes the audience on a journey that floats between the author’s real life and the make-believe world of his imagination. And bringing that imagination to life requires a lot of sound effects — from ticking clocks and thunder claps, to cannon booms and the sound of Tinkerbell’s…well, Tinkerbelling. All those effects are possible because of Mac mini, triggered throughout the show by the conductor.
Finally there's the Mac-only datacenter MacStadium, which manages thousands of Mac minis across several data centers for its clients. The firm manages almost 8,000 minis, for a wide range of developers who want Macs for development work and more.
"Candy Crush, Shopify, Day One — so many of your favorite apps and games run on Mac mini. It’s truly the Swiss Army knife of computers," says Brian Stucki of MacStadium.
The new Mac mini is available for preorder today, shipping on November 7. It starts at $799, but fully loaded, it prices out to a decidedly not-mini $4,199.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 10:54 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today introduced a long-awaited refreshed Mac mini, which has been reengineered to take advantage of the newest hardware available on the market.
The Mac mini features 4 and 6-core 8th-generation Intel processors, up to 64GB RAM, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, and up to 2TB of flash storage space.
The entry-level Mac mini with a 3.6GHz quad-core processor, 8GB RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 630, and a 128GB SSD is available for $799, which is $300 more expensive than the most affordable Mac mini was previously.
A middle-tier base model is available with a 3.0GHz 6-core processor, 8GB RAM, Intel UHD Graphics 630 and a 256GB SSD for $1,099.
Apple has added plenty of upgrade options aimed at pro level Mac mini users who want the fastest desktop-class machine in the smallest package.
A maxed out Mac mini with a 3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processor, Intel UHD Graphics 630, 64GB RAM, a 2TB SSD, and upgraded 10 Gigabit Ethernet is priced at a whopping $4,199.
Despite the high price tag, the upgrade options should make Mac mini customers who were awaiting more powerful features happy with this year's refresh. Prior to today, the Mac mini had not been updated since 2014.
Tuesday October 30, 2018 8:31 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple announced a brand new Mac mini with a space gray finish at its "There's more in the making" media event held in Brooklyn, New York today.
The new space gray Mac mini comes with quad- and 6-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 4.6GHz, making it 5 times faster than the previous generation, and up to 64GB of 2,666MHz RAM.
Storage wise, all Mac minis now have all-flash storage up to 2 TB that's 4 times faster than previous storage drives, while also coming with Intel UHD graphics, Apple's new T2 security chip, a Gigabit Ethernet, 4x Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and two USB-A ports, along with a 10Gb Ethernet option.
The new Mac mini can connect to high speed storage as well as 4K and 5K Thunderbolt displays, and can output video in three formats. There's also a brand new quiet thermal system with double the airflow installed.
The T2 chip features an SSD controller with on-the-fly data encryption, so everything stored on the SSD is automatically encrypted. The Secure Enclave in T2 ensures that software loaded during the boot process has not been tampered with. T2 also features HEVC video transcoding that’s up to 30 times faster, enabling pro users to work more quickly with higher resolution video throughout their workflow.
For the new space gray finish, every new Mac mini enclosure uses an Apple-designed aluminum alloy made from 100 percent recycled aluminum for the first time, which has the same strength, durability, and finish as the aluminum in all Apple products.
"Mac mini is loved by customers for its ability to be used in incredibly diverse environments — from casual desktop use, to live professional performances, to multiple Mac mini computers powering through video renderings and compiling software code, to racks of thousands in giant app build farms — anywhere a small-but-mighty Mac is needed to get the job done," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
The Mac mini starts at $799 with the base level model offering 8GB of RAM, a 3.6GHz Intel quad-core Core i3 processor, and 128GB of storage. Orders for the new Mac mini start today, with availability from next week, November 7.
Monday October 29, 2018 8:53 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple on Tuesday will take the stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where it is widely expected to unveil the next-generation iPad Pro with Face ID and updates to a wide range of Macs, including the MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini.
Ahead of the keynote, which starts at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Hungarian industrial design student Viktor Kadar has created concepts that imagine a new Mac mini paired with a new Apple Display and a Magic Keyboard with a Touch Bar.
Before anyone gets too excited: it's unclear what the new Mac mini will look like, a new Apple Display isn't coming until 2019, and there haven't been any recent rumors to suggest Apple plans to add a Touch Bar to the Magic Keyboard. But who doesn't love some sleek mockups to hype up tomorrow's Apple Event?
The new Mac mini as Kadar imagines it would feature a Space Gray finish with the addition of four Thunderbolt 3 ports, while the new Apple Display would be similar to Apple's discontinued Thunderbolt Display, but with slimmer bezels.
Two reliable Apple scoopsters in Ming-Chi Kuo and Mark Gurman both expect the new Mac mini to feature upgraded processor options, while Gurman added that the portable desktop computer will gain new professional-focused features. Neither source has revealed details about its design or other tech specs.
Way back in April 2017, the blog Pike's Universum said that a new high-end Mac mini would be released with a design that "won't be so mini anymore," suggesting the most expensive configuration might have a larger or taller design to accommodate for upgraded tech specs. The blog has a hit-and-miss track record.
Friday October 26, 2018 2:41 pm PDT by Juli Clover
While Apple introduced iPhones back in September, there are still a number of products that the company is planning to refresh before the end of the year, necessitating a second fall 2018 event, set to be held on Tuesday, October 30 in New York City.
Apple's October event will focus on the iPad and the Mac, and below, we've rounded up everything we expect to see along with a few other products that might possibly make an appearance at the keynote.
Apple is working on updated iPad Pro models that adopt an iPhone XS-style design with slimmer bezels and no Home button, with the iPads instead set to gain a TrueDepth camera system that will replace Touch ID with Face ID for biometric authentication purposes. The design of the iPad Pro has been confirmed by Apple in several leaked icons discovered in iOS 12.
Though the iPhone XS uses a notch for the TrueDepth camera, the upcoming iPad Pro models are expected to feature slim top, bottom, and side bezels all around the display. Apple is not planning to use an OLED display for the new iPads due to cost and production issues.
2018 iPad Pro mockup via iDropNews
Recent CAD drawings sourced from a case maker along with additional leaks have given us some insight into the dimensions of the new iPad Pro models. The smaller iPad Pro is expected to be 7 inches wide (178.52mm) and 9.7 inches tall (247.64mm), while the larger model will be 8.5 inches wide (215mm) and 11 inches tall (280.66mm).
The smaller of the two iPad Pro models may be as thin as 5.86mm, and it's not clear how thick the larger iPad Pro model will be. It could be as thin, or somewhat thicker like the current 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Bezels for both iPad Pro models could measure in at around 6mm at the top, bottom, and sides.
Based on multiple leaks, Apple is apparently relocating the magnetic Smart Connector on the new iPad Pro models from the side to the bottom near the Lightning port, which could perhaps require a new vertically oriented Smart Keyboard. It's not clear why Apple is making this change, and it's not known if Apple is indeed releasing a new Smart Keyboard that connects differently.
Originally, it was thought that Apple was relocating the connector because Face ID would be limited to portrait orientation since that's the way it works on the iPhone, but code in iOS 12.1 suggests that after being set up vertically, Face ID will work on the iPad in both portrait and landscape modes.
Design wise, the new iPad Pro models are said to feature a "diamond cut" at both the front and the back, which suggests the tablets could have a design similar to the iPhone SE with beveled edges. Antenna lines on the device may also be located at the top and bottom, similar to the iPhone 7, rather than in a block at the top.
Renderings of 12.9-inch iPad Pro based on alleged CAD drawings
There are other major changes in store for the iPad Pro. Apple is said to be planning to eliminate the headphone jack from the iPad lineup like it did in the iPhone starting with the iPhone 7, and it's rumored to use a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port.
A USB-C port would allow for faster charging and new functionality not possible via Lightning such as the ability to drive a 4K monitor.
Inside, the new iPad Pro models are said to be equipped with an A12X Bionic processor that's even faster than the A12 chip in the new iPhone lineup.
Renderings of 12.9-inch iPad Pro based on alleged CAD drawings
Alongside new iPad Pro models, Apple is said to be planning to introduce a second-generation Apple Pencil with a new design.
Little detail is known about the new Apple Pencil, but it could feature an AirPods-like pairing experience with the ability to switch the Apple Pencil between devices without the need to plug it into a Lightning port.
It will attach magnetically to the side of the new iPad Pro models, and it is said to feature a new charging method, though there are no details on what that charging method might be. It's possible the accessory will charge wirelessly when docked to the iPad Pro, with Apple eliminating the Lightning port.
Rumors have also suggested new Apple Pencil will support tap and swipe gestures, which would allow iPad Pro users to do things like change the size or color of a brush within a sketching app using the sides of the Apple Pencil.
Reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Apple is working on an upgraded iPad mini that features an upgraded processor and a lower-cost display panel, which suggests it will be more affordable than the current version.
Kuo wasn't entirely sure if Apple plans to release the iPad mini at its October event or at a later date in 2018 or early 2019, but there's a possibility it will be unveiled alongside new iPad Pro models.
We don't have any other information about the new iPad mini at this point in time, but it sounds like it's not going to get the same design refinements that are coming to Apple's iPad Pro lineup.
Apple has a 13-inch MacBook Air replacement in the works, which has been the subject of rumors for more than a year now. It's still not clear whether Apple plans to label the machine as MacBook Air or a MacBook, but some concrete details about the upcoming notebook can be gleaned from everything we've heard.
Positioned as an entry-level low-cost machine in Apple's product lineup, the notebook will be 13 inches in size and it will feature a Retina display. It is said to be similar in design to the current 13-inch MacBook Air, but with slimmer bezels.
It's not entirely clear how Apple will distinguish this machine from the 12-inch MacBook if it's going to be a MacBook Air with a Retina display, but if the design is similar to the current MacBook Air, the 12-inch MacBook will still be Apple's lightest machine, justifying its higher price tag.
Various pricing rumors have suggested that it could be available for anywhere from $799 to $1,200, but the most reliable source, Bloomberg, believes it will cost under $1,000.
Whiskey Lake chips appropriate for a MacBook Air-like machine were announced by Intel in August, and so Apple could potentially be planning to use these chips in the device.
Regardless of whether the rumored lower-cost 13-inch notebook is positioned as a MacBook Air or a MacBook, rumors suggest Apple is planning to maintain the 12-inch MacBook lineup and a MacBook refresh is said to be in the works.
Upgraded 12-inch MacBooks are likely to feature Intel's 8th-generation Amber Lake Y-series processors, announced in August. These chips bring processor and battery improvements, so new MacBooks could offer both faster performance and longer battery life.
Aside from upgraded Intel chips, there's been little information on what else Apple might add to a refreshed MacBook lineup.
Apple refreshes its iMac lineup on a regular basis, and reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo recently said that an updated model is in the works and set to launch at Apple's October 30th event.
We're expecting new iMacs that feature upgraded 8th-generation Intel processors, improved GPUs, and perhaps the adoption of the T2 chip that was introduced in the iMac Pro and has since been added to the MacBook Pro.
Apple is working on a refreshed version of the Mac mini that's focused on the pro user base. The upgraded device will feature new storage and processor options, and because Apple is aiming it at pro users, some models could be more expensive than previous Mac mini products.
We don't have a lot of additional information available on what to expect from the Mac mini, but one rumor suggested the higher-end model "won't be so mini anymore," hinting at one configuration with a larger size to accommodate higher-end components.
Given that the new Mac mini is going to be a pro-focused machine, it's not clear what chips it will adopt, but Intel this year has announced 8th-generation processors appropriate for both desktop and notebook machines. Past Mac mini models have used the same chips as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, but Apple may be planning to opt for more powerful chips for a pro Mac mini model.
Apple last year announced work on a high-end high-throughput modular Mac Pro that will facilitate regular upgrades to meet the needs of Apple's pro user base.
Apple has said this new, redesigned Mac Pro will launch at some point in 2019, but in the past, the company has provided us with early previews and the work on the Mac Pro is no secret, so it's possible we'll get a little taste of what to expect at this fall Mac-focused event.
As should come as no surprise, Apple is working on a next-generation iMac Pro model, which Bloomberg confirmed this afternoon. There are no new chips available that would be appropriate for an upgraded iMac Pro right now, but it's possible Apple will give us some details on when we can expect a refreshed iMac Pro machine.
AirPower and AirPods
We're still waiting on the AirPower, the three-device charging mat that Apple introduced in September 2017. When it made its debut, Apple said it would launch at some point in 2018, and we've got a few months to go, so it could potentially make an appearance at the October event.
We're not counting on it though, as Apple made no mention of the AirPower at its September iPhone-focused event, where a launch would have made more sense.
The AirPower is designed to charge the Apple Watch (Series 3 and 4), glass-backed iPhones, and AirPods all at the same time, with a wireless charging case required to enable wireless charging for the AirPods.
Alongside the AirPower, Apple is supposed to be introducing a new AirPods Charging Case that adds wireless charging to the earbuds, so if we see the launch of the AirPower, AirPods are likely to launch alongside it.
In addition to wireless charging, refreshed AirPods could gain an upgraded wireless chip that supports hands-free "Hey Siri" functionality. With "Hey Siri" support, AirPod owners will be able to activate Siri without needing to double tap on the AirPods with a finger.
Existing AirPods Charging Case next to redesigned AirPods Charging Case with wireless charging capabilities
No other major changes are rumored for the AirPods this year, but there have been some hints that Apple is working on a set of Apple-branded high-end over-ear headphones that could launch in late 2018 at the earliest, so we may see a mention of them. Rumors on a launch date have been mixed, though, so Apple may not be ready to debut these until 2019.
Apple's event will kick off at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time, three hours earlier than events are normally held. This year's event is happening earlier because it's taking place on the East Coast instead of the West Coast.
Apple is planning to live stream the product unveilings on its event website and through the Events app on the Apple TV.
For those unable to watch, MacRumors will have live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and on our MacRumorsLive Twitter account, along with continuing coverage over the course of the next few weeks.
What are you most looking forward to seeing Apple introduce this year? Let us know in the comments.
Wednesday October 24, 2018 3:43 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple has registered new Macs with the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) this week, indicating that new models and refreshes could be just around the corner. The filings, discovered by MySmartPrice and French website Consomac, are legally required for any devices with encryption sold in Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.
The Mac model numbers are A1347, A1418, A1419, A1481, A1862, A1993, A2115, A2116, A1466, A1534, A1708, A1932, A1989, A1990. Some of the numbers refer to existing models that are being updated in the registry to merely indicate they come with the latest macOS Mojave operating system, but four of the numbers currently don't have counterparts in Apple's Mac lineup. Some have also appeared in Eurasia filings earlier this year.
Apple is expected to to introduce a new entry-level 13-inch MacBook at its October 30 event in New York City. The more affordable Mac would serve as a replacement for the MacBook Air, and while details have been scant about the rumored machine, it could turn out to belong to the 12-inch MacBook family.
It's not known what the rumored 13-inch MacBook would be priced at, but the MacBook Air sells for $999, a price point Apple has thus far been unable to match with the 12-inch MacBook and the MacBook Pro.
The Mac mini, which has not been updated for more than 1,400 days, is also expected to be refreshed this month, for the first time since 2014. We don't know a lot about what to expect for the Mac mini update, but upgraded internals and faster processors are a dead cert.
Apple's iMac range is also due at least a refresh, with current models on sale having not been updated in the last 505 days. It's not inconceivable that Apple also plans to give its MacBook Pro lineup a processor bump.
Meanwhile, new iPad Pro models announced at the event are expected to adopt an iPhone X-style design with no Home button, slimmer bezels, and a TrueDepth camera system that will enable Face ID for biometric authentication, while a new updated iPad mini could also feature.
Apple's New York City event on Tuesday, October 30 will take place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Howard Gilman Opera House, kicking off at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Apple typically streams the event live on its website and on Apple TV, but for those who are unable to watch, MacRumors will be providing full event coverage both on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
Tuesday October 23, 2018 10:54 am PDT by Juli Clover
Ahead of Apple's October 30th event, respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo shared some details about what we can expect to see Apple to unveil during the event as well as information on other products that we might see from Apple in late 2018 or early 2019.
Kuo has several interesting predictions, including an updated iPad mini and details on the launch of the AirPower.
Kuo says that we can expect to see two new iPad Pro models that are equipped with USB-C, improved displays, and an Apple Pencil with a new design. Further details were not shared on what improvements to expect with the displays or what a redesigned Apple Pencil might look like.
All of these features have been previously rumored for Apple's upcoming iPad Pro models, which are also expected to feature Face ID, edge to edge screens, and no Home button.
Kuo says that Apple will launch a new version of the iPad mini, which has not seen an update in several years. Kuo says the device will feature an upgraded processor and a lower-cost panel.
Kuo does not know, however, if Apple will announce it during the media event or launch it sometime later in the year/early next year, but if an updated model is in the works, it makes sense for it to launch alongside the iPad Pro.
At Apple's event, we can expect to see several Mac updates with upgraded processors and other internal improvements. Kuo says we can count on a new low-cost notebook and updates to the MacBook, iMac, and Mac mini.
AirPower and AirPods
According to Kuo, Apple could launch new AirPods and the AirPower either late in the fourth quarter of 2018 or early in the first quarter of 2019, but he doesn't yet know the company's specific plans.
It's possible that if Apple is planning on debuting the AirPower before the end of 2018 as promised, it could be mentioned at the October event, but Kuo doesn't say either way. The AirPower, first unveiled in September 2017, is meant to charge three devices at once, including an iPhone, the AirPods, and the Apple Watch, but it's been delayed for several months now.
As for the AirPods, we can expect to see an upgraded wireless charging case that will work with the AirPower along with a new wireless chip that enables "Hey Siri" functionality.
Apple's October event is set to take place on Tuesday, October 30 at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. This year's event is being held earlier in the day than normal because it is being hosted in New York City instead of Cupertino.
Apple will provide a live stream of the event on its event website and through the Events app on the Apple TV, but for those who can't watch, MacRumors will provide live coverage both here on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
While the iPad Pro is expected to continue to use an LCD rather than OLED due to the high price of OLED displays, rumors suggest it could adopt a USB-C port instead of a Lightning port and that the headphone jack could potentially be eliminated.
2018 iPad Pro mockup by Álvaro Pabesio
Along with new iPad Pro models, we're also expecting refreshes to the MacBook line. Refreshed 12-inch MacBooks are said to be in the works, and based on rumors, Apple has developed a low-cost notebook with a Retina display that could be positioned as an updated MacBook Air.
The Mac mini, which has not been updated for more than 1,400 days, is expected to be refreshed for the first time since 2014. We don't know a lot about what to expect for the Mac mini update, but upgraded internals and faster processors are a sure thing.
It's possible that at this iPad and Mac-focused event, we'll also hear more about the modular Mac Pro that Apple is working on for a 2019 debut.
Apple's 2018 keynote event will begin at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Apple typically streams the event live on its website and on Apple TV, but for those who are unable to watch, MacRumors will be providing full event coverage both on MacRumors.com and through our MacRumorsLive Twitter account.
Wednesday October 17, 2018 7:13 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
The latest Mac mini, introduced on October 16, 2014, is four years old as of this week. For emphasis, it has been 1,462 days since the portable desktop computer was last updated, according to the MacRumors Buyer's Guide.
The current lineup, still sold on Apple.com, features five-generation-old Intel dual-core Haswell processors with clock speeds up to 3.0GHz. Other tech specs include up to 16GB of LPDDR3 RAM, up to 1TB of flash storage, and the choice of Intel HD Graphics 5000 or Intel Iris integrated graphics. Prices start at $499.
The good news is that the long wait for an update may be coming to an end, as two reliable sources in Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Apple scoopster Mark Gurman both expect a new Mac mini to be released later this year.
Kuo didn't have a lot of information to share on the Mac mini, but he said a processor upgrade is expected. Gurman revealed more ambitious plans, claiming that the Mac mini is set to receive a "professional-focused upgrade," with new storage and processor options likely to make it "more expensive" than previous models.
It's unclear if the Mac mini will be redesigned, but the new processor options will hopefully include quad-core options at the very least.
The big question: when will Apple hold its rumored October event? With invites yet to be issued to the media, and with Apple CEO Tim Cook in Belgium next Wednesday, the most likely date for an October event at this point is Tuesday, October 30, two days before its fourth quarter earnings results.
There's a very slim chance that invites go out today or tomorrow for an event next Wednesday or Thursday, with or without Cook appearing on stage, but Apple likely wants the spotlight to be on the iPhone XR until it launches Friday, October 26.
Apple is working on several new products for its Mac lineup, including a new low-cost MacBook Air and a Pro-focused Mac mini, reports Bloomberg's Mark Gurman.
The upcoming low-cost MacBook Air will be similar in design to the current MacBook Air, but with slimmer bezels around the display. It will continue to be sized around 13 inches, and it will feature a Retina display.
We've heard multiple rumors about the upcoming low-cost notebook, but it has been unclear whether it is part of the MacBook family or if it will be branded as a MacBook Air. Today's report makes it clear that the new machine is going to be positioned as a MacBook Air upgrade, aimed at students and schools with a lower price tag than MacBooks in the MacBook family.
Apple is continuing to make new MacBook models as well, and it's not yet clear how the company will differentiate the new MacBook Air from the MacBook. Right now, the MacBook's higher price tag, slimmer body, and Retina display set it apart from the MacBook Air.
Apple is also said to be working on an upgrade to the Mac mini, which has not seen an update since October 2014. Little detail is available about the upcoming machine, but it is said to be focused on pro users with new storage and processor options that are likely to make it more expensive than previous Mac mini products.
2017 rumors suggested Apple was working on a Mac mini that "won't be so mini anymore," which would be in line with a machine that has more powerful, less compact components.
Bloomberg suggests Apple could potentially be planning to introduce the new Macs in October, following a September event that will see the launch of new iPhones and new Apple Watch models.
New iPad Pro models with Face ID are also in the works, but it is not clear if these will debut in September or October.
Wednesday July 11, 2018 10:14 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple is working on updates across its entire product line for the second half of 2018, according to a new investor's note shared this morning by reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, with refreshes expected for iPhone, iPad, Mac mini, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Apple Watch.
Much of what Kuo has to share has been mentioned before, but he provides a nice overview of what we can expect to see this fall along with some interesting new tidbits on Apple's upcoming product lineup.
iPhone - There are three iPhones in the works, two OLED models in 5.8 and 6.5-inch sizes and one lower-cost LED model that will be available in a 6.1-inch size. All three will feature Face ID and upgraded A12 processors. While the two OLED models will have dual-lens cameras, the lower-cost model will feature a single-lens camera.
iPad Pro - Apple is working on two new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models that are equipped with a full-screen design similar to the iPhone X and no Home button, with Apple to replace Touch ID with Face ID.
Mac mini - Kuo didn't have a lot of information to share on the Mac mini, but he says a processor upgrade is expected. The Mac mini has not been updated for more than 1,300 days, aka over 3 and a half years. It's not clear if additional upgrades will be included, such as a redesigned chassis, but at least some kind of refresh is on the horizon.
MacBook Pro - Processor upgrades expected.
MacBook - Processor upgrades expected.
New Low-Priced Notebook - Kuo believes Apple is designing a new low-priced notebook. He originally said that this would be in the MacBook Air family, but now has changed his mind. Previous rumors have suggested this machine could be a 12-inch MacBook, so Apple may be planning to expand the MacBook lineup with an additional low-cost option to replace the MacBook Air.
iMac - Kuo says to expect a significant display performance upgrade, but he does not go into detail about what this will entail and we haven't heard additional iMac rumors at this time. He says the iMac, like other Macs, will get a processor refresh.
Apple Watch - Apple is working on two new Apple Watch models for 2018 that will have bigger displays and enhanced heart rate detection features. The two Apple Watch models will measure in at 1.57 inches (39.9mm) and 1.78 inches (45.2mm), roughly 15 percent bigger than in the current models. Rumors have not been clear on whether the Apple Watch itself will be larger or if the bigger display will come from a reduction in bezels.
Kuo wraps up his note with a prediction that the highly-anticipated AirPods and the AirPower will go into mass production in the third quarter of 2018, suggesting a late fall launch. Apple first announced the AirPower in the fall of 2017, but has reportedly run into some problems with production. Recent rumors have said Apple is aiming for a September launch for the AirPower.
Kuo doesn't provide details on when we might see refreshes to Apple's other product lines, but the company could be planning to launch all of the new products at its annual September event, which is typically held during the first or second week of September.
In the past, Apple has also held separate October events when there is a heavy fall product lineup to unveil, so Macs and iPads could also come in that month.
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