With Apple this week bringing its new M1 Pro and Max processors to the MacBook Pro, Mac fans are left with a big question: When will the promised “Mac mini Pro” arrive?
In May, Bloomberg’s famous Apple Watcher, Mark Gurman, reported that a revamped Mac mini was among the models Apple was planning to launch. Gurman – who got all the key details of the MacBook Pro launch this week right – even went so far as to put a model number (J374) on the new Mac mini, suggesting it wasn’t a vain speculation.
The new Mac mini isn’t intended to replace the M1 versions of the desktop launched last November. Gurman has indicated that this new model will sit on top of the current entry-level Mac mini and use the same processors as the newly launched MacBook Pro. While it didn’t put a name on it, the “Mac mini Pro” would certainly make sense and help distinguish it from older, cheaper models.
The Mac mini Pro won’t just have new internals. Gurman’s report claimed the revamped Mac mini would have four USB 4 / Thunderbolt ports instead of the current two on the existing Mac mini, a move that would further underline its “pro” credentials.
Will he arrive before Christmas?
It seems like it’s only a matter of time before Apple refreshes the Mac mini lineup, but will it do so before the holiday season?
It will all depend on sales of the new MacBook Pro and Apple’s ability to make enough new processors.
Apple has been largely immune from the component shortages that have ravaged the IT industry over the past year, partly because of the switch to its own silicon and partly because it has the financial clout to. get top priority on component supplies. Also, let’s not forget that the main reason Tim Cook was elevated to CEO was his mastery of the supply chain and his ability to maintain full control over contractors.
However, there are signs that even Apple is struggling to keep up with demand. Delivery times for the new MacBook Pros have stretched to between three and five weeks in the United States. That doesn’t bode well for another launch before Christmas, which could put further strain on supply chains, especially during the peak holiday season.
All of this makes it more likely that Apple will refresh the Mac mini early next year, possibly as early as January. While it’s been a long time since Apple hosted a major event in January, it could easily refresh the lineup with little fanfare.
For those who wish to get the power of the M1 Pro and Max chips in a desktop form factor, the anxious wait continues.