updated 01:55 pm EDT, Tue October 21, 2008
Mac mini Shipments Halt
Apple is currently telling at least some retailers not to expect further Mac mini shipments, according to reports sent to Gizmodo. At least two "major" European outlets say they have been told by Apple not to anticipate more units of the small desktop and get the impression from their Apple sources that the system has been discontinued outright and isn't just encountering a temporary interruption in supply.
It's unclear whether the news, if applicable to retailers on a wider level, is reflective of the end of the entire series, a refresh, or a supply change. The company is known to regularly issue End of Life (EOL) notices for products both just before they receive replacements as well as for necessary technical changes or complete phase-outs.
Apple has typically considered the Mac mini a low priority in its lineup since shortly after its introduction in January 2005. The computer has always been marketed as the company's primary sub-$1,000 offering and has received only sporadic updates since its release, with one minor PowerPC update and two updates since its switch to Intel in February 2006. Its last update was in August 2007 alongside the aluminum iMac and is now two generations behind Intel's latest processors.
Publicly, the company has never expressed an intention to remove the Mac mini from its lineup and is widely believed to have an incentive to keep the $599 computer as an inexpensive alternative in a poor US economy.