The Mac mini may be pronounced dead as soon as today's Apple earnings conference call, as two major retailers in Europe have confirmed to me that they can't order any more of the little computers. While this could signal an updated model coming in, they have been told by Apple to expect no more of it. Their impression is that—once again—the Mac Mini may be dead dead DEAD for real, even while you can still order it at the Apple Store.
It would be weird to see it go in this time of crisis, but being their worst-selling computer, I'm not surprised.
The Mac mini was first introduced in January 2005 at the Macworld Conference & Expo. Labelled by Steve Jobs as the "most affordable Mac ever" it was well received by the critics and public. Apple positioned it as a cheap alternative to the Mac Pro for every PC user who wanted to switch to the Mac without having to buy new peripherals.
However, the son of the Apple Cube failed to grab traction, just like its predecesor. As the iMac and MacBooks kept being the number one sellers for the Cupertino company, the Mac mini kept receding into the background, even while receiving six hardware updates since its introduction. The last one was in November 2007, and it's quite outdated compared to the current hardware: Unlike the rest of the Mac hardware, it lacks 802.11n support, uses the older 667 MHz front side bus and 945GM chipset, which is two generations behind everything else.
If the termination of the Mac mini is finally confirmed, it will be sad to see it go. Hopefully, this may mean that a new update is in the works or that it will get replaced by something else, but seeing how most people don't seem to give a damn about the Apple Tax, judging from the MacBooks selling like hot cakes at the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue, I won't count on it. [Thanks Conito]