It’s been two years since the last Mac mini was released. Now that the Mac Studio is here, Apple needs to give its entry-level desktop a shot in the arm.
A new Mac mini could build upon the rather excellent current Mac mini, with its Apple M1 chip, by upgrading to the new rumored Apple M2 chip. But a new design is also on the cards to refresh the look of the compact computer. There’s also scope for the Mac mini to get an M1 Pro or M1 Max chip, thought a more efficient M2 seems the best best.
Nevertheless, read on for what we know so far about the long-rumored Mac mini 2022.
Mac mini 2022 latest news and rumors (updated June 8)
Mac mini 2022 release date rumors
All the rumors so far point towards a new Mac mini making its debut this year. While we had wondered if the Mac mini could be revealed at the Apple Peek Performance event in March, that turned out not to be the case — although we did get the Mac Studio as a consolation prize.
So, what now? The latest rumor still only says the new Mac mini will arrive later this year, with no more specific details than that. Our immediate assumption from this claim is that WWDC 2022 or at some point during Apple’s fall product announcements would be the most likely launch windows.
For what it’s worth, LeaksApplePro claims the Mac mini will join the MacBook Air for a launch at WWDC. Apple’s annual developer’s conference kicks off on June 6 with a keynote. If new hardware like the Mac mini is going to make an appearance, it will be during that keynote.
However, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has gone against the grain, instead predicting that the new upgraded Mac mini won’t actually arrive until 2023. We’re hoping he’s got this one wrong, obviously.
Mac Mini 2022 price speculation
With no new Mac mini in 2021, any price speculation seems a little silly, but the Mac mini 2022 is a real possibility, especially with new processors announced, with new capabilities. Based on Apple’s Mac mini price strategy to date we can make a pretty educated guess about what the next iteration of its tiniest desktop will cost.
The original Mac mini was launched in 2005 with an introductory price of $499, but the latest Mac mini, the 2020 model with the M1 chip, cost $699 at launch. However, that’s recently been cut down to $649, suggesting Apple may be trying to move stock ahead of a new product launch.
Since we presume any Mac mini will be an incremental upgrade over the current version with beefier internals and a revamped design, we have good reason to believe it will be sold for the same starting price as its predecessor: $699. Pushing the price of the entry-level model up past $700 seems like a big risk for Apple, though we’ll have to wait and see what the Mac Mini 2022 offers in terms of features before we can rule out a price hike.
With two new processor options, however, a Pro or Max model is a real possibility. The M1 Pro offers support for up to 32GB of memory, while the M1 Max can double that, going up to 64GB of RAM. For the small contingent of media creators that love the Mac mini design over the MacBook Pro laptop or Mac Pro desktop, the compact Mac mini could be offered with these more powerful configurations for significantly more.
Mac Mini 2022 potential design and specs
What little we’ve heard about the guts of the next Mac mini suggest we should expect redesigned internals with more ports and either an M1 Pro, M1 Max or M2 chip.
The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips have already impressed us in the latest MacBook Pro laptops. Meanwhile, the M2 chip is a sequel to the M1 that’s set to be much more focussed on efficiency rather than raw performance and is tipped to debut in the MacBook Air 2022.
According to Mark Gurman, we’ll see both M1 Pro and M2 chip versions of the Mac mini this year. He reckons the M1 Pro version will release first since it’s using an older chipset, but it will shortly be followed up by the M2 version alongside other Macs using the same new silicon.
A new rumor changes this up slightly. It claims that Apple’s now abandoned M1 Pro and M1 Max versions of the Mac mini since the Mac Studio now exists. Instead we will see the refreshed mini arrive with the M2 and M2 Pro chips. So we should still get a choice of chips, it’s just that the insider sources are currently disagreed on which ones they’ll be.
As with last year’s equivalent M1 silicon, M2 chips appear destined for 14-inch and 16-inch versions of the MacBook Pro (J414 and J416 respectively), but there’s also an M2 Pro powered Mac mini (J474) being put through its paces.
Bloomberg mentions that Apple is testing yet another Mac mini with the current-generation M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. We’ve heard similar before, but it was widely assumed that the Mac Studio might have made such models redundant — although the firmware of the Studio Display seems to reference new models, so perhaps not.
As far as what it might look like, the most reliable rumors come from established leaker Jon Prosser, who claimed back in May that the next Mac mini might be smaller and would sport more ports. Specifically, he claimed it will feature the same magnetic charging connector that is included with the new 24-inch iMac 2021, as well as four Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, plus Ethernet and HDMI ports.
All of that sounds great, but the changes are far from guaranteed. In fact, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo now predicts that the new Mac mini won’t get a design refresh when it eventually arrives.
Mac Mini 2022 outlook
All signs point to the launch of a new Mac mini in 2022 — right now our only questions are when, what will be waiting for us inside, and what it’ll actually look like. So a good few major queries.
Nevertheless, we’re eager to see what Apple does with the next big release of its smallest computer.